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.

Advanced C1 word formation activity · C1 · Word formation

Word formation activity Advanced level C1: Why do Brits Talk About the Weather so Much?

People walikng in the rain with umbrellas, UK: Wet and windy weekend for Britain
Photo from The Telegraph

Is it actually true that the British spend a lot of their time talking about the weather, or this just another one of those beliefs like ‘we have to have tea at five on the dot or we’ll go bananas ’,  sort of stuff ?  And, if it is true, is this feature shared by other cultures?

Well, I must say that we are particularly fond of talking about the weather, although I would also say that  it’s  a common topic of conversation in Spain too. However, what I do seem to notice is that people from these countries have a different way to approach this subject even when both typically use it as an icebreaker.

Where I live, people usually make exclamations about it. Sort of like ‘Vaya frio! Where a Brit would most probably make a tactfully brief statement of one or two words and polish it off with a question tag, ‘Cold, isn’t it?

Looking into this aspect of British culture, I found this really interesting article  that I’ve used to create a word formation activity for higher levels of English (C1 more or less).

The  article is from the BBC by Linda Geddes

Read the text and focus on each blank  using the words in brackets. The missing words are either adjectives or adverbs as the focus here is to practise with the different types of prefixes (yes, there are a couple of negative ones), and suffixes used to form these words.

Click for word formation activity