Intensive Advanced 2

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Advanced 2. Modal verbs

Here you will find more exercises that go with units 4A and 7A.
Modals (revision). Click here.
Modals (revision). Click here.
Probability. Click here.
Speculation and deduction. Click here.
Permission, obligation and necessity. Click here.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Advanced 2. Carnival

If you like Carnival and want to know more about this festival in other parts of the world, take a look at this post. Here you will find a couple of links about how it is celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago: click here and here. While you listen to the interview (click on "Audio Downloads"), you can do the  "Reading Quiz" exercises. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Advanced 2. More on slang

Courtesy of Tomás Cuesta.
Scottish slang: Gerald Butler (here)
Australian slang: Margot Robbit (here)
Boston slang: Mark Wahlberg (here)
British and Australian slang: Naomi Watts (here)

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Advanced 2. Hollywood Icons

Click here, watch the video and fill in the blanks with one or two words. (Select to see the answers).
James Dean
James Dean's considered a Hollywood icon because he appeared in lots of films like 'East of Eden' and 'Rebel without a Cause' where he played a young, dangerous guy. Um, something that a lot of teenagers of the time wanted to be. He had fast cars and a leather jacket and lots of things that made him seem rebellious and dangerous. So, I think that that helped his popularity in those films. I think part of the reason that James Dean is considered a Hollywood icon is because he died young. Um, in his youth, he played lots of characters that were young and dangerous and rebellious. And because he died, we never saw him as an actor grow older and so, part of his mystery is that we've never seen what could've been. Would he have kept that rebellious nature all through his life or would he have gotten old and mellow through the ages? I don't know.
Elizabeth Taylor
The story of Elizabeth Taylor is an interesting one because she started out a child actress. And then she became an adult actress famous for her beauty and her beautiful eyes. Many people think that Cleopatra was her best film, but for me her greatest performance was in 'Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?' - Who's afraid of Virginia....?
She was the first movie star ever to be paid a million dollars for her role in a film. She's been married seven times. Sorry, I think that's eight times, to seven husbands!
Marilyn Monroe
The reason that I think Marilyn Monroe is a fantastic icon is um... that, even now, people are still, er... taking from her. People like Madonna, Kylie, you know. They were inspired by Marilyn Monroe. I think the best film that Marilyn Monroe did was 'Some Like It Hot' And she actually won a Golden Globe.
Everyone talks about Marilyn Monroe as…icon..., and of course, she was very beautiful, and had a very tragic existence, ...very, very brief... But my personal only experience of Marilyn Monroe has been watching 'Gentleman Prefer Blondes'. It was a very long time ago, so I'm not sure if I've got this right. But what I noticed about that film which I found really funny, was... umm, she had this way of just like going up to a guy, um, and saying like asking a really banal question in a very, very husky voice, um, and not, she would never stop moving her lips, even, even when she was not talking she would still move her lips. So she'd go up to someone , and she'd say 'Excuse me Sir ... Can I use the bathroom?' like this, and forever moving her lips, and I couldn't understand it. As a like a guy growing up in the twentieth century, it's the 21st century now, I don't understand how that works but it would leave all these guys in these films absolutely flabbergasted, and they'd go crazy and you know I'm sure back in the fifties, you know it was absolutely outrageous but now it's, I just find it funny.
Marlon Brando
I think Marlon Brando is such a fantastic actor and rightly called a Hollywood icon. Because of the range of roles that he's played. You know he's been in Hollywood since his teens and stayed there making great films all the way through to his fifties and his sixties. I suppose the first time I saw him was in The Godfather where he played Don Corleone who was the head of an Italian Mafia family based in New York and it was such a quiet and sinister role. He had this gentle serene look about him, but at the same time the words that were coming out of his mouth and the things that he would do were quite shocking. It was a very disturbing film to watch.

Well, the thing that struck me most about Marlon Brando was that when you watch a lot of his movies ...especially the ones made in the fifties, was when he started out, it's very striking, that often the other actors are very bad, they're very poor actors. I remember very distinctly, I think even 'Street Car Named Desire' , thinking 'wow this is really corny', and then the moment Brando steps onto the scene, it's 'Oh, now it seems natural.'

Advanced 2. Video: Ann Patchett discusses one of her novels.

Ann Patchett is an American author. In this interview she tells us about the State of Wonder, one of her most famous novels.Watch the video and fill in the blanks with the right word(s). Click here.

Hi! My name is Ann Patchett and I’m the author of State of Wonder. The book is about Marina Singh, who is a pharmacologist working in Minnesota, and she is sent to the Amazon to find out what happened to her partner doctor Anders Eckman, who has disappeared in the Amazon and also to find doctor Annick Swenson, who is developing a very lucrative important drug for the company which will ensure everlasting fertility for women.
The thing that really inspired me to write this book is that I wanted to tell a story about a teacher and a student who haven’t seen each other in twenty years in which the student does everything she can to mold her life to please the teacher, and the teacher, who’s had thousands of students, doesn’t remember her at all.
When I was working on this book, I went to the Amazon to do research and I had a really amazing time because for the first three days I thought it was the most gorgeous, mythical, magical place I’d ever seen and by the end of the tenth day, I think I would have sold my soul to get out of there. It was so overwhelming, claustrophobic, buggy, snake laden, hot… and you can’t go anywhere, you know, there’s just trees everywhere you look, so it was interesting, I went from loving it to having it completely rattle my nerves and I think that’s a journey that the characters end up taking as well.
Certainly I was influenced by The Heart of Darkness when I was working on this book, but actually not until I was about halfway through. When I first started, I was thinking a lot about Henry James’s The Ambassadors, Evelyn Waugh’s Handful of Dust, the Orpheus Myth and certainly more than anything the films of Werner Herzog: Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Fitzcarraldo, specially, were incredibly influential and I watched them over and over again because Herzog’s images of the Amazon—that’s the Amazon I always saw in my head.

When you write a book, you realize that a lot of people are going to be reading it in groups, and you have the opportunity to set forth certain issues that people will discuss and there were a lot of things that I wanted people to think about: questions of fertility and medical ethics, and the role of women in science. I don’t have answers for any of these questions but I put the questions out there so what I would hope a reader would do would be just to think, just to think about different issues, not to be merely entertained but to be sort of stirred up by this book. That would be my best case scenario.