Group three

Group Three Thursdays 10.30 – 12.00  Upper Intermediate,

Bibliothek, Gemeindehaus, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt Gemeinde,

Onkel-Tom-Straße 80, 14169 Berlin

To find out what to do for next week, scroll to the bottom!

This is a group of people who are interested in all the usual things which will help them improve and remember their English. Some want to use their English travelling or talking to visitors, some need it for relatives-in-law and some…….

A lot of the time they are talking in groups of twos and threes.





Welcome to 2016 – and Neil McGregor’s  ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’

which is published as a book made from his 2010 broadcasts on BBC. Here are the useful links either to download as a pdf or to look up individually:

links for ‘´McGregor A History of the World

1) Home:

So here you can find the podcasts, lists, pictures (but not directly the transcripts)


= list of 100 objects and possibilities of getting to other pages


= where you can go to download podcasts of McGregor’s talks

4) In order to find a transcript you need to go to

then choose the episode or object you want,

click onto that

then scroll to the bottom of the4 page and

click on: “Transcript

Read the programme transcript“ – which will take you to the individual transcript.

 the Victorian Teaset –



the Lewis Chessmen –

We have now finished with Tim Harford and his 50 ideas at least for the moment. . After Christmas we will be talking about George Orwell to whom a statue has just been erected outside the BBC. I will order books for us all at Buchhandlung Born in the Ladenstraße.

Welcome to 2018!

We are going to be talking a bit about George Orwell

including his short story ‘On Shooting an Elephant’, his fairy story ‘Animal Farm’ and the dystopia 1984.

We  have read and talked about ‘Animal Farm’ and will also have talked about ‘On Shooting an Elephant’ by Easter.

On April 12th we’ll be talking about one chapter out of 1984 which is about language and then on 19th, before some of us go to Scotland, we can round off our readings of Orwell for the moment.

Please read this for April 12th Newspeak (text from Ch 5, ‘1984’)


Still within the context of Orwell’s ideas I would like to practise listening – listening to an interview between a BBC reporter and Daniel Ellsberg.

Here is most of the interview for you to look at it before 17th IF YOU WISH.witness the pentagon papers ellsberg transcript

Here is the interview (9 minutes) if you would like to listen to it at home Ellsberg witness

We’ll listen to it together on 17th May (and probably start to talk about Universal Basic Income)

We are then changing our emaphasis and before reading something new, probably ‘The Giver’ by Lois Lowry, I would like to talk about Universal Basic Income because we have often mentioned it.


Now we have talked about UBI, about protecting children from danger and next week (June 7th) (via supermarket sweep historical legacy)we will get round to talking about the meaning of our nation’s historic legacy for ourselves. Then we will move on to Lois Lowry’s ‘The Giver’ not because it is great literature but because it throws up a few similar topics – we’ll start to look at it probably on 7th, too.


The twelfth of July 2012/2018: For Christa and Monika

Twas the 12th of July 2012:

My Thursday commitments I’ll shelve*.

I know what I need:

To talk English and read;

In my now fallow** English I’ll delve***.

Six years ago two of you came:

Over Sixties’ became the new name.

We must learn’ you both said,

We have talked, we have read:

And now more of you do just the same.

And so we were born: ‘Over Sixties’:

Your English not good? Here we fix it.

Some left and more came,

It is never the same,

But we’re glad we are all ‘Over Sixties’.

You all seem to like coming here

And know there is nothing to fear

So with hard work and chat

You know what you’re at

May we go on for many a year!

Dear Christa, I must say ‘We miss you’

Not just me, the others do, too.

We hope you’re OK,

In the autumn you’ll say:

Yes, now I have energy new!’

(*aufschieben **brach liegen *** mich vertiefen)

Welcome to 2019 – 

in the hope that I  can look after the website better and that we will have stimulating times together.

We will surely be looking at some of Neil MacGregor’s talks on the subject of LIVING WITH THE GODS:

These can be found at

We have so far looked at the introduction to the book and the chapter called Festivals (chap 15). We’ll look at the table of contents and decide together what else we are interested in.

To start the new year I am planning to talk about 2 short stories that are fun – if also social criticism: On 10th we read chopin story of an hour  and on 17th we’ll be reading  chopin silk stockings 2sprachig.


July 4th:

1. ‘Take home factors’?

What have you appreciated about the novel?

Negative aspects.

2. What’s it about? Death?

– culture conspires against them

– (What it means to be black…) Yet the book is much less centered on race than on friendship, kinship, sexuality.

– This friendship serves as the main plot thread.

– it is the personal encounters that form the gorgeous center of this intense, moving novel

– She longs for friendship, affection, to belong.

– This friendship serves as the main plot thread.

… coming-of-age novel

– …it’s difficult to interpret the meaning of the title. Does “Another Brooklyn” allude to the lost Brooklyn of 1970-90? Or maybe … the secret Brooklyn of girlhood, where young women find strength in the identities they develop together.

(NB Quote is on page 77. AMSP)

Memory, place , dream, dreaming oneself out of something, Inside/Outside……….; poverty/neglect…..

3. Can you talk about the method – how you liked reading/discussing it this way? Other ways? (I seem to have got stuck in a rut /Spurrille, Fahrspur, ausgefahrene Gleise?)

4. Next we’ll talk about MacGregor’s take on ‘Living with the gods, Living with the Dead’. It seems to me there are two things to talk about before we read what he has written:

a. How do we (Northern Europeans?) deal with the dead just after death (whilst dying?)

b. How do we deal with them in the long run?


Please read the article by MacGregro for next week (11th July). Are there any particular tasks you’d like to do?

We also plan to read a second chapter by MacGregor and I suggest that ‘Living with the Dead’ is something that affects us all. Here is the text, again in bits: Scan0001 Scan0002 Scan0003 Scan0004 Scan0005 Scan0006 Scan0007 Scan0008

and here two pictures in colour: 1) ming dynasty ancestor portraits the man wears a prominent badge that indicates his rank – or perhaps that of a descendant   2) This is the Tower of London and Remembrance of the dead in the two world wars, p 80  in the book.

For next week – July 18th – please read the first chapter of

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith

and think about what you would like to talk about in the time we have together!  (See below)


pp 1 and 12               pp 2 – 3         pp 4 – 5                     

pp 6 – 7                  pp 8 – 9            pp 10 -11


For July 25th please read chapters 2 and 3!!! (Here are the ssons so far.)

group three lesson one no 1 Alison                                                                                             group three 25.7. 2019

On August 1st we cannot meet in the church as it is Kinderbibelwoche. Instead we will meet for a cold drink at Gisa’s:

Gisa Tiedemann, Onkel-Tom-Straße 133.

We will talk about going to York for a week at the beginning of May 2020 probably via the tunnel and staying in St Mary’s Guest Housewhich is 8 minutes walk from the station. ( You can get plenty of information on sites like   and

For August 8th please read chapters four and five  of The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith – up to page 70.

Chapters Ten, Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen (‘Why don’t you marry me?’- to page 137) for the following week = 29th August

No class on September 5th so read pp.134 – 162 for 5th so to speak and pp. 173 – 191 for 13th when we do meet!      chapters 14 – 19 without page references

To p. 219 for 19th     and here is the programme about hte Botswana diamonds, even though I have not managed it very well!

and the end for 26th September


group three 26th Sept 19


For 10th October please read Ian Rankin’s story: About Being Frank

Talking about Good Hanging Being Frank students

For 17th October please read: Not Provan

NB Murder and violent crime are always the most serious offences. Scottish criminal trial courts can deliver one of three possible verdicts – one of conviction (‘guilty’) and two of acquittal (‘not proven’ and ‘not guilty’).

For 24th October please read and think about Chipperfield’s new contribution to the Museum Isle in Berlin Mitte: (for once this is not because I like diversions but because it is not yet clear how you are getting on with the stories by Ian Rankin):

chipperfield museum isle chipperfield map of museumsinsel chipperfield. Talking about museums, art galleries etc incl Chipperfield

chipperfield. Talking about museums, art galleries etc incl Chipperfield

chipperfield map of museumsinsel




(Since the rebooting of the website I don’t know where to find the underlining and a couple of other things. If anybody has any ideas they would be very welcome!)