Thursday 25th March

1. Time to catch up with the Pearson ELT podcast: https://www.pearson.com/english/about/podcast.html Since I last paid a visit, David Crystal and Jennifer Jenkins have both been interviewed, about English Conversation and English as a Lingua Franca, respectively. Lots of other good stuff with less well-known people, too!

2. One for your advanced students, possibly: two diametrically-opposed accounts of the same session of Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons yesterday, one from The Spectator [“Sir Keir Starmer (ed. the leader of the opposition Labour Party) will want to forget today’s PMQs. And fast.”] https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/keir-starmer-morphed-into-ed-miliband-at-pmqs and the other from The Guardian [“No lie off limits for Boris Johnson.”] https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/mar/24/no-lie-off-limits-for-boris-johnson Spot the difference!

And here’s the recording, if you’d like to form your own view: https://youtu.be/CgRdLIBUs8g Where is the man’s comb?

3. This is a fun TED talk by Lýdia Machová on The secrets of learning a new language https://www.ted.com/talks/lydia_machova_the_secrets_of_learning_a_new_language/transcript Listen out 1’40” in for the ingenious method Lucas from Brazil uses to learn Russian! There’s a rolling transcript available with blue highlighting. (I just made up that term ‘rolling transcript’.)

And here’s the twenty most popular TED talks of 2020: https://www.ted.com/playlists/780/the_most_popular_talks_of_2020 Ever so slightly US-centric but we can forgive them that, can’t we?

4. And, finally, PEN Transmissions, English PEN’s online magazine, is well worth a visit every now and then. Here’s Kikuko Tsumura’s piece on making masks work, translated by Polly Barton: https://pentransmissions.com/2021/03/02/working-masks/ and here’s Bangladeshi refugee Spicy’s Story, as told by Omid Tofighian and Behrouz Boochani https://pentransmissions.com/2021/03/12/spicys-story/

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