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ESL Student Blog
Language points (vocabulary, grammar, pronunciaton) that are worth noticing for ESL students around the world.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

ESL Student Blog: Unusual Winter Olympic Sports - Curling

Being an official sport of the Winter Olympic Games since 1998, curling is a team sport played on ice. One of the world’s oldest sports that was invented in Scotland, it’s considered a hybrid of bowling, pool and golf.

How is curling played?

Two teams of four players each take turns sliding stones along the ice to a colored circle, called the house. The objective is to place a stone closest to the center of the house. Players also try to knock the other team’s stones out of the way in the process.
While one of the players (the lead) slides the stone on the ice, the other two players sweep the ice with brooms in front of the moving stone to control the speed and direction of the stone.

Why is it called curling?

As the stones move toward the target, they turn and twist (or curl).

What’s unusual about curling?

- Curling is played on ice that is bumpy, not smooth. The little bumps, that make the stones curl, are made by sprinkling hot water across the rink.

- Rather than physical strength, curling demands strategy, precision and skill. Because the players have to plan their next steps ahead, curling is often called “chess on ice”.

What’s the best part about curling?

Curling knows no age limit, being a game for the young and old!
Would you give it a try?
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 11:22 PM   0 Comments  Add Comment

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

ESL Student Blog: Hear Vs. Listen

What do you hear while waiting at a bus stop: traffic zooming past, honking horns, speeding motorcycles, squealing brakes or perhaps stereo systems blaring from cars stopped at the red light? Do you wish you had earplugs when you hear a chain saw, leaf blower or dental drill? Whether we like it or not, we’re constantly exposed to sounds around us. When we hear, we do so unintentionally.

Hearing is one of the 5 senses through which humans perceive the world (also: sight, touch, smell, taste). Can you hear well underwater (when you dive)? Would you hear your teacher in a noisy room (even if you tried to listen)? How about when someone whispers?

As we age, we might experience (partial) hearing loss and therefore might need a hearing aid - a device that can help us to hear better. When was the last time you had your hearing test done? This test is usually performed by an audiologist.

If you listen, you pay attention and make a cognitive effort to focus on particular sounds. You do so intentionally. As learners of English as a second language, you listen to the native speakers of English to pick up intonation and pronunciation. Do you always listen to instructions your teacher gives in class?

When you listen to an orchestra or a band, what and how many instruments can you hear? Can you listen to a musical tune and then recreate what you heard?

Sometimes, even if we listen, we can’t hear:

I tried to listen to their conversation, but couldn’t hear a word.

Some other times, we aren’t listening, but we might hear something:

The radio program was boring and I stopped listening until I heard the breaking news.
POSTED BY Olga Galperin AT 12:06 AM   0 Comments  Add Comment


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