Advanced C1 listening · C1 · C2 · culture · Listening · Proficiency C2 listening

C1-C2 Listening 'How old-timey skiffle music liberated British rock

Last month I was reading Mark Kermode’s novel ‘How Does it Feel?’, which is a funny and interesing recount of his goal towards becoming a famous popstar. At a certain period of his life, the author enrols in a band that played skiffle, and I thought to myself ‘skiffle! What’s that?’ I hadn’t the slightest idea of what it was, so I googled it up and found, among many other interesting links, the one that I’ve turned into a listening activity for those that are loony about the history of rock bands. The video mentions big names like Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and the Rollings, among many others, who had all apparently started off in the showbiz as kids playing skiffle in their sheds or even busking. Anyway, if you feel like doing a listening activity, just click on the button below and let me know if you found it interesting.

Before doing the listening, you might want to watch this video by Knob Town Skiffle Band on Youtube.

Click for the listening activity!

C1 · C2 · Listening · Reading · speaking

Food waste and what we can do about it.

In 2016 Huffpost launched a campaign calling for action against the astronomical amount of food that was being dumped into the bins by supermarkets in the USA. Although the article is already over three years old, I’ve adapted it as a reading activity that you can do after listening to the video that briefly explains why we should think seriously about this matter. After reading the text, you may want to discuss the questions below with a partner and/or write a letter.

I hope you enjoy the lesson!

Serena

Think and discuss

  1. Do you think governments should curb food waste within households and businesses? Give reasons for your answer.
  2. Why do you think supermarkets and chain stores prefer to discard their produce rather than sale it at a reduced price?
  3. In some states of USA it is illegal to scavenge. Do you agree with this law? What reasons do you think are behind it?
C1 · C2 · Listening · Proficiency C2 listening · speaking · Vocabulary

Advanced C1 Listening TED Talks Are we running out of clean water?

Despite water covering 71% of the planet’s surface, more than half the world’s population endures extreme water scarcity for at least one month a year. Current estimates predict that by 2040, up to 20 more countries could be experiencing water shortages. These statistics raise a startling question: is the Earth running out of clean water? Balsher Singh Sidhu takes a closer look at water consumption. (introduction text from TED Talks)

Here you will find three topic-based activities on the issue of water. The fist activity is a quick pre-listening quiz on some of the vocabulary that you will hear in a video. The second button below is for the video. After watching the video you may want to discuss some questions so I’ll find five, hopefully, thought-provoking ones at the end of the post.

Click for pre-listening activity

Click here for the activity!

Speaking practice

  • Does your country suffer from water shortage, and if not, do you believe this will be a problem in the coming future?
  • Does your government invest in sustainable water usage? If so, how?
  • What types of things do you do in order to reduce your water footprint?
  • How do different economic sections cope with the issue of global warming and water shortage in your country?
  • What parts of the world are the most vulnerable to water scarcity?