Driving Ban in Paris

 

 

Do you know that pollution in Paris is worse now compared to Shanghai?

The government has announced a driving ban in Paris last Monday after the news that the pollution level has briefly surpassed the level in Shanghai last week.

According to their announcement, all cars with plates ending in even numbers were not allowed on roads and all public transportation were free. This plan was made because Paris hit 127 points in its air pollution index chart followed by Shanghai in second place on 106 and London for third place on 91. Those who violated the ban were asked to pay €22 ($24.08).

The ban was lifted on Tuesday after having a bit of strong wind.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Ban – forbid or prohibit
  2. Briefly – for a short time
  3. Surpass – move past
  4. Even numbers – divisible by two (2, 4, 6, 8, 10….)
  5. Violate – act in disregard of laws, rules, contracts or promises
  6. Lift – put an end to something

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1.  What do you think about the driving ban in Paris? Was it a good idea? Why or why not?
  2. Do you think your country should worry of air pollution now? Why or why not?
  3. What do you think your government and you should do to lessen the air pollution?

    Do you know that pollution in Paris is worse now compared to Shanghai? The government has announced a […]


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Level:

Intermediate

The Most Expensive Country to Have Diabetes

 

 

Which country is the most expensive to have diabetes?

PharmacoEconomics released a new study where they stated that the United States is the most expensive country to have type 2 diabetes. The average price of treatment is around $283, 000.

Another study made by the researchers at the University of East Anglia analysed 109 data on how big were the effects of diabetes to people’s lives. They found out that employment chances for men and women are decreased and they lose almost $22, 000 earnings per year. Additionally, they found out that other countries are being affected by diabetes as well. Mexico, India, and China have seen an increase of rate in diabetes.

Over 380 million people worldwide are being affected by the said disease and that number is expected to increase to 592 million people by 2035.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Treatment – care provided to improve a situation
  2. Analyse – consider in detail and subject to an analysis or study
  3. Rate – the quantity or amount or measure considered as a proportion of another quantity or amount or measure

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you believe that health care is expensive in the US? Why or why not?
  2. How would you describe the cost of treatment in your country?
  3. Do you think the rate of diabetes in your country is decreasing or increasing? Why or why not?

    Which country is the most expensive to have diabetes? PharmacoEconomics released a new study where they stated that […]


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Level:

Intermediate

The Most Common Passwords

 

 

Do you think your password is safe?

SplashData, a provider for security applications and services, has released its annual list of common passwords found on the internet and named them as the “Worst Passwords.”

They got their data from 3.3 million leaked passwords in the year. According to their data, “123456” and “password” continue to hold the top spots since 2011.

SplashData said that the passwords they studied are mostly used by North American and Western Europe netizens.

Here are the top 10 Worst Passwords for 2014:

  1. 123456
  2. password
  3. 12345
  4. 12345678
  5. qwerty
  6. 123456789
  7. 1234
  8. baseball
  9. dragon
  10. football
Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Provider – someone whose business is to supply or give a particular service or goods
  2. Annual – occurring every year
  3. Leak – unauthorized revelation of confidential information
  4. Hack – get unauthorized access to a computer or network

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. How long should a password be, in your opinion?
  2. What should people do to protect themselves from being hacked?
  3. How do you protect yourself from being hacked?

    Do you think your password is safe? SplashData, a provider for security applications and services, has released its […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Lowest Paying Jobs in USA

 

 

Do you know which jobs in USA have the lowest pay?

The Bureau of Labour Statistics has revealed that more than 22% of Americans have the lowest paying job. According to their statistics, 6 out of ten worst paying jobs are different kinds of jobs within the food service industry.

Here is the list of ten lowest-paid workers in United States ($ per year):

  1. Shampooers ($18, 500)
  2. Food preparation and serving workers ($18, 720)
  3. Fast Food Cooks ($18, 780)
  4. Dishwashers ($18, 930)
  5. Counter attendants, cafeteria, and coffee shop ($19, 430)
  6. Hosts, hostess, and servers ($19, 570)
  7. Dining room, cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers ($19, 600)
  8. Farmworkers and Labourers ($19, 990)
  9. Amusement park attendants ($20, 020)
  10. Ushers, lobby attendants and ticket takers ($20, 320)
Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Statistics – collection of data based from the estimated population count
  2. Shampooers – people who works in hair salons where they shampoos the hair of the customers
  3. Ushers – someone who is stationed at the entrance of a building and give seats
  4. Living wage – salary; earnings; the minimum wage in US at the moment is $7.25 an hour

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What is the standard living wage in your country? Do you think it’s enough? Why or why not?
  2. What do you think about the lowest-paying jobs in the US?
  3. What do you think are the lowest paying jobs in your country?

    Do you know which jobs in USA have the lowest pay? The Bureau of Labour Statistics has revealed […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Lowest Paying Jobs in UK

 

 

Do you know which jobs in UK have the lowest pay?

Trades Union Congress (TUC) did a research where they found out that more than 5 million workers in Britain are earning less than £9.15 an hour in London and £7.85 an hour outside London.

Based from their research, more than half of the workers from Birmingham Northfield, Kingswood and the Northern Wales are underpaid compared to workers from other cities.

Jobs from the retail, cleaning and hospitality industries are included in the list. TUC added that low-pay workers are more likely to become unemployed and they will find it more difficult to find a better job.

Here are the lowest-paid jobs in UK (£ per year):

  1. Waiters and waitresses (£12, 507)
  2. Bar staff (£12, 948)
  3. Hairdressers and barbers (£13, 373)
  4. Kitchen and catering assistants (£13, 396)
  5. Launderers, dry cleaners and pressers (£13, 767)
  6. Retail cashiers and check-out operators (£13, 911)
  7. Playworkers (£14, 023)
  8. Cleaners and domestics (£14, 164)
  9. Nursery nurses and assistants (£14, 305)
  10. Other elementary services occupations (£14, 575)
Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Trades Union Congress – an organisation created in Manchester, currently they are campaigning for workers’ rights and safety of workers
  2. Underpaid – pay too little
  3. Retail – the selling of goods to consumers; usually in small quantities and not for resale
  4. Hospitality – kindndess in welcoming guests or strangers
  5. Playworkers – people who work to create and maintain spaces for children to play
  6. Elementary services occupations – simple jobs for example, selling of products in the streets and public spaces, door-to-door selling, providing street services like cleaning, washing, etc., taking care of houses, hotels, offices and other buildings, etc.
  7. Living wage – salary; earnings

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What is the standard living wage in your country? Do you think it’s enough? Why or why not?
  2. What do you think about the lowest-paying jobs in UK?
  3. What do you think are the lowest paying jobs in your country?

    Do you know which jobs in UK have the lowest pay? Trades Union Congress (TUC) did a research […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Penalty for Parents with Obese Children

 

 

Should parents pay because their children are obese?

A bill is being considered by the lawmakers of Puerto Rico in which they would penalise the parents of obese children. If their children didn’t lose weight, their parents might have to pay up to $800.

Senator Gilberto Rodriguez said that this law will encourage children to improve their health and it will help parents make healthier choices. If the bill is approved, school teachers will alert the social workers about obese children in their school. These social workers will have a meeting with the parents of the obese children and create a diet and exercise programme. After six months, the social workers will visit them again to check if there is an improvement. If there isn’t, the parents will have to pay a penalty.

However, there are some people, including several doctors and parents, who spoke against this bill. They think it is unfair. According to a research, more than 28% children in Puerto Rico are considered as obese compared with some 18% in the US.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Bill – a draft of a law
  2. Penalise – impose a penalty; punish
  3. Social worker – someone who is employed by the government to provide social services
  4. Spoke against – to criticize someone or something; to testify or argue against someone or something

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What do you think about this bill?
  2. Do you agree with Senator Gilberto Rodriguez? Why or why not?
  3. What do you think are the other ways parents can do to help their children lose weight?

    Should parents pay because their children are obese? A bill is being considered by the lawmakers of Puerto […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Valentine’s Day: Americans’ Way to Celebrate

 

 

How do Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Do you know that more than 62% of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day with flowers, cards, and candies? In fact, an estimate of 1 billion cards is being used for Valentine’s Day each year, more than other holidays in America except for Christmas.

Americans also consume 35 billion heart shaped chocolates are sold and 220 million roses are produced each year. Americans spend almost 20 billion dollars for Valentine’s Day or 130 dollars per person per year.

While candies and flowers are the most popular Valentine gifts, an estimated 20% Americans are spending their money for jewelleries or 4 billion dollars are being spent annually. Additionally, a 6 million Americans are being engaged on the 14th of February.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Estimate – approximate calculation of quantity, degree or worth
  2. Consume – use (resources or materials) over time in order to function
  3. Annually – by the year; every year

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you think Americans spend too much money in celebrating Valentine’s Day? Why or why not?
  2. What is the most popular present for Valentine’s Day in your country?
  3. How do people in your country celebrate Valentine’s Day?

    How do Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day? Do you know that more than 62% of Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day […]


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Level:

Beginner

History of Valentine’s Day

 

 

But why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day?

The Valentine’s Day first started as an ancient roman festival called Lupercalia which is celebrated in the middle of February. Romans celebrate it because they believe that it will purify the city and it will release health and fertility. Later on, the Christian church replaced this festival by declaring February 14 as a holiday to celebrate St. Valentine. There are actually two Christian priests whose name is Valentine and one of them was sentenced to death for performing secret marriages for soldiers when Emperor Claudius II banned it because he believed that single men are better soldiers.

It wasn’t until the 1300s that people began to celebrate Valentine’s Day for love and romance. The first Valentine greeting was used in the 15th century and the tradition of sending cards and letters on Valentine’s Day began in the 17th century in Great Britain.

After a few years, Valentine’s Day became popular in United States and the first mass produced cards for Valentine’s Day happened in the 1840s. Now, Valentine’s Day has become a mass consumer holiday, not just in the US and UK but also all over the world.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Purify – become clean
  2. Fertility – capable of producing children
  3. Declare – announce publicly or officially
  4. Sentenced to death – declared to be killed by the state because of doing a terrible crime
  5. Ban – forbid or prohibit
  6. Tradition – a custom that is being practiced for a long time
  7. Consumer – someone or something that uses goods or services

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. What do you know about Valentine’s Day?
  2. Is it an important holiday in your country? Why or why not?

    But why do we celebrate Valentine’s Day? The Valentine’s Day first started as an ancient roman festival called […]


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Level:

Intermediate

80th Anniversary of Monopoly

 

 

Do you know the game Monopoly?

Monopoly is a business related board game where the players move around a game board by buying and trading businesses, developing their businesses with houses and hotels, and collecting rent from their opponents. The goal of the game is to force your opponents into bankruptcy.

This year, the game is going to celebrate its 80th anniversary which is why some lucky French people will have a chance to play Monopoly which includes real money. A handful of Euro notes along with the fake money will be included in the set and one lucky owner will get a game with no fake money, instead he will get a total of 20, 580 euros ($23, 268).

The only disadvantage of playing this game with real money is the game will become more intense and it might cause a bad relationship between players.

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Opponent – a contestant that you are matched against with
  2. Bankruptcy – inability to pay all debts as they come due
  3. Handful – a small number or amount
  4. Notes – a piece of paper money
  5. Intense – extremely sharp or strongly felt

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Are you familiar with the game Monopoly? Have you played it before?
  2. Does your country have a similar board game?
  3. Do you think it’s a good idea to include real money in this game? Why or why not?

    Do you know the game Monopoly? Monopoly is a business related board game where the players move around […]


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Level:

Intermediate

Safest Cities for Travellers

 

 

Do you know which cities are safe for travellers?

The Economist Intelligence Unit, an independent business who provides forecasts and advisory service through research and analysis, conducted a study by looking at 50 selected cities. These cities were ranked based on different categories such as digital security, health security, infrastructure and personal safety.

Asian cities such as Tokyo and Singapore topped the list and cities from Europe, Australia, Canada and United States are included too.

Here are The Economist’s 10 safest cities in the world:

  1. Tokyo, Japan
  2. Singapore
  3. Osaka, Japan
  4. Stockholm, Sweden
  5. Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  6. Sydney, Australia
  7. Zurich, Switzerland
  8. Toronto, Canada
  9. Melbourne, Australia
  10. New York, US

And if you are interested, here are the cities that came in at the bottom of the list:

46. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

47. Johannesburg, South Africa

48. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam

49. Tehran, Iran

50. Jakarta, Indonesia

Contributed by: TEACHER NATSU

 

Vocabulary Enhancement:

  1. Forecast – predict in advance
  2. Advisory – giving advice
  3. Infrastructure – the basic structure or features of a system or organization

 

Perspective Exchange:

  1. Do you agree with what article? Why or why not?
  2. Do you have any idea why these cities are ranked as safe? Why do you think so?
  3. What are the other cities you think as safe? Why do you think they are safe?

    Do you know which cities are safe for travellers? The Economist Intelligence Unit, an independent business who provides […]


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Level:

Beginner