B1 · Listening

Strange Tudor Laws

It’s time for a laugh and a little history. This listening activity deals with the times of Elizabeth I who was Henry VIII’s second daughter and who reigned after her elder sister, Mary I, and her very young brother Edward VI (who ascended to the throne at the age of nine). Am I boring you? Yes I think so…

Anyway, during the 16th century, Elizabeth was queen and nobody’s fool. Her sister, Mary had had her locked up for many years in a tower so, by the time she reached the throne she knew very well how dangerous the Tudor times were. There were lots of laws and rules to follow concerning, religion, trade and security because European countries in those times were always at war and plotting against kings and queens, for some reason or another. This  video from Horrible Histories deals with some of these laws in a hilarious way.I hope you enjoy it!

Click to activity

B1 · B2 · culture · Listening

The Mistletoe Bride

bride_ghost_pastel_small

I’ve always thought that knowing the culture of the country of a language we are learning, will help us improve our linguistic skills, as well as adding interest to something that is sort of becoming compulsory, such as learning a language or two (or three if you like).

Well, here’s the first part of this project I’m into now, which is basically, telling very old stories related to the culture of the British Isles. This is the first one, and hopefully, won’t be the last although, it has quite a few things that need to be improved like background sounds of lorries driving past my window, a cat miaowing  and a creaky chair. I really apologise for this, but hope you enjoy the story anyway.

 

B1 · culture · Grammar activity · Listening

British culture Pancake Day

pancake

What is Pancake Day? Well, you may not be familiar with this typical British celebration but the matter of fact is that this day, some people (me too, if I get a break I mean) stuff to the point of bursting themselves with pancakes.(ha, ha, ha!!!)

Every year this day is usually celebrated about six weeks before Easter, so it is usually between February and March. This year Pancake Day is going to be on Tuesday, February 28, 2017 (in 17 days) which is a real pity because I would have liked to set up something special with my students for this day. Anyway, what’s the origin of this celebration?

Here are two  activities that you can do as you learn what Pancake Day is all about.  The first one is a vocabulary/grammar activity and the second, is a listening activity. I hope they don’t make you hungry!!!  😉

Have a look  at this video from Youtube .

Click to vocabulary activity

Click to listening activity

 

Listening · songs

Henry VIII and his six wives

Divorced, beheaded and died. Divorced, beheaded and survived…

Henry VIII is one of the most famous kings in English history. He was most famous for his six wives and for having caused a breach with the Church of Rome.

This is a famous song about his six wives that talks about what happened to each one of them. The song is quite humorous even though, I agree on the fact that none of Henry’s six wives may have found the song particularly amusing.

Here’s a link to the song by Horrible Histories and if you are interested in learning some British history, I have also included a link from the BBC website.

Click for song

Click for history

 

 

B2 word formation · Listening

B2 Listening Banksy is Back

  • Do you know who Banksy is? What do you know about this artist?
  • What do you think about graffiti? Do you think it is an art or an act of vandalism?
  • Are there laws against graffiti in your country?
  • The artist we are going to speak about is a street artist. What do you know about street artists? Do you think this is a serious career or is it a mean of support for unemployed people in your country?

Here’s a listening activity on this very well-known street artist.

Click for activity

B2 word formation · Listening

B2 Shopping around in London

Yes, almost time for the sales to begin and although in Britain, the sales start as soon as Christmas is over (in Britain the Three King’s Day isn’t a tradition, so this time begins right after Boxing Day). Do you plan to visit London? Have you ever been there on a shopping spree? Here’s an audio activity with some tips on  the best shopping spots in London in case you plan to visit this beautiful city.

Watch and click the best option.

 

culture

Viking words

The English language is the result of many different cultures moving into the British Isles throughout history. One of these groups was the Danes. At first, when this new group of people arrived, it was only for the purpose of plunder or rather, ‘to go a viking’ and this is the reason why these people were eventually called Vikings. The people from the British Isles were terrified by the violent attacks that these people from the north raged on them. However, not all the newcomers were violent and many stayed, settled down and farmed the land peacefully. They built towns, brought their own cultural aspects into the new land and of course, their language too. Here’s a very funny video from ‘Horrible Histories’ giving some examples of these Viking words that are in present-day English.