Week118

[Animals ★] Small nice animal

[Culture ★] Old Windmill in London

[Science ★★] SCIENCE EXPLAINS WHY WE SQUEEZE CUTE ANIMALS

[Places ★★] Wales

[Culture ★★] Planes from 1920

[World News ★★★] U.N. Asks for Record $22 Billion to Aid World’s Needy

[History ★★★] The First Airplane

[Economy ★★★] Venezuela’s Money Is So Worthless It’s Printing Bigger Bills

[Travel ★★★★] St Petersburg wins top title during World Travel Awards Grand Final 2016

[Health ★★★★] Are chia seeds the answer to weight loss?

Are chia seeds the answer to weight loss?

[Health ★★★★]

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(P1) It’s no secret that chia seeds are a powerful superfood. Through the years, people have eagerly added them to a variety of foods, from smoothies and yogurts to oats and fruit. With three times more iron than spinach and twice the amount of protein of any other seed or grain, it comes as no surprise that their very name means “strength”.

(P2) This member of the sage family also fills the body with antioxidants, omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids, and potassium galore. For all of these reasons, chia seeds are considered to be an incredible source of ongoing energy.

(P3) As if this isn’t incredible enough, it gets even better if you’re looking to lose weight. If you haven’t already, consider heading out to purchase these amazing seeds because they do wonders when it comes to shedding pounds. In fact, chia seeds are frequently referred to as a “dieter’s dream” for their ability to help people see the numbers on the scale drop.

(P4) First of all, because chia seeds are jam-packed with the aforementioned nutrients, dieters can be assured that they won’t sacrifice important minerals and essential fatty acids during their weight loss process. As the body adjusts to reduced portions and cleaner eating choices, chia seeds help to offset any potential nutritional deficits that a dieter might experience.

(P5) Additionally, because chia seeds are super absorbent, or hydrophilic, they have the ability to bulk foods up. Interestingly, the tiny seeds can hold up to 12 times their weight in water, and they can do so in less than 10 minutes. So what’s this have to do with weight loss?

(P6) As any person trying to lose weight knows, the hunger pains that accompany the new lifestyle aren’t any fun. Chia seeds to the rescue! Because they add such incredible bulk to foods, a person is able to enjoy a feeling of fullness, all while consuming fewer calories. When chia seeds are added to a typical serving of food, for example, a dieter actually ends up consuming about half the calories, thanks to the fact that the seeds displace calories and fat, all without compromising the good flavor of the food they’re added to.

(p7) In fact, licensed nutritionist Lisa Goldberg says that chia seeds are ideal for achieving weight loss goals. She says that in addition to their ability to absorb water, they’re also a high-fiber source (four grams per tablespoon), both of which contribute to reducing weight. “You have that feeling of fullness in your stomach because when you wet chia seeds, they form a gelatinous substance that takes longer to digest,” Goldberg explains. “You’ll overeat less and tend to snack less. If you eat chia before a meal, you’ll eat less at the next meal. It packs a nutritional punch without adding a lot of food to your diet.”

(P8) The benefits don’t stop there. Since this “dieters dream” provides sustained energy levels, that’s great news when it comes to exercise, a vital component of achieving weight loss. Even non-dieters know that exercise can sometimes leave them feeling drained. However, chia seeds have the ability to keep energy levels soaring, allowing dieters to give their all during workouts, and still have copious amounts of energy left over.

(P9) Chia seeds are also affordable. Why spend insane amounts of money on weight loss products that often lower your bank account instead of your pant size? At about $8 for a one-pound bag (different states or stores vary, of course), a person can make about 17 ounces (which can last about four days) of chia gel for approximately $1. That’s a mere 25 cents daily, which certainly won’t break the bank.

(P10) Making chia seeds a part of a weight loss process is a wise decision. They’re a nutritional powerhouse that keeps energy levels going strong while helping people feel full and satisfied during their healthy transition.

WORDS: 642

SOURCE: http://www.naturalnews.com/053063_chia_seeds_weight_loss_feeling_full.html

VOCABULARY: eagerly, sage family, aforementioned, offset, bulk up, gelatinous, copious

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 include chia seeds in your daily diet? Why or why not?
  3. Do you take vitamins or other supplements daily? Why or why not?
  4. Is it important for people to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What’s the meaning of the word chia?
  2. Chia seeds are often called the _______________.
  3. Chia seeds are not packed with fiber. (T or F)
  4. If you are worried about high cost, you don’t have to be with chia seeds. (T or F)
  5. These seeds are a nutritional ________________.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • a powerful superfood (P1)
  • ongoing energy (P2)
  • the numbers on the scale drop (P3)
  • the hunger pains (P6)
  • a nutritional punch (P7)
  • break the bank (P9)

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Image source: by FOTOGRAFIABASICA VIA GETTY IMAGES http://www.naturalnews.com/053063_chia_seeds_weight_loss_feeling_full.html

St Petersburg wins top title during World Travel Awards Grand Final 2016

[Travel ★★★★]

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(P1) World Travel Awards has recognized St Petersburg’s potential for tourism growth, arguing the Russian destination has a bright future on the international hospitality stage.

(P2) The city earlier claimed the title of the World’s Leading Cultural City Destination at the World Travel Awards Grand Final 2016. The event took place at The Sun Siyam Iru Fushi in the Maldives with hundreds of industry leaders in attendance.

(P3) Andrey Mushkarev, Chairman of the St Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development, said: “St Petersburg is now at the peak of its popularity. The city has won the most prestigious award in tourism.

(P4) “The northern capital of Russia hosts a large number of cultural and business events each year and this is recognition of our growing significance in hospitality. “This is the result of city authorities’ work in terms of St. Petersburg promotion as a world tourist destination.”

(P5) A global cultural center, St Petersburg is more than just home to the Hermitage Museum and the Kirov Ballet. With an exceptionally rich history, centuries-old traditions and a bright future, this fascinating destination is built on more than 45 islands and has been modeled in the French style by some of the world’s great architects.

(P6) World Travel Awards President Graham Cooke said: “It will be an honor for World Travel Awards to visit for Russia for the first time in 2017. “St Petersburg is one of the most famous cities in the world and this is a fantastic opportunity for the city to take its rightful place as a top rank tourism destination.”

(P7) The news comes at an exciting time for St Petersburg, which will itself welcome the World Travel Awards Europe Gala Ceremony in summer 2017. The ceremony is one of a large number of important events on the horizon, with the FIFA Confederations Cup also set to visit St Petersburg next year.

(P8) In 2018, the sporting capital will also welcome the biggest event of them all, the FIFA World Cup, when Russia plays host to the competition.

(P9) Lev Kuznetsov, Deputy General Manager, St Petersburg Tourism Information Bureau, part of the government of St Petersburg, said: “St Petersburg is the cultural tourist capital, not only of Russia but of the world. “The cultural heritage of our city is the heritage of the entire world. “This award is a great Christmas present for all of St Petersburg’s citizens and all Russians. “At the same time, it is a warm invitation to visit our majestic city during this Christmas holidays. “Next year promises to become the top year for the number of visitors in St Petersburg. “I am sure that a visit to our city for everyone will become one of the most memorable experiences in life. “Welcome to St Petersburg!”

WORDS: 452

SOURCE: http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/st-petersburg-wins-top-title-during-world-travel-awards-grand-final-20/

VOCABULARY: hospitality, prestigious, gala, heritage, majestic

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 St. Petersburg? If so, describe your visit. If not, would you like to go and why?
  3. What are some awesome travel destinations in your country? Why?
  4. Were or are there any important events or galas in your country? If so, describe them.

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The 2016 World Travel Awards ceremony was held in ____________________.
  2. Who is the head of the St Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development?
  3. What celebration will be held in St. Petersburg in 2017?
  4. Russia will not be hosting the World Cup in the near future. (T or F)
  5. Who said, “The cultural heritage of our city is the heritage of the entire world.”?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • has a bright future (P1)
  • at the peak of its popularity (P3)
  • to take its rightful place (P6)
  • on the horizon (P7)
  • sporting capital (P8)

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Image source: by Ivan Smelov http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/news/article/st-petersburg-wins-top-title-during-world-travel-awards-grand-final-20/

Venezuela’s Money Is So Worthless It’s Printing Bigger Bills

[Economy ★★★]

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(P1) Venezuela said it will issue higher-denominated bills as triple-digit inflation and a currency meltdown leaves the country’s largest banknote worth just around 2 US cents on the black market. The central bank said Saturday that six new bills ranging from 500 to 20,000 Bolivars will begin circulating on Dec. 15, reports the AP. Currently, the largest denominated bill is 100 bolivars, while a 2-liter soft drink bottle can cost 25 times that. The new bills come as Venezuela is bordering on economic collapse. The currency lost 67% of its value on the black market last month, falling to 4,587 bolivars per US dollar, the steepest monthly plunge ever, according to Dolar Today, which tracks the black market rate by monitoring transactions with the currency at foreign exchange houses across the border in Colombia.

(P2) Inflation, meanwhile, is expected to surpass four digits next year, per the IMF. Cash has become impossible to find with ATM withdrawals capped at an extremely low amount and Friday the nation’s credit card system froze for hours. President Nicolas Maduro blamed a “cyber attack” and ordered the Sebin intel service to raid CrediCard, which processes payment for Visa and MasterCard. He’s also accused “mafias” in neighboring Colombia of trying to carry out an “economic coup” against his socialist-run economy. “The right wing wants to impose on Venezuela a parallel exchange rate from an account in Miami, and from that account take the dollar to a disastrously crazy level,” Maduro said. Venezuela has maintained strict currency controls since 2003 and currently has two legal exchange rates of 10 and 663 bolivars per dollar used for priority imports. On the black market, where people turn when they can’t obtain government approval to purchase dollars at legal rates, the bolivar has collapsed by a factor of five in the past year.

WORDS: 300

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/234942/venezuelas-money-is-so-worthless-its-printing-bigger-bills.html

VOCABULARY: inflation, denominated, black market, plunge, surpass, raid, coup

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 is the cost of living like in your country?
  3. In your opinion, why are some currencies weaker than others? (For example Venezuela vs the USA)
  4. Are there caps on the amount of money you can withdraw from an ATM in your country? If so, what’s the max amount you can withdraw?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How much is the largest paper bill worth in Venezuela’s black market?
  2. What’s the amount of the highest new banknote that is being released in Venezuela?
  3. The leader of Venezuela is __________________.
  4. Who’s being blamed for an economic coup in Venezuela?
  5. What is the name of the currency in Venezuela?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • currency meltdown (P1)
  • foreign exchange houses (P1)
  • ATM withdrawals capped at an extremely low amount
  • strict currency controls (P2)

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Image source: by AP Photo/Howard Yanes, File http://www.newser.com/story/234942/venezuelas-money-is-so-worthless-its-printing-bigger-bills.html

The First Airplane

[History ★★★]

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(P1) Orville and Wilbur Wright, commonly known as the Wright brothers, are the inventors of the airplane. On December 17, 1903, the two American brothers flew the first airplane. Their story is very interesting.

(P2) The Wright brothers grew up in a large family in the city of Dayton, Ohio. One day, their father brought home a toy helicopter, which he gave to Orville and Wilbur. The two boys played with it until it broke. Afterward, they built their own toy helicopter. Both men later affirmed that it made them interested in flying.

(P3) When they grew up, Wilbur and Orville started a newspaper and a bicycle repair shop.  They used the money to build a flying machine. The Wright brothers’ design was based on kites and hang gliders. It wasn’t flawless but kites and hang gliders were the only reliable flying models available at the time. After many tests, they figured out that their flying machine needed a complex control system. They worked to improve the design and in 1903, the brothers built the “Wright Flyer I”. On December 17th, the brothers took their flying machine to a small town called Kitty Hawk. It took off and climbed to an altitude of 37 meters. The flight was only 12 seconds and the Flyer I’s speed was only about 11 kilometers per hour (km/h).

(P4) After their first successful flight, the brothers kept trying to improve the flying machine. There were many reporters from different newspapers who wanted to talk to the brothers and photograph them. Wilbur and Orville were unhappy with the attention and they were worried that other people might try to steal their airplane blueprints. They secretly tested their airplane and took their own photographs of the test flights. Because of this secrecy, many newspapers did not believe the Wright brothers’ success. Finally, the Wright brothers demonstrated their flying machine both in France and for the United States’ Army and they became famous around the world.

WORDS: 325

SOURCE: http://dreamreader.net/lesson/the-first-airplane/

VOCABULARY: interesting, affirmed, hang gliders, flawless, blueprints

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 were you interested in when you were growing up?
  3. Would you like to invent something? Why or why not?
  4. What memories do you have as a child growing up?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. The Wright brothers were born and raised in __________________.
  2. What toy made the brothers fascinated in flying?
  3. How high did their first flying plane climb to?
  4. Soon after the first flight, the brothers tested their machines hidden from the public. (T or F)
  5. Even though the media didn’t see the actual airplane tests, they still had confidence in the Wright brothers. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • grew up in a large family (P2)
  • flying machine (P3)
  • based on (P3)
  • took off and climb to (P3)

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Image source: Photo Credit: NASA http://dreamreader.net/lesson/the-first-airplane/

U.N. Asks for Record $22 Billion to Aid World’s Needy

[World News ★★★]

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(P1) The United Nations, or U.N., is asking for $22.2 billion dollars to provide life-saving help for nearly 93 million people worldwide.

(P2) The U.N. made the request on Monday to international donors. The request says the donations would go to helping the most vulnerable people in 33 countries.

(P3) U.N. officials say the world is facing its biggest humanitarian crisis since World War II. They say more than 128 million people are in need of urgent support. The people are said to be victims of conflict, displacement, and natural disasters. Of this number, U.N. officials are requesting money to help the individuals most severely in need of life-saving assistance.

(P4) Stephen O’Brien is the U.N.’s Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. He says the donations will make a big difference in the lives of tens of millions of people. O’Brien said the money will be used for life-saving food assistance to people close to starvation in areas including the Lake Chad Basin and South Sudan. The donations will also help people in other countries. “It will provide protection for the most vulnerable people in Syria, in Iraq, and in Yemen. And, it will enable children, education for children whose schooling is disrupted by El Niño among many other responses.”

(P5) The crisis in Syria is the United Nations’ biggest humanitarian concern. The U.N. plans to help nearly 13 million Syrians who are displaced within the country or living as refugees in neighboring countries.

(P6) O’Brien says humanitarian assistance is only a temporary solution. He told VOA that a political solution is the only thing that will end the suffering in Syria. He noted that the Syrian conflict is more than five years old. “Humanitarians can do no more than fill the gaps of people who either need food or shelter or medicines or treatments or evacuation or who need access to water and sanitation and hygiene and other non-food items in order to simply to survive.”

(P7) In addition to Syria, U.N. officials said that Yemen, South Sudan, and Nigeria are among the countries with the greatest humanitarian needs. They have had large displacements of people inside and outside their borders.

(P8) The United Nations noted that about 1.2 million people have fled South Sudan, making this the biggest refugee movement in Africa. Eighty percent of those who fled are women and children.

WORDS: 383

SOURCE: http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/un-makes-record-request-for-93-million-people-in-need-of-urgent-support/3624024.html

VOCABULARY: vulnerable, displacement, starvation, El Niño, evacuation, sanitation, hygiene

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 big international companies like Apple, Samsung, Exxon Mobil, and Aramco should donate money to help these people?
  3. Would you volunteer to go to some of these poor countries to help? Why or why not?
  4. Do you think the governments of these people should do more to help? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. How many individuals throughout the world need assistance because their lives are in danger?
  2. The number of people that require urgent support is higher than the people needing life-saving assistance. (T or F)
  3. What is Stephen O’Brian’s title?
  4. According to O’Brian what will end the painful situation in Syria?
  5. What percent of the people who left South Sudan are not women and children?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • international donors (P2)
  • is facing (P3)
  • political solution (P6)
  • inside and outside their borders (P7)

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Image source: AP https://gdb.voanews.com/B8C9C17B-A08C-4F9D-9A13-CB55B413B4CF_cx0_cy3_cw0_w1080_h608.jpg

Planes from 1920

[Culture ★★]

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(P1) Aviators flew vintage planes over Nairobi, Africa during the Vintage Air Rally, an event that recognizes biplanes from the 1920s and 1930s. People think that the oldest plane in the event is from 1928.

(P2) In a race supporting charity, the aviators are recreating the route that Imperial Airways flew during the time of British colonies.

(P3) People expect to fly the biplanes 12,800 kilometers and expect to reach Cape Town in two weeks.

WORDS: 72

SOURCE: http://www.newsinlevels.com/products/planes-from-1920-level-3/

VOCABULARY: aviators, vintage, rally, biplanes, charity, colonies

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 fly in one of these biplanes? Why or why not?
  3. Can you name some charities in your country?
  4. Are there vintage things in your country? (IE. planes, cars, furniture, etc)

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Aviators are also called ___________.
  2. The oldest plane at the rally is definitely from 1928. (T or F)
  3. The route used to be flown by ____________.
  4. How far will the planes fly?
  5. How long will it take to go to Cape Town?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • from the 1920’s and 1930’s (P1)
  • from 1928 (P1)
  • supporting charity (P2)
  • recreating the route (P2)

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Image source: by “unknown” Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1257503