Author Archives: victoria

Curry Spice Repairs Brain Cells

B2 – Upper intermediate

Scientists believe the spice turmeric could help the brain to heal itself. Researchers from the Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine in Germany examined the effects of properties found in turmeric on rats. Dr Laura Phipps, from the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK said that it was too early to decide whether or not the research will be groundbreaking.

Curry spice may help repair brain cells 

Discuss:

1. Are you familiar with the spice turmeric?
2. What do you think are the other health benefits of herbs and spices we usually use for cooking?
3. Do you think that turmeric can heal degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer?
4. Do you take multivitamins or supplements to keep you stay healthy?
5. Have you tried Indian food or curry?

Fined for Wasting Food

B1 – Intermediate

The city of Seattle is introducing a system to fine people who waste food. They will get a $1 fine if more than 10 per cent of their garbage is food. The Seattle Public Utilities department said the new garbage disposal system should make people more aware that recycling is important.

U.S. city will fine people who waste food

Discuss:

1. Do you think that fining people will lessen the the amount of food that is being wasted?
2. Is recycling done in your neighborhood or city?
3. What laws does your country have when it comes to food wastage?
4. What are other things the government can do to discourage wastage?

 *Update: This law has been in effect since January 2015

Tacos with Insects

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B1 – Intermediate

A restaurant owner in Mexico is offering tacos topped with insects. He has wild items added to his menu such as scorpions and spiders too.

 Tacos with insects

Discuss:

1. What exotic kinds of food do you know or have tried?
2. Are there exotic foods in Spain?
3. For you, is it okay to use and put insects in our food? Why or why not?

Moodiness and Women

B2 – Upper intermediate

Below is an interesting study about men and women and their mood swings.

Read the article and express your thoughts about it. Be prepared to share some of your experiences.

‘Sexist’ poll says women moody 10 days a year

Discuss:

1. Do you think that women are grumpier than men?
2. What puts you in a bad mood?
3. How do you deal with little, everyday stress in your life? How do you keep your cool?

People from a rainforest

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B1 – Intermediate

A footage shows native people emerge from the Amazon rain forest and make contact with the outside world. Brazilian experts said the indigenous people likely crossed the border from Peru facing pressure from illegal logging and drug trafficking at home.

People from a rainforest

Discuss:

1. Is drug trafficking happening in Spain? How about illegal logging?
2. Have you ever taken a trip to exotic places?
3. Are there still places in your country that are still “untouched” by civilization?

Language extinction

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B1 – Intermediate

Economic development is causing the extinction of some languages, according to some scientists. A study has found that minority languages in the most developed parts of the world are most at threat.

Listen to the podcast to know more about the extinction of certain languages.

Language extinction

Click on the title to listen to the report: Language Extinction: Audio Clip

Click on the title for the vocabulary: Language Extinction: Words

Discuss:

1. Do you know a language that has gone extinct?
2. In your opinion, do you think that rapid growth of a country can affect the extinction of language?
3. What are some of the other local languages that you can speak? How about international languages?
4. If you were given an opportunity, which languages would you like to learn and master?

Noisy neighbors biggest problem

B1 – Intermediate

We’ve all had horrible or not-so-good experiences with our neighbors.  The website “Which?” conducted a survey and found out that a number of people are stressed with their neighbors.

Read the article to know more about the different nuisances that neighbors can have with each other.

Noisy neighbours biggest problem

Discuss:

1. Do you have an annoying neighbor?
2. What are the common problems that you experience with your neighbors?
3. How would you describe your neighborhood or the place you live?
4. Which would you prefer: living in the city or in the country?

Walk or cycle for ‘a happier commute”

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B1 – Intermediate

Walking or cycling to work instead of driving a car can improve feelings of health and happiness. Click on the title to know more about alternative ways of commuting. Be ready to answer some discussion questions.

Walk or cycle for ‘a happier commute’

Click on the title to listen to the report: Walk or cycle: Audio

Discuss:

1. How do you get to work?
2. Do you think it is better to walk, to take your bike or to travel by public transport to work?
3. What kind of exercise routine do you have?
4. How do you stay healthy and happy?

Pope says World War III pretty much here

B2 – Upper intermediate

Pope Francis has announced that a third world war may soon happen. He has made repeated appeals for an end to the world’s conflicts. He cited the loss of life in WWI to what is happening today.

Be ready to have a speaking activity and to discuss some vocabulary words

Pope says World War III pretty much here

Discuss:

1. Do you think that World War III will happen?
2. What is your opinion about war?
3. What do you think we should do to prevent this from happening?

 

Thousands Wake Up During Surgery

B1 – Intermediate

A report in England states that thousands of patients a year wake up during an
operation. One doctor said it happens one in every 19,000 operations. They are now trying to find areas that could be improved during an operation to prevent this from happening.

Thousands wake up during surgery 

Discuss:

1. Do you think the case of waking up during a surgery is considered carelessness on the doctor’s side?
2. Do you know someone who experienced the same incident?
3. Have you undergone a surgery in the past?
4. Would you say that doctors in your country have very high standards?