Queen Says ‘Friendly’ Ghosts Haunt This Palace

[Places & Travel ★★★]

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(P1) The home of the Swedish royal family is apparently “spook central”. But Queen Silvia says not to worry, the “small friends … ghosts” that haunt the 17th-century halls of Drottningholm Palace mean no harm and don’t scare her, reports the AFP. “They’re all very friendly but you sometimes feel that you’re not completely alone,” the 73-year-old queen says in a new documentary by the country’s public TV network SVT. Located on Lovön Island off Stockholm, Drottningholm is the principal home of Queen Silvia, Sweden’s longest-serving queen, and King Carl XVI Gustaf, her husband of 40 years. Its UNESCO World Heritage listing describes it as “the finest example of an 18th-century north European royal residence inspired by the Palace of Versailles.”

(P2) While the queen doesn’t get into specifics about individual spirits, Time cites a 2010 Swedish article that references a “gray man” and a “white lady” said to roam there. As for backup, the king’s sister, Princess Christina, agrees the castle is indeed a phantom favorite. “There is much energy in this house. It would be strange if it didn’t take the form of guises,” she tells the filmmakers. The Local reports that those who want to seek out the paranormal guests can indeed do so: Only the southern wing is off-limits to the public.

WORDS: 213

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/236363/queen-says-friendly-ghosts-haunt-this-palace.html

VOCABULARY: spook, halls, spirits, phantom, guises, seek out, paranormal

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you believe that ghosts actually exist? Why or why not?
  3. Would you like to stay for a weekend in this palace? Why or why not?
  4. Are you frightened of anything? If so, what and why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What roams the corridors of the palace?
  2. Where is the royal palace situated in Switzerland?
  3. The architecture of Drottningholm Palace was in influenced by _______________.
  4. According to a writing in 2010, supposedly a ____________ and a ___________ wander in the palace.
  5. Which part of the royal palace is closed to visitors?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • is apparently spook central (P1)
  • Located on Lovön Island off Stockholm, Drottningholm (P1)
  • said to roam there (P2)
  • off-limits (P2)

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Image source: by AYImages/Getty Images http://www.newser.com/story/236363/queen-says-friendly-ghosts-haunt-this-palace.html

Wales

[Places ★★]

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(P1) Wales is a part of the United Kingdom. It is located to the west of England. The capital of Wales is Cardiff, which has around 325,000 people. The population in Wales is less than three million people. Most of the people live in the south and the east of the country. The main languages spoken in Wales are Welsh and English. Welsh is a Celtic language, and about one out of every five people in Wales speaks it.

(P2) Wales is a very old country. People have lived in Wales for at least 29,000 years. The Romans first entered Wales over 2000 years ago, and they stayed in Wales for over 300 years. The Romans used their technology to collect large amounts of gold, copper, and other metals such as lead. It is not clear what happened in the 400 years after the Romans left Wales, but by the 16th century, Wales became a part of England. Laws were passed in England while Henry VIII was king of England. Nowadays, Wales is an independent country. Although it is joined with England by land, and it is part of Great Britain, Wales is a country in its own right.

WORDS: 197

SOURCE: http://dreamreader.net/lesson/wales/

VOCABULARY: population, Celtic, Romans, copper, lead, century

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Have you ever been to Wales? If yes, did you like it? If no, would you like to go and why?
  3. How many languages are spoken in your country?
  4. Who lived in your country over 200 years ago?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Wales is to the _________ of England.
  2. More than 3 million people live in Wales. (T or F)
  3. The Celtic language is different than English. (T or F)
  4. How long have people lived in the country of Wales?
  5. Wales is a country in ___________.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • to the west of England (P1)
  • less than three million people (P1)
  • one out of every five people (P1)
  • left Wales (P2)
  • in its own right (P2)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://www.serenydyffryn.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/conwy-72273_12801-1080×675.jpg