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.
Looking for some authentic stuff for my teaching syllabus, I came across the Website ‘Never liked it anyway’. This website was set up as a mean by which broken-hearted people could get rid of their pain by actually selling a ‘reminder’ of their split up relationships as well as offering them the chance to emotionally cleanse feelings by telling the story that is behind the object they wish to flog.
Many were the stories I read, but there was one that really caught my eye and provoked a spasmodic burst of laughter I found impossible to repress. As a woman who cannot believe that individuals of this type should be able to climb so high up on the social ladder, and as a woman who constantly feels insulted by his utter stupidity, misogynist interventions and vulgarity, I feel I must do ‘my bit’.
I never liked him anyway. What’s more, I think he’s absolutely loathsome. But what worries me most, isn’t that this person finds no limit in vomiting outrageous content, but the fact that he rules a democratic country and is supported by a group of people who obviously find him amusing and applaud his ‘interventions’ by giving him pats on the back along with chokes of laughter.
If we allow somebody (especially somebody in power), to insult a person who has been emotionally or sexually abused, or look the other way when he’s mocking an impaired journalist, and refuse to acknowledge his constant curbing of human rights, we are showing the symptoms of a sick civilisation, the very one we sustain as an icon of the ethical and cultural heritage we feel so proud of.
These are no longer the times of the Roman Empire and their bloody violent circuses. Neither should political meetings be modelled on WWE RAW. He has got it all wrong and fortunately, there are many that are willing to point this out in some way or other. Someone called yesimserious wrote a post on Never Liked it anyway, and because I fully agree with the content and absolutely love her/his witticism, I’ve turned the entry into a word formation activity for my blog.
I wish I hadn’t got a hateful tendency to pick out horrible scraps of news for some of our activities. What I would really like is to always be in a very positive mood and only mention the very beautiful things related to my home island. But I just guess that part of my blog will be devoted to some of the things that would welcome a change such as the extremely dangerous practice (not to mention suicidal and stupid) of Balconing, that is becoming more and more popular among some young tourists that visit the island of Majorca. This is a word formation activity adapted from Euroweekly.
Only a few days to go before my B2 students from the EOI will be taking their mock exams. Not many students like these mock tests, but as a matter of fact, they are a very useful tool for both, teachers and students as the results give information on where a student stands. Meaning by this that, mock exams help students get an idea of their strong and weak points within language learning and the target language they are supposed to have by the end of the year and allows them time to focus on what needs to be improved.
Anyway, here’s a word formation activity (typical U.E format) on the Topic of Health. In a word formation activity, you are given a text with blanks that you have to fill in with the word that is in brackets. The words in brackets have to be changed according to the type of word you will need to complete the activity and the transformation could be of any type (you may have a verb that needs to be transformed into an adjective, for example).