sâmbătă, 10 septembrie 2016

I heart English - The Olimpic issue

I Heart English

Posted: 09 Aug 2016 04:41 PM PDT
The Ancient and The Modern Olympic Games
Reading, conversation and vocabulary 

Bonfire of Ads 
Discussion and video activity

Sport Idioms   


The Olympic Puzzle  


Posted: 09 Aug 2016 04:44 PM PDT

Reading comprehension and conversation activity

(A) Discuss the following questions in pairs or small groups:

·        Do you like watching the Olympic games? Why (not)? Which sports are your favorite ones?
·        When and where were the first Olympic Games? How many past games can you remember? Where are the next games?
·        Do you know any famous athletes? How many Olympic sports can you name?
·        Do you think that the Olympics are important? Why (not)?

(B)Read the text below and answer the questions that follow.

The first known Olympic Games date from 776 BC, and were held in Olympia, Greece. They were celebrated until 396 AD. 
The ancient games consisted of only one race, the "stade" race, which was the length of the stadium and between 180 and 240 meters long. Over the years more running races and other events were added, including boxing, wrestling, chariot racing, long jump, javelin and discus throwing. At the time, only young men could take part. They had to be free men, and speak Greek. They usually competed nude, and the prize was a crown of olive leaves, a sign of hope and peace. Women were not allowed to take part and married women were not even allowed to watch.

The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. A French nobleman, Pierre Fredy, the Baron de Coubertin, born in 1863, had a passionate belief that sport could encourage peace throughout the world and bring people from all over the world together. Coubertin was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games and travelled around the world, spending his own money, trying to persuade people to revive them. Eventually he managed to bring together representatives of many different countries in Paris, in 1894, and the Olympic Movement was begun.
Women began to compete in 1900. For many years there were problems for the women athletes about what to wear, because it was considered rude to show any part of the body or even the shape of the body. 
When Coubertin founded the Olympic Movement he established the International Olympic Committee (the IOC) to supervise it, in 1894. He himself served as its president for 29 years, and there have been 8 presidents since then. There were originally 14 members but the Committee has now grown to over 130 members, all of whom must speak either French or English. Existing members elect new members as required. The IOC is based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practiced without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.

1.When were the first Olympic Games?
2.What events took place in the Ancient Olympic Games?
3.Who took part in the Ancient Olympic Games?
4.Who revived the idea of the Olympic Games?
5.When and where were the first modern Olympic Games held?
6.Who supervises the Olympic Games?
7.What is the aim of the Olympic Movement?
Posted: 09 Aug 2016 04:45 PM PDT

Video and conversation activity

Watch a few of the most-liked Olympic ads in English for Rio 2016.
·        Which one do you like best?
·        What is the message in each ad? Do they have any message in common?
·        Can you spot any famous athletes?

1.Procter & Gamble, “Thank You, Mom – Strong”

2.Visa, “The Carpool to Rio” - featuring Team Visa Olympians

3.Nike 2016 Olympic Commercial

4.Dick’s Sporting Goods, “The Contenders”

5.Gatorade, “Never Lose the Love”

6.Kellogg’s Cereals, “What Gets You Started?”

Posted: 09 Aug 2016 04:44 PM PDT

Sports idioms originate from a specific sport such as basquetball, sailing or tennis. Over time these phrases have become part of everyday language. Their meanings may be a little different or not so literal but they still carry the original  general idea.

Front runner: (from track & field) someone among those expected to win.

Get into the full swing: (from tennis) doing something with ease after some time of practice.

Get a second wind: (from sailing ) have a burst of energy after feeling tired.

Give it your best shot : (from shooting) try your hardest.

Go overboard: (from sailing) do or say more than you need to.

Hit someone below the belt: (from boxing/ martial arts) do something unfair to someone.

Jump the gun: (from track & field)  start too early.       

Keep one's head above water: (from swimming) try not to fall behind in work or other duties.

Keep you eye on the ball : (from baseball) be alert to events and situations around you.

Kick off: ( from soccer ) start something.

Make a splash: (from swimming) get noticed for a remarkable action or success.

Skate on thin ice: (from skating)  do something risky, take a chance.

The ball is in your court: (from tennis) it’s your turn or responsibility to take action.

Throw in the towel : (from boxing) give up, abandon.

To be down to the wire: (from horse riding) be right at the end.

Touch base with someone: (from baseball) be in contact, communicate with.

Use one of the idioms above to complete the sentences. Use one each time only!

  1. Please can everyone be seated so we can ....the launching of the campaign.

  1. You can't believe everything he says. He tends to...  sometimes.

  1. Give it your ... and you may just make it to the final round.
  1. I guess I ... by saying I was being promoted. They chose someone else.

  1. She was exhausted after working for 12 hours on the campaign, but she got ... after lunch.

  1. It's coming ....  to get these documents sent on time.

  1. You're ... by not saving part of your income now.

  1. We are so busy during the high season I can barely ... 

  1. If they don't accept our offer this time we are going to ... and look for something else.

  1. I think I’m a ...for the manager position.

  1. It will probably take some time at my new job before I ... of things.

  1. When you arrive in New York, remember to ... us. We’ll be waiting for your call.

  1. It’s not up to me anymore. I’ve done my part, now ...

  1. Down to the last days before we finish the deal. Please, ... and focus more than ever.

  1. I never though we could ... with this ad campaign but it seemed everybody loved it.

  1. It was ...when she used her best friend's weakness to get the job.

Posted: 09 Aug 2016 04:43 PM PDT

Try and complete the following crossword and test your knowledge on sports and everything Olympic.


2. For this sport you need small paddles.(2 words)
4. The number of points a competitor or team earns during a game
9. a person who trains and directs an athlete or a sports team.
11. A person who trains for and competes in a sport.
12. The official name for Track & Field.
14. The centrepiece of the Olympic games, where athletic events are held.
16. Years between Ancient Olympic Games.
19. Sport with bikes.
21. A piece of land marked out for a sports contest e.g. hockey.
22. A contest featuring five different events.
24. Team sport with a net and six players per team.
25. A team sport with eleven players per team.


1. Originally known as the International Wheelchair Games.
3. Country where Ancient Olympic Games were held.
5. A quadrangular area on which ball games are played, such as tennis or basketball.
6. Long run, typical in the Olympic games.
7. Highest prize that an athlete can get at the Olympics. (2 words)
8. To shout encouragement to a team or a player. (2 words)
10. Aquatic sport involving a ball.
13. Sport that includes walking, driving and shooting.
15. multi-discipline sport divided in artistic, rhythmic and trampoline.
17. Fastest time registered in an event.
18. An event where athletes fight with gloves.
20. A punishment imposed on a player or team for breaking the rules of a sport. 
23. A result in a game in which teams have the same final score.
25. Aquatic discipline.

Posted: 09 Aug 2016 04:18 PM PDT
Sports Idioms

1. kick off   2. go overboard  3. best shot   4. jumped the gun  5. a second
wind  6. down to the wire  7. skating on thin ice   8. keep my head above water. 9. throw in the towel  10. front runner  11. get into the full swing  12.touch base  13.the ball is in your court  14.keep your eyes on the ball  15.make a splash   16. hitting below the belt

The Olympic Puzzle

Across: 2. table tennis   4. sore  9. coach  11. athlete  12. athletics   14. stadium  16. four  19. cycling  21. field  22. pentathlon 24. volleyball  25. soccer
Down:  1. Paralympics  3. Greece  5. court  6. marathon  7. gold medal
8. cheer on  10. waterpolo 13. basketball  15. gymnastics   17. record
18. boxing   20. penalty   23. tie  25. swimming

sâmbătă, 20 august 2016

Let's read! The Railway Children - Level 4

English is an excellent language to learn, whether it's for business, travel or personal reasons. Learning any language requires hard work, commitment and a willingness to make mistakes, and English is no different. Read below to gather information about learning English Part 1 of 3: Improving Your Spoken English - Speak a little English every day. - Work on your pronunciation - Expand your vocabulary and use idiomatic phrases. - Carry a dictionary. Part 2 of 3: Improving Your Writing, Reading and Listening Skills - Listen to English radio or podcasts. - Watch English movies and TV shows. - Read an English book, newspaper or magazine - Keep a diary in English Part 3 of 3: Committing to Your New Language - Stay motivated - Practice every day. - Train yourself to think in English - Make friends with English speakers

miercuri, 17 august 2016

I Heart English - The Cultural Diversity Issue

What is Cultural Diversity?
Reading, conversation and vocabulary 

Country Stereotypes 
Discussion and listening 

Global Cuisine  Discussion and vocabulary

Local Color Discussion and writing

Human Family Poem, video, conversation 

Reading, conversation and vocabulary activity


Nowadays cultural diversity is a fact. The World has some 6000 communities and as many distinct languages. Such difference naturally leads to diversity of vision, values, beliefs, practice and expression, which all deserve equal respect and dignity.           

Cultural diversity is our everyday reality. The international migration rate is growing fast every year. According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, the number of migrants has doubled since the 1970s. The report also says that around 175 million persons are residing away from the country of their birth and one in every 10 persons in the developed regions is a migrant. Also, more migrants are coming from countries ever farther away. While the reasons for migration vary (economic, political, personal choice …) , one thing is sure: we live in an increasingly heterogeneous society.

Culture is a set of distinctive spiritual, material, intellectual and emotional features of society or a social group. Art, literature, lifestyles, ways of living together, values systems, traditions, beliefs... Respecting and safeguarding culture is a matter of Human Rights and respect of fundamental freedoms of thought, conscience and religion, of opinion and expression, and freedom to participate in the cultural life of one's choice.

Cultural diversity is our collective strength. Indeed, it is not just a natural fact that we need simply recognize and respect. It is about plurality of knowledge, wisdom and energy which all contribute to improving and moving the World forward.


1)Find the meaning of these figures in the first 2 paragraphs:  6000   -   175  - 1/10 

2) Why is respecting and safeguarding culture a matter of human rights?

3)Why is Cultural Diversity defined as a collective strength?

CONVERSATION Questions: discuss with a partner or in a small group.

  • What are the good things about a multicultural society?
  • Can it bring problems to a country?
  • How would the world be different if there was no cultural diversity?
  • Will the planet eventually have mixed race societies?
  • What are the pros and cons of a country being multicultural or having just one culture?
  • Can a country lose its identity?
  • Should immigrants assimilate into the culture of their new country?

B) Cultural Diversity Key Terms:  Match the terms on the left to their definitions on the right.

1. Bias
A) The physical or mental characteristics of an individual that prevent or limit him other from performing specific tasks.
2. Culture
B) A microcultural group or collectivity that shares a common history and culture, com­mon values, behaviors, and other characteristics that cause members of the group to have a shared identity.
3. Cultural Assimilation
C) A classification of people based on physical and biological characteristics such as the color of skin, hair, and eyes.
4. Cultural Diversity
D) Preference tha prevents impartial or objective judgement.
5. Disability
E) Social, political, and economic structures that advantage one sex group over the other. Stereotypes and misconceptions about the biolog­ical characteristics of each sex group
6. Discrimination
F) A set of rigid and unfavorable attitudes toward a particular individual or group.
7. Ethnicity
G) Assuming that everyone in a particular group is the same.    
8. Ethnic group
H) A set of beliefs and values, especially about explanations that concern the cause and nature of the universe, to which an individual or group has a strong loyalty and attachment.
9. Mainstream
I) The values, beliefs, attitudes, languages, symbols, rituals, behaviors and customs shared by a particular group of people and passed from one generation to the next.       
10. Prejudice
J) A collectivity of people who have a sim­ilar socioeconomic status based on such criteria as income, occupation, education, values, behaviors, and life chances.
11. Race
K) The differential treatment of indi­viduals or groups based on categories such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, social class, or exceptionality.
12. Racism
L) Changes made by a group to adopt the ways of the dominant culture.
13. Religion
M) A classification of people based on national origin and/or culture.
14. Sexism
N) A belief that human groups can be validly grouped according to their biological traits and that these identifiable groups inherit certain men­tal, personality, and cultural characteristics that determine their behavior.
15. Social class
O) The characteristics of the dominant ethnic and cultural group in the nation.
16. Stereotyping
P) Individual differences based on cultural, ethnic, and racial fact        

Conversation and listening activity
Read this opinion of heaven and hell and discuss what it means to you. Do you agree / disagree with the description? Why (not)?

Heaven is where the police are British, the cooks are French, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and it is all organized by the Swiss.
Hell is where the police are German, the cooks are British, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss and it is all organized by the Italians.


  How is your country stereotyped?
  Does stereotyping help in some way?
  Why do you think people stereotype?
  How can stereotypes be damaging? 
  How are various nationalities stereotyped?
  What is the difference between stereotypes and prejudices?
  Are stereotypes offensive?  Funny?  Realistic?

Listening Segment

NPR - 3.30 minutes
“For Asians And Latinos, Stereotypes Persist In Sitcoms”

Listen to the radio segment and answer whether the statements below are TRUE or FALSE, based on the report.

1.For the critic Eric Deggans some stereotyped characters in shows on TV are insulting.

2.He regularly sees black actors playing maids, pimps or buffoons.

3.A chinese character on a comedy shows a collection of stereotypes and his heavy accent is the reason for laughs.

4.Asians and Latinos are usually unemployed, criminals or sell drugs.

5.It will take a long time to wean writers off the easy jokes provided by stereotypes of Latino and Asian characters.

6.For writers and producers, TV shows are better when the characters are not stereotyped.

Posted: 23 Jul 2016 06:01 PM PDT

Conversation and video activity

1)Can you match a few of the world's most popular foods to their country of origin?

Fish ‘n’ chips      Masala dosa      Chocolate      Marzipan     Lasagna     Croissant          Som tam
Maple syrup      Sushi
Paella   Buttered popcorn  Fajitas

India          Spain             Thailand     Mexico           Germany
Canada    United States
Britain           Japan           Italy
France             Mexico

2)Discuss the following questions with a partner or in small groups.

What kinds of international cuisine do you like?
What kinds are available in your city/town/country?
How often do you eat food from other cultures?
Has your taste changed over the years?
What national dishes from your country would you recommend?

Posted: 23 Jul 2016 06:03 PM PDT

Conversation & writing activity

  • Do you think it’s important to keep traditions? Why (not)?
  • Should cultural identities be discarded or ignored when people move to another country? Why (not)?
  • What are the big holidays in your country? How is a typical
    wedding ceremony?  What is a customary greeting where you come from? Do people kiss, shake hands, or other?
  • What are some customs for eating in your country? Is there a national dish, dessert, drink, etc.?
  • Which traditions would you definitely maintain if you moved abroad?
  • Should people hold on to their language, religion, dressing habits and the like when they emigrate? Why (not)?
  • Which of your traditions do you value most?
  • Have you adopted traditions from another culture? Which ones?

Group Activity: Make a group list with all the traditions in your country that reflect your cultural identity.

Writing: Write and essay, reflecting your point of view on the topic of Cultural Diversity.

1.Create an original title to attract the reader. You can also do it at the end when you have finished.

2.Write an introduction that explains the topic and include information or examples that will transition the reader to the argument you are presenting.

3.Write the body and present your point of view with support information or examples. 

4. Write the conclusion to reassert your argument and persuade the audience to support your view.