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 – 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

 

Everyday objects, tragic histories by Ziyah Gafić – Listening activity

Vocabulary list

COMB          pink-comb-clipart-1

GENOCIDE: the deliberate killing of people who belong to a particular racial, political, or cultural group.

MUNDANE:  common; ordinary; banal; unimaginative.
Ex. Mundane matters such as paying bills and shopping for food do not interest her.

ABOUT + INFINITIVE: very close to doing something.
Ex. The chorus is about to sing.

TO RECOVER: to get back something lost or spent.
Ex. We have to recover the stolen watch.

GRAVE: a hole in the ground for burying a dead body.

CIVILIAN: a person who is not a member of the police or the armed forces.
Ex. What is more, bombs have been directed at civilian targets, in flagrant violation of the international humanitarian law.

FORENSICS: the study or science of solving crimes by using scientific knowledge or methods.

TOWARDS: in the direction of.
Ex. The bus is heading towards town.

REMNANT: the part of something that is left when the other parts are gone.

TO FADE: to (cause to) lose colour, brightness, or strength gradually.
Ex. These dreams of yours fade like smoke.

EVIDENCE: material that is presented to a court of law to help find the truth about something.

OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND: The idea that something is easily forgotten or dismissed as unimportant if it is not in our direct view.

UNBIASED: fair; impartial.
Ex. By all accounts, Mr. Smith appears to be an unbiased expert in his field.

AWARENESS: knowledge that something exists, or understanding of a situation or subject at the present time based on information or experience.
Ex. To do this requires considerable awareness and commitment.

TO DECAY: to become decomposed; rot; to deteriorate.
Ex. The bodies buried in the fine ash slowly decayed.

Downloadable PDF version:EVERYDAY OBJECTS, TRAGIC HISTORIES – Ziyah Gafić – TED Talks – Vocabulary

 Video without subtitles:
https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/ziyah_gafic_everyday_objects_tragic_histories.html

Video with English subtitles:
https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/lang/en/ziyah_gafic_everyday_objects_tragic_histories.html

Fill in the gaps in the following sentences with the correct words from the box

Box - words (6)

1.      These are simple objects: clocks, keys, ________________, glasses. 
2.      We are all familiar with these ________________, everyday objects.
3.      The fact that some of the ________________ carried personal ________________ such as toothpaste and a toothbrush is a clear sign they had no idea what was about to happen to them.
4.      These items have been recovered from numerous mass ________________ across my homeland, and as we speak, forensics are ________________bodies from newly discovered mass graves, 20 years after the war.
5.      During the four years of conflict that devastated the Bosnian nation in the early ’90s, approximately 30,000 citizens, mainly ________________, went missing, presumed killed, and another 100,000 were killed during combat operations.
6.      Most of them were killed either in the early days of the war or________________the end of the hostilities, when U.N. safe zones like Srebrenica fell into the hands of the Serb army.
7.      The international criminal tribunal delivered a number of sentences for crimes against humanity and ________________.
8.      Genocide is not only about the killing; it is about the denied ________________.
9.      These items are ________________ from numerous mass graves, and the main goal of this collection of the items is a unique process of ________________ those who disappeared in the killings, the first act of genocide on European soil since the Holocaust.
10.  Thousands of artifacts are packed in white plastic ________________ just like the ones you see on CSI. These objects are used as a forensic tool in visual identification of the victims, but they are also used as very valuable forensic ________________ in the ongoing war crimes trials.
11.  Once the ________________ and doctors and lawyers are done with these objects, they become orphans of the narrative. Many of them get destroyed, believe it or not, or they get simply shelved, out of sight and out of ________________.
12.  Once all the missing persons are identified, only ________________ bodies in their graves and these everyday items will remain.

Downloadable PDF version (without answers): EVERYDAY OBJECTS, TRAGIC HISTORIES – Ziyah Gafić – Fill in the gaps

Downloadable PDF version (answers):EVERYDAY OBJECTS, TRAGIC HISTORIES – Ziyah Gafić – TED Talks – Answers

English4Gamers -Episode 7 – Prince of Persia part 2

The 7th episode of English4Gamers is out. In this episode, Richard and I are struggling a bit. It’s the second level of Prince of Persia, a famous but difficult retro game. It’s not the first episode based on this game, but there are some new words you can learn. I suggest that you read the vocabulary list below before watching the video. There is a fill in the gaps activity that you can try to do afterwards. You can find the answers in the PDF file.

VOCABULARY

TO LEAD = to take someone somewhere, by going with them.
Ex. She led us to the door.

TO ADVANCE = the act or process of moving forward.
Ex. Our plans are to advance toward the city.

TO PARRY = to defend yourself by turning or pushing aside.
Ex.  The big man turned, parried, easily deflecting the swords with his broadsword.

TO SLASH = Cut with a wide, sweeping movement, typically using a knife or a sword.
Ex. The first time I told Madi that I was dating, she slashed my tires.

TO BACK OFF = to move backwards in order to get further away from something.
Ex. Okay, you’re going to have to back off a half step.

SPIKES Spikes_meaning

TO DEFEAT = to do better than another in a competition or battle; to win; to beat.
Ex. Together we might be able to defeat the witch.

SWORDSMANswordsman

ASHAMED = feeling shame or guilt; feeling embarrassed.
Ex. I’m not ashamed to be a servant.

TO PICK UP = to lift (someone or something) from the ground or a low surface.
Ex. You must have picked up his jacket by mistake.

Downloadable PDF version: ENGLISH FOR GAMERS – Episode 7 – Prince Of Persia – Vocabulary


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

Box - words (1)

  1. Richard: We killed the _______________________.
  2. Anna: We have to _______________ the prince out of these _________________________ into the tower where the princess in locked. Because Jaffar _________________________ her.
  3. Richard: With SHIFT you __________________.
  4. Richard: I have one life ___________________.
  5. Anna: There are the spikes and there is the jar with the ________________.
  6. Richard: Maybe there are these ______________ on the ________________ that you can break, I’m not sure.
  7. Richard: Such a small jump and you ______________ your legs.
  8. Richard: It was ___________________.
  9. Anna: ___________________ the opponent, the swordsman!
  10. Anna: Slash! Slash! And then back ____________.
  11. Richard: You have to ________________ when he attacks you, not like … You can’t keep pressing the button. When he attacks, you press it and you ________________________ yourself.
  12. Richard: You are really ________________ at this game, but you have like half ____________ so …
  13. Anna: We have _____________ minutes to save the princess. I don’t think we will do that.
  14. Anna: You can’t change the ______________________.
  15. Anna: Just keep _________________ what you are doing.

Downloadable PDF version (without answers): English4Gamers – Episode 7 – Prince of Persia part 2 – Fill in the gaps exercise

Downloadable PDF version (answers): English4Gamers – Episode 7 – Prince of Persia part 2 – Answers

 

“Truce” – What does it mean?

 

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

Example sentences from the web:

TO BREAK A TRUCE => To start fighting again breaking a previous agreement of peace.

“Corny” – What does it mean?

corny meaning - English Vocabulary - Free English Materials For You.jpg

Image source: 1, 2.

Example sentences from the web:

  • My sister said the card was corny, but I thought it was sweet.
  • I don’t wanna sound corny, but it’s nice, you and I having one-on-one time.
  • I mean, it sounds corny, but my job means more to me than just a career.
  • I know it sounds corny, but we made a big difference in that person’s life.

Why are we wasting so much food? – Listening activity

Vocabulary

Wealthy: having a lot of money and possessions.
Ex. The fisheries sector may experience temporary crises even in some relatively wealthy countries.

To struggle: to experience difficulty and make a very great effort in order to do something.
Ex. The police report even said that she struggled with her assailant and broke a few fingernails.

To afford: to be able to buy or do something because you have enough money or time.
Ex. Tom told me that he couldn’t afford another divorce.

Deprivation: a  situation in which you do not have things or conditions that are usually considered necessary for a pleasant life.
Ex. She is studying the effects of sleep deprivation.

To feed: to give food to.
Ex. I usually feed the neighbour’s cat while she’s away.

Malnourished: not eating enough food or not eating enough healthy food.
Ex. Malnourished children experience developmental delays, weight-loss and illness as a result of inadequate intake of protein, calories, and other nutrients. 

Fossil fuel: any combustible organic material, as oil, coal, or natural gas, derived from the remains of former life.
Ex. Brown coal is the only source of fossil fuel available in Slovenia.

Blemished: to make (something) imperfect or less beautiful; to hurt or damage the good condition of (something).
Ex. The book is blemished by those long, ineffective descriptions.

Supplier: a company, person, etc. that provides things that people want or need, especially over a long period of time.
Ex. Electricity customers should be able to choose their supplier freely.

To dump: to throw away or discard (garbage, etc.).
Ex. The company dumped the toxic wastes into this canal.

To overflow: to flow over the edge or top of (something).
Ex. The river overflowed its banks.

Complicit: involved with others in reprehensible or illegal activity.
Ex. She was accused of being complicit in her husband’s death.

To use up: to finish a supply of something.
Ex. I’m sorry, I’ve used up all the milk.

Dumpster: a large metal container into which people put unwanted objects or building or garden waste, and which is brought to and taken away from a place by a special truck when people ask for it.
Ex. I found your dad’s toolbox in the dumpster out back.

539870869_0fa759215b_z.jpg

Image source

To toss: to throw, esp. lightly or carelessly.
Ex. She came in and tossed her coat on the chair.

Retailer: a person or business that sells things directly to customers for their own use.
Ex. The company is a leading retailer of women’s clothing.

Livestock: the horses, cattle, sheep, and other useful animals kept or raised on a farm or ranch.
Ex. This is a market where livestock is bought and sold.

 19845895095_9a12a7b963_z.jpg10833422624_b470969ae9_z.jpg5790983557_41bbe9921a_z.jpg
Image sources: 1; 2; 3

 

Subsidy: money that is paid usually by a government to keep the price of a product or service low or to help a business or organization to continue to function.
Ex. The planned subsidy is EUR 3.3 million.

Downloadable PDV version: Why are we wasting so much food – vocabulary – Free English Materials For You

 

Answer the following questions:

  1. How much food does the world waste?
  2. What do you need to grow food?
  3. What are the foundations of our food system?
  4. Why can’t farmers sell all of what they have grown?
  5. What is the image created by supermarkets?
  6. How are redistributed some of this nutritious surplus?
  7. How should governments use the subsidies they offer?

Downloadable PDF version (without answers): Why are we wasting so much food? – Listening Comprehension

Downloadable PDF version (with answers): Why are we wasting so much food? – Vocabulary

Fill in the gaps in the following sentences with the correct words from the list below:

 retailers – 30% – overflowing – wealthiest – fossil fuels – subsidies – feed – tossed – struggle – consumption – grown – customers – farmers – 1982 – wasted – tossing

  1. Even in the _____________nations millions suffer from food poverty.
  2. One in four Americans says they _________________to afford food.
  3. Over  _________________ of America’s food or a hundred and sixty billion dollars worth get _________________ just by grocery stores and their customers.
  4. Growing food demands land, water, ________________, and soil.
  5. The tragedy is that some farmers can’t sell half of what they’ve____________ due to cosmetic standards dictated by supermarkets.
  6. Supermarkets purposefully create an image of                                        
  7. […] meanwhile, over cautious date labels confused and frightened ______________ so they                                 out what is still good to eat.
  8. From _____________to 2002, the average pizza slice grew 70% in calories and the average chocolate chip cookie quadrupled.
  9. Food donations from                          and restaurants are proven ways of redistributing some of this nutritious surplus while is still fit for                                       .
  10. Instead of ________________ this food, supermarkets manufactures and caters must be pushed to directed charities that _____________ hungry people.
  11. Governments should use the vast ______________ they offer to incentivize                            to look after the land in ways that protect the planet.

Downloadable PDF version (without answers): Why are we wasting so much food? – Fill in the gaps exercise (without answers)

Downloadable PDF version (answers): Why are we wasting so much food? – Fill in the gaps exercise (answers)