This is the short story that I asked you to read at Christmas. I hope you enjoyed it. If you haven’t read it yet, you still have the opportunity to do it this weekend. You can download it from the link below:
You can also download some the-way-up-to-heaven_activities. We’re going to comment and discuss your answers in class. But if if you can’t come, you can read the answers to the comprehension and vocabulary activities here: key_the-way-up-to-heaven_activities.
Here is a video based on the same story and it is part of a British TV series, Tales of the Unexpected, which ran between 1979 and 1988. Roald Dahl himself introduces the episode and tells the reader how he was inspired to write the story.
The poem I asked you to read last week was written by Roald Dahl, a really polific author who was born in 1916. This year we celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth. You can read about this on the school library blog.
This is his personal version of the traditional fairy tale. You can enjoy it both by listening to him telling the story and by reading it yourselves at the same time. As in many of his writings, there is a twist in the tale at the end.
I’ve thought that you could compare this version to a more traditional one by Perrault on Storynory, a website where you can enjoy reading and listening to 100s of free audio stories. You can also download them for free.
Black Magic Woman, written by Peter Green
Got a black magic woman I got a black magic woman Yes, I got a black magic woman Got me so blind I can't see But she's a black magic woman And she's tryin' to make a devil out of me Don't turn your back on me baby Don't turn your back on me baby Yes, don't turn your back on me baby You're messin' around with your tricks Don't turn your back on me baby 'Cause you might just break up my magic stick break: You got your spell on me baby You got your spell on me baby Yes, you got your spell on me baby You're turning my heart into stone I need you so bad, magic woman, I can't leave you alone Yes, I need you so bad Well, I need you darling Yeah, I need you darling Yes, I want you love me I want you love me Whoa, I want you love me, ah Whoh, yeah Oh, whoa, baby Yes, I need your love Oh, I need your love so bad I want you love me
Reading (advanced): Music: the story of the Blues
Listening: Good Old Blues
Muddy Waters playing ‘Mannish Boy’:
This is the short story by Roald Dahl you’ll have to read at Christmas. You can download it from the link below:
Here you can read the questions about the short story that we’re going to discuss in class.
Finally, you can watch this episode from Tales of The Unexpected TV series (1979-1988). I’ts based on the same story.
This is an incredibly complete unit on the uses of the past simple and past continuous forms on BBC Learning English, a great website with loads of resources. In this unit, number 7, of their Lower-intermediate course you can also listen, watch and read about an event in the past century that will keep on people’s minds forever: the sinking of the Titanic (14th April 1912)
Whenever I am at the school library, English students often ask me this question, ‘What reader shall I take and read?’ I often give them some quick ideas about what steps to take in order to choose well.
As you probably know, readers are written specifically for learners at a particular learning level and therefore they introduce grammar and vocabulary in a very targeted way. These books are graded according level and if the student chooses the right level, they can be read more easily , without the constant help of a dictionary.
Sometimes they have been adapted from ‘real’ books
but other readers have been written specially for learners of English.
Nowadays a lof of them also come with audio recording; that way students can learn pronunciation and improve their listening skills as well.
If you haven’t tried reading graded books yet, come to our school library and choose one to start with. But if you have already read one or more, you could tell us what books would you recommend.
Do you use videos to learn English? Do you prefer watching them with subtitles? Is it a good idea? The following video can help you to consider what’s best for you.
These are several sites where you can find videos with subtitles:
Where was this photo taken? What was the woman doing? Yes, you’ve guessed it. The place was in Berlin; that was the wall that divided the city for 28 years (1961-1989) and kept Berliners apart. People could not cross the border between the East and the West parts to meet their families and friends. The woman in the picture, a Berliner, was probably trying to communicate with somebody on the other side of the wall, maybe family, o perhaps a lover. Who knows? It’s a sad image: she looks tiny compared to the the mass of concrete, iron and wire in front of her. Such a short distance between her and her beloved one but so far away from each other!
Fortunately, 25 years ago the border was opened and families, friends and neighbours could cross it and reunite. Many others climbed up the hated wall and jumped to the other side to meet. That was the beginning of the fall of the Berlin Wall, a momentous time in history.
There have been lots of important moments in history, and hopefully there will be many more to come, but if you had to choose just one now, which would it be?
Here you have some links to do reading tests online:
- Flo-Joe – PET Reading Practice Tests
- Online Practice Test for PET – Free sample
- Free Practise Tests for learners of English
- Practice for Preliminary Test
- PET Reading Practice Tests
You’ve read about the best course of action when attacked by this incredible dangerous animal. Here you can listen to the way Eric Nerhus, an Australian diver aged 41, managed to survive the animal’s deadly bite. I wouldn’t have had his courage if I had been Eric!
You can read the article below if you want to know more about the details of this incredible story of survival against all odds.