Monthly Archives: September 2015

Problemas con Skype a nivel mundial

Desde phone english, queremos informar a todos nuestros usuarios de que Skype está sufriendo problemas técnicos a nivel mundial.

Os dejamos la noticia que envían desde su soporte técnico, a través de su cuenta oficial de Twitter:

If We Could See Inside Others’ Hearts

B2 – Upper intermediate

Everyone goes through different things in life everyday. One could be shocked and sad of a bad news, others could be determined and hopeful for better days.

Would you treat them differently if you could see what they are going through?

Discuss:

1. How would you explain the words sympathy, empathy and apathy?
2. Would you consider yourself a sympathetic person?
3. How do you handle social and emotional stress?
4. When going through a difficult situation, do you prefer sharing your problems or do you prefer keeping it to yourself?

What Schools Should Do About Bullying

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C1 – Advanced

Used to be that bullying ended when one was off school premises. However, with the ubiquitous nature of social media and mobile technology, more and more students are subject to bullying even within the confines of their homes.

Read about one country’s educational system’s efforts to address the problem that is bullying.

What you should expect your school to do about bullying

Discuss:

1. In your opinion, which is worst: bullying in person, or bullying online? Why do you think so?
2. Do schools and universities in your country have a clear policy in regard to dealing with bullying among students?
3. Do schools or universities in your country educate or inform children about bullying?

Is a Game Just a Game?

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B2 – Upper intermediate

When is a computer game just for fun and when does it become dangerous?  Listen to Rob and Finn discussing whether adult computer games could affect our children’s health.

This podcast contains vocabulary expressions that your teacher might ask about so be ready for a discussion.

Is a Game Just a Game?

Discuss:

1. Do you think that computer games can be unhealthy or do you think there are good things that you can get out of it?
2. What are some computer games that you’ve played?
3. If you’re a parent, what rules do you have for your child/children when it comes to computer games?
4. Do you think the government or certain government bodies should be involved in regulating computer games?

Fighting Hunger in the UK

Learn these expressions:

*hard up
*zero-hours contracts
*open door
*scroungers

A food bank is a non-profit, charitable organization that give out food to those who have no means to buy them to prevent people from imminent hunger.

In the United Kingdom, many people lack the capacity to purchase food for various reasons. Hence, they come to these food banks for free food.

Read on and listen to this BBC 6 Minute English episode and know more about feeding Britain’s poorest.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/6-minute-english/ep-150625

Ponder on these:

> What are some of the reasons people resort to getting their daily meals at food banks?
> How do food banks work?
> Aside from getting food what are other benefits from going to food banks?
> What do you think about “open door” access?
> What are your thoughts on this: “Food bank users suffer more from shame than from hunger.”
> Talk about food banks or similar organizations in your country.
> How else can we help fight hunger?

How Happiness Affects Our Health

happiness

B1 – Intermediate

Happiness, as defined by Wikipedia, is a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Many research groups are using the scientific method to research what happiness is, and how we can get it.

How Happiness Affects Our Health

Discuss:

1. How would you define happiness?
2. Do you think that happiness lies within you? Or does it depend upon other people and external things?
3. What do you think is the difference between happiness and joy?
4. Describe a holiday or another event where you felt truly happy.

Chasing that Caffeine High

energydrinks

B1 – Intermediate

Coffee, sodas or tea? Staying awake or getting enough energy to get through the day  is something so necessary these days that energy drink manufacturers have become more creative.

Read the article to know what’s going on in the world of energy drinks.

Chasing that Caffeine High

Discuss: (from the article)

1. Have you ever (or do you often) drink energy drinks?
2. Do you think energy drinks are dangerous?
3. Why do you think energy drinks are becoming so popular?
4. Caffeine is an addictive drug. Why is it legal when other harmful drugs are illegal?

The 2 Euro T-Shirt – A Social Experiment

B1 – Intermediate

A nice t-shirt for only 2 euros sounds like a really good bargain. But, is it really?

Watch the video and discover why this “good buy” comes at a cost for the lowly third world sewers who make them.

Discuss:

1. When buying clothes, what things do you consider?
2. What do you think can be done to help improve the situation of sweatshop workers in third world countries?
3. Is there an advocacy or cause that you support? If you do, explain why you support it.

Tourist Spending in Spain Sets New Record

C1 – Advanced

In Spain, tourists have been spending billions of Euros from January to July alone.

This is said to be helping the country recover from the economic crisis. However, some top Spanish vacation destinations have experienced drawbacks from the heavy influx of tourists in the recent years, forcing authorities to impose stern measures to control the situation.

Tourist spending in Spain sets new record, boosting economic recovery

Discuss:

1. What do you think leads to more tourists coming to your country?
2. Do you think tourism helped a lot in improving Spain’s economic condition?
3. What are the benefits and drawbacks of tourism?
4. What other places in Spain should be developed for tourism?

Lies a Part of Human Nature

B2 – Upper intermediate

Almost everyone agrees that a white lie is a good kind of lie. But is it really good knowing you’re hiding the truth from someone?

Read the article to know the science and reason behind lying. Discuss any vocabulary questions you might have.

Lies a Part of Human Nature

Discuss: (from article)

1. How often do you think you lie? Is it too much?
2. What are some of the reasons you’ve lied recently?
3. Do you think lies hold society together? Why/not?
4. What situations would it be better to lie than to tell the truth? Why do you think so?
5. Do you think one gender lies more than the other? Why/not?