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Englishman Jonathan Taylor – musician and writer who chose to become teacher in Bulgaria

Jonathan Taylor - Bulgaria

Jonathan Taylor sings and plays guitar during production of Vseki den in Bulgaria

Jonathan Taylor is EnglishClub’s “Music Man” and this article about him recently appeared on Radio Bulgaria’s website.

When I asked Jonathan Taylor, a teacher of English in Bulgaria’s Sevlievo, if he liked Bulgaria, he replied: “I love it.” The Englishman has been living in the village of Krushevo since 2011 and says this country attracted him with its beauty and tranquillity. The village is now his home and he plans to stay there together with his Bulgarian friends. He also likes spending his free time in Sozopol. Jonathan is a musician, writer and teacher. This is precisely why we met him on International Teacher’s Day- October 5.

Read the full article and listen to radio extracts…

Rio Paralympics 2016

logoSpirit in Motion
– Paralympic movement motto

The 2016 Summer Paralympic Games are being held in Rio de Janeiro from September 7 to September 18. The Summer Paralympics are held every four years, shortly after the Summer Olympics.

Over 4,000 athletes from 161 countries are competing in Rio. They’re competing in 528 events in 22 Paralympic sports for athletes with a disability of some sort. To qualify for a particular event, each athlete must have the same type and degree of disability. The sports in which they can compete include tennis, rugby and basketball for wheelchair athletes, 7-a-side football for players with cerebral palsy and 5-a-side football for visually-impaired players. There are also events in table tennis, shooting, sailing, rowing, judo, volleyball and many other Paralympic sports, including a wide range of swimming, athletics and cycling events for athletes with many different types of disability.

Like all top athletes, Paralympians compete with determination and do their best to win. But whether they win a medal or not, they represent their countries with pride and inspire us to face life’s challenges with courage and keep a positive attitude, no matter what.

Rio Paralympics Quiz

1. In which year will the next Summer Paralympic Games be held?

2. What must all the athletes in a particular event have in common?

3. What are 5-a-side footballers unable to do?

4. Which limbs do Paralympic basketballers use to move themselves around the court?

5. What’s the total number of footballers on the pitch at any one time during a match for players with cerebral palsy?

6. According to this blog, what do Paralympians help many of us do?

Write your answers in the comment box below. You can check your answers in our next Paralympics blog.

cerebral palsy (noun): a medical condition that affects a person’s control of their movement and speech

disability (noun): any condition that prevents full or normal use of the body or mind

no matter what (phrase): regardless of what else happens, as in “I’ll be there, no matter what.”

Paralympian (noun): an athlete with a disability who’s competed in the Paralympic Games

(the) Paralympic Games (noun) [also “the Paralympics”]: the biggest international sports event for athletes with disabilities

visually-impaired (adjective): unable to see, or partially or completely blind

wheelchair (noun): a chair on large wheels, mostly used by disabled people who can’t use their legs

Related Pages:

Amazing Athletes at Rio – Competition Winner!

logoGames of the XXXI Olympiad – Rio de Janeiro, 2016

It’s time to announce the winner of our Amazing Athletes at Rio competition. We had over fifty entries to choose from, and it wasn’t an easy decision, but we’re happy to announce the winner of a free copy of 1000 Phrasal Verbs in Context is Nafisa Saleem from India.

Nafisa’s favourite athlete at Rio was the Indian badminton player Pusarla Venkata Sindhu. Sindhu beat Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the women’s badminton singles semi-final to reach the final against Carolina Marin of Spain, the current World Champion. Even though she couldn’t win the gold medal by beating Carolina, Sindhu made history by becoming the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal.

Here’s Nafisa’s winning entry:

“Shobha Dey the famous Page 3 columnist taunted the Indian Olympic contingent saying that the sports persons went to Rio to picnic and to click selfies. Many protested at her unpleasant remarks. After four years of strenuous training each athlete was included. Most of the Indian athletes come from middle class background but they aim for the stars. Dipa Karmakar came into the limelight in gymnastics and Pusarla Venkata Sindhu as a badminton player.

I watched Sindhu’s semi final match and was fascinated by each move she made. The score in the second game left no doubt in the minds of the audience who the better player was. She was cool and composed on the court, very elegant and what flashes through my mind’s eye are the images of her smashes which left her opponent helpless.

Sindhu is a young, energetic player, she has the inner drive to win and achieve. She has set her eyes on the Olympic gold at Rio 16 and on behalf of all Indians, I take the liberty to wish her all the best. May she touch the stars!”

Related Pages:

Amazing Athletes at Rio

logoGames of the XXXI Olympiad – Rio de Janeiro, 2016

We’ve seen many great performances by amazing athletes at the Rio Olympics. We’ve seen Jamaica’s Usain Bolt win the men’s 100 metre sprint for the third time. This makes him the first track and field athlete to compete in the same event at three Olympic Games and win the gold medal each time.

We’ve also seen American swimmer Michael Phelps become the most successful Olympic athlete ever. He first competed at the Sydney Olympics in 2000 when he was only 15 years old. He didn’t win a medal in Sydney, but since then he’s won more Olympic medals than anyone else in history. He’s won a total of 28 medals in freestyle, butterfly, backstroke and medley competitions, including 23 gold medals.

Many younger athletes have also done amazing things at the Rio Olympics. Kyle Chalmers is an 18-year-old swimmer from Australia who surprised everyone, including himself, by winning gold in the men’s 100m freestyle. And Simone Biles, a 19-year-old African American gymnast, has won four gold medals and a bronze in her first Olympics. After showing her amazing skill and talent in gymnastics she became many people’s favourite athlete at Rio.

Simone Biles

American gymnast Simone Biles, winner of 4 gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Photo: Agência Brasil Fotografias / (CC BY 2.0)

But representing your country at the Olympic Games is an amazing achievement in itself, even if you don’t win a medal. For some people their favourite athlete is someone like this from their own country who trains hard and does his or her best, no matter what their chance of winning might be. But for others their favourite is an Olympic star who’s won lots of medals, no matter which country they come from. Tell us which of the athletes in Rio you like the best in the comment box below:

Who’s your favourite athlete at the Rio Olympics, and why?

Win a free ebook! Write your answer in the comment box below and you’ll have a chance of winning a free copy of 1000 Phrasal Verbs in Context.  The winner will be announced on August 21st.

Please note ⇒ This competition is now over and the winner has been announced. You can still add comments below if you like, however.

backstroke (noun): a swimming stroke you do while lying on your back

butterfly (noun): a face-down swimming stroke in which you move both arms forward at the same time

freestyle (noun): a swimming event in which swimmers are free to use any style

medley (noun): a race that includes one or more laps in each of four different swimming styles

sprint (noun): a short, fast race run over a distance of 400 metres or less

track and field (noun): running, jumping and throwing events in athletics that take place on a running track or the field enclosed by the track

Related Pages:

First Olympics refugee team – Answers

Games of the XXXI Olympiad – Rio de Janeiro, 2016

Answers to the quiz questions in our blog about the First Olympics refugee team: Read on »

First Olympics refugee team

logoGames of the XXXI Olympiad – Rio de Janeiro, 2016

For the first time ever, a team of refugees is competing at the Olympic Games. All ten athletes in the Refugee Olympic Team have escaped from their country of birth because of war or other dangers. They include athletes originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Syria.

The team was led into the Maracana stadium during the Opening Ceremony by Rose Nathike Lokonyen, a 23-year-old 800-metre runner. Rose fled from war in South Sudan with her family when she was just eight years old and has lived in a refugee camp in Kenya ever since. The team also includes four other South Sudanese runners now living in Kenyan refugee camps; Yiech Pur Biel (800 metres), James Nyang Chiengjiek (400m), Anjelina Nada Lohalith (1,500m) and Paulo Amotun Lokoro (1,500m). Other team members include Syrian swimmers Yusra Mardini and Rami Anis, judo athletes Yolande Bukasa Mabika and Popole Misenga from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Ethiopian marathon runner Yonas Kinde.

Refugee Olympic Team #TeamRefugees

The ten members of the 2016 Refugee Olympic Team. Rose Nathike Lokonyen is in the far-right column, middle row.

Refugee Olympic Team Quiz

1. Was there a Refugee Olympic Team competing at the 2012 London Olympics?

2. How many members of the team now live in the country of their birth?

3. How many members live in Kenyan refugee camps?

4. How many runners does the team include?

5. In which sport are athletes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo competing?

6. From which country did the team’s swimmers escape?

Write your answers in the comment box below. You can then check your answers here: First Olympics refugee team – Answers

fled (past tense of verb “to flee”): left a place quickly, esp. because of danger

marathon (noun): a very long running race (about 42 km or 26 miles in the Olympics)

refugee (noun): a person who’s been forced to leave their home or their country because of war, persecution or other dangers

refugee camp (noun): a place where refugees are kept, often in tents, until they can return home or move to a country that welcomes them

Related Pages:

Rio Olympics Trivia Quiz 1 – Answers

Games of the XXXI Olympiad – Rio de Janeiro, 2016

Here are the answers to our first Rio Olympics Trivia Quiz: Read on »

Rio Olympics Trivia Quiz 1

logoGames of the XXXI Olympiad – Rio de Janeiro, 2016 

How much do you really know about the Rio Olympics? Put your answers in the comment box below. If you don’t know the answer, try guessing!

1. How many tickets have been sold?

2. How much is the cheapest ticket?

3. How much is the most expensive ticket?

4. How many years since golf was last played at the Olympics?

5. How many years since rugby was last played at the Olympics?

6. How many sports are included in the Rio Olympics?

The correct answers are here: Rio Olympics Trivia Quiz 1 – Answers

Related Pages:

The 101 Best Websites For ESL Students in 2016

For 2016 ExpertEditor.com has just published their list of best websites for ESL students. The list is conveniently split up into logical sections such as:

  • Grammar
  • Writing
  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Pronunciation
  • etc

With 101 entries, ExpertEditor claims that this list “will blow your mind, and of course Read on »

EnglishClub’s Music Man Wins Music Award

Akademia Music Awards

EnglishClub’s music man, Jonathan Taylor Brittunculi, won a prestigious music award this month for his 9/11 tribute, The Falling Man (If Only). Jonathan’s song was chosen as Best Folk Song December 2015 in the Akademia Awards.

Odd Jonathan, whose stage name comes from his struggles with dyslexia, was inspired by the documentary ‘Voices from the Towers’. His award-winning song is also featured as part of the artist memorial gallery of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York. The video below was created by Jonathan’s former English students.

Visit Jonathan’s MyEnglishClub page to congratulate him on this award. You can find Jonathan’s Music for English Learners on MyEnglishClub or on YouTube.

Tara Benwell 12 Years at EnglishClub

All good things must come to an endSaying

2016 is a new year with new beginnings and sad to say Tara Benwell, for over seven years the mainstay at MyEnglishClub, will be moving on to pastures new as from 1st January.

Tara actually started contributing to EnglishClub way back in 2003, writing materials for the Young Learners section, English for Work and many other pages. In 2006 Tara started writing and recording Listen to News, a popular weekly news story with audio and exercises. Then in 2008 we launched MyEnglishClub as our social network. Tara was the first administrator of MyEnglishClub and has worked hard to help and support its thousands of members. Since 2008 Tara has continued adding new lessons and pages to EnglishClub and helping in the overall running of the site.

Tara Benwell Read on »

Happy Birthday Song is Not Under Copyright

Hip Hip Hooray! Anyone can sing Happy Birthday!

A US federal judge has ruled that Happy Birthday To You, the most recognized song in the English language, is not protected by a valid copyright. This is great news for anyone who wants to use the song in a movie, advertisement, or other commercial production. 

The publishing company Warner/Chappell has been collecting millions of dollars in royalties for use of the Happy Birthday song since 1988. This is the year Warner took over a publishing company that once claimed to have the copyright for Good Morning To You, a kindergarten song with the same tune as Happy Birthday. Good Morning To You, which has been out of copyright for years, was written by an American teacher named Patti Hill and her piano-playing sister Mildred. The judge ruled that no valid copyright for the combination of the sisters’ adapted lyrics (Happy Birthday To You) and tune exists.

This new ruling suggests that Warner/Chappell not only has no valid copyright, but that it may also have to pay back millions of dollars in royalties that it has collected over the years. Warner/Chappell will have a chance to appeal.

Some legal experts warn that this ruling doesn’t officially put the Happy Birthday song into the public domain. A valid copyright holder other than Warner/Chappel could still come forward.

EnglishClub is on Daily Motion

EnglishClub is on Daily Motion

Which video site do you use to watch English videos? Have you tried Daily Motion? This is an alternative to YouTube, and you can now view EnglishClub’s videos on our DM channel. All of our Music for Learning English videos are now available in a playlist. We will be adding more EnglishClub videos soon.

Follow EnglishClub on Daily Motion.

EnglishClub is on Vimeo



Do you enjoy using Vimeo to watch English videos? You can now view EnglishClub’s videos on Vimeo. All of our Music for Learning English videos are now available on Vimeo in one handy Collection. We will be adding more EnglishClub videos soon. You can contribute your own videos to Vimeo, too. See you there.

Follow EnglishClub on Vimeo.

Krushevo Music Festival 2015

Happy 50th Jonathan

EnglishClub’s music man Jonathan Taylor Brittunculi celebrated his upcoming 50th birthday in style at the first annual Krushevo Music Festival. Krushevo is a small village in north central Bulgaria where Jonathan lives with professional photographer Nicola Miller. Jonathan and Nicola organized the festival and invited musicians and music lovers to attend.

Krushevo Music Festival 2015

EnglishClub’s music man Jonathan Taylor Brittunculi (right with guitar) runs through a sound check with other local and visiting musical acts at Krushevo Music Festival 2015. Photo: Nicola Iona Miller Photography

Several musical acts played throughout the day and into the night, including Vladimir Totev, a famous Bulgarian writer and his partner Dimi Dimitrova from the Russe Philharmonic Orchestra. Local bands Teen Dork and No Limits also hit the stage. Other acts included Mick Black and Matt Rider from England and Jamie McDonald from Ireland. Jonathan, himself, was also part of the show. Read on »

Making Predictions Videos

Are your students practising making predictions in English? On EnglishClub’s YouTube Channel, you will find a unique set of videos that can be used for a fun making predictions activity.

You Know What I’m Gonna Do?

EnglishClub’s video series “You Know What I’m Gonna Do?” features our Thai friend, Kid, using the informal contraction gonna. (She also asks her questions in an informal way: “You know …?” instead of “Do you know…?”). In each video Kid asks viewers what they think she is gonna do with the object that she has in her hands. Read on »

Music-Themed Jigsaw Activity

To teach is to learn twice. ~ Joseph Joubert

ESL jigsaw activityEnglishClub has a new reading and vocabulary resource all about Music. In this section, you will find in-depth articles and glossaries about many different music genres. If you’ve never tried using a jigsaw activity in the ELL classroom, now is a great chance to give it a try.

What is a Jigsaw Activity?

Read on »

Fun With Phrasal Verbs

EnglishClub’s music man Jonathan Taylor has released a new song and it’s full of phrasal verbs. Every phrasal verb in Phrasal Verbs Rock starts with the letter ‘r’.

If you’re a teacher, you can use this song to introduce phrasal verbs. Your students will see that these are really just verbs that need to be remembered in context like other English words. Read on »

Learn English Vocabulary with Eponyms

petri dishOur Vocabulary Reference sections features many different types of vocabulary lists. We have a NEW section on Eponyms.

An eponym is a word that comes from a person’s name, such as boycott (from a selfish land agent) or petri dish (named after a German bacteriologist). Here are a few more eponyms that you will find in this section:  Read on »

EasyEnglish – Test Your English

If you love doing quizzes online, check out EasyEnglish. This FREE site is simple to use. There are three options to choose from each time you visit. Read on »