Reading comprehension : “Ladakh’s tourism boom is slowly changing the age-old way of life in a corner of the Indian Himalayas” — Quartz

I suggest that you check the vocabulary list before reading the article😉. If the article is too difficult for you, you can also use Rewordify to read a simpler version of it. 


NESTLED: to be located in a position that is protected, sheltered or partly hidden.
Ex. And while the compound, nestled on the remote shores of Lake Nipissing, was his entire world.

DISPOSABLE: made to be used once or only a few times.

INCOME: money that is earned from doing work or received for investments. 

INCREASINGLY: more and more all the time.
Ex. Global warming is an increasingly serious threat.

TO FLOCK: to gather or move together somewhere in large numbers.
Ex. The people that flocked to that motorcycle to help him get a chance of doing the Grand Prix, they saw that he was something special.

PROLIFERATION: to increase a lot and suddenly in number.
Ex. Gun proliferation is a global problem.

PACKAGE TOUR: a group of services related to travel or vacations that are sold together for one price.

FIGURE: a number representing a particular amount, especially one given in official information.

TO FATHOM: to come to understand.
Ex. I thought I had a lifetime to fathom the secrets in your eyes.

WINDSWEPT: not protected from strong winds.


TO PERMEATE: to spread to every part of an object or a place.
Ex. The water permeated the sand. 

GREEDY: having or wanting a lot more money, food, etc. than you need.


HERDER: a person who take care of a large group of animals of the same type.


SUBSIDY: money that is paid usually by a government to keep the price of a product or service low or to help a business or organization to continue to function.
Ex. The federal government gives us a subsidy for each person that completes the training.

Nestled high up in the Indian Himalayas, Ladakh was first opened up to tourists only in 1974. That year, just 527 visitors made the trip; of these, only 27 were from India. But in recent years, with rising disposable incomes and a growing interest in travel, Indians are increasingly flocking to the region’s high-altitude villages,…

via Ladakh’s tourism boom is slowly changing the age-old way of life in a corner of the Indian Himalayas — Quartz

Read the article, then answer the following questions (write your answers below):

  1. How many Indian tourists visited Ladakh in 1974?
  2. More and more Indian tourists are visiting the Indian Himalayas villages recently. What are the reasons?
  3. What are the consequences of the tourism rapid growth?
  4. What kind of crop is Tashi Pgrowing on her farm?
  5. What’s Tashi’s opinion about the tourism boom?
  6. What’s Phunchok Angmo’s profession? How has this boom affected the population according to her?
  7. What are the benefits of this economic growth?
  8. What’s your opinion?

Comprehension : Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”

Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” 


BOW:    bow.png

DAYCARE: a place, program, or organization that takes care of children or sick adults during the day usually while their family members are at work.

SCREENING: the testing or examining of a large number of people or things for disease, faults, etc.

PROBING: to ask a lot of questions in order to find secret or hidden information about someone or something.

LOUSE (Plural => LICE): a type of small insect that lives on the bodies of people or animals.

CHILD SEAT: sense-of-touch-clipart-clipart-panda-free-clipart-images-y0mofy-clipart.png

TODDLER: a child who has only recently learnt to walk.

Watch the video then answer the following questions:

  1. Before entering, Maggie tried to catch:
    – a ladybug
    – a butterfly
    – a dragonfly
  2. Marge has left Maggie at the daycare. How was she feeling in that moment:
    – scared
    – happy
    – bored
  3. What did Maggie leave in the box?
    – a ball, a set of keys, and a pacifier.
    – a set of keys, a doll, and a pencil.
    – a set of keys, a pacifier, and a blue bow.
  4. Did Maggie end up in the gifted area?
    – Yes, she did.
    – No, she didn’t.
  5. Maggie tried to get some paints, what colours did she get?
    – yellow and black
    – brown and white
    – grey and black
  6. Another toddler scared her. He was hitting butterflies with
    – a box
    – a hammer
    – his hand
  7. Maggie tried to save:
    – a warm
    – a snake
    – a caterpillar
  8. The scary child was chasing Maggie. What did stop him at first?
    – a teacher
    – a toy train
    – an animal
  9. What did Maggie try to do right after that?
    – to use the telephone
    – to hide from the scary child
    – to hit the other child
  10. In the room full of children on their walkers, what did Maggy break?
    – a window
    – a balloon
    – a vase
  11. Who was playing the drums?
    – a child
    – a bear
    – a monkey
  12. How did Maggie manage to save the butterfly?
    – she put the butterfly in her pocket
    – she swapped the butterfly with her blue bow.
    – she threw the butterfly out of the window

PDF version: maggie-simpson-in-the-longest-daycare-comprehension-free-english-materials-for-you

Answers: maggie-simpson-in-the-longest-daycare-answers

Listening Activity based on the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’s video –“EXPLORING THE OCEAN FOR SIXTY YEARS – BEST JOB EVER” by Sylvia Earle

Complete the following sentences with the correct words:

  1. Even if you_______________________ (to see- never) the ocean or touch the ocean touches you.
  2. Every breath you take, every ______________ of water you drink it’s the ocean.
  3. For me ___________________ (to be) a biologist just ____________________ (to follow) my heart ____________________ (to lead) me to some fascinating places.
  4. As a scientist I love nothing more than being an explorer ____________________ (to discover) the nature of life itself, that sense of eureka.
  5. It’s a wonderful passport _______________ the ocean.
  6. We are just beginning to assess the magnitude of out ignorance and at the same time that we’re learning more, we’re also discovering how much we_________________________ (to lose).
  7. How do you save the ocean? You find others who __________________ (to have) a similar goal.
  8. All of us depend on these _______________________ and they’re incredibly …. In some ways they’re incredibly ______________________ if we do the right thing but they’re also …
  9. It’s a magical sight that endless horizon that just _____________________ (to stretch) out to blue infinity.
  10. You jump in the ocean and there you find ___________________________.

PDF version:listening-activity-exploring-the-ocean-for-sixty-years-freeenglishmaterialsforyou

Answers: listening-activity-exploring-the-ocean-for-sixty-years-answers-freeenglishmaterialsforyou

Listening activity -What’s the big deal with gluten? by William D. Chey – TED-Ed

Yesterday, I came across this Ted-Ed video and I found it quite informative. It’s just 5 minutes long and it isn’t difficult to understand. As you can guess reading the heading, it’s about GLUTEN, allergies, and intolerances. On Ted-Ed‘s website, you can find other listening activities on the video. 

Below a vocabulary list you should read before watching the video:


Image source

BIG DEAL: something that is very important.
Ex. This was a really big deal for me.

RECENTLY: not long ago
Ex. I received a letter from her recently.

DIETARY: related to your diet.
Ex. This kind of dietary behaviour needs to be stopped immediately.

CRAZE: an activity, object or idea that is very popular for a short time.
Ex. The new dance craze is spreading.

INSOLUBLE: not able to be dissolved in a liquid.

DOUGH: flour mixed with water, and other ingredients that is baked to make bread, cookies, etc.

TO MOUNT: to activate; to launch.

MILD: not strong in action or effect.
Ex. Your friend had a mild heart attack.

TO IMPAIR: to make something weaker or worse.
Ex. Smoking can impair your health.

RASH: a lot of small red spots on the skin that is caused by an illness or a reaction to something.

FORTUITOUS: happening by chance; not planned.
Ex. My presence here is fortuitous.

PDF version: what-is-the-big-deal-with-gluten-vocabulary

Fill in the gaps in the following sentences:

  1. Maybe you’ve recently seen the phrase “gluten-free” on food ________________, or take-out menus, shampoo bottles, apartment listings, the _______________of your shirt, on a hammer, as a lower back tattoo, or in your friend’s resume.
  2. Next time someone starts telling you about their newfound freedom from gluten, here are some questions you can ask, and the _________________ answers that your friend, being a reasonable individual making educated _________________choices, and by no means just following the latest diet _________________, will tell you.
  3. What is gluten? Gluten is an insoluble protein composite _________________ of two proteins named gliadin and glutenin.
  4. Gluten is found in certain grains, particularly wheat, rye and _______________ .
  5. Gluten is responsible for the elastic consistency of and the chewiness of _______________ foods made from wheat flour, like bread and pasta.
  6. For some people, these foods cause problems, namely wheat allergy, celiac _________________, and non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
  7. Wheat allergy is an uncommon _________________ that occurs when a person’s immune system _________________an allergic response to wheat proteins, leading to mild problems, and in rare cases, a potential dangerous reaction called anaphylaxis.
  8. Celiac disease is an _________________ disease, in which eating foods with gluten leads to inflammation and damage of the lining of the small intestine.
  9. This impairs intestinal function, _________________ to problems like belly pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, weight loss, skin _________________, bone problems like osteoporosis, iron deficiency, small stature, infertility, fatigue and depression.
  10. Celiac disease is present in one in every 100 to ____________persons in the U.S.
  11. The most effective _________________ is a gluten-free diet, which helps heal intestinal damage and improve symptoms.
  12. Gluten sensitivity’s _________________ in the general population is unclear, but likely much more common than wheat allergy or celiac disease.
  13. For example, it may be the case that gluten can activate the immune system in the small intestine, or cause it to become _________________.
  14. The human intestine can’t _________________ or absorb fructans, so they make their way to the large intestine or colon, where they’re fermented by bacteria, producing short-chain fatty acids and gases.
  15. Another possible explanation behind gluten sensitivity is the ________________ effect.  This occurs when a person believes something will cause problems, and because of that belief, it does. It’s the opposite of the more well-known and much more ____________________ placebo effect.
  16. So a better name than non-celiac gluten___________________might be wheat _____________________.

PDF version: whats-the-big-deal-with-gluten-fill-in-the-gaps-without-answers

Answers: what-is-the-big-deal-with-gluten-answers


Get along


More example sentences:

  • I don’t get along with Sebastian, we have nothing in common!
  • The reason you don’t get along is because you have different values.
  • I like her so much! We are getting along well.

Another meaning of ‘TO GET ALONG’ is ‘to manage’, ‘to cope’, ‘to make progress while doing something’.

Example sentences:

  • I’m not getting along well with my schoolwork. I need to work harder.
  • How are you getting along with your work?
  • I just can’t get along without a secretary.




8 Practical ways to help refugees – Reading comprehension

An interesting article on how to help refugees by Melissa Fleming and published on IDEAS.TED.COM . Are you doing something in order to help refugees? If you have other ideas, share them in the comments below.

I’m teaching them Italian
and I hope I’ll be able to help them in this way. I find it both rewarding and informative. It’s fascinating getting to know them and their stories, helping them integrating with locals.

Here a vocabulary list for making it easier for you to read the article 8 practical ways to help refugees:

  • To show up: to arrive where you have arranged to meet somebody or do something. 
  • To take notice: to give attention to something. 
  • Steadily: happening or developing in a continuous and usually gradual way. 
  • Drifted: moved slowly, especially as a result of outside forces, with no control over direction. 
  • Stranded: left in a place without a way of leaving. 
  • To thrive: to flourish; to become, and continue to be, successful, strong, healthy, etc.

  • To exacerbate: to make something worse. 
  • Shunned: to ignore someone and not speak to that person because you cannot accept their behaviour, beliefs, etc. 
  • To exploit: to treat a person or situation as an opportunity to gain an advantage for yourself. 
  • Outpouring: an expression of strong feeling that is difficult to control. 
  • To enrol: to arrange for yourself or for somebody else to officially join a course, school, etc. 
  • Raffle: an activity in which people buy tickets with different numbers, some of which are later chosen to win prizes, that is organised in order to make money for a good social purpose.

Read the article, then try to answer the questions below it:

Melissa Fleming of the UN’s Refugee Agency shares some ways to help refugees right now.

When a million refugees showed up in Europe this past year, the world began to take notice of a problem that has been steadily growing before our eyes. Ten years ago, 38 million people had been driven from their homes because of war or persecution; right now that number stands at over 65 million. That’s equivalent to the population of France … drifting, stranded, with little hope of returning home, and few chances to thrive in neighboring countries.

In Europe, the lack of a unified system to manage the influx of refugees and migrants is exacerbating the problem. People are either welcomed or shunned. They can face fences of barbed wire or cheer locals. Around 50,000 people are stranded in Greece, waiting to be relocated to other European countries or sent back home.

On the streets of European cities, I have seen both remarkable generosity and irrational fear. People carry signs with the slogan “Refugees Welcome”; others set asylum homes on fire. While many push for values of tolerance and openness, others are full of fear, afraid of the arrival of so many people from a different continent, with different religions and cultures. Opportunistic right-wing politicians exploit these fears to make gains in elections.

People often ask me what they can do to help. It’s certainly possible to do small, practical but meaningful things to combat the feeling of helplessness that can all too easily become paralyzing. Already, I’ve been struck by the overwhelming outpouring of meaningful acts of kindness by individuals, local charities, religious groups and students who have made their way to borders and train stations to help arriving refugees and migrants (check out the inspiring work done by a team on Lesbos to coordinate efforts to greet the 5,000 refugees arriving on the Greek island every day). Their message is clear: they stand for a Europe that offers refuge to victims of war and compassion for those who are seeking a better life.

Click here to keep reading the article:

Answer the following questions:

  1. A decade ago, 38 million people had been forced to leave their homes, for what reasons?
  2. Is Europe having issues in managing refugees and migrants?
  3. Why are some people scared of refugees?
  4. What are the 8 possible ways to help refugees suggested by Melissa Fleming?
  5. Where did the refugees Welcome Initiative start?
  6. How many entrepreneurs started a catering company with refugees chef in France?
  7. Someone started a football team for refugees and migrants, in what country?
  8. What did the What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge do?
  9. What’s doing the organisation United Invitations?
  10. What Universities offered funds and scholarships to refugees worldwide?
  11. Do you have other ideas for helping refugees? 




Get rid of


‘Get rid of’ is an INSEPARABLE phrasal verb.

Example sentences:

  • She’s trying to get rid of us.
  • I can’t get rid of my phone until John calls.
  • I just can’t bring myself to get rid of this old dress because it has so many good memories attached to it.