Thursday, January 29, 2009

Going swimming this weekend?: Watch this!

How's the weather?

It's hot!!!

Many of you may be thinking about going swimming this weekend. Here is a very informative video for you.

Please note: this only applies to beaches outside Melbourne city.

Friday, January 23, 2009

How NOT to use PowerPoint!

Thesaurus: Helping you find the right word

Do you have trouble finding the right word when you are speaking or writing? Do you often use the same words because you don't know any others?

A thesaurus can help you with all of these problems. How does it work? Have a look at this.

You can buy a thesaurus at any good bookshop (it will be very useful for you) or you can use a free one online.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

When Dangerous Dogs Attack

There have been many dog attacks on young children recently. Sometimes the young children have died. Who is responsible for the attacks? The dog? The dog owners? The parents?
Many members of the public are calling for Australian dog laws to be reviewed. This report is from the 7:30 Report (ABC). Click on one of the movies in the column on the right.

What do you think? Should the laws change?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Is my writing formal?: A Common Problem

Writing in an academic style is a big challenge for EFL students. The most common problem is formality. 

Are you too casual? Have you used you used simplistic language, idioms or slang?
Are you overly formal? Have you used language that is too polite? Can you say it with less words?

In this exercise, you must match the formal and informal expressions with the same meaning. 
This exercise allows you to identify some common errors with formality. 

Monday, January 19, 2009

Recession Marketing: Our near future?

Many economists have been claiming that we are heading for a global recession. It remains to be seen if Australia will avoid this . How will a global recession effect our lives?

This program from the Canadian Broadcasting Coampany describes what may happen to the way companies market their products.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

How old are you? : Take the test

This test is really interesting. It compares your actual age to your virtual age. First, it asks you many questions about your health and lifestyle. It uses this information to calculate your virtual age and life expectancy.

So I will ask again...How old are you???

Monday, January 12, 2009

Where RU?: A Parent's Dilemma

There are many dangers in the modern world so parents often worry about where their children are. This article explains a new product that has come on to the market.

What do you think about this product? Will it make children safer? Would you buy this product for your children?

Friday, January 9, 2009

Keeping up with the News

As an ESL learner it is very important that you keep up to date with the world around you. How can you do this? Let's look at a few different resources you can use.

Newspapers- you don't have to buy them. You can read them for free on the internet.

The Age- my favourite local newspaper.
Hearld Sun- not my favourite, but it will give you some alternative opinions to The Age.
The Australian- as above, it is owned by the same media group.

The Independant- a great newspaper from England.
The New York Times- a well respected newspaper.

Radio- you can listen to these stations on the internet if you don't have a radio.

ABC National (621AM)- this station has lots of news and currecnt affairs.
ABC Melbourne (774AM)- lots of local news.

TV- if you don't have a TV, you can watch news updates on the internet for free.

ABC (Channel 2)- lots of Australian news plus some international news.
SBS (The channel number depends on your TV)- this station broadcasts lots of international news.
Channel 7 - commercial news.

Try to watch, listen or read the news at least once a day. You can change to different sources so you can practice different skills.

Good luck.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Animal Rights: A series of reports from the BBC

The BBC has a number of reports on the issue of Animal Rights.

This article introduces a current story in Oxford. Don't forget to watch the movie.

This article has opinions from people on both sides of the issue.

This article is against animal testing.

Check the BBC News website. Find an article that is for animal testing.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Animal Rights: PETA and their fight

Here is a great movie from PETA about their struggle for Animal Rights.

The Google movie player wasn't working so go directly to their website here.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How do you spell...?

Here is a great little game that helpsd you improve your spelling (and your vocabulary).

Monday, January 5, 2009

Summer Days: Fun or Fatal?

Welcome back! I hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas and New Year holidays.
Are you enjoying the Australian summer? How has it been for you? Too hot? Too cold? Both?
Here is an interesting article from the BBC about summer in Oz.
What do you think is the biggest danger in the Australian summer?