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Wednesday 9:15 conversation class

Updated: May 4, 2022

Click here for the conversation topics for May to July

Previous topics - March to April 2021

21 April - it's the last lesson of the semester so usually we'd be playing Articulate. However, I'm not sure that it will work via Zoom so I'll do a quick quiz for you on some recent idioms and word transformations. After that we'll discuss this humorous letter of complaint from the 1930s read by Jude Law. It's a lesson in how to tell a funny story.

Do you want to read about some grammar topics? Click here and here for a bit of revision!

Which topic shall we discuss next? Click on this link to get some ideas about future topics or send me your own suggestions.

14 April - this week we're going to do some job hunting together! Read this article from about improving your CV in order to land some interviews. Pay attention to the grammar in the article as well as thinking about whether or not you agree with the advice included.

7 April - please read this article about actor, Christopher Lloyd who starred in the Back to the Future films. It's quite a fun article with lots of interesting grammar. Make sure to read the final six paragraphs, starting with the words "I've been watching a lot of ..... lately", paying attention to the shifts in the time being talked about (past, present and future). During the lesson we'll be practising some of your favourite grammar topics!

31 March - we'll continue with last week's theme. Here is another article from The Guardian about this question in the very recent UK census. Somewhat unusually for English class I'm also recommending that you read this interview from the Tages Anzeiger as it provides a bit of information about the situation in Switzerland. Don't worry if you don't have the Abo and can't access it - someone in class will be able to explain the main points.

24 March - one of you wanted to talk about transgender issues. I've found this page on the NHS website in England which explains about gender dysphoria. The page includes a short video by someone who has transitioned which is worth watching. Alongside of that, let's consider the language implications associated with this issue. Please read this article from The Guardian about how to use the pronouns they/them.

17 March - we'll talk about history again. Try to watch Hilary Mantel's Reith lecture if you haven't done so already (see link below in previous topics). If you have time, you can read the following article about the last witch in Europe (at least the last person to be executed for being a witch).

If you want to know a bit more about Henry VIII you can watch this extract from the children's TV programme 'Horrible Histories' that I mentioned in class.

Don't forget to read some of the other blog posts. Click here to find out more about the Skell search engine which is brilliant if you want to know how words are used. If you want to find out a bit more about spelling, click here.

10 & 17 March - We're going to look at a spot of English history and also consider the role of literature in conveying history. Read this article in The Guardian about Henry VIII and the way that he planned the execution of his second wife, Anne Boleyn. If you have time, please listen to another Reith lecture "The Day is For Living", by Hilary Mantel. A transcript of the whole lecture is available if you need any help understanding anything. As usual, don't worry if you don't manage to listen to the whole lecture - it's enough to listen to the first 10 minutes as this will give you a good idea of the topic.

3 March - This week we're going to learn about pronunciation in spoken language. I'd like you to watch two excellent videos from BBC Learning English. The first video is about the schwa sound in English - this sound is used so much, it has its own name. The second video is a summary of lots of pronunciation tips. If you have time you can also watch some of the other videos in the series.

Click here to see the topics we talked about last semester.

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