Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2014

The US immigration system is broken - Obama wants to fix it!

The United States was started as a nation of immigrants. Everyone came from someplace else.  The pull of the "Golden Medina" as we say in Yiddish, fueled the economic boom in America throughout the years.  But now, there are too many people answered the call, and they have come illegally.  These people don't pay income taxes, yet they take advantage of all the services of the United States.

Read this article to see what Obama is trying to do!
https://medium.com/@PresidentObama/why-i-acted-on-immigration-e2cfd851b4d4

Key Terms
heritage
dynamic
entrepreneurial
took office
 to secure
deployed
unaccompanied
apprehended
meanwhile
comprehensive
undocumented
pathway
to the back of the line
bipartisan
resources
 threats
 felons
amnesty
deal-breaker
shutdown
inherited


Questions

What is the major problem with immigration in the United States?
Which taxes do they pay?
Which taxes don't they pay?
What process does Obama want to see happen now?
What is the final goal of the current system?
What does Obama'…

J.K.Rowling reveals how she feels about Draco Malfoy's character

J.K.Rowling successful Harry Potter series has become a classic,  I read a fantasy book recently, that even mentioned a character from the books as part of another story.  The word Muggle has even entered the modern vocabulary!  Read the latest about the series!


http://www.news.com.au/entertainment/books-magazines/jk-rowling-reveals-what-she-really-thinks-about-harry-potters-nemesis-draco-malfoy/story-fna50uae-1227165447599

Key Terms
snippets
unnerved
dubious
fictional
ironically
antihero
unenviable
ardent
 concealing
sneering
destined
backstory
glimpse
advocated
distaste
scum
 pity
trivia



published- two syllables 
fictional - three syllables
acknowledge- three syllables
position - three syllables
damaging- three syllables

Questions
What does J.K. Rowling feel about Draco Malfoy?
What does this article add to our knowledge of Draco?
According to the story, why is Draco bad?
How does the relationship between Draco and Harry mirror what is going on in the outer story. 
Why do girls like the character of Draco?
Why …

Obama wants to establish relations with Cuba

Does normalizing relations with Cuba sound like a good idea?  It seems to me that it would boost the whole economy of the Caribbean, and help Cuban-Americans feel that they are more accepted in their home country as well as in their adopted country.  There were secret talks even with Pope Francis!

Read this text and be prepared to speak about it with your English Teacher.
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/ap-sources-us-cuba-seek-to-normalize-relations/ar-BBgUJV0?ocid=ansnewsap11

Key Terms
 re-establishment
outdated 
approach
 historic shift
enmity
profound differences
in a civilized manner
clandestine
spied
accompanied 
imprisoned 
sweeping
economic ties
easing restrictions
unilaterally end
abrupt use
 overcoming
major obstacle
lawmakers
long-standing ban
annual cap
remittances
five decades
Sen. = Senator
 hailed as heroes
convicted
conspiracy
subcontractor
bypassed local censorship



Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla  
Senator Marco Rubio - Republican Senator from Florida
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev  - 
Senate Majorit…

Russia's economy is on the verge of collapse !

Putin has worked for the past 15 years to stabilize the Russian economy, but now it seems to be on the verge of collapse as investors are losing hope and moving their money elsewhere, even to Japan!
In order to stem the tide, the Central Bank of Russia has raised interest rates.  Is this going to be enough?

Read this webpage and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher!

http://www.journalgazette.net/news/world/Russia-steered-to-economic-crisis-4043471

predicated 
acquiescence
devoid
extraordinary development
held mostly steady
sharp interest rate hike
deep recession
 options
worsened living standards
inevitably rise
poverty
 imported goods
financial meltdown
tactics
defaulted on debts
 hyperinflation
wiped out
 buoyed by 
 economic stability
easing of sanctions
 constructive choices
 cease-fire






Questions
What is this article about in general?
What does raising the interest rate do?
Why did the Central Russian Bank raise the interest rates?
What is the problem when the dollar - ruble exchange ra…

Mediterranean diet could help you live longer - English Conversation

I heard an Oprah Winfrey show where she had a guest who was selling a pill to get longer telomeres.  But as this article shows, you don't have to take a pill, just eat the Mediterranean diet!


http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/mediterranean-diet-slows-ageing--and-could-even-help-you-live-longer-9900922.html

Key Terms
scrambling 
chromosomes 
leukocyte telomere length
 telomeres
 longevity
cardiovascular disease
significant 
robust 


cellular ageing  


DNA

Why do you think that this study is significant?
What is the Mediterranean diet? Have you heard it about it before?
Would you change your diet based on these finding? 
What type of lifestyle is conducive to living longer?
Which food in the Mediterranean diet do you like the most? 
If you had to give advice to someone, how to stay healthy what would you say to that person?
How much fish do you eat a week?
How much poultry  do you eat a week?
What about fresh vegetables?
Do you think that you have a healthy diet?
What i…

Can you tell if a picture is taken with a Digital Camera or a Cellphone? English conversation Lesson

Ever since I had a Nokia Smart Music Phone, I have been taking pictures and putting them up on the Internet.  I had a Canon Snap Shot camera, but now my Galaxy Note 2 gets much better pictures and videos.   Here is an article that pits both types of cameras against each other.  Can you tell the difference?


http://arts.nationalpost.com/2014/11/20/snap-happy-if-you-bring-the-right-smartphone-you-can-leave-the-big-camera-kit-at-home/

 Key Terms
trusty
blue-footed boobies 
frigatebirds
finches
magnificent
lagoon
panorama
elephant pudenda
jaunts
grim-faced pack mule
inadequacy
trekked
aforementioned gear
ore out-of-way
once-in-a-lifetime
lugging around
noble instinct
pursuits
photocentric trips
Aperture shows
two visual anchors
tripod
monopod
getting the better of
big rig
het up


Questions
What equipment did the author take with him on his latest trip? 
Which was the most useful for him? 
What advice did Reid give the author?
How were the cellphone pictures received by the audience at the show on the boat?
How much money…

December 1st is National AIDS day, but we this year we can really celebrate!

National AIDS day was established many years ago to raise awareness about this chronic disease.  I remember that I once wrote a paper  for a university class at UCLA that AIDS was the modern disease that had the possibility to change the genome of the human race.  There will be people who are immune to the disease, and those who succumb to it.   What is happening now with AIDS? 

Read this article to find out  http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/01/us-health-aids-idUSKCN0JF0ZW20141201

Key Terms

pandemic
campaign group 
infected
keep AIDS at bay
advocacy group
preventable disease
around the corner
global level
easily stall
unravel
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
antiretroviral drugs
dramatic improvement
domestic budgets
injecting drug users
stigmatized 
accessing


Questions
How is the day recognized in your country? 
What does the author mean when he says that it is the "beginning of the end" of the AIDS pandemic? 
Are there many AIDS sufferers in your country?
How many AIDS sufferers are there …

English Vocabulary in English

Even English speakers need to improve their vocabularies.  Here are a few to study and start to use in your everyday speech.  One way to remember new words is to create a mind map of words that call this word to mind. Answer the questions, and then go back over these words at least three times. Good luck!

1.  Narrative:  Noun   a story.    Mr. Smith read the class a narrative written by a soldier in the Second World War. 

Narrative -- story  --- narrative -- first person narrative -  narrator 
 What is a narrative that you have enjoyed reading or listening to? 


2. Patriot - Noun - someone who loves and support her or his country.   A great patriot of the American Revolutionary War was Paul Revere. 
Name a patriot of your country?  What did this person do?  When did the person live?  Why do you remember this person? 

3. Charisma -  Noun - Charm or appeal     Politicians often have charisma, otherwise they wouldn't get elected. 
Name a person who has charisma in your city.  Does an…

Is it difficult to find Heros nowadays? English lesson

Heros may be a vanishing breed, In the Internet age, everyday we hear about bad news, but good news can be hard to find, or even boring.  Read this article to find out about modern superheros that we can look up to!


http://www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish/english/features/6-minute-english/ep-06112014




Key Terms
transcript
superhero 
superpowers
skills
abilities
published 
extraordinary 
life-savers
mission
devastation
identity
 grime fighter
 comic book.
admire
honourable
closely-guarded
villain


Questions
According to the audio, what did Finn try to do at home when he was a kid? 
Why are firefighters often thought of as superheros? 
Why is Chitabatman special? 
When did he start to do his mission?  
What does Mr. Full Moon do? 
Why is this interesting? 
Why does he do this?
How do you think that the Internet has affect our perception of heros?
Which type of ordinary people would you consider a hero?
Which political figures in the world today could be a hero?
Tell me about some of your heros. Say who the person is, what…

Are Robot Security Guards the answer? Business English Lesson

Microsoft has ordered robot security guards to patrol its offices in California.  What can these robots really do?  What type of actions can they take?  These questions and more will be answered when you read this interesting article.

http://newsmaine.net/21482-five-robot-security-guards-patrolling-microsoft-s-silicon-valley-campus

Key Terms indefatigable  tediously  strategic work
beefed up 
tackle
 natural calamities 
sensors.
Asserting
counterparts
 monitor
explosives
noteworthy 

Questions
How will this robot move around?
What will it do when there is a bump in the road? What will these robot security guards do?  What functions would you like them to do? What would the laser beams do?
What kind of natural calamities could the robot deal with? How would  the face scan information be used?
How would they alert people about a security problem?
What potential problems do you see with the use of these robots?
Would a robot like this be useful for your place of work?
What other types of robots would…