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Tell Me about Christmas - Part 1 Mulled Wine So every Boxing Day, we hold a mulled wine party for friends and family in our house. What we do – you go and buy these little sachets of spices you can get in supermarkets, and then in the morning, just get loads and loads of cheap cheap cheap red wine, the cheapest red wine that you can get; and put it in a massive massive sort of soup pot. Put some fruit juice in there, put some chopped-up fruits in there, and then add these spices and add some sugar, and just let it bubble away, let it simmer away over a few hours. And so in the afternoon, when all the friends come round, we serve it up and it’s a lovely warm drink for a cold December afternoon - very spicy, very Christmasy, and very alcoholic. Mince Pie Hello! But now, well actually up from Victorian era, they were changed to be a dessert. Christmas Pudding In my family, we always have Christmas pudding and it’s about that big. And then when you serve it, you have to switch all the lights off. Turkey Leftovers

Christmas shopping Christmas shopping in London. There’s nowhere like it in the world. When the West End Christmas lights go on and the big shops reveal their special Christmas window displays, it’s time for the festivities to begin. Fortnum & Mason, here in Piccadilly, has been selling the finer things in life around the world for over three hundred years. From chocolates to china, luxury goods are what Fortnum & Mason specialise in. Today’s an important day. Paul Symes is the head of visual presentation and the creative force behind the Fortnum & Mason Christmas window display. Amandeep: This is so exciting, Paul. Paul: It’s all about dancing, burlesque, theatre, shows and glamour and style. Amandeep: And what are the challenges involved in designing something to this scale? Paul: One of the challenges is trying to get it all to fit. Amandeep: So Paul, you’re about to reveal your Christmas shop window. Paul: Very, very. Amandeep: Andrea, when did Christmas shopping become such an important tradition?

Oxford Christmas Corner | OXFORD CULTUREMANIA Is your stocking hanging above the fireplace yet? Are you impatient for Christmas to arrive? Then unwrap this early gift courtesy of Oxford and share it with your class. We have new activities for 2015! Just choose the level you teach to access your free resources. Season’s Greetings from the team. Secondary NEW! Dictionary Activity Treasure Hunt Speaking and Listening Writing Upper Secondary NEW! Dictionary Activity Treasure Hunt Reading Speaking and Listening Writing Official Languge Schools Dictionary Activity – Basic Cycle Writing – Basic Cycle Speaking – Basic & Intermediate Cycle Treasure Hunt –Intermediate Cycle Dictionary Activity –Intermediate & Advanced Cycle Speaking and Listening – Intermediate & Advanced Cycle Writing – Intermediate & Advanced Cycle Reading – Advanced Cycle Treasure Hunt – Advanced Cycle Levels shown for guidance.

Tell Me about Christmas - Part 2 Advent Calendar Hi, I’m gonna tell you about our advent calendar. This has got all the days until Christmas Day on. And when I was a child we’d have these, and in the family, each child would take it in turns, different day, to open the window and would be very excited about it. Mistletoe People often put mistletoe in their homes at Christmas. Christmas Cracker Christmas crackers are something that most people have at Christmas but I think they… It’s a bit of a silly tradition really because nobody, nobody takes Christmas crackers very seriously. And then inside the cracker, you find usually three things I think. So I think what happens is people kind of think, “oh, we’re not gonna bother having Christmas crackers because they are rubbish anyway” but then you just feel like, “oh well, but it wouldn’t be Christmas without Christmas crackers”.

The Most Useful Everyday Phrases in English Traditional English language textbooks and courses will do a great job of introducing you to vocabulary and grammar, but they don't always teach you the important everyday phrases in English. When students visit an English-speaking country, they can sometimes be confused by some of these phrases. Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses Sometimes the problems are because pronunciation is different in spoken English, and sometimes the problems are because English speakers use idioms that cannot be translated literally into another language. When you are learning everyday phrases, it is important to learn if they are formal, informal or slang. Some important everyday phrases in English "How are you?" How can you start to increase your usage of natural English phrases? The most important thing is to listen. A practical tip if you are living in a non-English speaking country: Set yourself a goal for each movie/radio talk show you watch or listen to.

how-christmas-trees-are-made#sthash.7qFdDLfr The last 20 years have seen a huge increase in the Chinese economy, thanks partly to Christmas trees. The tradition of Christmas trees is believed to have begun in Germany around the 18th century, but it was Queen Victoria who made them fashionable in Britain when she was pictured standing next to one with her family in 1846. This factory in Suzhou makes ‘sheng dan shu’, as they call them, in all sorts of sizes. And this is how they produce a two-metre-high version. The branches start out as flat strips of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC to you and me. The reels are unravelled and as they pass through rollers they’re bonded and stick together. Then a circular blade slices through the PVC, shredding it and making the needles. These machines produce branches measuring around six metres long. A bunch of branches are then sewn together using a polypropylene twine, and the sharp edges are bent over to stop little children hurting themselves as they hang their baubles from the tree.

The Best Places To Learn About Christmas, Hanukkah, & Kwanzaa Check out my New York Times post: Ideas for English Language Learners | Celebrate the Holidays ELLs learn about tamales, holiday food traditions and Three Kings Day at my latest holiday-related New York Times Learning Network post. It includes a student interactive and teaching ideas. Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are all coming-up, and I thought it would be timely to create a “The Best…” list focusing on those holidays. Obviously, there are a lot more materials about Christmas out there accessible to English Language Learners than there are for the other two events, but I have found some for all of them. Also, check out The Best Ways For Students To Create Online Holiday Content Quickly & Easily andHere Are My Favorite Fun Christmas Resources (and “Feel Good” Christmas Stories For Christmas Day).The Best Christmas Videos For English Language Learners – Help Me Find More The Best Resources For Helping Beginner ELLs Learn About Christmas Christmas Around the World is a slideshow from CBS.

7 Swedish words that English speakers shouldn’t be confused about | Global Master's and Bachelor's Programmes As an expat in Sweden (although I do speak Swedish), I sometimes find it difficult not to laugh at some of the Swedish words that have the exact same spelling of English words, but mean something extremely different. Amazingly enough, some of these words are so commonly used that you can almost hear or read them many times a day. Here’s a list of 7 words that I think English speaking people shouldn’t be confused about when they come to Sweden 1. The “A” in Swedish is pronounced like “Ah” which means that this word “bad” is not the one that you’re familiar with, but is pronounced “b(ah)d”. Apart from how it’s pronounced, Bad (n) = Bathroom (or pool sometimes as you can see in the pic) Bad (v) = Past tense of the verb “Ber” which means “Ask for/Pray” 2. Although it sounds almost the same in English and Swedish, the Swedish “barn” means “children”… 3. First things first. Gift (or Yeft) interestingly has 2 meanings in Swedish which you can use your imagination to correlate. Gift (adj) = Married 4.

Fun English: American Christmas with TV Shows (Seinfeld) In the United States this time of year almost everyone, religious or not, is celebrating Christmas. During Christmastime, it’s common to decorate the house with lights and a tree with ornaments, make sweets like cookies and toffee, drink hot chocolate, play in the snow, and exchange presents with loved ones. Today I have a fun, hilarious lesson for you that explains one Christmas tradition, Christmas Cards. It’s common around Christmas that people take a photo, often with family and mail it out to friends wishing them Happy Holidays. This clip comes from a popular American TV show from the 1990’s called Seinfeld (learn why TV shows are such a great resource for your English here). Now enjoy this funny lesson and learn a bit about Christmas! Video: Transcript: (Vocabulary in blue, pronunciation/connected speech in red, cultural notes/grammar in green) JERRY: Look at what we have here. ELAINE: It was no trouble. JERRY: I didn’t even see the picture. ELAINE: Well, you know. JERRY: Oh yeah.