We’re always hearing about the downsides of social media, well this time on the podcast Katy & Tim discuss some of the good things that being connected online has made possible. Check it out on SoundCloud, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts!
For episode 52 we spoke to Oscar/Lana Vuli a drag performer based in Barcelona. We spoke about his/her route into drag performance and experiences performing live and on the Youtube Channel “Science Queers”. You’ll find a link to the channel below.
It was a great episode and a really enjoyable interview, we hope you like it!
This is a reading and listening lesson for B2+ students based around the topic of survival skills and myths created by Soleil García Brito. Download the student handout below:
Reading – Prediction
Look at these statements about survival. Are they factual or myths?
a) Anyone can start a fire with just two sticks
b) Boiled water is always 100% safe to drink
c) Reality shows about survival will help you prepare for a dire situation
d) You need to find food right away
e) You need to find water immediately to survive in desert heat
f) You can outrun a bear
g) The best way to stop a shark attack is by punching it in the nose
Read the texts and match the titles a-g
|“In reality, you can survive on just your body’s fat stores for weeks, as long as you have water. Conserving energy, avoiding injury, and sourcing a supply of water are key to surviving,” said Ras. “Hunting and trapping prey are hit and miss activities which often produce nothing and simply end up expending energy and risking injury or illness. It’s extremely rare for someone to die of starvation in a survival situation. Injury, illness, poisoning and exposure are much more likely to result in death. By definition, ‘surviving’ a situation is short-term, and in the short term a person can be fueled by their fat reserves.”|
|“None of us would be here today if our ancestors hadn’t mastered the fine art of friction firemaking, but this is a skill to practice on camping trips and backyard outings,” said Tony Nester of Ancient Pathways Survival School. It’s a big mistake to rely solely on friction firemaking in a survival situation, especially when you could end up in a damp environment. Modern survival is about being prepared and carrying at least three firestarters (waterproof matches, spark-rod, lighter) with you at all times,” said Nester. “I teach primitive firemaking skills to show my students how to perform the method but find that, even under the best of conditions, it is a challenge and not reliable for most people.”|
|“I’ve worked as a consultant on several reality shows and these shows are heavily-scripted,” said Nester. “On one program, there was a crew of 12 people accompanying us, including two staff whose sole job was to drag around coolers filled with double-shot espressos and sandwiches while filming scenes of the host living off the land. There’s nothing romantic or fun about real survival—it’s only adventure in retrospect.”|
|Running away from a bear is a lost cause: Usain Bolt himself couldn’t beat one in a footrace, let alone on uneven terrain. The best thing to do depends on the species. If you encounter a black bear, said Nester, “Hold your ground and make yourself look big—open your coat up, throw your arms up above your head—and shout and scream and, a lot of times, they’re as spooked as you are, and will take off.” Take the opposite approach with a grizzly: “Avoid eye contact, which a bear will perceive to be a challenge. If the bear’s not approaching, back away slowly. If it charges, simply stand your ground. If you have pepper spray, be ready to use it… and pronto. If it makes physical contact with you, cover your vitals and play dead.”|
|“Even though it’s true that sharks get stunned if they get punched in the nose, not many people the strength to do this, especially underwater,” said Manighetti. Even if you could manage the strength to hit the nose hard enough, there’s a chance your hand could end up getting injured by shark teeth. “The best way to scare a shark away is to scratch its eyes or gills, it’s impossible to overpower these fierce creatures in attack mode.”|
|“While boiling water will kill off organisms and germs, it will not clean harmful particulates from the water. For instance, no matter how long you boil chemically contaminated water it won’t be safe to drink,” said Jack. “This same principle applies to stagnant dirty water. If the water you are attempting to purify is visibly dirty or murky, you should filter the water before attempting to boil it. If you don’t have a commercial water filter available, then you can either pour the dirty water through a clean fabric (towel or shirt) or leave the water to stand until the sediments sink to the bottom. Then just pour the clean water from the top…and then boil.”|
|“You will last longer in the heat by holding up in the shade versus searching for water during the afternoon hours,” said Nester. “If you do run out of water, find a north-facing boulder and sit in the shade; keep covered to prevent evaporative sweat loss; stay off the hot ground by sitting on your pack or a pile of debris; and only move around during the cooler hours of the morning or evening.” If you didn’t tell anyone about your travel plans, though, rescue will likely take more than a few hours and you should search for water when the temperature drops.|
- Were your predictions from the first task correct?
- Look at the texts again. Why are these things all bad ideas?
- Look at the underlined phrases and the words in bold. What do you think they mean?
- Discuss with a partner and take a note of the dependent prepositions, collocations, phrasal verbs and idioms.
- Fill in the gaps with the appropriate preposition or collocation without checking in the texts:
- In reality, you can survive _______ just your body’s fat stores for weeks
- Injury, illness, poisoning and exposure are much more likely to result _______
- It’s a big mistake to rely solely _______ friction firemaking in a survival situation, especially when you could end _______ in a damp environment.
- … including two staff whose sole job was to drag around coolers filled with double-shot espressos and sandwiches while filming scenes of the host living _______ the land.
- Running away from a bear is a _______ cause
- … a lot of times, they’re as spooked as you are, and will take_______.
- While boiling water will kill _____ organisms and germs, it will not clean harmful particulates from the water.
- This same principle _______ to stagnant dirty water.
- If you do run_______of water, find a north-facing boulder and sit _______the shade.
- … you should search for water when the temperature _______.
Video – Prediction
You are going to watch a video about surviving in extreme situations. These are the topics; are they good or bad ideas?
- Eating snow for hydration
- Drinking cactus water
- Drinking urine or blood
- Using moss for direction
- Drinking alcohol to stay warm
- Rubbing frostbitten extremities
- Sucking venom from a snake bite
- Peeing on a jellyfish sting
VIDEO: Click the link – 8 Survival Tips
Why are they bad ideas?
Video – Language Focus
- Read the sentences below and try to fill the gaps
- Watch the video a second time listening for the words in the gaps and compare to your original predictions.
- Too good to be ___________
- Which will dehydrate you and make _______ worse.
- They still don’t taste good, but they’ll do in a _______.
- Going _______ vampire to survive is probably not the best idea.
- But that is the exact _______ of what you want if you need to stay warm.
- Not to _______, freeze the water those cells were using to live.
- Try to sit _______ and don’t risk doing more harm.
- In other _______, don’t do it.
- You’re best _______ leaving the treatment to professionals.
- Last but not _______.
Image credit: Mark Wilding
Anna Balquin, one of the listeners to our podcast made this fantastic listening activity based around a section of episode 3 about food. The extract you’ll need is 10.57 – 15.09, download the student handout and answer key below:
1. Discuss these questions with your partner:
• What’s your favourite comfort food?
• What do you think a ‘supper club’ is?
• What do you know about food from the USA? What are some traditional American dishes?
2. First listen
We’re going to listen to Nicole talk about her supper club. What kind of food does she serve?
3. Second listen: listen again and answer the following questions.
1. How long has Nicole been living in Barcelona?
2. What did Nicole serve with the brisket?
3. Do the supper club guests usually know each other?
4. Where did gumbo come from?
5. Which cultures does the dish gumbo mix?
6. What’s the first thing you do when making gumbo?
7. What is the holy trinity?
8. What were the main ingredients of the gumbo that Nicole made?
9. How does Katy express that she likes the sound of Nicole’s gumbo?
4. Look at this quote from the audio and discuss its meaning with your partner.
“I love to gather people around the table that are from different walks of life”
2. First listen
We’re going to listen to Nicole talk about her supper club. What kind of food does she serve? Southern US soul food
3. Second listen: listen again and answer the following questions.
1. How long has Nicole been living in Barcelona? over a decade
2. What did Nicole serve with the brisket? collard greens, sweet potato mash, green beans, crispy shallots
3. Do the supper club guests usually know each other? no
4. Where did gumbo come from? Louisiana New Orleans
5. Which cultures does the dish gumbo mix? West African with French
6. What’s the first thing you do when making gumbo? Make a roux (butter, flour)
7. What is the holy trinity? Onion, celery, bell peppers
8. What were the main ingredients of the gumbo that Nicole made? prawn chicken sausage and bacon
9. How does Katy express that she likes the sound of Nicole’s gumbo? “Oh my gosh, my mouth is watering!”
Image credit: Disney Wiki – Fandom
This is another guest post by Katy Wright, the co-host of our podcast 2Ts in a Pod. This is a listening activity for B2+ students based around a clip from an episode of the popular podcast This American Life. The episode is called 20 Acts in 60 Minutes. The clip in question is an interview with the actor Tate Donovan in which he recounts a particularly embarrassing moment in his life. Download all the materials below:
- This American Life Powerpoint
- This American Life Transcript
- This American Life Student Handout
- This American Life Teacher’s Notes
- Audio Files: Full Clip and Section for Decoding
- Show a picture of Tate Donovan. Ask students if they recognise him (he was famously Joshua on Friends)
- Tell students that they are going to listen to an him talking about an embarrassing moment.
- Ask you students: What would an actor find embarrassing?
- Play the audio file (This American Life: 20 acts in 60 minutes)
- Were their predictions correct?
- Give students the transcript
- Ask them to listen again to the section and fill in the gaps. Tell them that there is one word per gap
- The students may need you to play it several times to get the right answer. Give them the first letter of the word to help them if they are struggling.
- Tell students that these are elements of connected speech. Ask students to drill (repeat after the teacher) the connect speech. If students are too embarrassed to do this tell them that it is ok to do this quietly (mumble drill)
- Ask students to listen to the section again and this time underline the stressed words. You do the first word as an example
- Check their answers
- Now ask students to drill the section, sentence by sentence. Using both the connected speech and the stress.
- Now tell them that they are going to say the words at the same time as the audio. Do this sentence by sentence, pausing in between to help students to catch up.
- Ask students if they feel this has improved their understanding of connected speech and intonation in English.
- Ask students to think about an embarrassing moment that they had or someone they know has had, but not to discuss is yet!
- Tell them to think for 2 minutes and write down 5 – 10 words about their story.
- When time is up, turn to their partner and tell their story
- Monitor the class and note down example of errors or interesting language that emerges
- In open class look at the emergent language and discuss improvements or other ways of expressing the same thing
- Ask students to turn to another partner and repeat their story. This time trying to use the improvements discussed in open class
- Ask students to write out their story for homework and record it on their phones. They can send the audio file to you for homework
Decoding Key – Stress Underlined
So all of a sudden, the 10 minutes we’re sitting there waiting for it to start, three or four people come up to me and recognize me. I mean, they know exactly who I am. And they are quoting lines from a television show I was on. And like, hey, you were Joshua on Friends.