Sunday, May 15, 2016

Practice Your English Conversation with Taylor Swift

Vogue Magazine recently interviewed Taylor Swift by asking her 73 questions about her life and career. Here are the list of questions and a great way to practice your own speaking in English. 

First, answer the questions from the list that you can also answer. There are some questions that are specific for Taylor to answer (highlighted in red), but you can try to answer the others. After you write or say your answers (by yourself or with a partner), watch the video, step inside the home of Taylor Swift, and listen to her answers. Enjoy!

By the way, I only caught 70 questions on this video. Can you find more? My favorite answer from Taylor Swift was from the question, "If you could teach one subject in school, what would it be?" Listen to the video for her answer. Have fun!

1.      What’s keeping you busy these days?
2.      What’s the most exciting thing in life right now?
3.      What are you completely bored of in life right now?
4.      What is something that recently moved you? (touched your heart)
5.      What do you have going on over here (in this room)?
6.      How many guitars do you own?
7.      What’s the first song you learned to play on the guitar?
8.      What’s the first thing you do when you get an idea for a song?
9.      What’s your song writing process?
10.  What song took you the least amount of time to write?
11.  Which song took you the longest to write?
12.  Is this the room where you keep all your awards?
13.  Who is your favorite teacher?
14.  If you could teach one subject in school, what would it be?
15.  What’s your favorite beverage?
16.  What’s your favorite cocktail?
17.  What’s your favorite food?
18.  What would you order at a drive-thru?
19.  What was the best birthday cake you’ve ever had?
20.  What was the last thing you baked?
21.  What one thing do you need to have in your fridge (refrigerator) at any given time?
22.  What’s one thing you still have from your childhood?
23.  What’s your favorite TV show of all time?
24.  What’s your favorite TV show that’s currently on the air?
25.  What’s your favorite movie?
26.  What was a movie that made you cry your eyes out?
27.  Why do you think you’re the most followed person on Instagram?
28.  Have you ever googled yourself?
29.  What do you think when you google yourself?
30.  If you had a superpower, what would it be?
31.  If you were not a singer, what would you be doing?
32.  Can you show me a really cool or bizarre talent?
33.  What’s something you can’t do?
34.  What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?
35.  What is the best gift you’ve ever received?
36.  What’s one habit you wish you could break?
37.  Do you have any nicknames?
38.  What surprises you the most about people?
39.  What makes you laugh no matter what?
40.  What does “creativity” mean to you?
41.  What’s the most adventurous thing you’ve ever done?
42.  What are your favorite lyrics (words of a song) of all time?
43.  What is one song you wish you had written?
44.  What’s a great “fan moment” that comes to mind?
45.  What is your most memorable career moment so far?
46.  What’s one accomplishment you’re most proud of?
47.  What is something you’ve always wanted to try but you’ve been too scared to do?
48.  What’s your spirit animal?
49.  Where should I take my wife for our anniversary?
50.  What advice would you give to anyone who wants to become a singer?
51.  Do you have any pre-show rituals?
52.  What’s the most difficult song to perform on stage and why?
53.  How many cats are in this room?
54.  If you were a cat, would you get along with your cats?
55.  How many cat breeds can you name in 10 seconds?
56.  What’s the coolest thing in this room?
57.  If you could raid one woman’s closet, whose would it be?
58.  What’s your favorite fashion trend of all time?
59.  Besides your phone and wallet, what are a couple of must-have purse items?
60.  Can you tell me what you’ll be wearing to this year’s met gala (fashion show)?
61.  What did you want to do with your life at age 5?
62.  What’s the one thing you wish you knew at age 19?
63.  What’s something you will not be doing in 10 years?
64.  What is the most important life lesson for someone to learn?
65.  What can you say in another language?
66.  What did you love the most about the town you grew up in?
67.  What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?
68.  What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
69.  What’s one goal you’re determined to achieve in your lifetime?
70.  What is your favorite scented candle?

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Learning English Catchphrases

The following game takes place on a famous evening talk show in the US called the Tonight Show. The host is Jimmy Fallon, and he hosts famous movie stars and entertainers. In this game, called "Catchphrase" (meaning a word or phrase that is commonly used), the players must describe the word without actually saying the word, also using body language. It's a fun way to strengthen your English vocabulary. Watch how these famous actors (native speakers) describe the phrases. 

Here are the phrases they describe with their definitions:

1. Braces (noun) In the U.S., we use this word for a metal device attached to the teeth to make them straight. Since Hugh and Taron are familiar with British vocabulary, they use the definition for straps that hold up pants. (U.S. = suspenders)
2. Butt Dial (verb/noun) To call someone on the cell-phone by accidentally sitting on the phone
3. Mousetrap (noun) a small trap for catching mice
4. Staycation (noun) a combination of the words “stay” and “vacation”, meaning to enjoy oneself at home instead of going somewhere on vacation
5. Tap Dance (verb) a style of dance that includes tapping the feet
6. Morning Breath (noun) when our breath stinks in the morning
7. Shaken Not Stirred (phrase) popularized by the James Bond movies, this is a way to prepare a martini, to shake it in a bottle rather than stirring it
8. Nicolas Cage – a famous actor (In this game, the host imitates Nicolas Cage in one of his movies.)
9. Ticklish (adj) being sensitive so that when someone touches us, we laugh
10. Piehole (noun) a slang word for the mouth
11. Ventriloquist (noun) a kind of puppeteer who doesn’t move his mouth while speaking, making us believe that the puppet is talking
12. Boo-boo (noun) could be a childish word for getting hurt; or (used in the game) the name of an old cartoon character
13. Cheeky (adj) a kind of disrespectful attitude (used chiefly in Britain)
14. False Alarm (noun) the alarm sounded but it was discovered that the problem was not a real emergency
15. Jet Lag (noun) feeling tired after traveling across time zones
16. Bunny Slope (noun) the small hill where beginners ski
17. All Aboard (phrase) the conductor on a train says this before the train departs the station
18. Go with the flow (phrase) to relax and be passive; to allow the event to happen, not fighting against it