Short ELT listening activity about the Titanic disaster. English Language Level: Intermediate CEFR B2
In 1871 a deserted ship is found drifting in the sea. The captain and the crew have disappeared ...
Hunter meets brown bear in the woods
1. Do you know the names of the two main political parties in the USA?
2. From which party does the current president come?
Listening Comprehension True or false
1. In the United States there are only two political parties.
2. All Republicans oppose gun control.
3. Republicans generally support military spending.
4. Republicans generally support free trade between countries.
5. Democrats generally believe in more market regulation.
6. Democrats agree with Republicans on taxation.
7. Many Republicans criticise the UN.
8. Only the rich vote for the Republican Party.
9. Only the poor vote for the Democrat Party.
10. The Democrats have a lot of support in the big cities.
For more on the two major parties go here
A young couple move to the country. Every night they visit a beautiful local church. Inside there are two marble statues. Why do these statues frighten local people? And what is the secret of the broken marble finger? 'The Marble Finger' is based on a classic horror story, Man Made in Marble (1893)…
Hallowe'en or All-Hallows-Eve takes place on the night of 31 October. Hallow is the old English word for saint.
On All Hallows Day (1 November) the Catholic Church remembers Christian martyrs. This feast day can be traced back to the Middle Ages.
All Souls Day - when Catholics pray for the 'souls of the departed' - follows on 2 November.
English Language level: Intermediate+ CEFR B2/C1
So is Halloween Christian or Pagan?
Like Christmas, Halloween combines Pagan & Christian customs.
The lighting of bonfires symbolized the plight of souls lost in purgatory (Catholic). It also scared away witches & ghouls (Pagan).
Souling was going door-to-door offering prayers for the dead. In exchange the visited house provides "soul cakes" and other treats. The modern form is 'trick or treat'.
Mumming (or "guising") consisted of parading in costume, chanting rhymes, and play-acting. The custom was originally associated with Christmas. Source
Halloween features in Victorian ghost stories like E. Nesbit's 'Man-Made-in-Marble' - read and/or listen to a retelling here.
But isn't the Catholic Church against Halloween?
Not exactly. It just does not recognise it as a religious holiday (again like Christmas Eve). Nor does it approve of modern attempts to connect Halloween with devil worship.
What about the modern festival?
Today the religious elements of Halloween eclipse the pagan ones. There are no Jack O Lanterns in the Bible!
Another example of the devil having all the best tunes...