Author Archives: darlene

Amazon Opens Convenience Store with a Twist

f25d1f50-5b15-4dd5-a423-cab7868468c5_cx0_cy10_cw0_w987_r1_s_r1

B2 – Upper intermediate

Amazon is opening a physical store in Seattle where purchases are automatically completed using a phone app. There will be no cashiers, no checkout lines. Just grab what you want, scan it and walk out.

Read the article below to know more about it.

Amazon Opens Convenience Store with a Twist

Discuss:

1. Would you be concerned with this kind of service getting hacked or is there no difference than buying online?
2. If this works do you think more stores will do this since they wouldn’t need to hire so many employees and could save money lowering the price of items?
3. Would you rather shop in a store where you could just walk in, grab what you want and walk right out instead of waiting in a line or would you be willing to keep things the way they are so people could keep their jobs?

 

Google to Use Renewable Energy by 2017

c3b84e21-fd59-44f4-8831-11ac873139c7_cx0_cy5_cw0_w987_r1_s_r1

B2 – Upper intermediate

Google wants to convert all their data centers and offices to use renewable energy by 2017. Read the article below and be ready to talk about technology. Share your thoughts as well.

Google Says Will Use 100 Percent Renewable Energy by 2017

Discuss:

1. Do you think more companies will follow once a large company like Google shows that it is possible not to rely on fossil fuels?
2. With wind farms and solar panels being expensive for its initial cost, do you think it would be cheaper in the long run for companies to do this?
3. Is there a push in Spain to go with renewable energy sources and electric vehicles?

American Voters Decided More Than Just the Presidency

5943474c-5d9d-430e-9535-ba6e2e09f4f3_cx0_cy4_cw0_w987_r1_s_r1

B2 – Upper intermediate

And so the United States presidential election is over. The country has a new president, who will take office in January of 2017. There is mixed emotions on the results. But voters were not only choosing who the best candidate should take office. They were also hopeful that certain policies would change.

Read the article below to know more about policy measures that Americans are trying to work on.

American Voters Decided More Than Just the Presidency

Discuss:

1. Is marijuana legal in Spain? What about medical marijuana?
2. Are you able to possess any type of gun in Spain? Do you think it makes you any safer owning a gun?
3. What is the minimum wage in Spain? Do you think you can live off of the current minimum wage in the States at $7.25 an hour or 6.75 Euro?
4. Do you know when they stopped implementing the death penalty in Spain? Do you agree with having the death penalty?
5. Is euthanasia legal in Spain? Do you think someone has the right to decide to end his/her life if he/she is suffering from a terminal disease?

Unexploded Bombs Still a Problem in Laos

713a95c5-6bb8-436d-aafb-462838383f7f_w987_r1_s

B2 – Upper intermediate

Most countries have many remembrances of past wars. Unfortunately, in countries like Laos, these reminders still have the power to injure them.

Read the article below and express your thoughts about it.

Unexploded Bombs Still a Problem in Laos

Discuss:

1. Who do you think is responsible for the clean up of the remaining bombs?
2. Should the USA pay for the medical bills of those people who are affected by the bombs or should it be charities?
3. Do you think that bombs today are more sophisticated because of advanced technology?

Native English Speakers are World’s Worst Communicators

C1 – Advanced

Misunderstandings between native English Speakers and ESL speakers happen more often than you think. There happens to be a certain comprehension between two ESL speakers as compared to a non-native and a native speaker.

Read the article below then express your thoughts. Share some of your experiences as well.

Native English Speakers are the World’s Worst Communicators

Discuss:

1. Have you ever been in a situation where you are in a group listening to a native English speaker and everyone is unsure of the message?
2. Do you ever nod in agreement even if you don’t understand what the person is saying?
3. Do you understand non-native English speakers easier than native English speakers?
4. Do you know any other English abbreviations like ‘OOO’ (out of the office)?
5. Which do you find easier to understand, US English or UK English?

World’s First Commercial Shipment by Self-driving Truck

B2 – Upper intermediate

Here’s a short article about how technology in driving is getting more and more advanced. Read the article below then express your thoughts about it.

Anheuser-Busch completed the world’s first commercial shipment by self-driving truck

Discuss:

1. Do you think there still should be a human passenger to monitor driver-less vehicles?
2. Do you think having driver-less vehicles will be a positive or negative thing in the long run?
3. Do you know if there have been any testing of driver-less vehicles in your country or laws passed to allow them?

Greeks May Have Built Terracotta Army

i

C1 – Advanced

China’s first emperor was buried with 8,000 stone statues – a stone army guarding his tomb. It is now believed that Ancient Greeks influenced and helped build these statues along with other sculptors. It also suggests there was close contact between the Greeks and China long before the opening of the Silk Road.

Ancient Greeks may have built China’s famous Terracotta Army – 1,500 years before Marco Polo

Discuss:

1. When dealing with history that is thousands of years in the past do you think we can really know what truly happened?
2. History seems to change often with new discoveries of our past, do you think many of the things we now believe are actually false?
3. What are some historical events that you are interested in?

Spain Hasn’t Had Government For Months

spain-990x556

C1 – Advanced

After 9 months of elections, Spain still does not have a traditional government due to not having enough votes. The citizens seem to like it and life is going on as normal. People are getting paid and receiving benefits. But without a national government Spain has been unable to pass national legislation, handle foreign affairs or fund new government projects.

Spain Hasn’t Had a Government For 9 Months–and People Love It

Discuss:

1. Do you think a government should be bigger or smaller?
2. Is there much corruption within the Spanish government?
3. Do you think politicians cause more harm than good?
4. Have you noticed any changes throughout this time? Has it affected you in any way?

Insiders Blast Trump’s ‘Sexist’ Remarks

_91500718_5eef05b4-b6a1-43f4-b63b-f5afc1fb19d7

C1 – Advanced

Donald Trump has been accused of sexism by ex-contestants and staff on his reality show The Apprentice. Over 20 people that were interviewed said his behavior toward women was inappropriate.

Read the article then express your thoughts about it.

Ex-Apprentice insiders blast Trump’s ‘sexist’ remarks

Discuss:

1. Do you think someone who insults women should have the privilege to lead them?
2. Donald Trump has avoided paying federal taxes. Do you think it’s fair that someone who makes millions every year pay less in taxes than someone who makes minimum wage?
3. Do you think these allegations are true?
4. What is the general consensus of Donald Trump in Spain?

Pitbull Ban Put on Hold

_91468516_canadapitbull4

C1 – Advanced

Last week the city of Montreal passed a bill banning the pitbull dog breed.  The law will prevent the sale of any pitbull and all current pitbulls will need to be sterilized, micro-chipped and vaccinated by 31 March 2017. They must also be kept on a short leash and muzzled in public. Pitbull owners must also undergo a criminal background check.

Montreal pitbull ban put on hold

Discuss:

1. Do you think a state has the right to ban an entire breed of dog?
2. Do you think it’s the owner or the breed of dog that can make a dog violent?
3. Is there any law in Spain that legislates dog breeds?
4. Have you ever seen a pitbull and did it appear to be violent or more aggressive than another breed?