Texas Teen Gives Police Officer Parking Ticket

249-illust_(Mar29)Texas Teen Gives Police Officer Parking Ticket

 

 

Will you reprimand a law enforcer if you see him doing the wrong thing

The law applies to all. This was what Annie James, a 14-year-old resident in Baytown, Texas proved when she bravely issued a parking ticket to a police officer.

Officer Tommy King’s patrol car was parked in a fire zone in the Bay Oaks apartment complex. When King came to his car, he saw a piece of paper on his windshield and started laughing as he opened the letter. The ‘ticket’ says that he needed to pay $10 to the manager of the apartment complex. According to Annie, the officer’s police car was parked on the side of the building which was a fire lane.  Officer King said that it’s a lesson that people should not be shy or afraid of law enforcement. “We are here to help,” he added. Aside from paying the fine, the cop also gave $40 gift card to Annie for keeping him in line.

Source: news.yahoo.com

Contributed by: TEACHER SUE

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:
 1. Resident – someone who lives at a particular place
2. Issued – bring out an official document (such as a warrant)
3. Law enforcement – ensuring obedience to the laws
4. Cop – a policeman
5. Keep in line – control or influence others or oneself

 

Perspective Exchange:
1. Have you ever experienced getting a ticket for violating parking rules?
2. What do you think about the girl’s action?
3. What would you do if you were the police officer in this article?

    Will you reprimand a law enforcer if you see him doing the wrong thing The law applies to […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Air Pollution and Its Global Effect

250-illust_(Mar30)Air pollution linked to seven million deaths globally

 

 

Is your country affected by pollution?
One in eight deaths in the world is caused by the air pollution, making it “the world’s largest single environmental health risk“, the World Health Organization said. According to WHO, seven million people died in 2012 as a result of air pollution.

Air pollution is linked to different health problems including heart disease, respiratory problems and cancer. South East Asia and the WHO’s Western Pacific region are said to be the most affected areas. It was found that nearly six million of the deaths came from the said places. The WHO said about 3.3 million people had died as a result of indoor air pollution and 2.6 million deaths were related to outdoor air pollution, mainly in low and middle-income countries in those regions. One of the most affected countries that are facing issues about the air pollution recently is China, where the effects have already reached the hazardous level. WHO director Dr. Maria Neira said that the risks from air pollution are now far greater than what people have thought specifically for heart disease and strokes. Evidences show that a cooperative action is needed to clean up the air we breathe.

Source: http://www.bbc.com

Contributed by: TEACHER SUE

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

      1.  Health riskanything which may reduce or affect human health badly
     2.  Linkedconnected
     3. Outdoor – open air place
     4.  Hazardous- involving risk or danger 

 

Perspective Exchange:

    1.  Do you agree that air pollution is “the world’s largest single environmental health risk?”
      2.  Why do you think that most number of deaths is in South East Asia?
      3.  Can you recommend an idea on how air pollution can be lessened?

    Is your country affected by pollution? One in eight deaths in the world is caused by the air […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Until When Should We Push Ourselves?

248-illust_(Mar26)Until When Should We Push Ourselves

 

 

Is it worth pushing yourself to the limit?

“Push yourself to the limit.” It’s a cliché expression, but it never gets worn out. People say that we should always strive for the best. Even if things get wrong, just go on and push yourself until you reach the top. But, people who usually do this often miss and sacrifice a lot of things in life.  Time with family, good health, and most of all, time for oneself. Now, until when should we push ourselves to the limit?

It’s not bad to try our best, but things must have limitations. Our mind and our body may stop functioning well when their limitations are pushed too much. Sometimes, this could lead to stressful events in our lives. We may tell ourselves to finish tasks as soon as possible; we do too much work, but we don’t care about our body. We don’t pay much attention about the time we lose which we could have spent with our loved ones. We sacrifice things even if the reward we get for our efforts is uncertain. If we really think about it, the main reasons why we keep on pushing ourselves are always the outside factors —thinking of a better future, peer pressure, fame and social status— things that don’t really make us genuinely happy. The real happiness comes from us.  It’s not bad to strive hard, but we must know our limitations. We can sacrifice things, but we must know when to stop. It’s not bad to push ourselves from time to time, but it’s also not bad to be kind to our self sometimes. It’s not about being lazy, but about living our life wisely.

Contributed by: TEACHER GED

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

1. Clichéa phrase or opinion that is overused
2. Worn outused until valueless or useless
3. Striveto exert much effort or energy
4. Genuinelyin accordance with truth, fact or reality
5. Sacrificesurrender of something of value as a means of gaining something more desirable
6. Wiselyin a wise or intelligent way

 

Perspective Exchange:

1. Do you always push yourself to the limit? Why or why not?
2. Is it right to sacrifice things for social status or a better future? Explain your answer.
3. How do you think can people balance the hard work and a relaxing life?
4. Until when should we push ourselves?

    Is it worth pushing yourself to the limit? “Push yourself to the limit.” It’s a cliché expression, but […]


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Level:

Intermediate

When We Come Out Of Our Shell

247-illust_(Mar25)When We Come Out Of Our Shell

 

 

Are you a risk taker?
Life is surrounded by many choices. Do this, do that, choose this, choose that. We often face confusion as we opt one thing and abandon the other. But, when making decisions, which one is really better — to take the risk or to live in our comfort zone?

A comfort zone is our mental boundary that limits our capacity to do things. Because of this, we are sometimes afraid to try new stuff. We feel scared to experience activities that we don’t usually do. To step out of the comfort zone means to face the anxieties we have. It’s like jumping off a cliff without using a harness. It requires taking the risk. But, once we surpass the anxiety of leaving our comfort zone, we will learn and experience new things. We will open opportunities that we thought will never come. We will meet different types of people. And by that time, we will realize that coming out of our shell is definitely worth the risk.

Contributed by: TEACHER LORY

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:
 
1. Confusionlack of clarity; indistinctness
2. Optchoose; prefer
3. Abandonto leave behind
4. Comfort zone – a situation or position in which a person feels secure, comfortable, or in control
5. Capacitythe power to learn or retain knowledge; mental ability
6. Harnessa support consisting of an arrangement of straps for holding something to the body
7. Surpassto be beyond the limit, powers, or capacity of
8. Coming out of shellto become less shy; to be more sociable

 

Perspective Exchange:
 
1. What are the things that you can do easily and comfortably?
2. What do you think are the things that are too risky for you to try?
3. In general, do you think you are a risk taker or you just always live in your comfort zone? Why?

    Are you a risk taker? Life is surrounded by many choices. Do this, do that, choose this, choose […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Amulets And Talismans

246-illust_(Mar22)Gemstones As Amulets And Talismans

 

 

Do you believe in lucky charms
People all over the world have different beliefs when it comes to the use of gemstones. Some use it as an adornment and status symbol, but some believe that they can be used to repel negative energies.

Amulets and talismans are known for giving the owner some power, luck and protection against evil and diseases. There are many forms of amulets and talismans. They could be a pendant, a coin, rings, and some of the most widely used are crystals and gemstones. It is believed that these so called lucky charms have been around for thousands of years. During the Crusades, soldiers carried talismans like ‘bloodstones’. They think that these stones will give them defense from harm.  Bloodstones were linked with Mars, the God of war.  In Japan, people believe that ‘omamori’, a certain type of talisman, can bring them luck or good health. Having a talisman or amulet is no use if the owner doesn’t believe on its power. On the other hand, one’s life should never depend on these stones alone.

Contributed by: TEACHER TIA

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Adornmentdecorating yourself with something colorful and interesting
  2. Repelcause to move back by force or influence
  3. Amulets– a piece of jewelry usually hung about the neck and thought to be a magical protection against evil or disease
  4. Talismans– an object marked with magic signs and believed to give the owner some supernatural powers or protection
  5. Pendantan adornment that hangs from a piece of jewelry
  6. Bloodstones– green stone with red spots that resemble blood

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you believe that talisman and amulets have power?
  2. Do you know anyone who had good luck because of amulets or talisman?
  3. Have you use or receive amulets or talisman from someone? And are you still using it?
  4. In your opinion, do you think that we should depend our luck based on lucky charms, talisman or amulets? Explain.

    Do you believe in lucky charms People all over the world have different beliefs when it comes to […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Principles In Spending

244-illust_(Mar20)Principles In Spending

 

 

What money principles do you follow

Some workers try to divide their money to all their expenses so, they will know how much they spend each day. But some spend beyond their means that lead them to indulge in debts. It really takes principles in spending the money, consider the following:

  1. Pinch principle – If you have a saving worth $10,000 and you want to buy a cell phone worth $1,000. Do you think it is possible? Of course, because it is only a pinch from your entire savings.
  1. Handful principle – Imagine that you want to purchase a mobile phone that costs $1,000, and your saving is only $1,000. You are so attracted to the features of the mobile phone that without any second thought, you withdrew the money and bought the phone. You have the brand new phone, but no more saving. You spent all what you have, that is called handful principle.
  1. Debt Principle – Now, the smart phone you like costs $1,500, but the available amount in your hand is $1,000 only. You want to bring it home, and due to the irresistible impulse, you borrowed $500 and immediately bought the phone. You have it, but you have debt.

There’s no surprise that we’ll be debt free if we will use the right principle in spending money. We may opt to spend much for our enjoyment, but remember that we can always start to pinch from what we have by living in the right principle. So, what principle do you apply?

Contributed by: TEACHER EMERY

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Beyond the means – more than one can afford
  2. Indulge – enjoy to excess
  3. Principle – a rule or standard especially of good behavior
  4. Pinch – getting or using a small portion
  5. Entire – the whole part
  6. Purchase- Obtain in exchange for payment; to buy
  7. Second thought – considering the possible effects
  8. Handful – quantity that your hand can hold; a small number or amount
  9. Irresistible – impossible to resist; overpowering
  10. Opt- to choose; to prefer something over another

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What principle do you usually apply?
  2. Have you committed mistakes in handling the money you have?
  3. What steps can you make to avoid debts from unnecessary spending?
  4. What is your secret in making yourself free from lending money?

    What money principles do you follow Some workers try to divide their money to all their expenses so, […]


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Level:

Beginner

Japan Wails To Stop Whaling

245-illust_(Mar21)Whaling Japan Struggles To Keep Whaling Alive

 

 

>Can people in your country express opinions easily?

Environmentalists and Japan’s whale fleet are have always been on the clash. However, Japan’s whaling industry still seems to be unstoppable.

Japanese people are expressing concern about the taxes that are used to subsidize the whaling research program in the country. It is reported that the program hasn’t accomplished any of their objectives for the research. Though many Japanese are not in favor of it, they still can’t express their dissatisfaction to the whaling research. Junichi Sato, executive director of Greenpeace – Japan, stated that arguments have been framed in a way that Japanese people remain mute about the issue. “It has become a cultural conflict pitting Japan against outsiders,” he said. Sato also added that whaling fleet have made the argument that if they oppose whaling, they also oppose Japanese culture. This kind of statement makes it more difficult for Japanese people to show their aversion to the program.

An estimated 14,000 whales have been killed since the start of the research.

Contributed by: TEACHER TIA

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:
 
1. Fleet – a group of steamships operating together under the same ownership
2. Clash – be incompatible; be or come into conflict
3. Subsidize – secure the assistance of by granting a subsidy
4. Accomplished – successfully completed or brought to an end
5. Mute –
to be silent
6.Pitting – 
set into opposition or rivalry
7. Aversion –  
a feeling of intense dislike
8. Estimated –
judge to be probable

 

Perspective Exchange:
 
1. Is whale fishing rampant in your country?
2. What’s your opinion about using public taxes for whale fishing research?
3. In your own opinion, will it be helpful for Japanese people if they intensify their protest against the said research program? Explain.

    >Can people in your country express opinions easily? Environmentalists and Japan’s whale fleet are have always been on […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Life Is Always Full

243-illust_(Mar19)Life Is Always Full

 

 

Is your life fulfilling enough?

Whenever people think of success, they immediately think of “more” – more money, more love, more fun and good times, more respect, etc. Yet, upon assessment, success is not about having more. It is about understanding of what you are willing to lose in order to get what you really want.

Think about it – what was your life like yesterday? You had twenty-four hours, and it’s guaranteed that you used every minute of it. You surely did something – you played, you read, you worked, you argued,  you watched television, you ate, you sat, you talked, and so on. Whatever life you had yesterday, it was a “full life”. You filled every minute of it! If you do not like the life that you had in the past, then you don’t need to repeat the things that you did. You can give up something from yesterday’s list to make room for a new, a more exciting, and a reward-oriented activity.  Remember, you are the creator of your own destiny. You can fill your life with anything you like. It can be full of dramas, full of struggles, full of colors, full of achievements, or full of happiness. Whatever you choose to fill in your life, always keep in mind that life is beautiful.

Contributed by: TEACHER IAM

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:
 

Immediately without delay; at once; instantly; right away
Assessmentthe act of judging a person or situation or event; examination
Guarantee – to assure a particular outcome or condition
Argued –express opposite views, typically in a heated or angry way
Reward-oriented – desire to achieve, work hard, and take responsibility, but with a desire to be rewarded for the efforts
Struggles – conflicts; problems

 

Perspective Exchange:
 

1. What’s the best thing that happened to you recently?
2. Is your past fulfilling for you? Explain your answer.
3. If you could change something in your life, what would it be? Why?

    Is your life fulfilling enough? Whenever people think of success, they immediately think of “more” – more money, […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Job Hopping

242-illust_(Mar18)Switching Jobs Frequently

 

 

How often do you change jobs

Changing from one job to another within a period of months is becoming more and more common nowadays. One of the main reasons for this is the changes in structure of work. Part time and flexible jobs give chance to people to have more than one job. In addition, pay freeze and rising unemployment rate also force people to move to other jobs.

Many employers, however, often see job hoppers as a disadvantage to their firm. They think that the worker who frequently changes work doesn’t value loyalty. On the other side, some employers like to hire people who have had several jobs. For them, job hoppers can quickly adapt to new working environments. They get a wide range of experience in different fields. In some cases, workers who move from one job to another get a fulfilling work in the end. Many workers think of the right time to switch jobs. But whether you are thinking between moving out or staying in a company, always consider things before making a decision.

Contributed by: TEACHER LARINCE

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

1. Flexible ready and able to change; can adapt to different circumstances
2. Pay freezea situation when companies stop increasing the salary due to financial difficulties
3. Job hopper- someone who frequently changes jobs
4. Firm– business organization
5. Adapt to be familiar of a new situation
6. Fulfilling- something that gives happiness and satisfaction

 

Perspective Exchange:

1. What do you think are the reasons why people usually shift to other companies?
2. What are the effects of job hoppers to companies?
3. If you were the employer, do you think it is a good idea to hire job hopper? Why? Why not?

    How often do you change jobs Changing from one job to another within a period of months is […]


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Level:

Intermediate

E-Commerce: The Modern Way to Shop

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Are you an avid online shopper?

E-commerce is growing and breaking traditional markets more than ever before. In old times, we can only purchase CD’s and books at some specific stores, but today, you only need a reliable internet connection and do some browsing to have what you want! In this period of modernization,  we can now buy products and get services that were unimaginable before.

Recently, different firms target potential business industries that use the social media to advertise their brands, because it can easily reach the target market. People talk about products, and the information can quickly spread online than in the real world. Everyone can even have access now to mobile apps which show certain products on sale within the shoppers’ location. This helps E-commerce boom even if the competition is high.  In the past, shopping was also a bonding time with friends and relatives. However,  as people get busier in their lives, shopping using the internet becomes more convenient. E-commerce is only at the beginning and there’s still a long way to go for this industry. And for the online shoppers, there will be a lot more shopping experiences to come!

Contributed by: TEACHER LARINCE

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

1. Purchase–  acquire something by paying it
2. Unimaginable – difficult or impossible to imagine or comprehend
3. Potential- expected to become
4. Spreadbe distributed; be known
5. Boom- a state of economic growth
6. Bonding timetime spent with another person

 

Perspective Exchange:

1. Which do you prefer: shopping online or shopping at the mall? Why?
2. What are the things that you purchase online?
3. Is it difficult to buy things online? What are the advantages and disadvantages of it?

    Are you an avid online shopper? E-commerce is growing and breaking traditional markets more than ever before. In […]


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Level:

Advance