Test Your Vocabulary Size

Test your vocab picHow many words do you know?

In the online lesson about English Vocabulary, there were a few activities to estimate your vocabulary size. In this blog post, I’m including a link to one other online vocabulary test. After you take the test, you can leave a comment telling us what your result was and letting us know some of the words on the test that you didn’t know before. Here are the links:

Test Your Vocab.com has a short (two-step) test to estimate your vocabulary size. The test is based on you deciding (honestly, of course!) whether or not you know words in a list.

So, what was your result? If you’re interested in finding out your teacher’s result, look in the comments below :)

Fascinating Cities of the World

SevilleSeville

The online lesson introduced the city of New Orleans, USA, which has a fascinating history of mixed cultures that have combined to create a unique blend of architecture, food, music and atmosphere. There are of course many unique and interesting cities in the world, including one of my favorites: Seville, Spain.

Seville was at different times in its history governed by the Romans, the Moors of North Africa, who were Muslim, and the Spanish Castilians, who were Christians. The result of these different rulers is a city with a unique blend of architecture. The city is also famous for flamenco music and dancing, as well as the lively and friendly temperament of its residents. I was lucky enough to spend two months in Seville, studying Spanish and enjoying the lifestyle of this amazing city!

You can read more about Seville here: Lonely Planet and Wikipedia.

Your Turn

Now it’s your turn. Leave a post telling us about a fascinating city that you’ve visited or lived in, explaining why it’s so interesting and putting a link to more information so the rest of us can learn more about the city.

Dog Shows

westminster-show The Westminster Dog Show”

The Westminster Dog Show is perhaps the most famous dog show in the United States. Every year, the winner of the Westminster becomes famous, even if for just a brief time, on news stories and internet sites. If you’re interested, you read more about the Westminster here.

We’d like to find out your opinion about dog shows. Have you ever been, or would you like to go? Would you ever like to take a dog to the show? Are the shows interesting displays of the best dogs around, or are they ridiculous and vain?

Click on this video to watch a report of the final competition in 2012, and then leave us a comment answering the questions above. We look forward to hearing your views.

What’s funny for you?

It’s said that what is considered funny depends a lot on the culture where the comedic performance takes place. It probably also depends on personal taste as well, and not just where you come from. Well, in this post, we’d like to find out what your idea of good comedy is.

Here are three different forms of comedy, the first two of which come from the USA. The third comes from Britain. Descriptions and links to the videos are below:

1. Stand up comedy: Ray Romano, a famous comedian and TV star, delivers a stand up routine on a late-night talk show.


2. Unnecessary censorship: An innocent song on a children’s show takes on a different meaning – not by adding anything, but simply by repeatedly beeping out the main word in the song. By the way, the original song is about a character called “The Count”, who likes to sing about “counting” everything.

3. Benny Hill: You certainly can’t call it politically correct. But is it funny?



Once you’ve had a chance to watch all of the videos, leave a comment here to let us know which one you found the funniest. You might also want to leave a link to a video that you find funny.

The climate is changing. There’re no two ways about it.

glacial
When will the next ice age be?

Scientists believe the next ice age will be delayed by global warming and CO2 emission. Ice Ages appear on the Earth periodically and due to small changes in the earth’s orbit. The last Ice Age ended over 11 thousand years ago. According to authors of an article in Nature Magazine the next ice age should theoretically take place in 1,5 thousand years. But since the climate is warming up, it won’t.

“The cause of this is huge CO2 emissions” – according to the co-author of the article, Dr Luke Skinner from Cambridge University – “Our research shows that the climate is very sensitive and vulnerable to changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, especially at the levels it changed in the last 200 years.”

Moreover, other research groups have shown that even if we shut down emissions instantly, the concentration would be too high for the glaciation to begin for another 1000 years.

What is your opinion? Is there anything that could be done to prevent global warming? Are you worried about our climate? What “green” actions do you take?

Where our food comes from



Food, Inc.

The video above is a trailer for the documentary ‘Food, Inc’. We all know that there has been a huge increase in the number of fast food restaurants and supermarkets in the last two generations in the USA. This film investigates how large companies, especially McDonald’s, have become so powerful that they are able to change the way that their suppliers operate.

One example of this effect is that McDonald’s wants their meat to be cheap and standardized – to taste the same everywhere. The result is that producers of meat have changed their product to suit the large purchasers, which has a knock-on effect on the food available to us even if we don’t eat fast food. Similarly, in order to supply supermarkets with large amounts of inexpensive foods, farms have become more like factories, producing the largest amount as efficiently as possible. According to the film, companies that own farms don’t want you to see the way they are run nowadays. In fact, modern food is commonly advertised using images of the traditional family farm, even though such farms are almost non-existent in the US today.

Our question to you is: Do you think the same thing will happen in your country? And secondly, do you think this is just progress? That in order for us as consumers to have a wide selection of inexpensive food, it’s necessary for farms and food producers to operate as portrayed in the film? Or do you feel, as the makers of the film do, that ordinary people and governments should do something more to control farms and how food is produced?

Top 5 Places to Visit Sometime in Your Life

For today’s post we’ve picked 5 places we believe everyone should visit at least once in their lives. Can you tick any off your “to do” list already? Or maybe you want to share your top places with us?
Feel free to add to this list!

5. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu_Picchu

Our number five is this high mountain Inca settlement, also called “The Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu is situated 2430 m above sea level and is mostly reconstructed. Fancy a hike?

4. Kilimanjaro,  Tanzania

Kilimanjaro

Kilimangaro is Africa’s highest point, and the highest free-standing point in the world. And number four in our ranking.

3. Iceland

Iceland

Number three goes to Iceland for its natural wonders and fascinating, unpredictable nature.

2. The Great Wall, China

GreatWallTower

We decided to give The Great Wall of China second place. Apart from being a masterpiece of a fortification, it is the only man-made creation visible from space. But if you’re not planning to go that far – visit it in China.

1. Taj Mahal, India

Taj_Mahal

It’s hard to believe this amazing building has never served any practical purpose other than to look impressive. And it does.

So, now we want to hear from you. What are your top five places you haven’t been to yet, but would like to visit? Post a comment below!

Back to school

Girl drawing back to school
First days of school…

It’s the first full week of September, and that means school is back in session. The beginning of school means something different to all of us. For most people, it probably brings back memories of our own first days of school – a combination of excitement about seeing friends again and reluctance to say good-bye to summer. For parents, it might mean seeing your child go off to school for the first time, or moving up to a higher grade.

For us teachers at GoEnglishGo, the beginning of the school year is an exciting chance to meet new students, and a challenge to help our students meet their learning goals!

What does the beginning of school mean to you? Let us know by leaving a comment for this blog. We’ll be happy to hear from you.

And we hope you’ll join us at GoEnglishGo when we begin our online courses in October!

Computers for babies

VINCI_LifestyleA computer for young children

A company (you can visit their website here) is offering a new product called the Vinci Tab: a tablet computer specially designed for babies and children. The tablet comes with videos, games, stories and a diary for parents to record important milestones in a child’s development.

The company says that the computer allows young children to be introduced to technology, which they will need for the rest of their lives at the same time as engaging with other learning activities, such as learning numbers and sorting pictures into categories.

Have a look at the company’s website, and then tell us what you think. Is this a good thing, or not? If you have a child, would you think of buying it for them? Why or why not?

Summer means holidays!



What do you want in a holiday?

It’s summer, and that means time to take a holiday! I hope you have a chance this summer to do whatever it is that you enjoy on holiday: sightseeing, relaxing on the beach or perhaps a more active holiday, like climbing. Personally, I love going to new countries and sightseeing, trying new food and seeing a little bit of a different culture.

The video in this post shows some places to visit in Turkey. One of my favorite holidays was a few years ago, when I traveled across Turkey with a friend. The landscapes were amazing, the food was great and we met lots of Turkish people who wanted to talk with us – some invited us to their homes for tea.

We’d love to hear what you think makes a great holiday – where do you go, how do you travel, what accommodation do you get, and what do you like to do most? Also, if you’ve been somewhere very interesting, let us know! Maybe you can give someone a recommendation where to go next. Just leave your comment in the form below.