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Today's Free English Lesson
Monday, 25th January, 2010
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Here is today's FREE English lesson, from Hotch Potch English... enjoy, and let us know what you think!

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FREE English lesson from Hotch Potch English   Share Us!
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1) Video Analysis
2) Podcast / Vidcast
3) News Expressions
4) Song of the Day!
5) HPE English Packs


1) Today's Video Analysis

Laurel and Hardy are alive and well, and working at a football club near you...
Watch the video and answer the questions.


Q1) Where are the people?  ???

   a) on a football field
  b) on a film set
   c) on a golf course
   d) on a tennis court

Q2) Who needs to be carried?  ???

   a) an actor
   b) a footballer
   c) an official
   d) a golfer

Q3) True or False?

   a) monkeys would do a better job  ???
   b) the officials are well coordinated
   c) the men in blue are idiots

Lots of Vidcasts & Podcasts to help you improve your English!2) Today's Podcast

Watch the vidcast and answer the questions.

Read the text and comment on the
Mega Minute Blog

Blog : Vidcast 17 : {Interview} 'Phoenix vs New York'


Q1) True or false?

   a) Larry is from Brianna, New York. ???
   b) Brooklyn is from New York, Phoenix.
   c) Brianna is from Phoenix, Arizona. ???
   d) Phoenix is from Arizona, Brianna.
   e) Larry is from Brooklyn, New York. ???

Q2) Where do you think Larry and Brianna are both from?

   a) The UK ???
   b) The UAE
   c) The USA ???

Q3) Which of the following are all American cities (NOT states)? ???

   a) New York, Ohio, Minnesota
   b) Arizona, Brooklyn, Phoenix
   c) Texas, Los Angeles, San Francisco
   d) Phoenix, New York, Chicago

Q4) Who can speak with the strongest accent, and where is it from? ???

Q5) Which state do we associate with cactuses, cowboys and desert? ???

   a) the Sahara
   b) Clint Eastwood

   c) Arizona
   d) Ice cream

   e) New York

3) Today's News Expressions

Pronunciation Practice
"Six of the Best!"
Listen and repeat
top-grossing film box office record
adjusted for inflation worldwide sensation
remarkable distinction giant blue aliens

Listen to and read this news story from the BBC and answer the questions.


Avatar overtakes Titanic as top-grossing film ever

Sci-fi spectacular Avatar has surpassed Titanic to become the highest grossing movie of all time, figures from distributor 20th Century Fox show.

Avatar's worldwide takings in just six weeks stand at $1.859bn, versus Titanic's $1.843bn.

The figures are not adjusted for inflation or the higher cost of Avatar's 3D film tickets.

Director James Cameron holds the remarkable distinction of directing both the world's top grossing movies.

Titanic, which starred Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, set a new box office record during its release in 1997-1998.

It also won Cameron an Oscar for best director.

Avatar - Cameron's latest epic - won two Golden Globes last week, and is expected to garner an Oscar nomination next month.

What is the secret of Avatar's success?

Earlier this month, it became the fastest movie ever to achieve $1bn in ticket sales around the world, and took over second place from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

It has proved a worldwide sensation, dominating the box office from North America to China and Russia.

The science-fiction adventure, about a disabled marine who infiltrates a race of giant blue aliens, mixes live action with digitally-created performances.

It was reportedly the most expensive film ever made, with a budget of at least $300m.

Watch the great, Extended HD Avatar Trailer!

Q1) True or False?

   a) James Cameron's Titanic is the best-selling film in history.  ???
   b) Kate Winslet is proud of her work in
Avatar, although we never see her face.  ???
Avatar has already won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for its director.  ???
The Lord of the Rings is the most successful movie of all time.  ???
   e) China has refused to show
Avatar, claiming it discriminates against non-blue people.  ???

Q2) How much money had Avatar made at the time this article was written?  ???

   a) $1bn (one billion dollars)
   b) 1997-1998 billion dollars
   c) $1.859bn
   d) $1.843bn

Q3) Find expressions from the 'Six of the Best' section which mean...

   a) has sold the most tickets  ???
   b) exceptional fact  ???
   c) most successful movie  ???
   d) extremely large extraterrestrial sky-coloured creatures  ???
   e) famous around the planet  ???
   f) changed to recognise rising prices  ???

4) Today's Song

Ahh, I was looking for a classic, and I found one! I even wrote a poem about him (a long time ago), and the picture on the right is mine...

A Poem, if You Wish:  Brush The Fields Lightly

So listen to this amazing song and do the exercise - good luck, and may the colours be with you!


  Vincent   (Part 1)  (Part 2)
(by Don McLean)

I have CHANGED some of the words!

Listen to the song, and try to correct the mistakes.

(Click on the ??? to see if you're right!)

Starry, starry day
Paint your palette blue and beige
Look out on a winter's day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul
Shadows on the hills
Sketch the knees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen sand

Now I start a band
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you fried two pets for tea
They would not listen
They did not know how
Perhaps they'll kiss the cow

Misty, misty night
Flaming pigs that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of China green
Colors changing scene
Evening fields of amber grain
Weathered places found again
Are soothed beneath the ever-changing sand

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
How you suffered for your sanity
How you tried to set them free
They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they'll listen now...

For they would not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left to stay
On that starry, starry day
You booked your flight as lovers often do
But I could have said, dear Vincent
This planet was never meant for one
As wonderful as you

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in shopping malls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With ears that hear the world and can't remember
Like the multi-level marketing weirdos that you've met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn, a pretty rose
Lie crushed and broken on the dirty snow

And now I think I know what you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free

They should not glisten
They don't want the bill
Perhaps they never will

5) And don't forget..!

Thanks for visiting and... good luck with your English!


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