Enjoy a Free Movie Outside

  Lots of free movies will be shown outside this summer all around MetroWest and Greater Boston.  Movies usually begin at sundown.  If the weather is “iffy”, it’s good to check for cancellations before you go.

Here are some locations with outdoor movie nights this summer:

    • Framingham Family Fun and Movie Night at Bowditch Field
      Thursday, August 22nd
      Games and family activities begin at 6:00,  Movie starts at sundown.
    • Hopedale Movie Night
      Hopedale Town Park – Corner of Freedom and Dutcher Streets
      Next movie: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Friday July 26th
    • Hopkinton Movies on the Common
      Hopkinton Common, 1 Main Street
      Next Movie: Lego Movie 2, Thursday July 25th
    • Boston – Hatch Shell on the Esplanade – Free Friday Flicks every Friday
      Pretty location along the Charles River, big screen, lots of space, lots of people
      Movies start around 8; Games before that starting at 6:00
      Next Movie: Bumblebee, Friday, July 26th
    • Wellesley – Summer Films outside at the Davis Museum, Wellesley College
      Free museum tours, art activities, free ice cream starting at 7PM
      Next Movie: Mary Poppins, Thursday July 26th
    • Waltham – Movies at the MansionLyman Estate
      Beginning 7PM you can walk the grounds or visit the mansion
      Movie starts at 8:30
      Next Movie: Meet Me in St.Louis, Thursday July 25th
    • Boston – Sunday Movies at Christopher Columbus Park
      Beautiful park in Boston’s North End along the water
      Begins around 8:00
      Next Movie: Some Like it Hot, Sunday July 28th
      [Full Schedule]
    • Boston – Saturday Night Movies at the Prudential Center (at the South Garden)
      Children’s activities start at 6PM.  Movie starts at sundown
      Next Movie: Ralph Breaks the Internet, July 27th
    • See the The Boston Calendar for a good summary of these, and even more movies at places including Revere Beach, outside the Museum of Fine Arts, Assembly Row in Somerville, and other neighborhoods in Cambridge and Boston

Podcasts

A podcast is a broadcast audio recording – a radio show that you can play on your smartphone, tablet, or computer any time you want.  There are more than 100,000 podcasts, about all kinds of topics.  Most podcasts are released on a regular basis – for example, one new episode every week.  If you find a podcast that you like, you can “Subscribe” to it, so that you can receive new episodes when they are available.

There are MANY podcasts to help you learn English. One is called the “VOA Learning English Broadcast” from Voice of America, which has a new 30-minute episode every day. They speak more slowly, and have news and stories.

On your iPhone/iPad, you can play using your Podcast App (which comes installed on your iPhone/iPad).  Open the app, and search for VOA Learning English Broadcast. There are other free apps you can install from the App Store to manage your podcasts – such as Overcast.

On an Android smartphone, you can play podcasts using the Google Play Music app (which usually comes installed).    Here’s a video with more information about how to use podcasts with the Google Play Music app.  There are other free apps you can install from the Google Play Store to manage your podcasts – such as Google Podcasts and Podcast Addict.

Below is a video with more information about how to use podcasts on your iPhone…

 

Libby

Reading books and listening to audiobooks is an excellent and enjoyable way to improve your English.  Did you know that you can borrow eBooks and audiobooks (with thousands of choices)  – for free – right on your phone or tablet?  All you need is a library card from your local library, and the new Libby app from OverDrive.

If you live in Massachusetts, you don’t even need to visit the library to get a card.  You can get a free eCard from the Boston Public Library.

After you enter your library card number in the app, you can borrow ebooks or audiobooks.  There are also some “Read Along” books (mostly kids’ books) that you can listen to while you read.

March – In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb

This is an old expression about the month of March – how the weather is cold and unpleasant at the beginning of the month, and then warmer and more comfortable at the end.

Here’s a children’s story about it:

Try reading it out loud to your child (or just yourself).  It’s good practice.
You can also  buy the book here, or borrow it from your library.

Kanopy – Thousands of Free Movies

  This is a new service from the Framingham Library.  You can watch up to 5 free movies each month – at home, or on your phone with the Kanopy App.

Classic movies, international movies, educational movies (including learning English), and lots of movies for kids too.  All you need is a Framingham library card.  If you don’t live in Framingham, you can check here if your library also has this service.  Or – you can check to see at your own library if they have Kanopy, or other services with movies, such as Hoopla or Overdrive.

 

Dictation

  Dictation is listening to someone speaking and then trying to write what you hear.

Practicing dictation can help improve your:

  • English listening skills
  • Grammar
  • Writing and Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Speaking and pronunciation (if you speak the words you hear – out loud – while you’re writing it)

The EnglishClub website has a good collection of dictation exercises, at 3 different levels of difficulty.  Here’s an example:

1. Listen to the dictation at normal speed (just listen; don’t try to write it).

2. Listen again at slow speed and try to write/type what your hear (with a smartphone, you need to use paper).
Include capitalization and punctuation.

3. Listen again at slow speed if you need to.
4. Listen at normal speed for a last check.
5. When you’re ready, click/press Show Answer and compare the answer to your writing.
    (The mailbox is just behind the big water fountain.)