Can parents take their children on holiday during term time?

We’ve been discussing this case, which hit the headlines in the UK some months ago (click on the picture to watch the video with subtitles):

(Toggle transcript viewer, or click on CC for subtitles)

The case reached the Supreme Court, and this was the result:

(Read transcript here)

Over to you:

  • What are your views on this? Is it reasonable / unreasonable for parents to take their children on holiday when they’re supposed to be attending school?
  • Do you know of any cases where this happens? Does it tend to be justified?
  • What is the effect of such holidays on students? On their classmates? On their teachers?

 

Would teenagers benefit from a lie-in and a later start to school?

Would teenagers benefit from a lie-in and a later start to school? Where do you stand on this issue?

Why can’t teenagers get up in the morning? (From Trust Me, I’m a Doctor– BBC2):

 

 

Brexit and linguistic politeness- listening comprehension

Listen to this report related to British linguistic politeness and the effects it is having on international politics at the moment. Read through questions 1 to 7. Listen carefully and fill in the gaps with up to three words. You can listen to the whole recording twice.

New Year’s Eve & Auld Lang Syne

Do you know “Auld Lang Syne”? It’s a Scottish folk song, which is traditionally sung in English-speaking countries at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, to welcome the New Year. It features in such classical films as It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946) and When Harry Met Sally (Rob Reiner 1989), among others:

Despite its popularity, however, apparently only 3% of British people actually know the full lyrics to it, according to a recent survey. You can read more about this here, or listen to the news report below:

You can listen to a rendition of the song by Rod Stewart and other stars like Kylie Minogue (with lyrics) below:

Happy New Year 2018 to everyone! 

child left on school bus

Listen to this news item about a four-year-old boy who was left on a school bus. Without writing anything down, summarise the main event being described (1-2 sentences).

Then, listen again. You may take notes to answer these questions:
  • How far did the child walk on his own?
  • How does the boy usually go to school?
  • Where /when did the child get off the bus?
  • Who found the child?
  • How does the father feel about his son’s reaction?
  • What proposal does the child’s father make?
  • Have there been any consequences to the bus driver?
You can check your answers against the transcript.
More on the story:

Fuel poverty- Tips on how to save money on energy

Listen to this clip where an expert discusses the issue of fuel poverty, and gives advice on how to save money on energy bills.

Then, try this vocabulary exercise, which includes some of the useful expressions mentioned by the host and guest. Once you have checked your answers, you can listen to the clip again, to find those expressions in their context.