Advanced C1 listening · culture

Listening Advanced C1: Skara Brae

Skara_Brae

So you thought you  knew all about interior design and comfort at home, right? You thought that we, modern-day humans, had invented comfortable beds, hygienic bathrooms and all those things that make our homes tasteful and cosy. Well I have some news for you, because that is what I thought until I discovered Skara Brae.
Skara Brae is a Neolithic settlement consisting of eight stone-built houses located on the coast of Mainland (the Orkney Islands). Its origin dates from 3180 BC and was occupied by families for about 600 years. The theories that explain why its inhabitants left the village are several.  Some historians say that this was caused by an abrupt climate change, while others claim that a violent storm forced the inhabitants to flee from the village leaving behind many of their belongings.  Whatever the reason was, the result was that the village remained covered with sand and earth for many centuries and was forgotten until 1850 when a severe storm hit Scotland, stripping a large tract of land off the coast and consequently, uncovering the village.
It was then when the locals discovered the settlement that was in such a good state of preservation that it has provided a wide insight into the lifestyle of the people who lived there. Thanks to this, we now know what these people ate and did for a living. We also know that they had stone-made furniture and a primitive form of toilets. These folks really knew about comfort!

Skara Brae gained Unesco World Heritage Site status and is probably older than the Pyramids of Egypt and Stonehenge. It is also known as the Scottish Pompeii and is a ‘must visit’ whenever going to Scotland. However, when visiting, have in mind that strict rules are applied to visitors as the settlement is extremely sensitive to the effects of these, which could cause irreversible damage.

The video is from Archaeosoup productions Youtube

B1 · Intermediate B1 listening activity · Listening

Listening intermediate B1 activity: Tiny homes

The building of ‘tiny homes’ is becoming more and more popular in places such as USA, and the UK. Some people even buy themselves an old bus and reconvert it into the most incredible home you could possibly imagine. Can you imagine getting out of bed and driving to work without so much as putting your foot out of your door? Sounds incredible, doesn’t it? Well, with the recession going on and on, we may have to start thinking about a similar solution because, I really don’t know what buying a property will be like in some countries but in mine, getting on the ‘property ladder’ is becoming almost impossible. Anyway, here’s a listening activity about a beautiful holiday spot in Quebec whose owner  has set up some tiny homes for holidaymakers. Wow! I wish I could fly over there for a break! It looks SO lovely and relaxing. Don’t you agree?

B1 · Intermediate B1 speaking practice · speaking

Intermediate B1 speaking practice: Topic Homes and Houses

home is where my heart is.jpg

Where do you live? Do you like your home? Would you change anything? Maybe you have some nice and friendly neighbours or maybe they are not so nice and spend uncountable evenings shouting at each other not letting you have your rest in peace. Do you have a cosy, snug corner ‘all to yourself’ or do you feel your home is a bit too cramped with people and furniture? Have you ever heard the saying’ my home is where I lay my cap’? What do you think that means?

Here’a presentation to help you have a nice chat with your classmates (and me too!) about your home.

Click to presentation

B1 · Intermediate B1 listening activity · Listening

Listening Intermediate B1: Changing the Toilet Roll

Do you help at home? Do you do your share of housework? Have you ever had a problem or more than one with a flatmate or an untidy brother/sister of yours?

This dad surely had a little domestic problem and decided to get it sorted out using a very innovative strategy.  What would you think if a relative of yours uploaded a video of this type?

Watch the video and choose the best option.