Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Tell-Tale Heart for Halloween

At Halloween, I ask higher level students to read one of my favorite Edgar Allan Poe short stories, 'The Tell-Tale Heart.' Often I let the students follow along with the text in front of them as I read it aloud. Poe's stories and poems deserve to be read aloud. (Probably this could be said of all well-written works, but since my children are all grown up, I rarely do it anymore.)

Today I was excited to find that on YouTube, there is a two-part (combined 15-minute) video (I, II) of Vincent Price narrating 'The Tell-Tale Heart' on stage. You don't have to be an advanced level student to understand the story as Mr. Price tells it.

If you would like to do a combined reading and listening activity for the upcoming event, I've given you links to a printable copy of the the story with vocabulary and Mr. Price's superb acting performance. Let me know if the lesson works for you.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Words with Multiple Meanings, Part 5 (CAE Use of English Practice, Part 4 (d))

This is my fifth post (see 'Words with Multiple Meanings' and Part 4 (a, b, c) for more like this one) about words with several meanings. These exercises can be used for vocabulary development in any intermediate+ level class, but it was especially designed for Cambridge Advanced students preparing for the Use of English paper.

Your job is to find the one word that fits into each set of sentences. The answers are at the bottom of the page. Have fun and good luck!

1. John likes to _______ animals at the zoo.
The robber didn't want to ______ attention to himself, so he hid the gun in a paper bag.
June had to _______ on her account to pay the bill.

2. Your job is to ______ questions at the gathering.
The new employee's questions came out of left ______.
The cows were grazing in a beautiful ______ of green grass.

3. Before we can eat the custard, we have to wait for it to ______.
One of the jobs of the waiter is to ______ the table.
I can't remember where I _____ down my cup of coffee.

4. She just opened up a _____ of soup for lunch.
'______ you open the window? It's so hot and stuffy in here.'
Have you ever tried to _____ tomatoes?

5. He is _____ only smart, but he is funny, too.
My daughter does _____ like dark chocolate as much as I do.
It is _____ a matter of choice; it is a matter of duty.

1. draw, 2. field, 3. set, 4. can, 5. not

Sunday, October 3, 2010

'The Sound of Science'

A classic Simon and Garfunkel song has been transformed into a catchy new one which this anthropologist-turned-English instructor couldn't resist. Advanced level students who already know the tune might like to sing along with this video. In addition, if you're really knowledgeable about evolution, American academics, and the English language, you might give a knowing laugh or two before the end. Enjoy listening and singing along now!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Japanglish in Kyoto

I did mind my step (British English). In addition, the sign warns, 'When crossing [Japanese script], be careful of the footing sufficiently. Understand beforehand because the responsibility cannot be assumed about the accident in case and so on.'

I did take my time following the stone pathway in Ginkakuji's garden in Kyoto. Fortunately, I didn't have 'the' accident. Since I was by myself, I don't have a picture to prove it, but here's one of a fellow tourist who successfully crossed the large pond as I did. ;-)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Words with Multiple Meanings, Part 4 (CAE Use of English Practice, Part 4 (c))

Are you ready for more words with multiple meanings or usages? See how many of these you can figure out. Go back and try the other lessons, Part 4 (a) and Part 4 (b). (Note to Teachers: I have changed the font colors of these exercises to black so that you can print out these sheets for your classes.)

1. My brother usually tries to _______ the bill when we go out together.
My son is almost a ______ taller than me.
They will never set ______ in that country because of the human rights abuses.

2. Let's _____ something new instead of the lasagna.
The lawyer will ______ that murder case next month.
In Star Wars, Jedi Master Yoda said, "Do, or do not. There is no _____."

3. The boss _____ up at work because we were behind in meeting our orders.
The Santa Ana winds ______ so fiercely that they knocked down some trees.
John ______ the whistle on the company for not following safety procedures.

4. You are too close to the car in front of you. You need to _____ up.
After I flew ______ from Japan, I suffered from jetlag.
In the military, you count on others watching your _____.

5. In the USA, we value the ______ to freedom of speech.
He is someone that believes it's important to try to ______ all wrongs.
The teacher wants to see you ______ away.

Answer key:

1. foot 2. try 3. blew 4. back 5.