Week105

[World News ★] New York’s Hot Dogs

[Culture ★] Highway in Peru

[Life ★★] Why do children go to school?

[World News ★★] World Scrabble Championship

[Culture ★★] El Salvador’s Festival of Fire

[Technology ★★★] Apple’s New iPhone Is Just a Modest Upgrade

[Science ★★★] July was the hottest month in recorded history

[Travel ★★★] Swimming with dolphins may be banned

[Business ★★★★] Samsung suspends all sales of Galaxy Note 7 after battery explosions

[Travel ★★★★] Flying in Business Class Has Gotten Way Cheaper

Flying in Business Class Has Gotten Way Cheaper

[Travel ★★★]

business-class-malaysia-airlines1

(P1) Only on certain competitive international routes anyway.

(P2) Your dreams of sitting smugly and glamorously up at the front of the plane may finally be within reach. Flight prices for plush, business-class seats have been much cheaper this year on several popular international routes.

(P3) Using data from the travel search site Kayak.com, Quartz pointed out that the median airfare for a business-class ticket between New York City and London was $2,006 during the first six months of 2016. That’s 37% less than the median fare for the same route during the same period in 2015 ($3,160).

(P4) Business-class ticket prices on routes such as Chicago-Bangkok, Denver-Paris, and Miami-Tokyo have also dipped significantly. For Chicago-Bangkok, the median one-way fare was over $5,000 in the first half of 2015. A year later, it was $3,750. That’s still not remotely cheap ($7,500 round trip), but passengers would be paying roughly $2,500 less for the same flight and the same luxurious in-flight experience in 2016.

(P5) What’s caused the price drop? For the most part, the answer is cheaper fuel, combined with more competition. As gas and jet fuel prices have dropped, the airlines have been enjoying record profits. This has allowed them to charge less for flights and boost business while still yielding outstanding profits.

(P6) When one airline offers cheaper promotional prices to fill its planes, especially in the all-important, highly profitable upper-class sections up front, the competition tends to follow suit.

(P7) As a result, airline passengers are the beneficiaries of somewhat more affordable airfare, and maybe even the opportunity to see how good life really is when you’re not stuck in a cramped coach-class seat.

WORDS: 270

SOURCE: http://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/airlines-airports/cheaper-business-class

VOCABULARY: smugly, plush, median, yielding, cramped

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 flown in business class? If yes, describe it? If no, would you like to?
  3. Do you think airlines should lower the price of business class even more? Why or why not?
  4. What airline is your favorite? Why?
  5. How can airlines improve coach class seats?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Which resource did Quartz get their information from?
  2. How much was a round trip ticket from Chicago to Bangkok in 2016?
  3. What 2 reasons are given for the drop in business class airfare?
  4. When one airline reduces airfare, others sometimes do the same. (T or F)
  5. Who benefits from competition among the airlines?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • pointed out (P3)
  • dipped significantly (P4)
  • not remotely cheap (P4)
  • record profits (P5)
  • to follow suit (P6)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://globe-rider.blogspot.com/2016/05/frustrating-mas-business-class-kul-dps.html

Samsung suspends all sales of Galaxy Note 7 after battery explosions

[Business ★★★]

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(P1) Samsung halted sales of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone Friday after finding batteries of some of the devices exploded while they were charged.

(P2) Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung’s mobile business, said customers who already bought Note 7s would be able to swap them for new smartphones, regardless of when they purchased them. Note 7 sales launched just two weeks ago.

(P3) Samsung issued its first global recall of the flagship smartphone because it has not found ways to specify exactly which phones may endanger the user. The smartphones are being yanked from shelves in 10 countries, including the U.S. and South Korea.

(P4) Koh said the company’s investigation found that a battery cell made by one of its two battery suppliers caused the phone to catch fire. He refused to name the battery supplier. “There was a tiny problem in the manufacturing process so it was very difficult to find out,” Koh told reporters at a news conference.

(P5) Some buyers reported their phones caught fire or exploded while charging, sharing the photos of scorched phones on social media. Samsung said it had confirmed 35 such cases in South Korea and overseas. There have been no reports of injuries related to the problem.

(P6) Samsung said it has sold more than 1 million Note 7 smartphones since the product’s Aug. 19 launch. It has manufactured about 2.5 million Note 7 phones so far, some of them still in inventory. Koh said they also would be returned and swapped with new ones.

(P7) The company estimated that it would take about two weeks to begin swapping old Note 7s for new phones.

(P8) China is not affected by the sales suspension. The company said it used a battery made by another supplier for the Note 7 sold in China.

WORDS: 292

SOURCE: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2016/09/02/samsung-suspends-all-sales-galaxy-note-7-after-battery-explosions.html

VOCABULARY: swap, flagship, yanked, scorched, suspension

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 do you think you would feel if your mobile phone exploded and caught on fire while you were sleeping?
  3. Do you think this recall will hurt Samsung’s mobile phone sales? Why or why not?
  4. If Samsung finds out which supplier made the faulty batteries, should they stop using them? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Samsung halted all sales of the Note 7 worldwide. (T or F)
  2. Samsung had a worldwide recall of an older Note 7 before this one. (T or F)
  3. How many suppliers does Samsung use for the Note 7 battery?
  4. How many people were reported hurt from the explosions?
  5. China has the same battery supplier for the Note 7. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • launched just two weeks ago (P2)
  • global recall (P3)
  • so far (P6)
  • still in inventory (P6)

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Image source: by “unknown” https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CsbA9B7WYAAvOtG.jpg

Swimming with dolphins may be banned

[Travel ★★★]

gettyimages-457553726

(P1) Hawaii might ban the tourist activity of swimming with dolphins. Dolphins have been a magnet for tourists over the past decades. However, officials say tourism harms the dolphins because they cannot rest or socialize. The National Marine Fisheries Service (MNFS) wants to stop swimming with or approaching within 50 meters of, dolphins. That would end many tour activities, such as sailing alongside the dolphins and snorkeling with them.

(P2) The MNFS said the ban would not have a big impact on Hawaii’s tourist trade. It said: “We think that by identifying 50 meters as the minimum distance, there still can be a viable tourist industry.” Tour operators disagree. One warned: “It would be the end of legitimate dolphin swimming. We couldn’t offer the people the quality interaction that they expect.” Dolphins are most active at night and sleep and relax during the day.

WORDS: 142

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1608/160831-dolphin-tourism-4.html

VOCABULARY: magnet, sailing, impact, viable, legitimate

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 for or against swimming with dolphins? Why?
  3. What activities do you like to do when you are on vacation?
  4. Do you think a ban on swimming with dolphins will have a big impact on tourism in Hawaii? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Which State in the USA is considering to prohibit people from swimming with dolphins?
  2. What’s the name of the agency that wants to put the ban in place?
  3. Who thinks the ban on swimming with dolphins won’t have a negative influence on tourism?
  4. Who opposes the ban?
  5. Dolphins are mostly nocturnal mammals. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • past decades (P1)
  • approaching within 50 meters of (P1)
  • tourist trade (P2)
  • quality interaction (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by Handout / Getty Images http://media.gettyimages.com/photos/in-this-handout-photo-provided-by-seaworld-san-diego-sadie-a-at-picture-id457553726?s=594×594

July was the hottest month in recorded history

[Science ★★★]

160819-hottest-month

(P1) July was the hottest month on Earth since scientists started taking records 136 years ago. NASA said that: “July 2016 was absolutely the hottest month since the instrumental records began.” It beat the previous record, which was July 2011, by 0.11 degrees Celsius. Scientists say this is a big rise. NASA said July was the tenth straight month of record-breaking temperatures. The year 2016 could now become the hottest year on record.

(P2) The website gizmodo.com said July could be the hottest month since prehistoric times, the hottest in 125,000 years. A weather expert said: “It’s a little alarming…that we’re going through these records like nothing this year.” The organization Climate Central reported that the record temperatures are because of fossil fuels and El Niño. However, an Australian politician recently said climate change was a conspiracy theory created by NASA.

WORDS: 139

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1608/160819-hottest-month.html

VOCABULARY: instrumental, record-breaking, prehistoric, fossil, conspiracy

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 agree or disagree with the Australian politician that climate change is a conspiracy theory? Why?
  3. Do you think it’s a little alarming that record-breaking high temperatures are occurring frequently? Why or why not?
  4. What do you think can be done to stop climate change?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How long ago did scientists begin to log temperatures?
  2. It’s not possible that 2016 will be the hottest year in history. (T or F)
  3. Which internet site is mentioned in the article?
  4. What are the 2 reasons given by Climate Central for the record-breaking temperatures?
  5. Who supposedly started the conspiracy theory about climate change?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • absolutely the hottest month (P1)
  • tenth straight month (P1)
  • a little alarming (P2)
  • like nothing (P2)
  • El Niño (P2) *click on phrase in the paragraph for meaning*

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Image source: NASA http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1608/160819-hottest-month.jpg

Apple’s New iPhone Is Just a Modest Upgrade

[Technology ★★]

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(P1) This year’s iPhone, revealed Wednesday, is seen as a more modest upgrade, as several analysts noted that it was increasingly difficult to make impressive changes in hardware, the AP reports. Among Apple’s biggest changes are nixing the headphone jack and adding a “dual lens” camera to the higher-priced 7 Plus model. Some thought that could be enough to entice new users. “I believe Apple did enough to keep the base happy with upgrades and arguably did enough to attract some Android users,” one analyst says.

(P2) Many longtime Apple users had been complaining on social media about the lack of a headphone jack in the new phones. But another analyst says she doesn’t think that will turn off prospective iPhone buyers. “Three months later, it will be, ‘Why did we ever have that?” she says. But while Apple’s claims for its new “Air Pods” wireless earbuds seem technically impressive, Bob O’Donnell of Technalysis Research says people are likely to lose them. “You start losing those things, at $160 a pair, you’re going to go crazy.”

WORDS: 174

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/230768/experts-apple-arguably-did-enough-with-new-iphone-7.html

VOCABULARY: modest, impressive, nixing, entice, prospective, earbuds

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 going to purchase the new iPhone 7? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think a lot of people will lose their Air Pods? Why or why not?
  4. Do you think $160 for the Air Pods is cheap or expensive? Why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. When was the new phone introduced?
  2. What did Apple eliminate from the iPhone 7?
  3. The new phone will appeal to many Android users. (T or F)
  4. What name did Apple give to the new headphones?
  5. According to Bob O’ Donnell, what will happen to people if they lose their wireless earbuds?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • headphone jack (P1)
  • keep the base happy (P1)
  • turn off (P2)
  • a pair (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez http://www.newser.com/story/230768/experts-apple-arguably-did-enough-with-new-iphone-7.html

El Salvador’s Festival of Fire

[Culture ★★]

bolas-de-fuego

(P1) In El Salvador, hundreds of people celebrated a dangerous annual festival. People throw fireballs at this festival, which honors a big volcanic eruption in 1922. However, another legend says that a local Christian saint fought the Devil with balls of fire.

(P2)The festival is not new but there are still no rules. Authorities worry that things might get out of hand one day.

WORDS: 63

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/el-salvadors-festival-of-fire-level-2/

VOCABULARY: instrumental, record-breaking, prehistoric, fossil, conspiracy

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 think there should be rules at the Festival of Fire? Why or why not?
  3. Do you have festivals in your country? If yes, tell me about one?
  4. What are some other things people celebrate?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Where is the festival?
  2. The festival is held once per year. (T or F)
  3. Why do they celebrate the festival?
  4. The government has rules for the festival. (T or F)
  5. What concerns the authorities?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • hundreds of people (P1)
  • balls of fire (P1)
  • still no rules (P2)
  • get out of hand (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by “unknown” https://camblyblog.files.wordpress.com/2016/09/ddfce-bolas-de-fuego.jpg