Feb 12, 2015

History of Valentine's Day

It's that time of year again and I just came across a short video in History.com that can perfectly accompany one of my last year's lesson ideas on the origins of St Valentine's Day. Enjoy!

Feb 10, 2015

All the World's a Stage


"All the world's a stage" is the phrase that begins a monologue from William Shakespeare's As You Like It, in Act II Scene VII. The speech compares the world to a stage and life to a play, and categorizes the seven stages of a man's life: infant, schoolboy, lover, soldier, justice, old age and facing imminent death.

The man in the poem goes through these stages all expressed in a sardonic and sometimes bitter tone:
  • Infancy: He is a helpless baby and knows little.
  • Whining schoolboy: He begins to go to school and is unwilling to leave the protected environment of his home. 
  • The lover: In this stage he is always sentimental, expressing his love in a silly manner. 
  • The soldier: He is uneasy and hot-headed. He is always working towards making a reputation for himself even at the cost of foolish risks.
  • The justice: In this stage he thinks he has acquired wisdom. He has reached a stage where he has gained prosperity and social status and becomes vain.  
  • Old Age: He is a shadow of his former self. He loses his firmness and shrinks in stature and personality.
  • Incapacity: Dependent on others for care and unable to interact with the world, he experiences "second innocence, and mere oblivion."
The audio is from a special trailer marking 80 years of original British drama from the BBC.


Feb 7, 2015

Sherlock Holmes: The World’s Most Famous Consulting Detective

Sherlock Holmes, the famous fictional detective, has always been a favourite among teachers and students of English. Word on the Street, the Language teaching programme co-produced by the BBC and the British Council, has an excellent lesson on murder, mystery and the man himself. Before viewing the video, you can use the following short text to help students brush up and extend their knowledge of the popular sleuth. Hopefully the whole lesson could get them to read some of Conan Doyle's original stories!

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