Category Archives: Homework

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?

Vocabulary: Eat humble pie

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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 “Eat Humble Pie” and how to use it.

Eat humble pie

Discuss:

1. What does it mean when you eat humble pie? How would you use it in a sentence?
2. In the podcast, why did Rob have to eat humble pie?
3. What is the history of the phrase “eat humble pie”?
4. Describe a time you were wrong and had to eat humble pie.

Japan’s Legendary Female Divers

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C1 – Advanced

The Japanese are renowned for keeping most of their traditions alive. “Ama” divers is one of them. Read the article below to know what and who “ama” divers are and be ready to answer some discussion questions.

On the job with Japan’s legendary female ama divers

Discuss:

1. What kind of diving do the “ama” divers do?
2. In your country, what industries were thriving in the past but are now declining?
3. What are some traditions that your country has strongly carried through the years (food,feast, etc.)
4. What are some of the small towns in your country that local and foreign tourists like to visit because of it history and heritage?

World’s Cheapest Michelin-Starred Meal

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C1 – Advanced

Who doesn’t want to have meal rated by the Michelin guide? We all are interested as to why a certain dish was given a star or two, but keeping in mind that it just might break the bank. Interestingly enough, Singapore offers something else.

Read the article below to know more about a cheap yet very tasty serving of noodle.

Singapore offers the world’s cheapest Michelin-starred meal

Discuss:

1. Discuss the restaurant and food of Chan Hon Meng.
2. Have you experienced eating at a Michelin-starred restaurant? How was that experience?
3. What are some of the local food joints that you enjoy going to?
4. What new cuisines would you like to explore or try?

Podcast: Home Security

B1 – Intermediate

Being safe in your own home is something very important.

Listen to the short audio clip below then answer the quiz to check your comprehension. Be ready to have a discussion as well.

Home Security: Recording

Home Security: Quiz

Discuss: (from resource)

1. What are three things you do to protect your apartment or home from burglary?
2. Do you need advanced systems like motion detectors to protect your dwelling, or is a watch dog enough?
3. What are other good ways to protect yourself and your home from burglary?