Yesterday I watched this interesting video by National Geographic on Halloween so I decided to share it with you. As always you’ll find a vocabulary list below and a comprehension activity. I hope you’ll enjoy it :-).
COMMUNION (with somebody/something): the state of sharing or exchanging thoughts and feelings; the feeling of being part of something.
Ex. Many people who live in close communion with nature are superstitious.
PRANK: a trick that is done to someone usually as a joke.
Ex. Jackie’s pranks were starting to annoy her colleagues.
PATCHWORK: a thing that is made up of many different pieces or parts.
Ex. So the world is this complex patchwork of regions.
OCCULT: magic or supernatural.
TO STITCH WITH: to make (something) out of many different things
Ex. They stitched red and blue ribbons onto their hats.
TO SPAN: to last for a particular period of time, especially a long period.
Ex. His career spanned half a century.
TO SPREAD: to cover, or to make something cover, a larger and larger area.
Ex. The European flu continues to spread throughout the UK.
VEIL: something that covers or hides something else.
TO GATHER: to bring (things or people) together into a group.
Ex. The children gathered their toys (together) and put them away.
TO FROWN ON SOMEBODY/SOMETHING: to disapprove of somebody/something.
Ex. The company frowns on dating among employees.
TO MERGE: to combine or make two or more things combine to form a single thing.
Ex. He has plans to merge his own company with anotherone.
DECEASED: dead; no longer living.
THE FOLD:a group of people with whom you feel you belong or who share the same ideas or beliefs.
Ex. We are hoping that these policies will bring reluctant voters back to the fold.
FAMINE: a situation in which many people do not have enough food to eat.
EXTORTION: the crime of making somebody give you something by threatening them.
BRIBE: something valuable (such as money) that is given in order to get someone to do something.
An interesting article on how to help refugees by Melissa Fleming and published onIDEAS.TED.COM . Are you doing something in order to help refugees? If you have other ideas, share them in the comments below.
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.
I’m sorry I haven’t been sharing resources for a while, but I’ve been very busy lately. This is a listening activity based on the video ‘ART/ARCHITECTURE – Andrea Palladio’ by The School of Life. I suggest that you read the vocabulary list before watching the video. If you want to test your listening skills, try the fill in the gaps exercise below the video, you can also download a printable pdf version.
• Located: Something or someone that is located in a specified place is in or at that place. Ex. Our target is located somewhere on the second level.
• Stonemason: a person whose job is cutting and preparing stone for buildings.
• Stonecutter/ stone carver: a person who cuts or carves stone.
• A handful (of somebody/something): a small number of people or things. Ex. We’ve got a handful of professional soldiers like myself.
• Setback: an unanticipated or sudden check in progress; a change from better to worse. Ex. There has been a slight setback in our plans.
• To emerge: to appear by coming out of something or out from behind something. Ex. A mole emerged from a hole in the ground.
• Virtue: a good moral quality in a person, or the general quality of being morally good. Ex. Patience is a virtue.
• Dignity: calm, serious, and controlled behaviour that makes people respect you. Ex. Try to maintain your dignity, no matter what they call you.
• To line up: to form a line; to put into a proper and systematic order. Ex. They will all have to line up behind you.
• Unworthy: lacking merit or value. Ex. This Tosk is unworthy of such a noble description.
• Barn: a large building on a farm where animals, crops, or machines are kept.
• Stable: a building where horses or farm animals are kept.
• To disguise: to change the usual appearance, sound, taste, etc., of (someone or something) so that people will not recognize that person or thing. Ex. And I’ve configured the shields to disguise our visual profile.
• Utilitarian: designed for use rather than beauty. Ex. Their furniture was very plain and utilitarian.
• To compensate: to provide something good as a balance against something bad or undesirable. Ex. Nothing will ever compensate for his lost childhood.
• Collected: calm and in control of your emotions. Ex. Even in a life-threatening situation, the captain of the ship was collected.
• Poised: showing very calm and controlled behavior. Ex. Try to be more poised and confident.
• Reliably: in a way that you can trust to be accurate. Ex. Moreover, following this method would require significant adjustments which cannot be reliably quantified.
• Distinguished: characterized by excellence or distinction; eminent. Ex. You’re a government major, inspired by your distinguished aunt.
• Cement: a fine grey powder made of a mixture of calcined limestone and clay, used with water and sand to make mortar, or with water, sand, and aggregate, to make concrete.
• Harmonious: having a pleasant tune or harmony. Ex. It will become a harmonious eco-friendly space.
• Resonated: to continue to have a powerful effect or value. Ex. Her speech resonated with voters.
• Underlying: used to identify the idea, cause, problem, etc., that forms the basis of something. Ex. Insomnia may represent an underlying physical or psychiatric disorder.
• Advocate: a person who upholds or defends a cause; supporter. Ex. The European Parliament has always been an advocate of inland navigation.
Video made by In a Nutshell, a Munich-based YouTube channel, and design studio.
In my opinion, this is a very informative channel, great for English students and teachers. This is why I suggest that you check it out: In a Nutshell.
The video I picked for today’s lesson is about nuclear energy and it’s the first of a trilogy. It won’t take you long to watch it since it lasts about 5 minutes. As always, you should read the vocabulary list before watching the video. After that, you can test your listening comprehension answering some questions.
Before watching the video, I suggest that you ask your students what do they know about Nuclear Energy and what do they think are the pros and cons of it. Are they against or for nuclear energy? Can they justify their answer? Ask them to write down their reasons and if you have enough time, made a mind map with all the pros and cons.
Frustrating: making you feel annoyed or less confident because you cannot achieve what you want. Ex. It’s frustratingwhen you’re not on the same page.
Get/come to grips with something: to start to deal with a problem, situation, or job that you have to do. Ex. We need to get to grips with our different world views.
Spin-off:something useful that results from work done to produce something else. Ex. The World Summit on the Information Society produced valuable results; it also had a spin-off, a focusing effect.
On your feet:in a good position or condition.
Ex. Experts say the economy should be back on its feet any year now.
Hangover: a letdown, as after a period of excitement.
Ex. The students hadn’t recovered from their summer break hangover yet and did terribly on their first test.
To stick with something: to continue to do or use something, and not change it.
Ex. If you’ve found something that makes you happy, you should stick with it.
To skyrocket: to increase quickly to a very high level or amount.
Ex. Housing prices have skyrocketed in recent months.
Dazzling:very attractive or exciting.
Ex. The actor has had a dazzlingcareer.
Pace: the speed at which something happens.
Ex. Since the elections of 1998, the pace of reform has been impressive.
Underdog: in a competition, the person or team considered to be the weakest and the least likely to win.
Ex. It was a surprise to everyone when the underdog won the match.
Nuclear fission: a process in which the nucleus of a heavy atom is split apart.
After watching the video, try to answer the following questions:
1. What did private companies think about nuclear power? 2. When did nuclear power’s success finally come? 3. What were the advantages of the light water reactor? 4. What does a water reactor do? 5. Is the water reactor the safest one? 6. What happened in 1979?
7. When did the Chernobyl catastrophe take place?
8. What’s the situation today?
GENOCIDE: the deliberate killing of people who belong to a particular racial, political, or cultural group.
MUNDANE: common; ordinary; banal; unimaginative. Ex. Mundane matters such as paying bills and shopping for food do not interest her.
ABOUT + INFINITIVE: very close to doing something. Ex. The chorus is about to sing.
TO RECOVER: to get back something lost or spent. Ex. We have to recover the stolen watch.
GRAVE: a hole in the ground for burying a dead body.
CIVILIAN: a person who is not a member of the police or the armed forces. Ex. What is more, bombs have been directed at civilian targets, in flagrant violation of the international humanitarian law.
FORENSICS: the study or science of solving crimes by using scientific knowledge or methods.
TOWARDS: in the direction of. Ex. The bus is heading towards town.
REMNANT: the part of something that is left when the other parts are gone.
TO FADE: to (cause to) lose colour, brightness, or strength gradually. Ex. These dreams of yours fade like smoke.
EVIDENCE:material that is presented to a court of law to help find the truth about something.
OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND: The idea that something is easily forgotten or dismissed as unimportant if it is not in our direct view.
UNBIASED: fair; impartial. Ex. By all accounts, Mr. Smith appears to be an unbiased expert in his field.
AWARENESS: knowledge that something exists, or understanding of a situation or subject at the present time based on information or experience. Ex. To do this requires considerable awareness and commitment.
TO DECAY: to become decomposed; rot; to deteriorate. Ex. The bodies buried in the fine ash slowly decayed.
Fill in the gaps in the following sentences with the correct words from the box
1. These are simple objects: clocks, keys, ________________, glasses. 2. We are all familiar with these ________________, everyday objects. 3. The fact that some of the ________________ carried personal ________________ such as toothpaste and a toothbrush is a clear sign they had no idea what was about to happen to them. 4. These items have been recovered from numerous mass ________________ across my homeland, and as we speak, forensics are ________________bodies from newly discovered mass graves, 20 years after the war. 5. During the four years of conflict that devastated the Bosnian nation in the early ’90s, approximately 30,000 citizens, mainly ________________, went missing, presumed killed, and another 100,000 were killed during combat operations. 6. Most of them were killed either in the early days of the war or________________the end of the hostilities, when U.N. safe zones like Srebrenica fell into the hands of the Serb army. 7. The international criminal tribunal delivered a number of sentences for crimes against humanity and ________________. 8. Genocide is not only about the killing; it is about the denied ________________. 9. These items are ________________ from numerous mass graves, and the main goal of this collection of the items is a unique process of ________________ those who disappeared in the killings, the first act of genocide on European soil since the Holocaust. 10. Thousands of artifacts are packed in white plastic ________________ just like the ones you see on CSI. These objects are used as a forensic tool in visual identification of the victims, but they are also used as very valuable forensic ________________ in the ongoing war crimes trials. 11. Once the ________________ and doctors and lawyers are done with these objects, they become orphans of the narrative. Many of them get destroyed, believe it or not, or they get simply shelved, out of sight and out of ________________. 12. Once all the missing persons are identified, only ________________ bodies in their graves and these everyday items will remain.
The building shall be declared a historic landmark.
Everyone wants to visit The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building, Grand Central Terminal and the Brooklyn Bridge as famous, and historic, New York City landmarks.
Over the years, however, newer NYC landmarks have become must-see tourist destinations, such as the National September 11 Memorial, Apollo Theater,and the East Village/Lower East Side Historic District. (Source)