When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade.

APR. 30 275-illust_(Apr30)When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

 

 

 Have you ever encountered this phrase in your life?
This is a proverbial phrase used by many people to encourage themselves by being optimistic and having a can-do attitude in the face of hardship and/or misfortune.

The word “lemons” in the quotation is used as an informal word to indicate an unfortunate or unfair situation. The meaning probably originatein the fact that unsweetened lemons have sour and acidic taste. Then again, “lemonade” is the sweetened form of the same fruit, therefore, in the context of this quotation, conveys the potential for pleasure and opportunity in a seemingly bad situation.

A lot of people are debating about the origin of the phrase, many had said that it was initially coined in the 1915 as an epitaph while some had attributed the quotation to Dale Carnegie who used it in his book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living.”

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Proverbial phrase (noun phrase) – is any oral phrase that has a especial memorable meaning which is similar to proverbs
  2. Encourage (verb) – give hope or inspire with confidence
  3. Optimistic (adjective) – having a positive outlook in life
  4. Can-do attitude (adjective-noun phrase) – confident and resourceful in the face of challenges
  5. Misfortune (noun) – bad luck
  6. Quotation (noun) – an expression that is quoted
  7. Unfortunate (adjective) – marked by ill fortune
  8. Originate (verb) – come to existence; take on form or shape
  9. Context (noun) – a part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning
  10. Potential (noun/adjective) – possible
  11. Seemingly (adverb) – apparently
  12. Coin (verb) – make up
  13. Attribute (verb) – associate ownership or authorship with

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you believe in this expression? Why or why not?
  2. Have you ever experience hardships and misfortune? How did you feel during that time?
  3. What do you do whenever you have a bad time? How do you solve your problems?

     Have you ever encountered this phrase in your life? This is a proverbial phrase used by many people […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Laughter Yoga: India’s Secret to Business

APR. 29 274-illust_(Apr29)Laughter Yoga- India’s Secret to Business

 

 

Have you heard of the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine?”
The New Indian Express said a study found the average adult laughs on average 15 times daily – not enough to raise those essential “happy chemicals” – and Laughter Yoga consider themselves to be a cost-effective solution to this predicament, believing that Laughter Yoga will give your lifestyle and health, a total benefit, effective for reducing physical, mental and emotional stress. LaughterYoga.org says that it is scientifically proven that the brain cannot distinguish between real and false laughter.

The phenomenon of Laughter Industry that has started in India is becoming worldwide. Numerous companies set a goal of spreading laughter among workers. In fact, it is indeed productive as BBC
.
Scotland, The Financial Times and Google run workshops for their employees.

Lesley Batchelor, director general of the Institute of Export, values the importance of laughter in business and the workplace. She said: “Laughter certainly has its place in a work environment and I’m a firm believer that a happy office works harder.

Contributed by: TEACHER ZENA

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Yoga (noun) – A practical aid for health and relaxation.
  2. Happy Chemicals (noun) – Vital chemicals for happiness
  3. Predicament (noun) – A difficult, unpleasant, or embarrassing situation.
  4. Distinguish (verb) – To tell apart, to recognize
  5. Workshop (noun) – A meeting at which a group of people engage in intensive discussion and activity on a particular subject or project.

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. How do you associate laughter and working?
  2. Do you think Laughter Yoga really helps employees to have a better office environment? Why?
  3. Would you like your company to conduct a workshop for Laughter Yoga?

    Have you heard of the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine?” The New Indian Express said a study […]


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Level:

Intermediate

“Death rooms” in Japan

APR. 28 273-illust_(Apr28)Death rooms in Japan

 

 

Would you live in a Death Room?
Places where people have died are associated with bad luck in Japan, costing much cheaper prices for apartments where suicides, murders or other deaths happened because of a lack of demand. “Death rooms”, which sound horribly morbid, are surging as for others; this is a way to save money during tough times.

One of the factors that pushes many people especially those who are having financial difficulties is due to a lack of social housing for low income households. Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism stressed that buildings that were erected during the high growth period are currently being replaced. Local governments are having financial difficulties thus, they can’t construct new buildings.

Demolishing old wooden apartments in Tokyo to give way for the Olympics in 2020 is being feared, driving low earners out of the city and even further from the jobs.

Contributed by: TEACHER ZENA

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. ASSOCIATED (adjective) – Connected with something else.
  2. LACK (noun) – The state of being without or not having enough of something.
  3. HORRIBLY (adverb) –  Very bad or unpleasant way
  4. MORBID (adjective) –  Unpleasant subjects such as death and disease
  5. SURGE (verb) – Move suddenly and powerfully forward or upward.
  6. DEMOLISH (verb) -Destroy , pull down

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you think it is ideal to rent a “Death Room” if you’re on a financial crisis?
  2. Do you believe that places where people died bring bad luck?
  3. What do you consider when looking for an apartment?

    Would you live in a Death Room? Places where people have died are associated with bad luck in […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Dinosaurs or Not?

APR. 27 272-illust_(Apr27)BDinosaurs or Not

 

 

Do you know the various kinds of Dinosaurs that once roamed the earth?
The American Museum of Natural History had just recently carried out an exhibition at the New York museum showing the history’s largest flying back-boned animals.  The exhibition examined the life and history during the dinosaur era.  The highlights were focused on the reptiles known as Pterosaurs.

Known as the very first vertebrates to achieve an admittedly powered flying that made the own group of Pterosaurs considered to be unique.  One could only single them out as group of reptiles closely related to dinosaurs but were not.  They were able to spread out and live on every continent as they have evolved.

66 million years ago, Pterosaurs were discovered to be extinct.  Scientists believe that those species were able to diversify into more than 150 more of their kind and of different built  and  sizes globally.

Contributed by: TEACHER ERLYN

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. vertebrate (noun) – animal which has a backbone.
  2. reptile (noun) – cold-blooded animal
  3. evolve (verb) – develop
  4. backbone (noun) – row of bones down the centre of your back.
  5. diversify (verb) – change or spread new habitats.
  6.  admittedly (adverb) – true
  7. unique (adjective) – different.  The single one of its kind.
  8. species (noun) – A specific kind of something.  Form.

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Did you once believe that Pterosaurs were one of the many species of Dinosaurs? Defend your answer.
  2. Do you believe that dinosaurs ruled the earth longer than any other creatures? If YES: Why? If NO: Which creature do you think ruled first and longer?
  3. What actions do you think everyone must take to prevent further animal extinction?
  4. How about you? What preservations have you done for the society, the environment and the natural resources?

    Do you know the various kinds of Dinosaurs that once roamed the earth? The American Museum of Natural […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Boy Suspended from School for Wanting More Homework

APR. 26 271-illust_(Apr26)Boy Suspended from School for Wanting More Homework

 

 

NDid you study a lot when you were young? Were you given loads of homework?
Aaron Parfitt, who is a pupil at Bispham High School, was suspended for two days last week because he wanted more homework. Aaron tried to call the council and Ofsted, which is the official organization for inspecting schools in the UK, but they couldn’t help. So, he decided to hold a walkout. Aaron arranged for around 100 other pupils to gather on the school playing fields on Wednesday to show the school how he felt.

Aaron spoke to the Daily Mail and said that: “We’ve had loads of different teachers and we weren’t getting enough homework.” Aaron failed a maths exam and felt that it was because most of his teachers didn’t stay at the school for more than a week. Because of his actions, the acting headteacher at the school decided to suspend Aaron from classes for two days.

Last year, Ofsted inspectors visited the school and found that the level of teaching was not adequate. The inspectors said that they would close the school if it did not improve. The acting-headteacher said that the school was trying hard to fix the problems, but that it will not “happen overnight”.

Contributed by: TEACHER QUEEN

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Suspend (verb) – To officially stop someone from going to school or doing their job temporarily.
  2. Pupil (noun) – A pupil is a person who is being taught, especially a child at a school. ‘Pupil’ is more common in British English, while ‘student’ is typically used in American English.
  3. Walkout (noun) – the act of leaving a meeting or organization as a way of showing disapproval.
  4. Adequate (adjective) – Enough in quantity or good enough in quality.
  5. Loads of (noun) – [British English informal ] a lot of something

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. How did you feel about homework when you were in junior high?
  2. In your opinion, how necessary is homework to a student’s learning progress?
  3. Would you say that the punishment given to the Aaron Parfitt was reasonable? Why or why not?

    NDid you study a lot when you were young? Were you given loads of homework? Aaron Parfitt, who […]


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Level:

Beginner

No Wi-fi! Tourists’ Number 1 Complain!

APR. 25 270-illust_(Apr25)No Wi-fi Tourists Number 1 Complain

 

 

Is wi-fi important for you? How often do you access internet?
This is a legitimate complaint. Lack of free wi-fi is tourists’ new peeve. We are all aware that nowadays, people are thinking that wi-fi is a necessity. Access to free wi-fi is a key requirement for many tourists and travelers when they get away. A new study has found that holidaymakers spend at least one hour a day of their own time logging on to social media portals or checking other favorite websites.

A survey conducted by the Thistle Hotels group, revealed travelers’ biggest peeves of staying in a hotel. The most common gripe was rude and unfriendly staff. Second was checking in to find your room is not ready, and third was no free wi-fi. Research shows that free wi-fi is very important to holidaymakers. They are being frustrated and fed up with hotels that charge for Internet access. But according to a hotel manager professor, Toni Repetti, luxury hotels charge for wi-fi access because they know their customers will pay. And the reason many budget hotels provided free wi-fi is because their guests are more “price sensitive”.

Contributed by: TEACHER RAE

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Peeve – an annoyed or irritated mood.
  2. Necessity – an imperative requirement or need of something.
  3. Gripe – to complain ; to nag constantly
  4. Fed up – impatient; disgusted; bored
  5. Holidaymakers – vacationer; traveler

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. How would your life be different without the Internet?
  2. Do you think people will prefer to live their lives on the Internet instead of real life?
  3. What do you think of the idea of Internet shopping or online dating?

    Is wi-fi important for you? How often do you access internet? This is a legitimate complaint. Lack of […]


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Level:

Intermediate

The Importance of Professionalism in Business

APR 24 269-illust_(Apr24)The Importance of Professionalism in Business

 

 

A professional work place attitude takes pride at an employee’s work and helps to improve performance. Managers who behave professionally set a standard and encourage people to perform in a manner that supports company-wide success.

HERE ARE 5 SOLID BENEFITS OF PROFESSIONALISM:

  1. Establishes BoundariesProfessionalism in the work place establishes boundaries between what considered appropriate office behavior is and what is not.
  2. Encourages Improvement. A business environment in which employees dress and operate professionally is more conducive for success.
  3. Maintains Accountability. Companies that interact directly with clients are obligated to provide the best services possible and present their company in the best possible light.
  4. Promotes Respect. Professionalism in business establishes respect for authority figures, clients and coworkers. Maintaining a professional demeanor limits gossip and inappropriate personal conversations that could be considered disrespectful.
  5. Minimizes Conflict. Conflicts are less likely to arise in a professional business environment. Workers who respect each other’s boundaries and conduct themselves professionally rarely have disagreements that cannot be resolved efficiently. Professional behavior helps business people avoid offending members of different cultures or backgrounds.
Contributed by: TEACHER ZENA

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Professionalism (noun) – The skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well.
  2. Company-wide (adjective) – Relating to or affecting the whole of a company different
  3. Boundary (noun) – A point or limit that indicates where two things become
  4. Accountability (noun)- The obligation of an individual or organization to account for its activities, accept responsibility for them, and to disclose the results in a transparent manner.
  5. Demeanor (noun)- The way in which a person behaves
  6. Gossip (noun) – Rumor or talk of a personal, sensational, or intimate
  7. Offending (verb) – Cause to feel upset, annoyed, or resentful.

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. How often do you observe professionalism in your company?
  2. Do you think professionalism pressures an employee?
  3. What is your perfect idea of professionalism?

    A professional work place attitude takes pride at an employee’s work and helps to improve performance. Managers who […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Leopard Attacks Indian villages

268-illust_(Apr23)Leopard attacks Indian villages

 

 

Have you seen a leopard? What can you say about it?
Fast runners, feisty looking and furry body, these are some of the phrases used to describe a leopard. On the other hand, some villagers in India have another word for them, “scary”.

In some remote Indian villages especially in the India-Nepal border region, leopard attacks happened recently. For the past six months, it had cause six child deaths and four serious injuries. As a matter of fact, it has become an issue for the coming general elections. According to some elder villagers, they feel angry and some have decided not to participate in the general election. In addition, politicians have been promising to bring changes to the villages especially power supply and road construction, but no results occurred.

In the past, reports of wolf attacks happened as well. Officials said that about 100 children died and some were injured. Therefore, the villagers are getting tired from all the failures of the previous governments hence they are expecting for better solutions from politicians.

Contributed by: TEACHER MAJIE

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Feisty (adjective) = Showing courage
  2. Furry (adjective) = Covered with a dense coat of fine silky hairs
  3. Issue (noun) = Some situation or event that is thought about
  4. Election (noun) = A vote to select the winner of a position or political office
  5. Occur (verb) = (of an event) come to pass

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Have you heard any kind of animal attack that happen in your country?
  2. What do you think should be done to avoid animals’ attack on people?
  3. If you will encounter an animal attack, do you know what to do?

    Have you seen a leopard? What can you say about it? Fast runners, feisty looking and furry body, […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Seer: The Personal Gmail Assistant for IOS

APR. 22 267-illust_(Apr22)Seer- The Personal Gmai Assistant for IOS

 

 

Do you hate reading long emails?
Do you have friends that send you long-winded emails that take forever to get to the one point that you actually want to respond to? Well now, new iOS app “Seer” will scan the email for you and give you only the relevant bits. Seer, which is available to download for free from the Apple App Store, bills itself as a personal assistant app whose sole job is to help you manage the voluminous amount of email you get every day and a big first step towards an intelligent personal assistant.

Seer is able to do this by monitoring your behaviour on email and making recommendations based on your usage patterns. So if there’s someone whom you respond to on a regular basis, Seer can highlight that message as important to make sure it doesn’t get lost in the shuffle.

Seer says that it developed its artificial intelligence system from technology originally developed by the CIA, which could be off-putting if you don’t like the idea of third-party mobile apps scanning your emails.

Contributed by: TEACHER QUEEN

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. long-winded – (adjective) : using too many words in speaking or writing
  2. bit – (noun): a part of something large
  3. sole – (adjective): the only one
  4. voluminous – (adjective): having very many words or pages; very long and containing a lot of detail
  5. get lost in the shuffle – (idiom) be overlooked or missed in a confused or crowded situation.
  6. CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) – one of the principal intelligence-gathering agencies of the US federal government; the US counterpart of Interpol of Europe
  7. off-putting – (adjective): not pleasing or likable; causing you to feel dislike of someone or something

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What are some software and applications that you consider indispensable in your personal and work life?
  2. Do you think people are becoming too dependent upon apps these days?
  3. How does our dependence on technology affect us?

    Do you hate reading long emails? Do you have friends that send you long-winded emails that take forever […]


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Level:

Advance

Why are Japanese Salarymen Trapped In Their Jobs?

265-illust_(Apr21)Why are Japanese Salarymen Trapped In Their Jobs

 

 

 Have you seen the four panel comic that was published in Japan recently?
“Salaryman” is the Japanese term that refers to an office worker in Japan. Despite the differences in the industry, every salaryman’s situation is the same. While they are not known worldwide, they are described as workers who do overtime, highly obedient and can be found binge drinking often with colleagues and clients, whether they want to or not.

A four panel comic or classically called as “yonkoma” depicts the reasons why salarymen are trapped in their jobs.  The main characters are a man who represents the average citizen and a bunny who represents companies in Japan. According to the comic, the man questioned the bunny about how too cheap the labour is, how it’ll affect the employment rate and how it will cause deficit in the economy. However the bunny assured the man that it won’t cost any deficit because the companies can make the labour costs too low. He also said that people will not quit because companies make them work long hours and even if they quit, they wouldn’t be able to afford to live their lives. Also working for longer hours means the employees wouldn’t be able to communicate with their friends and wouldn’t consider quitting.

Most people, especially men, the company they started working for after their college is the company they will work for the rest of their career. There is no easy way to suddenly try something else.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. industry (noun) – people or companies engaged in a particular kind of business enterprise
  2. obedient (adjective) – dutifully following the commands or instruction of those in power
  3. binge drinking (noun) – an occasion for excessive drinking of alcohol
  4. colleagues (noun) – co-workers; workmates
  5. average (adjective) – ordinary
  6. labour (noun/verb) – productive work (especially physical work done for wages)
  7. deficit (noun) – an excess of liability over assets; shortage
  8. assure (verb) – to promise; to ensure; to guarantee

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you agree with the title that there are some people who are trapped in their jobs? Why or why not?
  2. How would you describe the relationship between you and your employers?
  3. If you have the chance to choose another job/company, what would you choose?

 

     Have you seen the four panel comic that was published in Japan recently? “Salaryman” is the Japanese term […]


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Level:

Intermediate