New Year’s Resolutions

[Lifestyle ★★★]

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(P1) Many people make resolutions during the New Year. A resolution is a firm decision to do something. The most popular New Year’s resolutions are losing weight, saving money, getting fit, and to stop smoking. About 45% of Americans make one or more resolution every year. However, only 8% of people actually attain their goal.

(P2) There are several ways to help your chances of achieving your resolution. The first way is to be realistic. Setting small goals is much better than trying to make big life changes. 35% of New Year’s resolutions fail because of this. If you were planning to get in shape, for example, you will have a better chance if you start with a little exercise each day. People who try to run 5 kilometers each morning from January 1st will likely give up soon.

(P3) Another tip is to plan out how to achieve your resolution. If you want to lose weight, for example, decide what kind of food you will stop eating and how often you will exercise. Making a detailed list will help you. Once you have made your plan, stick to it! It is important to always adhere to your plan.

(P4) Another way to make sure your resolution succeeds is to track your progress. If your plan is to lose weight, write down how much weight you lose each week. Make a chart of your weight loss and put it somewhere you can see it. This will help you to keep making an effort. Almost 33% of people who fail their New Year’s Resolutions do so because they didn’t track their progress.

WORDS: 266

SOURCE: http://dreamreader.net/lesson/new-years-resolutions/

VOCABULARY: attain, chances, realistic, adhere to, progress

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. Do people make New Year’s resolutions in your country? If yes, what are some common ones?
  3. Why do you think a high percentage of people break their New Year’s resolution?
  4. If you would make a New Year’s resolution, what would it be? Why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. According to the article, what percentage of individuals achieve their resolution?
  2. The number one means to achieve your resolution is being __________.
  3. Once you have a plan for your resolution, you need to ____________ to it.
  4. When using a visual aid to track your weight loss, you should keep it in your sight. (T or F)
  5. What’s the failure rate of people who don’t monitor their work in progress?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • a firm decision (P1)
  • setting small goals (P2)
  • big life changes (P2)
  • stick to it (P3)
  • track their progress (P4)

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Image source: by Ahmet Gur http://megapixelstock.com/singel_photo/5643e3a76952d

Extreme Christmas House

[Lifestyle ★]

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(P1) A German couple likes Christmas. They have Christmas decorations. They buy more and more decorations every year. Now they have many decorations.

(P2) They start decorating in October. They take 8 weeks to set everything up. They put 100 Christmas trees into their small house! They decorate the trees with Christmas lights and 16,000 ornaments.

(P3) They even have a Santa Claus in their bathroom!

WORDS: 63

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/extreme-christmas-house-level-1/

VOCABULARY: extreme, couple, decorations, decorate, lights, ornaments, bathroom

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. Do people decorate for Christmas in your country? If yes, how do they decorate?
  3. Do you like Christmas decorations? Why or why not?
  4. Is your house decorate with something? If yes, what? (I.E. pictures)

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The two German’s dislike Christmas. (T or F)
  2. Every year the couple buys more decorations. (T or F)
  3. The couple starts to decorate in ____________.
  4. How long does it take them to decorate their house?
  5. They put a Santa Claus in their bathroom. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • they buy more and more (P1)
  • many decorations (P1)
  • to set everything up (P2)
  • Santa Claus (P3)

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(Image Source:  Licensed under the Creative Commons. By David Wagner, Public domain.)

Man has many Barbies

[Lifestyle ★]

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(P1) A man has many Barbie dolls. He is from Singapore. His collection is very big.

(P2) There are 6,000 Barbie dolls in his collection. The man has a favorite doll. It is his first Barbie. This Barbie is old. It is from the year of 1984.

(P3) The man’s hobby is expensive. Barbies cost a lot of money. The most expensive Barbie is $3,600.

WORDS: 62

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/man-has-many-barbies-level-1/

VOCABULARY: dolls, collection, favorite, hobby, expensive

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. What things do people in your country collect?
  3. Would you pay $3,600 for a Barbie doll? Why or why not?
  4. Are Barbie dolls popular in your country?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Where is the man from?
  2. How many dolls does the man have?
  3. Which Barbie doll does he like to most?
  4. barbie dolls don’t cost a lot. (T or F)
  5. How much did the man pay for the most expensive doll?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • very big (P1)
  • in his collection (P2)
  • first barbie (P2)
  • cost a lot of money (P3)

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Image source: By Alexas_Fotos, Public domain, https://pixabay.com/cs/kr%C3%A1sa-barbie-p%C4%9Bkn%C3%BD-panenka-1265593/

Find Love in the Skies With This New Dating App

[Technology, Travel, Lifestyle ★★★]

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(P1) Whether you’re a passenger prone to making eyes across the aisle or just thinking about the mile high club every time you board a plane, singles have more fun in the skies. And now there’s a new dating app specifically designed to make flights an opportunity to meet new people.

(P2) AirDates, which bills itself as “the only in-flight dating app,” strives to make air travel an opportunity to find love, before, during, and after a flight.

(P3) Users start by building a profile and spell out exactly what (business, social, party, dating) and whom (age, gender, sexuality, location) they’re looking for. Then users are suggested to update their status and let everybody around know their travel plans.

(P4) Before taking off, users can share their itineraries and find travelers that are going to be on the same flight. The app can also be used to find other singles hanging out in the same airport at the same time.

(P5) And while in the air, travelers can open their app and connect with other singles onboard. The app uses WeChat technology (turn on airplane mode, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth) to connect without using data or relying on spotty plane Wi-Fi.  However, the chat feature only works up to 70 meters (230 feet), so those looking to connect with everyone possible on the flight should probably book a seat in the middle of the plane.

(P6) But the app is also practical. For those who travel too frequently to ever use the app to find a relationship, AirDates’s website points out that you can chat with nearby users to share a cab into the city, find out what’s cool a destination, or even uncover secret frequent traveler’s airport hacks.

(P7) The app is currently in beta on iOS but, according to Mashable, will be more widely distributed and updated by February 2017.

WORDS: 302

SOURCE: http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/mobile-apps/in-flight-dating-app

VOCABULARY: prone, strives, spell out, onboard, spotty, hacks

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. Would you use this app to find love in the air? Why or why not?
  3. Do people in your country use dating websites? If so, which ones?
  4. Do you think it’s possible to find the love of your life in an airport or onboard a plane? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Airdates claims it’s the only _________________________.
  2. Users of the app should give out their travel arrangements to find other people. (T or F)
  3. Airdates doesn’t use another app’s technology to connect people on flights. (T or F)
  4. It’s best to reserve a seat in the _______________ of the airplane because the maximum distance of the technology is limited.
  5. When will the live version of the app be available to some of the public?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • to making eyes across the aisle (P1)
  • to find other singles (P4)
  • what’s a cool destination (P6)
  • widely distributed (P7)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://donthatethegeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/airdates-home-page-660×330.png

Wales

[Places ★★]

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(P1) Wales is a part of the United Kingdom. It is located to the west of England. The capital of Wales is Cardiff, which has around 325,000 people. The population in Wales is less than three million people. Most of the people live in the south and the east of the country. The main languages spoken in Wales are Welsh and English. Welsh is a Celtic language, and about one out of every five people in Wales speaks it.

(P2) Wales is a very old country. People have lived in Wales for at least 29,000 years. The Romans first entered Wales over 2000 years ago, and they stayed in Wales for over 300 years. The Romans used their technology to collect large amounts of gold, copper, and other metals such as lead. It is not clear what happened in the 400 years after the Romans left Wales, but by the 16th century, Wales became a part of England. Laws were passed in England while Henry VIII was king of England. Nowadays, Wales is an independent country. Although it is joined with England by land, and it is part of Great Britain, Wales is a country in its own right.

WORDS: 197

SOURCE: http://dreamreader.net/lesson/wales/

VOCABULARY: population, Celtic, Romans, copper, lead, century

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 been to Wales? If yes, did you like it? If no, would you like to go and why?
  3. How many languages are spoken in your country?
  4. Who lived in your country over 200 years ago?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Wales is to the _________ of England.
  2. More than 3 million people live in Wales. (T or F)
  3. The Celtic language is different than English. (T or F)
  4. How long have people lived in the country of Wales?
  5. Wales is a country in ___________.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • to the west of England (P1)
  • less than three million people (P1)
  • one out of every five people (P1)
  • left Wales (P2)
  • in its own right (P2)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://www.serenydyffryn.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/conwy-72273_12801-1080×675.jpg

Train at your door

[Lifestyle ★★]

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(P1) A train station close to your home would be for most commuters a nice thing. In Hanoi though, things got a little bit too close.

(P2) In the Vietnam capital city, there is a street where trains pass right in front of people’s doors. Only centimeters separate the train and the houses. The train goes through the narrow street every day at 4 pm and at 7 pm. Residents usually hide because there have been accidents in the past.

(P3) Living there cannot be very nice, mainly because of the noise and also for security reasons.

WORDS: 94

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/train-at-your-door-level-2/

VOCABULARY: commuters, separate, through, residents, accidents

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. How would you feel if you lived on that street?
  3. Do you have any bad streets in your hometown? If yes, describe the street.
  4. Do you think living there is safe or unsafe? Why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The train passes by houses in the city of ___________.
  2. Hanoi is not the capital of Vietnam. (T or F)
  3. At what time of the day does the train pass by the houses?
  4. The people who live there normally _______ when the train passes through.
  5. What are the 2 reasons given for not wanting to live on that street?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • a little bit too close (P1)
  • pass right in front (P2)
  • narrow street (P2)
  • security reasons (P3)

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Image source: By A of DooM, CC-BY 2.0, https://www.flickr.com/photos/46203145@N00/657856474

4 REASONS DINING OUT IS JUST AS BAD AS FAST FOOD

[Lifestyle ★★★★]

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(P1) You know that even with new low-cal options fast-food joints are usually a big health no-no. But chances are you never suspected your favorite sit-down spot could be doing you in as well.  A new study shows that dine-in restaurants can be just as bad as their faster counterparts.

(P2) According to research, both fast food and dine-in restaurants serve up more cholesterol and trans fat than what you make at home. Fast food customers got an average of 3.5 more grams of trans fat a day, while restaurant eaters took in an extra 2.5 grams. That may not sound like much, but we’re talking about something so bad that the FDA has just outlawed it. So even just a little bit can be serious. What’s more, people who regularly dine out consume an average of 200 calories and 58 mg of cholesterol more a day than their home-cooking counterparts.

(P3) Of course, we don’t expect you to become a master chef and whip up breakfast, lunch, and dinner at home every single day. Going out with friends gives your social life a boost, and that can be important for lowering stress and avoiding mental health problems. Here are four reasons restaurant food is bad for you.

1. Fatty cuts and blends

(P4) When you go to the grocery store, you’re likely to choose a nice lean blend of ground beef to make your burger patties. Ideally, you can get a burger that’s 95% lean beef with just two grams of saturated fat.

(P5) On the other hand, chefs prioritize flavor over health, and higher fat content is an easy way to boost taste. A restaurant burger might have as much as 30% fat or more. That means less protein and more calories between those sugary white-bread buns. The same rule applies to various cuts of steak and other proteins tucked into wraps or salads.

2. Cooking in grease

(P6) You know those big fryers full of bubbling grease behind the registers at your favorite fast food joint? They should pretty much speak for themselves. But even if your food isn’t being prepared in a simmering bath of fat and empty calories, it might still be cooked in melted butter (as opposed to a healthy oil like olive or coconut).

3. Rich sauces

(P7) We love a thick, creamy sauce just as much as the next guy, especially when we can control how much of it goes on our food. At home, you use just enough to get some flavor onto your food, and then up the game with herbs and spices. But at a restaurant, things are often smothered in sauce. It’s delicious but dangerous.

(P8) McDonald’s ranch dip has 110 calories and 12g of total fat. A restaurant-made aioli may sound like a healthier option but can be almost as dangerous (calorie- and fat-wise) as it’s non-gourmet counterpart.

4. Hidden salt and sugar

(P9) Hidden sugars appear in many condiments like pasta sauce, BBQ sauce, and ketchup. That ranch dip we mentioned, 410 mg of sodium and 6g of sugar. Dried fruits often used as a salad topping, can also pack in extra sugar without doing much to curb your appetite for sweetness. Sugar and sodium also appear in basic carbs like that breadbasket they stick right in front of you as you wait hungrily for your meal. These little things, often thrown into chef-made meals to up their complexity, can add up to a lot of sugar and sodium.

WORDS: 574

SOURCE: http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/4-reasons-dining-out-just-bad-fast-food

VOCABULARY: outlawed, whip up, vats, smothered, pack in

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. Do you eat out at restaurants frequently? Why or why not?
  3. In your opinion, do eat-in restaurants cook healthier foods or not? Why?
  4. Do you read the nutrition labels on the containers of food you buy at the supermarket? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. According to the article, restaurants can equally be as bad healthwise as fast food restaurants. (T or F).
  2. Eating out with good company will not lower stress. (T or F)
  3. According to the article, butter is overused in restaurants to cook food. (T or F)
  4. Aioli made in a restaurant is a truly healthy option. (T or F)
  5. Only a few condiments have high sugar content. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • your favorite sit-down spot could be doing you in as well (P1)
  • home-cooking counterparts (P2)
  • cuts of steak (P5)
  • simmering bath of fat (P6)
  • just as much as the next guy (P7)
  • curb your appetite (P9)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://cdn-mf1.heartyhosting.com/sites/mensfitness.com/files/styles/wide_videos/public/_main_dining.jpg?itok=O4NM_EaF