Tag Archives: culture

Listening Comprehension: Columbus Day

Introduction: Many countries in the New World and elsewhere officially celebrate as a holiday the anniversary of Christopher Columbus‘ arrival in the Americas, which happened on October 12, 1492. The landing is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States, as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, as Día de la Raza (“Day of the Race”) in many countries in Latin America, as Día de las Américas(Day of the Americas) in Belize and Uruguay, as Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural (Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity) in Argentina, as Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain, and as Giornata Nazionale di Cristopher Columbus or Festa Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo in Italy and in the Little Italys around the world. These holidays have been celebrated unofficially since the late 18th century and officially in various areas since the early 20th century. (source Wikipedia)


Level: B2

Watch the video from newsy.com  about Columbus’ Day and answer the questions below:

Unfortunately,newsy.com doesn’t allow embedding so you’ll probably need to open a new window to listen and see the exercises at the same time.

♥Click on the picture to listen

♥Answer the questions. Download questions

♥Click here to see the answers and the transcript


True or False? Correct the False Sentences

  1. The idea of renaming Columbus Day has been going on for a while. True or False?
  2. So far, only Seattle has been able to change the name of the day . True or False?
  3. The American Indians want to rename the day so that nobody forgets the difficulties they have had to endure . True or  False?
  4.  The USA government is considering renaming the day next year.  True or False?
  1. Name four things, Columbus is blamed for







England? Great Britain? United Kingdom or maybe The British Isles?

Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between England and Great Britain? Has it ever crossed your mind the possibility that The United Kingdom and Great Britain might  not be synonyms? I’ve come across this beautiful picture from Taste of Awesome.com, that beautifully helps clarify these  terms. I’ve just added the words Great Britain. I hope the author doesn’t mind. And, whatever you do, “never” call a Scottish person English or ask them why they wear skirts. Please, it is a kilt,  not a skirt!! There is a big difference!!

What a mess! I hope none of my students read this post. And why … you might be wondering? the reason is simple…. I always tell my students that English is a very easy language to learn. Hey! What do you want me to say? Do they really need to know that it is so irregular in pronunciation and spelling that even most native speakers need to think twice before daring to write some words?

If you don’t believe me, read this poem. You might change your mind!

We’ll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox should be oxen, not oxes.
Then one fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese,
You may find a lone mouse or a whole nest of mice,
But the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be called pen?
The cow in the plural may be cows or kine,
But a bow if repeated is never called bine,
And the plural of vow is vows, never vine.

If I speak of a foot and you show me your feet,
And I give you a boot would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth, and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn’t the plural of booth be called beeth?

If the singular’s this and the plural is these,
Should the plural of kiss ever be nicknamed keese?
Then one may be that and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother, and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren,
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine she, shis and shim,

So the English, I think, you all will agree,
Is the queerest language you ever did see

The difference between the UK, England and Great Britain

I’m afraid very few students can tell the difference between the UK, England and Great Britain. For them , it’s always and only England and even though we try and teach them the difference  and at  first they seem quite happy to have finally grasped it ,sadly  if you ask them one month later, they will always turn to the archi-famous and useful  England. Who cares about annoying a bunch of Scottish people?

I have played this video to teach my elementary students. I hope it is helpful to somebody