Can you rise to an English speaking challenge? Make a short video where you’re speaking in English, and we’ll share it with the world.

Here’s how it works:
1. You make a short video of yourself speaking in English – just a few sentences. Tell us where you have spent the pandemic.
2. You upload the video and send us a link where we can download it.
3. We put your videos into one longer video that we publish on our channel.


Keep your video short – just a few sentences is fine. We’d want to know:
1. Your name and where you’re from
2. Where you’ve spent the pandemic. (Do you have a favourite place? What’s it like and what do you do there?)

If you have a YouTube channel, post your video there as unlisted or public (not private) and send us the link.

The deadline is Monday March 22nd, 2021.
If you can’t post to YouTube use the contact form on this website to tell us and we’ll work out a different way for you to send it.

Are you ready for a challenge – an English speaking challenge?
It’s time for our favorite event of year – the SEVYs!
In this video we’ll explain what SEVYs are.
And we’ll explain how you can star in a YouTube video.
Hi, I’m Vicki.
And I’m Jay and this is a SEVY.
SEVY stands for Simple English Videos YES! Or Simple English Videos YAY!
A SEVY is our version of the Oscars. It’s a virtual award for students who rise to a speaking challenge.
What happens is we ask a question and you record a video of yourself answering it.
Then you send us a link to your video and we upload it to our channel and share it with the whole wide world.
So no pressure, eh? We told you it was a challenge.
We know learning English can be hard and speaking is often the most challenging skill.
And it can also be hard to find ways to practise speaking English, but this is your chance!
This is the third year we’ve invited folks to do this and we’ve been blown away every time.
It’s become a highlight of the year for us because it’s helped us get to know different members of the Simple English Videos family.
So this is your invitation to contribute to this year’s SEVY awards.
And now you need your question.
Here it is: Where have you spent the pandemic?
The thing is COVID-19 has affected all our lives this year and many people have spent a lot of time at home. We’ve been practically housebound.
Housebound. In the past we’d use this word to describe someone being unable to leave their house because they’re old or sick and they can’t walk far.
But this year it’s not a matter of age or sickness. We haven’t been able to go out much because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So that’s what this question is about. Is there a place in your home where you’ve been spending a lot of time?
And can you describe it and share it with us? And how have you been passing the time?
Can you give us an example, Jay?
OK, I’ll show you what I’ve been doing.
I have an office at home and I spend a lot of time here, playing with my radios. This is WA2UAR. Standing by. Oh and I work out here on my exercycle and my exercise machine. One, two… twenty nine, thirty.
He’s got very fit and healthy in the pandemic.
Well yeah!
But your office is cluttered.
What do you mean?
Well, it’s full of stuff and really untidy. I think you should clear it out.
No, It’s fine. I know exactly where everything is. OK. It’s your turn. Give us another example, now.
We haven’t got a garden, but we have got this deck where we can see Philadelphia. When the weather’s nice, I love coming out here and having a meal and just chilling out.
Chill out is a phrasal verb and it means to relax completely.
If you’re chilling out you’re not allowing anything to upset you.
After a hard day with difficult deadlines, all my stress goes away when I step out onto the deck. I chill out.
It’s your happy place.
Exactly. A happy place is somewhere that makes you feel calm and relaxed. But this phrase has another meaning.
Yes, it can be a real place, like the deck, but it can also be a memory or an activity that makes us happy.
Do you have a happy place?
Yes. If I’m having trouble getting to sleep at night I close my eyes and imagine I’m in the north east of Brazil.
I’m in a little town called Maragogi, lying on a beautiful beach listening to the waves.
Oh, that’s a real place. I remember it.
And all my stress melts away and I fall asleep.
So this your speaking challenge. In just a few sentences, we want you to tell us about a place you’ve been spending your time during the pandemic.
It’ll be really interesting because we expect people from many different countries to share their experiences.
And we can learn about different homes and places. You can include images if you like, as long as you have permission.
But no music please. That’s really important. The thing is we need to make sure we have copyright permissions for any music we use, so please don’t add music.
And if any other people appear in your video, that’s great but make sure you have their permission too.
We’re really excited to learn more about you. And we’ll put your videos together in one video that we’ll share on our channel.
Now some technical matters. Make sure your camera is horizontal when you shoot and not vertical.
Yes, it should be landscape, not portrait. And if you have a YouTube channel, upload your video there.
Make sure to post it as an unlisted or public video, not a private video. If it’s private, we can’t see it!
And when you’ve uploaded it, put the link in the comments of this video.
Yeah, post it in this video’s comments and not another one, so we don’t miss it.
If you don’t have a YouTube channel, it’s not a problem. You can email Vicki.
This is me. Video files are big so they’re often too large to email. So tell me if you’re having problems and we’ll work out a different way for you to send it.
I can’t wait to see your videos.
Me too.
OK, and one more thing. Are you ready for your deadline?
It’s Monday March 22nd – so you have just ten days.
That’s not long. So get your cameras out and get busy!
Remember. Keep the video short and simple. Just a few sentences is fine.
And if it’s good, you might win a SEVY.
We’re sure you rise to the challenge because we’ve received some amazing videos in the past. I’ll put a link here so you can watch them and get inspired.
We can’t wait to hear from you. I think we might create a historical document together here: where the world spent the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yeah, it could be something you talk about for the rest of your life.
Your grandchildren will ask ‘Where were you in the pandemic? and ‘What were you doing?’
So it’s a good idea to practise talking about it in English now.
That’s right. Have fun everyone. Bye-bye.


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