Read, listen & learn a littleEnglish

Category Archives: entertainment

By Christopher William Adach from London, UK

Leonardo DiCaprio has finally won his first Oscar after six nominations. DiCaprio received a standing ovation as he picked up the award for his role in The Revenant. He said the film was “about man’s relationship to the natural world”. He used the opportunity to raise awareness about climate change, a subject he is passionate about. “Climate change is real – it is happening right now,” said DiCaprio. “It is the most urgent threat facing our species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.” He added: “Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.”

It is 22 years since he was first nominated for an Academy Award, as best supporting actor for the movie What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

Have a conversation:

Which Leonardo Dicaprio movies have you seen?

Which was your favourite?

What do you know about Leonardo Dicaprio?

What do you think about climate change?

Listen below or listen on i-tunes here

Read by Annette (Scottish accent).

Study the words

Picked up- collected
Raise awareness- inform people
Threat- danger
Take for granted- fail to appreciate
Supporting actor- actor not in the leading role


A Scottish PE teacher has invented a new fitness craze, which is rapidly catching on. The Highland Hustle is a mix of Scottish Highland dancing, ceilidh steps and muscle toning exercises.   Of course, it is also accompanied by fast funky music. At present, there is only one class, in Scotland, but there are several workout videos that can be downloaded from the official website. The routines, which last just half an hour, are designed for busy people with any fitness level. The workout promises to improve your level of fitness, but it will not teach you to be a highland dancer.

Would you like to try this workout?



Listen below

Read by Elizabeth (Scottish accent)

Study the words

PE- physical education
Craze- obsession, trend
Catching on- becoming popular
Ceilidh steps- dance steps typical of a traditional Scottish social event
Muscle toning- makes the body firmer
Funky- rhythmic
Workout- exercise routine
Downloaded- transferred to your computer
Last- have a duration of

Listen on audioboo (and subscribe to i-tunes podcast) here

Do the takeaway test: Let’s all do the Highland Hustle



A woman accidentally deleted every digital photo she had ever taken. Amy Molloy lost 2,600 pictures, including those of her late husband. It happened when she transferred her pictures from her ex boyfriend’s laptop to a hard disc. She only discovered months later that the disc was empty. By that time, her ex had deleted all of the original pictures. Surprisingly, she was not totally devastated. In fact, she thinks that looking at old photos can keep us stuck in the past. In the days before digital cameras, photographs naturally aged, faded and wrinkled, just like people, and Amy thinks that maybe it’s better that way.

How would you feel if you lost all of your photos?


Listen below

Read by Angelica Pegoraro (U.S accent)

Study the words

Accidentally- by mistake
Late- dead, passed away
Laptop- portable computer
Devastated- desperately sad
Stuck- trapped, unable to move
Aged- became old
Faded- lost colour
Wrinkled- became crumpled, not smooth

Listen on audioboom (and subscribe to i-tunes podcast) here

Do the takeaway test: Woman accidentally deletes a lifetime of photos.

Original article from the Guardian


Image: Wikepedia

The city of Salzburg has refused to renew a licence for a silent disco after complaints that it was too loud and wild. At a silent disco people listen to music on wireless headphones, broadcast via a radio transmitter. If you don’t have headphones, it just looks like a room full of people dancing to no music. However the Mayor of Salzburg, Heinz Schaden, said it was still too loud for residents who like to sleep with their windows open in summer. They are upset about young people coming and going, late at night.  If the city refuses to renew the licence, the owner says he will organise a “silent demonstration”.

Do you agree with the Mayor?


Listen below

Read by Tina Williamson (Australian accent)

Study the words

Licence- permit
Complaints- individual protests
Loud- noisy
Wild- crazy, with a lot of activity going on
Wireless- without wires or cables
Broadcast- transmitted
Upset- annoyed
Owner- the proprietor of the disco
Demonstration- a group protest

Listen on audioboo (and subscribe to i-tunes podcast) here

Do the takeaway test: Silent Disco is too loud for Salzburg

Original article from The Local, Germany

 Screenshot 2014-04-11 21.20.36

Traditionally, authors use words to create emotions in their readers. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a new ‘wearable’ book to enhance this experience. It allows the reader to feel the protagonist’s emotions physically. Using a combination of sensors, the book triggers vibration patterns through a special vest. The vest also contains a personal heating device to change skin temperature and airbags, which tighten or loosen it. It’s the first ever book that can give the reader a virtual hug.

Do you need a hug from a book?


Listen below

Annette (Scottish accent)

Study the words

Wearable- that can be worn
Enhance- to make something more pleasant
Protagonist- main character
Trigger- to activate
Tighten- to constrict
Loosen- to relax
Hug- embrace

Listen on audioboo (and subscribe to i-tunes podcast) here

Do the takeaway test: Wearable Books

English: Pancake in frying pan.

English: Pancake in frying pan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Happy Egg Co, which specializes in free-range eggs, has invented an automatic pancake machine just in time for Shrove Tuesday.  The device consists of a range of household objects including an old gramophone, an electric mixer and, of course, a frying pan.  The process starts when the hen lays an egg.  The egg is then carried along a conveyor belt.  Next, it is cracked open and mixed with the other ingredients.  Finally, the mixture is poured into the pan, cooked and flipped onto a plate.   The device is not for sale: it’s going to be exhibited at London’s Design Museum in the near future. In any case, pancakes are fun and easy to make by hand.

Do you know how to make pancakes?  You can find out here and download a recipe.


Read by Elizabeth Wyke (English Accent)

Study the words

free-range– from animals which are not kept in cages
household– domestic
gramophone– old-fashioned record player
mixer– machine used for combining ingredients
frying pan– flat-bottomed pan used for frying food
lays– produces
carried– taken
conveyor belt–  moving platform
cracked– broken
poured– dispensed
flipped– quickly thrown
device–  machine
exhibited– displayed
in the near future– soon

Do the takeaway test: The Automatic Pancake Machine

Listen on audioboo (and subscribe to itunes podcast) here

The internet is rife with cat videos.  Now another feline has become an internet sensation.  This time, the amazing pet can do a typical magic trick – to guess which cup contains a bell, even after they are mixed up at top speed.  We have seen cats that play the piano, surprised cats, fat cats, talking cats and even cats with i-pads.  Dogs, however, are catching up.  They can do tricks too, like walking on two legs and playing dead.  The latest star is a clever dog that taught a puppy how to go safely down the stairs.  There’s no doubt that both cats and dogs are clever and cute, and maybe sometimes we prefer them to people.

What’s your favourite cat or dog video?


Read by  Annette (Scottish Accent)

Study the words

Rife– very common, numerous
Sensation– star
Magic trick– playful deception
Guess– deduce
Mixed up– placed in a different order
At top speed– very quickly
Catching up– reaching the same level
Playing dead– pretending to die
Puppy– young dog
Doubt– uncertainty
Cute– sweet, adorable 

Do the takeaway test: Cats and Dogs Online

Listen on audioboo (and subscribe to itunes podcast) here

Debby making traffic worse

(Photo credit: Ben Harding.)

An English DJ, who works for the BBC, had to do the breakfast show from her mobile phone when she got stuck in a traffic  jam caused by bad weather. During the four-hour show, a producer played the songs from the studio.  The DJ, Anna Foster, had to improvise interviews with unusual guests such as police officers and ordinary people who were stuck in the same traffic jam.  The show was a great success and crowds of people came when word got out that a live radio show was taking place.  The battery of her phone ran out 8 minutes after the end of the show.

Listen below

Read by Annette

Study the words

got stuck– was blocked
traffic jam– a queue of cars
crowds– large groups of people
word got out– the news spread
taking place– happening
ran out– used up all of its power

Listen on audioboo (and subscribe to i-tunes podcast) here

Do the takeaway test: Radio show live from a traffic jam

A new i-pad app specifically designed for cats, called ‘paint for cats’, allows your pet to chase a mouse and make a painting at the same time.  The makers, Hiccup, recently got into trouble when cats playing with another app accidentally downloaded premium content without the consent of their owners.  The firm was accused of tricking cats into making purchases.  The problem was solved by introducing a function which requires owners to scan their hand on the i-pad screen for four seconds to prove that they are human.  Apps for cats have more or less the same function as they have for humans:  they stop cats from getting bored and make them look cool too!


Read by  Annette

Study the words

Pet– domestic animal

Chase- run after

Got into trouble– had problems

Accidentally– by mistake

Premium content– extra functions that you pay for

Consent– approval

Firm– company

Tricking…into– using an unfair method to persuade them to do something

Prove– demonstrate

Getting bored– feeling dissatisfied because you have nothing to do

Do the takeaway test: Does your cat need an ipad

Listen on audioboo (and subscribe to itunes podcast) here

 Can you knit?  Read on…

Deutsch: eingestrickter Baum in der Nähe von O...

Get your knitting needles ready.  The 9th of June is World Yarn Bombing Day.  If you have never heard of this, it is a type of street art or graffiti which involves colourful displays of knitting around the city.  Lampposts are decorated with bright knitted covers. Statues wear striped leg warmers and wooly hats. 

 The movement was started in 2005 by Magda Sayeg from Houston when she knitted a cover for the door handle of her boutique.  The trend has since spread across the world.  The aim is to create a little colour in our modern, cold, grey surroundiEnglish: Phone Box Cosy byngs.

The activity is usually tolerated by the police, although when one woman tried to yarn bomb a sign outside the F.B.I headquarters in Washington, she was asked by a police officer to stand back and put down her knitting.  


Study the words

knitting needles– long metal instruments used for knitting

yarn– cotton or wool fibre

displays– exhibits

lampposts– street lights

leg warmers– like socks without feet, worn on the legs to keep them warm

handle– lever used to open a door

spread– extended

aim– objective

surroundings– the area around us

sign– metal board with information

headquarters– main office 

Do the takeaway test:yarn bombing

Answer a tiny question:

Listen on audioboo (and subscribe to itunes podcast) here 

%d bloggers like this: