HUGE NUMBER OF RARE TURTLE SPECIES FOUND IN SHIPPING CRATE

[ENVIRONMENT ★★★]

HUGE NUMBER OF RARE TURTLE SPECIES FOUND IN SHIPPING CRATE

Turtles

(P1) Last month, turtle EXPERTS thought there were fewer than 3,000 Philippine forest turtles left in the world. They were SHOCKED when they found 3,800 more — STACKED on top of each other in a CEMENT TANK in a Chinese-owned Philippine WAREHOUSE.

(P2) The thousands of turtles had no VISIBLE ACCESS to water, and a MYRIAD of INJURIES and illnesses. Rick Hudson, president of the Turtle Survival ALLIANCE (TSA), said the discovery was “shocking” and “a NIGHTMARE” in an email to SUPPORTERS.

(P3) “Injuries were OBVIOUS,” he wrote. “Turtles were dying. There was CHAOS.”

(P4) Of the 3,800 turtles, nearly 3,000 were RELEASED. The other thousand were HELD BACK for TREATMENT for broken shells, skin problems, bone INFECTIONS, DEHYDRATION and a number of other medical problems RESULTING from CAPTIVITY.

(P5) The rescued turtles have been helped by a RUSH of support from turtle groups around the world, TSA among them. But these same groups worry about the bigger questions raised by this discovery, both about the already-THREATENED wild POPULATIONS and Asia’s increasing APPETITE for turtles.

(P6) The Philippine forest turtle was something of a MYTH for much of the twentieth century, its existence known from a MEAGER four SPECIMENS that had been found over the decades. But it was rediscovered in 2004, when a small population was found living in Palawan, an island PROVINCE of the Philippines.

(P7) Unfortunately, while the SPECIES’ REEMERGENCE was a BOON to CONSERVATIONISTS, it was also an INVITATION to POACHERS. “When that species was rediscovered it set off a COLLECTING FRENZY,” Hudson said, adding that the turtles can FETCH a HUGE price on the international market due to their RARITY.

(P8) These rescued turtles, which were all wild-caught, had been SNATCHED from their forest homes by an organized SYNDICATE of poachers. “DUE TO the fact that some of them were so EMACIATED and in such bad SHAPE, we SUSPECT that some of them were there for up to six months,” Hudson said, adding that they were headed for turtle farms in China.

(P9) “The Chinese are trying to farm any species of turtle they can get their hands on,” he said, explaining that growing DEMAND means turtles from all over the world are being sent to China to be bred for the EXOTIC pet trade or for meat. The Philippine forest turtles were probably going to be BRED for collectors since they’re simply too VALUABLE to kill for meat.

(P10) While a few hundred turtles died in the days after the rescue, the DEATH TOLL would have been more SIGNIFICANT if the Philippine forest turtles had been shipped off. They only THRIVE in their natural home — a far cry from the CRAMPED and STRESSFUL CONDITIONS of turtle farms.

(P11) “This species does very POORLY in captivity under the best of conditions,” Hudson explained. A big problem is that they’re SOLITARY and, quite SIMPLY, “they don’t want to be with another turtle,” which can lead to fighting and general stress.

(P12) And in a species that’s so rare, the death of even a few is significant — which is why Hudson described the discovery as “a nightmare” in his email.

(P13) The Philippine forest turtles aren’t alone. Millions of turtles die each year to meet Chinese demand, with other countries DEPLETING their native turtle populations to send them to China. 75 percent of Asia’s freshwater turtle and TORTOISE species are threatened.

(P14) But those are bigger questions, and FOR THE TIME BEING everyone is FOCUSED on saving the rescued turtles who need help after their BRUTAL treatment. “Some of these have been HANDLED very ROUGHLY,” Hudson said. “They’ve been TOSSED around, they have CRACKED shells.”

(P15) VOLUNTEERS worked with the Palawan Wildlife Rescue Center to CREATE a turtle HABITAT, REPURPOSING old crocodile ENCLOSURES into turtle-friendly HAVENS complete with SHADE, big ponds and fresh food.

(P16) And the weeks of hard work seem to have PAID OFF. Of the original thousand or so held back for treatment, only 246 remained in INTENSIVE CARE as of earlier this week. But while those numbers are small compared to the original INTAKE, every last individual is CRUCIALLY important.

(P17) “It’s still RANKED as CRITICALLY ENDANGERED,” Hudson said of the species. “So we have to take PRECAUTIONS to save as many as we can.”

WORDS: 718

SOURCE: http://www.businessinsider.com/dodo-turtle-rescue-2015-7

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. Since poaching is both illegal and IMMORAL, what MOTIVATES people to do it?
  3. Are there any rare or endangered animals in your country?
  4. To most people, “turtles are turtles.” How do scientists tell one species from another?
  5. Have you ever been involved in volunteer work?

EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:

What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Hold back
  • Due to
  • Death toll
  • For the time being
  • Pay off
  • Intensive care

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

BIZARRE GRAVE THEFT OF FAMED VAMPIRE FILM DIRECTOR

[CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT ★★★]

BIZARRE GRAVE THEFT OF FAMED VAMPIRE FILM DIRECTOR

Nosferatu

(P1) Olaf Ihlefeldt lives a life filled with MIXED BLESSINGS. On one hand, he’s manager of one of Western Europe’s PREMIER RESTING PLACES — the IDYLLIC Stahnsdorf South-Western Cemetery outside Berlin.

(P2) “Southwesterly Stahnsdorf belongs beside Venice Toteninsel San Michele, Vienna’s Central Cemetery and Père Lachaise in Paris [as] UNDOUBTEDLY one of the GRAND HOTELS of international CEMETERIES,” the Web site of what’s known as the Südwestkirchhof Stahnsdort reads. “The Südwestkirchhof is a place of SUPERLATIVES: the largest forest cemetery, the most important MONUMENTS of funeral art, the final resting place of OUTSTANDING personalities.”

(P3) But Ihlefeldt has a problem: He’s RESPONSIBLE for the body of ACCLAIMED German director F.W. Murnau (1888-1931) — the MASTERMIND behind the horror classic “Nosferatu” — and somebody keeps MESSING WITH it. Murnau’s TOMB was first broken into in the 1970s, and his iron COFFIN DAMAGED; in February, the grave was DISTURBED again by unknown PARTIES.

(P4) And now, someone has stolen Murnau’s head — or, more ACCURATELY, his skull. Reached by phone early Wednesday, Ihlefeldt was not pleased.

(P5) “I think I know what you mean,” he said when asked of RUMORS of Murnau’s skull-theft reported in Spiegel Online and other OUTLETS. “Yes, it’s true.”

(P6) Ihlefeldt said he discovered the tomb had been broken into on Monday. A candle left at the scene led to SPECULATION that Murnau’s CORPSE was part of a CEREMONY STAGED by “Satanists” or those practicing “BLACK MAGIC,” as Ihlefeldt put it.

(P7) “There was a candle,” Ihlefeldt said. “… A photo session or a celebration or whatever in the night. It really isn’t clear.”

(P8) Though Murnau rests among LUMINARIES — sharing REAL ESTATE with opera composer Engelbert Humperdinck and ARCHITECT Walter Gropius of the BAUHAUS SCHOOL — Ihlefeldt said Murnau’s tomb and his LEGACY are something, well, superlative.

(P9) “It was a really special, special thing there,” he said. “It was really important for us.”

(P10) It’s not clear whether Murnau, who died after a car accident in California in 1931, was SPECIFICALLY TARGETED, and the WHEREABOUTS of his skull are unknown. What is known: Murnau’s legacy as a PIONEERING GERMAN EXPRESSIONIST only seems to have grown in the eight decades since his death. The past century has seen TERRIFYING films such as “Night of the Living Dead,” “The Fly” and “The Ring” — to name but a few. Some were made with SOPHISTICATED SPECIAL EFFECTS; some SPAWNED FRANCHISES of films now numbering in the DOUBLE-DIGITS; some were UBER-violent.

(P11) But none of them really HAS ANYTHING ON a silent TAKEOFF on Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” shot on film and RELEASED in 1922.

(P12) “Few characters in cinema have proved as INDOMITABLY INFLUENTIAL as Max Schreck’s Count Orlok in F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu,” John Oursler of Pop Matters wrote in 2013. “Even those who think they haven’t seen Murnau’s ICONIC horror UR-TEXT actually have done so, only SECONDARILY. They have experienced it in HOMAGES and PARODIES, seen its influence on every SUCCESSIVE horror film that has made use of the pioneering TECHNIQUES of German Expressionism, been terrified by the image of a SLINKING shadow climbing across a wall.”

(P13) The similarity of Murnau’s tale to Stoker’s led to a LAWSUIT, and many prints of the film were destroyed. The movie’s legacy, however, lived on: The film influenced COUNTLESS REMAKES of the “Dracula” tale; was remade by German icon Werner Herzog; and INSPIRED the BLACK COMEDY “The Shadow of the Vampire,” in which John Malkovich, as Murnau, casts Willem Dafoe as Orlok.

(P14) Given the LASTING power of Murnau’s CREATION, it’s not hard to understand why an ERRANT German Satanist would want to MAKE OFF WITH his skull — which is little comfort to Ihlefeldt.

(P15) “It’s an absolute SCANDAL here,” he said.

WORDS: 621

SOURCE: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/07/15/nosferatu-director-f-w-murnaus-skull-stolen-satanists-suspected/

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. People seem to either love horror movies or hate them. What is your feeling?
  3. The era of silent films lasted from 1895 to 1927 (later than that in some Asian countries). Have you ever seen a silent film?
  4. The original “Nosferatu” was in black-and-white, with color TINTING added to certain scenes. Do you think a movie is SCARIER in black-and-white or in color?
  5. Vampire stories and movies such as the “Twilight” series have become very popular again in recent years. Have you read and seen some of these, or are you tired of vampires?

EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:

What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Mixed blessing
  • Resting place
  • Grand hotel
  • Mess with
  • Black magic
  • Real estate
  • Special effects
  • Double-digits
  • Have anything on
  • Ur-text
  • Black comedy
  • Make off with

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

RICH AND AMERICAN? AUSTRALIA WANTS YOU

[LIFE ★★]

RICH AND AMERICAN? AUSTRALIA WANTS YOU

sydney_opera_house_harbor_skyline_australia_photo_robert_wallace

(P1) FLUSH WITH the success of a millionaire visa program to ATTRACT wealthy Chinese, Australia is now promising citizenship to rich Americans who are WILLING to bring their cash and ENTREPRENEURIAL talent DOWN UNDER.

(P2) But there’s a rather large CATCH. PARTICIPANTS in the invitation-only Premium Investment Visa SCHEME will need to INVEST A$15 million ($11.57 million) for the PRIVILEGE of becoming an Aussie.

(P3) LAUNCHED earlier this month but not WIDELY PUBLICIZED, the scheme’s investment REQUIREMENTS easily TOP the EXISTING two-year-old Significant Investor Visa (SIV) program, which asks for a A$5 million COMMITMENT and has been especially popular with Chinese MIGRANTS.

(P4) Investment ADVISORS who have been BRIEFED on the plan by government officials EXPRESSED DOUBTS about the WISDOM of TARGETING Americans, with several saying the more OBVIOUS place to start was Australia’s Asian neighbors.

(P5) After all, why would a successful U.S. entrepreneur want to invest a large CHUNK of cash in Australia – a country very similar to the United States, just further away from everything – in EXCHANGE for a passport that carries few additional benefits to their own?

(P6) “The U.S. has some problems that Australia doesn’t have. It’s got a lot more racial crimes, it’s got a lot more gun-related crimes, but I don’t think that is going to drive a whole bunch of ULTRA-rich Americans out of their country,” said Bill Fuggle, a partner at law firm Baker & McKenzie who advises wealthy Chinese migrating to Australia.

(P7) The program, which does not have any RESIDENCY requirement, allows WOULD-BE migrants to invest pretty much anywhere except housing.

(P8) The Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) REVEALED for the first time that the program would begin in the United States before EXPANDING to other major markets such as the United Kingdom.

(P9) Despite the HEFTY investment requirement, officials say it’s not about the money. It’s about attracting the BEST AND BRIGHTEST entrepreneurial talent from around the globe, and from America IN PARTICULAR.

(P10) “The United States … is a natural place to target the kinds of entrepreneurial skills and talents we need to CULTIVATE further in Australia,” Austrade said in an email.

(P11) U.S. “INNOVATORS” would help to build links between Australians and “entrepreneurial HUBS” such as Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Boston, it added.

(P12) “Australia has long been a place of innovative ideas, research and development, but has often LACKED the CAPITAL, DEPTH of entrepreneurial talent or SCALE to commercialize our ideas successfully,” Austrade said.

(P13) Australia’s national science AGENCY, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), BOASTS inventions such as WiFi, high-NUTRIENT GRAINS and a new way of making plastics that is already the BASIS of more than 200 PATENTS. But it often STRUGGLES to bring its ideas to market due to a lack of VENTURE CAPITAL.

(P14) For the fourth CONSECUTIVE year, Australia made the Top 10 global DESTINATIONS for foreign direct investment in 2014, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development. It ranked 8th, one ahead of the UK, and is one of only four developed countries in the Top 10.

(P15) Tax experts said that while there were no major tax advantages for Americans in Australia, the DEPRECIATING Aussie dollar and the country’s PROXIMITY to EMERGING MARKETS like Indonesia and China could help to attract U.S. talent.

(P16) Another recent area of HEIGHTENED U.S. interest in Australia is the STOCK MARKET, which is being eyed as a FUNDRAISING VEHICLE for venture capital-SHY U.S. tech start-ups.

(P17) Apple Inc co-founder Steve Wozniak is the most famous U.S. entrepreneurial talent to TAKE UP Australian residency, after his son married an Australian and migrated to Sydney.

(P18) “No country is perfect, but I like a lot of things about this place,” he told the Australian Financial Review newspaper in December.

(P19) More than 90 percent of the ROUGHLY 3,000 APPLICANTS for Significant Investor Visas are Chinese who wish to move to Australia for a better LIFESTYLE or to avoid a SWEEPING CORRUPTION CRACKDOWN at home.

(P20) Americans hardly FIGURE among those being granted SIVs, FUELLING doubts about how many will be interested in a “PREMIUM” visa.

(P21) “America and Australia are very similar countries. You could move from San Francisco to Sydney and it would be almost the same life,” Baker & McKenzie’s Fuggle said.

(P22) “So we are much more likely to get ultra-high NET WORTH Chinese entrepreneurs than Silicon Valley Americans.”

WORDS: 740

SOURCE: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/12/us-australia-usa-immigration-idUSKCN0PM10320150712

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. Is it a DISADVANTAGE for Australia to be so far away from North America and Europe?
  3. Australia is very close to Asia, which is one reason why so many wealthy Chinese would like to move there. Should we consider Australia to be part of Asia?
  4. Do you think this Australian visa program will actually attract many wealthy Americans?
  5. It is often said that the wealthy are more like “global citizens” than the rest of us. Why might this be true?

EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:

What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Flush with
  • Down Under
  • Would-be
  • Best and brightest
  • In particular
  • Venture capital
  • Emerging market
  • Take up
  • Net worth

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

CHARLES DICKENS LITERARY DISCOVERY SHOCKS SCHOLARS

[CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT ★★]

CHARLES DICKENS LITERARY DISCOVERY SHOCKS SCHOLARS

dickens-1_2794642k

(P1) VICTORIAN authors often published in magazines ANONYMOUSLY. But notes by Charles Dickens himself have REVEALED the ILLUSTRIOUS authors behind many of the pieces in the PERIODICAL he edited.

(P2) A newly discovered BOUND collection of All the Year Round, a magazine edited by Dickens, shows the Great Expectations author’s own handwriting. His ANNOTATIONS INDICATE that PREVIOUSLY anonymous short stories, poems and articles were written by North and South author Elizabeth Gaskell, Alice in Wonderland creator Lewis Carroll and The Woman in White author Wilkie Collins.

(P3) ANTIQUARIAN book DEALER Jeremy Parrott discovered the MARGINALIA in a previously unopened collection of 20 volumes of the magazine, which he bought from a fellow book dealer in Wrexham.

(P4) “When I saw the listing of 20 volumes in red cloth with GILT edges for sale I was excited,” said Parrott. “There was no mention of annotation but when I opened the box and saw the notes it was all my Christmases at once.

(P5) “To realise it was Dickens’s own set and his own handwriting revealing who wrote everything was incredible. That has never been public information because the pieces were DELIBERATELY published without ATTRIBUTION, as Dickens’s name appeared on the top of every page.”

(P6) The discovery IDENTIFIES the authors of 2,500 CONTRIBUTIONS to the magazine and shows many previous ASSUMPTIONS as to the authorship of these pieces to have been wrong. The BBC broadcaster and Wilkie Collins EXPERT Paul Lewis was present at the Ghent University conference in which Parrott UNVEIL his findings.

(P7) “This is the ROSETTA STONE of Victorian studies because it gives you the key to what hundreds of people wrote,” said Lewis. “When this list EMERGES it will change Victorian SCHOLARSHIP.”

(P8) Parrott added that “this rewrites, EFFECTIVELY, many authors’ BIBLIOGRAPHIES throughout the 19th century”.

(P9) Studies by other leading academics have CONFIRMED the LIKELIHOOD that the notes are in the hand of Dickens. There is also EVIDENCE that he wrote some of the pieces himself.

(P10) The editors of Victorian periodicals often contributed to them anonymously, so the discovery of two articles co-authored by Dickens comes as no surprise. The writer’s annotations also show that he used the magazine as a PLATFORM for his family’s literary ASPIRATIONS. Two articles in the paper have been newly attributed to the author’s then teenage sons Sydney and Francis.

(P11) Among the 2,500 pieces written by more than 300 authors, two articles have been revealed to be by Gaskell, eight pieces to be by Collins, and a poem is now thought to be by Carroll. Eliza Linton, the first SALARIED female journalist in Britain, has been identified as the author of more than 100 of the articles. Around 40 percent of the articles are attributed to women writers.

WORDS: 466

SOURCE: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/11736048/Charles-Dickenss-annotations-reveal-the-Rosetta-Stone-of-Victorian-literature.html

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. Charles Dickens is one of the world’s classic novelists. Do you enjoy classic literature, CONTEMPORARY literature, or both?
  3. Why were the pieces in “All the Year Round” published anonymously?
  4. Why is it significant that 40% of the articles are by women?
  5. This is one of the major literary discoveries in recent years. What sort of discoveries and developments excite you?

EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:

What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Rosetta Stone

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

POPE AND PATRIARCH PLAN MEETING

[WORLD NEWS ★]

POPE AND PATRIARCH PLAN MEETING

Pope Francis waves as he leads his Sunday Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican June 28, 2015. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

(P1) An historic meeting between Pope Francis and PATRIARCH Kirill of the Russian Orthodox Church is “getting closer every day,” a senior Orthodox PRELATE said in an interview published on Sunday.

(P2) The UNPRECEDENTED meeting would be a SIGNIFICANT step towards HEALING the 1,000-year-old RIFT between the Western and Eastern BRANCHES of Christianity, which SPLIT in the GREAT SCHISM of 1054. The Russian Orthodox Church is the largest of the APPROXIMATELY 20 Eastern Orthodox Churches, all of which are in FULL COMMUNION with each other.

(P3) “Now such a meeting is getting closer every day but it must be well prepared,” Metropolitan Hilarion, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s foreign relations department, said in an interview with Italy’s Corriere della Sera newspaper.

(P4) He said the meeting between the head of the 1.2 billion member Roman Catholic Church and the head of Russian Orthodox Church – which counts some 165 million of the world’s 250 million Eastern Orthodox Christians – would take place in a “NEUTRAL” country, not in Moscow or the Vatican. Austria or Hungary were possibilities, he said.

(P5) Hilarion, one of the most INFLUENTIAL people in Eastern Orthodoxy, said he could not say if the meeting could take place as early as this year, but there was CURRENTLY “a good DYNAMIC” between the two Churches.

(P6) Francis told reporters on the plane returning from a trip to Turkey last year that he had sent word to Kirill that he was WILLING to meet the Russian patriarch “wherever you want, you call me and I’ll come”.

(P7) The Russian Orthodox Church has ACCUSED Catholics of using their new freedoms of religion following the BREAK-UP of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s to try to CONVERT people from the Orthodox Church, a CHARGE the Vatican has DENIED.

(P8) One of the biggest BONES OF CONTENTION is the FATE of many church properties that Soviet DICTATOR Josef Stalin CONFISCATED from Eastern Rite Catholics, who WORSHIP in an Orthodox RITE but OWE their ALLEGIANCE to Rome.

(P9) Stalin gave the property to the Russian Orthodox Church but after the fall of communism, Eastern Rite Catholics took back many church properties, mostly in western Ukraine.

WORDS: 360

SOURCE: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/28/us-pope-orthodox-idUSKCN0P80KU20150628

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. The article INDICATES that Russia has many Russian Orthodox churches and many Eastern Rite Roman Catholic churches. What are the most popular religions in your country?
  3. Do you consider yourself a religious person?
  4. There are many different branches of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, etc., instead of just one in each case. Why is this true?
  5. If the Pope and the Patriarch do meet, what would be positive RESULTS of the meeting?

EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:

What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Break-up
  • Bone of contention

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

77% OF PARENTS WOULD CONSIDER STUDY ABROAD FOR THEIR CHILDREN

[EDUCATION ★]

77% OF PARENTS WOULD CONSIDER STUDY ABROAD FOR THEIR CHILDREN

Neag-Students-Show-their-excitement-to-be-in-Paris

(P1) More than three-quarters of parents who took part in a WORLDWIDE SURVEY carried out by UK-based multinational banking and financial services company HSBC would consider sending their children abroad for university. Parents in Asia, especially, are willing to OVERCOME cost BARRIERS to give their children an international education.

(P2) Of the 5,550 parents surveyed across 16 countries, 77% said they would consider having their children study abroad at either undergraduate or postgraduate level to help them stand out in COMPETITIVE job markets.

(P3) The Learning for Life report revealed WIDESPREAD concerns about EMPLOYABILITY, with 47% of respondents saying they think it will be harder for their children’s GENERATION to find a job after graduation than it was for their own.

(P4) Other KEY benefits of studying abroad that parents identified included giving students the opportunity to become more knowledgeable about the wider world (78%) and to experience different cultures (51%).

(P5) ACCORDING to the report, “Parents in Asian countries are most RECEPTIVE to the idea of sending their child abroad for undergraduate study”.

(P6) The results show that Malaysia had the highest positive response rate, with 80% of parents saying they would consider it, followed by almost three quarters of all parents surveyed in Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore.

(P7) Parents in India (88%) were most likely to consider postgraduate study abroad for their children, followed by Turkey (83%), Malaysia (82%) and China (82%).

(P8) In contrast, just 52% of parents in Australia, 53% in Canada and 59% in the USA said they would consider sending their children abroad for postgraduate study.

(P9) Cost is the main barrier to study abroad, according to the report. Around a third of the parents who would not consider sending their children overseas to study, said that they would like to but could not afford it.

(P10) The report also notes that parents’ awareness of the cost of an OVERSEAS education VARIES according to their children’s age. A higher PROPORTION of parents with pre-primary aged children said they would consider sending them abroad for university education, than those with children of university age – 82% compared with 72%.

(P11) CORRESPONDINGLY, the proportion of parents concerned about cost also increases as their children get older. Less than a third of parents with pre-primary school age children who would not consider sending them to university abroad gave cost as the reason, compared with 42% of those with children of university age.

(P12) However, almost a quarter of RESPONDENTS – 24% – said they would pay 50% more for an overseas degree than for a DOMESTIC one, while 45% would pay 25% more.

(P13) The proportion of parents willing to pay more was PARTICULARLY high in China, where 69% of parents said they would pay a quarter more than at home, followed by 62% in Hong Kong and 59% in both India and Taiwan.

(P14) “Our survey told us parents believe an international education can help their child STAND OUT from their PEERS in a job market which has become increasingly difficult,” said Caroline Connellan, Head of UK Wealth at HSBC.

(P15)“This is why many parents – especially in Asia – are willing to send children abroad for university, and pay more for the experience compared to what they would pay to educate their child at home,” she explained.

WORDS: 558

SOURCE: http://thepienews.com/news/77-of-parents-would-consider-study-abroad-for-children-says-hsbc-report/

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 studied abroad? If you have children, would you consider it for them?
  3. Is the competition for good jobs in your country very difficult these days? Is it becoming harder to stand out?
  4. Is knowing English becoming more necessary to find a good job and to get PROMOTED?
  5. Do you think that many students who study in another county are LONELY, or do most of them ADJUST and make new friends?

EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:

What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Stand out

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

THE LONG AWAITED ENCOUNTER WITH PLUTO

[TECHNOLOGY ★★]

THE LONG AWAITED ENCOUNTER WITH PLUTO

Pluto

(P1) If all goes ACCORDING to plan, by Tuesday at 8 a.m. Eastern Time, the best images of Pluto ever taken will be sitting safely in the computer memory of the fastest moving spacecraft in history as it HEADS OUT of the solar system.

(P2) But no one will know until Tuesday night whether those images exist or whether NASA’s New Horizons PROBE even survived BARRELLING past Pluto at 50,000 kilometres per hour. At such a BREAKNECK VELOCITY, a DRIFTING SPECK of GRIT the size of a GRAIN of sand could easily prove FATAL to the two-metre-wide spacecraft if it’s hit in the wrong place.

(P3) Mission scientists say the chances of such a strike are less than one in 10,000.

(P4) “It’s a MEASURED risk,” said PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR Alan Stern during a news BRIEFING Monday at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md., where the mission is based.

(P5) Even so, those FAVOURABLE ODDS have not DIMINISHED the note of ANXIETY mixed in with the ANTICIPATION as researchers AWAIT their first post-encounter contact with New Horizons, scheduled for 8:53 p.m. on Tuesday.

(P6) That CRUCIAL link will last only about 15 minutes, not long enough to download any science data, but it will at least allow scientists to ASSESS how much data is there. The spacecraft will then ORIENT itself back toward Pluto to ACQUIRE more images and measurements as it rapidly RECEDES from Pluto and its moons, TAKING ADVANTAGE OF what many here are calling a ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME opportunity to study the solar system’s most ENIGMATIC world.

(P7) “There’s no DRESS REHEARSAL,” said Ralph McNutt, a NASA scientist and co-investigator on the mission. “You know you’re going to do this once and you’ve got to do it right.”

(P8) On Monday, with the closest APPROACH still to come, scientists were PORING over images of Pluto and its large moon Charon that were taken over the weekend.

(P9) The images show the northern region of Pluto covered in a bright, FROSTY polar cap and other measurements have CONFIRMED the presence of frozen nitrogen and METHANE there. With a surface temperature of less than -220 C, it’s not a surprise to see some of the gases that make up Pluto’s thin atmosphere freezing out near the poles.

(P10) Pluto also has a ZONE of darker-looking material around its EQUATOR and there are signs of what could be circular CRATER rims and cliffs there.

(P11) Both Pluto and Charon are “very interesting and very different worlds,” said deputy project scientist Kimberly Ennico Smith.

(P12) Charon FEATURES a PROMINENT dark SPLOTCH at its north pole, causing some researchers to SPECULATE that the dark material may somehow be drifting from Pluto and SPUTTERING onto its moon, about 12,500 kilometres away. New Horizons will pass that same distance from Pluto and about twice as far from Charon at closest approach. The spacecraft carries a SPECTROMETER that should help scientists identify the nature of the dark features on both worlds and better PIN DOWN their ORIGINS.

(P13) While many scientists are REVELLING in what they are seeing, some are RESERVING JUDGMENT on exactly what all the new features mean until they see the CLOSE-UP images, the first of which are expected on Wednesday.

(P14) “Science ON THE FLY often proves to be wrong,” said Dr. Stern, who added that it was both exciting and SURREAL to finally be looking at Pluto at the CULMINATION of New Horizons’ 9 1/2-year journey.

(P15) One new result that can now be ASSERTED with confidence is Pluto’s size, which astronomers had been unable to measure PRECISELY New Horizons has revealed Pluto to be 2,370 kilometres across, give or take 20 kilometres. That makes it – OFFICIALLY – the largest object beyond the orbit of Neptune.

(P16) In 2006, the International Astronomical Union declared that Pluto was no longer to be DESIGNATED a planet because some of the other icy bodies that ORBIT the sun even farther out appeared, at that time, to be even larger than Pluto.

(P17) “I think we’ve got to get used to the fact that there are many [more] planets in the solar system,” Dr. Stern said.

WORDS: 698

SOURCE: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/science/nasas-new-horizons-probe-set-for-long-awaited-encounter-with-pluto/article25487167/

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. New Horizons is an UNMANNED probe. Do you think that humans will ever travel as far as Pluto?
  3. The budget for space projects has been cut in the United States. Do you think that the money spent on space travel is money well spent?
  4. Have you ever dreamed about becoming an ASTRONAUT?
  5. Do you believe that there is intelligent life ELSEWHERE in the universe? Will we ever make contact with it?

EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:

What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Head out
  • Take advantage of
  • Once-in-a-lifetime
  • Dress rehearsal
  • Pin down
  • Reserve judgment
  • Close-up

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW