28 February 2017


Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the day many Christians around the world begin a traditional fast before Easter, this year for 46 days. Custom also has it that the days and weeks before Lent be given up to revelry and indulgence -- the great Carnival on the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the famous masked balls of Venice and costume parties and parades elsewhere. In Britain the last day before Lent is celebrated by boisterous crowds dressed in costumes, who race down streets flipping pancakes. Selah Hennessy has more.
Learn more about pancake day. CLICK HERE

26 February 2017

In Berlin, Remaking The City Can Rekindle Old Frictions

By the end of World War II, the city of Berlin, like Germany as a whole, was divided. The eastern part of the city was dominated by a USSR-led communist regime, and the western part had a democratic government influenced by America and Great Britain. In 1961, the Berlin Wall was raised, not only physically dividing the city into East and West Berlin, but also psychologically and emotionally splitting the people. Travel between the two sides was prohibited. Since the reunification of Germany and the demolition of the wall in 1989, city planners have been trying to rebuild the city, tearing down the old buildings of communist East Berlin and replacing them with new structures. But the new buildings have sparked controversy over what should be preserved and what should be torn down. Listen to this story to hear different perspectives and ideas about how the city should handle the buildings of the past and move toward a unified future.
What is the main idea of this story?

Why do many Berliners oppose the idea of replacing all of the old buildings in what used to be East Berlin?

What significance does the Palace of the Republic hold for people from East Berlin? Why would tearing it down would be an “act of violence”?

What is the real reason over 180 East Berlin structures have been torn down since 1989?

Why do you think the topic of tearing down or preserving the older buildings is such an emotional one?

Why does one speaker say that Berlin remains a “fragmented” city? What details from the story support your response?

20 February 2017


What are white-collar crimes?
Which of these can be considered white-collar crimes?
shoplifting-selling information-cybercrime
Do you think white-collar criminals should do time in jail?
How can young people be protected from cyber bullying?
What can we do to protect ourselves from online crime like phishing?
Do you think the victims of crime get enough help from the justice system?
How effective do you think prisons are?
What alternatives to prisons can you think of? 
Do you think there are too many laws or regulations governing our lives?
Are there any new laws you would like to introduce?
What laws do you consider unfair and how would you change them?
Does gun ownership make society safer?
Which are the requirements to own a gun in your country?
Can you  think of suitable punishments for these crimes?

1 Mugging
A teenager was walking home late at night after a party, when three men jumped out from behind a wall and hit him in the face. As he fell to the ground, they took his phone and his wallet from his pocket and ran into a nearby house.

2 Fraud
A man from London received a desperate email from his friend. Apparently, the friend was on holiday in the USA when all his money and possessions were stolen. He asked for £500 cash to be sent as soon as possible. The man sent off the money, and was just coming back from the post office when he saw his friend coming out of a shop. He hadn’t even been in the USA.

3 Burglary
A wealthy woman returned to her home to find that the back door had been smashed with an axe. All the drawers and cupboards had been opened, and her things were thrown everywhere. However, she was amazed to discover that none of her valuable jewellery had gone. All that was missing was a single antique vase.



You have recently ordered an item through the Internet, but are not happy with the purchase. Write to the company. In your letter:
- describe what you purchased,
- explain why you are not happy with the purchase,
- tell them what you would like them to do about the situation.

You have bought a new mobile phone and in a few days after purchase it has stopped working. You spoke to the company representative a week ago but the phone has still not been repaired.
Write a letter to the company. In your letter
- introduce yourself
- explain the situation
- say what action you would like to company to take.

You have seen a commercial on your local television station which appeared during a children's programme. You feel that an advertisement of this type is not suitable for showing on children's TV. Write a letter of complaint to the television company, explaining why you object to it and what you would like them to do about it.

16 February 2017


Now it's your turn. Choose one of the job listings below and write a cover letter to apply for the job.  Include your purpose for writing the letter,  where you saw the ad and 3 qualifications that make you the right person for the job.  180 words approx.
Animal care specialist
National Zoo requires experienced person to feed, water and clean the cages of small animals. Duties also include conducting tours for young visitors. Send resumé and cover letter to Cassandra Beck, National Zoo, P.O: box 42, Metropolis city MA 02210
International Tour Guide
Tour leaders needed for our small-group luxury tours to Hawaii, South America and East Asia. Excellent  salary and benefits, plus unlimited free travel. Contact Melinda Lee, Starline Travel, 16 Bayfield Drive, Mayfield NY 22267
Personal Shopper
Macy’s Department Store is looking for people with a great sense of style to help our customers plan their wardrobes. Competitive salary plus great employee discounts on all our clothes. Contact Personnel Dept., P.O. box 401, San Francisco CA 61240 

13 February 2017


Here's a list of some life-changing events a person can go through.
Which ones have you gone through?
Think of someone you know who has gone through some of the events you haven't experienced and talk about the difficulties this person had to face.
What are the three most significant life-changing events? Why?
And the least important?
Would you add any other life-changing events to the list?
a year studying abroad
moving town
leaving or changing jobs
leaving your parents’ home
being called to military duty
buying a house/flat
falling in love
getting married
having a child or adopting a child
getting divorced
mid-life crisis
caring for a sick loved one
death of a loved one
winning the lottery
being involved in an accident or an unpleasant experience
catastrophes or natural disasters

Think about yourself now and how you have changed in the last 10 years. You can talk about these topics:
work - leisure - attitude to life - daily routine - 
money - family - relationship
HT mythatsenglish.blogspot.com 


(May 2, 2012) Following a three minute introduction by Steven Ericsson-Zenith, Jack Copeland discusses Alan Turing's impact on information technology. Turing is often considered to be one of the greatest minds in the 20th century, and Copeland looks at how many of Turing's ideas lie behind some of information technology's most fundamental theories 

Breaking the Code: Biography of Alan Turing (Derek Jacobi, BBC, 1996)

A biography of the English mathematician Alan Turing, who was one of the inventors of the digital computer and one of the key figures in the breaking of the Enigma code, used by the Germans to send secret orders to their U-boats in World War II. Turing was also a homosexual in Britain at a time when this was illegal, besides being a security risk.


The 50 Worst Inventions: here is TIME's list (in no particular order) of some of the world's bright ideas that just didn't work out


12 February 2017

How the Weather Influenced 'Frankenstein'

  • What caused the bad weather that Mary and Percy Shelley experienced while on vacation?
  • What were some negative consequences of this weather around the world?
  • How did the real-life weather in Switzerland impact Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein”?
  • Describe the circumstances in which “Frankenstein” was written.
  • What does “Frankenstein” show us about the connections between climate and literature?
  • According to scholar John Clubbe, how does the story of “Frankenstein” parallel the story of global warming?

6 February 2017


Do you have a good memory or have you got a memory like a sieve?
What methods do you use to help you remember things? Choose from the list below:
lists - repeating information to yourself - 
mobile phone reminders - making up a story - 
associating words with pictures - 
putting up reminder notices
When you forget something, what are useful ways to jog your memory? 
Have you ever had an embarrasing experience because your mind went blank?
What can a person do to improve their memory?
How has your memory changed compared to 10 or 15 years ago?
What is old people's memory like? 
What kind of music, smells or tastes brings back memories for you?
What is your earliest memory?
Have you ever been a witness to a crime or a serious incident? If so, was it difficult to remember all the details?
Which of these things help you best to recall past events? How and why?
music - smells - photographs - objects - 
tastes - talking to family and friends