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Showing posts from August, 2014

Long Slow Runs can benefit your Fitness Level - English Lesson

Just about any kind of regular exercise can help you increase your fitness level.  You need to get out and move.  But what do you do if you don't like swimming, jogging or bicycling?  Here is another way to get out and get into shape!

Read this page and prepare to speak about it with your English teacher!
http://www.runningforfitness.org/book/chapter-9-the-training-cookbook/long-slow-runs

Key Terms
cornerstone
programme  - program 
runner's high
endurance
cardiovascular
working heart rate zone
fatigue
marathon race
rehearsal run
inspiration
bang on target
demanding additional workout

Questions
What are the overall health benefits of a long slow run? 
When in the best time to do this run? 
How often?
What is better about running slowly, as compared to running fast? 
Why should you practice at your marathon pace? 
How far should you run during your practice runs? 
What is important about a rehearsal run?
How much should you increase your run each week?

Case Study
You are preparing for the Annual Marathon…

Does raising the Minimum Wage really help the Poor? Business English lesson

Does Raising the Minimum Wage really help the Poor?  Conventional wisdom says that it does. You give poorer workers more money and they are able to meet their needs better.   Sepember 1st is Labor Day this year, so Mayor Eric Garcetti  of Los Angeles my hometown, wants to raise the minimum wage.  

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher 
http://time.com/3212237/minimum-wage-labor-day-california/

Key Terms
stiffs 
called for goosing
is typically sold
business magnate and philanthropist
would help lift people out of poverty
shrinking share
six figures
government diktat
widgets
working poor
photo-op
savvy politician 
economic intervention

Questions
What percentage of workers actually earn the minimum  wage? 
Are they all poor people? 
How long do workers work at this low wage?
What is a better way to benefit poor people? Why do poor workers stay at the minimum wage?
What is the goal of raising the Minimum Wage?  To help poor people, or to help workers? 
What do the politicians…

One Personality trait that will take you far - English Lesson

We all want to be famous and be successful.  Wouldn't it be nice if there was one magic personality trait that would be a good predictor?  Well, there is.  

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher (me) 

http://time.com/3136568/science-points-to-the-single-most-valuable-personality-trait/

Key Terms
conscientiousness
primary dimensions
lifespan
cradle to grave
vigilant
five-factor model of personality
deliberation 
predictive
concurrently
Neuroticism
long-wed couples.
longevity
structured
repressed 
correlated
delay of gratification

Time for a Digital Detox! Get away from it all - English lesson

We now spend more time in front of a screen than we do sleeping, but is anyone doing anything about it?  Surprisingly enough, there are programs and "vacations" out there that can help you kick the habit if only for a  short time.

Read this article and discuss it with your English teacher (me)
http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20140821-time-for-a-digital-detox

Key terms
Internet addiction disorder 
personal willpower
muster
capitalize or capitalise
have sprung up
bucolic setting
mindfulness
meditation
laughter therapy
 thatch roof
expelling all traces of radiation
 two millisieverts
gold panning
tech temptations
morning journaling

Questions
What are the withdrawal systems of people who stop using technology. 
What does the Unplugged Weekend, offer people? 
Why is the phone handing over ceremony important? 
How did Kim Beckett feel about turning back on her phone? 

What kind of accommodations Where do you sleep when you go to the Maldives? Why is this surprising?  Who does the cooking?  

Which one …

How to make a great First Impression - Business English lesson

No matter what people say, First Impressions count. They count a lot.  If you make  good First Impressions, chances are that you will be more successful in business. Can you leave it up to chance?  This article says that there are 6 strategies that you can follow to help you.

Read this article and discuss it with your English teacher
http://time.com/3176511/7-strategies-for-making-a-brilliant-first-impression-in-9-seconds-or-less/

Key Terms
geography

it comes to 
The room buzzes 
add value
conversationalists
authentic connection
Anthem
tagline
trite topics
witty 
pondering
struggling
 jittery
current mindset
 half-hearted
window of opportunity
interaction
conversational watering can


Questions
According to the article,  what is a good way to start a conversation at a business conference?
What subjects do you need to bring up?
What is the best way to introduce yourself?
What does this quote mean to you? If you’re not adding value, you’re just taking up space. 
What is your natural style of communication?
What i…

Toronto even bans e-cigs! English lesson

Even e-cigs, once thought of as the answer to smokers in public are being banned in public areas in the United States.  E-cigs, or electronic cigarettes don't produce smoke and others supposedly don't even smell them when they are being "vaped."  They don't have the ash, no smell and have no tobacco.  But they do provide nicotine to the user, and it looks kinda like a conventional cigarette, but not really.

Read this article and discuss it with your English teacher: http://time.com/3174719/toronto-e-cigarette-ban-workplace/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+time%2Ftopstories+%28TIME%3A+Top+Stories%29

Key Terms

banning  reportedly marathon session prohibition conventional smoking  nicotine delivery crackdown outlaw circumvent stricter oversight

Questions Why do you think that the city council wants to ban e-cigs? in your opinion, why did the Mayor,Rob Ford, vote against the proposal? Where can't a person "vape" an e-cig? What are the …

Cure for Cancer on the Horizon - English Lesson

Israeli researchers have found a possible cancer cure process, two species of mole rats, blind and naked, live far longer than other rats and fight off cancers.   This could pave the way to find a way to cure cancer in humans.

Read this article and be ready to discuss it with your English teacher
http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/454188/EXCLUSIVE-Cure-for-ALL-cancers-is-on-the-way-as-scientists-discover-major-breakthrough

Key terms
breakthrough
secrete
 harvesting
radical 
metabolism
carcinogens
spontaneous cancer
induced cancer
extracting
It’s a long way off
gene extracts

Questions
What is surprising about this research?
Which animals are the researches using? 
What other animals have been used in the past?
How long do you think it will take until a specific treatment will be available? 

What other cancer treatments are you familiar with? 
What is the problem with the current treatments? 
Would you want to volunteer for experimental treatments to get rid of cancer?
Would you want to try a vacci…

Can you paint like Vermeer? A video to watch. English lesson

Johannes Vermeer, or Jan Vermeer was not as well known in his lifetime as he is now. His paintings, however have taken on a life of their own, inspiring books, movies and now a documentary.  One book, imagining Vermeer's creation of the painting, Girl with a Pearl Earring was a glimpse into the daily life of 17th century Delft, Holland. 
This book, Girl with a Pearl Earring, written by Tracy Chevalier was  also made into a movie. 

The latest investigation into Jan Vermeer's life is this new documentary now making the rounds by Tim Jensen.  http://www.bbc.com/culture/story/20140103-could-anyone-paint-a-vermeer

Watch the video and then read the text. Be ready to discuss it with your English teacher. 

Key terms. 
Camera Obscura
masterpiece
amateur
collaboration
documentary


Questions
What do you know about Jan Vermeer? 

Have you ever seen a camera obscura? 
Why was this a surprising development in the 17th century? 
What was the usual way of painting in Vermeer's lifetime? 
What was differen…

Fast Breakfast in, Ham and Bacon out! English lesson

Kellogg s the breakfast cereal maker has taken a big loss over the past year.  This echos a trend across the breakfast industry. Cereals and orange juice sales have decreased, while yogurt and egg sales have increased.  Why is this happening? W

Read this article and  discuss it with your English teacher http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-28761333

Key Terms:
generations
plummeted
 pillars
 departure
the helm 
skyrocketed 
 portable
remains constant
toastable
 feeding frenzy
take-out breakfast
Breakfasters
 touting breakfast
fighting obesity
weight down
halo around breakfast
 waste away
the narrative
quinoa



Questions
According to the article, what is the most popular breakfast.
What do you eat for breakfast?
 What did your mother eat?
 What did your grandmother eat? 
According to the article, why is breakfast important?
What is the traditional breakfast in the USA?
Why are take-out breakfast so popular? 
Why has bacon and egg sales been on the increase? 
Why do some people eat a big breakfast? 
Have you ever skipped bre…

Can we trust the Corporations to keep the Environment Clean? English Lesson

Everyone has a responsibility to safeguard the environment.  In the United States and Europe, there are many safeguards to protect the environment. But what happens in China?

Read this article and be prepared to talk about it with your English teacher.  http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asia/mysterious-river-runs-blood-red-china-n165551
Key Term:  baffled boast  banks  polluted on the scene 
Questions: What was so surprising about the river turning red?  What is the normal situation with this river?  How long did it take for the river to turn red? What is the effect of the red water?  Which types of industries can cause this type of red water?
Can we trust the Corporations to keep the environment clean? What other questions would you like to ask the scientists?


What laws does your country have to safeguard the environment? Can this happen in your country?  What are the punishments to a company that pollutes the environment?  What do you do to protect the environment? 

Lesson Plan by Rachae…

Why is the house so dirty? Don't blame the Mom!

Part of the American Dream is to have it all, kids, cars and a clean sparkling home.  Well, even for stay-at-home moms can't do it all. Every time you clean one room, another gets dirty, especially when the kids are babies, but believe it or not, teenagers can make messes too! This article answer the age old question: Why is the house dirty?http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2014/07/21/i-blamed-my-wife-for-our-messy-house-i-was-wrong-for-many-reasons/?tid=pm_lifestyle_pop
Key Terms
snarky smile
What really sucks 
 clutter piles
random installments 
precariously 
 hanging out
justifiable excuse
the dynamics of the family
judgmental
pitching in
hit home

Questions
What is the stereotypical attitude toward people who have messy houses?  Who are the main people who make the messes?  What is the cause?  Why is the mother always to blame?   What does a mother with small children do all day?  How do you teach children to keep their rooms clean?  Does it work? 
Is your home messy?  Who is th…

Driverless cars are not only Science Fiction!

We've seen James Bond with his driverless car.  Actually he controlled the car with a remote control.  But these "driverless cars" are much more.  You might be able to send your car to pick up your kids from school, while you are at work,  you might be able to sit in the passenger seat and get some last minute work done while the car takes you to work, you might even be able to take a nap in the back seat while your car drives you to your vacation!  The possibilities are endless. What can a driverless car do now? 

Read this article and then discuss it with your English teacher.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/parmyolson/2014/06/23/startup-driverless-car-sensors-google/
Key terms: footwell. caveat highway autopilot bumper-to-bumper decommissioned naval base testing and qualifications working prototypes what’s driving him serial entrepreneur nimble
trunk
Questions: What is the main reason that people would want a driverless car?
What realistically can  this driverless car really do? 
Do you th…

Diamonds aren't Rare at all! English lesson

Diamonds are the symbol of love, that's how it has always been right?  Maybe not? 

De Beers Consolidated Mines had to figure out a way to get people to buy diamonds.  Find out why and how in this article that you will speak to your English teacher about! 
http://knowledgenuts.com/2013/08/29/diamonds-arent-rare-at-all/

Key Terms:
cartel 
driven up
cultural expectation
scarcity
sudden flood
inflated prices
ingenious marketing strategy 
crystallized carbonite
run-of the-mill 


Grammar: 
more rare 

Questions:
Why did De Beers want to drive up the price of diamonds? 
Why do we accept a cartel to market and sell diamonds when other industries can't have one?  '
How did De Beers get diamonds into the common culture of love?
What is the stereo-typical expression of getting engaged? 
Would you want or expect to give a diamond to your betrothed?  
How much would you spend on a diamond? Is it worth it? 
What precious stone do you like?  

What do you think about cubic zirconia stones?  
Or costume jewelry tha…

Microsoft may do the Unthinkable to get you to upgrade to Windows 9

There have been many versions of Windows Operating System.  Actually, my favorite has been XP. The functions were clear, and it was easy to save files where you wanted them to be saved.  Windows 8 is more for a "touch screen" mentality. But, I don't have a touch screen computer, so the Metro section is slow and hard for me to use.

Maybe Windows 9 will give us back some functionality?

Read this article and discuss it with your English teacher:

http://news.yahoo.com/microsoft-may-unthinkable-dump-xp-vista-windows-7-131027262.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory

Key Terms:
reportedly
 reluctant 
upgrade option 
internal codename
mandatory
rumors
hit the web
packed in
Patch Tuesday

Questions:
According to the article, what is unthinkable about Microsoft's plan? 
Why do they want everyone to have the same operating system? Would an upgrade deal make you want to move to Windows 9?  Does the absence of the start button in Windows 8 bother you? If you have Windows 8, do you use the "Metro&q…