Nuclear Energy Explained – How does it work? – Listening activity

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.

For teachers:

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.

VOCABULARY

  • Frustrating: making you feel annoyed or less confident because you cannot achieve what you want.
    Ex. It’s frustrating when 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 dazzling career.

  • 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.

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    Image source
  •  On the brink of: extremely close to.
    Ex. Eagleton is on the brink of an epic financial disaster.

  •  Turbine: an engine that has a part with blades that are caused to spin by pressure from water, steam, or air.
  • To threaten:  to be likely to harm or destroy something.
    Ex. Difficulties experienced by an individual institution may affect other banks in a way which could threaten the banking system as a whole.

  •  Drawn-out: continuing for or taking a long time.

    Ex. The network doesn’t want a long, drawn-out trial.

Downloadable PDF version: VOCABULARY – Nuclear Energy Explained

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?

Downloadable PDF version (Questions): NUCLEAR ENERGY EXPLAINED – Questions

Downloadable PDF version (Answers): NUCLEAR ENERGY EXPLAINED – Answers


 

 

Frenemy – English Slang

Have you ever been betrayed by a friend? It happened to me in the past and I must say, it’s pretty awful! Unfortunately, it’s something common and there are several ways to refer to this kind of people:

frenemy meaning - English vocabulary slang- Free English Materials For You - femfy (1).jpg

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Example sentences from the web:

  • “What do you think about frenemies?”
    “I say, keep your friends close, and your frenemies closer.”
  • Zack is John’s frenemy. They get a long in the office but both of them work on internal competing teams.
  • Gwyneth had a frenemy once and was troubled at the joy she felt when thisperson suffered a terrible public humiliation.

“Frenemy” on the Web: How to Deal With Frenemies

P.S.: I’m sure you got it, but if you didn’t … This term is a combination of the words “friend” and “enemy” ;-).

 

 

Survival Kit for English Learners PART #2

This is the 2nd part of theSurvival Kitfor English Language Learners. Many students want to practice English, but it’s difficult for them to find someone willing to talk with them in English. There are several websites online where you can look for English speakers willing to talk with you and learn your language while helping you improving your English skills. Furthermore, there are WhatsApp groups. I will try to narrow them down to 5.

1. PALTALK

paltalk language exchange online speak English

You have to download it, but you don’t have to pay anything.

Once opened, it looks like this:

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As you can see, you can either create a new room or join one. For instance, by clicking “What’s hot” I’ve found a chat room called “English practice room for people around the world”, probably a useful one ;-). Paltalk is very easy to use.

What else … It’s possible to video chat, but it’s not mandatory. If you’re shy or you’re not up to a video chat, just turn off the webcam.

Link: http://www.paltalk.com/

2. ITALKI: Learn a Language Online

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 Watch this video and see how it works:

On Italki you can find Native English Speakers willing to learn your language (the Language Exchange feature is free).

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On Italki, you can also read interesting articles, discuss with other people interesting topics, and with Notebook you can improve your writing skills:

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Link: https://www.italki.com/

3. MY LANGUAGE EXCHANGE

My Language Exchange.png

For example, I’ve looked for native English speakers who want to learn Italian. As you can see, there are more than 60000 people willing to speak English with me while learning Italian:

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Link: https://www.mylanguageexchange.com/

4. MY ENGLISH TEACHER

On this website, you can find people to practice English with (on Skype or on WhatsApp), useful tips and resources.

My English Teacher WhatsApp group and Skype

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Link for WhatsApp: http://www.myenglishteacher.eu/question/does-anybody-want-to-practice-english-on-whatsapp/

Link for Skype: http://www.myenglishteacher.eu/question/practice-english-on-skype-for-free/

5. BUSUU

This is probably one of the most famous Language Exchange Websites, not all the features are for free, but you can get corrections from native speakers, writing exercises, and flashcards for free.

Busuu.png

Link: https://www.busuu.com/

 

Straightforward – What does it mean?

straightforward meaning - English vocabulary - Free English Materials For You - femfy.jpg

Visual thesaurus:

Synonyms of straightforward visual map

source

Example sentences from the web:

  • David is a straightforward guy; he always says what he thinks. 
  • Our divorce settlement was very straightforward.
  • You know, I just want some normal, straightforward family life.

 

“To rain on someone’s parade” – English idiom

Meaning => to disappoint or discourage someone.

 

Examples:

rain on someone's parade meaning English idiom Free English Materials For You.png

  • “Listen, I hate to rain on the fun parade but has anyone heard from the National Committee?”
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people only rain on your parade.jpg

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Don’t Rain On My Parade – Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl)

 

Don’t tell me not to live
Just sit and putter
Life’s candy and the sun’s
A ball of butter
Don’t bring around a cloud
To rain on my parade
Don’t tell me not to fly
I’ve simply got to

If someone takes a spill
It’s me and not you
Who told you you’re allowed
To rain on my parade!
I’ll march my band out
I’ll beat my drum
And if I’m fanned out
Your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn’t fake it

Hat, sir, I guess I didn’t make it!
But whether I’m the rose
Of sheer perfection
Or freckle on the nose
Of life’s complexion
The cinder or the shiny apple of its eye
I gotta fly once
I gotta try once
Only can die once, right, sir?

Ooh, life is juicy
Juicy, and you see
I gotta have my bite, sir!
Get ready for me, love
Cause I’m a “comer”
I simply gotta march
My heart’s a drummer
Don’t bring around a cloud
To rain on my parade!

I’m gonna live and live now
Get what I want, I know how
One roll for the whole shebang
One throw, that bell will go clang
Eye on the target, and wham
One shot, one gun shot, and bam
Hey, Mister Arnstein, here I am!

I’ll march my band out
I’m beating my drum
And if I’m fanned out
Your turn at bat, sir
At least I didn’t fake it
Hat, sir, I guess I didn’t make it

Get ready for me, love
‘Cause I’m a “comer”
I simply gotta march
My heart’s a drummer
Nobody, no, nobody
Is gonna rain on my parade!

Click here if you want to know the origin of this idiom: Know Your Phrase

 

A watched pot never boils – English proverb

a watched pot never boils meaning - English proverb- Free English Materials For You - femfy.jpg

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Example sentences from the web:

  •  Whoever said “a watched pot never boils” obviously didn’t own a microwave.
  • Jane was nine months pregnant and Tom hovered over her anxiously. She said, “You might as well go away and play some golf. A watched pot never boils, you know!”
  • There’s no point sitting by the phone waiting for it to ring. A watched pot never boils.

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