HIGHER EDUCATION – Listening activity

This video is hilarious but at the same time, it reveals a view of our times that I find realistic. It is about the amount of money people spend in order to get an education. They feel it is essential because “What kind of job can you get without a proper education, without a degree?”

It is true, in most cases, you will end up unemployed, with a loan to pay out and frustrated. But then, it is up to you. If you are a creative and brilliant person, you will find a way to make a use of the knowledge you acquired, the education you paid for. You cannot find everything on the Internet. I believe the Internet is like an ocean of information, if you do not know how to swim, if you do not know how to row, you will not go far, you will drown.

Higher education gives you a kind of awareness, it gives you the oars which are vital when you know how to use them. At university you learn critical thinking, you have the possibility to meet like-minded people. Chances are, you will also meet teachers that will not be able to arouse your curiosity, arrogant and with narrow minds, or not able to do their jobs. But if you are lucky, you will meet teachers able to guide you. When you become acquainted with these wise individuals, then it will be worth it and it will change your life.

I agree with this man regarding the amount of money we have to pay in order to get an education which I find excessive too. Education should be free, or at least accessible to those deserving it, those willing to commit to studying hard in order to expand their views, to increase their possibilities. 

Then, there is nothing wrong in deciding not to carry on studying after high school, practical jobs are not useless, quite the contrary. We should have the possibility to decide what is the best option for us, depending on our skills, strengths and aims in life.

If you work hard, you like your job and you find it rewarding, you are lucky, not to be judged because you do not have a degree. Being smart has nothing to do with a certificate, with a piece of paper. 

I suggest that you read the vocabulary list before watching the video. 

HIGHER EDUCATION

VOCABULARY

To declare: to say or state (something) in an official or public way.

Innate: a quality you were born with, not one you have learned.

Dependent: decided or controlled by something else — on or upon.

To achieve: to succeed in finishing something or reaching an aim, especially after a lot of work or effort.

Tuition: the act of teaching something, especially to one person or to people in small groups.

Loan: an amount of money that is given to someone for a period of time with a promise that it will be paid back.

To afford: to be able to buy or do something because you have enough money or time.

Purveyor: a person or business that sells or provides something.

Wisdom: knowledge that is gained by having many experiences in life.

Elder: used to refer to the older of two people (such as a father and son) who have the same name; a person who has authority because of age and experience.

Sage: someone, especially an old man, who is very wise.

To set apart: (phrasal verb, separable) to be a quality that makes (someone or something) better than or different from other people or things — usuallyfrom.

Buggy: a light carriage pulled by a horse. buggy-2027141_1280.png

Hire: to employ someone; to give work or a job to (someone) in exchange for wages or a salary.

Entrepreneur: someone who starts a new business and is willing to risk loss in order to make money.

To let go:  to make someone leave their job.

To lack: to not have something that you need, or not have enough of it.

Prospects: chances of future success.

Interactive fill in the gaps exercise:

https://www.onlineexambuilder.com/verb-tenses-fill-in-the-gaps-exercise/exam-166046

Downloadable PDF (with answers): HIGHER EDUCATION – fill in the gaps exercise

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Comprehension : Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”

Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare” 

VOCABULARY

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

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 
https://www.facebook.com/113824145324888/photos/pcb.1337847106255913/1337846886255935/?type=3&theater
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: http://ideas.ted.com/8-practical-ways-to-help-refugees/

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? 

 

 

 

A brief history of video games (part 1) – Safwat Saleem – video + fill in the gaps exercise

VOCABULARY

  • Interface: a system that is used for operating a computer.

  • To spread: to become known by many people.
    Ex. The news spread quickly.

  • Patent: an official document that gives a person or computer the right to be the only one that makes or sells a product for a certain period of time.

  • Mouthful (US): something said that has a lot of meaning or importance.

  • To wonder: to want to know something or to try to understand the reason for something.
    Ex. I wonder if she’ll call him.

  • Release: the act of making something available to the public.
    Ex. The release of her article for publication is scheduled for tomorrow.

  • Hit: success
    Ex. The song is a hit.

  • To heat up: to increase or become more active or intense.

  • To feature: to include someone or something as an important part.
    Ex. I consider the measures featured in the report to be insufficient.

  • To kick off: to begin, to get started.
    Ex. The game kicks off at 2:00.

  • Milestone: an important event in the development or history of something or in someone’s life.
    Ex. Your poem will be a milestone in the literature of your Country.

  • Damsel in distress (old-fashioned): a young woman who is not married and needs to be rescued.

  • Sales: the number of items sold.

  • Merely: only, just.
    Ex. It was merely a suggestion.

Downloadable PDF file: A brief history of videogames (part 1) – Vocabulary

Here you can watch this video with subtitles: Ted Ed

Fill in the gaps in the following sentences with the correct form of the words from the vocabulary list written above:

  1. In 1972, Bear’s idea to get video games out of the science lab and into the living room led to the _____________ of a game console called Odyssey.

  2. A video game is an electronic game that has an ______________ designed for human interaction on a video device.

  3. Space Invaders also helped ____________ what is known as the Golden Age of Arcade Games.

  4. In fact, the earliest U.S. video game ______________ on record was in 1948, and at the time it was referred to as a cathode-ray tube amusement device. That’s a ______________ !

  5. This all changed when a man named Ralph Baer looked at his television screen and ______________ how else it might be used.

  6. By 1978, competition between Atari and another game company called Midway was _______________.

  7. While arcade games continued to decline in ________________ over the years, the popularity of video games was ________________ beginning […].

  8. By 1980, color came to arcade games, and this was also the year that another video gaming _________________ was born.

  9. It was an immediate ___________________ and it’s credited as the first commercially successful video game.

  10. Video games are used by scientists, the military, and people like you, and their evolution has ________________ across arcades, consoles, computers, smartphones, and all kind of other electronics.

  11. It was released in 1987 and, like Donkey Kong, it ___________________ a _______________________ storyline, a storyline common in many video games.

Downloadable PDF file: A brief history of videogames (part 1) – Fill in the gaps exercise with answers

Answers: 

1) Release; 2) interface; 3) kick off; 4) patent; mouthful; 5) wondered; 6) heating up; 7) sales; merely; 8) milestone; 9) hit; 10) spread; 11) featured; damsel in distress.

 

What is the Zika Virus? – vocabulary, video, and exercises with answers.

I suggest that you read this list of words you may not know before watching the video.

VOCABULARY

To spread : to become larger or to affect a large area.
Ex. The fire spread through the six-storey building via the single staircase which acted as a chimney.

To detect : to discover or ascertain the existence.
Ex. 
Irregularities were detected on seven of the websites.

To break out : if something dangerous or unpleasant breaks out, it suddenly starts.
Ex. 
War broke out in 1914.

To transmit : to give or pass from one person to another; to cause (a virus, disease, etc.) to be given to.
Ex. 
Hepatitis C is a life-threatening viral disease transmitted primarily by blood contact.

To link : to make a connection between two or more things, ideas or people.

Paralysis : a condition in which you can’t move or feel al or part of your body.

Spike : a very high level.

Outbreak : a sudden increase, rise.

Mild : not strong in action or effect.

Vaccine : a substance injected into a person or animal to protect against a particular disease.

Downloadable PDF: What is the Zika Virus – vocabulary

Answer the following questions:

  1. How many people could be affected by Zika virus this year?

  2. Where was it discovered and when?

  3. Where did it break out in 2015?

  4. How is this virus transmitted?

  5. What are some of the effects of Zika virus?

  6. Is there a treatment for this virus?

  7. When could be ready a vaccine against Zika virus?

Fill in the gaps with the correct word from the box.

fill in the gaps

 

  1. Zika virus could _________ tofour million people this year.

  2. It was ____________ in Uganda in the 1940’s.

  3. It ______________ in the Americas and the Caribbean in 2015.

  4. Zika is _______________ through a particular species of mosquito that ______________ mostly in tropical regions.

  5. Zika has been _______________ to paralysis and birth defects.

  6. Officials are now _____________ pregnant women not to travel to places where there is an active Zika ___________.

  7. Officials say finding a vaccine could _____________ to a decade.

Downoadable PDF: What is the Zika Virus – exercises

Downloadable PDF: What is the Zika Virus – correct answers

 

“Stranger in Brașov”- Video with quiz

VOCABULARY:

Lonesome, lonely: sad from being apart from other people.

To set off: to begin a journey

Cement: a soft gray powder that is mixed with water and other substances to make concrete.cement.jpg

To grin: to smile widely.

Cozy: small, comfortable, and warm.

Crochet throws: crochet throws.jpg

To wolf down: (slang) to eat something very rapidly and in very large pieces.

To slip: to move quietly and cautiously.

Feast: a special meal with large amounts of food and drink.

Profusely: given, produced, or existing in large amounts.

Array: a large number, as of persons or objects.

Sinking: anxious.

To stiffen: to become physically tense.

Hasty: done or made very quickly.

Watch the video and answer the questions below:

1.Where did the story take place?
2. How did the old lady receive her unexpected guest?
3. The protagonist met a little girl, who did she think she was?
4. What did they watch on TV?
5. Why did the old woman slip out?
6. What did the old woman cook?
7. How did they communicate?
8. When did the guest understand that they were not her friend’s relatives?
9. What did she do to get out of that embarrassing situation?
10. What was the mistake?

Answers:

1. It took place in Brașov, in Romania.
2. The old lady received her guest with a big grin (smile).
3. She thought she was her friend’s sister.
4. They watched soap operas on TV.
5. The old woman went out to buy food.
6. She made soup, meat, and polenta.
7. They communicated with gestures.
8. She understood she made a mistake while looking at pictures. There weren’t pictures of her friend!
9. To get out of that situation, she said that she had previously booked a room in a hotel.
10. She mixed up the numbers. The right apartment number was 98. 

A STRANGER IN BRASOV – VOCABULARY

A STRANGER IN BRASOV – VIDEO, QUESTIONS, AND ANSWERS

“News in Levels”

I just came across this website and I think it’s amazing. In “News in Levels” -as the title suggests- you can read leveled news articles. This website’s purpose is to help readers master the English language. Thesame news/story is presented in three levels 1 (the easiest), 2 and 3 and there are different sections: news, sport, nature, history, interesting, funny, information, exercises. An online dictionary assist you if you don’t know the meaning of a word.
You can use “News in Levels” if you want to improve your vocabulary skills, comprehension or fluency.

This is the link: http://www.newsinlevels.com/