Author Archives: katie

Reasons To Study a Foreign Language Abroad

© via The Local ES

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Anybody who is trying to learn a foreign language constantly wants to find a way to speed up the process. There are many ways to do it. Is living and studying it abroad truly the most effective way?

Here are six reasons why one needs to live away from home to learn another language.

https://www.thelocal.es/20170524/6-reasons-you-should-study-a-foreign-language-abroad-esl-tlccu

Discussion Questions:
1. Do you agree that “learning and communicating in the language of a foreign country while living there is without doubt the best way of learning”?
2. What are ways you’ve tried to learn English? Which do you think are the most effective and which are not?
3. Would you consider studying a language abroad or recommend anyone to do it? Support your answer.

Food Waste

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Food waste is food that is discarded or uneaten. Each year, we dispose of a third of the world’s food.

Listen to this podcast to learn more about food wastage and ways to stop it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/6-minute-english/ep-170511

Let’s talk:

1. Where does the biggest percentage of food waste come from?

2. What usually happens to the food we waste?

3. What are the consequences of food waste?

4. What is Selina Juul doing to stop food waste in Denmark? What are other ways to avoid wasting food?

5. What do you tend to do with your leftovers?

6. How’s not finishing your food viewed in your country?

Test 209

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Live in this Italian Village and Receive Money

© via Daily Mail UK

B2 – Upper Intermediate

How would you like to move to a picturesque town with only 394 inhabitants, rents for as low as €50 a month, and an incentive of €2,000 for relocating there?

The city government in a little Italian village offers all these things to address a problem their town is facing.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4484094/Italian-village-offers-2-000-people-there.html

Let’s talk:
1. What’s the problem in this village and what is the solution to it?
2. Do you have the same problem in your country?
3. What are the reasons you would move or not relocate to this town?

Multiple Careers

B2 – Upper Intermediate

There is a new trend in some societies. It’s having more than one occupation. There is someone who is a part-time computer programmer and a part-time musician or someone who is a teacher by day and a bartender by night.

Click on the links below to listen to and read the transcript of this BBC 6 Minute English podcast about having several jobs.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/spanish/features/6-minute-english/ep-170413

Discussion Questions:
1. When you were young, how did you answer the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up”?
2. What do you do now? Are you interested in getting another job? If so, what kind?
3. What does the term “portfolio careers” mean?
4. What might be the good and bad things about having portfolio careers?
5. Think of other reasons why having multiple jobs is becoming a trend.

Dutch Towns Tell Tourists How to Behave

B1 – Intermediate

It is often said that tourism can either be a boon or bane to a city or country.

Seems as though this little old Dutch town’s villagers have had enough of how touristic their village is.

Dutch towns tell tourists how to behave

Let’s talk!
1. Describe Old Holland and how locals live there.
2. What are the rules they talked about with local tour companies and what do you think about them? What rules for tourists would you add?
3. What responsibilities do you think tourists have?
4. What kind of bad behavior have you observed tourists have when they visit your city/country?

Egg Freezing Perk for Female Employees

B1 – Intermediate

Apple and Facebook are among the biggest tech firms known for giving their employees, some might call, “awesome” work perks.

Recently, some companies decided they will provide financial assistance to their female staff should they opt to go for egg-freezing in their 20s or 30s.

Read more on egg freezing perk through this article:

Egg freezing Perk for Female Employees

Let’s talk!
1. What do you think of this perk?
2. What are your thoughts on this statement: “When [IVF] is done purely to protect their job, I think it’s extraordinary that women think this is liberating.”?
3. What unique perks are given to employees at your company?
4. What perks do you want your company to start giving out to its employees?
5. What do you think is the best age to start having children. Tell some reasons why.

Ageism at Work

© via The Guardian

B2 – Upper Intermediate

A newbie does not have enough experience. A senior colleague is not technology illiterate. These are some common assumptions and generalizations we sometimes make based on a person’s age.

Ageism exists in the workplace. Are we supposed to just shrugged it all off?

Click on the link below to read more on Ageism at Work:

Ageism at Work

Discuss:

1.What are the negative effects of ageism on an individual?
2. What might be the positive impact of it?
3. Does ageism exist in the workplace in your company and/or country?
4. Talk about a situation when you witnessed ageism happening.
5. What is your stand on this: “this [ageism] isn’t just an issue young people face.“?

Wildlife Travel Agent Drops Zoo Trips

© via BBC

B2 – Upper intermediate

Going on package tours sound really interesting. However, if these trips include activities that endanger animals and violate their rights, is it still worth it?

A travel agent in Brighton is changing things by adapting “responsible tourism”. To read more about this, click the link below:

Wildlife travel agent drops zoo trips

Discuss:
1. What is ‘responsible tourism’? What are your thoughts on this?
2. Do you agree or disagree that “keeping animals in zoos is inhumane”?
3. Why is it important to protect animals and their rights too?
4. Have you ever gone on a package tour? Kindly talk more about it.
5. What are the pros and cons of going on package tours?

The Firm that Starts Work at 9.06am

© via BBC

B2 – Upper intermediate

Most employees consider having flexible work hours a perk. At Pivotal Software, they require their employees to clock in at exactly 9:06 in the morning.

Curious to know why? Click on the link below to read more about this unusual work rule.

The firm that starts work at 9.06am

Discuss:

1. Why are employees at Pivotal Software required to report to work at exactly 9:06 AM?
2. What do you think of this idea?
3. Would you like such rule to be implemented in your company? Why or why not?
4. Describe your work hours and your typical work day.
5. What are the things that you do to increase your productivity at work?