2B2 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAYS

I know you need a rest from English, but you know what they say: “A change is as good as a rest”!

So, I would like to all to continue to read your chosen book over the holiday period and also to continue practising your English listening skills.

1. extr@ English… (online series for learning English)

promises language learning with laughter, in an authentic London setting. With 30 hilarious, half-hour sitcom programmes, the extra@ series is a delight for anyone learning English, especially young adults. The adventures of the four main characters in their London flat are stylish and funny.

The programmes feature lively, colloquial English dialogue. The characters speak naturally, but clearly with constant repetition and use of visual prompts (subtitles) that help learners without detracting from the storyline. The series follows a syllabus in line with the aims of modern EFL curricula, practicing functions and structures suitable for intermediate level learners.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO GO TO SERIES

2. DICTATIONS… these are an excellent way to practise your understanding and also for learning how words are pronounced correctly. You will find plenty of dictation sites DICTATION SITES

CLICK ON IMAGE

….AND HERE……

Dictations:

Many dictations – all levels: “Listen and write” (you need to sign up – it’s free!)

Graded English language dictations free online

Short online dictations for elementary/pre-intermediate students (US accent)

Dictations by topic

Elementary to advanced dictations

Elementary and intermediate dictation (UK accent)

200 dictations (you must use capital letters and punctuation!)

Advanced dictations

AGENDAWEB – lots of different levels topics here

Dictations (by number of words)

Other links to dictations

NEWSPAPER HEADLINES AND VOCABULARY

As a newspaper seeks to influence public opinion on various social, political or moral matters, its language frequently contains vocabulary with evaluative connotation, such as to allege (the person who allegedly committed the crime), to claim (the defendant claims to know nothing about it). These cast some doubt on what is stated further and make it clear to the reader that those are not yet affirmed facts. Elements of appraisal may be observed in the very selection and way of presenting the news, not only in the use of specific vocabulary but in syntactic constructions indicating a lack of surity on the part of the reporter as to the correctness of the facts reported or his/her desire to avoid responsibility, e.g., Mr. J Brown was said to have opposed the proposal. He was quoted as saying… (The Complex Subject/ Passive Voice Structure).

The headlines of news items, apart from giving information about the subject-matter, also carry a considerable amount of appraisal (the size and placement of the headline, the use of emotionally coloured words and elements of emotive syntax), thus indicating an interpretation of the facts in the news item that follows.

The bulk of the vocabulary used in newspaper writing is neutral and literary. But it has as well its specific features such as the intensive use of:

Special political and economic terms, e.g., stability, elections, anti-terror war, military facilities, terrorist network, opinion polls, human rights, budget deficit, immigration, presidential vote, race, opponent, business, security, to devastate, blast, officials, hostages, kidnappers, protest, breakdown, regime, local terror cells, popularity rating, emergency anti-terror funding, crisis, agreement, progressive, nationwide, unity.

Words and phrases based on metaphors and thus emotionally coloured: war hysteria, escalation of war, overwhelming majority, a storm of applause, post attack cleanup, global hunt for terrorists, a shot of power.

Newspaper clichés, i.e., stereotyped expressions, commonplace phrases familiar to the reader, e.g., public opinion, free markets, long-term agreements, a melting pot, to cast a veto over, crucial/pressing problems, zero tolerance, political correctness. Clichés are commonly looked upon as a defect of style, but nevertheless, they are indispensable in newspaper style: they prompt the necessary associations and prevent ambiguity and misunderstanding.

Abbreviations. News items, press reports and headlines are full of abbreviations of various kinds. Among them abbreviated terms – names of organizations, public and state bodies, political associations, industrial and other companies, various offices, etc. known by their initials are very common; e.g., EU (European Union), UNO (United Nations Organization), WTO (World Trade Organization), EEC ( European Economic Community), CNN (Cable News Network), BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation), CEO (Chief Executive Officer), MBA (Master of Business Administration), DWI (Driving While Intoxicated), BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration). The widespread use of initials in newspaper language has been expanded to the names of persons constantly in the public eye, and one can find references to LBJ (Lyndon Baines Johnson), JFK (John Fitzgerald Kennedy), W/Dubya (George W. Bush). Sometimes the whole statements are referred to by their initials, e.g., WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get), FAQ (Frequently asked questions), BTW (By the way), 9/11 or 9–11 (September 11, 2001).

Neologisms. They are very common in newspaper vocabulary. The newspaper is very quick to react to any new development in the life of society, in science and technology. Hence, neologisms make their way into the language of the newspaper very easily and often even spring up on newspaper pages. Now, in the early 21st century, neologisms relating to computers and the Internet outnumber all others, for example, cybersickness (a feeling of illness caused by using a computer for long periods of time), keypal (someone with whom one regularly exchanges e-mail), online auction, access provider, PDA (Personal digital assistant).

ACTIVITIES

1. TRY THIS ACTIVITY ON NEWSPAPER HEADLINE LANGUAGE. The language used is typicalof newspaper headlines and articles.

2. Let’s analyse the following headlines from recent news articles.

What does each one refer to?

Do you notice any differences between TABLOID and BROADSHEET headlines? To see which are which, see images here: HEADLINES

3. NOW CHOOSE ONE OR MORE OF THE HEADLINES, LOOK FOR THEM ON INTERNET AND FIND EXAMPLES OF TYPICAL NEWSPAPER LANGUAGE. ADD THEM TO THE PADLET BELOW.

Made with Padlet

VOCABULARY COMMONLY USED IN NEWSPAPER HEADLINES

HEADLINE VOCABULARY:

DAILY NEWSPAPERS: CLICK HERE (Kiosko)

Newspapers in UK can be categorised in the following way.

There are the broad sheets such as The Telegraph (Right Wing), The Guardian (Left Wing), The Times (RW), The Sunday Times (RW), The Observer (LW)

Note: Both The Independent and The Times have changed in recent years to a compact format, not much bigger than that used by the tabloids.

Then there are the tabloids such as The Daily Mail (RW),  The Daily Express (RW) and The Independent (middle).

There are also what we call the ‘red top’ tabloids which are generally regarded as working class rags, such as The Sun (RW), The Mirror (LW), The Star (LW) and The Daily Sport (who knows). The Daily Mail and The Sun are the most popular but the Mail is often regarded as the ‘housewives’ newspaper and The Sun as the illiterate’s answer to a comic book.

Intellectuals would prefer to read The Telegraph, The Guardian or The Times. The Guardian is very left wing and is hugely preferred in some areas of the public sector like education and health services. It got the nickname The Grauniad at one time because of so many typing errors.

The Times is more seen as the Toffs (upper class) paper read in Gentlemen’s Clubs. The red top press are most famed for pictures of girls bearing their breasts (so called Page 3 girls) and for sensationalised but highly inaccurate stories. The Times is perhaps best known for its challenging crossword.

Somebody that I used to know…AND PHONETICS!!!

Before listening to the song, let’s find out some of the problems you might have in an English speaking country if you pronounce words wrongly.

THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF 100 WORDS COMMONLY MISPRONOUNCED BY SPEAKERS OF SPANISH. CAN YOU PRONOUNCE THEM CORRECTLY?

Somebody That I Used To Know – ACAPELLA VERSION

Now let’s see if you are able to understand the phonetic transcriptions in this well-known song. Work in pairs to decipher the words!

Now and then I think of /wen wi: wɜː təˈgeðɜː/
Like when you said you felt so happy /ju: kʊd daɪ/
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so /ˈləʊnlɪ/ in your company
But that was love and /ɪts ən eɪk/ I still remember
You can get addicted to /ə ˈsɜːtən kaɪnd/ of sadness
Like /rezɪgˈneɪʃən/ to the end, always the end
So, when we /faʊnðæt/ we could not make sense
Well, you /seðæt/ we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that /aɪ wəz glæd/ it was over
But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
/aɪ dəʊn ˈiːvən niːd/ your love
But you treat me like /ə ˈstreɪnʤər/ and that feels so rough
No, you didn’t have /təstuːp/ so low
Have your friends /kəˈlekt jə ˈrekədz/ and then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
/nawənðen/ I think of all the times you screwed me over
Wanted me believing /ɪt wɒz ˈɔːlweɪz/ something that I’d done
But I don’t wanna live that way, reading into /ˈevrɪ wɜːd ju: seɪ/
/jə sed/that you could let it go
And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know
But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened and that we were nothing
/aɪ dəʊn ˈiːvən niːd/ your love
But you treat me like /ə ˈstreɪnʤər/ and that feels so rough
No, you didn’t have /təstuːp/ so low
Have your friends /kəˈlekt jə ˈrekədz/ and then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know
Somebody, I used to know
Somebody, now you’re just somebody that I used to know
Somebody, I used to know
Somebody, now you’re just somebody that I used to know
I used to know
That I used to know
I used to know
Somebody

learn English and share your experiences (SERENDIPITY= the accidental discovery of something pleasant and useful!)

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