Back in early January I wrote about the death of the newspaper and asked the question of whether or not newspapers would be available in the future.
Of course people still want to find out what is happening in the world. Apart from the serious issues such as politics, finance and security, they also wish to know about sports results, celebrities and gossip. I can’t see this changing, but the way we access this information is transforming rapidly.
More and more people are using online services for their news feeds. What about you? If you wanted to learn more about current affairs, where would you go first – a newspaper, the TV or online?
Click on the image below to read an article from the BBC on another well known publication going digital after 80 years. Try to answer these questions -
1. How many consumers use tablet computers in the USA today?
It isn’t big and it isn’t clever (I know it is one of your few pleasures in life and it seems to help you relax). I am also aware that it isn’t that easy just to give up, but you can do it. It will take willpower and self-discipline, but there are numerous ways to assist you including nicotine patches, lozenges,, hypnotism, electronic cigarettes and self-help guides to name just a few.
Do you smoke? Or have you managed to give up? If so, what methods did you use to stop using cigarettes? If you have never smoked, good for you, but believe me when I say stopping is an extremely difficult (but worthwhile) challenge.
Click on the image below to read a BBC article about Stoptober – a project to encourage large numbers of people to quit smoking this month. What do you think about this – is it a realistic aim? What support is offered to stop smoking in your country?
For example, did you see the Olympics Opening Ceremony?
Perhaps it is because we live on an island or maybe it is genetic, but we definitely have quirks, traditions and beliefs that might seem odd to other nationalities. By clicking on the image below you can read an excellent BBC article in 12 sections of 212 words each. If there are any words you don’t understand, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will help you.
Do you agree with the article? Did any of the information surprise you?
Why not write a 212 word article about your country and send it to me?
Sometimes to make things right we have to complain. It might be that a product or service is not satisfactory, or that someone is doing something incorrectly (or not to your liking).
Knowing how to complain and how to deal with a complaint are important skills and it is not always easy. There is Oli Beale’s famous letter of complaint to Richard Branson which you can read here. He uses humour and a clever style to make his point and was even contacted by Branson afterwards.
Have you ever needed to complain in English? Were you successful?
Has anyone ever complained to you? Were you able to sort the problem out?
Click on the image below to listen to ways people can complain, make a note of the useful phrases and then try the quiz. Just don’t complain to me if you get some answers wrong!
Immortality is currently neither possible nor preferable (in my opinion), but your name can survive in many different ways. By clicking on the image below you can listen to a short BBC talk about Richard Dawkins and a fish. You can find a transcript of the talk on the same page. Also try to answer the following questions -
1. Who has a spider named after them?
2. What is a crustacean?
3. What animal would you like to have named after you?
There was a media storm when David Beckham was left out of the Team GB football team and there are still calls for his inclusion. This was probably his last chance to play on the international stage and it would have been in his hometown of London. However, Stuart Pearce, the Team GB manager had to make that decision and I am sure it was not easy.
Is that an end to the matter or will there be a final dramatic twist?
Click on the image below to listen to David talking before Pearce’s decision. Remember to download the worksheet on the same page to practise your idioms and phrasal verbs.
Finally, scroll down below the photograph and give your opinion in the poll.