Thursday, 13 November 2014

SHALL I COMPARE THEE ...? SHAKESPEARE IN MUSIC

Watch the video and listen to the song. It's one of Shakespeare's sonnets sung by David Gilmour (Pink Floyd): Sonnet 18 - Shall I compare thee


Worsheet 
 (poem and text analysis questions)
.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

SUMMER ACTIVITIES 3 - THE A TEAM & THE BIG ISSUE

Ed Sheeran, the worldwide popular British singer and songwriter, wrote this beautiful ballad in 2011 after  following a last-minute performance at an event for the homeless. It tells of a crack-addicted girl (crack is known as a "class A drug"). It was written after Sheeran visited a homeless shelter and heard some of the stories of the lives people had been living. Making the song upbeat was Sheeran's way of masking the heavy subject matter. Also using the term "Class A Team" was another way of masking it a little more. Watch the video, listen to the song and complete the tasks 1 and 2 in the worksheet (HERE)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

SUMMER ACTIVITIES 2: BELLE - A TRUE STORY ADAPTED FOR THE SCREEN





New Movie! Belle: The mixed race daughter of a Royal Navy Admiral is raised by her aristocratic great-uncle in 18th century England.


Listening Comprehension

Watch the trailer of this new  movie, BELLE,  just released in the UK and coming soon to Italy, maybe by the end of this summer. While watching, fill in the gaps in this worksheet.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

SUMMER ACTIVITIES 1 - YOUTUBE CELEBRITIES: CHARLIE MCDONNELL

Hello and happy summer time! As promised, here are some activities to revise, consolidate, improve your English. Do you like YouTube? What are your favourite channels? And what are your best favourite videos? Have you got a favourite Youtuber? Charlie McDonnell is one of them and he is a real celebrity in the UK and USA. Discover more about him. I have prepared listening comprehension and reading comprehension activities in  a worksheet  (you find it HERE),  as well as some Grammar and Translation exercises. I can already imagine your complains: BUT ...  Charlie speaks very fast! Yes, maybe,  but he is  great fun to watch! 


After completing all your tasks you can send your work via e-mail to learnonline.mgs@gmail.com for correction. I hope to hear from you soon!

(Download the worksheet, add your answers directly on it below the questions or below the sentences you have to translate using a different colour or different font, then send it as a separate word / txt file attached to your e-mail)


Next Summer Activities post will be up on 7th July. Till then, enjoy your holidays!


Thursday, 29 May 2014

THE HUMAN COMEDY BY WILLIAM SAROYAN - THE HARD TASK OF GROWING UP


It’s a story built on very simple facts, very ordinary people, very simple words which aims at transforming history and reality into unheroic epic mythology. That of everyday battles and sufferings. It is a story set in California in the time of WWII but it is actually a story beyond space and time. Homer
the 16-year-old protagonist, Ulysses, his little brother,  and Marcus, his elder brother at war. They live in Ithaca, San Joaquin Valley, California. They’ve got a sister and a mother. But there are no heroes. The Macauleys’ struggles and dreams reflect those of America’s second generation immigrants but-  and especially- also  those of any human being at any time in any place. No , they are not heroic epic figures but real life protagonists of  THE HUMAN COMEDY (1943).

Homer  is the protagonist, in his teen, determined to become the fastest telegraph messenger in the West, happy to be the man of the family in a difficult moment. Happy to ride his bycicle in the wind. But it’s wartime. Time to grow – up for him. Childhood ends when we realize sufference and death exist and are there inescapably for all of us. Homer becomes aware of that little by little: he is a messenger of death. A mother opens the door, he gives her a telegram and …

“It wasn’t  Homer fault. His work was to deliver telegrams. Even so, he felt awkward and almost as if he alone were responsible for what had happened (… )He was on his bycicle suddenly, riding swiftly down the dark street, tears coming out of his eyes, his mouth whispering crazy young curses. When he got back to the telegraph office the tears had stopped, but everything else had started and he knew there would be no stopping them” (pp.26/28)

Monday, 12 May 2014

FROM THE SATIRICAL NOVEL TO SATIRICAL PAINTING - WILLIAM HOGARTH, MARRIAGE A LA MODE

Hogarth was the inventor of the narrative sequence of paintings. Each sequence followed a theme such as the failure of combined marriages or the corruption of political elections, for examples. Hogarth's oil paintings were then engraved and sold as sets of prints, which made them much cheaper and very popular. Hogarth is at once a realistic and comic artist, a satirist.

Let's give a close look at his Marriage à la Mode (fashionable marriage in French) sequence (1743 - 45) .

1. The Marriage Settlement


This is the first scene in this series of paintings on the misfortunes of a marriage between people of fashion. The marriage is being arranged in the Earl of Squander's house. The Earl suffers from gout and rests his bandaged foot on a stool. He is receiving the dowry for his son's marriage to a rich merchant's daughter: her money for his old ancestry - he points to the genealogical tree, on the right. The Earl is in debt because of the expenses for the still unfinished Palladian villa seen through the window. The groom, on the left, is dressed as a perfecto fop and has a black patch on his neck (the sign of a venereal disease) . The bride sits with her back to him and looks sad; she's listening to the lawyer Silvertongue, her secret lover.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

DIVERGENT FROM THE BOOK TO THE MOVIE - READING & WATCHING

Let's improve our English with a book and a movie which are under the spotlight these days: Divergent by Veronica Roth and its adaptation for the big screen starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James.

Task 1. Reading comprehension: Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 and answer the questions



Task 2. Listening comprehension: Watch the trailer and fill in the gaps


Monday, 24 February 2014

LET'S GO TO DUBLIN

In 10 days we'll be flying to Dublin and we'll experience a week of fun, full immersion in the language and culture of the place, as well as discovery (not too dangerous adventures, OK?) 
What about getting ready to familiarize with the main city landmarks? Here are a couple of video guides and a worksheet with listening comprehension tasks.

Enjoy watching!

Video 1 - Watch and collect as much info as you can. Use the chart in the worksheet  (HERE

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

MOVIE PROJECT - ANITA B. BY ROBERTO FAENZA


Anita B. is the new movie directed by Roberto Faenza starring Eline Powell, Robert Sheehan, Antonio Cupo, Andrea Osvart, Nico MirallegroMoni Ovadia. We are going to see it at the cinema on the international Holocaust Remembrance Day (27th January). 

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Monday, 4 November 2013

REBELLIOUS YOUTH: THE ROMANTICS & LIBERTY


In this BBC documentary Peter Ackroyd,writer, historian and presenter,   reveals how the radical ideas of liberty that inspired the French Revolution opened up a world of possibility for great British writers such as William Blake, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth, inspiring some of the greatest works of literature in the English language. Their ideas are the foundations of our modern notions of freedom and their words are performed by David Tennant, Dudley Sutton and David Threlfall. 

The Romantics are important because they helped to define, and indeed to create, the modern world. They helped to fashion the way in which we all now think and imagine.

Friday, 4 October 2013

REBELLIOUS YOUTH - DEAD POETS SOCIETY (1989)


Carpe Diem: Seize the day. This is the lesson John Keating, an unorthodox teacher at an all-male prep school in New England, wants to convey to his impressionable students. Keating is an alumnus of the school, Welton Academy, and hopes to make his students as curious and iconoclastic as he was (as is). Keating encourages them to "suck the marrow out of life," pursue their dreams, and find their voice. He does so with unusual teaching methods, such as tearing pages from textbooks, kicking soccer balls while shouting poetry, and standing on desks to gain a different perspective. These approaches are frowned upon by the administrators at conservative Welton, whose creed is "Tradition, Honor, Discipline, and Excellence."

Sunday, 15 September 2013

FOCUS ON ... BEING A TEENAGER



Our topic for conversation classes has been what being a teenager means. Here is our worksheet for a reading, speaking, writing activity which can be rather involving since the focus of the discussion is the students themselves and their feelings. 

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

REBELLIOUS YOUTH - J.D. SALINGER, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE


Read the conversation between Holden Caufield (16), the protagonist of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye,  and his little sister,  Phoebe. He has just come  back home after escaping  from the last college he was expelled from and after wandering around New York City for a few days... "Old Phoebe", 10 years old, wants to know why he escaped and disappeared . She asks him if there is anything he likes in his life, because he doesn't seem to like anything...

The Phoniness of the World 


"You can't even think of one thing"


"Yes, I can, I can"


"Well do it, then"


"I like Allie", I said. "And I like doing what I'm doing right now. Sitting here with you, and talking , and thinking about stuff, and - "