Category Archives: Homework

Is Cycling Good for Cities?

B1 – Intermediate

In cities like Amsterdam, cycling is a way of life. Is it really good for cities to encourage the use of bicycles around the city/neighborhood?

Watch the video below and be ready to have a discussion.

Discuss:

1. Are there any bicycle lanes in the UK? Why is it important to have bicycle lanes?
2. In your city, are bicycle lanes made to encourage the use of bicycles?
3. How would you describe roads and motorways in your country?
4. Do you think that using bicycles will help lessen the traffic in big cities? Why?

BBC LingoHack Video: Feb 22

B1 – Intermediate

Watch the video below to increase your vocabulary and practice your listening skills. Feel free to watch the video more than once. You may also take down notes of important details.

Learn words from the news: visually impaired, engineered, heading out

Discuss:

1. What does it mean when someone is visually impaired? Use it in a sentence.
2. How is one company in India helping people who are blind? Why are the blind the best in this kind of job?
3. What is the definition of the word “engineered”? Use it in a sentence.
4. In the last story, where is the team going? Where will they live during their expedition?

Tackling Air Pollution

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B2 – Upper intermediate

Aside from politics and the economy, pollution is also a growing issue in most countries. Air pollution has become more and more evident in the past years that people from different walks of life are trying to lessen air pollution in their own little way.

Read the article below and express your thoughts about it.

Is there a way to tackle air pollution?

Discuss:

1. How is your government addressing the issue of air pollution?
2. How would you describe pollution in your city?
3. What are some of the places you visited that you would consider very clean?
4. Do you enjoy living in your current city?

The Doctor Who Saved 100,000 Eyes

B2 – Upper intermediate

Our eyesight is very important to us. Yet, just like the other senses, we tend to take it for granted until we realize how much we rely on it.

Watch the video below to know of a doctor who restores hope in people through better eyesight.

Discuss:

1. Discuss what the doctor and his team does for people in Nepal.
2. How important is this medical project to small cities and developing countries?
3. Are there medical projects or missions in your country that you know of?
4. Have you ever volunteered to help the poor? How was that experience?

Why are We So Attached to Our Things?

B2 – Upper intermediate

Ever wonder why we get attached to our belongings? Are we innately selfish? There must be a scientific explanation to this. This video details the psychology of ownership.

Watch the video carefully then be ready to answer some discussion questions.

Discuss:

  1. What does the “endowment effect” describe?
  2. What are some of the almost magical ways that we think about the connection between objects and their owners?
  3. Can there ever be a downside to feeling attached to our things? Elaborate your answer.

Aid Given in Cash

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B2 – Upper Intermediate

Some people are hesitant in giving money to charities as they are doubtful whether their donations would be used efficiently.

In Kenya, charitable organizations are trying out a new way of helping through direct cash transfers, letting the recipients spend the money however they wish to.

Read more on this here:

What happens when aid is given as direct cash transfers?

Discuss:
1. How did Joseph Ombimbo Nyakwaka spend the money he received?
2. What are the positive things about direct cash transfers in donating?
3. What are the criticisms on this method of giving?
4. Imagine receiving $1000 and you can spend it however you want. How would you like to spend it?

Video: The Lion Whisperer

B1 – Intermediate

There has always been a fascination with wild animals like lions and tigers. Watch the video below and take a look at how one man is able to live amongst wild African cats.

Answer the quiz beside the video to check your comprehension.

The lion whisperer: 60 minutes preview

Discuss:

1. How do you feel about humans interacting with wild animals?
2. Are you fond of animals? Do you have any pets?
3. What are some animals found in your country that are considered wild and endangered?

Video: Kenya’s Catchy Pop Hit

B2 – Upper intermediate

If you’re into music then you’ll find this story interesting. The video below is good practice for your listening skills. Feel free to watch it more than once. The text below the video will give you extra details about the short story.

Kenya’s catchy pop hit that took the world by storm

Discuss:

1. How did the song “Jambo Bwana” come to life? What was its inspiration?
2. What did you think of the tune or the melody of the pop song?
3. What are some of the local songs in your country that are considered a classic and are still played on the radio?
4. What are some of your preferences when it comes to music?

Running Away to Escape a Marriage

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B2 – Upper intermediate

It is unfortunate, to most, that the practice of arranged marriages is still alive in some traditions. Certain Indian communities are strongly practicing it, even if the child is firmly against it.

Read the article below to know the story of one Indian girl who escaped her arranged marriage but had to face the consequences.

Jasvinder Sanghera: I ran away to escape a forced marriage

Discuss:

1. Re-tell the story of Jasvinder Sanghera. How was she able to escape?
2. According to the article, why did Jasvinder dislike being in an arranged marriage? What were the struggles she had to endure?
3. The Chinese also practice arranged marriages. How do you view this custom?
4. Discuss other traditions that you think should be discontinued.

Vocabulary: Killing time

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B1 – Intermediate

This activity is meant to practice your listening skills and increase your vocabulary. Listen to the podcast to understand the idiom “Killing Time” and how to use it.

Killing time

Discuss:

1. What does it mean when you kill time? How would you use it in a sentence?
2. When you have appointments, do you like being early then just kill time? Or do you prefer being on time?
3. What are things you like to do when killing time?