Adele’s appearance: should it be discussed at all?

British singer and megastar Adele posted yesterday a photo on her Instagram account to thank the messages she had received on her birthday. She seemed to have lost a lot of weight since her last public appearances, which has hit the (tabloid) headlines in the UK.

Some journalists and commentators, however, are wondering whether Adele’s appearance should be a matter of discussion at all:

Reading: Why the photo of a new, slimmer Adele makes women like me feel uncomfortable

Click/tap on the screenshot to read the article

Source

Other critical voices have also expressed criticism on social media that Adele’s weight loss should be front-page news at a time like this.

What are your views on this? 

  • Should Adele’s appearance be discussed at all?
  • Should she have been taken as a role model by women of her same build, as the article mentions?
  • What is the message that this being news is sending to readers/female readers?
  • How can perceptions and preconceptions about women’s appearance be altered?

Coronavirus in the news

Sadly, we are surrounded by news related to the coronavirus outbreak, which is having an effect on people’s health, obviously, but also on the economy, on jobs, even on the environment. Instead of writing a blog post every time I find something which might be relevant for students in terms of vocabulary, I thought I had better start a Google site. In it you can find extracts from radio shows with their transcripts as well as annotated articles. I will be updating it as the days (and the lockdown) go on.

[I originally started a Padlet, but in the end, for different reasons, I decided to swap to a Google site]

Click on the picture to visit the site

Listening- Bookclub (C2)

Listen to some short extracts from interviews with world-famous writers. Match each extract (1 – 6) with the best heading (A-H) and write the letter in the appropriate box. ONE of the headings does not correspond to any of the extracts. The first extract is an example. You can listen to the clips twice.

Keeping up with the news in English

If you want to keep up with the news, these may be useful sources of information:

To see the front pages of newspapers every day, you can visit these links:

You can also watch these news channels: 

Radio:

Further ideas:

Money- resources

You can find below a series of resources which can be used if you need to deal with the topic of money and finances:

Debit card ad:

Money and consumerism- Spotify playlist

Word cloud with idioms from songs:

Edpuzzle quiz– clip captioned in English, questions and comments aimed at working on the vocabulary of money. (C1)

Winning the lottery:

Transcript 

  • Cashless societies:
  • Pensioners splashing out vs cash-strapped millennials:

transcript

      • Facebook cryptocurrency launched:
      • Have you/Would you invest in bitcoins? Why? -Watch these clips from The Big Bang Theory (The Bitcoin Entanglement)

Finances:

Model declared bankrupt:

Transcript

Sex and the City- Ring a Ding Ding (the protagonist finds herself broke after years of splashing out on, among other luxuries, shoes)

Crime and money:

  • Cybercrime and fraud:
  • Measures to prevent fraud:
  • Using a dead woman’s card (B2):

suggested reading for teenagers and young adults

This is a list of books for children, teenagers and young adults, by no means comprehensive, which could be used as reading material in the English classroom, or as recommendations for independent reading:

Further suggestions (year 4 secondary and upwards):

Roald Dahl’s short stories:

Novels:

 

Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web

Last week (12th March) it was the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web, invented by (now Sir) Tim Berners-Lee. If you would like to know more about him and his groundbreaking invention, you can listen to any of these shows/podcasts:

You can also read this article that Stephen Fry wrote some years ago about him and his invention.

Finally, Stephen Fry also narrates what this video about what the world would be like now (at least for some people) if the world wide web hadn’t been invented 30 years ago (a good exercise to practise mixed conditionals):