French women have the reputation of being very stylish and slim. It's true, I rarely see really overweight people in France, and sometimes when I go back home to the UK I am shocked by how many people overweight people I see.
Want to practise your English listening but don't know what to listen to? Here's a great website with lots of true stories, told by real people. Most of them are between 5 and 14 minutes, which means you don't need lots of time to listen to one.
Did you ever do something when you were younger, that you were afraid to tell your parents about? Here's a lovely story from Chrissie Graham about something that happened to her when she was in her early teens.
A few words you'll need to know:
a dork someone not very socially aware, a bit silly. You'll often see this in terms of teenagers at school. A dork is someone who is not part of the popular gang, probably dresses strangely and has strange habits
cool In French, this word is used to mean relaxed, but in English it refers to someone who is socially adept, part of the popular gang, fashionable...
thick glasses what you wear on your face to be able to see, but if your vision is really bad you have ones with a big piece of glass.
contact lenses the tiny things you put into your eyes to be able to see, instead of wearing glasses
I always think it's good to hear non-native English speakers presenting in English. If you are learning English and you always listen to native English-speakers, you can start to feel a bit discouraged and think your English will never be good enough.
So listen to this guy: he is French / Tunisian and speaks excellent English. His presentation is very clear and I think the content is beautiful.
Remember you can put on the English subtitles or use the interactive transcript if you need to.
I love this song, Rihanna has such a powerful voice singing it.
Here's some useful vocabulary before you listen to the song:
Love on the brain: when there is something that we can't stop thinking about, we say I have **** on the brain.
fall apart: literally this mean to break into lots of pieces. We can also use it to talk about your mind, if you are having lots of emotional problems and you can't think well or do anything.
put me together: when something falls apart, you can fix it by putting it back together
Don't quit loving me: this is exactly the same meaning as the previous line, don't stop loving me.
fist fighting: fighting with your bare hands (a fist is when you clench your hand ready to hit something.)
beats me black and blue: hits me until I have a lot of bruises (in this song it's not literal, she is talking about being emotionally beaten)
I can't get enough: I always need more
it keeps cursing my name: keep + Ving is very useful. It means something keeps happening again and again. For example, I keep losing my keys.
Cursing my name means that love is not working well for Rihanna, it's only going wrong, like there is a malediction on her.
I'm tired of being played like a violin: I've had enough of being fooled (in love)
Here are the lyrics for you to sing along to. Enjoy!
About the only thing I have been enjoying about the Trump presidency has been all the political satire and humour all over the internet.
I have a little lesson for you...
Are you organised and get all your work done on time with no stress? (Is anybody really like this??) Or are you like me, a bit of a procrastinator, who puts things off, suddenly realising you have loads of work to do....for tomorrow morning!
Here is a fantastic TED talk about procrastination. It's easy to understand. If you haven't done so already, I suggest you read my article on using TED talks to improve your English - there are lots of tips on how to get the most out of TED talks to improve your English listening and vocabulary. (And I've put the English subtitles on for you already :-)
get all your work done - finish your work
to put something off - do something later / postpone
to get the most out of something - to get the most benefit from something
One of my students, who speaks lovely English, was telling me how much he enjoys listening to bands like Radiohead and I realised I've never put a Radiohead song here on the blog. So here you are!
I love this song and it's the one my French friend Matthieu always sang when we went to karaoke. He speaks excellent English and now lives in California - proof that singing in English brings great results :-)
Here are the lyrics and some vocabulary explanations to download.
Even though it's already the middle of January, everyone in France is still saying Happy New Year. If you're French, you know all about these customs, but could you explain them to someone in English? This video will help you. Who knows what we do in England when it's New Year?
Top Tip! This is a great way to practise your listening: If you are French, this is a topic you already know, which means that watching the video will be much easier. In general, if you have difficulty with listening, listen to things that you already know some information about. If you have to listen to something new, try to guess what it could be about before you start listening. Your brain starts working to predict what it will hear and it makes listening much easier.
I grew up in the 1980's so I was a big Wham fan. When I heard George Michael had died, I was very sad and rather nostalgic, so I listened to some of my old favourite Wham songs, from when I was a young girl.
Here's one I particularly like: Everything She Wants
And here are the lyrics for you to print out and read, along with some comprehension questions. (And of course for you to sing along to.)
Enjoy this blast from the past!
A blast from the past is something that makes you feel really nostalgic, or something from the past that surprises you because you had almost forgotten about it.
What do you know about Christmas in the UK? Is it the same as in America? And do we celebrate on the 24th December, like other places in Europe. (The answer is no, and no, only the 25th.)
Here's a video, which was actually made for Americans to teach them about the differences between British and American Christmas traditions. It's also very good English-listening practice, plus you'll learn something about British culture.
Here are two listening exercises to go with the video - one easy and one more difficult. Not sure of the answers? Just contact me!
Practise your English every day!
You'll find lots of exercises to help you improve your English - listening activities, reading, advice and lots more.