Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

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Do you believe that there will always be a way, when there seems to be no way?

This proverb, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” is an old English proverb which means having the determination to find a way of doing things. While the records do not state clearly who the author of this proverb is, it is mostly believed to be created by Samuel Smiles, a Scottish government reformer and a Guru.  He is known for his self-help and inspirational writings. We sometimes find ourselves in situations where we are ready to give up because we cannot find an answer or solution to a problem. There are times when we feel that we have already done everything, yet the problem still remains. During these times, the proverb reminds us that “everything has a way, only if we have the will to find it.”

Contributed by: TEACHER UTADA
Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Proverb ( noun)  – a memorable saying taken as true by many people.
  2. Guru ( noun )  – a recognized leader in some field or movement.
  3. Self-Help ( noun ) – the act of improving yourself without relying on anyone.
  4. Inspirational ( adjective ) – divine influence on the mind and soul.
Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you think this proverb is true?
  2. Do you remember a situation you’ve been in that relates to this proverb?
  3. Do you have similar proverb such as this in your own country?

Do you believe that there will always be a way, when there seems to be no way? This proverb, “Where there’s […]


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Level:

Intermediate

The Perfect Amount of Homework

 

 

How long should students spend their time on doing their homework?

Researchers at the University of Oviedo in Spain studied more than 7,000 students and they found out that 70 minutes of homework per night has plenty of benefits but if teens are asked to do more than that, the benefits start to decrease.

The students answered a series of tests and questionnaires. They found out that those who regularly do their homework had good test scores and those who don’t do their homework regularly had lower test scores. However, those students who spend more than 90 – 100 minutes of homework per night did a little worse on the tests.

While it’s still true that requiring students to do homework is beneficial, the amount of time being spent in doing it affects their performance in school.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Plenty – a large or sufficient amount or quantity; more than enough
  2. Series – a number of things, events, or people of a similar kind or related nature coming one after another
  3. Questionnaires – a set of printed or written questions with a choice of answers, devised for the purposes of a survey or statistical study
  4. Beneficial – favourable or advantageous; resulting in good

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. How many minutes/hours do you spend in doing your homework? Why does it have to take that long?
  2. Do you think homework is beneficial for students? Why or why not?
  3. How many minutes/hours should students spend on their homework? Why do you think so?

    How long should students spend their time on doing their homework? Researchers at the University of Oviedo in […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Love and Science

MAR. 24 491-illust_(Mar24)science of love

 

 

Can science prove we are in love?

American Physiological Society examined the brains of 17 men and women who were in love by using Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). fMRI shows where our blood is flowing through our brain, which will tell us which area in our brain works the hardest when we are in love.

Experts were surprised to know that the parts of our brain that is connected to motivation, reward and drive are most active when we are madly in love. Experts were expecting to see the areas for emotion and sex to light up but they didn’t.

Additionally, another study by Frontiers of Neuroscience did another study with 100 subjects who are also in love. They found out that our brain has a different structure during our lovey-dovey period compared to the time when we are not in love.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Physiological – the general desire or willingness of someone to do something
  2. Motivation – the general desire or willingness of someone to do something
  3. Drive – compel (someone) to act in a particular way, especially one that is considered undesirable or inappropriate
  4. Madly – to an extreme or excessive degree
  5. Structure – the arrangement of and relations between the parts or elements of something complex
  6. Lovey-dovey – overly affectionate

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. How would you describe your behaviour when you are in love?
  2. Do you agree that people are highly motivated when they are in love compared to when they are not in love? Why or why not?
  3. Do you believe that Science can measure love? Why or why not?

    Can science prove we are in love? American Physiological Society examined the brains of 17 men and women […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Geniuses Can’t Stand Irritating Noises, Science Says

 

 

Do you find some certain sounds annoying? Well, you could be a genius!

A study from Northwestern University said that most creative people are easily annoyed by noises such as someone chewing or tapping their fingers. The reason why is that their minds can focus on multiple things at the same time and when they do it, they feel like they’ll go nuts.

This study is being supported by the Telegraph which says that geniuses such as Charles Darwin and Marcel Proust wore earplugs and blocked out the noise in their bedroom while they are working.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Genius – someone who has exceptional intellectual ability and originality
  2. Annoy – cause minor irritation; sudden outburst of anger
  3. Tap – make a light, repeated taps on a surface
  4. Nuts – Informal or slang term meaning insane or very stupid
  5. Earplugs – a plug of cotton, wax or rubber that is fitted into the ear canal for protection against the entry of water or loud noise

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What kinds of sounds do you think are annoying for you? Why do you think they are annoying?
  2. Do you believe in this article? Why or why not?
  3. What do you do when you are annoyed by a certain sound?

    Do you find some certain sounds annoying? Well, you could be a genius! A study from Northwestern University […]


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Level:

Intermediate

IKEA to Ban Hide-and-Seek

 

 

Would you play hide-and-seek in an IKEA store?

Most people think that IKEA store is a fun place. In fact, some have already organised a large hide-and-seek event in not just one IKEA store but in many branches. 32, 000 people have signed up in Facebook in Eindhoven, 19,000 in Amsterdam and 12, 000 in Utrecht, all of which are cities in the Netherlands.

However, IKEA is not pleased. Martina Smedberg, the IKEA Group spokesperson said that it’s hard to control and make sure people are safe especially if they don’t know where they are.

Last summer, a lot of people participated in the game in Belgian IKEA locations.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Ban – to forbid or prohibit
  2. Branch – a division of some larger or more complex organisation
  3. Sign up – join a club, an activity, etc.
  4. Please – feeling pleasurable satisfaction over something; proud off; delighted
  5. Spokesperson – a person who represents someone else’s policy or purpose
  6. Participate – share in something; become a participant or be involved into something

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What is your reaction about the article?
  2. If someone is going to organise a hide-and-seek event in one of the IKEA stores in your city, would you join? Why or why not?
  3. Should IKEA file a complaint to people who do this event? Why or why not?

    Would you play hide-and-seek in an IKEA store? Most people think that IKEA store is a fun place. […]


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Level:

Beginner

House for Sale

Mar.19-House-for-Sale

 

 

Would you buy a house and an island for just $0.08?

A house located on the island of Buoya on the outer boundary of Artic Circle in Norway is for sale for just 5 pence ($0.08).

Aside from the house, you will also get its private beach and quiet surroundings. The only condition is you have to promise the seller that you will restore the house.

According to its historical data, the last tenant of the house moved out in the 1970s and ever since, the house is in ruins. The current owner of the island said that he hoped that the house will be renovated because the property is really beautiful. The only problem is that it will be difficult to find a neighbour.

He added that if you ever get lonely, you can always ride a boat to the neighbouring islands to chat with the people living there.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Boundary – the line or plane indicating the limit or extent of something
  2. Restore – return to its original or usable and functioning condition
  3. Tenant – someone who pays rent to use a land or building or a car that is owned by someone else
  4. Renovate – restore to previous or better condition

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What do you think about the price of the house? Is it too crazy or just right? Why?
  2. If you have the chance to buy the house, will you buy it? Why or why not?
  3. How much is the average price of houses in your country? Do you consider them expensive? Why?

    Would you buy a house and an island for just $0.08? A house located on the island of […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Extreme Birthday Celebration

 

 

What did/will you do for your birthday this year?

Georgina Harwood celebrated her 100th birthday by skydiving in Cape Town, South Africa last Saturday.

She started skydiving at the age of 92 and she is planning to take a dip in a shark cage this week to further celebrate her birthday with her families. She is using this opportunity to help raise funds for the National Sea Rescue Institute by asking her friends, guests and fans to donate instead of giving her gifts.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Extreme – of the greatest possibility, degree, or intensity
  2. Skydiving – jump from an airplane and perform various movements before opening the parachute
  3. Dip – immense briefly into a liquid so as to wet
  4. Funds – assets in the form of money
  5. Donate – give to charity or good cause

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Have you ever done extreme sports in your life? If so, please describe.
  2. Would you do the same thing Georgina Harwood did? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think it’s alright to do dangerous sports and activities on your birthday? Why or why not?

    What did/will you do for your birthday this year? Georgina Harwood celebrated her 100th birthday by skydiving in […]


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Level:

Beginner

Mind Wandering

 

 

Do you often stare at nothing while your mind wanders?

According to a research published in “The Science of Sin,” we spend about 8 minutes of every hour daydreaming. 13% of the time, our mind wanders and about 30 – 40% of our time is being spent in daydreaming.

While most people will think that daydreaming is useless and unproductive. It also has some advantages.

People who often daydream are more creative and are better problem solvers. The reason why is because they are using their brain for two different things, one for doing the tasks and the other is for processing information and making connection. Mind wandering also allows our brain to compare and contrast different problems and solutions. This will lead to having better ideas.

However, the disadvantage of daydreaming is it is a sign of an unhappy mind. Additionally, people will not be focused on their tasks and their performance will be affected as well. Lastly, some experts believed that daydreaming is also a sign of poor health.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Wander – move about aimlessly or without any destination
  2. Spent – pass time in a specific way
  3. Daydream – have dreamlike fantasies while awake
  4. Unproductive – not producing desired results
  5. Contrast – the act of looking and comparing the differences between two or more things

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Does your mind wander while you are doing something? How often does your mind wander?
  2. Do you agree that mind wandering is good? Why or why not?
  3. What do you think people should do to become better problem solvers and be more creative?

    Do you often stare at nothing while your mind wanders? According to a research published in “The Science […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Live to 500

 

 

Is it possible to live at the age of 500 and above?

Google executive, Bill Maris, believes that it is possible for humans to live very long.

He had invested $425 million to healthcare companies to do some research about the expansion of human lifespan. He said that with modern technology we can achieve anything as long as we are brave enough to envision it.

Bill Maris is the vice-president of Google Venture which has funded a few popular projects in the past. Aside from investing in healthcare companies, Google Venture is busy in building cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots that will boost wireless connectivity of their Google Nexus smartphones.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Expansion – the act of increasing (something) in size, volume, quantity, or scope
  2. Lifespan – the period which something is functional (as between birth and death); lifetime
  3. Envision – imagine; see or visualize
  4. Boost – increase or raise

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you think that we could live to 500? Why or why not?
  2. Do you want to live to 500? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think it is more important to invest in healthcare than other industries? Why or why not?

    Is it possible to live at the age of 500 and above? Google executive, Bill Maris, believes that […]


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Level:

Beginner

What Music Can Do In Our Lives – Part 2

 

 

What are the other benefits of music?
  1. Music reduces our pain and anxiety.

An experiment was conducted to 80 participants where they listened to music as they felt different kinds of pains and different levels of anxiety. The results stated that listening to your preferred type of music can calm us down and increases our tolerance for pain, especially if you focus on the lyrics.

  1. Music helps you to improve your workout.

Gym instructors advise us to listen to our favourite songs when we do our workouts because they can increase the intensity of our exercise and they motivate us to do better.

  1. Music can save lives.

If you are going to give CPR to someone, you better do it with proper timing. The best way to remember the proper timing is to sing “Staying Alive” by the BeeGees. This has been proven by the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Anxiety – the feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
  2. Preferred – more desirable than another; something you choose; favoured
  3. Tolerance – the capacity to endure hardship or pain
  4. Intensity – the amount or degree of strength of something

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you listen to music? How often do you listen to music? When do you listen to music?
  2. What types of music do you listen to?
  3. What are the other benefits of music, in your opinion?

    What are the other benefits of music? Music reduces our pain and anxiety. An experiment was conducted to […]


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Level:

Intermediate