5 British Christmas Traditions

Alla fine anche quest’anno si avvicinano le feste, nonostante questo Dicembre sarà un Natale un po’ diverso, per le ragioni che tutti noi conosciamo. 
Per farci immergere però ancora di più nel clima natalizio che comincia a respirarsi già da qualche giorno, la nostra Beth ha deciso di scrivere un blog parlando delle tradizioni di Natale del suo paese, il Regno Unito. Noi ovviamente non ci siamo fatti sfuggire l’occasione, e abbiamo creato dei Quiz appositamente per questo suo articolo – che troverete in fondo alla pagina.

Non vi resta allora che cimentarvi nella lettura di questo blog!!

The Queen’s Speech

The Royal Address started back in 1932 with a radio broadcast by King George V. It has been read by Queen Elizabeth II since 1952, and is usually the most-watched TV event in Britain on Christmas day! The Queen usually speaks about all the events of the year as well as a message of hope for the new year. It is shown at around 3pm on BBC, and is broadcast to all Commonwealth countries around the world. The speech only lasts about 10 minutes, but is an important part of Christmas day for many households.

Leaving Food & Drink for Santa & Rudolph

The type of food can differ from region to region but, growing up in the North of England, we personally left out a small glass of Brandy & a mince pie for santa, and then a carrot for Rudolph the reindeer. Parents will usually take a bite out of each and drink the beverage to let the children believe Santa Claus visited the house on Christmas Eve. It’s usually the first thing they check! Although if Santa drank a glass of Brandy in every house he went to, I’m not sure he’d be able to do his job very well….

Pulling Crackers

Crackers are cardboard tubes filled with little treats, and are pulled at the start of the meal. Inside each one is a small strip of paper covered in a tiny amount of gunpowder, which makes the cracker go ‘bang’ when it’s pulled! They usually contain brightly coloured paper hats that are worn throughout the meal. Everyone looks ridiculous, which just adds to the joy of the day! Also included is a joke on a small piece of paper, and usually a small gift – for example a comb, a keyring, or a mirror. Although this depends on the quality of the cracker… If you’re willing to fork out for a luxury one, you could get some amazing gifts!

Boxing Day Sales

If you happen to work in retail, this particular day is an absolute nightmare for you. But, if you have the day off and love to shop for bargains, this is the perfect day! Boxing Day is the English name for the day after Christmas – the 26th of December. The sales start in the morning and last all day, and the discounts you can find rival those of Black Friday in America. There are also the ‘January Sales’ which are famous throughout the UK, but Boxing Day is your chance to get hold of the best things before they sell out, at ridiculous prices!

Pantomimes

Nothing gets us more in the Christmas spirit than watching men in drag re-enact some of the most famous fairy tales in the world! Although it’s not quite known why this is specifically a Christmas tradition, it’s most likely due to the fact that it’s a fun show for all ages, meaning that families can attend pantomimes all together during the school holidays. Pantomimes are always comedies, and there will usually be a villain who sneaks up on the main character. It is a tradition for the entire audience to shout ‘he’s behind you!’ every time this happens!

Allora ragazzi, com’è andata la lettura di questo articolo? Siete riusciti a capire tutto?
Se avete avuto qualche difficoltà, sicuramente gli esercizi qua sotto riusciranno a chiarirvi meglio le idee! Buon Natale e buone feste a tutti! 😉

5 British Christmas Traditions | Definition Match

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5 British Christmas Traditions | True or False

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5 British Christmas Traditions | Fill in the Gap

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5 Reasons to Visit Scotland

It seems like a long time since the opportunity to travel was available… but we want to be positive and imagine a time in the future when it will be possible again. Here are 5 reasons to visit the fantastic country of Scotland. Practice your English reading, learn some new words and let your imagination take you away!

The Fantastic Landscapes

Scotland is a historic and famous country. It is famous for many reasons, but one of the main ones is for its stunning natural landscapes. It has by far the most striking landscapes in the UK, with jagged mountain ranges, rolling hills, forests, lochs (the Scottish word for lakes) and beaches. It has become very popular to do the country’s northern 500 mile driving route, which is Scotland’s answer to the American Highway 69. The route takes in the northern coastline of the Highlands from Inverness, circling down through the west coast. It may take you longer than a normal drive because you will need to stop every few miles to take photos!

Lots of Activities

There are many ways to enjoy Scotland’s fantastic nature and the list of activities you can do is endless. Hiking, biking and sailing are all very popular. There is also the opportunity to try surfing in some northern spots, as well as some lesser known sports like clay pigeon shooting. Of course, Scotland is famous for its fantastic golf courses. Whatever you do, the best way to enjoy the country is to get out of the car and explore. Hit the hiking trails or take a tour around a loch and you will not be disappointed.

Wildlife

Scotland has an abundance of beautiful wildlife to enjoy and try to catch a glimpse of! Some of the most famous creatures are the deer, in particular the Scottish stag with its giant impressive antlers. There are also Highland cows, otters, foxes and red squirrels. Along the coast you can keep an eye out for whales, dolphins and seals. If you are very lucky you could see a Scottish wildcat, which is around the size of a normal cat but just a bit tougher looking! They are an endangered species so you will need to be very fortunate to see one!

Food and Drink

Scotland is famous for its whiskey production and there are over one hundred distilleries in the country. Here you can taste some of the finest whiskey in the world and enjoy the splendid Scottish countryside at the same time. Every whiskey has its own distinct flavour and you can take a tour of the distilleries and learn more about its production. But if whiskey is not your tipple, then Scotland has a growing scene for craft beer and gin as well, so there is something for everyone. On the food side of things, there are some famous Scottish dishes to try, like Haggis, which is a delightful meat dish made of minced lamb.

The Cities

Edinburgh and Glasgow are the most famous Scottish cities and certainly Edinburgh should not be missed on any trip to Scotland. The capital city is a beautiful place, with a medieval old town centre and a Georgian new town as well, with many wonderful neo-classical buildings. It is a true pleasure to wander around the city for a day and enjoy the little old street and the charming shops. The city comes alive during the month of August when the Edinburgh Fringe Festival comes to town. The event lasts the whole month and there are lots of comedy and music events to attend in venues across the city, many of them for free!

Thank you for reading! Now try the quizzes below to test your knowledge of the vocabulary and the general content of the article.

5 Reasons to Visit Scotland | Definitions Quiz

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5 Reasons to Visit Scotland | True or False

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Learn English with the News – Vaccine sceptics might make trials a headache

The fight for or against vaccines has been raging in the UK, and scientists are worried that skepticism could affect the results of specific trials. Watch the video and then do the accompanying English language exercises.

The news is a consistent source of entertainment, knowledge and discovery that never ceases to exist and always comes out with more and more material each day. Because it plays such a vital part in our lives and is so important to keep up with, it is without a doubt a piece of your everyday routine that can’t go ignored. 

Whether it is to understand the ramifications of recent legislation passed, to hear about recent events and grasp the potential consequences to your country, or simply hear about what is happening in other countries in order to compare them to what’s happening in yours, the news is certainly a staple in our lives and the most consistent way to get information.

This is why Scrambled Eggs has decided to unite two of your biggest worlds: learning English and keeping up with what is happening in the world. We hope our challenging daily exercises, composed of listening, vocabulary and comprehension exercises in English, will satisfy both of those above worlds in a satisfactory and also entertaining way.

So enough about introductions, let’s get to today’s Learn English with the News topic:

Adapted from this article.

Now that you’ve had a listen, let’s put your knowledge to the test with some of our vocabulary and comprehension exercises:

Vaccine sceptics might make trials a headache | Definition Match

Put the following words to the correct definitions.

Vaccine sceptics might make trials a headache | Fill In The Blank

Fill the empty spaces with the proper words.

Vaccine sceptics might make trials a headache | True or False

Indicate which sentences are true and which ones are false.

 

And that’s it for today’s English lesson, where you can improve your English with the news and current events. Do you have any comments or special requests for us for the next edition of Learn English with the News? Be sure to leave any feedback you have in the comments section below, as we would love to help you on your quest to learn the English language!

For other Learn English with the News segments, be sure to check out the rest of our posts:

https://scrambledeggsinglese.it/tag/learn-english-with-the-news/

Full Text

“It will soon be critical for the NHS to start vaccinating people against flu, to prevent hospitals
being swamped with flu and Covid-19 patients this winter. Large-scale trials of Covid-19
vaccines, already under way in some places, are likely to start in Bradford in the autumn. It's
therefore worrying, says Dr John Wright of the city's Royal Infirmary, that anti-vax conspiracy
theories seem to have flourished in this pandemic.
The numbers of hospital patients continue to slowly decline in the UK, almost down to single
figures this week. There is great relief in Bradford hospital, tempered by the inevitability of a
further spike of infection. You may know of the warning from Game of Thrones – winter is
coming – and never before has that phrase been so ominous. The prediction of a second wave
of Covid-19 in January, with the added layer of an influenza epidemic, is John Wright’s worst
fear. He and his team will be working hard to make sure they vaccinate as many people for flu
as they can in the autumn.
The race for an effective Covid-19 vaccine continues at pace. Over 130 candidate vaccines have
now been developed and more than 30 are in clinical trials, with some showing promising early
signs.
The Bradford Institute of Health Research is one of just five national centres for patient
recruitment to clinical trials, and the staff have lots of expertise with testing new drugs.
However, vaccine trials are a completely different ball game. Rather than trialling new drugs on
a small number of patients with specific diseases they will be testing new vaccines on hundreds
and thousands of healthy volunteers. They have been exploring how they could use sports
centres or community halls to recruit these volunteers, and how they can scale up their
research teams to cope with the numbers.
They had been preparing for two different vaccine trials, only for the companies to pull them
from the UK at the last minute and move them to the Americas. The pandemic fires have been
dampened in Europe, but in the US and Latin America they continue to rage, and if you are
going to test a new vaccine you need countries where the virus is still accelerating.
But despite these two false starts, there will be further trials of other candidate vaccines.
It’s therefore important to win the support of the public so that they sign up to these new trials,
and to do that there is a need to counter some of the growing false news stories that the public
are hearing on community grapevines, which are leading people to believe that the vaccines are
harmful.”