Monthly Archives: February 2015

Will Synthetic Vaccine Stop Polio?

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Medical technology has improved radically. It is due to non stop hard work of medical scientists and specialists. They continuously aim for the eradication of deadly diseases with the hope of longer and healthier lives for everyone.

Read the article below to know about the latest advancement in vaccines.

Will Synthetic Vaccine Stop Polio?

Discuss:

1. What is your general opinion of vaccines?
2. Will synthetic vaccine stop polio?
3. How much do you trust modern medical technology?
4. Do you think it’s possible that all diseases will be cured by vaccine?

Will Citizenship Test Make Better Citizens?

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B2 – Upper intermediate

The United States’ Naturalization Test is a test immigrants must pass to become a citizen. However, in Arizona it is an exam all high school students must take as the law requires it. Its goal is to let students contemplate civic awareness and allow them to participate in a democracy.

Will Citizenship Test Make Better Citizens?

Discuss:

1. Is there a similar test that immigrants must take in Spain?
2. What are the common civic activities or events in Spain (Donating blood, volunteer work, etc.)?
3. What do you think of the idea of making all high school students take the naturalization test?
4. Are you very knowledgeable when it comes to your country’s history and government?

Beauty Around the World

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Beauty. What is it really? Is it the shape of one’s eyes, an aquiline nose? Is it a slender waist, or tapering fingers? Or is it an inner quality, a contagious joie de vivre?

Click the link below and see the diversity of beauty as captured by one photographer’s lens. Read the short article and view the 18 photos included.

Photographer captures beauty around the world

Discuss:

1. How do you define beauty?
2. In the interview, photographer Mihaela Noroc said that “beauty means to keep alive your origins and your culture.” In your opinion, what is the connection between a person’s beauty and culture?
3. What do Noroc’s photographs say about beauty? How are the women the same? In what ways are they different?
4. If you could take a snapshot of beauty, who or what would you take a picture of?

A Permanent Vacation

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Have you ever been on a holiday and just fell in love with the place that you started contemplating on not leaving?

If it sounds crazy or incredible, it doesn’t have to be. For some, packing up their lives and moving to a dream destination has become a reality.

A Permanent Vacation

Discuss:

1. If you were to go on a holiday now, where would you want to go? Where is your dream destination?
2. Would you ever consider packing up and leaving your current career to go on a permanent vacation in your dream destination?
3. Have you experienced living in another country for at least a year?

Video: How to Stay Focused at Work

C1 – Advanced

Whether you are a simple employee, a manager or a company owner, you  need to stay focused on your job to be continuously productive. However, there’s almost always something that may distract you and could affect your performance at work.

In the link below, CEO’s of different companies share how they stay focused on their job.

How to stay focused at work when you’re the boss

Discuss:

1. How do you stay focused at what you do?
2. How do you deal with distractions at work?
3. How do you keep your energy and motivation?
4. For you, what would be the best working conditions to achieve optimum results?

Getting Sick During Your Holidays

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C1 – Advanced

Most people have probably experienced accomplishing all their tasks right before they go on holiday. In effect, for some reason, they would subsequently encounter post-work health decline too. Here’s an explanation for that:

Why we may fall ill when we’re on holiday

Discuss:

1. How do you feel before going on holidays?
2. Have you ever experienced leisure sickness?
3. What do you think are ways to prevent this?

Video: Cosmetic Surgery Boom in China

B2 – Upper intermediate

In Europe, young people try to improve their chances of finding employment by learning English or by going to a foreign country.  It’s an altogether different story in China where young job seekers go to extreme lengths to make sure they land those much coveted jobs.

Watch the video below and be ready to share  your thoughts on the disturbing trend among young Chinese people aiming to be part of the workforce.

Cosmetic surgery boom in China

Discuss:

1. According to the video, what are some of the most common procedures that patients have?
2. How much do the procedures cost and who pays for them?
3. What is your general opinion of plastic surgery?
4. Is plastic surgery something that is common in your country?

Robotic Firefighter

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C2 – Proficient

Some elements of science fiction are turning into science facts. Case in point,  the use of machines that have humanoid form to do tasks too risky for their Homo sapiens counterparts is slowly but steadily changing operations in various industries.

One such robot is SAFFiR. Read about this firefighting mechanical wonder and watch the video as well.

U.S. Navy unveils robotic firefighter

Discuss:

1. How do you feel about robots saving human lives in dangerous situations?
2. Do you think robots would do a better job than human beings in search and rescue operations?
3. Why do you think some robots are engineered to resemble humans physically?
4. Do you dread or look forward to the further rise of the machines?

Video: Is talking on your cell bad for you?

C1 – Advanced

Cellphones are now an essential part of living. Without our cellphones, it’s pretty difficult to function normally. Nevertheless, Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains that we have limited knowledge of it.

Click the link below to  know more about the dangers of using mobile phones.

Is talking on your cell bad for you?

Discuss:

1. According to the video, how should we use our mobile phones?
2. What kind of radiation does a cellphone emit?
3. What did the World Health Organization say about cellphones? Who may be more at risk?

Are Computers Making Us Less Clever?

B2 – Upper intermediate

In this digital age, humans are growing more and more reliant on technology. We all know that technology is supposed to make our lives easier and more comfortable. However, what do you think are the things that we are losing when we rely too much on computers and smartphones?

Listen to the podcast and be ready to answer some discussions. Take note of new vocabulary words.

Are computers making us dumb?

Discuss:

1. Do you agree that we are dependent on computers and technology?
2. How dependent are you on your phone?
3. Which do you prefer, meeting other people online or speaking with them face-to-face?