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Monday, 5 October 2015

Another school shooting in the USA (2)
(Level: intermediate / B1 to B2 / **)


Umpqua Community College
Photo credit: www.irishtimes.com
A gunman killed nine people on 1st October 2015 at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. 
But what is known about the killer?

You are now going to watch a BBC report.



Roseburg, Oregon
Map credit: www.epodunk.com

Before watching:

The following words could be useful:

grief: deep sadness caused by someone's death     douleur / chagrin / affliction  
to find... tough: to find... very difficult (to deal with...)       trouver... trop dur  
a shootout: a fight involving firearms until someone gets killed     fusillade / échange de coups de feu  
bereaved: sad because a family member has died      endeuillé / éploré
stunned: shocked / particularly amazed        stupéfait / abasourdi  
to bear the scars of...: to live with emotional damage caused by past events that cannot be forgotten    connaître les affres de ...  / porter les stigmates de ...  
weary with sorrow: extremely sad         se fondre en larmes  



While watching:

Answer the following question:

What do we know about the shooter?





You can also watch the report on the BBC website by clicking HERE









When you are finished, you can check your answers:

- Homme de 26 ans d'origine anglaise
- Nom: Chris Harper Mercer
- Il semble qu'il soutenait l'IRA.
- Abattu par la police dans la fusillade.
- Il vivait chez sa mère à proximité de l'école.
- Il aurait demandé aux gens de se lever s'ils étaient chrétiens pour leur dire qu'ils allaient rejoindre Dieu et ensuite il a tiré...
- ...








Sunday, 4 October 2015

Another school shooting in the USA (1)
Level: intermediate / B1 / ** 



Photo credit: www.mirror.co.uk


A mass shooting took place on 1st October 2015 at Umpqua Community College (*)  in Roseburg in Oregon killing 9 people and injuring at least 7 more. 

(*) A Community College in the USA is a post-secondary school (junior school or technical college) which provides academic, vocational and professional education.


Roseburg, Oregon
Map credit: epodunk.com

You are going to watch a BBC report focusing on that latest tragedy.


Before watching:


The following notes could be useful:

Since Newtown: the reporter refers to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that took place on 14th December 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut. 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his mother first at their Newtown home before killing 20 children and 6 schoolteachers at the school. He then committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. 




While watching:


Answer the following question:

  • What do the following figures refer to?  

       294 / 21 / 55  / 1 / 4





You can also watch the report on the BBC website by clicking HERE










When you are finished, you can check your answers:

294: le nombre de tueries de masse jusqu'à présent (rien que pour cette année) aux Etats-Unis.
21: le nombre de tueries perpétrées dans des écoles et universités aux Etats-Unis depuis les événements de Newtown (décembre 2012)
55: le nombre de tueries dans les écoles américaines entre 1991 et 2013.
1: un cas de tuerie (dans une école) au Royaume-Uni.







Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Airshow crash
(Level: intermediate to upper-intermediate / B1 to B2 / ** to ***)

Photo credit: www.express.co.uk



Before watching:


A jet crashed onto a road during an airshow in Shoreham-by-Sea in Sussex, England. 

Map credit: eng.wikipedia.org


You are going to watch a BBC report focusing on that event.

The following words could be useful:
a display:an event at which something is shown to impress or entertain people    spectacle / manifestation 


A Harrier
Photo credit: en.wikipedia.org

the casualties: people hurt or killed (during an accident...)        victimes   
the coroner: the person whose job is to find out the cause of death when people die  in ways that are violent or sudden       médecin légiste   
the aftermath: consequence / result       conséquences / suites    
to be set alight: to be set on fire     être incendié     
to be in one's early stage(s): to have only recently started       être au stade initial / être au début 


Photo credit: www.dailymail.co.uk


While watching:


Answer the following question:

What do you know about...
- the event as such? (What happened?)
the consequences (of what happened)?







You can also watch the report on the BBC website: click HERE







When you are finished, you can check your answers:


- Un avion s'est écrasé sur une route très fréquentée lors d'un meeting aérien dans le Sussex. 


- 7 personnes (au moins) sont mortes / le pilote est dans un état critique  

(+ annulation du meeting / dégâts importants / route fermée plusieurs jours pour les devoirs de l'enquête..) 







Monday, 24 August 2015

The tenses: a review


Click on this image:




All the tenses have already been covered in this blog but they are now being reviewed again. 


If you need a recap of all the tenses: click HERE 


You can also watch this video lesson (All English Tenses) by Anglo-Link for a good review of all the tenses: click HERE 


For more details about the following tenses, click on them!  





The Simple Past   + strong verbs / + pronunciation of final -ed








Something about the future tenses?  

Watch THIS



Something about the Simple Past versus the Past Continuous?

Watch THIS


France train shooting
(Level: intermediate to upper-intermediate / B1 to B2 / ** to ***)



Photo credit: www.lemonde.fr

A real tragedy could have occurred on a train if a heavily armed man hadn't been overpowered by passengers.

You are now going to watch a BBC report focusing on the event.



Before watching:

The following words could be useful:
to be overwhelmed: to be overpowered / defeated     être maîtrisé / mis hors d'état de nuire 
a guardsman: a US soldier in the National Guard      soldat de la Garde Nationale 
to avert: to prevent ... (from happening)     empêcher ... de...  
bold: not afraid (of danger) /not showing fear       intrépide / téméraire 
intelligence: secret information (about an enemy)        renseignements  


While watching:


Answer the following question:

What do we know about the suspect? 





You can also watch the report on the BBC website: click HERE






When you are finished, you can check your answers:


  • ressortissant marocain de 26 ans;
  • lourdement armé dans le Thalys Amsterdam-Paris et mis hors d'état de nuire par des passagers (dont trois Américains);
  • blessé grièvement un des passagers qui voulait le désarmer et un autre plus légèrement;
  • est connu des autorités espagnoles qui ont transmis des informations sensibles aux Français;
  • ...



Ill boy gets a very special birthday
(Level: intermediate to upper-intermediate /B1 to B2 / ** to ***)

You are going to watch a report focusing on a six-year-old boy from Wirral who has distrophy, a muscle-wasting disease. 
His mum wanted him to have a very special birthday. But it turned out to be more special than she'd expected! 


Wirral, UK
Map credit: en.wikipedia.org


Before watching:

The following words could be useful:
muscle wasting: distrophy        affaiblissement musculaire / perte musculaire
a treat: +/- a present      cadeau / plaisir 





While watching:

Answer the following questions:


  1. What was special about the boy's birthday? What did his mum do for that?
  2. Why did she want his birthday (like all his birthdays) to be special?



You can also watch the report on the BBC website by clicking HERE









When you are finished, you can check your answers:

Suggestions de réponses


1
Il a reçu 20.000 cartes d'anniversaire envoyées du monde entier (et un généreux donateur anonyme lui a même offert un voyage à Disneyland).

Au départ, sa mère avait juste lancé un appel sur les réseaux sociaux afin de récolter quelques cartes pour les coller sur le mur de sa chambre! 

2
Elle veut que chacun de ses anniversaires soit un événement spécial parce qu'elle ne sait pas combien il pourra encore célébrer en raison de sa maladie qui va finir par l'emporter (car pas de traitement; pas de guérison possible)



Sunday, 23 August 2015

US Army Rangers: first female trainees to graduate
(Level: intermediate to upper-intermediate / B1 to B2 / ** to ***)


Photo credit: news.yahoo.com


Two American women graduated for the first time as US Army Rangers from the Ranger school (*) after they passed the incredibly exhausting tests of physical endurance. 

(*) normally to be incorporated into the 75th Ranger Regiment: click HERE for more details! 

You are now going to watch a BBC report.




Before watching:


The following words could be useful:
gruelling: terribly tiring / exhausting              épuisant
deprived of: lacking            privé de   






While watching:


Answer the following questions:
1. What did the courses and tests at the Ranger school consist of?
2. Why can't the two women be incorporated in the elite Ranger Regiment?




You can also watch the report on the BBC website: click HERE









When you are finished, you can check your answers!

1. 
Formation militaire la plus éprouvante de l'armée américaine: exercices d'endurance; entraînements jusqu'à 20 heures par jour dans les bois, en montagne, dans les marécages - pratiquement sans nourriture, ni sommeil. 
(40% des candidats abandonnent ou échouent).


2.
Malgré leur succès, elles ne peuvent intégrer ce corps d'armée parce que les femmes n'y sont pas encore admises. 
La situation devrait, toutefois, changer prochainement.



Former RAF veteran's challenge
(Level: intermediate / B1 to B2 /**)



Photo credit: www.bbc.com


Before watching:

You are going to watch a BBC report focusing on John Weston's exceptional feat of which the purpose was to raise money for the Alzheimer's Society after his wife's death. 

The following words could be useful:
to be strapped: bound or tied (with a strap i.e. a strip of flexible material used to fasten)  être attaché (à l'aide d'une sangle)   
a foot = 30.48 centimetres 
a stone = 6.35029318 kilograms 


A  R.A.F. (Royal Air Force) flying hemet or war helmet
Photo credit: flickr.com






While watching:


Answer the following question:

What did John's feat consist of?







You can also watch the report on the BBC website by clicking HERE









When you are finished, you can check your answers:

A l'occasion de son 90e anniversaire, John a volé à une altitude de 150 mètres, accroché sur les ailes d'un biplan. (Pour ce faire, il lui a fallu perdre quelques kilos aussi).







How and why a mosquito bites you
(Level: upper-intermediate / B2 to C1 / ***)



Photo credit: www.bbc.com


Before watching:


You are going to watch a BBC interview with malaria researcher Professor Gibson from the University of Greenwich (*) telling how and why mosquitoes bite us. 


(*) For more details about the University of Greenwich (official website): click HERE


The following words could be useful:
a pinprick: a slight puncture made as if by a pin or needle      piqûre    
harmless: not harmful / not causing harm     inoffensif  
the proboscis: the tubular organ in the head region of an insect used for sucking or piercing        la trompe
to probe around:  to examine... around        sonder tout autour
a capillary: blood vessel        capillaire / vaisseau sanguin 





While watching:


Answer the following questions:


  1. Which mosquitoes cause harm to humans or animals?
  2. Why and how do they bite?






You can also watch the report on the BBC website by clicking HERE






When you are finished, you can check your answers. 

1.
Ce sont les femelles qui sont nuisibles...

2.
Pourquoi?
Les femelles ont besoin du sang qu'elles prélèvent sur leur hôte non pas pour se nourrir, mais pour en récolter les protéines et autres composants bien nécessaires pour la ponte des oeufs...

Comment?
Elles insèrent la trompe qui va détecter un vaisseau sanguin et injecter une sorte de salive anticoagulante. C'est lors de cette étape que l'hôte risque d'être infecté par certaines espèces (malaria...). Ensuite, le sang est aspiré et stocké dans l'abdomen qui se gonfle progressivement.







Friday, 21 August 2015

Soon elephants will be no more unless...
(Level: upper-intermediate / B2 to C1 / ***)



Photo credit: www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org



36,000 elephants are estimated to be killed every year. 
If poachers continue to kill them at that rate for their valuable tusks, there could be no more wild elephants in Africa by 2015.

The BBC went to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust (*), a wildlife conservation charity and a haven for orphaned elephants and rhinos in Kenya.

(*) For more details about the organisation: click HERE (official website)!


Kenya
Map credit: commons.wikimedia.org



Before watching:


The following words could be useful:
a poacher: someone who hunts illegally       braconnier   
the tusk: the long, large tooth sticking out of the mouth of an animal (e.g. an elephant)    défense   
a snare: a trap to catch animals; a kind of loop which gets smaller when the end of it is pulled    piège / collet  
a spear: a weapon with a long shaft and a sharply pointed end    lance






While watching:


Answer the following questions:


  1. What kind of elephants does Edwin from the David Sheldrick Trust take care of?
  2. What happened to Aruba and Simotua?
  3. What should be done, according to Edwin so as to save the elephants from extinction?





You can also watch the video on the BBC website by clicking HERE









When you are finished, you can check your answers:

1
Des éléphanteaux orphelins, retrouvés généralement à proximité du cadavre de leur mère tuée par des braconniers en raison de l'engouement extrême pour leurs défenses... 


2
Aruba: éléphant de trois ans et demi, récupéré à l'âge de neuf mois tout près des cadavres de plusieurs éléphants exécutés par des braconniers.
Simotua: autre éléphanteau retrouvé avec une patte prise dans un collet (et une plaie terrible à la patte) et une lance qui lui a troué le front.


3
Tant que la demande en ivoire restera forte surtout dans les pays asiatiques (Chine principalement) et que les ressortissants des pays occidentaux continueront à acheter leurs produits finis en ivoire, les braconniers n'arrêteront jamais le massacre. 







Life in the Jungle in Calais (2)
(Level: intermediate to upper-intermediate / B2 / ** to ***)


A woman in the Jungle, Calais
Photo credit: www.theguardian.com


You are now going to watch a very poignant report showing mere human beings who had to flee war, violence and persecution. 

People who thought they could find a better existence away from home, a place where they believed they could have forgotten a bit about their past suffering. 

But with more and more fencing and policing around, they are now stuck in the Jungle which will probably turn out to be a permanent fixture. 

The Guardian spent three weeks in the migrants' camp and followed the precarious lives of some of them. 

This report will move you because of its human dimension.

Click HERE to watch it!






Life in the Jungle in Calais (1)
(Level: intermediate / B1 to B2 / **)

About 5,000 migrants from Syria, Eritrea, Libya, Afghanistan... are believed to live in the camps in and around Calais known as "the Jungle". 

Most of them have been trying to make their way to Britain since they arrived there and some have also died.




Before watching:


You are going to watch a report by BBC correpondent Ellie Price who visited the migrants' camp.



Migrants in their makeshift camp
Photo credit: www.bbc.com



While watching:


Answer the following question:

What is a typical day like in the Jungle





You can also watch the video on the BBC website by clicking HERE:










When you are finished, you can check your answers:

Suggestions de réponses:



- Les gens vivent dans des tentes ou des baraques; et ça dure depuis des mois pour certains.

- Au milieu de la matinée: les résidents du camp vont chercher de l'eau et font un brin de toilette; réveil assez tardif en raison des activités nocturnes infructueuses (tenter de franchir les barrières et clôtures multiples et de se trouver une voie d'accès vers l'Angleterre)

- Juste avant midi: faire la file pour bénéficier d'une douche!

- Dans le camp: plusieurs sections distinctes en fonction des différentes nationalités des migrants.

- On essaie de bâtir une vie sociale malgré tout: une école par exemple (surtout destinée aux hommes mais les femmes et les enfants sont sollicités aussi) pour y apprendre entre autres le français.

- Un repas leur est offert chaque jour.

- Le soir et la nuit: c'est reparti pour une nouvelle tentative d'atteindre l'Angleterre. 
(Et pour certains, par tous les moyens possibles: même en sautant d'un pont sur les trains qui franchissent l'Eurotunnel).

-...





Thursday, 20 August 2015

Calais migrant crisis
(Level: intermediate / B1 to B2 / **)



You are going to watch a BBC report focusing on the British government's latest attempts to try and stem the flux of migrants desperate to get to the UK. 


Map credit: bbc.com


Before watching:


The following words could be useful:
to stem the tide of...: to make headway against (the tide...)    arrêter / endiguer (le flux de...) 
to step up: to increase    intensifier    
fencing: fences       barrières / clôtures  



Calais fencing
Photo credit: www.mirror.co.uk



Migrants entering the Channel Tunnel terminal
Photo credit: www.dailymail.co.uk



While watching:


Answer the following question:

What plans have the British government come forward with so as to try and prevent the migrants from accessing the Channel Tunnel terminal?














When you are finished, you can check your answers:

Suggestions de réponses

Edification de hautes clôtures avec fils barbelés tout autour du site de Eurotunnel pour empêcher les migrants de monter à bord des trains (en plus de la double clôture déjà installée le long des routes à proximité de Calais;

Mise en place d'un dispositif policier plus conséquent (avec plus de chiens pisteurs...)

...







Wednesday, 8 July 2015

7/7 ten years on
(Level: upper-intermediate / B2 / ***)

The fourth bomb exploded on this double-decker bus
Photo credit: www.theguardian.com

Ten years ago, on 7th July 2005, London was viciously attacked by four suicide bombers. 52 people were killed and more than 700 others were injured.

The events are called the 7/7 London attacks: four Islamists detonated bombs hidden in backpacks in quick successive attacks aboard London Underground trains. A fourth bomb exploded later on a double-decker bus.

Here is a timeline by Sky News for you to see how that day unfolded.
You can also watch survivors telling their stories.

Click HERE





You can also watch this video by the BBC looking at how that day unfolded:



You can find the video on the BBC website by clicking HERE




Forth Bridge awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status
(Level: upper-intermediate to advanced / B2 to C1 / ***)



The Forth Bridge
Photo credit: whc.unesco.org


The Forth Bridge is the UK's 29th site to have been awarded the UNESCO World Heritage Site status (*). 
It is an impressive structure that has carried passengers and freight for 125 years. 


(*) If you are interested, here is the World Heritage list (on the UNESCO website): click HERE  




Before watching:


The following words and notes could be useful:
to overcome (an obstacle): to gain control of     maîtriser ; vaincre
outstanding: extremely good      exceptionnel; marquant; excellent; incomparable 

The Tay (Rail) Bridge Disaster: The Forth Bridge was built after a first original bridge (the Tay Rail Bridge) collapsed during a violent storm in December 1879 while a train carrying over seventy passengers was crossing it. For more details: click HERE

For more details (facts, figures and photos) about the Forth Bridge: click HERE


While watching:


Watch the following report which you can also find on the BBC website (by clicking HERE







No questions this time, but enjoy the nice Scottish accent!