Author Archives: Sabrina

Never Too Old for a Tiara

B2 – Upper intermediate

The Philippines just recently hosted the Miss Universe pageant last January 2017. It showcased a range of beauties and talents from across the globe. All young and in their prime. The video below shows a different kind of beauty contest. Watch the video carefully then be ready to answer comprehension and discussion questions.

Discuss:

1. Discuss what the video is all about.
2. What are the contestants saying about joining the pageant/contest? What are their words of wisdom?
3. What is your general opinion of beauty contests/pageants?
4. What message do you think is this video trying to send?
5. In the United States, they have beauty contests for girls as young as 5 or 6. Do you think that’s a good idea? How do you think it will affect the child?

Farmers Spray E.U. Building With Milk Powder

B2 – Upper intermediate

When the government is helping the big corporations win, the smaller guys continue to struggle. Watch the video below about a protest that some farmers made against the European Union’s decision regarding milk production and selling.

Discuss:

1. Explain why the farmers decided to spray an EU building with milk powder.
2. How’s the agriculture business/industry in your country?
3. Do you think the European Union’s action to “stabilize the market” was a good one?
4. What are some agricultural products that you import from other countries?
5. What’s an ideal way to help local farmers survive in today’s world?

Video: Kuwaitis in ‘5-star’ Tents Under the Stars

B2 – Upper intermediate

In Kuwait, locals have a different way of escaping the heat during the summer. Watch the video carefully to find out what dessert camping is and express your thoughts about it.

Kuwaitis seek roots in ‘5-star’ tents under the stars

Discuss:

1. What is dessert camping and why do Kuwaitis like this?
2. How much does it cost to go camping in the dessert?
3. Describe the tents featured in the video.
4. Have you ever gone camping before? What did you like/didn’t like about it?
5. Would you consider yourself adventurous when it comes to travelling?

How to Drink Baijiu

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Have you heard of baijiu? If you’re into spirits and drinking then this is one liqueur that you might want to try.

Read the article about a Chinese drink heartily consumed by the locals. Take a look at the pictures as well and be ready to answer comprehension questions.

How to drink baijiu: Beijing’s pros share their tips

Discuss:

1. What is baijiu and how is it made? What is it made of?
2. On which occasions is baijiu the choice of drink?
3. What is baijiu tourism?
4. What are some of the local alcohol or spirits that are commonly and popularly consumed in your country?
5. What are your preferences when it comes to alcohol?

Africa’s Coffee Renaissance

B2 – Upper intermediate

Nigeria’s young entrepreneurs are thinking creatively and boldly. Watch the video and read the article about two Nigerian brothers who profited on coffee.

2 brothers have tapped into Africa’s coffee renaissance

Discuss:

1. Describe the coffee business of Ngozi aynd Chijioke Dozie. What makes their coffee bar different?
2. What do the brothers hope for in the future for their business?
3. How are coffee bars fairing in your city/country?
4. Are there many start-up businesses in your city/country? Are they being supported by the local government?

Saudi Arabia’s Cinema Ban

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C1 – Advanced

It is common knowledge to most that the Middle Eastern culture is one that comes with very rigid rules. From what women can wear to gender segregation. In Saudi Arabia, cinemas are struggling as well.

Read the article below to know more about the film industry in Saudi.

In the age of YouTube, what’s the point in Saudi Arabia’s cinema ban?

Discuss:

1. What information did the article say about the cinema ban in Saudi Arabia?
2. What did the article say about women and driving?
3. Tell me something about the author of the article.
4. What do you know about the Middle Eastern culture?
5. Would you consider travelling to the Middle East?

Festivals: Chinese New Year

chinese-new-year-celebration

B1 – Intermediate

In most Asian countries, New Year’s is celebrated twice – in January and in February. Read the article below to know more about the Chinese New Year and some cultural traditions that the Chinese practice. Be ready to also talk about important festivals in your country.

Chinese New Year

Discuss:

1. Describe how the Chinese celebrate their New Year?
2. Have you ever seen or witnessed a dragon dance or a Lantern Festival?
3. What else do you know about the Chinese culture? How about other Asian culture?
4. What are some Spanish festivals that are very specific to a region?
5. In your country, are there any dishes or food that are especially served on certain festivals or holidays?

How Food Trucks Took Over City Streets

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C1 – Advanced

Food trucks. Their evolution has been a good one. Sprouting up like mushroom, people seem to enjoy every bit of it.

Read the article below and be ready to increase your vocabulary by going through the different terms and expressions. Feel free to read the article section per section with your teacher.

How Food Trucks Took Over City Streets

Discuss:

1. Describe the change of food trucks since it began.
2. Why are food trucks so appealing to the young? The culinary graduates?
3. Explain why having a food truck business is not as easy as some think. What are the challenges business owners face?
4. On the other hand, what are the advantages of having a food truck as a business?
5. Are food trucks a trend in your city as well? What is your general opinion of them?

Video: Work Permits for Syrian Refugees

B2 – Upper intermediate

Syrian refugees have now settled in in their host countries and most of them are working on moving on. But being productive and feeling optimistic about the future proves to be harder.

Watch the video below to know more about the challenges that Syrian refugees are facing when it comes to getting work.

Work permits for Syrian refugees

Discuss:

1. According to the video, what are some of the things that Syrian refugees want?
2. How would you describe the morale of the refugees?
3. How can host countries benefit from refugees?
4. Do you think that giving work permits to refugees can bring more harm than good? What are the anxieties of the locals (in host countries?)

Japan Set For Invisible Trains

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B1 – Intermediate

Japan is known for its technological advances. In 2018, the country will be launching its first invisible train.

Read the article below to know how this transport could be invisible. Be ready to practice your speaking skills by talking about transport systems.

Japan Set For Invisible Trains By 2018

Discuss:

1. Describe the train that Kazuyo Sejima designed? Why is it called an invisible train?
2. How would you describe the trains in your country?
3. Have you taken the different trains in Europe? Have you visited other European countries using trains?
4. Would you say that public transportation in your country is very effective? What else could it improve on?