Category Archives: Homework

Passengers Stop Train Due to Extreme Heat

B2 – Upper Intermediate

A technical problem left a Renfe train traveling through Catalonia without any air conditioning or ventilation, causing some passengers to pull the emergency brake due to the insufferable heat.

Read the article below and learn more about how the heatwave in Spain has troubled a lot of civilians:

Passengers stop train with no air conditioning, no ventilation amid ‘dreadful’ heat

Discussion Questions:

1. What was your initial reaction to this headline?
2. Would you also stop the train if you are one of the passengers?
3. Do you think it’s important to have a proper ventilation and air conditioning on the train?
4. What do you do to escape the heat or cold?
5. Would you like to move somewhere warmer or cooler?

 

© Josh Hallett from Winter Haven, FL, USA / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-2.0

Forget Office Cubicles, Try ‘Co-working’

B2 – Upper Intermediate

When you think of a workspace, the cubicles in a traditional office are probably the first thing that comes to your mind. Following Uber and Airbnb, the sharing economy has brought a new kind of work environment to the United States and the world in recent years.

It’s not a bar, nor a coffee shop. And it’s not your bedroom. It’s a so-called co-working space, where an increasing number of Americans work. WeWork is one of the providers of such environments.

https://www.voanews.com/a/co-working-new-office-style/3365475.html

Discuss:

1. What does Carl Pierre think the advantages of such a workspace are?
2. What do you think about the concept of co-working spaces?
3. What does your workspace look like?
4. Do you prefer working outdoors or in an office? Why?
5. Do you think that, in the future, all business will be conducted from a co-working space? Why or why not?
6. Do you think that, in the future, offices will become obsolete because of the Internet? Why or why not?

Food Waste

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Food waste is food that is discarded or uneaten. Each year, we dispose of a third of the world’s food.

Listen to this podcast to learn more about food wastage and ways to stop it.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/6-minute-english/ep-170511

Let’s talk:

1. Where does the biggest percentage of food waste come from?

2. What usually happens to the food we waste?

3. What are the consequences of food waste?

4. What is Selina Juul doing to stop food waste in Denmark? What are other ways to avoid wasting food?

5. What do you tend to do with your leftovers?

6. How’s not finishing your food viewed in your country?

How to Haggle: Successful Bargaining Tips

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Bargaining or haggling is a type of negotiation in which the buyer and seller of a good or service debate the price of a transaction.  Not all purchases are open to bargaining. Typical places where bargaining is common include markets, antique shops, and second-hand car shops.

Click the link and read a few guidelines to help us get the best bargain. Answer the discussion questions that follow:

https://www.ricksteves.com/travel-tips/money/how-to-haggle

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is bargaining an acceptable practice in your country?
  2. In what kinds of shops is it acceptable?
  3. Do you like to bargain?
  4. What sort of things have you bargained for?
  5. What’s the best bargain you have got?
  6. What strategies did you use?
  7. Have you ever been ripped off?
  8. What is the bargaining etiquette in your country?
  9. What other negotiating do you do in your everyday life?
  10. What are some reasons people give for wanting a price reduction?

Business English – Innovation

B2 – Upper Intermediate

Innovation is the development and implementation of ideas that lead to more value for whatever business you are in.

When grocery chain Tesco wanted to expand their market share in South Korea, they came up with a brilliant idea. Because the people in South Korea work long hours they thought of an efficient way to sell their products.  Why is this shop interesting to view?

Why is this shop interesting to view? Click the link  and watch the video to find out. Be able to answer the questions that follow.

http://www.englishwithjo.com/business-english-innovation/

Discussion Questions:

  1. How was Tesco better than its competitor in terms of innovation?
  2. Do you think this innovative idea could be successfully applied in all countries?
  3. What are the most important innovations for you in your daily life?
  4. Have you ever worked for a company that has implemented any innovative ideas?
  5. Have you ever had an innovative idea? If so, did you put it into action?

Emails – Advantages and Disadvantages of Electronic Mail

B1 – Intermediate

Email is much older than ARPANet or the Internet. It was never invented; it evolved from very simple beginnings.

Early email was just a small advancement from what we know these days as a file directory – it just put a message in another user’s directory in a spot where they could see it when they logged in. As simple as that. Just like leaving a note on someone’s desk.

Read more on the advantages and disadvantages of using e-mails.

http://www.english-online.at/media/emails/advantages-disadvantages-of-electronic-mail.htm

Let’s talk:
1. Do you agree with the all the advantages and disadvantages of emails as stated in the article?
2. How does email messaging improve your communication with others especially in the field of business?
3. How do you think you can protect yourself from phishing?

 

 

 

Baby Boomers – The Golden Generation

B1 – Intermediate

Almost exactly nine months after World War II ended, “the cry of the baby was heard across the land,” as historian Landon Jones later described the trend. More babies were born in 1946 than ever before: 3.4 million, 20 percent more than in 1945. This was the beginning of the so-called “baby boom.” In 1947, another 3.8 million babies were born; 3.9 million were born in 1952; and more than 4 million were born every year from 1954 until 1964, when the boom finally tapered off. By then, there were 76.4 million “baby boomers” in the United States. They made up almost 40 percent of the nation’s population.

Read the full article about baby boomers here:

http://www.english-online.at/geography/baby-boomers/baby-boomers-golden-generation.htm

Let’s talk:

1. Who are baby boomers?

2. Are boomers prepared for the challenges of aging?

3. What is your opinion on some baby boomers who can’t retire because they haven’t saved enough money to take it easy? Is the situation in your country the same?

Live in this Italian Village and Receive Money

© via Daily Mail UK

B2 – Upper Intermediate

How would you like to move to a picturesque town with only 394 inhabitants, rents for as low as €50 a month, and an incentive of €2,000 for relocating there?

The city government in a little Italian village offers all these things to address a problem their town is facing.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4484094/Italian-village-offers-2-000-people-there.html

Let’s talk:
1. What’s the problem in this village and what is the solution to it?
2. Do you have the same problem in your country?
3. What are the reasons you would move or not relocate to this town?

Drunk Driving

B1 – Intermediate

Driving under the influence, or driving while impaired, is the crime or offense of operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs (including recreational drugs and those prescribed by physicians), to a level that renders the driver incapable of operating a motor vehicle safely.

http://flesl.net/Reading/Stories/Series1/Linda_H/Linda_Hunt.php

Let’s talk:

1. What do you think about drunk driving?

2. What are the penalties for drink driving in your country?

3. Should the passengers/friends of a drunk driver also be punished?

4. Is alcohol the biggest cause of road accidents in your country?

Housing in Spain and Poverty

B1 – Intermediate

Housing generally refers to the social problem of ensuring that members of society have a home in which they can live in, whether this is a house, or some other kinds of dwelling, lodging, or shelter.

Watch the video below about housing in Spain and its connection to poverty.

Let’s talk:

1.Do you agree with the woman in the video?

2. Do you know anything about your government’s housing policy?

3. Does your government provide housing for people on low or no income?

4. Is it easy to find good quality housing in your town?

5.How can housing be made affordable for everyone?

6. What issues will arise with housing of the future?