Over the course of the year, there are a number of important festivals that take place in the UK. Some of them are common to most other western countries such as Christmas and new years eve. However, there are a few festivals which are distinctly British and do not occur in other countries.

    Perhaps the most notable of these is the Guy Fawkes festival which takes place on the fifth of November every year. This event marks the day of the failed plot to blow up the king of England outside Parliament in 1605. Traditionally people build bonfires and burn models of Guy Fawkes in their town or village square and there are also usually fireworks displays.

    This video takes a look at all of the main festivals in Britain and how they are celebrated. Below you can find some questions about the video to listen out for.


    Festivals in Britain - English Tutors Live


    Questions on festivals in Britain:


    What happened to Guy Fawkes in the end?

    What is the name of the festival in February? How do people celebrate it?

    Is there a difference between Valentine’s day in Britain and in your country? What do people do with the cards?

    What’s the festival on the 31st of October called?

    Which are the most important festivals in Britain? Why are they the most significant?

    What goes into the Christmas’s dinner?

    What is New Years Eve called in Scotland?
    How are the celebrations different from festivals in your country?

    Posted by: In: Topic Of The Week, Video 12 Feb 2014 1 comment

    Technology is advancing faster than ever before with new products being invented all the time which could radically change the way that we interact with computers in the future. This week we are going to be talking about the idea of technology that you can wear, something which has appeared in the media a lot this year with the inventions of devices such as Google Glass. As we can see from the BBC video about video headsets and wearable tech, there is more competition than ever before. The video also talks about some of the potential problems with this technology in its current form.

    With more and more technology in our lives, it is a relevant point to ask whether it has improved them or not. While  some people are advocates, others believe that the influence these devices have on us has been  negative, impacting on the way that we socialise. These are the main ideas that we will be talking about this week in class,  so with that in mind, have a look at the video and have your thoughts ready!




    Questions on wearable technology:


    What is the new type of headset that is mentioned in the video do and what is it called? How does it make use of mirrors?

    What are some of the problems mentioned about google glass? What about the other new wearable glasses that are talked about?

    Would you be interested in using this type of technology? Do you think that everyone in the future will be using wearable tech?

    How do you use technology in your daily life?

    What do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of technology in our lives today?

    Will these new inventions improve the way we interact with computers and help us be more productive?


    Posted by: In: Topic Of The Week, Video 27 Jan 2014 0 comments

    The European Union is a fascinating bunch of countries that have come together in various ways. Whether or not you live in the E.U. you may have a lot of questions about how to determine what countries and people form a part of the Union, and what exactly these nations do to join the “club” so to speak.

    european union

    Here are some questions about the European Union the video answers:


    What are 3 things the E.U. member states have to do?
    What is the Eurozone and what nations are involved in it?
    What is the European Economic Area and what countries form a part of it?
    What is the Schengen Area?
    Is it possible to be a member of just one of these categories and not the others? If so, how and why?
    Why do islands and the concept of empire make the European Union even more complicated?
    What questions do you still have about the E.U. that weren’t answered in the video?
    Do you have E.U. citizenship? If so, what are some of the benefits you see to being a part of the European Union? If not, would you like to be a part of the E.U.? Why or why not?

    Just how does someone become the King or Queen of England? It is certainly not a simple task and although it may not seem so, there is a great deal of luck involved!

    Throughout British history there has been various royal dynasties lasting for varying amounts of time. To start with, being king was as easy as having the biggest army, which you could then pass to your heir (almost always male). This lead to some rapid changes in who held the crown.

    There have been eight royal dynasties of England to date (since 1066): 1. Norman 2. Plantagenet 3. Lancaster 4. York 5. Tudor 6. Stuart 7. Hanover 8. Windsor

    As the video explains this procedure was changed and regulated by Parliament, with the creation of laws determining the succession.

    British Monarch

    Questions on becoming the British monarch:

    What year did Parliament establish the rules?

    What are the four main rules?

    Which religion do you have to be in order to become the monarch?

    What does the term “naturally dead” refer to? What position does the spouse (Husband or Wife) of the monarch have?

    Who does the Crown go to when the King or Queen dies?

    How did Queens happen?

    What happened in 2013 that changed things?

    What is your opinion of the Royal Family?


    As many of you know, the number of countries there are in the world depends on who you are talking to. As pointed out in the video, this means you can’t just look at a map and start counting.  For a country to be recognised as a state it needs to have four defining characteristics: a territory, a population, a government, and most  importantly, international recognition. This final factor is what generally causes the issue of what (or who) is considered to be a country. It is also worth remembering that the modern nation state was not created until 1648 and so before this date, countries as we think of them today didn’t even exist!


    Questions on how many countries there are in the world:


    According to the United Nations, how many countries are there?

    Why is the count of United Nations country count not the most reliable number?

    Which countries have you heard of that are “maybe-countries”

    Where does the controversy about these places normally come from?

    Why is the number that the olympic games regognises different from that of the united nations?

    Are there any countries that you know of that want to become independent?


    We look forward to talking about this topic with you all during the week!

    The ETL team


    Posted by: In: Topic Of The Week, Video 06 Nov 2013 0 comments

    Homes come in all shapes and sizes. This week we’ll be discussing homes in Britain in a video that explores homes in the U.K. whether they be a flat, a cottage or something bigger. The video also discusses the different parts of a home and their names, as well as offers some interesting facts about British home-life. While watching the video, consider the questions below and think about how each fact and image compares to homes and home-life in your native country.


    Questions on homes in Britain

    What kind of homes do British people live in? What are the most common types?

    How much tea does the average British person drink?

    Name some of the rooms shown in the houses. For example, where do people relax?

    What way of bathing do most British people prefer? Which do you prefer?

    What percentage of British people live in flats?

    What is the most famous home in Britain?

    What type of home do you live in? How are the homes in your country different from those in Britain? Is there a specific architecture that is characteristic of your country’s homes?

    What is your idea of the perfect home? And where would that perfect home be, ideally?

    What’s your favorite room in your home? What do you do there and why is it your favorite?





    This week we are going to be discussing the oddities of the United Kingdom. Although it may seem fairly simple to start with, a country as old as the UK has evolved slowly over time and so it does not have the political structure that is commonly associated with nation states. This is a fascinating topic for anyone interested in history and geography. We thought it would be worth sharing with you all to see what you think.

    In the video above you can listen to (and read) a good summary of exactly how the UK is structured and learn some surprising facts which even many people who live here may not know!

    united kingdom

    Questions on the oddities of the United Kingdom

    What are the different countries that make up the United Kingdom? What is strange about the political structure (the Parliaments)?

    What is the technical definition of the political system in the UK? Who is the head of state?

    Which problems have you heard about in the news regarding British overseas territories?

    What do you think will happen in the future to them, especially in the case of Gibraltar?


    We look forward to talking about this topic with you all in class this week,


    The ETL team.

    Posted by: In: Topic Of The Week, Video 14 Oct 2013 0 comments

    These days people tend to work  a lot, and so how we spend our free time is very important. In Britain as in other countries, people do a huge range of different activities outside of work. This can range from physical activities such as outdoor sports, through to interests and hobbies which can be done indoors.

    Holidays are also considered leisure time, and as we have seen in a previous topic, many people choose to spend their free time abroad when they have a few weeks holiday. There are some suprising facts mentioned in the video about how people choose to spend their time in the UK when they are not working. Which did you find most suprising?

    free time

    Questions on leisure and free time in Britain: 


    What is the most popular activity mentioned in the video that people do in their free time?

    What do young people prefer to do? How do the leisure activities differ from those that people in your country participate in?

    How do you spend your free time, and which are your favorite activites outside of work?

    If you have visited Britain, how did you spend your time, did you do any of the things mentioned in the video?


    We look forward to speaking with you all about this topic during class this week!


    The ETL team.


    Posted by: In: Topic Of The Week, Video 30 Sep 2013 0 comments

    This week we’re discussing the origins of the film industry in India. Bollywood is an informal term used to describe the movie industry in India. The word is a play on the American town of Hollywood, where most English-speaking movies are produced. Since Bollywood is based in Bombay (what is now Mumbai), the name has become a clever way to refer to the style of hindi-speaking films created in India. This combination of two words into one is called a portmanteau.

    Many people don’t realize that Bollywood is one of the largest film centers in the world, producing movies watched world-wide and generating an enormous amount of capital. In 2012, Bollywood celebrated its 100th anniversary. This sort clip talks a bit about how the film industry got started in India.


    Questions  on the topic of Bollywood:

    After watching the video about Bollywood, answer the questions below.

    Who started the Indian film industry? What kind of films were first shown in India?

    What traditions did Indians associated films with?

    Had you heard of Bollywood before watching the video? If so, what had you heard?


    This week we are going to be talking about coffee


    This week’s video claims coffee is “the greatest addiction ever.” About 90% of the world takes coffee in some form or another, and though for a long time research told us coffee isn’t good for you, now scientists believe a cup or so per day is healthy. Here are some questions to discuss with your tutor about your cup of morning joe.

    Learn English onine - coffee | Engish Tutors Live topic of the week

    Questions on the subject of coffee:


    What are some of the health benefits of drinking coffee?

    What’s something you didn’t know about coffee before that you learned from this video?

    Do you agree with the video that coffee is a good substance to consume?

    How many cups of coffee do you drink per day?

    Have you ever experienced or known someone who had an addiction to coffee?

    What did coffee supposedly have to do with the Enlightenment?

    Which countries consume the most coffee?

    Why is coffee produced? How much coffee would a person have to drink in order to die?


    We look forward to speaking with you all about  this topic  in class this week. Don’t forget, you can do an optional piece of writing about this topic and send it to your tutor before class, or  leave a comment on the post. Happy coffee drinking!

    The ETL team.



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