Listening Activity – Halloween History

Happy Halloween! pumpking halloween.png

Yesterday I watched this interesting video by National Geographic on Halloween so I decided to share it with you. As always you’ll find a vocabulary list below and a comprehension activity. I hope you’ll enjoy it :-).

VOCABULARY

COMMUNION (with somebody/something): the state of sharing or exchanging thoughts and feelings; the feeling of being part of something.
Ex. Many people who live in close communion with nature are superstitious.

PRANK:  a trick that is done to someone usually as a joke.
Ex. Jackie’s pranks were starting to annoy her colleagues.

PATCHWORK: a thing that is made up of many different pieces or parts.
Ex. So the world is this complex patchwork of regions.

OCCULT: magic or supernatural.

TO STITCH WITH:  to make (something) out of many different things
Ex. They stitched red and blue ribbons onto their hats.

TO SPAN: to last for a particular period of time, especially a long period.
Ex. His career spanned half a century.

TO SPREAD: to cover, or to make something cover, a larger and larger area.
Ex. The European flu continues to spread throughout the UK.

VEIL: something that covers or hides something else.

TO GATHER:  to bring (things or people) together into a group.
Ex. The children gathered their toys (together) and put them away.

TO FROWN ON SOMEBODY/SOMETHING: to disapprove of somebody/something.
Ex. The company frowns on dating among employees.

TO MERGE:  to combine or make two or more things combine to form a single thing.
Ex. He has plans to merge his own company with another one.

DECEASED: dead; no longer living.

THE FOLD: a group of people with whom you feel you belong or who share the same ideas or beliefs.
Ex. We are hoping that these policies will bring reluctant voters back to the fold.

FAMINE: a situation in which many people do not have enough food to eat.

EXTORTION: the crime of making somebody give you something by threatening them.

BRIBE: something valuable (such as money) that is given in order to get someone to do something.

Free PDF version: listening-activity-Halloween-vocabulary

Watch the video, then try to answer these questions

1. Who originated Halloween traditions? What did they celebrate on October 31st?

2. Why did they lit huge bonfires and gathered around them?

3. When did the Vatican decide to merge this holiday with a church holiday?

4. All Saints day was known as …

5. What does ‘hallow’ mean?

6. When did Halloween become a ‘dangerous holiday’?

7. What was originally ‘trick or treat’?

Free PDF version: Listening-Activity-Halloween-questions

Answers: Listening-Activity-Halloween-answers

 

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Listening Activity based on the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’s video –“EXPLORING THE OCEAN FOR SIXTY YEARS – BEST JOB EVER” by Sylvia Earle


Complete the following sentences with the correct words:

  1. Even if you_______________________ (to see- never) the ocean or touch the ocean touches you.
  2. Every breath you take, every ______________ of water you drink it’s the ocean.
  3. For me ___________________ (to be) a biologist just ____________________ (to follow) my heart ____________________ (to lead) me to some fascinating places.
  4. As a scientist I love nothing more than being an explorer ____________________ (to discover) the nature of life itself, that sense of eureka.
  5. It’s a wonderful passport _______________ the ocean.
  6. We are just beginning to assess the magnitude of out ignorance and at the same time that we’re learning more, we’re also discovering how much we_________________________ (to lose).
  7. How do you save the ocean? You find others who __________________ (to have) a similar goal.
  8. All of us depend on these _______________________ and they’re incredibly …. In some ways they’re incredibly ______________________ if we do the right thing but they’re also …
  9. It’s a magical sight that endless horizon that just _____________________ (to stretch) out to blue infinity.
  10. You jump in the ocean and there you find ___________________________.

PDF version:listening-activity-exploring-the-ocean-for-sixty-years-freeenglishmaterialsforyou

Answers: listening-activity-exploring-the-ocean-for-sixty-years-answers-freeenglishmaterialsforyou

Get along

to-get-along-meaning-phrasal-verb-femfy-free-english-materials-for-you

More example sentences:

  • I don’t get along with Sebastian, we have nothing in common!
  • The reason you don’t get along is because you have different values.
  • I like her so much! We are getting along well.

Another meaning of ‘TO GET ALONG’ is ‘to manage’, ‘to cope’, ‘to make progress while doing something’.

Example sentences:

  • I’m not getting along well with my schoolwork. I need to work harder.
  • How are you getting along with your work?
  • I just can’t get along without a secretary.

SYNONYMS:

to-get-along-synonyms

Source

8 Practical ways to help refugees – Reading comprehension

An interesting article on how to help refugees by Melissa Fleming and published on IDEAS.TED.COM . Are you doing something in order to help refugees? If you have other ideas, share them in the comments below.

I’m teaching them Italian 
https://www.facebook.com/113824145324888/photos/pcb.1337847106255913/1337846886255935/?type=3&theater
and I hope I’ll be able to help them in this way. I find it both rewarding and informative. It’s fascinating getting to know them and their stories, helping them integrating with locals.

Here a vocabulary list for making it easier for you to read the article 8 practical ways to help refugees:

  • To show up: to arrive where you have arranged to meet somebody or do something. 
  • To take notice: to give attention to something. 
  • Steadily: happening or developing in a continuous and usually gradual way. 
  • Drifted: moved slowly, especially as a result of outside forces, with no control over direction. 
  • Stranded: left in a place without a way of leaving. 
  • To thrive: to flourish; to become, and continue to be, successful, strong, healthy, etc.

  • To exacerbate: to make something worse. 
  • Shunned: to ignore someone and not speak to that person because you cannot accept their behaviour, beliefs, etc. 
  • To exploit: to treat a person or situation as an opportunity to gain an advantage for yourself. 
  • Outpouring: an expression of strong feeling that is difficult to control. 
  • To enrol: to arrange for yourself or for somebody else to officially join a course, school, etc. 
  • Raffle: an activity in which people buy tickets with different numbers, some of which are later chosen to win prizes, that is organised in order to make money for a good social purpose.

Read the article, then try to answer the questions below it:

Melissa Fleming of the UN’s Refugee Agency shares some ways to help refugees right now.

When a million refugees showed up in Europe this past year, the world began to take notice of a problem that has been steadily growing before our eyes. Ten years ago, 38 million people had been driven from their homes because of war or persecution; right now that number stands at over 65 million. That’s equivalent to the population of France … drifting, stranded, with little hope of returning home, and few chances to thrive in neighboring countries.

In Europe, the lack of a unified system to manage the influx of refugees and migrants is exacerbating the problem. People are either welcomed or shunned. They can face fences of barbed wire or cheer locals. Around 50,000 people are stranded in Greece, waiting to be relocated to other European countries or sent back home.

On the streets of European cities, I have seen both remarkable generosity and irrational fear. People carry signs with the slogan “Refugees Welcome”; others set asylum homes on fire. While many push for values of tolerance and openness, others are full of fear, afraid of the arrival of so many people from a different continent, with different religions and cultures. Opportunistic right-wing politicians exploit these fears to make gains in elections.

People often ask me what they can do to help. It’s certainly possible to do small, practical but meaningful things to combat the feeling of helplessness that can all too easily become paralyzing. Already, I’ve been struck by the overwhelming outpouring of meaningful acts of kindness by individuals, local charities, religious groups and students who have made their way to borders and train stations to help arriving refugees and migrants (check out the inspiring work done by a team on Lesbos to coordinate efforts to greet the 5,000 refugees arriving on the Greek island every day). Their message is clear: they stand for a Europe that offers refuge to victims of war and compassion for those who are seeking a better life.

Click here to keep reading the article: http://ideas.ted.com/8-practical-ways-to-help-refugees/

Answer the following questions:

  1. A decade ago, 38 million people had been forced to leave their homes, for what reasons?
  2. Is Europe having issues in managing refugees and migrants?
  3. Why are some people scared of refugees?
  4. What are the 8 possible ways to help refugees suggested by Melissa Fleming?
  5. Where did the refugees Welcome Initiative start?
  6. How many entrepreneurs started a catering company with refugees chef in France?
  7. Someone started a football team for refugees and migrants, in what country?
  8. What did the What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge do?
  9. What’s doing the organisation United Invitations?
  10. What Universities offered funds and scholarships to refugees worldwide?
  11. Do you have other ideas for helping refugees? 

 

 

 

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

 

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