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?
Advanced C1 listening · C1 · C2 · Listening · Proficiency C2 listening

Proficiency C2 listening: The Other Story Behind Brexit

Image by Alexander Andrews

Many of my students constantly ask me what I think about Brexit and if this will affect me as a British person living in Spain to which I obviously answer that I AM quite concerned. But what I’m really interested in is how all this Brexit issue fits in with the idea of globalisation and free trade, so here’s a video activity that explores another, very different side of the story.

The video reports on interests that have little or nothing to do with ‘getting back the control of the UK’ and was released just before the elections in May. I think it’s really interesting and wish I had seen it earlier.

I’ve used the video to set up listening activity for Advanced and Proficiency level students. You may want to do the vocabulary quiz activity first to be able to cope with the video and after click on the listening activity that you will find underneath the vocabulary quiz.

The video is from Pindex youtube channel

Click for the vocabulary quiz

Below you will find the button for a multiple choice listening activity.

Click here for the activity
Advanced C1 listening · B2 · C1 · Idioms

Listening Advanced C1: Do We Really Need the Moon?

Image Jason Blackeye

There has been a lot of talk about the moon lately because fifty years ago man set foot on it.  There also seems to be a lot of debate related to whether this actually happened or if it was merely propaganda due to the Space Race. Aware as I am that this information will most probably remain a mystery as well as providing a nice subject for an English class debate, I’ve used a video from BBC Earth to explore the topics of Science and Technology and The Natural World within the subject of space travel/exploration because this is one of the possible questions you could be required to deal with in a speaking test.

As an introduction, we’re going to see some idioms that use the words ‘moon and stars’. Afterwards, as a second step, I’ve posted an activity where you can try to predict some of the reasons why the moon is important for life on earth. A third step implies watching a video and doing a true/false activity related to the information you extract. But we’re not going to finish here, instead we’re going to listen to the same video again (although much more carefully this time), to develop listening strategies for very specific words you hear in the video as this activity is a filling the gap one.