Category Archives: Homework

French “Right to Disconnect” Law

working-from-home

B2 – Upper Intermediate

In France, a new law requires employers to ensure that their employees have time to disconnect. The “right to disconnect” law went into effect on January 1.

The French Ministry of Labor says the rules make sure workers have time away from work and with their families without feeling as if they always need to read their work emails.

French “Right to Disconnect” Law Goes Into Effect

Discuss:

1. What can cause a lot of stress according to this article?
2. What do you think about this new French law?
3. What are the advantages of this law for the employees? What are the disadvantages of this law for companies?
4. “Stress is the cause of all illness.” Do you agree?
5. Do you think it is possible to avoid stress all the time?

Vocabulary – Making Someone Redundant

If you’re faced with redundancy, your employer must treat you fairly and act in accordance with your contract and legal redundancy rights. That includes making sure you’re consulted, following the right selection process and giving you a proper notice period. Do you know your rights when you are faced with this issue?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/english-at-work/50-language-used-making-someone-redundant

 

Let’s discuss:

1. Is work redundancy common in the workplace in your country?

2. What are the rights of an employee who has been terminated due to redundancy?

3. In your opinion, how long should the notice be?

Compulsory Voting

 

There are currently 32 countries with compulsory voting around the world. They include Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay, Singapore, Cyprus, Greece, and others. Of these 32 countries, 12 aggressively enforce their mandatory voting laws with penalties of varying kinds, including nominal penalties and small fees of as low as $15 and the deprivation of government services or the freezing of one’s bank account.

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/6-minute-english/ep-150813

Let’s talk:

1. Are you a voter? Why is important to vote?

2. Does compulsory voting contradict the idea of free will?

3. Do you agree with some people who choose not to vote as a form of political expression?

Why Do We Dream?

Dreaming is a part of our everyday lives and yet we don’t know much about it. While we don’t fully understand its purpose, a couple of theories might shed us some light. Why do we dream? Watch the video below to find out:

Let’s talk:

1. According to the video, what are the possible purposes of dreaming?
2. What do you usually dream about?
3. What do you think are the meaning of your dreams?
4. Do you think dreams cam be interpreted?

Why Do You Age?

Aging is a natural process that we are very well aware of. However, the process itself is still poorly understood. How and why exactly do we age? Watch the video to find out:

1. What are the factors that contribute to aging?
2. Like Jeanne Louise Calment, would you like to live for 122 years? Why or why not?
3. How long do you think is the ideal lifespan?
4. Do you think it is possible for people to not age at all?

The Pros and Cons of Pesticides

For many years, people have relied on using pesticides in order to prevent agricultural catastrophes. However, it is not without consequences. What are the negative effects of using pesticides? Watch the video below to find out:

Let’s talk:

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using pesticides?
2. After banning DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, do you think Paul Hermann Müller’s Nobel Prize should have been revoked?
3. Are there strict regulations regarding the use of pesticides in your country?
4. What do you think will happen in the event of an agricultural catastrophe?
5. Can you think of alternatives to chemical pesticides not mentioned in the video?

Would You Fly In A SpaceX Rocket?

58e546aa16000020004d8fabRecently, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, made headlines when he revealed that next year SpaceX, the private space exploration company he founded in 2002, intends to fly two paying customers on a mission that would travel to the moon, orbit the moon without landing, and then return to land on Earth.

Read more about this by clicking the link below:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/would-you-fly-in-a-spacex-rocket_us_58e514b7e4b02c1f7234591d?section=us_technology

Questions for Discussion:

1. Would you be willing to fly aboard a SpaceX rocket?

2. Do you believe that Space travel the next big thing?

3. Despite its failures, do you think SpaceX should still continue with their program?

NASA Has Found Hundreds Of Potential New Planets

kepler_all-planets_may2016

NASA scientists on Monday announced the discovery of 219 new objects beyond our solar system that are almost certainly planets.

What’s more, 10 of these worlds may be rocky, about the size of Earth, and habitable.

NASA Has Found Hundreds Of Potential New Planets

Questions for Discussion:

1. How close do you think we are to finding a “second” Earth?

2. Why do you think scientists are so invested in finding new planets?

3. If the time came, would you consider moving to another planet?

Uber’s Added and Improved App Features

B1 – Low Intermediate

Following the resignation of Uber’s chief executive, Travis Kalanick, the company announced a few app changes and added features. One of them is enabling cashless tipping.

What You Need to Know About the New Uber

Vocabulary:
summon – to order or instruct (to do something) or call (to something)
gratuity – an amount of money given as a reward for a service; tip
thwart – to stop something from happening or someone from doing something

Discussion Questions:
1. Are you an Uber rider?
2. What other ride-sharing apps are present in your country?
3. In your culture, how important is paying gratuities?
4. What other areas of Uber need attention?

Olive Oil Protects Brain From Alzheimer’s

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Extra-virgin olive oil is said to “protect memory and learning ability and reduce the formation of amyloid-beta plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain – classic markers of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Study: Olive Oil Protects Brain From Alzheimer’s

Vocabulary:
stave something off – to stop something bad from happening or to keep an unwanted situation or person away, usually temporarily
cognitive – relating to or involving the processes of thinking and reasoning
decline – a change to a lower amount; the process of becoming less in quality or strength

Discussion Questions:
1. In your own words, define and describe Alzheimer’s disease.
2. Aside from Alzheimer’s disease, what other conditions exhibit cognitive decline?
3. What are the other benefits of olive oil?
4. Does olive oil have any negative effect on the body?