What is going on in these sequences – can you tell just by listening to the sounds?
The best language learners are a combination of people who are curious, who keep asking themselves questions and are actively involved in their own learning proces, and those that can hear well, and I’m not talking about hearing well versus hearing impairment – that is an altogether different subject.
What I am talking about is those learners that can hear the sounds that are specifically English sounds (as in the language and not the nationality).
This includes things such as; elision, glottals, liaisons between words, low and high tones, pitch, volume, rate and intonations etc.
The story goes that if you can’t hear the sounds in a language, you will never be able to understand nor be able to produce accurate language through speech.
This takes a lot of time and perseverance and does not, in any way mean that a learner has to understand every single word in a sentence or a section of speech, because sometimes we don’t even do this in their own native language – sometimes we listen to parts of what are said to us, sometimes we lose concentration or we drift off.
This activity is designed to train your ears to sounds and not words.
Sounds will often give a lot of clues about the context of a conversation – where the people are for example.
See if you can work out what is happening and send your answers through the comments at the bottom of the page or you can comment on Facebook.
Developing listening skills is a language is at times difficult, often frustrating, rarely made up of shortcuts and always rewarding – at the end.
Try listening to a video or DvD in English without looking at the picture, now pause the video and without looking at the screen, try to imagine :
Where the scene takes place?
How many people are in the scene?
How they are dressed?
How old they are?
Are they men women, or children?
What relationship are they to each other? etc. etc.
Now turn around and look at the paused image – How close did you get?
The more of this type of activity you do, the more you will sharpen your hearing skills and thus your listening skills – give it a try, you have nothing to lose!
Three items on my Bucket List – Merry came in today to tell us a little about what three things are at the very top of her bucket list.
She is just starting out with learning English and we are both very pleased and grateful to welcome her along to record a podcast at EFL PodBlog.
“Some people die at 25 years old and aren’t buried until they are 75 years old.” Benjamin Franklin
“Every man dies — Not every man really lives.” ~ William Ross
What is a Bucket List?
If you haven’t heard about the term “bucket list”, it is a list of all the goals you want to achieve, dreams you want to fulfill and life experiences you desire to experience before you die, or kick the bucket – hence the name “Bucket List.”
If you don’t live your days by personal goals and plans, the chances are that you will spend most of your time caught up in a the humdrum routine or the rat-race of everyday life.
Have you ever had the feeling that your days and your life is just passing you by in such a rate of knots, without any tangible results to speak about?
What did you accomplish in the past 3 months / 6 months, 12 months, 3 years?
What are your upcoming goals for the next 3 months / 6 months, 12 months, 3 years?
Look at the things you did and the things you’re planning to do next — Do they mean anything to you if you were to die today?
Having a bucket list reminds you of what’s really important in life so you can act on them.
A bucket list helps hone your goals and ambitions into a set of achievable, ‘I-really-want-to-do-this’ steps – now how exciting is that!
It’s just like planning ahead all the highlights that you want to be featured in the rest of your life.
The objective of creating this list isn’t to instill some kind of a race against time or to create aversion toward death. I don’t see our existence to be limited to just our physical years on earth — I don’t see our existence to be limited to just our physical years on earth — our physical lifespan is but a short speck of our existence in the universe.
The whole point of creating your list is to maximize every moment of our existence and live your life to the fullest.
It is a reminder of all the things we want to achieve in our time here on this planet, so that instead of wasting away our time on pointless activities, we are directing our lives fully towards what really matters to us.
The first time I saw snow – Can you remember the first time you saw snow ? Do you live in a country where snow is usual or do you live in a region of the world where snow is a highly unlikely event?
Some countries never get a single flake of snow and the idea of the ground covered in a white blanket of snow is only something that some people see in books or on Christmas cards.
For other countries, snow is an annual occurrence that can last for up to six months at a time – some love this and others really hate it.
In this podcast Raghv Vamsi, a 25 year old Indian currently living in France, shares his feelings with us about the first time he saw snow…. he was clearly impressed! Listen carefully to vocabulary which expresses amazement and surprise.
In February 2018 Europe was hit by a strong high pressure system which caused severe temperature drops and was quickly nicknamed “The Beast from the East” because the snow came from an easterly direction and the temperatures were even colder than Arctic Circle .
The United Kingdom, in particular, experienced huge amounts of snowfall, gale-force winds and record cold temperatures. Some villages across the British Isles were cut off by 25-foot drifts, days after the snow ended. The army was bought in to help dig people out. There were major travel disruptions with roads being impassable, airports closed, trains stuck in stations and thousands of schools and business closed for days all across the country.
In France and the rest of Europe the weather was very cold but the snowfall only lasted a couple of hours and caused much fun for many people, including Raghv Vamsi.
Listen to Mylène talking about what she has on her bucket list.
She also says that her bucket list changes through time, as she achieves some of the things on her bucket list, other things are added, so it becomes a lifelong journey.
A list of activities someone wants to do before he or she dies is often called a bucket list, because it is a list of things a person wants to do before they “kick the bucket” – which is a slang term for to die’.
From kick the bucket(“to die”) + list, hence a “list of things to do before you die”.
The term was coined by American and British screenwriter Justin Zackham in his screenplay for the 2007 film The Bucket List.
Zackham had created his own list called “Justin’s List of Things to Do Before I Kick the Bucket” which he then shortened to “Justin’s Bucket List”.
The first item on his list was to have a screenplay produced at a major Hollywood studio.
After a time, it occurred to him that the notion of a “bucket list” could itself be fodder for a film, so he wrote a screenplay about two dying men racing to complete their own bucket lists with the time they had left. Articles about the movie are the earliest known uses.
A bucket list is a great way to stay focused on the things that you really want to achieve in your life and is a way of setting goals for all those things that we really want to do or aim for – before it is too late.
To find out more, listen to this podcast about what a bucket list really is, and if you are looking for inspiration for your own bucket list, have a listen to this podcast with 20 Unusual Bucket List Ideas. More ideas for your Bucket List.
Andy Pudding (it’s his stage name, not his real name) is a comedian, living in Toulouse, France who does a stand-up comedy show called “Mad in France” and another that he is refining.
His comedy revolves around his first-hand observations of living in France and especially living in Toulouse and is a hilarious mix of song and jokes, which both British (or any expat perhaps) and French audiences can identify with.
Have you ever heard of Boudouism? Not Buddhism …
If you live in France, have you ever had to wrestle with the French administration?
Can you imagine any of the specific problems that you could run into as a non-French (or even a French) citizen?
If you don’t, catch Andy’s shows to find out.
We really enjoyed speaking to Andy and sincerely hope to do more podcasts with him in the very near future.
If you haven’t seen Andy Pudding’s shows, then have a look on YouTube or if you are in Toulouse, go to one (or more) of his shows – you won’t be disappointed!
Andy is also compère for an evening of stand-up comedians, guaranteed to make you laugh your worries away – in English!
Come and laugh yourself silly with stand-up you can understand 100%. All this in the cosy comedy club atmosphere of L’Entrée des Artistes, a convivial bar/restaurant attached to the famous theatre – La Comédie de Toulouse.
Discover new stand-up talents in a show hosted by “Mad in France”, Andy Pudding. Andy will present brand new comic talents in a relaxed open mic atmosphere.
Andy is hoping that this will be a regular event (and so are we…)
It’s curious that so many people obsessively read their horoscopes.
According to a studies, many Americans believe astrology is scientific.
The study also revealed that skepticism of astrology is decreasing, and indeed you don’t have to look far online to find the strong community of young, cool, perfectly normal people who obsess over their zodiac signs.
Some of the most popular websites, newspapers and magazines regularly post articles about star signs.
Today Susan shares some of her surprising skills – that being her almost amazing accuracy in reading the stars.
What do you think – science or stupidity?