Week101

[World News ★] Tourist bus on fire

[Entertainment ★] Minion attacks

[Sports ★★] Rio Olympics medal predictions

[World News ★★] Lava Goes to the sea

[People ★★] Man Late for His Flight Chases Plane Across Tarmac

[Health ★★★] People who read live longer

[Environment ★★★] At London Bus Stops, a Smog Report

[World News ★★★] Ailing Japanese King says he might abdicate

[Food ★★★★] How to cook asparagus

[Literature ★★★★] French poet Yves Bonnefoy dead at 93

French poet Yves Bonnefoy dead at 93

[Literature ★★★]

bonnefoy

(P1) Bonnefoy was born in 1923 in Tours, in central France, to a railway worker father and a schoolteacher mother.

(P2) In his early career, his work tended towards the surreal but he quickly turned away from this movement and his first classic, the 1953 “Du mouvement et de l’immobilite de Douve” (“On the motion and immobility of Douve”), went against the prevailing contemporary literary trends.

(P3) His writing career extended well into his 80’s and he picked up several literary awards along the way, including the 1987 Goncourt prize for poetry.

(P4) He acquired legions of fans that admired his lack of attachment to a “concept.”

(P5) “What saddens me is to see that our education system does not give poetry the place it deserves,” he told French radio in a recent interview.

(P6) “Everything around us can serve as an inspiration for poetry,” he said, which he saw as “a way of discovering the fundamental meaning of life.”

WORDS: 156

SOURCE: http://www.france24.com/en/20160702-french-poet-yves-bonnefoy-dead-93

VOCABULARY: railway, surreal, prevailing, legions, fundamental

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 type of literature do you like? Why?
  3. Do you think poetry deserves more attention in schools? Why or why not?
  4. Do you admire Mr. Bonnefoy for his lack of attachment to a “concept”? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Which part of France was he born in?
  2. What prize was bestowed on him?
  3. He didn’t have a lot of followers. (T or F)
  4. Who recently spoke with Mr. Bonnefoy?
  5. According to Mr. Bonnefoy, not all that exists can influence poetry. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • tended towards (P2)
  • literary trends (P2)
  • extended well into the 80’s (P3)
  • the place it deserves (P3)

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Image source: © Hector Guerrero, AFP http://www.france24.com/en/20160702-french-poet-yves-bonnefoy-dead-93

How to cook asparagus

[Food ★★★]

cook-veggies-griddle-550

(P1) Look for asparagus that is freshly picked and has a juicy, firm feel. The ends should not be too white and dry. Asparagus with thicker stalks will naturally snap at the woodiest part of the spear.

(P2) Young asparagus spears are more tender and don’t need to be snapped before cooking. Simmer in a frying pan of boiling salted water. Check to see if the asparagus is cooked by testing with a knife halfway down the spear. When ready, shake off any water and serve immediately with a knob of butter.

(P3) Alternatively, you can blanch your asparagus spears in salted, boiling water for one minute. Remove with tongs and shake off the water. Fry on a hot griddle pan or frying pan in some olive oil until the spears are golden-brown in places. Season with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt flakes.

WORDS: 142

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/techniques/how_to_cook_asparagus

VOCABULARY: stalks, snap, woodiest, simmer, knob, blanch, tongs, griddle pan

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 like asparagus? Why or why not?
  3. Do you like to cook? Why or why not?
  4. What is your favorite cuisine? Why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The best asparagus is freshly picked and has a succulent, soft feel. (T or F)
  2. Which type of asparagus is softer and easier to break?
  3. After the asparagus is cooked, you should wait to eat it. (T or F)
  4. Which other way is given to cook asparagus?
  5. Which spices are recommended to put on the asparagus before eating?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • juicy, firm feel (P1)
  • shake off any water (P2)
  • golden-brown in places (P3)
  • sea salt flakes (P3)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/sites/rodalesorganiclife.com/files/styles/slideshow-desktop/public/images/slideshow2/cook-veggies-griddle-550.jpg?itok=60bn-26G

Ailing Japanese King says he might abdicate

[World News ★★★]

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(P1) Japanese King Akihito, 82, says he wants to step down due to his faltering health. “I am worried that it may become difficult for me to carry out my duties as the symbol of the state with my whole being as I have done until now, “he said in a rare video address to the public on Monday. He did not say exactly when he would abdicate.

(P2) Akihito has been a symbolic ruler for 27 years and his abdication would be unprecedented in modern Japan. His son, Crown Prince Naruhito, 56, is next in line.

(P3) After the statement, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his government would take “seriously” the king’s hint that he might abdicate.

(P4) According to state-run broadcaster NHK, Akihito had heart surgery in 2012 and is now being treated for prostate cancer.

WORDS: 134

SOURCE: http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/news/world/2016/08/182_211393.html

VOCABULARY: step down, faltering, carry out, abdicate, unprecedented, hint, prostate

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. In your opinion, do you think King Akihito should step down? Why or why not?
  3. Does your country have symbolic leaders? If yes, tell me about one.
  4. Would you like to be a king or queen? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Why is the king thinking about resigning?
  2. On which day did the king make his statement?
  3. How long has the king been the symbolic figure in Japan?
  4. If the king steps down, his wife will take over the throne. (T or F)
  5. Which health problem is the king battling now?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • as the symbol of the state with my whole being (P1)
  • symbolic ruler (P2)
  • next in line (P2)
  • state-run broadcaster (P4)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://www.japanbullet.com/images/2016/07/foreignmediaakitihojul13.jpg

At London Bus Stops, a Smog Report

[Environment ★★★]

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(P1) Londoners will soon be able to get air quality reports when they check whether their bus is about to arrive, reports the AP. Mayor Sadiq Khan has ordered that 2,500 bus stop information signs display air quality alerts on high pollution days. Some 140 dot-matrix message boards on roads leading to London will also display the information, along with instructions for drivers to switch off their engines while stuck in traffic to reduce emissions. Electronic update signs at subway stations will also display information on air quality.

(P2) The initiative, which begins Aug. 15, is part of Khan’s crusade to clean up the air in the British capital. After taking office earlier this year, the mayor commissioned a survey showing that nearly 80% of those who responded were interested in receiving pollution data.

WORDS: 132

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/229275/at-london-bus-stops-a-smog-report.html

VOCABULARY: dot-matrix, switch off, emissions, initiative, crusade, commissioned

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. Does your country have any initiatives to reduce pollution? If yes, what are they?
  3. Do you like the idea of having air quality alerts? Why or why not?
  4. Would you like to see more programs to reduce pollution in your country? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Who is the leader of London?
  2. Metro stations will not have information signs. (T or F)
  3. What are drivers suppose to do if sitting idle in traffic jams?
  4. When will London begin to us the message boards?
  5. When did Sadiq Khan become the mayor of London?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • about to arrive (P1)
  • on roads leading to London (P1)
  • while stuck in traffic (P1)
  • After taking office (P2)
  • nearly 80% (P2)

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Image source: by Sang Tan http://www.newser.com/story/229275/at-london-bus-stops-a-smog-report.html

People who read live longer

[Health ★★★]

4710

(P1) Research from Yale University shows that people who read live longer. Reading for 30 minutes a day could help us. Researchers said reading keeps the mind active, reduces stress, and makes us take better care of our health. The researchers said books help the brain more than newspapers and magazines, but any kind of reading is good. In the study, researchers looked at the lifestyles, reading habits, health, and education of 3,500 men and women over a 12-year period. All of the people were at least 50 years old at the start of the research.

(P2) The study is in a journal. It found that people who read for up to 3.5 hours a week were 17 percent less likely to die than those who read no books. Those who read for over 3.5 hours a week were 23 percent less likely to die. A researcher said: “Older individuals, regardless of gender, health, wealth, or education; showed the survival advantage of reading books.” She added: “Individuals over the age of 65 spend an average of 4.4 hours per day watching television. Efforts to redirect leisure time into reading books could prove to be beneficial.”

WORDS: 195

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1608/160810-reading-2.html

VOCABULARY: lifestyles, habits, journal, gender, survival, redirect

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 like to read? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think reading is important to learn a language? Why or why not?
  4. Which do you prefer to read more: books, magazines, or newspapers? Why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Who performed the study?
  2. The study suggests books, magazines, and newspapers help the same. (T or F)
  3. How old were the people involved in the study?
  4. People who are already old will not benefit from reading. (T or F)
  5. What’s the average amount of time a person over 65 watches TV each day?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • could help us (P1)
  • keeps the mind active (P1)
  • people were at least 50m years old (P1)
  • 17 percent less likely to die (P2)
  • showed the survival advantage (P2)

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Image source: Alamy https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/08/book-up-for-a-longer-life-readers-die-later-study-finds

Man Late for His Flight Chases Plane Across Tarmac

[People ★★]

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(P1) Look, no one wants to miss their flight, but sometimes you just have to deal with it. The Guardian reports a man was late for his flight from Madrid to the Canary Islands on Friday. Instead of giving up, he ducked out a fire escape and chased a Ryanair plane down the tarmac.

(P2) The whole thing was caught on video and posted on Facebook. Workers stopped the man before catching the plane, which was actually the wrong one. He still somehow managed to get onto his flight, according to CNN. He was arrested upon landing in the Canary Islands.

WORDS: 99

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/229403/video-man-late-for-his-flight-chases-plane-across-tarmac.html

VOCABULARY: giving up, ducked, fire escape, tarmac, catching, somehow, arrested

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 this man is crazy? Why or why not?
  3. What would you do if you were late for a flight?
  4. Do you think he should have been arrested on the tarmac? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Where did the man travel to?
  2. How did the man get on the runway?
  3. What is the name of the airline he was flying on?
  4. He was caught by the police. (T or F)
  5. When was he arrested?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • have to deal with it (P1)
  • caught on video (P2)
  • the wrong one (P2)
  • onto his flight (P2)
  • upon landing (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: Facebook https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/1577466/incredible-moment-ryanair-passenger-runs-across-tarmac-at-madrid-airport-to-try-and-catch-his-flight/

Lava Goes to the sea

[World News ★★]

ocean_entry_blog_0076

(P1) This spectacular footage filmed from a helicopter shows red-hot lava meeting the sea.

(P2) The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii has been erupting for the past two months. The molten rock has now traveled six miles to the Pacific Ocean.

(P3) Officials there say that the lava isn’t putting towns in danger but have warned tourists to keep their distance. Despite this warning, people could be seen near the flow, taking pictures and watching the spectacle.

WORDS: 73

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/lava-goes-to-the-sea-level-3/

VOCABULARY: spectacular, erupting, molten, warned, despite, spectacle

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 take pictures and watch the spectacle? Why or why not?
  3. Have you ever been to Hawaii? If yes, tell me about it. If no, would you like to go?
  4. Would you like to fly in a helicopter? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Where were the scenes of the lava filmed from?
  2. Where is the lava going?
  3. What’s the name of the volcano?
  4. The local towns are at risk. (T or F)
  5. People were told not to stay away from the area. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • red-hot lava meeting the sea (P1)
  • for the past two months (P2)
  • has now traveled six miles (P2)
  • isn’t putting towns in danger (P3)
  • people could be seen near the flow (P3)

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Image source: by “unknown”  http://cdn.rsvlts.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Hawaiian-Lava-Flow-36-930×620.jpg

Rio Olympics medal predictions

[Sports ★★]

2016-rio-olympics759-1

(P1) A bank stopped looking at the world’s economy. It predicted how many medals countries would win at the Rio Olympics. There are no real surprises. Most people know the USA and China will win the most. The bank said Great Britain will finish third. It also thinks India will win just one gold medal.

(P2) There is good news for Brazil. The bank thinks Brazil will win five gold medals. This would be Brazil’s highest ever number. The Olympics will be good for Brazil. Thousands of athletes and visitors will come. They will get into the Olympic spirit. This will help the Brazilian economy. The Rio Olympics will be one of the best.

WORDS: 112

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1608/160804-rio-olympics-0.html

VOCABULARY: economy, predicted, finish, ever, spirit

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 like to watch the Olympics? Why or why not?
  3. Which country do you think will win the most medals? Why?
  4. How many medals do you think your country will win? Why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What did the bank forecast?
  2. Who is predicted to come in 3rd place?
  3. How many gold medals is India forecasted to win?
  4. Brazil is predicted to win 5 silver medals. (T or F)
  5. How many athletes and visitors will be in Rio for the Olympics?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • no real surprises (P1)
  • win the most (P1)
  • just one gold medal (P1)
  • highest ever number (P2)
  • will get into the Olympic spirit (P2)

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Image source: Credit: Mehdi Sepahvand https://www.theodysseyonline.com/13-olympic-athletes-to-watch-in-rio-2016

Minion attacks

[Entertainment ★]

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Minions were first introduced in the movie “Despicable Me” five years ago. Now, they have their own film.

People put a 12-meter tall inflatable Minion in North Dublin. It blew onto a busy road and brought the traffic to a standstill. Thankfully, nobody was injured in the Minion attack.

WORDS: 49

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/tourist-bus-on-fire-level-1/

VOCABULARY: introduced, despicable, inflatable, blew, standstill, injured

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 like to watch movies? Why or why not?
  3. Do you want to see the Minion movie? Why or why not?
  4. Are Minions popular in your country? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Minions first appeared in their own movie 5 years ago. (T or F)
  2. How high is the Minion?
  3. Where does this event take place?
  4. The accident caused a traffic jam. (T or F)
  5. How many people were hurt?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • were first introduced (P1)
  • five years ago (P1)
  • 12-meter tall (P2)
  • nobody was injured (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by “unknown” http://www.foxla.com/news/8685988-story