Source: Creative Commons


Students from the below groups will receive PIN numbers via email weekly to access activities on my iDoceo Connect platform and submit their exercises for correction.

200, 202E, 209S, 215, 220B, 268, 269, 276

The solutions to exercises will be published when the above groups have submitted them.


- Note to students

- Session 2: contents

- Introduction: How to create a blog video

  1. Nightmare grammar
    1. Which past?
  2. Ratings: Your opinion matters
    1. Which app do you like best?
  3. Telling stories
    1. Black Mirror Quiz
  4. Project Skills: Writing a personal anecdote
    1. Organise information
    2. Vocabulary
  5. Tips
  6. Speaking
    1. Anecdote bluff


- Email your teacher to say who you are working with and the title/topic of your blog.

- If you do not have a team, email your teacher and s/he will assign you one.


How to create a blog.

Students may feel a bit lost when starting this project. But don't worry, the following video presents four online tools that will help you create your blogs. No specific technical knowledge is required to use them.

Advanced users:

If you already know what program you are going to use for your project, you may skip this video.

Novice users:

If you don't know what you can use to create a blog, this video is for you.

Music: "Don't Worry Be Happy", by Bobby McFerrin. ©Manhattan Records, 1988.

Slow start? Watch on YouTube.


Click on the following logos to view the tools presented in the video. Choose the one you like best.

WordPress logo
Blogger logo
Wix logo
Webself logo


Simple Past? Present Perfect? Past Perfect?

Generally speaking, when you tell a story you talk about facts that have already happened, so you write using a past tense. But which past tense do you need to use?

  • If your story took place time ago, you'll be using the Simple Past (went, visited, caught)

    • When I was a kid, I used to visit my grandparents in the countryside every summer.

  • If it has happened recently —this week, this month, today— you should use the Present Perfect (have played, has eaten, have fought)

    • Today is a bad day, my sister has eaten all our cornflakes and we have fought, as usual.

  • If you do not follow a straight timeline, that is to say, you are telling your story but you want to explain that something else happened before, you need to use the Past Perfect (had visited, had burnt, had broken)

    • I could not take my flight to New York because I had forgotten my passport at home.
    • (First, you forgot your passport and then you could not take your flight)

  • Note: The same rules apply to continuous tenses, though the actions were in progress

Nightmare grammar

Source: Teachers pay teachers

A. Which past?

Choose the correct tense in each sentence.

1. I was exhausted and absolutely starving —I was travelling / have been travelling / had been travelling for ages.

2. When I was a kid my grandma always made / has made / had made pancakes for breakfast on Sundays.

3. The first time I saw Venice, I immediately fell / have fallen/ had fallen in love with it.

4. I was almost at the airport when I realized I left / have left / had left my passport at home!

5. I hope my team will win today. We lost / have lost / had lost three games this month.

6. When John arrived home, he noticed somebody broke / has broken / had broken in. How scary!

7. My dad didn't drink / hasn't drunk / hadn't drunk alcohol in his life.

8. Will you pick my up after work today, please? My car broke / has broken / had broken down yesterday.

Check answers


Do this exercise and then discuss your answers with your nearest classmate.


Send your guesses to your teacher, using the dedicated iDoceo Connect platform (only for groups specified above).


B. Which app do you like best?

Watch the advertisements for these three apps. Which one do you like best?

1. Peeple

2. Ex-lover blocker

3. iNotRacist

Choose your favourite:


Do this exercise and then discuss your answers with your nearest classmate.


Send your guesses to your teacher, using the dedicated iDoceo Connect platform (only for groups specified above).




The series Black Mirror is an excellent example of stories well told. For this exercise we will review several fragments of the episode "Nosedive".

C. Black Mirror Quiz

Watch the following sections of Nosedive and choose the correct answers.

"Nosedive" scenes, ©Netflix.

PART 1 | Pelican Cove

1. Who’s the man in the hologram?

Check answer

2. What mark is required to get a discount through the Prime Influencers Program?

Check answer

Part 2 | With Ryan

3. What does Lacie do while eating?

Check answer

4. How does Lacie’s brother Ryan react to the idea of her moving to Pelican Cove?

Check answer

Part 3 | With the Reputelligent

5. What is the man’s function? What could you compare him to?

Check answer

6. How long does he think it could take for Lacie to reach 4.5?

Check answer

7. What other option does he mention?

Check answer

Part 4 | At work

8. What problem does Ches have?

Check answer

9. How does it go with the lady in the lift? Why?

Check answer

10. What does Lacie do to catch up with Naomi?

Check answer

Part 5 | On the phone with Naomi

11. Why does Lacie decide to make tapenade?

Check answer

12. How does she react when Naomi’s call comes up on her screen?

Check answer

13. What’s Naomi like?

Check answer

14. What does she suggest?

Check answer

15. How does Lacie react?

Check answer

Part 6 | Reactions

16. How does Ryan react to the call?

Check answer

17. What does Lacie show to the Reputelligent?

Check answer

18. How does he react?

Check answer

19. How do you think this story is going to end?

Check answer

“As with so many Black Mirror episodes, the horror lies in imagining all too clearly how such a situation might feel.” (Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, Oct 21, 2016)


Do this exercise and then discuss your answers with your nearest classmate.


Send your guesses to your teacher, using the dedicated iDoceo Connect platform (only for groups specified above).


Black Mirror logo

If you haven't watched Black Mirror yet, you should consider doing it. It is a fantastic series, and a sour warning of what awaits us in our near future.

Bryce Dallas Howard

Bryce Dallas Howard, protagonist of Nosedive



Writing a personal anecdote.

Julia is working in Hungary for a year and has included the following anecdote on her blog. Read the blog post and number the events in the anecdote in the correct order. Then match the words from the anecdote to their meanings.

A selfish spring stroll

Posted on 15 March

Spring has sprung here after an endless and freezing winter. I’d been slaving over a hot photocopier all day and couldn’t wait to get out and enjoy a refreshing walk by the river Tisza, breathing in the balmy air and listening to the chirrup of the birds. So I sprinted up to the flat, dumped my briefcase in the hall, called a quick ‘hello’ to Brett and then dashed out again, locking the door behind me.

Yes, I locked the door, leaving Brett unable to get out of the stifling hot flat! While I wandered barefoot and carefree on the grassy riverbank, Brett was completely unable to appreciate the first night of spring. Have I mentioned that there is only one window in our flat and that it is jammed? (We’ve been meaning to get it fixed for ages…)

Well, Brett was determined to free himself at any cost, and in desperation he knelt down in front of the door, peered through the letter box and decided to call for help to the next person he saw. This next person happened to be the elderly man who lives above us. Poor Brett mustered up all the Hungarian he knew and called out ‘Can you help me?’ (It turned out later that he had actually been calling ‘I can help you?’) Our poor neighbour looked around him, clearly shaken that a letter box was offering him assistance and beat a hasty retreat back upstairs.

When I returned from my blissful spring stroll I felt terrible to find that Brett had spent the entire evening kneeling in front of the letter box. Needless to say we have both made resolutions. I will stop and think before I rush off on any more impulsive strolls, and Brett is learning Hungarian grammar!

D. Now put the following sentences in the right order.

  1. Brett decided to learn Hungarian grammar.
  2. Spring arrived after a long, cold winter.
  3. Brett asked a neigbor for help.
  4. Julia was desperate to go out and enjoy the fine weather.
  5. Julia felt terrible when she realized that Brett had been locked in.
  6. Julia accidentally locked Brett in the flat.

Check answers

E. Vocabulary

Try to understand the meaning of the following words by looking at their context. Then link each word with its description.

Paragraph Word Description
1 Slave
a. Suffocating, causing difficulties breathing
2 Stifling
b. Look with difficulty or concentration at something
3 Peer
c. Work excessively hard
4 Blissful
d. A leisurely walk
4 Stroll
e. Extremely happy, joyful

Check answers


Do this exercise and then discuss your answers with your nearest classmate.


Send your guesses to your teacher, using the dedicated iDoceo Connect platform (only for groups specified above).

Brett talking through letterbox

Brett speaking Hungarian through letterbox
Source: The Guardian

Brett talking through letterbox

The Puszta


Useful tips for writing personal anecdotes
  • A good personal anecdote has a strong beginning, middle and an ending. Plan what you want to say before you tell your anecdote.
  • While planning your anecdote, make a list of all the questions your reader might want to ask, e.g. Where were you? Who were you with? How were you feeling? Answer these questions in your writing.
  • Use a range of narrative tenses. Remember you can use the past perfect tense to set your scene.
  • Keep the tone conversational. Read your work aloud—how do the words you have chosen sound?
  • Readers are more likely to be entertained by a humorous account of something which has gone wrong. (An account of a perfect day is less likely to entertain.)


F. Anectode bluff

Choose one of the situations below and tell a personal anecdote about it to your classmates. After you finish, they will be able to ask at most five follow-up questions. Then they will have to guess whether the anecdote is true or made up.

Poker cards
  • Something scary that happened to you.
  • Something memorable that happened during a trip.
  • Something embarrassing that happened to you.
  • Something involving an animal or animals.
  • A time that you became very angry with someone.
  • Something involving the supernatural or that cannot be explained.
  • Something funny that happened at university recently.
  • A time when you were late, and the consequences.
  • A crime that you witnessed or were involved in.
  • Something that started off badly but turned out well in the end.
  • A time when you were very lucky.

  • Topics from


Do this oral activity with three other colleagues.


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Nantes 44322 cedex 3