Monthly Archives: May 2015

Swiss Banks – A Safe Haven for Money

credit-suisse-headquarters-in-zurich B2 – Upper intermediate

Switzerland has very strict privacy laws. This is the main reason  why affluent families and even certain dictators deposit their money in Swiss banks.  There has been pressure for the Swiss government to ease up their banking laws to allow revelation of account holders who are suspected to be doing illegal activities.

Read the article below then share your thoughts about the topic.

Swiss Banks – A Safe Haven for Money from Around the World

Discuss:

1. Do you think that it’s time for Swiss banks to change their laws when it comes to privacy?
2. How would you describe the privacy laws of banks in your country?
3. What do you like about the current bank you’re with?

 

The Future Of Cardiology

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C1 – Advanced

Read the article below to find out how technology has made another advancement in the medical field.

The Future Of Cardiology Will Be Shown In 3-D

Discuss:

1. Describe the kind of technology featured in the article.
2. What do they call this new project mentioned in the article?
3. Name and describe other medical advancements that you know of.
4. Do you see any disadvantage to using high-tech machines or gadgets in the field of medicine?

Video: Abandoned London Stations

B2 – Upper intermediate

Watch the video below and take a look at some of the old spaces that are worth rehabilitating.

Comprehension:

1. When was the said space decommissioned?
2. How do they propose to use the abandoned space?
3. During the 2nd World War how was the space used?

Discuss:

1. What are some of the similar projects that your government has when it comes to restoring old buildings and spaces?
2. Describe some of the interesting reconstructed spaces you’ve seen in the past.

Words to discuss:

Decommission
Bowels (of something)
Shortlist
Payback
Generate

 

 

Link Between Earthquakes and Oil Drilling

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Oil drilling is one of the most important power source industry of our time. However, oil drilling does cause earthquakes.

Click the title below to know more about fracturing and what it does to the environment.

Experts See Closer Link Between Earthquakes and Oil Drilling

Discuss:

1. What is the major source of energy in your country/city?
2. What can you say about the environmental effects of industrialization?
3. Have you ever experienced an earthquake?

Why I Gave Up a $95,000 Job

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C1 – Advanced

There comes a point when a vacation is just what we need. We need to relax and have a breather to be able to come back recharged and sharper. But, as the author adds, “If you’re constantly thinking you need a vacation, maybe what you really need is a new life.”

The article below is a story of a journalist who gave up her job to move to an island to simplify her life. Express your thoughts after reading.

Why I Gave Up a $95,000 Job to Move to an Island and Scoop Ice Cream

Discuss:

1. What is you reaction to the article?
2. If given the chance, would you move to a remote place where you don’t know anybody and start anew?
3. Where would you want to spend your life once you retire?

Speaking Activity: Health and Fitness

Group of people at the gym doing spinning

B1 – Intermediate

Physical fitness is a very important issue. Especially today, because most people now have a lifestyle that is less active.

Staying active and doing some exercises will give your body better performance and help make your muscles be stronger. It will also keep your weight under control.

Click the title below and be ready to discuss new phrases about exercise and health.

Topic: Health and Fitness

 

Video: Italian Prisoners Play Rugby

B2 – Upper intermediate

Sports helps the soul.

Watch this video and talk about how rugby is helping these prisoners lead a better life.

Comprehension:

1. What is the mission of this sports project/initiative?
2. Who leads the initiative?
3. Describe how the players are able to have their matches within the facility.
4. What are the positive effects of this project?

Discussion:

1. What are some of the sports you enjoy practicing?
2. What are the advantages of playing a sport?
3. Are there other activities you would like to try?

Words to discuss:

Cellblock
Pep talk
Up-and-coming

 

 

 

He Made His Guitar Sing

B2 – Upper intermediate

B.B. King is one the music legends that has touched the lives of so many people.

Watch the video carefully and prepare to talk about music and musicians.

Comprehension:

1. Describe B.B. King’s lifestyle as a musician. Why did people like him?
2. What were some of his nicknames?
3. Why is his guitar named “Lucille”?

Discussion:

1. Are you familiar with the music of B.B. King?
2. Who are some of the musicians you listen to?
3. What are your preferences in music?

Words/phrases to discuss:

Vibrato
On the road
Finesse

The Time for Urban Farmers

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C1 – Advanced

Have you heard of Urban farming? In the US, it’s been a popular idea for quite some time.

Read the article below and discuss some of the issues that urban farmers are facing.

Urban Farmers Say It’s Time They Got Their Own Research Farms

Discuss:

1. How do you understand urban farming and what are its advantages?
2. Is urban farming something that is happening in your country?
3. Have you started growing your own vegetables? Have you tried it?

Best Minimum Wage in the World

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C1 – Advanced

People around the world work with minimum wage. A minimum wage is the lowest daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Which country has the best minimum wage in the world? Let’s take a look!

This country has the best minimum wage in the world

Discuss:

1. What is the minimum wage in your country?
2. What do you think should be the ideal minimum wage in your country?
3. How does salary affect the performance of an individual at work?