Chinese New Year

[Culture ★★]

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(P1) Chinese New Year is a very special time for many people. It is also called Spring Festival. The Chinese New Year always happens after January 1. This is because the Chinese used a different calendar long ago. As a result, Chinese New Year usually falls each year between January 21 and February 20. Each year of the Chinese calendar is named after one of 12 animals. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster.

(P2) People in China celebrate the Chinese New Year in many ways. Several days before the New Year, families usually clean their house together. They put up red paper decorations on the windows and doors.  It is also common to give someone money in a red envelope.  In China, red brings good luck and protects people from bad spirits. The night before Chinese New Year, families will gather to eat a big dinner. Usually, they eat fish. They might watch or even set off some fireworks. On Chinese New Year’s Day, it is normal for people to go to a special New Year’s market.  These markets usually sell many different things such as clothing and food.

WORDS: 188

SOURCE: http://dreamreader.net/lesson/chinese-new-year/

VOCABULARY: calendar, rooster, celebrate, decorations, envelope, spirits

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. What’s a symbol of good luck in your country?
  3. Does anything mean bad luck in your country?
  4. Describe a traditional celebration in your country?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What’s another name given for the Spring Festival?
  2. The Chinese New Year does not always occur on the same dates. (T or F)
  3. Each month in the Chinese calendar represents an ____________.
  4. The Chinese hang __________ in their houses, especially on windows and ______.
  5. The Chinese believe the color red brings ________ and guards against _________.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • usually falls each year (P1)
  • put up red paper decorations (P2)
  • will gather (P2)
  • set off some fireworks (P2)

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Image source: by Scott Meltzer http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?picture=&image=5329&jazyk=IT

Animal Window Cleaners

[Culture ★]

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(P1) Every year in Japan has an animal symbol. The year 2016 is the year of the monkey. The year 2017 is the year of the rooster.

(P2) There is another tradition in Japan. People clean their houses in December. They want to start the New Year fresh.

(P3) Two window cleaners from Tokyo know about this. They dress up as a monkey and as a rooster. They clean a hotel in Tokyo in their costumes. They are 50 meters above the ground. They surprise the hotel guests.

WORDS: 85

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/animal-window-cleaners-level-1/

VOCABULARY: symbol, monkey, rooster, fresh, costumes, surprise

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do window cleaners wear costumes in your country sometimes? If yes, why?
  3. What are some symbols in your country?
  4. Does your country have traditions? If yes, what is one of them?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What country is the window cleaners in?
  2. 2017 is the year of the ___________.
  3. In Japan people clean thier houses in ____________.
  4. How many window cleaners dress up?
  5. The window cleaners are cleaning a restaurant. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • every year (P1)
  • clean their houses (P2)
  • dress up as a monkey (P3)
  • 50 meters above the ground (P3)

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Image source: By Michael Gaida, Public domain, https://pixabay.com/cs/fas%C3%A1da-okna-%C4%8Disti%C4%8D-oken-1359708/

1.2 million people accept birthday party invitation

[Culture ★★]

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(P1) A father invited his family and friends to his daughter Rubi’s 15th birthday party. His Facebook post went viral and 1.2 million people said they would come. He said they could all come. Everybody was invited. Many people might go to the party so there will be a lot of police officers.

(P2) A 15th birthday is important for a girl in Mexico. She has a party with many guests. She wears a beautiful dress and makeup. At Rubi’s party, there will be music bands and a horse race. There is a joke online. It shows Donald Trump and Mexico’s president saying Mexican migrants in the USA can go to Rubi’s party.

WORDS: 111

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1612/161209-birthday-party-0.html

VOCABULARY: viral, makeup, horse race, joke, migrants

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. How are birthdays celebrated in your country?
  3. Are there any special ages for birthdays in your country?
  4. Do you like birthday parties? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How many people said they would go to the birthday party?
  2. Because a lot of people might go to the party, _______________ will be there for security.
  3. Turning 15 is a special age for young Mexican female teenagers. (T or F)
  4. What does a girl in Mexico wear to her 15th birthday party?
  5. There won’t be music at the party. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • said they would come (P1)
  • could all come (P1)
  • might go (P1)
  • music bands (P2)

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Image source: by “unknown” https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/f5/c9/c5/f5c9c5a88ef24429f4dd1b482f7ca9cb.jpg

Squid and Chips

[Food and Culture ★]

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(P1) Fish and chips is a famous dish in England. Two types of fish are used in the dish. The problem is that there are not enough of these fish. There is less fish in the sea. This is because the sea is getting too warm for these fish.

(P2) If there are not enough fish, the dish will be in danger. Scientists say that squid must replace the fish. Squid numbers are growing fast in the seas around Britain.

WORDS: 78

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/squid-and-chips-level-2/

VOCABULARY: dish, problem, warm, danger, squid, replace

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Have you ever tried fish and chips? If so, did you like it? If no, would you try it?
  3. What are some dishes in your country?
  4. What is your favorite dish to eat?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Where is the dish famous?
  2. How many types of fish are used?
  3. The fish don’t like __________ water.
  4. Who said that squid must replace fish?
  5. There is enough squid in the seas near Britain. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • two types (P1)
  • not enough of these fish (P1)
  • too warm (P1)
  • in the seas (P2)

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Image source: By kariwil, Public domain, https://pixabay.com/cs/ryby-ve%C4%8De%C5%99e-%C4%8Dipy-ryba-a-hranolky-1684828/

Planes from 1920

[Culture ★★]

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(P1) Aviators flew vintage planes over Nairobi, Africa during the Vintage Air Rally, an event that recognizes biplanes from the 1920s and 1930s. People think that the oldest plane in the event is from 1928.

(P2) In a race supporting charity, the aviators are recreating the route that Imperial Airways flew during the time of British colonies.

(P3) People expect to fly the biplanes 12,800 kilometers and expect to reach Cape Town in two weeks.

WORDS: 72

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/planes-from-1920-level-3/

VOCABULARY: aviators, vintage, rally, biplanes, charity, colonies

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Would you fly in one of these biplanes? Why or why not?
  3. Can you name some charities in your country?
  4. Are there vintage things in your country? (IE. planes, cars, furniture, etc)

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Aviators are also called ___________.
  2. The oldest plane at the rally is definitely from 1928. (T or F)
  3. The route used to be flown by ____________.
  4. How far will the planes fly?
  5. How long will it take to go to Cape Town?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • from the 1920’s and 1930’s (P1)
  • from 1928 (P1)
  • supporting charity (P2)
  • recreating the route (P2)

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Image source: by “unknown” Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1257503

Old Windmill in London

[Culture ★]

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(P1) In South London, there is a 200-year-old building. It is Brixton Flour Mill. It is the only working flour mill in London. For 200 years, it runs in the same way.

(p2) Inside the mill, people turn grain into flour. They take the grain and put it in a machine. Inside the machine, two stones crush the grain. The grain turns into flour. It’s put into a bag.

(P3) People want to build an educational center at the windmill. They need people’s help.

WORDS: 81

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/old-windmill-in-london-level-1/

VOCABULARY: flour mill, grain, machine, crush, bag, center

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Are there old buildings in your city? If so, describe one.
  3. Do you like to visit old buildings? Why or why not?
  4. Have you ever been to London? If yes, did you like it? If no, do you want to go there?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Where is the windmill located?
  2. What is the name of the windmill?
  3. What are the people doing inside the windmill?
  4. What is the flour put into?
  5. What do people want to build at the windmill?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • only working flour mill (P1)
  • it runs in the same way (P1)
  • inside the mill (P2)
  • put it in a machine (P2)
  • people’s help (p3)

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Image source: By Secretlondon, CC-BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brixton_Windmill_sept_07.jpg

Eight people on a motorbike

[Culture ★★]

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(P3) A motorbike is designed for one or two people. However, it is possible to fit up to 8 people on a single motorbike as you can see in the photo above.

(P3) A person in a car took a video of the motorbike with eight people on it. The person was worried about the safety of the passengers.

(P3) The photo shows one man operating the motorbike while three children sit at the front. Behind the operator, there are three people to include one woman with a toddler on her back.

WORDS: 89

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/eight-people-on-a-motorbike-level-2/

VOCABULARY: designed, up to, safety, while, toddler

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you think it’s dangerous to ride a motorbike? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think it’s unsafe to have more than 2 people on a motorbike? Why or why not?
  4. Should people be educated on how to operate a motorbike safely? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What’s the maximum number of people a motorbike is made for?
  2. Who caught the 8 people on a video?
  3. The person who took the video was only concerned about posting it on Facebook. (T or F)
  4. How many children are on the motorbike?
  5. Where is the baby on the motorbike?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • it is possible (P1)
  • took a video (P2)
  • worried about the safety (P2)
  • operating the motorbike (P3)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://www.iranhall.com/news/upload/279186-2010-4-28-11-25-58.gif

Dangerous way for Chinese children

[Culture ★★]

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(p1) A group of school children from a village in China must take a dangerous journey. If they want to get home, they have to climb a big mountain.

(P2) The children climb about twenty meters on the ladders to the top of the mountain. They carry their bags and other things, too. A dog also uses the ladders.

(P3) Parents are always very happy when they see their children again. The parents want a better way to get into their village. They also believe that a better future lies in their children’s education.

WORDS: 91

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/dangerous-way-for-chinese-children-level-2/

VOCABULARY: dangerous, climb, ladders, again, believe

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. How did you get to school when you were a child?
  3. Do you think the children should have a better way to get home? Why or why not?
  4. Do you think all children in your country get a good education? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What’s the name of the village?
  2. What do the children climb to get home?
  3. What do they use to climb the mountain?
  4. What animal climbs the ladders also?
  5. What do the parents of the children want?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • a group of school children (P1)
  • if they want to get home (P1)
  • other things (P2)
  • a better way (P3)

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Image source: By Dennis, Public domain, https://www.flickr.com/photos/garratt3/11130106653

Hanami

[Culture ★★★]

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(P1) Hanami is the Japanese traditional custom of enjoying the beauty of flowers, especially cherry blossoms. The practice of Hanami is more than a thousand years old and is still very popular in Japan today. It takes place in the spring, usually from March to April, because the blossoms only last for a week or two.

(P2) Hanami is very popular among Japanese people of all ages. Thousands of people fill the parks to eat and drink under the flowering trees. The parties commence around lunch time and sometimes these parties go on until late at night. In more than half of Japan, the cherry blossoming days come at the same time of the beginning of school and work, and so welcoming parties are often held under the cherry blossom.

(P3) Usually, people go to the parks many hours before the party to reserve the best places to sit. Some people even stay overnight to save a space for the next afternoon. There is sometimes a lot of drinking and karaoke at Hanami, but many people just unwind with their family, friends, and co-workers. Hanami is a great way to enjoy the beauty that comes for only a short time each year.

WORDS: 199

SOURCE: http://dreamreader.net/lesson/hanami/

VOCABULARY: blossoms, commence, go on, reserve, overnight, unwind

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Describe a traditional custom in your country?
  3. Do you like the beauty of flowers? Why or why not?
  4. Why do you think some traditional customs have been around for thousands of years?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Which flower is principally appreciated during Hanami?
  2. The cherry blossoms are visible for several weeks. (T or F)
  3. What do the people do beneath the trees during Hanami?
  4. Hanami doesn’t occur simultaneously when work and school begin. (T or F)
  5. A lot of people like to relax with just family and friends. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • the practice of Hanami (P1)
  • takes place (P1)
  • welcoming parties (P2)
  • to save a space (P3)

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Image source: by Sony Ilce-7 http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Flowers-Japanese-Cherry-Trees-324186

The coldest village in the world

[Culture ★]

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(P1) Do you have a feeling that this winter is very cold? Think about the people who live in one Russian town. They say that they live in the coldest town on Earth. The name of their town is Oymyakon. The town is in Siberia.

(P2) The temperatures go down to minus 60. The people say these low temperatures last sometimes for ten days.

(P3) There is another special thing in their town. It is a horse. The horse lives in these low temperatures. The horse is small but very strong. The horse can live through very cold winters.

WORDS: 96

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/the-coldest-village-in-the-world-level-1/

VOCABULARY: coldest, minus, low, horse, strong

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Would you like to live in Oymyakon? Why or why not?
  3. How low do the temperatures go in your city?
  4. Is there anything special about your city?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What country is the city in?
  2. What region is the city located in?
  3. How low can the temperatures go in Oymyyakon?
  4. How long can these low temperatures last?
  5. What else is special about the town?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • have a feeling (P1)
  • go down (P2)
  • another special thing (P3)
  • live through (P3)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: By Maarten Takens – http://www.flickr.com/photos/takens/8684784715/, CC BY-SA 2.0,https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28325316