Sunday, 28 December 2008

The Future of Online Learning: Ten Years On

Stephen Downes has published an updated version of his essay about the future of online learning. Read it here

Monday, 24 November 2008

Solar to power Spain?

The Guardian reports today on Spain's ambitious solar projects.
Read the article here

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Basic Prepositions

Sarah from The Daily English Show explains basic prepositions.

#880 ESL Video: Basic Prepositions

in front of
next to



in front of
next to

Where is the bird?
It’s on the umbrella.
It’s under the umbrella.
It’s in the tree.
It’s in front of the tree.
It’s behind the tree.
It’s next to the tree.
It’s between the tree and the umbrella.

Where’s the bird?
It’s on the tree.

Where’s the umbrella?
It’s next to the bird?

Where’s the tree?
It’s between the bird and the umbrella.


pictures from today's show
* These pictures are licenced with a Creative Commons Attribution License

You can use them any way you like, as long as you credit them to:
studio tdes

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

*USA Election Day Special*

Lee and Sachi LeFever of Common Craft explain the US Election process.Transcription here

Monday, 6 October 2008

Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book

One of the great things about the Internet is how people use it to present ideas in a different way. Neil Gaimen writes books for teenagers and is using his website to read the book to the public:

Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book
Watch Neil Gaiman read The Graveyard Book on a 9-city video tour. At each stop on the tour, Neil will read one chapter from The Graveyard Book. Beginning on October 1st, we will post the video readings daily. By the end of the tour, on October 9th, you will be able to watch the master storyteller himself read The Graveyard Book in its entirety right

Thursday, 2 October 2008

Welcome back!

I hope you have had a great summer and  are ready to start practising English again. Let's get started with another great video from commoncraft which will explain how to make searching for information on the Web a little easier.

Web Search Strategies in Plain English from leelefever on Vimeo.
Without subtitles

With subtitles

Read the transcript here

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

John Le Carré - A Most Wanted Man

John Le Carreé speaks about his new book, A Most Wanted Man

A Most Wanted Man

A half-starved young Russian man is smuggled into Hamburg at dead of night. He has an improbable amount of cash, is a devout Muslim and says his name is Issa.

Annabel is an idealistic German lawyer determined to save Issa from deportation. In pursuit of Issa's mysterious past she confronts Tommy Brue, the scion of a failing British bank based in Hamburg.

Meanwhile, scenting a sure kill in the War on Terror the rival spies of three nations converge upon the innocents.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

The Orwell Diaries

FFrom the Orwell Prize blog

"The Orwell Prize is publishing George Orwell’s diaries as a blog. From 9th August 2008, Orwell’s domestic and political diaries (from 9th August 1938 until October 1942) will be posted in real-time, exactly 70 years after the entries were written.

Orwell’s ‘domestic’ diaries begin on 9th August 1938/2008; his ‘political’ diaries (which are further categorised as ‘Morocco’, ‘Pre-war’ and ‘Wartime’) begin on 7th September 1938/2008.

The diaries are exactly as Orwell wrote them. Where there are original spelling errors, they are indicated by a ° following the offending word"

This is a fantastic opportunity to read a daily post by one of the greatest English writers ever. Check out the Orwell Diaries 

Monday, 4 August 2008


Lee and Sachi LeFever from Common Craft show us around Chongqing, China as part of China week on their blog

June Taylor Jams

Another cool Cool Hunting video, in which June Taylor demonstrates her art

Friday, 1 August 2008

US Elections in Plain English

The Common Craft store

With English subtitles

Electing a US President in Plain English from leelefever on Vimeo.

Finally - somebody has explained the crazy US election process. Thanks to Common Craft for this and all their great videos 

Finding True Knowledge on the net

True Knowledge aims to answer questions

Friday, 25 July 2008


Sarah from The Daily English Show tells us all about FREE Beer! Yay!
Transcription here (if you can focus)

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Saturday, 19 July 2008

The Glass House

In this Cool Hunting video RISD president John Maeda narrates a visit to Philip Johnson's Glass House in New Canaan, CT. Maeda shares his impressions and talks about how it relates to his thoughts on simplicity.

Friday, 4 July 2008

Summer Tips No.5 - Office massage

If you're working in the office this summer, take some time to relax with a quick massage. Here's a video from The Guardian to show you how. Watch here

Summer tips no.4 - Summer dictionary

Here's a great way to carry a whole lot of dictionaries with you - so if you are going on holiday to different countries and you don't want to fill your suitcase with heavy books, put this site in your browser favourites and don't fill your laptop with big files either.

Check out here

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Summer tips no.3 - Summer listening

Podictionary is a short, free podcast with a transcription available daily or weekly.

Charles Hodgson, creator of Podictionary says,

"Every day podictionary delivers a new short story about the history of a common word to thousands of subscribed listeners.
Not only is podictionary an audio word-a-day, but as the number of words grows in the podictionary archive the website is becoming an on-line audio etymology reference of sorts.
It's all for fun, so please enjoy."
Check out Podictionary here

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Monday, 30 June 2008

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

How to nap

The Boston Globe has published a very useful guide to napping. Read it here

Friday, 13 June 2008

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Slow Road

Sarah from The Daily English Show puts a song by Steven Dunston to footage of the Road To Hokkaido

Monday, 2 June 2008

Helvetica - the documentary

A film about a typeface? Watch Neville Brody & Rick Poyner talk about Helvetica

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

I Will Derive

Think maths is boring? Check out this video by MindofMatthew which I found on Jenny Luca's blog Lucacept.   Read the lyrics here (click on "more info").

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Open Yale Courses

Yale University is putting entire courses online which can be studied for free. Check out this great initiative here.

Thursday, 1 May 2008

London Secrets

If you're going to London soon check out this Guardian guide by top London bloggers and discover some "secret" places in the city.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

How to REALLY learn English

Knightwise is a Belgian geek and media producer. He also speaks great English. In a video conversation on seesmic I asked if he could share English learning experiences. This video is his reply. Take note because Knightwise explains his secrets and serves as an ispiration to language learners everywhere.

Saturday, 26 April 2008

Video conversations

Banannieannnie asks "What is the future of video conversation?"

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Podcasting in Plain English - subtitled version

Here is the English subtitled version of the excellent Podcasting in Plain English from Common Craft

Podcasting in Plain English

Another excellent video from Common Craft

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Camembert Wars!

The Guardian reports on the Camembert War taking place in France here

Leek fritters from Good Food

Evan Kleinman from KCRW's Good Food programme shows us how to make leek fritters.

Friday, 18 April 2008

Pink Politics

The Guardian reports on "The Pink Cabinet" here

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

The Great Village #1: About Ground Zero

The Great Village #1: About Ground Zero from Seesmic

Sunday, 6 April 2008

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Friday, 4 April 2008

Friday, 14 March 2008

Typography explained

Typographics - another great video from Vancouver Film Shcool

The future of work

Read it here

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Tsunami Video

Tsunami Infographic from Shal on Vimeo.

What is Twitter?

Another fine video from commoncraft which explains all about the "micro-blogging" platform Twitter

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Monday, 3 March 2008

How to write better in English

Finnish blogger Jarkko Laine has some great ideas on how to write better in English. Check them out here

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Hands off those privates

John Hooper reports on how Italian men have been ordered to keep their hands to themselves. Read all about it here

Sunday, 24 February 2008

How to listen to podcasts

Listening to podcasts is a great way to tune your ear to a language. Apple have made a video that shows how to get podcasts in iTunes for pc or mac. Watch here

Friday, 22 February 2008

Hooligans in Spain

The BBC is reporting about violence at a football match in Spain here

All aboard the chocolate train

The Guardian reports on the slow train across Cuba here

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Fight global warming

Watch the Earth Hour video and then sign up here to add your voice to the campaign

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

75 years since Hitler took power

There's a fascinating article by Ian Kershaw at Spiegel Online about "how Hitler won over the German people". Read it here.

Monday, 4 February 2008

The Ikea Game

Photo by Hokkey

The Guardian explain a fun game here

Friday, 1 February 2008

How does RSS work?

A great video from the folks at Common Craft which explains all about RSS

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Colours, Nouns, Numbers and Adjectives: The Song

Sarah from the The Daily English Show introduces Colours, Nouns, Numbers and Adjectives   transcription here

Monday, 21 January 2008

Sir Edmund Hillary

Sarah from The Daily English Show explains all
You can read the transcript here