Week115

[People ★] Two Weeks in the Jungle

[Environment ★] Turtles in the Amazon

[World News ★★] World leaders have mixed reactions to Trump victory

[Culture ★★] Dangerous way for Chinese children

[Sports ★★] Andy Murray is No. One

[Entertainment ★★★] Jackie Chan Finally Has an Oscar

[Business ★★★] Samsung Just Dropped $8B to Take You for a Drive

[Travel ★★★] Bangkok

[Environment ★★★★] Germany builds first wind turbines powered by water

[Food ★★★★] A History of Curry

A History of Curry

[Food ★★★★]

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(P1) Curry is a very popular dish served and enjoyed globally. According to one British website, about 23 million people regularly eat it.  Despite curry’s current popularity, it took a long time for the famous dish to spread around the globe and become renowned.

(P2) Historians have traced the origins of curry to the pre-historic era in what is now known as India. At this time, curry was a mix of seeds that were mixed together and ground into a fine powder.  It was used very much like salt and sprinkled on other food to give it additional flavor. Curry then spread to other Asian countries. In the mid-17th century, British traders became acquainted with the dish and its popularity took off. As curry restaurants were opened in different countries and traders brought the dishes to far-off and exotic places, curry became a hit in most parts of the world. Despite the worldwide curry craze, however, there is great regional variation in terms of the ingredients and preparation of curry.

(P3) In Asia, for example, curry is generally milder in flavor than in other parts of the world. Potatoes and meat are usually used in the curry and it is usually served alongside rice. It is common in China for curry to be cooked with fish with green peppers, onions, and potatoes. The result is a mild yellow curry sauce. Diners may add soy sauce or chili oil to bring out the flavor. Japan, meanwhile, considers curry to be a kind of stew often made using meat, onions, carrots, and potatoes and served with pickled vegetables.

(P4) In Britain, curry is synonymous with a dish called “Chicken Tikka Masala”. This is a curry dish that was brought to English restaurants long ago and tweaked from the original Indian curry recipe to suit British tastes. This refers to roasted pieces of chicken that are soaked in yogurt and baked in an oven. The chicken is then served with a spicy sauce that may include tomatoes and coconut cream. This style of curry is so popular among Britons that one politician declared it the British national dish in 2001.

(P5) South Africans have long embraced curry, which was introduced there by Indians over 250 years ago. The local variant is often called “Durban Curry”, which is red hot in flavor as it uses cayenne pepper and chili. Garlic and ginger are added to fried onions topped with chili powder.  Other ingredients may include cinnamon and coriander. The dish is commonly served with rice and might include chicken or fish although most Durban Curry lovers seem to prefer lamb with it.

WORDS: 433

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

VOCABULARY: renowned, pre-historic, diners, synonymous, tweaked, variant

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 like to eat curry dishes? Why or why not?
  3. Are curry dishes popular in your country? If so, how are they prepared and cooked?
  4. What are some other food dishes you enjoy eating?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Curry was always a popular dish throughout history. (T or F)
  2. When did the British become aware of curry?
  3. When did Great Britan proclaim curry as a national dish of their country?
  4. Traders from Great Britan brought curry to South Africa. (T or F)
  5. People who eat Durban Curry favor lamb over fish or chicken. (T orF)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

  • traced the origins (P1)
  • took off (P2)
  • curry craze (P2)
  • bring out the flavor (P3)
  • national dish (P4)

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

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Image source: by “unknown” http://dreamreader.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/Curry1.jpg

Germany builds first wind turbines powered by water

[Environment ★★★★]

highest wind park in Europe

(P1) German engineers are storing water for hydroelectricity inside wind turbines allowing the towers to act like massive batteries once the wind stops blowing. This is being reported as the first major example of the two technologies being physically integrated to supply reliable renewable energy.

(P2) General Electric announced the four-turbine project earlier this month. As reported by Quartz online, it can store energy from the spinning blades by pumping water about 30m up inside the turbine structure itself. Basins around each base will store 9m gallons. When the wind stops, water flows downhill to generate hydroelectric power. A man-made lake in the valley below collects water until turbines pump the water back up again.

(P3) According to Quartz, the wind farm in Germany’s Swabian-Franconian forest will feature the tallest turbines in the world at 246.5m. At full capacity, it should produce 13.6 megawatts, along with another 16 megawatts from the hydroelectric plant.

(P4) The project is being built by German firm Max Boegl Wind AG and GE Renewable Energy. The wind farm should connect to the grid by 2017, and hydropower units will be finished by the end of 2018.

(P5) Meanwhile, the online edition of POWER magazine reported that German lawmakers had passed three major laws in July in order to ensure the transition to renewable energy: the 2017 revision of the Renewable Energy Sources Act, the Electricity Market Act, and the Act on the Digitisation of the Energy Transition.

(P6) “These three pieces of legislation will ensure that the transition of our energy supply can proceed in a foreseeable and cost-efficient way,” said Federal Economics and Energy Minister Sigmar Gabriel. “Renewable energy, the electricity market, energy efficiency, the grids, and digitization used to be treated as separate elements, but have now been turned into a consistent overall framework for the energy transition.”

(P6) But paramount to fostering this growth is fixing the current transmission bottleneck problems. “The grid is not in a position today to take up all the renewable energy” coming on stream, said Tony Adam, manager of Public Affairs and Government Relations with wind turbine producer Nordex, in an interview with POWER.

WORDS: 350

SOURCE: https://www.neweurope.eu/article/germany-builds-first-wind-turbines-powered-water/

VOCABULARY: turbines, basins, wind farms, grid, foreseeable, paramount, bottleneck

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. Does your country use or are they working on renewable energy? If so, what types?
  3. In your opinion, do you think it’s important to use renewable energy sources? Why or why not?
  4. Would you like to work on a renewable energy project? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What are the engineers keeping inside the turbines?
  2. General Electric’s project that they made public calls for using a five-turbines. (T or F)
  3. GE’s wind farm project should be linked to the grid system by ________.
  4. What are the names of the laws that had to be passed in Germany?
  5. The grid can start to use renewable energy at ant time. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • back up (P2)
  • turned into (P6)
  • used to (P6)
  • take up (P7)

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Image source:  by EPA/OLIVIER MAIRE https://www.neweurope.eu/article/germany-builds-first-wind-turbines-powered-water/

Bangkok

[Travel ★★]

bangkok1

(P1) Bangkok has become the number one destination in the world for tourists. According to a recent survey carried out by a major company, more tourists are choosing to visit the capital of Thailand than New York City and London. The reason for this recent surge in visitors is the increasing number of wealthy people living in the Asia region. Perhaps the popularity of Bangkok is no surprise since it has a rich history and there are many things for tourists to see and do.

(P2) Wats or temples are abundant in Bangkok.  In fact, you could probably spend an entire two-week vacation trying to explore all the beautiful wats in the city.  Wat Arun is one of the most visited wats in Bangkok.  It has a tall central tower covered in porcelain.  When the sun rises in the morning, it reflects off the tower. This creates a beautiful dazzling effect and it is an unforgettable experience for most visitors.  The interior of the building is just as impressive. Beautifully painted murals line the walls and wonderful ceramics are on display.

(P3) The floating markets are another tourist hotspot in Bangkok. These are makeshift markets where people sell things from their boats on the river to shoppers on the street. Vendors might peddle anything from old trinkets to delicious food. Tourists can also hire a boat to travel the waters and follow the markets around the city.

(P4) Travelers who grow weary of the constant noise and crowds can also get outside the city to experience the beautiful countryside. Hua Hin is a resort that sits along the ocean to the south of the capital. It has a tropical climate throughout the year and offers a peaceful spot to relax and go for a dip in the ocean.

WORDS: 294

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

VOCABULARY: surge, abundant, porcelain, dazzling, makeshift, peddle, trinkets, weary

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 visited Thailand? If yes, where did you stay and what did you do? If no, would you like to go there? Why or why not?
  3. Describe a memorable vacation you went on.
  4. Do you prefer vacationing in big cities or in a resort alongside the sea? Why?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. More people are selecting Bangkok, as a tourist destination, over  ___________ and ____________.
  2. What is the Thai name for a temple?
  3. What is another popular attraction in the capital city?
  4. Street merchants are known to sell _________ and ___________.
  5. To the south of Bangkok sits a vacation spot in the countryside. What is the name of the place?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • carried out (P1)
  • rich history (P1)
  • reflects off (P2)
  • tourist hotspot (P3)
  • peaceful spot (P4)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by “unknown” http://dreamreader.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/bangkok1.jpg

Samsung Just Dropped $8B to Take You for a Drive

[Business ★★★]

1092601-11-20161114145328

(P1) Samsung is making an unlikely and uncharacteristic acquisition, and apparently it figured it had better go big or go home: The South Korean electronics giant on Monday dropped $8 billion on Harman International, a Connecticut-based audio pioneer known for car stereos that have, as the Wall Street Journal reports, sunk its teeth deeply into the automotive industry as our cars have grown ever smarter. It’s a bold move for Samsung and signals that the electronics giant is betting heavily on providing the “smart” in “smart cars;” the AP notes that the acquisition “will instantly transform (Samsung) into a major player for auto infotainment, software, and connected car technology.”

(P2) “The vehicle of tomorrow will be transformed by smart technology and connectivity in the same way that simple feature phones have become sophisticated smart devices over the past decade,” a Samsung exec said in a release, per the New York Times. The deal also sets Samsung up to go head-to-head with a couple of familiar rivals, namely Apple and Google, both of which have been working on self-driving cars. Not that you’ll likely catch Samsung making actual cars, sources tell the Journal, but executives see a huge market emerging for products they already manufacture, ranging from semiconductors and display screens to mobile services.

WORDS: 211

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/234027/samsungs-biggest-deal-ever-is-all-about-cars.html

VOCABULARY: acquisition, pioneer, infotainment, sophisticated, head-to-head

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. In your opinion, do you think this is a good move by Samsung to buy Harman?
  3. Would you like to work for Samsung? Why or why not?
  4. If you had a company, would you like to have Google and Apple as your competitors? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Which company is Samsung buying and where is the company’s headquarters?
  2. The move by Samsung is being described as _______.
  3. Microsoft wasn’t mentioned as a company Samsung will have to battle directly. (T or F)
  4. With this acquisition, Samsung will probably not actual build self-driving cars. (T or F)
  5. What products do the executives of Samsung see growing in strength?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • just dropped $8B (title)
  • sunk its teeth deeply into the automotive industry (P1)
  • betting heavily (P1)
  • sets Samsung up (P2)
  • Not that you’ll likely catch Samsung making actual cars (P2)

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Image source: AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File http://www.newser.com/story/234027/samsungs-biggest-deal-ever-is-all-about-cars.html

Jackie Chan Finally Has an Oscar

[Entertainment ★★★]

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(P1) Nobody can say he didn’t put the work in. After more than 200 movies in a career that spans more than 50 years, starting when he was a 5-year-old child actor, Jackie Chan was finally awarded an Oscar Sunday night. The 62-year-old was one of four recipients of this year’s Governors Awards, E! Online reports. He was praised by Tom Hanks as “the man that puts the ‘Chan’ in ‘Chan-Tastic,’ because he has worked mostly in martial arts films and action comedies, two genres that have been, for some reason, shall we say, historically underrepresented at the Oscars, a fact that will change if I have any pull on the board of governors.”

(P2) Chan was also introduced by co-stars Michelle Yeoh and Chris Tucker, who called him a “living legend,” People reports. In his acceptance speech at the Hollywood event, Chan praised hometown Hong Kong and all the people who helped him get where he is. “My dad always said, ‘Son, you get so many movie awards in the world, when are you going to get one of these?”, he said. “Then I just look at my dad. ‘Ha, ha, ha. Dad, I only make comedy action movies.'” Casting director Lynn Stalmaster, documentary maker Frederick Wiseman, and film editor Anne V. Coates were also honored.

WORDS: 215

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/233997/jackie-chan-finally-has-an-oscar.html

VOCABULARY: spans, recipients, underrepresented, legend, honored

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 genres of movies do you like to watch? Why?
  3. Who are some of the famous entertainers from your country? What are they famous for?
  4. What advice has your mother or father given you?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How many years has Chan been acting?
  2. Chan was one of five individuals who received the honorary Oscar award named the Governors Awards. (T or F)
  3. Which two types of movies is Chan known for?
  4. Who presented Chan during the ceremony?
  5. What are the names of the other three individuals recognized with the same award?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • have any pull (P1)
  • acceptance speech (P2)
  • who helped him get where he is (P2)
  • I only make comedy action movies (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP http://www.newser.com/story/233997/jackie-chan-finally-has-an-oscar.html

Andy Murray is No. One

[Sports ★★]

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(P1) Andy Murray, the British tennis player, became number one in the world for the first time. This happened when his competitor, Milos Raonic, dropped out of their match due to a leg injury. The officials automatically granted Murray the title.

(P2) Murray is the first British tennis player to top the singles rankings for tennis, and at 29 years old, is the oldest person to become number one since 1974. However, he will need to continue to play well as the number-one ranking advances until the end of the year. As well as this new title, he has two Olympic gold medals under his belt.

WORDS: 104

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/andy-murray-is-no-one-level-3/

VOCABULARY: competitor, automatically, granted, rankings, advances

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 like to play or watch tennis? Why or why not?
  3. Have you ever been injured? If so, describe how?
  4. Are there other sports you enjoy watching or playing? If so, which ones?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. This is not the only time Murray has been ranked number one. (T or F)
  2. Who was Murray’s opponent in the match?
  3. Murray was given the top spot by _______________.
  4. What is Murray’s nationality?
  5. What else has Murray won in the past?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • number one (P1)
  • dropped out (P1)
  • singles rankings (P2)
  • under his belt (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: By Carine06 from UK, CC-BY-SA 2.0, https://www.flickr.com/photos/43555660@N00/18814702295