Author Archives: victoria

Self-building robot

09_SwarmRobot_org

B1 – Intermediate

Scientists have created a robot that can build and fold by itself in just 4 minutes. A researcher suggested that the self-building robot  could be applied to a variety of different problems.

Self-building robot

Discuss:

1. How do you think this robot can be useful in space explorations?
2. What do you think of robots in general?
3. How else can this robot be useful?

Nigeria Declared Car Horn-Free Day

B2 – Upper intermediate

Nigeria’s largest city  declared  a car “Horn-Free Day”  to raise awareness of noise pollution. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola told reporters that the extent of the noise from car horns was enough to be a danger to people’s hearing. However, it seems not everyone is on board.

Nigeria declared car horn-free day

Discuss:

1. How do you feel about Governor Fashola’s opinion that the drivers in Europe don’t really use their horns that much?
2. Would you say that your city has this kind of noise problem?
3. How would you describe traffic in your city? What would you do to make it better?
4. What do you think are the different types of pollution in your country?

Obama’s Credit Card Issue

B2 – Upper intermediate

Barack Obama had an embarrassing experience while dining at an expensive restaurant when his credit card was rejected. Obama told his credit card story on Friday while signing a new law to protect consumers from identity theft.

Barack Obama’s credit card problem 

Discuss:

1. Have you ever experienced any problem with your credit card in the past? What was the problem and how were you able to solve it?
2. How do you protect yourself when using your credit card or using online or mobile banking?
3. Does your country have very strict rules when it comes to using and sharing credit cards, bank accounts and other personal details?

*article was published in October 2014

Postal Service Back After 20 Years

B1 – Intermediate
Somalia’s government has restarted its postal system after 20 years. Its return is just one example of Somalia getting back to normal after its long period of trouble.

Somalia postal service back after 20 years

Discuss:

1. How important do you think is the postal service to a country?
2. How long do you think it will take for Somalia to be as “forward” as other countries are right now?
3. Has your country ever experienced a devastation?
4. What are some of the factors to consider when a country is getting back on their feet after a tragedy?

 
 

Malala Yousafzai Wins Nobel Peace Prize

C1 – Advanced
The girls’ rights activist Malala Yousafzai has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014. She is known mainly for human rights advocacy for education and for women in her native province and has made her countrymen very proud.

Malala Yousafzai wins Nobel Peace Prize

Discuss:

1. Share your ideas about gender equality. Do you think women in your country are being treated fairly?
2. What are the other social issues in your country that you think should be addressed?

*article was published in October 2014

Lego Ends Ties with Shell

B2 – Upper intermediate
Lego had a partnership with Shell and made toys that had Shell logo on them. There were over a million people who emailed Lego asking it to end its deal with Shell that brought pressure to finally end its contract with the oil  company.

Greenpeace gets Lego to end ties with Shell

Discuss:

1. Give your opinion about Greenpeace’s move to pressure Lego from ending their contract with Shell.
2. Do you think that parents have a responsibility in choosing the right toys to educate their children about preserving the environment?
3. In your country are there specific projects to tackle environmental issues?
*as of September 2015 Shell has abandoned drilling operations in the Alaskan Arctic

 

India Removes 287 Laws

B2 – Upper intermediate
The Indian government decides to dismiss laws that date back to the 19th century, when India was under British rule. The law minister is doing a clean up of India’s legal system and described that some of the laws are bizarre and outdated

India to remove 287 ‘laughable’ laws

Discuss:

1. Give your opinion about India’s move in removing obsolete laws.
2. Are there laws in your country that you think are laughable or you find useless?
3. What are some of the current laws you have regarding Internet use, domestic violence and other social concerns?

Cash for Better Grades

B1 – Intermediate

A new report says ensuring children money to pass exams does not give them better grades. Parents might be wasting their money by using cash as an incentive.

Money does not make children pass exams 

Discuss:

1. How do you think you can encourage a child to study harder?
2. How did your parents motivate you when you were studying?
3. What motivates you to work harder?
4. Would you like to go back to school or study a new course?
5. How would you define success?

Cartoon Gets Racism Warning

B2 – Upper intermediate

Amazon, has put a warning on some of the ‘Tom and Jerry’ cartoons.  They have said that that the scenes were wrong when the cartoons were made 70 years ago, and are still wrong today.

‘Tom and Jerry’ cartoon gets racism warning

Discuss:

1. How would you define the term “racism”?
2. Do you think that racism can be seen in some cartoons?
3. Do you witness racism in your workplace or in your community? How about in other TV shows?
4. Why do you think racism is present in our society?

Global Yoga Day

B1 – Intermediate

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked world leaders to start a U.N. International Yoga Day. He spoke about the benefits of yoga, saying it was good for the mind and body, and could also help climate change.

Indian leader calls for global yoga day 

Discuss:

1. Have you tried yoga before?
2. What is your opinion of yoga as a sport?
3. What activities do you do to help improve your mood, mental health and physical health?
4. What do you think of meditation?

 

*on 11 December 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as International Yoga Day by resolution 69/131.