Learning English – Words in the News – Auctioning Marie Antoinette’s Clothes

Learning English – Words in the News – Auctioning Marie Antoinette’s Clothes

18 October 2012
“A pair of Marie Antoinette’s slippers and a garment she wore while in prison were auctioned in Paris to mark the anniversary of her execution. Among the 80 lots on offer were portraits and etchings of the queen and her ill-fated husband King Louis XVI”.
Reporter:
Christian Fraser

  • Listen to the report.
  • Read it.
  • Familiarise yourself with new vocabulary using the audio file and an online dictionary if you like.

guillotine, amassed, opulent, execution, goes under the hammer, scaffold, fragment, etchings, artefacts and tyranny.

This Week In History

This Week In History

25 October 1917

Communists Depose Russian Rulers

Communists led by Vladimir Lenin bring down the Russian government.


  • Learn new vocabulary with the word checker – depose, communists, storm, provisional, break out.
  • Watch 2 videos of the event – the secret steps that happened before the revolution and secondly the beginning of the revolution.
  • Do the quiz to find out how much you have understood.

Elementary Podcast Episode 9 – British Council

TEFL Vocabulary, Grammar and Communicative Skills.



If you are a beginner (A2 CEFR level) these British Council Podcasts are excellent for getting you started.  As the week progresses I will post up other related work which will be appropriate for different levels of student ability.  If you are an Intermediate level of student you may want to use this resource to revise and then extend your knowledge.  Advanced students may just want to dip into the additional and other resources added during the week.

Go to: 

http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/elementary-podcasts/series-01-episode-09

Find the audio link (MP3) right click and save it so you can listen to it whenever is convenient for you. The podcast comes with a support pack and transcript which is 22 pages long.  Use this link:
Download and do the exercises.

Main Contents of Podcast This Week

  • Talking about plans for the weekend.
  • What famous person would you like to meet and why? Matt Groening, creator of the TV show and film ‘The Simpsons’.
  • Vocabulary quiz – topics e.g. things that you play, things that you make.
  • Bridgit Keenan in India talks about Bollywood  films (have lots of singing and dancing in them).  They are very predictable and lively with happy endings. 
  • What would be your favourite holiday?
  • Dialogue of Carolina from Venezuela preparing a special meal for her friends.  She prepares ‘guasacaca’.

  • Telling/retelling a joke
Here is a summary of the main language points of the podcast. Try to get more practise with these language points during the week if you can:
  1. The verbs ‘make’ and ‘do’. Make is used when preparing a food dish.
  2. What is a gap year?
  3. What do you call them?  Try to describe what you want to say? (clove of garlic, plantains)
  4. ‘Make yourselves at home’  phrase to make people feel comfortable.
I will follow up with work that is related through the week.  This work will be graded for different levels of student ability.




Hallowe’en Scene 2 Language Focus

Hallowe’en Scene 2 Language Focus


Follow up language points from the second video of the Halloween Series from Word on the Street, Learn English. The focus is on personal pronouns and in particular ‘it’, ‘them’ and ‘they’.  ‘It’ is a subject and an object pronoun whilst ‘they’ is a subject and ‘them’ an object pronoun.

Hallowe’en Scene 2

Hallowe’en Scene 2


“Ashlie and Stephen’s house is full of witches, wizards, and ghosts… and everyone’s having a frighteningly good time!”

Watch the video by clicking on the above link.




Follow up exercises to the second part of this series include rearranging sentences in order, a gap fill exercise and developing phrases with ‘so’ and ‘just’.

Hallowe’en Scene 1 Language Focus

Hallowe’en Scene 1 Language Focus


Language activities designed to follow on from Scene 1 of Halloween. They include learning new expressions with the word ‘think’, a conversation to fill in the gaps for and finally more common expressions with the word ‘way’.