Wednesday, December 31, 2014

New Years Traditions

In preparation for tonight, New Year Eve, I had a quick look for some interesting facts about just how different nationalities celebrate their way into the next year. I came up with some very interesting findings. Who knew that in Peru, people actually fought each other, in hopes of getting a fresh start for the New Year, or that in Ireland people traditionally beat bread against the wall?

Have a look at this video, outlining the 25 Strangest New Year's Traditions From Around The World. To help you, you can always use the subtitles used in the text, by clicking on the little CC icon in the bottom, right hand corner...I will test your comprehension after you've watched it, so listen closely!

25. Denmark:

24. Ecuador:

23. Spain:

22. Philippines:

21. Various South American Countries:

20. Japan:

19. Peru:

18. Switzerland:

17. Romania:

16. Puerto Rico:

15. Belgium:

14. Bolivia:

13. France:

12. Colombia:

11. Denmark:

10. Thailand:

9. Chile:

8. Romania:

7. Ireland:

6. South Africa:

5. Siberia:

4. Finland:

3. Panama:

2. Scotland:

1. Estonia:


25. Denmark: Broken Plates / Unused Dishes Shattering

24. Ecuador: Paper-filled Scarecrow / Photograph Burning

23. Spain: Eating 12 Grapes

22. Philippines: Round Things – Representing Coins

21. Various South American Countries: Colored Underwear
Red – Love

Gold – Wealth

White – Peace

20. Japan: 108 Bell Rings (Buddhist Belief of Cleanliness) & Smiling

19. Peru: Takanakuy Festival (Fist Fighting Festival)

18. Switzerland: Dropping Ice Cream

17. Romania: Coin Tossing

16. Puerto Rico: Water Buckets

15. Belgium: Cows

14. Bolivia: Sweet Coins (Baked Goods)

13. France: Pancakes

12. Colombia: Suitcases (Travel Filled Year)

11. Denmark: High Jump from Chairs

10. Thailand: Talc Smearing & Buckets of Water

9. Chile: Cemetery Sleepover

8. Romania: Animal Whispering

7. Ireland: Bread Power (Hit Walls)

6. South Africa: Furniture Disposal

5. Siberia: Frozen Trunks

4. Finland: Metal Casters

3. Panama: Effigy Burning

2. Scotland: First Footing

1. Estonia: Eating for Abundance

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Sentence Completion 2

Complete the sentence using the word or set of words for each blank that best fits the meaning of the sentence as a whole.

The rope is hard to cut because it is so ______.

A. new

B. weak

C. sad

D. thick

The food tastes ______. It was prepared by ______ chef.

A. great … an excellent

B. delicious … a bad

C. terrible … a good

D. bad … an excellent

Mary and Laura are ______ because they have the same father and mother.

A. women

B. friends

C. sisters

D. men

After she completed the hard exercise class, Angie felt ______.

A. strange

B. angry

C. tired

D. old

After working on it for days, Xavier finally finished the ______ puzzle. It was hard.

A. easy

B. difficult

C. dangerous

D. wise

Elephants are ______. Ants are ______.

A. big … large

B. small … big

C. tiny … small
D. huge… tiny

John got very ______ because Marcy broke his toy.

A. hungry

B. upset

C. sleepy

D. slow

Although Margo tries to be on time for her class, she still arrives ______.

A. late

B. great

C. silly

D. noisy

The ______ recipe has ______ ingredients.

A. simple … a lot

B. difficult … few

C. complicated … many

D. sweet … bitter

When I said the correct answer, the teacher told me that I was ______.

A. right

B. wrong

C. bad

D. close

Scroll down to find the answers
1 D
2 A
3 C
4 C
5 B
6 D
7 B
8 C
9 C
10 A

Exam Practice A1 Key

Part 1 Structures

1.       You are a good player.

2.        Susan is going to take us to the cinema tomorrow.

3.         The children read the book.

4.         Be happy.
5.         The man was angry.

6.         Joseph is going to buy a new laptop next Saturday.  

7.        They got off the bus and went into the shopping centre. 

8.         Mother is going shopping at the new department store this afternoon.

9.         They didn’t watch television, they played video games.

10.       How many students are there in your class?

11.       I usually walk to school but today I’m cycling because I’m late.

12.       Class didn’t start at 8:20 and you were late.

Part 1B

Gatesbridge’s new Merriweather Mall is opening this September.  With an area of 320,000 square metres, the Merriweather Mall is going to be the biggest mall in the south west.  It’s located next to the motorway, has its own bus station and 2000 car parking spaces, so it is convenient for everyone/body. 
The mall has five areas, all under cover. The largest, Main Street, is a shopping area on three floors. Here, you’ll find all the major chain stores and department stores.  You can buy fashion items and all the famous brand names. There is also a large customer service counter and help desk.
Situated on two levels, the market square is where you can find traditional market stalls. On the lower floor, there are food stalls, a butcher’s, baker’s, a fishmonger’s, news agent’s and delicatessen. On the upper floor, you can find stalls selling hardware and haberdashery.
Bohemia is at the rear of the mall. Here, you’ll find quirky, independent shops selling everything from new music CDs and books to clothes and handicrafts. 
The Palisade is more upmarket. Here you will find fashion boutiques, jewellers, antiques and furniture.  There are also two banks and a post office located along The Palisade.
The Showground is the entertainment centre of the mall.  On the ground floor, there is a food court where you can find cuisine from around the world, including Chinese Japanese, Thai and Italian food.  There is a large arena where events take place through the year. There is also an eight-screen cinema, a night club and a bowling alley.
And if that is not enough, we are offering you a voucher which will give you £10 off any purchase over £40 that you make in the Merriweather Mall between 10th and 16th Street. You can’t afford to miss it!                                                                                                                                                            

1.         The mall covers an area of 320,000 metres.

2.         Yes, there are.

3.         You can buy jewelry, antiques and furniture ant the Palisade.

4.         The cinema is on the ground floor.

5.         You can buy something (with a £10 pound discount) between September 10th and   16th.

6.         You can buy quirky things like CDs, books, clothes and handicrafts at the Bohemia.


Part 2 Translations

1.            Was machen Sie gewöhnlich nach dem Abendessen?(present simple-routine)

What do you usually do after dinner?

2.            ‘Möchten sie ein Glas Saft?’ ‚Ja, gerne.’

Would you like a glass of juice?

3.            Wie haben Sie Ihren Arm gebrochen?(past simple-finished action)

How did you break your arm?

4.            Ich bin müde. Ich werde heute Abend zu Hause bleiben.(future plan)

I’m tired.  I’m going to stay at home tonight.

5.            ‘Was machst du?’ ‘Ich backe Brot.’(present continuous –action in the present)

What are you doing?  I’m baking (some) bread.

6.            ‚Wo ist der Schlüssel?’ ‚Ich habe ihn gestern auf den Tisch gelegt.’

Where is the key?  I put (laid) it on the table yesterday.

7.            Hast du David letzte Woche gesehen? (past simple)

Did you see David last week?

8.            Arbeitet er sehr viel? (present simple question)

      Does he work a lot?

9.            Wie oft geht ihr abends aus? (present simple question)

How often do you go out in the evening?

10.          Guck mal! Es schneit. (imperative + present continuous)

Look!  It’s snowing.

11.          ‚Woher kommt Jim?’ Aus Australien.’

Where does Jim come from? From Australia.

12.          Wie ist Jim? (Was für eine Person ist er?)

What’s Jim like?

13.          Wie geht es Jim?

How’s Jim?

14.          Wie sieht Jim aus?

What does Jim look like?


Part 3 Vocabulary     


1.         What is the third month of the year? March

2.         What’s your new teacher like? She’s very friendly and helpful.

3.         Jonathon’s dog is in the car.

4.         I wore my red jacket yesterday. Today I’m wearing my black one.

5.         Do you like playing tennis?

6.         How old is your sister?

7.         My father is a computer technician.

8.         How often do you eat chocolate?

9.         Look! Can you see the rainbow (Regenbogen) up there?

10.       To speak in a very loud voice → to shout

11.       The opposite of energetic→lazy

12.       The opposite of easy→difficult

13.       The opposite of ‘He goes’. →’He doesn’t go’.

14.       The opposite of  ‘She wrote a letter.’ →’She didn’t write a letter.’

15.       Athens is the capital city of Greece.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Calling all Chocolate Lovers

Im a big chocolate lover - Im guilty of sneaking off into the kitchen to snag a bite. It really is that bad. Now, with Christmas behind us, and the New Year sneaking up on us I think it might be time to put chocolate to rest, at least for a month ;) However, before I start this short lived new years resolution of mine, why not find out just how chocolate is made...

Check out the video on the history channel, then pop back on over here to take the quiz.

How Chocolate is Made Quiz

1.     True, false, or not given? Hershey is the world’s largest producer of chocolate.
A.     False
B.     True
C.     Not given

2.     True, false, or not given? Chocolate bars contain more cocoa than any other ingredient.
A.     False
B.     True
C.     Not given

3.     What is chocolate also known as in the United States?
A.     Cookies
B.     Candy
C.     Sweeties

4.     The Hershey company headquarters is in which US state?
A.     Pennsylvania
B.     California
C.     Texas

5.     How much chocolate does the company use annually?
A.     Four billion pounds
B.     Two hundred million pounds
C.     Six hundred million pounds

6.     How much sugar does the company use annually?
A.     Six hundred million pounds
B.     Four hundred million pounds
C.     Not given

7.     What happens to the beans before they end up as a chocolate liquor?
A.     They are shelled, toasted, tossed and ground
B.     The are cleaned, roasted, shelled and ground
C.     They are cleaned, sorted, polished and ground

8.     What is the chocolate liquor blended with before it is sent for refining?
A.     Milk solids and sweeteners
B.     Sugar and spice
C.     Butter and sweeteners

9.     How long are cocoa beans left to ferment after being picked?
A.     Three days
B.     Six days
C.     A week

10. What is produced as a bi-product of fermentation?
A.     Ethanol
B.     Alcohol
C.     Methanol

Answer Key

1.     A. Not given
Reasoning: The video doesn’t say. It only tells us that Hershey is the largest producer of chocolate in the US.

2.     A. False
Reasoning: Chocolate contains more sugar than any other ingredient.

3.     B. Candy

4.     A. Pennsylvania

5.     C. Six hundred million pounds

6.     C. Not given
Reasoning: The vide doesn’t say how much the company uses.

7.     B: They are cleaned, roasted, shelled and ground

8.     A. Milk solids and sweeteners

9.     B. Six days

10. Ethanol

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Translations are getting easier and easier...

...aren't they?
I found a great place to practice single words for you here:

Click here

Let's check our handbook too and see:

Page 47

Translation Exam Practice 3

1.       John loves Mary but she doesn’t love him.

2.       Germany isn’t as big as France.

3.       Mandy is the tallest girl in her class, but James is almost as tall as her.

4.       I eat an apple every day, but now I’m eating a peach.

5.       Last night we ate dinner in a good restaurant.  I ate pizza because it is my favourite food. My mother ate spaghetti.  My father wasn’t hungry.  He didn’t eat anything.

6.       He always brushes his teeth after dinner.  He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth after breakfast.

7.       “How was your trip to Australia?” “It was the most interesting holiday we have ever had.”  We saw a lot of sights.

8.       I live with my parents.  Our flat(apartment) is really (very) nice.

9.       She isn’t working now.  She is sleeping. She worked eleven hours yesterday. (They aren’t working now. They are sleeping. They worked eleven hours yesterday.)

10.   example answers: [My birthday is on the tenth of June, nineteen ninety-five.] or

                                 [My birthday is on June tenth, nineteen ninety-five.]