China Gives the World a Cheap Vaccine for a Child-killing Disease

CHEAP VACCINE

 

 

How much does it cost to be vaccinated with any disease in Japan?
China and one of its manufacturers earned the World Health Organization’s stamp of approval for its production of the first practical vaccine for use in the developing world against Japanese encephalitis, a disease spread by mosquitoes that kills 15,000 children every year and leaves tens of thousands more with permanent brain damage and paralysis. China is now a world leader in creating life-saving, inexpensivevaccines for the world. For years, the only available vaccine against the disease was too impractical to use in poor countries, as well as too expensive—on the order of $250 or more per dose. Ten years ago, a nonprofit organization in Seattle, began looking for the best way to develop an affordable, easy-to-use vaccine and discovered that one country had already solved this problem – China.  The Chinese had vaccinated more than 200 million children with their own very affordable vaccine.  But it was virtually unknown outside the country.

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. stamp of approval – an official statement or indication that something is accepted or regarded favourably.
  2. vaccines a kind of medicine that prevent sickness
  3. spread – become distributed or widespread
  4. dose – a measured portion of medicine taken at any one time
  5. virtually – in essence or effect but not in fact

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. China, a common knowledge, has been developing rapidly when it comes to its economic status. Does this also mean that China can be trusted with the inventions or discoveries of new medicines?
  2. If there would be a disease that you think people should really discover a medicine for, what would it be?
  3. Japan has been known to have a longest life span, to what part of the Japanese culture do you own this?

    How much does it cost to be vaccinated with any disease in Japan? China and one of its […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Only 56% of Shelters are Quake-Resistant

QUAKE RESISTANT

 

 

Would you go to evacuation centers during earthquakes?
According to News on Japan, based on a survey, not all the designated evacucation sites are quake- resistant.  Only half of these sites are safe for people to go to in cases of major earthquakes.There are 90,262 shelters designated by 1,615 municipalities but only 50,964, or 56.5 percent, could adequately withstand earthquakes.  Iwate, Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures are not covered on this survey. The result of this survey brought to the fore questions regarding the safety of evacuation centers, as about 44 percent of them are not well prepared for secondary damage caused by aftershocks.  Even though half of these evacuation centers are not quake-resistant, many people are expected to stay at such shelters if there is a massive quake, such as a Nankai Trough earthquake or a quake directly under the metropolitan area.  In view of this finding, the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry aims to complete reinforcing the school buildings against earthquakes by fiscal 2015.

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. designated – appoint someone or something for a given task
  2. evacuation – leaving a place in an orderly fashion, especially for protection
  3. resistant – having the ability to tolerate environmental conditions
  4. adequately about average; acceptable
  5. bring to the fore – to move something forward; to make something more noticeable
  6. secondary damage – results caused by primary damages or losses. Examples are flood and water damage, which can result to corrosion, rust, mold, mildew, fungi, odor and other after effects if improper remedial and restoration work is performed.
  7. massive really big
  8. trough – A narrow, sunken as in the earth or between ocean waves or in the ocean bed)

 

Discussion Questions::

  1. Are houses and buildings in Japan quake-resistant? Would you know how builders make structures quake-resistant?
  2. Were there any changes in the lifestyle of the Japanese after the Tsunami incident in March 2011? What are the changes that you have noticed?
  3. Did the government offer any kind of help to somehow help the Japanese citizens become more prepared for incidents like earthquakes and Tsunamis?

    Would you go to evacuation centers during earthquakes? According to News on Japan, based on a survey, not […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Charity with Benefits

103-illust_(Oct18)-Charity with Benefits

 

 

Did you study in a government-run universit? or private-owned university?
Given that a number of universities charged top dollar when it comes to tuition, many people are still kept in the dark as to why education cost a lot of money even for schools that are run by the government.   It turns out that the tuition or endowment paid by well-off students are not necessarily revenues generated by the bigwigs of these prestigious universities. Aside from the money being used to pay for school expenses, it is also used to pay for the scholarship of the less fortunate students who do not have the capacity to pay their tuition or funding for students who have intellectual capabilities.  So money spent in the university is like charity with benefits.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. tuition a fee paid for instruction especially for higher
  2. keep someone in the dark – to not tell someone about something
  3. run – direct or control (projects, businesses, etc.)
  4. turn out (that)- to happen; to end up; to result 
  5. endowment the capital that provides income for an institution
  6. well-off – in fortunate circumstances financially; moderately rich
  7. revenues – the money gained from a business or work
  8. bigwigs –  important persons in a group or undertaking
  9. scholarship – financial aid provided to a student on the basis of academic merit
  10. charity – an activity or gift that benefits the public at large

 

Discussion Questions:

  1. Is it ok for the well off people to have higher tuition for the benefit of the scholars?  Why do you think so?
  2. Is education is still an important part of the society given that many successful people did not finish their education, like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates?
  3. When is education necessary and when is it not?

    Did you study in a government-run universit? or private-owned university? Given that a number of universities charged top […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Men and Women: Finally On the Same Page?

101-illust_(Oct16)-Men and Woman- Finally at the Same Page

 

 

Would you rather be single or married?
Women empowerment has significantly being emphasized since the advent of the 20th century. Probably, these empowerment has now reached its peak in the current times. Many women would usually take jobs rather than have a family and in some countries many women would rather have children and become a single parent than become a member of a whole family with a husband and all.  Consequently, men have not changed with their view when it comes to commitment. Many men are still wary when it comes to committing to a woman.  Could it be that men and women are beginning to be on the same page.  Women want children without a husband and men want a relationship without commitment. Is this a perfect scenario?!

Contributed by: TRAINER JUNE

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. significantly in an important way or to an important degree
  2. emphasized to put stress on something to make look like it’s really’ important
  3. peak the highest level or degree attainable; the highest stage of development
  4. commitment – the act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action
  5. wary – marked by caution and watchful prudence
  6. on the same page – to have the same way of thinking
  7. scenario – sequence of events or situation

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Which do you prefer: women from the past or modern women ?
  2. The family has been the foundation of a society since time immemorial and belonging to one has been a lifelong vision of many families from the past.  With the current way of thinking, do you think having a making a family is still necessary?
  3. Which is better having children but not having a complete set of parents or having a complete set of parents?

    Would you rather be single or married? Women empowerment has significantly being emphasized since the advent of the […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Abe Orders Japan’s First Sales-Tax Increase Since ’97

100-illust_(Oct15)-Abe orders Japans first sales-tax increase since97

 

 

Are you satisfied with his performance?
Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe has recently started his economic stimulus plan by starting with the introduction of the sales tax hike. The hike will increase the tax from 5% to 8%. Hoping to end the two-year Japanese economic stagnation, Abe is introducing more stimulus package to encourage Japanese companies to return investing to their homeland as well as attracting foreign investors to put their trust back on the looming economy of Japan.  However, a large percentage of Japanese household are against this hike for the reason that since Japan is still in economic slump many of them are expecting to have to tighten their budget more and be more intelligent and intuitive when spending.

Contributed by: TRAINER JUNE

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. stimulus – any information or event that acts to arouse action
  2. hike an increase in cost
  3. stagnation a state of inactivity in business or economy
  4. looming – hang over, as of something threatening, dark, or menacing
  5. slump fall heavily or suddenly; decline markedly
  6. intuitive – obtained through instinct knowing rather than from reasoning or observation

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Who gets most affected by this tax hike?
  2. People from the higher ladder of life will probably barely be affected by these hike, but indirectly, how would they get affected?
  3. Is the sales tax really necessary? What, in your opinion are other options to choose by the government other than the tax hike?

    Are you satisfied with his performance? Japanese Prime minister Shinzo Abe has recently started his economic stimulus plan […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Popping Pimples

98-illust_(Oct13)-POPPING PIMPLES

 

 

What damages can popping pimples do on the skin?
When one enters the adolescent years, we start noticing the bumps that forms on our face. Even if our dermatologists told us not to, after a few days, these bumps will have pus-filled whitehead forms in the middle of it, and you can’t wait to get home and pop it. Popping pimple can leave a scar and worst thing is that it can cause infection because you are introducing bacteria that come from your hand in the process of popping it. There is this something called the “triangle of death” on your face.  If you draw a line between the eyebrow to the corners of the lip, a triangle is created which delimits a region esoterically known as the “danger triangle”.  It is called that way because popping a pimple in this area can cause you to die.  This is made possible because this opens up sinuses. If it’s not treated right, it can cause blindness, paralysis and even death. It is because the veins in mouth, nose, and eyes are so close to the brain. So, through popping it with your dirty hands, will give the bacteria a free rein to wreak havoc.

Contributed by: TEACHER JELLY

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. adolescent years – being of the age 13 through 19
  2. bumps – something that bulges out;  a lump on the face
  3. pus – a fluid product of inflammation
  4. scar – a mark left (usually on the skin) by the healing of injured tissue
  5. pop – to burst open
  6. triangle of death – if you draw a line between the eyebrow to the corners of the lip, a triangle is created.
  7. free rein –  the removal of constraints
  8. wreak – cause to happen or to occur as a consequence
  9. havoc – violent and needless disturbance

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Have you experienced acne and / or pimple during your adolescent years? What did you do to remove them?
  2. Do you still experience having pimples these days? How do you remove them?
  3. How do you take care of your skin? What’s your beauty regimen?

    What damages can popping pimples do on the skin? When one enters the adolescent years, we start noticing […]


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Level:

Intermediate

A Tale of Heroism

97-illust_(Oct12)-Engineers volunteered to stop Chernobyl reactors

 

 

What makes people do acts of heroism?
On April 26th, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine exploded which becane one of the  huge nuclear accident that took place in the history of countries using power plants.  This explosion led to a radioactive material being pumped out into the atmosphere which traveled over much of the western USSR and Europe.  The disaster was giving no sign of relenting when three engineers working at the power plant decided to lend a hand and risk their lives.  They dove into a pool of radioactive hydrogen peroxide without a working flashlight and managed to open a pipe to stop the reactor from exploding. The enginers saved the day by risking their lives to extreme levels of radiation exposure in order to save the lives of thousands.  They wanted to avoid the unimaginable damages that could have impacted or destroyed parts of Europe and possibly other countries or the world. They  essentially chose to give up their lives for their moral values.

Contributed by: TEACHER FLOR

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. pump out – removing waste from a holding tank
  2. relenting – giving in, as to influence or pressure
  3. lend a hand – to give someone some help, not necessarily with the hands and especially voluntarily.
  4. save the day – to produce a good result when a bad result was expected
  5. moral values – principles and standards which determine whether an action is right or wrong.

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What heroic stories have you heard or seen from all the natural disasters you had in Japan?
  2. If the same opportunity of saving lives would come your way, would you volunteer? Why? Why not?
  3. What moral values are common among the Japanese people?

    What makes people do acts of heroism? On April 26th, 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Parents: Mentors For Life

88-illust_(Sep 29)-Parents

 

 

Parents are said to be the best teachers.
Nobody can ever change or take their position. Every parent is unique in their own way. They are our best mentors in life!
When we were still inside our mother’s womb, we were already taught by our loving parents. Our mothers read short stories for us and our fathers even said they were excited to have us in their arms.  Finally born into the world, our parents continued to teach us how to speak and walk. They taught us good conduct. They patiently guided us on how to write our name and read simple words during those years when we were not yet ready for school. Even now that we are already adults, they are always there to correct us when we’re taking the wrong path.

No doubt! Parents will always be the best teachers: they don’t give written tests like in schools where we are required to pass. They will always be behind us watching each step we take, tapping our shoulders,  saying we can do it, when we feel like giving up.  They won’t get tired being our teachers.”

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  • mentor – a teacher
  • womb –  the part of the woman where the fetus or baby is found during pregnancy
  • conduct – behavior
  • tap –  to touch

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you belong to a big family? A small family? How many brothers and sisters do you have? Are you the eldest or youngest?
  2. How did your parents take care of you when you were a child?  What unforgettable experience did you have when you were growing up?
  3. How often do you see your parents now? How are they helping you now?

    Parents are said to be the best teachers. Nobody can ever change or take their position. Every parent […]


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Level:

Intermediate