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.
• 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
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.
- 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
- Austen wanted to change people with her novels. How did she want them to become?
- When is Jane Austen born and where?
- How was the writer’s family social status?
- Did she get married?
- What’s Jane’s sister name?
- How many novels did Jane complete?
- What are the titles of the novels she completed?
- What are the four main things Jane Austen wanted to teach us?
- In Jane Austen’s opinion marriage depends on two factors, do you remember them?
- Name the two mistakes people make around money according to Jane Austen.
Writing practice suggestion
- 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
- Jane Austen is loved mainly as a guide to fashionable life in the _____________ period, but her own vision of her task was radically different.
- She was an ambitious and ______________ moralist.
- Born in _____________, Austen grew up in a small village in Hampshire, where her father was the Anglican _________________.
- She did much of her writing at a ______________ octagonal table.
- The _______________ was her chosen weapon in the struggle to reform humanity.
- ________________ starts of feeling superior because he has more money and higher status.
- The story ______________ them because they have developed well.
- ______________________________ starts when quiet, shy Fanny Price goes to live with her much richer cousins, the Bertrams.
- 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.
- At one point in _______________________________, it looks like Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars who are otherwise well suited won’t be able to get married.
- 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
The 10th episode of English4Gamers is out! In this episode, we keep playing Doom (1993), a science fiction horror-themed first-person shooter videogame by id Software. As always, I suggest that you read the vocabulary list before watching the episode. There is also a fill in the gaps exercise (with downloadable version and answers) to test your listening comprehension.
- TO PICK UP: to take hold of and lift up.
- AHEAD: in or toward the front.
- KEY CARD: a plastic card, similar to a credit card, containing data on an embedded magnetised strip that can electronically unlock a door, activate a machine, etc.
- ON PURPOSE: in a way that is planned or intended.
Downloadable PDF version: English4Gamers Episode 10 – Doom – Vocabulary
Fill in the gaps in the following sentences with the correct words from the box
- Richard: And today we ______________ playing Doom.
- Richard: We ______________two new weapons.
- Richard: So … Try this weapon. If you don’t like it, you ______________ to the
- Richard: You see? They’re __________ you.
- Anna: I feel so ______________ with this gun.
- Richard: You can’t go here because you need a blue ______________.
- Richard: Go ______________ and turn right.
- Anna: Just because I have this gun, not because I’m good ______________.
- Richard: Okay, let’s use the _____________ instead.
- Anna: Come on! You want to die. Noooooo … Use the other one, don’t be ______________.
- Richard: There is a ______________ over here, a red button.
- Anna: It’s ______________. Where is the light switch?
Downloadable PDF version: English4Gamers – Episode 10 – Doom – Fill in the Gaps Ex.
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.
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.
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.
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.
TO SWING: to move backwards and forward or from side to side while hanging from something.
WASP: a flying insect, often black and yellow, that can sting.
BEE: a yellow and black flying insect that makes honey and can sting you.
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.
Downloadable PDF version: English4Gamers Episode 9 Donkey Kong County
Fill in the gaps in the following sentences with the correct words:
- R: I finished it _______________times.
- R: What kind of _______________ do we have here?
- R: Basically, you are versus _______________.
- A: How many_______________do we have?
- A: How can you _______________ enemies?
- R: Or you jump over them or you _______________.
- A: Is there a _________________?
- 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.
- A: Yeah … My secret supply of _______________ hidden somewhere … He’s found it and …
- R: It’s a _______________ hard game, I must say.
- 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.
- A: But it’s difficult. I cannot see _______________.
- R: This is the first _______________, you have to collect four of them.
- A: I don’t like _______________ … This is _______________ rain. I want a sunny day.
- A: No, the big one is a _______________.
- R: This is a _______________, right? Not a bee.
- A: Bees are really nice and _______________ actually.
- A: Did you just _______________ at the exit?
- A: I like that they’re _______________ together.
- R: This is our _______________ probably, who give you tips and …
- R: This is a _______________ – level.
- 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
This is a listening activity based on the AJ+ video “The Story Behind Your Bowl Of Ramen Noodles”. I suggest that you read the following vocabulary list before watching the video. Then, watch the video and try to complete the sentences with the correct word from the box.
Migrant: a person who goes from one place to another especially to find work.
Ex. Economic migrants move abroad to escape poverty and improve their financial condition.
Labor: workers considered as a group.
Ex. We had this huge harvest, so we had to hire all this cheap labor.
Shortage: a state in which there is not enough of something that is needed.
Ex. In many European countries, agricultural businesses complain about the shortage of skilled workers.
Consumption: the act of eating or drinking something.
Ex. Alcohol consumption constitutes a major danger to road safety.
Uprising: an act of resistance or rebellion; a revolt.
Ex. He weighed 38 kilos when he escaped from prison during the 1956 Hungarian uprising and fled to the Netherlands.
To lead: to lie or go in a specified direction.
Ex. This way will lead us to the main entrance for sure.
Affordable: inexpensive; reasonably priced.
Ex. Railways have many benefits, as travelling by rail is affordable and environmentally friendly.
Lifestyle: the way a person lives or a group of people live.
Ex. Technology, the internet, they have changed our lifestyle.
Quintessential: the most important part of something.
Ex. Sheep’s milk cheese is the quintessential Corsican cheese.
Dorm: informal, short for dormitory.
Wildfire/ like wildfire: (informal) very quickly.
Ex. The news had spread like wildfire.
To devour: eat hungrily or quickly.
Downloadable PDF version: The Story Behind Your Bowl Of Ramen – Vocabulary
Fill in the gaps in the following sentences with the correct word from the box
- This signature Japanese ___________ is now an international favorite.
- Ramen as we know it comes from Japan but its popularity in the country is actually ___________ new.
- Then Japan entered World War II which led to major food ___________ across the country and ramen’s popularity pretty much disappeared.
- When the war ended the US occupied Japan and imported a whole lot of wheat to the country, leading to more noodle _____________________.
- And one reason why there was so much ______________ imported was because there was a fear that food shortages could lead to _________________uprising.
- After those really hard times, from the 1950s to 1970s Japan went through an _____________________ boom.
- And busy lifestyles led to the creation ________________ ramen in the 1950s.
- Then in the 1970s the super convenient just add water ________________ dorm food cup of noodles was made and it took off like ________________ in Japan and internationally.
- But it wasn’t until the 1980s that ramen actually became an_______________ part of Japanese culture.
- Today the love for ramen is real in Japan and what was once a working men’s food is now a ___________________ love and __________________ dish around the world.
Downloadable PDF version (without answers): The Story Behind Your Bowl Of Ramen Noodles – AJ+ – Fill in the gaps exercise
Downloadable PDF version (answers): The Story Behind Your Bowl Of Ramen Noodles – AJ+ – Exercise’s answers
Interface: a system that is used for operating a computer.
To spread: to become known by many people.
Ex. The news spread quickly.
Patent: an official document that gives a person or computer the right to be the only one that makes or sells a product for a certain period of time.
Mouthful (US): something said that has a lot of meaning or importance.
To wonder: to want to know something or to try to understand the reason for something.
Ex. I wonder if she’ll call him.
Release: the act of making something available to the public.
Ex. The release of her article for publication is scheduled for tomorrow.
Ex. The song is a hit.
To heat up: to increase or become more active or intense.
To feature: to include someone or something as an important part.
Ex. I consider the measures featured in the report to be insufficient.
To kick off: to begin, to get started.
Ex. The game kicks off at 2:00.
Milestone: an important event in the development or history of something or in someone’s life.
Ex. Your poem will be a milestone in the literature of your Country.
Damsel in distress (old-fashioned): a young woman who is not married and needs to be rescued.
Sales: the number of items sold.
Merely: only, just.
Ex. It was merely a suggestion.
Downloadable PDF file: A brief history of videogames (part 1) – Vocabulary
Here you can watch this video with subtitles: Ted Ed
Fill in the gaps in the following sentences with the correct form of the words from the vocabulary list written above:
In 1972, Bear’s idea to get video games out of the science lab and into the living room led to the _____________ of a game console called Odyssey.
A video game is an electronic game that has an ______________ designed for human interaction on a video device.
Space Invaders also helped ____________ what is known as the Golden Age of Arcade Games.
In fact, the earliest U.S. video game ______________ on record was in 1948, and at the time it was referred to as a cathode-ray tube amusement device. That’s a ______________ !
This all changed when a man named Ralph Baer looked at his television screen and ______________ how else it might be used.
By 1978, competition between Atari and another game company called Midway was _______________.
While arcade games continued to decline in ________________ over the years, the popularity of video games was ________________ beginning […].
By 1980, color came to arcade games, and this was also the year that another video gaming _________________ was born.
It was an immediate ___________________ and it’s credited as the first commercially successful video game.
Video games are used by scientists, the military, and people like you, and their evolution has ________________ across arcades, consoles, computers, smartphones, and all kind of other electronics.
It was released in 1987 and, like Donkey Kong, it ___________________ a _______________________ storyline, a storyline common in many video games.
Downloadable PDF file: A brief history of videogames (part 1) – Fill in the gaps exercise with answers
1) Release; 2) interface; 3) kick off; 4) patent; mouthful; 5) wondered; 6) heating up; 7) sales; merely; 8) milestone; 9) hit; 10) spread; 11) featured; damsel in distress.
Credit: praise or special attention that is given to someone for doing something or for making something happen.
Example: She got no credit for solving the problem.
To threaten: to tell someone that you will kill or hurt them or cause problems if they do not do what you want.
Myriad: a very large number of things.
Mainframe: a large and very fast computer that can do many jobs at once.
*Interesting article on this topic: The First Mainframe .
Behemoth: something very big and powerful.
Packet switching: a digital networking communications method that groups all transmitted data into suitably sized blocks called packets.
Congestion: too blocked or crowded and causing difficulties.
Example: Yesterday, there was a traffic congestion.
Gateway: a hardware device that acts as a “gate” between two networks.
To spread: to open, arrange, or place (something) over a large area.
Example: The fire spread very rapidly because of the strong wind.
Steadily: not changing much.
Retail: the sale of goods in small quantities directly to customers.
Downloadable PDF: Who invented the Internet – Vocabulary
Verb tenses review
Fill in the gaps with the correct form of the verbs in the brackets:
- So, have you ever _____________ (to wonder) who actually _____________ (to invent) the Internet?
- Or _________ (to be) it thanks to a myriad of smart scientists ________________ (to work) on something they __________ (to know) _____________ (to be) useful but _______________________ (to realize – negative form) would be so big?
- One popular but wrong story ________ (to be) that the internet ________________________ (to develop) by the USA so they ___________ (to have) a communication network that would survive a nuclear war.
- With time-sharing, these behemoths could ______________ (to process) several tasks at a time, which _____________ (to mean) their power could be used by several scientists at once.
- And, obviously, once you _________________ (to start) ___________________ (to connect) computers together you ________________ (to start) to wonder about what you ________________ (to need)to do to make communications between them easier.
- The French also _______________ (to play) a role. They _________________________ (to work) on a scientific network called CYCLADES, but they ______________ (to have – negative form) a big budget, so they ________________(to decide) to work on direct connections between computers, as opposed to working with gateway computers.
- The TCP/IP protocols _______________ (to form) the basic communication language of the internet, which _______________ (to label) the packets of data and ________________(to make) sure that even though some pieces of the same data ____________________ (to take) a different route, they all _________________ (to arrive) at their destination and can be reassembled.
- Networks really ________________ (to begin) ________________________ (to communicate) with each other in 1975, so you could _______________ (to argue) that __________________ (to be) the beginning of the internet.
- Most internet traffic in 1976 _____________ (to be) email, because academics ____________________ (to think) electronic post-it notes ______________ (to be) dead-core.
- He _____________ (to do) so by __________________ (to invent) an interface _________________ (to use) HTTP, HTML, and URLs that _________________ (to make) internet browsers possible.
Downloadable PDF: Who invented the Internet – fill in the gaps activity