Internet English

Students from Espoon yhteislyseo Upper Secondary School explore English on the Internet


2015-2016 Instructions

Theme 1 The World of Cinema and Music


As you well know, informal Internet English is full of acronyms like LOL, BTW and FYI. Have you ever wondered how good you are at it? Take a test and find out: Test 1 and Test 2. Post your results as a comment to this post. Have fun!

Blog task

  1. Work in pairs or on your own.
  2. Choose either a film or a music blog in English (if you have other passions, discuss them with the teacher). You can find some examples here:
  3. Look at the blog in general and read at least two posts (link them to your essay) from the blog and consider the following questions:
    • What is the name of the blog and who writes it?
    • What is the blog generally about? What about the two posts that you read?
    • Have readers commented on the blog’s posts? Do they like the blog or not? Is anyone angry or perhaps trolling?
    • What is the language of the blog like? How about the language of the comments? Is it formal or informal? Give 3-5 examples.
      (For example, informal language can include forms like u for you, r for are and gr8 for great and uses contractions (haven’t and aren’t) and abbreviations (BTW, FYI, IMHO). Here’s an article about informal and formal English to help you.)
    • What is your own opinion of the blog? How would you improve it?
  4. Write an essay (blog post) in which you ponder the above-mentioned questions in 150-300 words.
  5. Take a screenshot of the blog and add it onto your blog post. Link the picture to the blog.
  6. Be ready to present your blog analysis in front of everyone else without reading from the essay. Explain in your own words!

Theme 5 We love Facebook!

Part 1

  1. Work in pairs or alone.
  2. Choose on of these Facebook profile templates to work on.
  3. Choose a celebrity and research tabloid headlines to see what he or she has been up to.
  4. Then create a fake Facebook profile for that celebrity inclusing picture, status updates, ads etc. Make it fun! Tell a story!
  5. Make sure you don’t get the simple present and the progressive present mixed up! You can practise here.
  6. Convert your template into a picture and publish it on the blog under the category Theme 4 Facebook!
  7. Comment one Facebook profile. Why do / don’t you like it? Can you describe the style (ironic, pathetic, funny, realistic etc.)?Gollum

Part 2

  1. Choose an article about Facebook like this one, for example: “Small Change: Why the revolution will not be tweeted” by Malcolm Gladwell (October 4, 2010) in The New Yorker.
  2. Read the article and respond to it by writing a letter to the editor voicing your opinions about Facebook. Start with Sir and end with your regards. Don’t forget linking words!
  3. 100-150 words -> publish on our blog.

Theme 4 That’s news to me!


  1. Watch these newsreader blunders and then discuss in your comment what might go wrong when making a news report video. What are the challenges and how can we overcome them? 
  2. Then watch one video on YouTube’s top 10 list of most popular videos. Why do you think the video is such a phenomenal success? Add your comments to the previous comment.
  3. Then take a look at the following Reuters photos of the year (2013). Which one is your favorite and why?

Blog task

  • Find a small group to work with. You are reporters for the day!
  • Take your camera or cellphone and start filming. Make sure ou have the correct cord for uploading the video later.
  • In your YouTube video you can report any piece of news from our neighborhood or school. Is there a new shop in town? What is the weather like? What are the new fashion trends? Why is the train always late? Who is your teacher, really? Where are the best clubs? What’s going on in politics – whose voting for who? What happens if you don’t bring your smart phone to school? Use your imagination!
  • Remember that if you interview anyone or show them in your video up close, you have to ask permission to publish it online!
  • Publish your YouTube video and embed it into a post.
  • For more tips, watch this BBC News video!

It can be done! Take a look at these fantastic news report by our alumni. If they can do it, so can you!

Theme 3 Analyse This!


Would you buy Pepsi, based on this commercial? Why / why not? What do you think sexist means and what specifically do you think is sexist about this commercial?

Ad Analyses

  • Publish an English-speaking commercial from YouTube (in pairs). Please embed it in your post by Adding media -> from URL.
  • Write an analysis of the commercial (150-300 words,99 points).
    • Research the commercial to find out when it was originally aired, who made it and if it was ever critisized publically. Cite your sources MLA style.
    • Write a proper introduction with a topic sentence and a short description of what goes on in the commercial and your theory:
      • DON’T start like this: “We found this ad.”
      • START like this: “The Pepsi commercial released in 1957 by Nathan Grimes is sexist.”
    • Use linking words to structure your essay!
    • In your analysis, pay attention to details!
      • Who does what and why?
      • Did you notice any symbolism (Don’t forget colors!)
      • What are people wearing and what do they look like?
      • Which target group? Would you buy the product based on the commercial?
  • Be critical and write in present tense!

Theme 2 What’s your passion – food or fashion?


Search Technorati or GoogleBlogSearch for blogs about fashion or food. Share your favorite / least favorite blogs on both topics by commenting this post. Why did you like it / why not? Be specific!

What’s your passion – food or fashion?

  1. Write a blog post about fashion or food.
  2. First greet your readers/fans and explain what your blog’s goal is. Then get to the topic of the day.
  3. Make it fun, personal and stylish! Use colorful language and humor! Be critical! Be yourself!
  4. Here are some tips: Share recipes, restaurant experiences, photos, interviews, videos, thoughts and feelings. Use your friends, family, home, the streets of Helsinki, local restaurants, the school cafeteria and other surroundings to find something unique. Food and fashion represent lifestyles!
  5. Make sure you use the right vocabulary:
  6. Add an illustration or illustrations (photos or video). They must be original (you have created them!) and worth publishing. Also remember that everything you publish on the internet will stay there forever and ever. Take pride in the work you do!

Theme 6 Great sources!


Your job is to research a major online paper from the US or the UK and write a post presenting your findings. Feel free to include any enlightening media (videos, statistics, links, photos) and don’t forget to mention your sources. The following questions regarding each paper should be answered in your post.

  1. Is it a newspaper, a tabloid or a scientific newspaper or magazine?
  2. What is the circulation?
  3. What is the intended target audience?
  4. What is the history of the paper?
  5. Can you describe the style?
  6. Is there a political agenda?
  7. Does the paper have any qualities that seem unique to the US or the UK?
  8. Summarize the day’s headlines and comment on the kinds of news the paper has decided to present on the front page.
  9. Find one article that you like and explain why.
  10. Find something that you don’t like and explain why.
  11. Would you recommend reading this paper and why? Could you use it as a source of information for school, for example? What do you think about the visual appearance = their website?

Prepare to present your post to the rest of the class!


  • Find a video news report online (approximately 5 minutes long) by BBC, CNN, NBC, CBS, FOX or some other broadcasting  company. Youtube is a good place to start, most have their own channel.
  • Publish the video in a post and create your own subtitles underneath. You have to listen very carefully to get it right!
  • First transcribe, then translate (and summarize). Both should be visible in your post – we need to be able to detect possible mistakes!

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