Author Archives: katie

Open Banking

B2 – Upper Intermediate

We have been so used to our financial information being kept strictly confidential by our banks. In the UK, a competition watchdog is lobbying for open banking.

Read more on it and be in the know about what it is, how it will work and other relevant information regarding secured financial info sharing among firms.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/1712/171202-debt.html

Discussion Questions:

1. What is Open Banking?
2. How do you feel about this news?
3. In what ways is this a positive change?
4. What things are you worried about?
5. How would people take such change in your country?

Help for People in Debts

B2 – Upper Intermediate

We need money for spending on various thing like house rent or a mortgage, cars, bills, travels, and a lot more. Some people owe huge amounts of money. Many of them can’t get out of the red.

Read more on how the South Korean government would try to assist those under a pile of debts.

https://breakingnewsenglish.com/1712/171202-debt.html

Discussion Questions:

1. What are your thoughts on what the South Korean goverment is doing?
2. What do you think of how people are spending money in your country?
3. What is your government doing to help people with a lot of debts?
4. What do you think of when you hear the word ‘debt’?
5. What advice can you give to someone who is in debt?

Companies and Motivation

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Talents are the backbone of any company. However, a lot of companies seem to miss exploring the area where they provide their employees what they need and want.

Read more about companies and motivating employees here:

http://www.headsupenglish.com/index.php/advanced-english-students/advanced-mini-lessons/161-companies-and-motivation

Discussion Questions:

1. What does it take for a company or business to succeed?
2. Do you agree or disagree that all companies should motivate their staff?
3. How does your company make sure the employees are well-motivated?
4. What suggestions can you give your employers to ensure employees’ satisfaction at work?
5. What are the things that keep you motivated to do your job?

Absurd Diets

© via The Guardian

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Having breakfast at the same place every single day for 15 years… bacon and eggs three times a day… apples and carrots for weeks on end…

These diets may sound untrue but they are actual diets of some very wealthy and high-profile people.

Find out about famous people’s strange diets through this article:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/shortcuts/2017/oct/15/bacon-eggs-every-meal-absurd-diets-rich-famous

Discussion Questions:

1. What are your thoughts on the diets mentioned in the article?
2. Which one did you find most absurd?
3. Why is proper diet important?
4. Talk about special diets you know of or those you’ve actually tried in the past or would want to try in the future.

Woman on a Holiday Jet

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Karon Grieve, a novelist, booked a flight from Glasgow to Crete for only £46. There was something unusual about this flight.

Find out about this woman’s unique flight experience.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-41748305

Discussion Questions:

1. What can you say about Grieve’s experience?
2. What are the good and bad things about air travels?
3. Talk about your best and worst flight experiences.
4. What suggestions do you want to give airlines about their services?
5. What is your airline of choice and why?

Learn English by Watching TV

B1 – Intermediate

For any immigrant or refugee who doesn’t speak the language of the country where they’ve moved into, it would be a complete culture shock and in some ways, may very well be a very frustrating moment in his life.

There are many ways to learn English. Discover and be inspired as to how Farid, an Afghan refugee, learned English. Watch the video that talks about Farid’s journey and read the article to know whether we can really learn English the way he did.

http://www.bbc.com/news/education-41516251

Discussion Questions:

1. What are some ways to learn English or a language?
2. In your opinion, what is the best way to do so?
3. What do you think of Farid’s suggestion to English learners?
4. What are things you’ve done/tried to improve your foreign language skills?
5. What advise or tips would you give other English/foreign language learners?

False Advertising

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Do you ever wonder why brands pay a great deal of money on advertisements? A well-thought of ad can make consumers buy your products or avail of your services. Hence, advertising firms ensure their ads catch their market’s attention, to some extent, even if it means misleading them.

Read the article below and get ready to talk about false advertising.

http://www.headsupenglish.com/index.php/advanced-english-students/advanced-skill-builders/advanced-listening/412-false-advertising

Discussion Questions:

1. Have you ever fallen for a misleading advert?
2. Talk about an advertising campaign that caught your attention recently.
3. What are your thoughts on celebrity endorsements?
4. What factors do you consider when buying a product?
5. What would make an ad more appealing?

Modals – might, may, will, probably

May and Might

Use:

The modals May and Might are used when expressing what might occur in the future. Both can be used to express actions in the future or the present.

Examples:

Present

I might have some flour in the pantry.

Future

They may leave tomorrow.

Form:

May and Might function as modals such as can, will and should. Therefore, the same rules apply.

1) No need to add ‘s’ to the third person singular.

Examples:

Correct: He may attend.

Incorrect: He mays attend.

Correct: She might cry.

Incorrect: She mights cry.

2) The negative form is: may / might + not.

Examples:

He may not attend the meeting.

She might not buy the book.

3) The question form is: may / might + subject. However, using might in forming questions is not very common.

Example:

Might she be hungry?

4) To make requests, May can be used with ‘I’ or ‘we’. However, it is more common to use can and could.

May I have some water?

May we eat the sandwiches?

5) May and Might are always followed by the infinitive form of the verbs.

Examples:

Correct: I might sing.

Incorrect: I might to sing.

Correct: She might stay.

Incorrect: She might staying.

 

Will + Probability Adverbs

Use:

You can combine will and won’t and some adverbs to express the probability of a future event happening.

Examples:

I’ll possibly cook something for dinner.

I’ll probably cook something for dinner.

I’ll definitely cook something for dinner

I’ll certainly cook something for dinner.

Form:

Remember that Will / ‘ll comes before the adverb and won’t comes after.

Examples:

I’ll probably watch a movie later.

I probably won’t watch a movie later.

Extreme Employees

C1 – Advanced

In some countries, they are trying to maintain their workers’ work-life balance by experimenting on different work styles. However, there remains a lot of people who has no choice but to work very long hours.

Find out more about “extreme employees” through this article:

http://www.headsupenglish.com/index.php/advanced-english-students/advanced-news-lessons/advanced-business-lessons/209-extreme-employees

Discussion Questions:
1. What are the effects of being an extreme employee?
2. What do you think are reasons some people work too much?
3. Should companies strive to have extreme employees or well-balanced ones?
4. Talk about your experience of a toxic work day or workweek.
5. Do you think workers in your country should be given more vacation days?

Emojis in Work E-mails

B1 – Intermediate

There are do’s and don’t’s of writing work e-mails. Should employees refrain from including smiley face emojis in their e-mails?

Read more about the use of emojis in work e-mails.

http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1708/170816-smiley-face-emojis-5.html

Discussion Questions:
1. What e-mail writing rules do you know of?
2. What is your opinion about putting emojis/smileys in work e-mails?
3. What’s the importance of knowing proper e-mailing etiquette?