Listening activity – ART/ARCHITECTURE – Andrea Palladio (video by The School of Life)

I’m sorry I haven’t been sharing resources for a while, but I’ve been very busy lately.
This is a listening activity based on the video ‘ART/ARCHITECTURE – Andrea Palladio’ by The School of Life. I suggest that you read the vocabulary list before watching the video. If you want to test your listening skills, try the fill in the gaps exercise below the video, you can also download a printable pdf version.

Art_architecture - Andrea Palladio - The School of Life - Visual Vocabulary - Free English Materials For You - femfy

VOCABULARY 

Located: Something or someone that is located in a specified place is in or at that place.
Ex. Our target is located somewhere on the second level.

Stonemason: a person whose job is cutting and preparing stone for buildings.

Stonecutter/ stone carver: a person who cuts or carves stone.

A handful (of somebody/something): a small number of people or things.
Ex. We’ve got a handful of professional soldiers like myself.

Setback: an unanticipated or sudden check in progress; a change from better to worse.
Ex. There has been a slight setback in our plans.

To emerge: to appear by coming out of something or out from behind something.
Ex. A mole emerged from a hole in the ground.

Virtue: a good moral quality in a person, or the general quality of being morally good.
Ex. Patience is a virtue.

Dignity: calm, serious, and controlled behaviour that makes people respect you.
Ex. Try to maintain your dignity, no matter what they call you.

To line up: to form a line; to put into a proper and systematic order.
Ex. They will all have to line up behind you.

Unworthy: lacking merit or value.
Ex. This Tosk is unworthy of such a noble description.

Barn: a large building on a farm where animals, crops, or machines are kept.

Stable: a building where horses or farm animals are kept.

To disguise: to change the usual appearance, sound, taste, etc., of (someone or something) so that people will not recognize that person or thing.
Ex. And I’ve configured the shields to disguise our visual profile.

Utilitarian: designed for use rather than beauty.
Ex. Their furniture was very plain and utilitarian.

To compensate: to provide something good as a balance against something bad or undesirable.
Ex. Nothing will ever compensate for his lost childhood.

Collected: calm and in control of your emotions.
Ex. Even in a life-threatening situation, the captain of the ship was collected.

Poised: showing very calm and controlled behavior.
Ex. Try to be more poised and confident.

Reliably: in a way that you can trust to be accurate.
Ex. Moreover, following this method would require significant adjustments which cannot be reliably quantified.

Distinguished: characterized by excellence or distinction; eminent.
Ex. You’re a government major, inspired by your distinguished aunt.

Cement: a fine grey powder made of a mixture of calcined limestone and clay, used with water and sand to make mortar, or with water, sand, and aggregate, to make concrete.

Harmonious: having a pleasant tune or harmony.
Ex. It will become a harmonious eco-friendly space.

Resonated: to continue to have a powerful effect or value.
Ex. Her speech resonated with voters.

Underlying: used to identify the idea, cause, problem, etc., that forms the basis of something.
Ex. Insomnia may represent an underlying physical or psychiatric disorder.

Advocate: a person who upholds or defends a cause; supporter.
Ex. The European Parliament has always been an advocate of inland navigation.

Downloadable PDF file: Andrea Palladio – Vocabulary

Watch again the video and try to fill in the gaps in the following sentences:

1.   Andrea Palladio was born at the end of November in _______ in Padua.

2.   He was an apprentice ______________ and later stone carver.

3.   Over the next 40 years of his working life, Palladio designed 40 or so villas, a couple of town houses and a ______________  of churches.

4.   For most of his career he had a mix of professional successes and ______________.

5.  Palladio thought we should build in order to ______________  good state of mind in ourselves and others.

6.   All the elements in a room are centered, balanced, ______________.

7.   He only uses simple geometrical ______________. Generally the walls are ______________  and there is little furniture.

8.   Palladio was ______________  with making sure that every element for building fitted perfectly with every other.

9.   One of the ambitions of Palladio’s architecture was to give greater ______________  to parts of life that had been ______________ regarded as unworthy.

10. Rather than being hidden and set at a distance these ______________  buildings are presented as ______________  and important.

11. He wasn’t disguising the ______________  reality of the farm, rather he was demonstrating its ______________  dignity.

12. We need serene ______________  and confident buildings precisely because we’re not reliably like that.

13. Ideally, architecture ______________ our better selves, the ideal building is like the ideal person.

14. There’s a practical guide to digging ______________  and how to judge the quality of cement and the reliable ways of constructing ______________  and laying floors.

15. The fancy surrounds are not the ______________  thing. Without them the window opening will still look ______________.

16. He went on to provide a wide ______________  of rules for making buildings ______________.

17. Palladio saw himself as a ______________, he was simply following a set of rules which others could follow too.

18. He was working against the idea that architecture ______________  a special genius.

19. Buildings are ‘palladium’ when they are devoted to ______________, harmony, and dignity on the basis of rules which can and should be wildly reused.

20. It’s then, they display the same ______________  ambition of which Palladio is a central advocate and ______________.

Downloadable PDF file: Andrea Palladio – Fill in the gaps – Without answers

Downloadable PDF file: Andrea Palladio – Fill in the gaps – Answers

 

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Listening activity: “Michigan Resident Helps Syrian Refugees Settle In” – AJ+ video

Michigan Resident Helps Syrian Refugees Settle In - AJ+ Video - Vocabulary List - Listening Activity - Free English Materials For You - femfy(1)

Other words you may not know:

  • Item: an individual thing.
    Ex. An item of clothing.
    An item of furniture.
  • To resettle: to begin to live in a new area after leaving an old one; to settle again.
    Ex. The only way to resettle a Mexican family here is by granting them political asylum.

Watch the video, then try to fill in the gaps in the following sentences:

  1. We give them as much ______________ as we can that they need, depending on how many people are in the house.
  2. We give them ______________, and stoves if they are needed.
  3. We’d been  able to work with these _________________.
  4. They come ___________ to our houses, meet our parents, meet our kids.
  5. They feel that they have a sense of family _____________ because most of these families have been _________________.

Downloadable PDF file: Michigan Resident Helps Syrian Refugees Settle In – Listening Activity

Downloadable PDF file: Michigan Resident Helps Syrian Refugees Settle In – Listening Activity – answers

 

Nuclear Energy Explained – How does it work? – Listening activity

Video made by In a Nutshell, a Munich-based YouTube channel, and design studio.

In my opinion, this is a very informative channel, great for English students and teachers. This is why I suggest that you check it out: In a Nutshell.

The video I picked for today’s lesson is about nuclear energy and it’s the first of a trilogy. It won’t take you long to watch it since it lasts about 5 minutes. As always, you should read the vocabulary list before watching the video. After that, you can test your listening comprehension answering some questions.

For teachers:

Before watching the video, I suggest that you ask your students what do they know about Nuclear Energy and what do they think are the pros and cons of it. Are they against or for nuclear energy? Can they justify their answer? Ask them to write down their reasons and if you have enough time, made a mind map with all the pros and cons.

VOCABULARY

  • Frustrating: making you feel annoyed or less confident because you cannot achieve what you want.
    Ex. It’s frustrating when you’re not on the same page.

  • Get/come to grips with something: to start to deal with a problem, situation, or job that you have to do.
    Ex. We need to get to grips with our different world views.

  • Spin-off: something useful that results from work done to produce something else.
    Ex. The World Summit on the Information Society produced valuable results; it also had a spin-off, a focusing effect.

  • On your feet: in a good position or condition.
    Ex. Experts say the economy should be back on its feet any year now.

  • Hangover:  a letdown, as after a period of excitement.
    Ex. The students hadn’t recovered from their summer break hangover yet and did terribly on their first test.

  • To stick with something: to continue to do or use something, and not change it.
    Ex. If you’ve found something that makes you happy, you should stick with it.

  • To skyrocket: to increase quickly to a very high level or amount.
    Ex. Housing prices have skyrocketed in recent months.

  • Dazzling: very attractive or exciting.
    Ex. The actor has had a dazzling career.

  • Pace: the speed at which something happens.
    Ex. Since the elections of 1998, the pace of reform has been impressive.

  • Underdog: in a competition, the person or team considered to be the weakest and the least likely to win.
    Ex. It was a surprise to everyone when the underdog won the match.

  • Nuclear fission: a process in which the nucleus of a heavy atom is split apart.

    nuclear fission visual.png

    Image source
  •  On the brink of: extremely close to.
    Ex. Eagleton is on the brink of an epic financial disaster.

  •  Turbine: an engine that has a part with blades that are caused to spin by pressure from water, steam, or air.
  • To threaten:  to be likely to harm or destroy something.
    Ex. Difficulties experienced by an individual institution may affect other banks in a way which could threaten the banking system as a whole.

  •  Drawn-out: continuing for or taking a long time.

    Ex. The network doesn’t want a long, drawn-out trial.

Downloadable PDF version: VOCABULARY – Nuclear Energy Explained

After watching the video, try to answer the following questions:

1. What did private companies think about nuclear power?
2. When did nuclear power’s success finally come?
3. What were the advantages of the light water reactor?
4. What does a water reactor do?
5. Is the water reactor the safest one?
6. What happened in 1979?
7. When did the Chernobyl catastrophe take place?
8. What’s the situation today?

Downloadable PDF version (Questions): NUCLEAR ENERGY EXPLAINED – Questions

Downloadable PDF version (Answers): NUCLEAR ENERGY EXPLAINED – Answers


 

 

Listening Activity – Jane Austen

This is a listening activity based on The School of Life’s short video (about 7 minutes long) “LITERATURE – Jane Austen”. This activity is aimed at students who have an English level between B2 and C1 (Upper Intermediate and Advanced).

I suggest that you read the following vocabulary list before watching the video. Under the video, there are two exercises (with answers) and a writing practice suggestion. 

VOCABULARY 

  • AMBITIOUS: having a desire to be successful, powerful, or famous; having ambition.
    Ex. She was ambitious enough to aim for the company’s presidency.
     
  • STERN: very serious; severe.
    Ex. Journalists received a stern warning not to go anywhere near the battleship.
     
  • CONSCIOUS: awake, thinking, and knowing what is happening around you.
    Ex. When I took the exam, I was conscious that my parents were expecting a lot of me.

  • DIGNIFIED: serious and somewhat formal; having or showing dignity.
    Ex. Even when very old, he was very dignified in appearance.

  • WELL OFF: moderately rich.
    Ex. They must be well off if they can afford to buy a house there!
     
  • TEMPTED: to want something or to want to do something.
    Ex. “Would you like some more pie?” “I’m tempted, but no thank you.”

  • STRUGGLE: a long effort to do, achieve, or deal with something that is difficult or that causes problems.
    Ex. The people of this country will continue in their struggle for independence.
     
  • TO CONDEMN: to say in a strong and definite way that someone or something is bad or wrong.
    Ex. We strongly condemn this attack against our allies.
     
  • TO OVERCOME: to prevail over (opposition, a debility, temptations, etc.); surmount.
    Ex. To overcome one’s weaknesses.

  • INCOME: money that is earned from work, investments, business, etc.
    Ex. He has a very high annual income.
     
  • TO FELL APART: to break into pieces (often used figuratively).
    Ex. I feel as if my family is falling apart.
     
  • TO SUPPLY: to furnish or provide (something wanting or requisite).
    Ex. To supply a community with electricity.
     
  • WEALTH: a large amount of money or valuable possessions that someone has.
    Ex. The wealth of a city. 
  • ELUSIVE: hard to find or capture.
    Ex. Police are trying to track down the elusive criminal, who has so far avoided all their attempts to capture him.

  • SNOBBISH: like a snob (a person who respects and likes only people who are of a high social class).
    Ex. He’s a snobbish rich kid.

  • GREED: a selfish desire to have more of something (especially money).
    Ex. He was a ruthless businessman, motivated by naked ambition and greed.

Downloadable PDF version: JANE AUSTEN – Vocabulary

Watch the video and answer the following questions

  1. Austen wanted to change people with her novels. How did she want them to become?
  2. When is Jane Austen born and where?
  3. How was the writer’s family social status?
  4. Did she get married?
  5. What’s Jane’s sister name?
  6. How many novels did Jane complete?
  7. What are the titles of the novels she completed?
  8. What are the four main things Jane Austen wanted to teach us?
  9. In Jane Austen’s opinion marriage depends on two factors, do you remember them?
  10. Name the two mistakes people make around money according to Jane Austen.

Writing practice suggestion

  1. Write Jane Austen’s main opinions concerning love, marriage, judging people, money, and being snobbish. Do you agree or disagree with the writer?
    Justify your answer.

Downloadable PDF version: Jane Austen – Listening comprehension

Downloadable PDF version: Jane Austen – Listening comprehension with answers

Watch the video then fill in the gaps in the following sentences

  1. Jane Austen is loved mainly as a guide to fashionable life in the _____________ period, but her own vision of her task was radically different.
  2. She was an ambitious and ______________ moralist.
  3. Born in _____________, Austen grew up in a small village in Hampshire, where her father was the Anglican _________________.
  4. She did much of her writing at a ______________ octagonal table.
  5. The _______________ was her chosen weapon in the struggle to reform humanity.
  6. ________________ starts of feeling superior because he has more money and higher status.
  7. The story ______________ them because they have developed well.
  8. ______________________________ starts when quiet, shy Fanny Price goes to live with her much richer cousins, the Bertrams.
  9. In Pride and Prejudice, she explains that Mr. _________________ has an income of _________________ pounds a year –that’s rather a lot- while Darcy has more than twice that.
  10. At one point in _______________________________, it looks like Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars who are otherwise well suited won’t be able to get married.
  11. In Emma, the heroine –Emma herself- takes ______________________ -a pretty girl from the village- under her wing.

Downloadable PDF version: Jane Austen – Fill in the gaps exercise

Downloadable PDF version: Jane Austen – Fill in the gaps exercise answers

 

Straightforward – What does it mean?

straightforward meaning - English vocabulary - Free English Materials For You - femfy.jpg

Visual thesaurus:

Synonyms of straightforward visual map

source

Example sentences from the web:

  • David is a straightforward guy; he always says what he thinks. 
  • Our divorce settlement was very straightforward.
  • You know, I just want some normal, straightforward family life.

 

English4Gamers – Episode 9 – Donkey Kong Country

Last Tuesday Richard published the 9th episode of English4Gamers. Unfortunately, I was a bit busy last week 😦 and I didn’t manage to share it with you. As always, I wrote a vocabulary list and I suggest that you read it before watching the video. This time, we decided to play Donkey Kong Country, a 1994 platforming videogame published by Nintendo. The game is set on an island and the protagonists are Donkey Kong and his nephew Diddy Kong. They must recover their stolen hoard of bananas stolen by the Kremlings (anthropomorphic crocodilians). You can test your listening skills with a fill in the gaps exercise.

VOCABULARY 

CROCODILE: croc-th

TO PICK: to take something with your fingers; to gather together; to collect.
They were picking strawberries last week.

TO DEFEAT: to win against someone in a fight, war, or competition.
We must be ready to defeat our enemies in battle.

TO ROLL: to move forward while turning over and over.
rolling.jpg

 

 

 

 

BARREL: barrel

STORYLINE: the plot of a book, film, play, etc.

SUPPLY: the amount of something that is available to be used.
Ex. We have three months’ supply of tuna to eat.

RHINO: rhinoceros.
rhino-gray-th.png

TO SWITCH: to make a change from one thing to another.
Ex. After the bank robbery, the gang switched cars.

ROPE: a strong, thick string that is made by twisting many thin strings or fibres together.
Ex. She made a knot in the rope.
rope.png
    

TO SWING: to move backwards and forward or from side to side while hanging from something.
swing

WASP: a flying insect, often black and yellow, that can sting.
wasp.png

BEE: a yellow and black flying insect that makes honey and can sting you.
bee

TIP: a useful suggestion.
Bob gave us some tips about travelling in Italy.

CAVE: a hollow or natural passage under or into the earth, especially one with an opening to the surface.
cave.png

SWORDFISH: 12065772261888188981yves_guillou_swordfish_1.svg.med.png

Downloadable PDF version: English4Gamers Episode 9 Donkey Kong County

Fill in the gaps in the following sentences with the correct words:

Box - words (7).jpg

  1. R: I finished it _______________times.
  2. R: What kind of _______________ do we have here?
  3. R: Basically, you are versus _______________.
  4. A: How many_______________do we have?
  5. A: How can you _______________ enemies?
  6. R: Or you jump over them or you _______________.

  7. A: Is there a _________________?
  8. R: You are Donkey Kong. You live in this_______________. One day, this crocodile, the Crocodile King came to your island and stole all your bananas.
  9. A: Yeah … My secret supply of _______________ hidden somewhere … He’s found it and …
  10. R: It’s a _______________ hard game, I must say.
  11. R: When you _______________ three of them … oh … I’ve just failed … When you pick three of them you gain a bonus _______________ where you can get more lives.
  12. A: But it’s difficult. I cannot see _______________.
  13. R: This is the first _______________, you have to collect four of them.
  14. A: I don’t like _______________ … This is _______________ rain. I want a sunny day.
  15. A: No, the big one is a _______________.
  16. R: This is a _______________, right? Not a bee.
  17. A: Bees are really nice and _______________ actually.
  18. A: Did you just _______________ at the exit?
  19. A: I like that they’re _______________ together.
  20. R: This is our _______________ probably, who give you tips and …
  21. R: This is a _______________ – level.
  22. A: You have to take your _______________.

Downloadable PDF version (without answers):English4Gamers – Episode 9 – Donkey Kong Country – Fill in the gaps

Downloadable PDF version (answers):English4Gamers Donkey Kong Country Answers