Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

Watch the video and answer the questions / fill in the gaps.

Answer these questions connected to this topic:

1. Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

2. How does it affect your everyday life?

3. One person in the video talks about the weather: does it affect your mood? How?

4. One person says that something small can make you happy. What was the last thing that made your day?

5. “Enjoy the present as opposed to lamenting it” – what did you last complain about?

Watch this TED Talk to learn more about positive thinking:


the origin of quarantine

Do you know where the word ‘quarantine’ comes from? Listen to the podcast to figure it out. Also, try to decide whether the following statements are true, false, or not stated.

1. Isolation and quarantine are two totally different concepts.     T

2. North Brother Island has never been inhabited.

3. The building behind the stoep has vanished.

4. A nurse used to live in a cottage on the island, called Typhoid Mary.

5. She was believed to have infected 51 people out of which several died.

6. She was quarantined against her will for over three decades.

7. She rejected to give stool and urine samples and ran away from the inspector.

8. She was later arrested and banished to North Brother Island to quarantine.

9- The word ‘quarantine’ has existed for millennia.

10. Black death killed half the world’s population.

11. Both the dead and the dying were collected in Venice and dropped on nearby islands.

12. It’s still not sure why 40 days had to be passed in quarantine.

13- After the Black Death was over, wearing of black clothes in Venice was prohibited.

14. Mary was set free from her confinement on condition that she wouldn’t cook ever again.

15. Mary became a laundress after being released from North Brother Island,

16. She died on the island.

17. What are your small moments of joy in quarantine?

Teen speaks over 20 languages

Record yourself (video OR voice only) talking about the following questions (related to the video):

1) “I feel like when I speak a foreign language I become a different person.” –  Do you feel like a different person when you speak English (or other languages)?

2) If you speak English well, you sometimes feel like you don’t have to learn new languages.  – Are you motivated to learn new languages? Why (not)?

3) “For Tim, learning languages isn’t  a hobby, it’s his way of life.” – Is this a good thing? Why (not)?

4) Watching TV shows and films is really helpful when you learn a new language. – What were the first films/TV shows that you watched entirely in English?

5) The internet helped Tim become a super-polyglot. – What websites, games, online communities helped you in developing your English skills?

6) Tim was interested in the Middle East and he started learning languages to understand it better. – Do you have an interest like this? What hobby/interest has helped you to be better at English (or other languages)?

The origin of memes

Listen to this podcast and answer the questions afterwards.

For what different purposes was Gangnam Style used throughout the past few years?

How does the internet linguist explain the concept of memes?

What was the idea behind the term meme, coined by an evolutionary biologist?

What were the two words he used?

How did the Massachusetts ship inspector’s marking of ships become a meme?

What do you learn about Mike Godwin?

What’s the precise moment of the appearance of memes on the internet?

How would you explain the word to your great grandparents?

What’s your favourite meme?

Additionally, you can read this article as well: