Comedy in English – US Style

This will help English learners to understand American stand-up comedy.
Please remember to click on “captions” as the video has English subtitles.

Idioma Extra

Bill Burr- Stand-up Comedy

Bill Burr is an American stand-up comedian from Massachusetts.

Watch his stand up set above, which has been subtitled in English for English learners. It also has some explanations of terms or phrases that may be new.

Feel free to use this dictionary for any other unknown words you hear. Enjoy!

If the video does not load above, click here to play in on youtube.

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Language solutions

Coloring Outside The Lines

How is spoken language linked to reading?

Child Hears and learns Phonemes

Lets review: Language acquisition is a natural process which is both genetic and environmental.  At birth infants are able to imitate all the sounds of language, unfortunately as they learn their countries particular language they begin to lose some of those sounds.  If a child is  unable to distinguish phonemes they will have difficulty in processing words.  It is crucial to expose to a variety of literature from infancy.

Learning words and morphemes

As children begin to speak they converse both on a simple and complex level.   Songs and rhymes benefit learning process. Processing disorders or brain damage may impede learning words.  Vocabulary is gained quickly from 18 months on.  Visual aides and manipulatives facilitate learning of new concepts.

I have seen how processing disorders delay language acquisition first hand.  At the age of two I remember being so proud…

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Social Media in English

Tiny Texts

 A tourist from Taiwan had to be rescued after falling off a pier in Melbourne, Australia because she was checking her Facebook page.  The woman, who couldn’t swim, was taken to hospital for a check-up but was unhurt.  Incredibly, she didn’t even lose her phone: she kept hold of it throughout the ordeal.  According to research, accidents like these are on the rise.  The age group most at risk for cell-phone related injuries while walking is adults under 30.  Other incidents include walking in front of moving traffic and falling off bridges.  The senior police Constable in Melbourne warned people to pay more attention when using social media around water.

Do you ever check Facebook while walking?

Listen below

Read by Tina (Australian accent).

Study the words

Rescued– saved
Pier– wooden structure leading to the sea, where boats are secured.
Check-up– medical examination

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IELTS Listening Task: Aim for Band 7.5

03.02.14 - Listening Ticket Touts - Questions

Here is a very challenging listening task taken from the BBC. This task is aimed at students aiming for 7.5; students aiming for 6 or 6.5 are likely to find it challenging. Give it your best shot:

We’ll post the answers next week.

  1. What is the name of the owner if the ticket agency?
  2. Where is the ticket agency based?
  3. Name one of the shows that will sell its tickets 6 months in advance
  4. How many day seats might be on sale?
  5. How late was Mary Ann able to get tickets for the theatre?
  6. What is the name of the Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House?
  7. What percentage of tickets is under £40 at the Royal Opera House?
  8. At what prices do the touts resell the tickets?
  9. How long have people been trying to solve the issue of ticket touts?
  10. Where are the reputable ticket sellers listed?

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The Slender Man – Audio Horror Reading

Creatively English

Last week the third class of The European School of Trieste had an hour of Slender Man fun. We pieced together a Slender Man literature jigsaw, and then performed it with with gusto! 🙂

For weeks I’ve been stalked by this…this…thing…and now Slender Man has finally found me…

A shiver runs down my spine as I daringly take a quick glance into my garden from behind the curtain, the sight of this peculiar creature makes my blood run cold.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Listening is often confused with hearing. While hearing is a biological process that can be scientifically explained, listening is a neurological cognitive regarding the processing of auditory stimuli received by the auditory system.
Roland Barthes, a linguist, distinguishes between hearing and listening, stating, “Hearing is a physiological phenomenon; listening is a psychological act.” Barthes also states that “whereas for centuries listening could be defined as an intentional act of audition…today it is granted the power (and virtually the function) of playing over unknown spaces ” including unconscious forms.[1] Hearing is always occurring, most of the time subconsciously. Listening is the interpretative action taken by the listener in order to understand and potentially make meaning out of the sound waves. Listening can be understood on three levels: alerting, deciphering, and an understanding of how the sound is produced and how the sound affects the listener.[2]
Alerting, the first level, does nothing to distinguish human from animal. At the alerting level one merely picks up on certain environmental sound cues. While discussing this level, Barthes mentions the idea of territory being demarcated by sounds. This is best explained using the example of one’s home. One’s home, for instance, has certain sounds associated with it that make it familiar and comfortable. An intrusion sound (e.g. a squeaking door or floorboard, a breaking window) alerts the dweller of the home to the potential danger.
In a metaphorical way, deciphering, the second level, is to listening what digestion is to eating. An example of this level is that of a child waiting for the sound of his mother’s return home. In this scenario the child is waiting to pick up on sound cues (e.g. jingling keys, the turn of the doorknob, etc) that will mark his mother’s approach.
Understanding, the third level of listening, means knowing how what one says will affect another. This sort of listening is important in psychoanalysis. Barthes states that the psychoanalyst must turn off their judgement while listening to the analysand in order to communicate with their patient’s unconscious in a unbiased fashion.
Listening differs from obeying. Parents may commonly conflate the two, by telling a disobedient child that he “didn’t listen to me”. However, a person who receives and understands information or an instruction, and then chooses not to comply with it or to agree to it, has listened to the speaker, even though the result is not what the speaker wanted