Ice Bucket Challenge

AUG. 25 362-illust_(Aug25)Ice Bucket Challenge

 

 

Do you know the Ice Bucket Challenge?

According to Wikipedia, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is an activity where people dump a bucket of ice water on their heads or donating to the ALS Association in the United States. It became popular throughout the social media where people from various states and even in other countries took part in this activity.

The challenge is to make the participants be filmed while having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads. The rule states that if they don’t want to do it, they have to make a charitable financial donation to the ALS Association.

It has become a pop culture phenomenon in the United States with numerous celebrities, athletes and normal citizen posting videos of themselves participating in the event. This challenge has inspired other charities in other countries to get involved by having their own versions of Ice Bucket Challenge.

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Dump – to throw
  2. ALS Association – an American non-profit organization that raises money for research to cure, promotes awareness against Lou Gehrig’s disease or ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
  3. Phenomenon – any state or process known through the senses; a development or physical process
  4. Charities – organizations created to promote the public good; an institution set up to provide help to the needy

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Have you heard about the Ice Bucket Challenge? What do you think of it?
  2. Do you know anyone in your country that has done it? Or do you know any organization in your country that has a similar challenge?
  3. Would you donate money for an organization or try the challenge such as the Ice Bucket Challenge? Why?

    Do you know the Ice Bucket Challenge? According to Wikipedia, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is an activity […]


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Level:

Beginner

6 English Words We Use Incorrectly

AUG. 24 361-illust_(Aug24)6 English Words We Use Incorrectly

 

 

Do you know what crutch words are?

English has become a common language to interact with people all over the world. While many of us think that we know the basic grammar principles by heart, we still misuse some common words in our everyday conversations.

Dictionary.com collected a short list of these words that we carelessly insert into our sentences. We call them “crutch words” and they are being used to add emphasis to a sentences but do not add meaning to the statement.

  • ACTUALLY. We often used it incorrectly to add an extra word to a sentence (For example, “I actually have no idea.”) but the literal meaning of this word signifies that something is present or exists in reality (He thought that Mary is shy and quiet but actually she is very loud and energetic).
  • LITERALLY. This adverb is used to describe an action that occurs in a strict sense. However, we often use it to emphasize a hyperbolic statement. (“I literally ran 250 miles today.”)
  • BASICALLY. The purpose of this word is to signal truth, simplicity and confidence (“Basically, he made a bad decision.”) But people often use it to create a sense of authority and finality.
  • HONESTLY. Most often, when people use this crutch word, it doesn’t add honesty to a statement.
  • LIKE. This is one of the most famous crutch words that are being used to give a speaker more time to think. Often, it is used involuntarily in a conversation and most often, we are not aware that we are using it.
  • OBVIOUSLY. This word should mean an action is recognized, readily observable and understood. However, people use it to emphasize their point about things that are not really “obvious.”

Here’s a perfect all the 6 crutch words included in one sentence:

Honestly, I like, basically, actually only use these words correctly. Literally.

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Misuse – wrong use of something, apply to a wrong thing or person or applied incorrectly
  2. Hyperbolic – exaggerated or enlarged beyond truth or reasonableness
  3. Authority – the power or right to give orders or make decision
  4. Involuntarily – doing something that you didn’t want to do in the first place; doing something that is against your will

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Are you familiar with these crutch words? How often do you hear them?
  2. Do you use any of these words in your day-to-day conversation? How?
  3. What do you feel when you hear these words in a conversation? Do you feel annoyed, confused or it’s alright with you? Why?

    Do you know what crutch words are? English has become a common language to interact with people all […]


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Level:

Advance

Creativity and Messy Rooms

AUG. 23 360-illust_(Aug23)Creativity and Messy Rooms

 

 

Is your work desk messy or neat?

Ever since when we were kids, we have been told to “be organized.” Organizational skill has been dubbed as one of the keys to success. Additionally, most people think that a messy room hinders productivity and it causes distraction and uncomfortable feeling. However, recent studies provide us a new side of the debate.

Psychological scientist Kathleen Vohs from the University of Minnesota created a series of tests on herself where she tried to work on rooms, one which is messy and other one which is neat and organized. She concluded that messy rooms give her more creative ideas and allowed her mind to travel without limits.

Vohs defined creative thinking as in its purest form as thinking outside the conventional reasoning. She also added that it should be no surprise that messy rooms contains objects that shouldn’t be there can inspire ideas which are previously not there in the first place.

Besides, Albert Einsten said, “If a messy desk is a sign of a messy mind, how about an empty desk?” Additionally, psychological background study for famous people such as Einstein, Mark Twain, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates said that they all have messy desks.

Vocabulary Enhancement

  1. Organized – formed into an efficient arrangement or function
  2. Dubbed – give an unofficial name or nickname to something or someone
  3. Hinders – prevent something for being finished or accomplished
  4. Debate – an argument or a discussion about a certain topic
  5. Concluded – decide by reasoning; come to a conclusion
  6. Conventional – following accepted customs and accepted standards
  7. Inspire – give inspiration

 

Perspective Exchange

  1. Do you have a messy work desk or a neat one? How neat or how messy is it?
  2. Do you think having a messy or neat desk affects your work? How?
  3. Do you believe that having a messy room gives you more creative ideas? Why or why not?

    Is your work desk messy or neat? Ever since when we were kids, we have been told to […]


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Level:

Intermediate

The Most Expensive Hotels in the World

AUG. 22 359-illust_(Aug22)The Most Expensive Hotels in the World

 

 

Do you like to travel in other countries? How do you choose your hotel?

Some hotels have luxury suites that have extremely high services and they certainly charge for it. Let’s take look at the most expensive hotel suites in the world.

  • Peninsula Suite, Peninsula Paris. For $36,000 a night, guests can enjoy 24 hour butler service, massages on demand and use of Rolls-Royce Phantom as well as the underground spa at this penthouse.
  • Presidential Suite at the St. Regis, NY. This is a 5-star suite with two bedrooms, a library that has a spectacular view of the Central park and with access to Bentley Mulsanne and 24-hour butler service for $38,000 a night to stay.
  • Hilltop Estate at Laucala Island Resort, Fiji. For $43,000 a night, this private villa includes a private chef, a nanny, housekeeping and a panoramic view of Fiji.
  • Maharaja’s Pavillion at the Raj Palace Hotel, Jaipur, India. In the past, this hotel was once the residence of the maharajah. This 4-storey suite has a bedroom designed in gold and mirrored walls, furniture which is designed with gold and silver and a private museum displaying the old throne. You have to pay $48,000 a night to stay here though.
  • Royal Penthouse Suite at Hotel President Wilson, Geneva. Probably the most expensive suite in the world, for over $72,000 a night, you have four bedrooms, 12 marble bathrooms, a room where you can play billiards, a “royal boardroom,” and an outdoor patio that offers a marvelous view of Lake Geneva and the Swiss Alps. A private security team, private elevators, bulletproof windows and a waiting limo are some of the added benefits that provide protection.
Vocabulary Enhancement

  1. Luxury – wealth as evidenced by rich and superior living
  2. Butler – a manservant (usually the head servant of a household) who has charge of wines and the table
  3. Rolls-Royce Phantom – one of the luxury cars manufactured by Rolls-Royce
  4. Bentley Mulsanne – one of the luxury cars manufactured by Bentley Motors
  5. Villa – a luxurious country house with large garden
  6. Nanny – in simple English, a baby sitter, who acts as a guardian of the children. Normally, nannies are hired long term and they tend to raise the children as if it’s their own
  7. Panoramic – bird’s eye view
  8. Residence – any house or establishment that serves as a home for someone
  9. Maharaja – a Hindu prince or king of India that is higher than a raja
  10. Storey – (British English) the American word is floor, a structure consisting of a room or sets of rooms in different levels of the building
  11. Patio – an outdoor space generally used for dining or other activities and commonly seen as an extension of our indoor living space

 

Perspective Exchange

  1. When you travel in other countries or places, how do you choose the hotel you stay in to? Do you choose them by price, popularity or convenience?
  2. Do you prefer staying in a cheap and small hotel than an expensive one that has many features? Why?
  3. What is the most expensive hotel or suites in your country? Can you tell why they are expensive?

    Do you like to travel in other countries? How do you choose your hotel? Some hotels have luxury […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Benefits of Red Hot Chili Peppers

AUG. 21 358-illust_(Aug21)Benefits of Red Hot Chili Peppers

 

 

Do you like to eat spicy food? You might have to change your mind once you read this.

A study conducted by the researchers at the University of California in San Diego, CA concluded that there is an active ingredient in chili peppers which is called dietary capsaicin that can reduce the risk of tumours. Aside from reducing the risk of colorectal tumours, capsaicin also helps us fight inflammation. Nowadays, capsaicin is a recognized treatment for pain, however, it has a side effect and it can leave your skin with a burning sensation.

Additionally, red chili peppers, such as cayenne, have been shown to reduce blood cholesterol. Places where chili peppers are part of the cultures show lower rate of heart attack, stroke and pulmonary embolism. Red chili peppers also contain pro-Vitamin A which helps our body to boost their immunity.

For weight conscious people, eating chili peppers takes energy and calories to produce. They contain substances that increase heat production of our body and oxygen consumption that can make us lose weight. Lastly, most people think that spicy foods are the cause of stomach ulcer but it’s a very common misconception. Not only it does not cause stomach ulcer, it actually fights and kills bacteria and lower the risk of having a stomach ulcer.

Vocabulary Enhancement

  1. Ingredient – a component or an element of a mixture
  2. Colorectal tumours – a type of cancer wherein a mass of tissue or a tumour is building up in the colon and the rectum area
  3. Inflammation – a response that our body make and characterized by pain, swelling and redness
  4. Burning sensation – it’s as if something is stabbing an area in your body which causes small needle-prick pain
  5. Blood cholesterol – also called as blood lipids; too much of these in your blood can cause heart attack or stroke
  6. Pulmonary embolism – blockage of the pulmonary artery (a vein in our body) by a foreign object or blood clot
  7. Immunity – a condition in which an organism can resist disease
  8. Consumption – the utilization of something; as if by using it
  9. Stomach ulcer – a hole in the lining of the stomach made by acid in your stomach

 

Perspective Exchange

  1. Do you like to eat spicy food? If yes, how often do you eat spicy food?
  2. What are the spiciest foods have you eaten so far?
  3. Would you like to try to eat spicy food after reading this article? Why or why not?

    Do you like to eat spicy food? You might have to change your mind once you read this. […]


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Level:

Intermediate

LET IT GO! Part 2

AUG. 20 357-illust_(Aug20)LET IT GO2

 

 

When do you need to let go?

If you are holding on to past hurts and pains…….LET IT GO!

If someone can’t treat you right, love you back and see your worth, LET IT GO!

If someone has angered you, LET IT GO!

If you are holding on to some thoughts of evil and revenge, LET IT GO!

If you are involved in a wrong relationship, addiction or even friends, LET IT GO!

If you are holding on to a job that no longer meets you needs or talent, LET IT GO!

If you have a bad attitude, LET IT GO!

If you keep judging others to make yourself feel better, LET IT GO!

If you are struggling with the healing of a broken relationship, LET IT GO!

If you keep trying to help someone who won’t even try to help themselves, LET IT GO!

IF YOU ARE FEELING STRESSED AND DEPRESSED, LET IT GO!

During the next 60seconds, stop and think of the things you have to LET GO. Meditate, take a deep breath and then……LET GO! —————-How are you feeling now?

Vocabulary Enhancement

  1. Treat (someone) right – to behave to someone in a proper manner
  2. Revenge – action taken in return for an injury for an injury or offense
  3. Judging – to form an opinion or estimation of after careful consideration
  4. Struggling – exerting an effort against someone or something

 

Perspective Exchange

  1. Is it hard to let go of something that it is attached to you? Is there still something in your heart that’s hard to let go?
  2. Was there something that you had let go?
  3. How does it feel after letting go?

    When do you need to let go? If you are holding on to past hurts and pains…….LET IT […]


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Level:

Beginner

LET IT GO! Part 1

AUG. 19 356-illust_(Aug19)LET IT GO

 

 

When do you need to let go?

There are people who can walk away from you…

And hear me when I tell you this! When people can walk away from you: Let them walk. Don’t talk to another person into staying with you, loving you, calling you, caring about you, coming to see you, staying attached to you. Just be careful!

When people can walk away from you, let them walk. Your destiny is never tied to anybody that left.

It is said that, they came out from us that it might be made manifest that they were not for us.

People leave you because they are not joined to you, and if they are not joined to you, you can’t make them stay……..LET THEM GO!

It doesn’t mean that they are a bad person; it simply means that their part in your life story is over. And you’ve got to know when people’s part in your story is over so that you don’t keep trying to raise the dead.” You’ve got to know when it’s dead”…….LET THEM GO!

You’ve got to know when it’s over. And if takes too much sweat and you think that you don’t need the person anymore, stop begging people to stay…….LET THEM GO!

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Destiny – an event or a circumstance that will inevitably happen in the future; synonymous to fate and luck
  2. Manifest – provide evidence for, stand as proof of, show by one’s behaviour, attitude, or external attributes, synonymous to apparent
  3. Begging – asking someone for something (example: food, money or favor)

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Is it hard to let go of something that it is attached to you? Is there still something in your heart that’s hard to let go?
  2. Was there something that you had let go?
  3. How does it feel after letting go?

    When do you need to let go? There are people who can walk away from you… And hear […]


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Level:

Beginner

Starbucks and the Siren – Branding Now Worldwide

AUG. 18 355-illust_(Aug18)Starbucks and the Siren – Branding Now Worldwide

 

 

Who hasn’t heard, much less, had a drink in Starbucks, they who started the Frappuccino (a frappe and a cappuccino) stylishly served in a clear plastic glass, overflowing with whipped cream?

Who hasn’t entered any of their coffee houses worldwide, admired the construction and the uniqueness of design, as well as the intelligent and informative signs that tell you anything and everything abut coffee…and tea? Howard D. Schultz, the now driving force behind this Seattle-based company, which has grown to be the largest coffee house company in the world, is also its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.   Mugs and tumblers are now usually associated with Starbucks, available on their shelves.  Pre-packed food items, hot and cold sandwiches and pasta, croissants, donuts, calorie laden cakes and pastries, as well as food and drinks which appeal to that particular country, are available, too.  Books, music and film are sold through the Starbucks Entertainment Division.  A couple of years ago, Teavana were bought, a tea company offering fancy teas of all kind.

The Siren is now a trademark of this coffee house company.  Whenever one sees this green mermaid on the glass, we now know its Starbucks.

How many espresso shots please?  Soy or whole milk?

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Siren – in legends, a beautiful woman of the water who lures men
  2. Branding – associating something with something
  3. Stylishly – done fashionably
  4. Driving force – man behind who runs it
  5. Croissants – bread styled the French way

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you have a favorite Starbucks drink? Please tell us about it.
  2. What do you think are the reasons why Starbucks is what it is now?
  3. Do you have a favorite Starbucks store in your area?  Please tell us about it.

    Who hasn’t heard, much less, had a drink in Starbucks, they who started the Frappuccino (a frappe and […]


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Level:

When Airline Companies lose Our Bags – Part 2

AUG. 16 367-illust_(Aug16)When Airline Companies lose Our Bags – Part 2

 

 

What do you do when you travel and your bags go missing?

If, unfortunately, your bags got lost, here are the things that you can do when making a report:

  • Do not leave the airport without making a report. It’s not good enough to make a report from home or somewhere and sometimes airline officers might not believe you.
  • Go to the baggage claim office. They are usually on the same floor as the conveyer belt and that is where you fill out the missing baggage claim form. It’s best if you get a copy of your form as well.
  • If no one is in the office, try to look for another airline employee and inform them that your bag is gone.  If you are in the airport at night time and almost everyone has gone home, call the airline customer support and be sure to write down important names, the time you made the call and the name of the person you spoke to.

When bags go missing, they are mostly located within the day or so and many of them arrive on the very next flight. If your bag is truly lost, you might have to wait a week or so before the airline company makes it official.

Some passengers who flew on a connecting flight get confused about which airline to contact to. For example, you flew from San Francisco to Amsterdam on one airline and then another airline to Tokyo when your bag went missing. Naturally, most people don’t know which carrier was at fault. Nevertheless, lost bags are the responsibility of the airline that flies you to your last destination so call and/or email your inquires to the last airline you used.

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Airline officers – employees who work in the airport
  2. Forms – a printed document with spaces in which you can write information
  3. Fault – a wrong action done by someone
  4. Inquiries – instance of questioning

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you often travel using airplanes? Was it for travel or business trips?
  2. Do you often bring big luggage with you? Did your luggage ever get lost in one of your trips?
  3. How did you get them back? What does a passenger need to do in your country to get their missing bags back?

    What do you do when you travel and your bags go missing? If, unfortunately, your bags got lost, […]


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Level:

Advance

When Airline Companies lose Our Bags – Part 1

AUG. 15 366-illust_(Aug15When Airline Companies lose Our Bags – Part 1

 

 

What do you do when you travel and your bags go missing?

Losing a bag on a flight is rare but it has happened to some of us. When your bags become lost, the procedures in getting them back is difficult and sometimes they take weeks and even months to get them back.

Here are the steps that you need to do in order to prevent your bags from getting lost.

Before you fly, it’s best if you do these three steps:

  • Don’t pack valuables. Most airline companies are reminding passengers not to put expensive items like laptops in our luggage. The best way for us is to put them in our carry-on bags instead.
  • Stick a business card in your bag. If ever your bag goes missing, it will be easier for the airline companies to locate you by attaching a contact number and your name in your bag.
  • Take a picture of your bag. So many bags look alike and the easiest way to describe them when they get lost is to show them a picture of your bag.

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Procedures – set of steps that you need to do in order to finish something
  2. Passengers – a traveler riding a vehicle (car, boat, plane, train, etc.)
  3. Prevent – stop someone from doing something or stop something from happening
  4. Carry-on bags – is the type of bags passengers are allowed to carry with them in the passengers’ compartment
  5. Attaching – join or connected to; binding or tying something

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you often travel using airplanes? Was it for travel or business trips?
  2. Do you often bring big luggage with you? Did your luggage ever get lost in one of your trips?
  3. How did you get them back? What does a passenger need to do in your country to get their missing bags back?

    What do you do when you travel and your bags go missing? Losing a bag on a flight […]


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Level:

Beginner