Crossword — St Patrick’s Day in Belfast | Jeffrey Hill

Today is St Patrick’s Day, so to mark the occasion here’s a interactive ‘cloze’ crossword I created for my EM Normandie students. It’s based on an article from the Belfast Telegraph. 

 

COMMENT
Over the years, I’ve posted a lot of St Patrick’s Day resources on The English Blog, including more crosswords. Click here for a full list.
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Cartoon: Brexit is Served | Jeffrey Hill

Today’s cartoon by Dave Brown in The Independent relates to the announcement by Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon that she plans to call a second referendum on Scottish independence. The first minister’s intervention had been timed a day ahead of when May had been predicted to trigger article 50, but No 10 later indicated that it would not serve notice to leave the EU until the end of the month. The confirmation of the later date, in the aftermath of the speech, fuelled speculation the prime minister had been unnerved by Sturgeon. Read more >>

COMMENTARY
The cartoon shows UK…

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EDpuzzle Lesson — 10 Tips for Starting Your Own Business | Jeffrey Hill

Here’s a lesson I created using EDpuzzle for my EM Normandie students. I think EDpuzzle is a brilliant tool as it allows you to make a interactive video lessons using YouTube videos or ones you upload yourself. It’s really easy to use, and if you create a class, you can see your students’ answers. Best of all, it’s free!

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Cartoon: Trump’s Tapping Accusations | Jeffrey Hill

This cartoon by Chappatte from the New York Times relates to the claims by Donald Trump via Twitter that Barack Obama tapped his Trump Tower phones during the presidential election. You can read Trump’s tweets here.

THE CARTOON
The scene is the Oval Office. Donald Trump is at his desk, tapping furiously on his phone. We can assume that he’s sending tweets or tweeting on Twitter. One of his aides comments to another, “That’s the sort of tapping I’m worried about.”

EXPLANATION
The joke relies on a play on the word ‘tap’. If you tap (or wire-tap) someone’s phone, you connect a device to a…

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Site of the Day — Idiomic | Jeffrey Hill

There’s no shortage of sites on the internet for learning about idioms, but what makes the newly-launched Idiomic blog stand out are the amusing illustrations featuring Iddy, an extraterrestrial who, like many learners, struggles to understand English idioms. In each post, Iddy, tries his best to understand an idiom, and we are then given a definition, an example, and the origin of the phrase.

 
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App of the Day — Useful Phrasal Verbs | Jeffrey Hill

One of the most difficult aspects for learners of English is phrasal verbs (put up with, look after, give in, etc.). So, if you’re having trouble telling the difference between take on, take up, take after, and the like, I have great news for you. Our free app, SmartEnglish by EM Normandie has just added a new course — Useful Phrasal Verbs, which teaches the meaning of over 80 of the most common phrasal verbs (see full description below). This means that there are now four complete courses available on a single app, including my own Essential Business English. And it’s all 100% free!

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Ad of the Day — Hula Hoops | Jeffrey Hill

Here’s a new ad for Hula Hoops, the popular UK snack brand, which would be great for teaching a couple of English idioms, and can also be used for some classroom activities (see below for ideas).

TRANSCRIPT
BANK ROBBER: Stop what you’re doing. Give me all the money.
BANK CASHIER: Sorry love. I’ve got my hands full.
VOICEOVER: When it comes to the crunch, it has to be Hula Hoops.

IDIOMS
1. If you have your hands full, you are so busy that you do not have time to do anything else: I’d love to help but I’ve got my hands full organizing the school play. In the ad, there’s a play on words,…

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