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"Still lie the sheltering snows, undimmed and white;
And reigns the winter's pregnant silence still;
No sign of spring, save that the catkins fill,
And willow stems grow daily red and bright.
These are days when ancients held a rite
Of expiation for the old year's ill,
And prayer to purify the new year's will."
Helen Hunt Jackson, A Calendar of Sonnet's: February
Learn English in February

Listening practice: BBC Shorts

mheredgemheredge Posts: 41,767 ✭✭✭✭
Did you know that the BBC have many short videos coming out all the time on all kinds of interesting topics?

These are great for practicing listening to different accents, different speeds of speaking and vocabulary. And typically just five minutes or less, they are easy to listen to and if you don't understand everything the first time, just replay it.

Here are just a few examples:

Conspiracy theories: The list of conspiracy theories is endless. But why - and how - do they take root? There are three key ingredients to look out for.

Too much stuff: Modern life just seems to be full of... well, stuff! But why do we have so much of it?

Digital addiction: The Oxford Internet Institute's Professor Andrew Przybylski argues "digital addiction" is a myth.

Negative side of positive thinking: Can it be true? This video looks at The downsides of positive thinking and whether this and optimism actually have a harmful effect on our wellbeing. (You don't have to agree...)

Go to the video homepage for the full list of videos: https://www.bbc.com/ideas/videos/

If you want regular updates, you can sign up to a weekly newsletter that updates you on new videos: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3SmP7yyHH35rJMYK40pNxnW/emails-made-for-you


  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    Thanks for these. I find conspiracy theories fascinating, the ideas that can take root and just become bigger and bigger.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 41,767 ✭✭✭✭
    I certainly found the conspiracy theories surrounding the attack on the Twin Towers compelling and probably nearer the truth than the official version of events.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    They're fascinating to listen to, aren't they. I have never truly believed that events were as they were originally reported, but I don't think we will ever get to the truth. The death of Princess Diana is another one I was never convinced by.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 41,767 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm not sure if I know about any controversy surrounding Diana's death. I've seen the road tunnel where the accident occurred. It's narrow and not at all difficult to believe that in a car chase the driver could very easily have swerved.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    Yes, there are a lot of rumours that the royal family no longer wanted her involved, so arranged for the accident to happen - made worse by the fact that the palace didn't display the flag at half mast after her death.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 41,767 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm not inclined to believe this, though I wasn't aware that the flag didn't fly at half mast. But by then she had divorced Charles so technically wasn't family any more.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    Yes, however she was still the mother of the future king of England, which I would have thought would have counted for something. In fact, the young William was known to have said that when he became king, he planned to give his mother's title back to her.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 41,767 ✭✭✭✭
    I'm not really sure that he would be able to do anything.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    I think as king he would have been able to give titles to whoever he wanted.. but as it happens it no longer matters, so we will unfortunately never find out whether he would have or not. Also, chances are, after so long had passed, he would probably not have done it anyway, as it would no longer have mattered.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 41,767 ✭✭✭✭
    This is a short video made when Prince Harry visited Nepal a few years ago.

    However the Royal couple have just shared a video received from the children of Nepal via their Instagram account.

    You can see this one minute video from the article here.


  • Rob_NegreteRob_Negrete Posts: 8
    Actually I found three awesome from BBC:

    1) They have an app called "BBC Learning English".
    2) Also they have a website for that: bbclearningenglish.com
    3) And finally a podcast (at least on spotify): you guess it: BBC Learning English.

    Give it an "eye/ear" on those resources.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 41,767 ✭✭✭✭
    @Rob_Negrete welcome to the Forum. Yes this site is good. It is very sad that they do not keep it going any more. But it is useful that they keep the website open for students to access the material they put there before.
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