Pieces and sounds of British history

We're about to finish unit 3c. Did you find it interesting? Some of you might want to read a bit more on British history. Why not?

I recommend you to visit this website on the Norman Conquest. It's highly interactive and even includes samples of "how English would have sounded" back in 1066.
(Explorer is required, don't try with Mozilla since it doesn't work)

Wierd, isn't it? The way it used to sound. Historians divide the different stages of the language into:

- Old English (from the 5th-to the 11th century)
- Middle English (11th-15th)
- Early Modern English (15th-17th)
- Modern English (up to today)

Would you like to listen to more examples of earlier versions of English?

Click here for some Old English samples. Scroll down the page and look for the heading "Poems". Then click on one of the poems and finally on the yellow letter that the poem starts with.

Click here for some Middle English poems by Chaucer. It still sounds incomprehensible to our ears, doesn't it?



Improving your reading

How can we improve our reading skills?

1- Reading "more". More often, more texts, more variety.... What can we read?
a. Online newspapers (website including newspapers from all over the world. Select the continent, the country and the paper you're interested in).
b. Wacky and interesting (real) stories: Ananova and Digg it (Menéame version in English)
c. Literature excerpts (with audio)
d. Penguin's dossiers, sorted by topic. Audio included.
e. Blogs

2- Doing "Reading" exercises:
a. Miscellaneous advanced exercises
b. Wonderful site with texts, audio and different sorts of exercises (multiple choice, vocabulary, etc)
c. Reading resources: texts, audio and exercises of different levels.

3- Skills: Read general advice on how to improve your reading skills. Here too.

I hope you enjoy these sites.


US Presidential Elections 2008

Hi there! I can imagine that you're all looking forward to coming back to class next week. And yes, I've got some good news for you: the next unit deals with history and politics! Exciting, isn't it? I know you can't wait.

I prepared a series of links for you to catch up on the most popular event of the year: the US Presidential Elections! (Remember: All you have to do is click on the underlined words to access the websites).

WHO IS WHO in the Elections:
- The main contenders described in BBC.
- No time to waste? Then your best option is to speed-date the candidates! Hillary, Obama, McCain... them all.

Republican National Committee videos here.
Youtube Republican Channel.
Who is John McCain, from a British perspective. Video included.

No doubt about the most interesting controversy these days: Obama Vs. Hillary. So let's concentrate on them:

Two Stanford University students set up a Channel in Youtube, called Youbama. They claim to have no connection with the campaign, but they have managed to collect hundreds of videos in favour of the candidate. Examples:
Popular Song-hymn for Obama these days. Listen also to "Obama Vs. Hillary" cartoon song. Finally, look for humour in My Junk, song about Hillary, based on the popular "My Humps" by Black-Eyed Peas.
Celebrities talk:
Several well-known people back Obama openly, as we can see in the following videos:
Oprah Winfrey , Robert de Niro and George Clooney.

Hillary speaks to Nashville voters.
Hillary's supporters interviewed for TV.
Hillary's got "the experience to make the kind of changes that American people are looking for".
First, you have Hillary's official website here.
Second, "using comedy as a serious political strategy, Hillary Clinton for president supporters announced this morning the launch of Bill-for-First-Lady.com, a campaign Web site featuring live-action comedy videos of a cross-dressing Bill Clinton wearing a pink skirt, matching high heels and a pink purse."

About Obama, Hillary and McCain.

Feel like playing? Why not check up these sites then?
Kung-fu fighting.

What is Super Tuesday? Find it out here.
Click here for Super Tuesday Results.

Be informed with yahoo, msn , the BBC , America.gov. or the Telegraph.

"How did Republicans pick the elephant, and Democrats the donkey, to represent their parties?" Click here to find out the answer.

Fancy a tour round the White House? As easy as clicking here.
Prefer the British Parliament? Why not? Access the different chambers, corridors and halls from here.