>Dear readers,

As it is holidays’ time and coming soon August 15th , I would like to make a test giving a daily chronicle style to this blog. In a nutshell, I think it will be maybe more valuable for each of us to match a day with a topic or a kind of activity, for example:

SUNDAY                      Q Zoom on  a garden, museum, event

                                        (where can you go out today?)

MONDAY                    4 Enlarge your vocabulary – Common mistakes in English,

                                       etymology of words...

TUESDAY                    Ø Talking about... Conversation / debate on one topic

WEDNESDAY              A star is born – Cinema, litterature, VIP portrait, fashion,

                                        beauty, decoration

THURSDAY                 è How to.... - Business / Commercial field

FRIDAY                        Ö Focus on.... – Grammar activity

SATURDAY                © The interesting news of the week

Let us try on this way!

So, today is Monday. Hope you enjoyed your week-end, are relaxed and in good condition to start the week.

Well, we will draw our attention on VOCABULARY.

ENLARGE YOUR VOCABULARY

That sounds a very interesting and large mission. I will do my best to help you on this matter as we can follow so many ways.

First of all, after carefully having a look on the different books related to English vocabulary, I advise you the following:

-          L’anglais de la vie quotidienne – H. Mauffrais – Ed. Ellipses

-          Le vocabulaire de l’anglais – A. Sussel – C. Denis – A. Majou - Hachette

-          English vocabulary organiser – 100 topics for self study – C. Gough –

            ILP Language

-          English vocabulary in use – M. Mc Carthy / F. O’Dell – Cambridge Ed.

-          Key words for fluency – G. Woolard – Lexical learning service

Personnally, my favourite book related to this subject is: Pratique de l’anglais de A a Z – M. Swan / F. Houdart – Hatier as it includes a short dictionary, some grammar rules, common difficulty on vocabulary and exercises.

Moreover, I bought it when I was in College and I still have a look regularly to revise some points.

For the first approach of this column, I will refer to a quite interesting view, mixture of culture, linguistics and sociology.

Indeed, you can find on the BBC website, a special area dedicated to learning English (http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/business/ – see also the link on the margin) and more especially to keeping your English up to date.

While preparing one of my English circle, I discovered this treasure and immediately adopted it as you can find the script and the audio short talk together with some exercises.

The Professor David Crystal is one of the world’s foremost experts on language and recorded 26 short talks on words and expressions that have recently made it into language.

For more details about him and his theory, see the references as follows:

http://www.aidanbell.com/html/hkbell/DCrystal.htm, http://www.crystalreference.com/dc/index.htm

I selected some of his short talks. The first one concerns the expression MAKE MY DAY.

After carefully listening this audio extract:    

make_my_day - You can recover it on the website from the BBC if it does not work -    

Go to the colum Keep up your English up to date and select MAKE MY DAY

Pls have a look on the following questions and try to answer:  Make_my_day___BBC

Only after this, you can check your answers on the attached file: Make_my_day___key_answers

It is quite important you remember the definitions of:

-          to influence someone

-          a catchphrase

-          to take someone on

-          a thug

-          to imply something

-          a mayor

Concerning the discussion suggested by the BBC, some advices:

-          DO YOU OFTEN GO TO CINEMA OR WATCH FILMS ON DVD?

The aims of this question are double: you need to express your tasterelated to films, movies and you need to use the habits’ expressions and the “present simple”.

For your record, to express something you regularly make:

Æ TO BE USED TO (+V-ing) : etre habitue a (I am used to watching TV every evening)

Æ TO GET USED TO: s’habituer à (It does not take a long time to get used to living in Paris)

Be careful to the French expression “je suis habitué/j’ai l’habitude” without complement as the translation is equivalent to I AM USED TO IT/THEM.

Some adverbs you can use:

ðoften (souvent), seldom (rarement), every... (chaque), once a week (une fois par semaine), twice a week (deux fois par semaine), three/four times a month (three/quatre fois par mois) 

-          WHAT KIND OF FILMS DO YOU LIKE ?

Also a question on tastes and habits.

Among the possible answers: news film (film d’actualité), comedy, drama (drame), love story, romance, horror film (film d’epouvante), adventure film...

-          WHO ARE YOUR FAVOURITE ACTORS / DIRECTORS?

You need to quote them and explain us why you appreciate them.

For example, I really like Johnny Depp because he is so uncredible on the roles he plays. The character of Jack Sparrow on the latest Pirates of Carrabean is at the same time so eccentric and sensitive.

I also appreciated how he plays M. Wonka on “Charlies and the chocolate factory”.

Among my favourite director (metteur en scene), we can find Tim Burton as he succeeded to invite my in his world on every film. I am fond of (etre amateur de) watching stories as.....

-          HAVE YOU HEARD OF CLINT EASTWOOD? WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT HIM?

Of course, everybody knows Clint Eastwood. It is just a pretext to let you give your opinion on such an actor.

Express yourself using: I find.... (je trouve) / As far as I am concerned (en ce qui me concerne) / In my opinion... (a mon avis) / according to me... (selon moi)

For further information about Clint Eastwood, pls refer you to:      

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clint_Eastwood

http://www.clinteastwood.net/welcome.html

-          DO YOU EVER WATCH FILMS IN ENGLISH?

This question measures your goodwill (volonte) and involvement (implication) to improve your English level.

        Ever refers to the frequency (frequency).

       To express the frequency, the following questions may be used:

      -   how often do you ...? tous les combiens?

     - how many times...? combien de fois?

-          IF YOU DO, DO YOU THINK YOU CAN LEARN ENGLISH FROM THESE FILMS?

This question is related to your ability to learn English thanks to V.O films.

        To express the ability, different ways:

-          BE ABLE TO: etre capable de, pouvoir, savoir faire qqch – remplace CAN a l’infinitif et au futur

-          CAN : capacite et possibilite (COULD au passe)

-          MAY : peut-etre, il se peut que (sens present ou futur)

-          MIGHT : possibilite moins forte (conditionnel – I might do : je pourrais)

You can talk about the advantages and drawbacks of subtitles in English, French.

Finally, you can elarge the question speaking about other methods like :

-          audio learning (short talks from BBC, news on radio, listening of tapes, CDs with books for referencefrom Mc Millan

            Readers editions, Oxford Bookworms library...)

-          teach yourself method with book, tapes, CDs or comprehension leaflet with DVD

-          reading of bilingual books

-          exchanges with other people in English around a tea like an English circle

Hope all is clear. If not, pls ask questions. It will be my pleasure!

Enjoy V.O. films during raining day!

With best wishes,

Ceraulen