Two pandas in Vienna

[Animals ★]

71_pandas_giant_panda-wolong-sichuan-china_2150603391-1-200x100

(P1) Only once a year, the mating season for pandas happens. The females are only able to get pregnant for two or three days in a year, which makes getting pregnant difficult.

(P2) In a zoo in Vienna, Austria, two pandas mated a few times, which is a rare event in a zoo. The zoo filmed the act and released the video.

(P3) The length of a panda’s pregnancy is up to 163 days, so the zoo must wait to see if the mating was a success.

WORDS: 84

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/two-pandas-in-vienna-level-2/

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. Have you ever seen a Panda in real life? Where?
  3. Do you like going to zoos? Why or why not?
  4. Do you like animals? If so, which ones?
  5. Do you have zoos in your country? Which cities?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Mating season (P1)
  • Getting pregnant (P1)
  • Filmed the act (P2)
  • Up to (P3)

Cambly Practice Button

Image Source: By Chi King, CC BY 2.0  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pandas!!_(GIANT_PANDA-WOLONG-SICHUAN-CHINA)_(2150603391).jpg

Sleep with sharks

[Travel News ★]

64_caribbean_reef_shark

(P1) Do you use Airbnb? If so, you can win a prize. You can win a stay in a special room. This room is see-through and it is in a tank.

(P2) The tank is ten meters deep in the water. There are 35 sharks in the tank. You can see them very well. The room is in Paris.

WORDS: 57

Source: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/sleep-with-sharks-level-1/

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. Are you afraid of sharks? Why or why not?
  3. Would you stay in this room? Why or why not?
  4. Have you ever won a prize? If so, what did you win?
  5. Do you like to swim in the ocean/sea where sharks live? Why or why not?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Airbnb – app (P1)
  • Ten meters deep (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image Source: By Albert kok – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6699558

Making Hotel Reservation over Phone

Making Hotel Reservation over Phone

person-woman-apple-hotel

For the lowest hotel rates, it is always good idea to call the hotel directly to ask for a discount on the published rates on hotel booking websites. In this lesson, you will learn how to book a hotel by calling in advance. Read the following dialogue out loud with the Cambly tutor:

Receptionist: Good morning. Thank you for calling Hilton Checkers Los Angeles. How can I help you?  
You: Hi, I would like to make a reservation for three nights.
Receptionist: Certainly. When would you like to check in?
You: Do you have any rooms available for December 13th to 15th?
Receptionist: Yes, we do. And you will be checking out on the 15th?
You: Yes.
Receptionist: Okay. Would you like a smoking room or a non-smoking room?
You: Non-smoking, please. By the way, how much are the rooms?
Receptionist: Well, the rates depend on the type of room. For the nights you’ll be staying, we have the Deluxe Executive Suite and a standard room available. The Deluxe Executive Suite is $649, plus tax, per night.
You: Oh wow! How much is the standard room?
Receptionist: The standard room is $233, plus tax, and we have only one left. Would you like to make a reservation for the standard room right now over the phone?
You: Yes, I’d like to book it now.
Receptionist: Fantastic. May I have your name, please?
You: My name is (your name).
Receptionist: Could you spell it out for me?
You: First name (A-A-A-A), last name (A-A-A). 
Receptionist: Great. How will you be paying?
You: Do you take foreign credit cards?
Receptionist: As long as it is Visa, Master Card, or American Express. 
You: Great. 

Receptionist: Can I have your credit card number, please?
You: It’s 1234 5678 9000.
Receptionist: Okay, and what’s the expiration date?
You: The expiry date is August, 2018.
Receptionist: Wonderful. I got you one standard room for December 13th, 14th, and 15th. Your confirmation number is 198723. Will there be anything else today?
You: No, that’s all. Thank you.
Receptionist: You are absolutely welcome. Thank you for choosing Hilton Checkers.

Exercise: Do a quick role play with the tutor.

Expressions to practice:

Checking in at Hotel

In this lesson you will learn how to check in at the front desk when you arrive at your hotel. Read the following dialogue out loud with the Cambly tutor:

Receptionist: Do you have a reservation with us?
You: Yes, we have a reservation under (your last name).
Receptionist: Excellent. How long will you be staying with us?
You: Only for one night. Is it too early to check in now?
Receptionist: I’m afraid you can’t check in until 3:00 pm.
You: That’s okay. Can we leave the luggage here?
Receptionist: Sure, we can keep them for you. Do you know the license plate number of your vehicle?
You: It’s 123456, black Camry.
Receptionist: Perfect.Your room number is 501, and I’ll give you two keys. Complimentary breakfast is serve in the lobby between 8am and 10am. Enjoy the stay here.

Exercise: Do a quick role play with the tutor.

Expressions to practice:

  • Have reservation with (hotel/restaurant)
  • Reservation under (last name)
  • I’m afraid ….
  • Keep something for someone
  • Complimentary breakfast

Getting A Cab from the Airport

Getting A Cab from the Airport

Taxis in different cities in the US have different rules. Make sure to do some research on the different rules applied to your trip. Taking Uber or Lyft would be another option. Read the following dialogue out loud with the tutor.

taxi

Cab driver: Where are you headed to?
You: Please take me to the Time Square.
CD: Do you have a preferred route?
You: Not so much. Whichever is the quickest. Approximately how much would it cost to get there?
CD: From JFK to any location in Manhattan is $52 flat fee plus tolls.
You: I see. Do you accept credit cards?
CD: Unfortunately the card reader is giving me trouble for some reason. Do you have any cash?
You: Do you have change for $100?
CD: In fact, I do.
——-
CD: Do you mind if I drop you off before the light?
You: Can you pull over as you turn the corner?
CD: Sure, no problem.

Exercise: Do a quick role play with the tutor.

Expressions to practice:

  • Take someone to somewhere
  • Have a preferred route
  • How much would it cost
  • flat fee plus tolls
  • Have change for~
  • Drop someone off
  • Pull over somewhere

AT THE U.S. BORDER

AT THE U.S. BORDER

passport

If you’re coming to the United States, the first person you meet on arrival will be an officer of Customs and Border Protection, or CBP. The officer will inspect your passport and documents, so have all your visa paperwork ready.

CBP officers are trained to be on the lookout for people who might be using a tourist visa to gain entry to the United States for illegal purposes or a permanent stay. Here are the most likely questions you’ll have to answer.

What is the purpose of your trip?
(hint) Your answer must match your visa. If you have a tourist visa or visa waiver, you don’t want to say “I’m here to study” or “I am looking for a job here”.

Where will you be staying?
(hint) Giving very generic answers, like “at a hostel” or “with a friend” may raise red flags for the officers. Be prepared to give the name of the hotel you’ll be at, or the address of those you’ll be staying with. Printing a hotel reservation or letter from a family member would be a good idea.

Who will you be visiting?
(hint) You can say family, friends, business partners, or just to travel by yourself. Again, the officer is looking to see that you have clear — and legal — plans.

How long will you be staying? / Do you have your return ticket?
(hint) The officer wants to know that you don’t plan to stay longer than you should. Even if your visa says “multiple entry” or “one year,” they would like to see your return ticket. Have your return ticket printed in hand just in case.

How much money are you bringing?
(hint) The officer wants to know you will be able to cover your expenses in the US.

How often do you come to the United States?
(hint) The officer is looking to see whether you are using nonimmigrant visas as a way of living in the US.
Exercise: Do a quick role play with the tutor to prepare for your answers.

Business dialogue: TPS Reports

Business dialogue: TPS Reports

Dialogue

KevinHey have you gotten a chance to pull together the TPS reports yet?
Dorothy: No I havent heard back from Jim. I dont think he has gotten all the data from the clients yet.
Kevin: Do you need me to reach out to him for you? I could lean on him a bit.
Dorothy: No it’s okay. I’ll ping him later today.
Kevin: Are you still planning on presenting this on Tuesday’s stand-up?
Dorothy: Yeah if I can get it done by then, that would be ideal.
Kevin: Okay I’m happy to sign off on it once I get a chance to review.
Dorothy: Thanks Kevin. Just one more thing: Can you follow up with Susan regarding her analytics. I really need that piece to wrap up the report.
Kevin: That will be tough. Susan’s out on maternity leave, starting yesterday.
Dorothy: Oh, I didn’t know. That’s all right. I’ll pull a late-night tonight and knock it out myself.

Expressions used in the conversation

  • pull together
  • heard back from …
  • reach out to 
  • lean on him
  • ping him
  • stand-up
  • get it done
  • sign off on it
  • wrap up
  • that would be tough
  • maternity leave
  • that’s all right
  • late-night
  • knock it out