SCENIC MADAGASCAR STRUGGLES FOR TOURIST DOLLARS

[TRAVEL ★★★]

SCENIC MADAGASCAR STRUGGLES FOR TOURIST DOLLARS

Lemurs are feed by a caretaker at Antananarivo's Tsimbazaza Zoo Madagascar, in this December 5, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti/Files

(P1) PERCHED on the MUDDY BANK of a river MEANDERING through ROLLING green hills, the LEMURS‘ Park near Madagascar’s capital is rated one of the city’s top attractions, but you would not know it from the number of visitors.

(P2) On a Saturday in what is meant to be HIGH SEASON, only a HANDFUL of tourists are in the park to catch a GLIMPSE of the FURRY creatures ENDEMIC to the tropical forests of this VAST Indian Ocean island.

(P3) Tour operators blame the latest drop in visitor numbers on MASS cancellations that followed a month-long Air Madagascar STRIKE that GROUNDED all internal flights.

(P4) But to Rakotomamonjy Andrianantoanina, a VETERAN Lemurs’ Park guide, the long-term trend since a 2009 COUP D’ETAT that scared off visitors and RAVAGED the economy has been just as worrying.

(P5) “In 2008, the tourism in Madagascar was very high. But there has been political trouble since 2009 so the tourists are fewer and fewer,” Andrianantoanina told Reuters as ring-tailed lemurs SCAMPERED through NEARBY eucalyptus trees.

(P6) With the mining industry hit by low global COMMODITY prices, the government has promoted tourism as a SPUR of growth and job creation in one of the world’s poorest nations.

(P7) TOUTING its RAINFORESTS, REEFS, and weird and wonderful plants and animals, officials are aiming for 1 million tourists by 2020, five times higher than last year and more than double the 2008 peak, when 380,000 people visited the former French colony.

(P8) There are even LOFTY plans to compete for WELL-HEELED visitors who FLOCK to Mauritius and Seychelles, two “HONEYMOON” destinations where European ELITES have vacationed for decades.

(P9) But first the leaders of the world’s fourth largest island have to fix tourism’s two biggest problems – a poorly run state airline and a TOXIC political system that breeds INSTABILITY.

(P10) Efforts have not gone well on either FRONT.

(P11) President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, whose peaceful election in late 2013 was seen as a new start for politics, was IMPEACHED in May. Even though he OVERTURNED that vote in the constitutional court, his government nearly fell in a SUBSEQUENT CENSURE vote.

(P12) Fixing the airline has also proved tough, with a month-long strike by Air Madagascar staff BRINGING THE INDUSTRY TO ITS KNEES and adding to LONGSTANDING GRIEVANCES against a loss-making and HABITUALLY late airline.

(P13) “It’s easy to sell Madagascar abroad as a tourist destination but our main OBSTACLE is air transportation,” Tourism Minister Ulrich Andriantiana told Reuters.

(P14) Tour operators GRIPE about Air Madagascar’s domestic MONOPOLY, saying visitors BLANCH at pricey international fares and the added cost of expensive internal flights necessary to avoid the ABYSMAL roads.

(P15) A short internal flight that might cost as little as $50 in Kenya is as much as $300 in Madagascar.

(P16) “Everyone says ‘Madagascar is beautiful’, but Madagascar is not the only one that is beautiful. You can go to Cuba, Sri Lanka, Puerto Rico and they are all cheap,” said hotelier Hely Rakotomanantsoa. “The flight costs are a really big issue.”

(P17) Andriantiana, the tourism minister, said the strikes had PROMPTED the government to “liberalize” the skies by introducing more competition, including on DOMESTIC flights.

(P18) “It’s not good to have a monopoly,” he said. “If Air Madagascar doesn’t work well, every sector will fall down.”

(P19) The government had held talks with Kenya Airways and Air France to introduce new international routes to open up markets in Africa, Asia and North America, he added.

(P20) Until now, Madagascar has marketed itself to adventure travelers as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit a “modern-day NOAH’S ARK” – a reference to estimates that 80 percent of its plant-life cannot be found anywhere on the planet.

(P21) “It’s amazing how you can travel for six hours and go from desert to rainforest,” said 19-year-old Briton Ollie Tiliouine, who volunteered for a marine conservation CHARITY before CRISS-CROSSING the island on RICKETY minibuses.

(P22) Competing for the HIGH-END tourists who flock to Seychelles and Mauritius, two neighboring Indian Ocean islands famed for AZURE waters and white sandy beaches, will prove TRICKY.

(P23) “Outside the capital, it’s hard to find good services and hotels, especially for the upper market,” said another tour operator who did not wish to reveal her name as she was critical of tourism policy.

(P24) That matters little to THE LIKES OF Pauline Geoffroy, a 22-year-old French tourist who traveled 3,000 km (2,000 miles) in CRAMPED public buses across HUMID lowlands and UNDULATING highlands DOTTED with SHIMMERING rice fields.

(P25) “The sea, mountains and wildlife here are just so unique,” she said. “It’s like a paradise. I would definitely come back.”

WORDS: 753

SOURCE: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/02/us-madagascar-tourism-idUSKCN0Q705F20150802

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. Madagascar is a very distant travel destination. What is the farthest you have ever traveled from your home?
  3. When you travel, do you prefer comfort or adventure?
  4. Madagascar has problems with political stability and poor INFRASTRUCTURE that hurt its tourism industry. Is the tourism industry in your country highly developed?
  5. Madagascar does have unique OFFERINGS for tourists, including many unusual animal and plant species. What are the most unusual tourist offerings in your country?

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.

  • High season
  • Coup d’etat
  • Well-heeled
  • Bring to its knees
  • Noah’s Ark
  • Criss-cross
  • High-end
  • The likes of

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

SIX STEPS TO GET OVER JOB BURNOUT

[BUSINESS ★★]

SIX STEPS TO GET OVER JOB BURNOUT

man-frustrated-with-phone

(P1) If job BURNOUT hits you, your productivity and happiness are likely already suffering. But that’s not to say you can’t get them back.

(P2) There are some CLEAR-CUT WARNING SIGNS that you may be approaching or experiencing burnout, which is a state of CHRONIC stress that leads to EXHAUSTION, DETACHMENT, and feelings of INEFFECTIVENESS. If you think you might be, it’s time to take action.

(P3) Burnout specialist Ben Fanning shares six tips that can help you CONQUER job burnout without quitting your job.

(P4) 1. Be PROACTIVE about solving the problem.

(P5) Rather than being a “HAPPY HOUR complainer,” address the things at work that bother you.

(P6) “You’ll feel less HELPLESS if you ASSERT yourself,” Fanning says. Not having AUTHORITY is no longer an excuse to not make a difference, he says.

(P7) 2. Make a list of your regular tasks, and compare them to your job description.

(P8) “It’s often surprising how job descriptions don’t reflect the work you’re actually doing,” Fanning says. He suggests comparing a copy of your job description to a self-made list of what you’ve actually been doing, and show them to your boss.

(P9) If you POINT OUT the extra things that you’ve been doing, you may “gain a little LEVERAGE by showing that you’ve been putting in work over and above the PARAMETERS of your job,” he says.

(P10) 3. Define and visualize the perfect situation.

(P11) It’s easy to complain about the things that aren’t going well, but can you give an exact description of your dream job? What work hours, activities, and relationships would be part of your day?

(P12) “Only you can answer that,” Fanning says. “If you don’t take the time to define it yourself, you’ll be living someone else’s dream, not your own.”

(P13) 4. Propose a solution to your manager.

(P14) Don’t simply walk into your boss’ office and ask to do something new, Fanning says. Make an actual proposal. “It could be a different department entirely, a new territory, or something as simple as a TWEAK of your current role,” he says.

(P15) It’s important to prove yourself first. One way to do this is to work on a project you’re passionate about during your personal time and get results. You should enjoy doing it, and you’ll have solid EVIDENCE to back your offer, Fanning says.

(P16) 5. Take some time off.

(P17) A vacation is a great way to TAKE A BREAK from office stress, but there are other ways to get that much needed time off. If you’re truly suffering from job burnout, anything that can help is worth trying.

(P18) Consider using your sick days or asking for a temporary LEAVE OF ABSENCE, Fanning suggests. Then take that time and completely disconnect from your laptop and cell phone. “Use the time away to RECHARGE YOUR BATTERIES and get a new PERSPECTIVE,” he says.

(P19) 6. Get a coach.

(P20) VENTING to family and friends can help temporarily relieve stress, but it isn’t a long-term solution. Plus, they’ll likely grow annoyed if it continues to happen. Talking to a wellness or stress coach may help.

(P21) “Oftentimes, a confidential, UNBIASED THIRD-PARTY perspective with your best interest in mind is just what you need to get into a more helpful MINDSET and GENERATE a new path forward that works for you,” Fanning says.

WORDS: 547

SOURCE: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-get-over-job-burnout-2015-8

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 experienced job burnout? What did you do about it?
  3. Is your current workplace high-stress or low-stress?
  4. Do you want to be a high-level executive with higher levels of responsibility, stress, and salary, or are you CONTENT to stay in the middle level of your company?
  5. Is leaving a job sometimes the right answer to job burnout?

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.

  • Clear-cut
  • Warning sign
  • Happy hour
  • Point out
  • Take a break
  • Leave of absence
  • Recharge your batteries
  • Third-party

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

EGYPT TO OPEN “NEW SUEZ CANAL”

[WORLD NEWS ★★★]

EGYPT TO OPEN “NEW SUEZ CANAL”

100718-N-1082Z-032 SUEZ CANAL (July 18, 2010) The amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland (LSD 48) prepares to pass under the Egyptian-Japanese Friendship Bridge as it transits the Suez Canal. Ashland is part of the Nassau Amphibious Ready Group supporting maritime security operations and theater security cooperation operations in the U.S. 5th and 6th Fleet areas of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jason R. Zalasky/Released)

(P1) Egypt is set to INAUGURATE a “new Suez CANALWATERWAY TOUTED as an achievement rivalling the digging of the original, as it seeks to BOOST both its economy and international STANDING.

(P2) The ceremony on Thursday, to be attended by foreign DIGNITARIES including French President Francois Hollande, comes just over two years after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the former military chief, OVERTHREW his Islamist PREDECESSOR.

(P3) Sisi BROKE GROUND on the project last August after winning a presidential election on promises of strengthening security and REVIVING the AILING economy.

(P4) The new 72-kilometre (45-mile) waterway, built in less than a year at a cost of $9 billion (7.9 billion euros), runs part of the way alongside the existing canal connecting the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

(P5) It will cut the waiting period for VESSELS from 18 hours to 11.

(P6) By 2023 the number of ships using the canal will increase to 97 per day from the current 49, the Suez Canal Authority website said.

(P7) “It sends a message to the public and foreign investors that the government is capable of accomplishing something in a set TIME-FRAME,” Amr Adly of the Carnegie Middle East Center told AFP.

(P8) “Since (former president Mohamed) Morsi’s OUSTER the new REGIME is engaged in a political conflict to prove its LEGITIMACY inside and outside Egypt.”

(P9) “The ability to accomplish such an economic project is part of CEMENTING this legitimacy.”

(P10) Sisi set an ambitious target of digging the waterway in just a year despite an initial estimate it would take up to three years.

(P11) Officials say the entire funding for the project was raised in six days by selling investment certificates to domestic investors.

(P12) It involved 37 kilometres of dry digging and 35 kilometres of expansion and deepening of the existing canal.

(P13) Preparations for Thursday’s LAVISH opening are IN FULL SWING in the port city of Ismailiya.

(P14) Some 10,000 policemen will STAND GUARD across six PROVINCES as Sisi opens the ceremony by joining a naval parade, state media said.

(P15) Newly bought French Rafale warplanes and US F-16s delivered by Washington last week will also be on display.

(P16) BANNERS saying “New Suez Canal: From Egypt to the World” have been put up at Cairo airport, and hundreds of Egyptian flags GRACE the capital’s streets.

(P17) The opening comes amid a RAPPROCHEMENT between the West and Sisi’s regime, although Washington remains critical of the country’s human rights situation.

(P18) A police CRACKDOWN targeting Morsi supporters has killed hundreds and seen thousands jailed.

(P19) MILITANTS have killed SCORES of policemen and soldiers, mostly in the Sinai Peninsula that lies between Israel, the Gaza Strip and the Suez Canal.

(P20) In July, the Islamic State group AFFILIATE in Egypt claimed a missile attack that destroyed an Egyptian naval vessel off North Sinai.

(P21) Suez Canal Authority chief Mohab Mameesh has declared the new waterway “safe” after conducting a TRIAL RUN.

(P22) The expanded canal is considered a “national project” that aims to revive an economy BATTERED by political UPHEAVAL since the 2011 ouster of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak.

(P23) It is part of a plan to develop the surrounding area into an industrial and commercial HUB that would include the construction of ports and provide shipping services.

(P24) The government is aiming for an annual GROSS DOMESTIC PRODUCT growth rate of seven percent for an economy traditionally driven by tourism and canal revenues.

(P25) Tourism has PLUMMETED, however, with last year’s 10 million visitors sharply down from 2010 when 15 million foreigners visited Egypt.

(P26) The authorities hope the new waterway will more than double Suez earnings from $5.3 billion expected at the end of 2015 to $13.2 billion in 2023.

(P27) Mameesh said about a million jobs are expected to be created around the canal over the next 15 years.

(P28) Analysts doubt the FORECASTS.

(P29) “There will be an increase in REVENUES, but are these figures CREDIBLE?” asked Carnegie’s Adly.

(P30) “It’s not just about the increase in traffic… it’s also related to external factors such as growth in global trade itself.”

(P31) Built 146 years ago, the original canal is one of the world’s most heavily used SHIPPING LANES and a key focus of international trade.

(P32) Its expansion is a major achievement for Sisi, but Egypt needs many projects to turn around its DILAPIDATED economy, Fawaz Gerges of the London School of Economics and Political Science told AFP.

(P33) “The administration will CAPITALISE on this project to SHOWCASE economic growth, but it is UNLIKELY to RESOLVE challenges facing the economy,” he said.

WORDS: 741

SOURCE: http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-egypt-seeks-cash-prestige-boost-with-new-suez-canal-2015-8

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 shipping an important industry in your country?
  3. When the Suez Canal was first opened in the 19th Century, it was the most impressive engineering project in the world. What is the most impressive piece of construction that you have ever seen?
  4. Egypt’s economy needs a boost. How is the economy performing in your country?
  5. Shipping moves far more goods around the world than airplanes do. Why do you think this is 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.

  • Break ground
  • Time-frame
  • In full swing
  • Stand guard
  • Trial run
  • Gross Domestic Product
  • Shipping lane

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

LOST WHALE GUIDED TO OPEN WATERS IN ARGENTINA

[ENVIRONMENT ★]

LOST WHALE GUIDED TO OPEN WATERS IN ARGENTINA

whale_argentina_759

(P1) A lost whale made a surprise visit to a LUXURIOUS MARINA in Argentina, PERIODICALLY surfacing among the YACHTS while hundreds of ONLOOKERS tried to capture the moment with smartphones.

(P2) After CREATING A SPLASH at the Puerto Madero DOCK in Buenos Aires, the whale was guided out to open waters Tuesday by workers employed by the city.

(P3) The animal, measuring about 20 feet, appeared near the Yacht Club on Monday morning, an UNEXPECTED DIVERSION from its MIGRATION from the country’s southeast up to the warmer Brazilian northeast.

(P4) AQUATIC rescue workers, with help from the nation’s environment secretary and local organizations, tried to lead the whale to open water on Monday. It was showing signs of MALNUTRITION and WOUNDS on its skin, experts said.

(P5) Only on Tuesday morning were workers led by city government VESSELS able to guide the animal toward the Rio Plata River, from which they hoped it would reach the Atlantic Ocean.

(P6) Puerto Madero’s young visitor is of the Megaptera novaengliae species, which grows to as much as 52 feet.

(P7) News of the whale quickly spread on social media and was broadcast live by local stations, PROMPTING hundreds to line up to catch a GLIMPSE.

(P8) “We were at home having lunch when we saw it on the news and said, `We have to see this for ourselves,”‘ said Rosana Saavedra, a teacher who came with her husband and teenage daughter. “We were so curious. What is this whale doing here?”

(P9) Within a few hours, the normally SEDATE quarter with pricey coffee and pastry shops had a CARNIVAL ATMOSPHERE as vendors sold cotton candy and soda, and families with small children kept an eye out for the whale.

(P10) People were worried about what might happen to the creature.

(P11) “It’s really sad,” said Daniela Ritta, who works at a bank around the corner from the marina and went with COLLEAGUES to have a look. “This is not its natural habitat. The poor whale is clearly lost.”

(P12) Mariano Sironi, scientific director of the Whale Conservation Institute in Argentina, said whales sometimes get DISORIENTED and swim UPSTREAM in rivers. When that happens, they often need help to get back to sea — usually from boats to direct them.

(P13) A FRESHWATER environment like a marina can hurt the skin of whales, provides no food, and makes it harder for them to swim because it is not as BUOYANT as salt water, Sironi said.

WORDS: 406

SOURCE: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/lost-whale-guided-open-waters-argentina-n404061

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 seen a whale or dolphin in person, either in the wild or at an aquarium?
  3. Whales and dolphins are extremely intelligent. Do you think we will ever be able to communicate with them?
  4. Unexpected events often create a SENSATION, and with the growth of social media, this is more true than ever. Have there been any sensational events in your country recently?
  5. Why is freshwater dangerous or DEADLY for saltwater animals?

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.

  • Create a splash
  • Carnival atmosphere

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

THE QUEST TO SOLVE A VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPH MYSTERY

[CULTURE AND ENTERTAINMENT ★]

THE QUEST TO SOLVE A VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPH MYSTERY

Vintage Photo 1

(P1) A US photographer has launched an internet hunt to find two mysterious women pictured on an old roll of film she discovered in a SECOND-HAND shop.

(P2) Meagan Abell was SIFTING THROUGH a box of VINTAGE photographs in Richmond, Virginia when she found four sets of “transparency slides”.

Vintage Photo 2

(P3) She took them home to scan them and was “shocked” at the level of detail.

(P4) “I thought ‘holy wow they are beautiful’. I’d love to find the women or the photographer who took them.”

(P5) When were they taken?

Vintage Photo 3

(P6) Ms Abell believes the pictures date back to the 1950s or 60s because of the way the women are dressed.

(P7) She has launched an internet campaign to track down the models – one of whom she believes could be “Hawaiian or bi-racial” – along with the owner of the film.

(P8) “I have had some pretty awesome leads,” she told the BBC.

(P9) “I think they may have been taken at Dockweiler in Playa del Rey in California. A girl who surfs near that beach emailed me with some pictures.

(P10) “When I OVERLAID them with the images I found, they were a perfect match.”

Vintage Photo 4

(P11) Who was behind the lens?

(P12) Ms Abell is a professional photographer and regularly spends time RAIDING boxes of old photographs.

(P13) “I’m used to seeing old scratched up negatives. I’d never seen anything like this,” she added.

(P14) The owner of the THRIFT STORE was unable to SHED ANY LIGHT ON the photographs’ origins – but that has not DETERRED Ms Abell.

(P15)”I am absolutely excited,” she said.

(P16) “Based on conversations I’ve had with film photography VETERANS, I would say it was a professional PHOTO SHOOT for fine art imagery, or for a magazine cover or spread.

(P17) “According to the vets, it’s highly unlikely an AMATEUR photographer in that time period would use this type of film and shoot these kinds of images.”

(P18) Ms Abell is URGING anyone who recognises the women or the style of photography TO GET IN TOUCH WITH her.

WORDS: 335

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-33729714

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. These days, most people take photographs with their smartphones or tablets. Do you own an actual camera?
  3. Although digital photography has become popular, “real” photographers still learn to make pictures the OLD-FASHIONED way, on 35 millimeter film that is developed in a DARKROOM. Do you know how to do this?
  4. Fine art photography UTILIZES both color and black-and-white film. Which do you prefer?
  5. Have you ever found anything old and interesting in a little shop, your grandparents’ home, or someplace else?

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.

  • Second-hand
  • Sift through
  • Thrift store
  • Shed light on
  • Photo shoot
  • To get in touch with
  • Old-fashioned

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

DONALD TRUMP IS DESTROYING THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AMONG LATINO VOTERS

[OPINION ★★]

DONALD TRUMP IS DESTROYING THE REPUBLICAN PARTY AMONG LATINO VOTERS

150629062326-donald-trump-june-16-2015-exlarge-169

(P1) Donald Trump paid the city of Laredo a DRIVE-BY visit Thursday, spending just enough time off his plane to say he’d been to the U.S.-Mexico border.

(P2) Trump, a New Yorker, who lives in a city with a much higher crime rate than Laredo, said he had put himself at “great danger” coming to the southern border. Yet another example of EXAGGERATING the truth.

(P3) Trump’s LITANY of INCENDIARY characterizations against Mexican immigrants who have crossed the border attempts to transform LATINOS into the new American BOOGEYMAN. Trump is FANNING THE FLAMES of XENOPHOBIA in an older generation of American voters who fear DEMOGRAPHIC changes that put them in a less powerful status.

(P4) Trump’s impossible vision would TURN BACK THE CLOCK and lead Americans back to white dominance. But it is not going to happen.

(P5) 90% of Laredo’s population is Mexican-American. Mexican-Americans are mostly multigenerational Americans who are the BACKBONE of the American Southwest; they are not the CULPRITS Trump says they are.

(P6) Trump’s suggestion that rapists, criminals, and murderers enter the U.S. from Mexico is RESONATING with a key segment of older, white, male voters in the Republican Party. Trump’s rise in the POLLS confirms this. But Trump’s message is also REINFORCING a perception among Latino-Americans that the Republican Party is anti-Latino.

(P7) The Republican Party remains PARALYZED, unable to SHOUT DOWN Trump and kick the SCHOOLYARD BULLY off the campaign stage. FELLOW candidates Lindsey Graham, Rick Perry, and Marco Rubio have attempted to DUKE IT OUT with Trump on certain points, but have not done well.

(P8) How does this political TELENOVELA end?

(P9) Every day on social media, Latinos are REPUDIATING Trump and the Republican Party.

(P10) Soon it may be impossible for Republicans to UNDO the DAMAGE. Following this trend, less than 27% of the Latino community, the percentage Mitt Romney got in 2012, will vote for the Republican presidential candidate in 2016. The choice for the Republican National Committee is either to SPEAK TRUTH TO POWER and DISOWN Trump now, or accept a loss of future power.

WORDS: 346

SOURCE: http://edition.cnn.com/2015/07/24/opinions/sanchez-trump-border/index.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. What has been the reaction to Donald Trump in your country?
  3. American political elections are full of personal attacks and NEGATIVE CAMPAIGNING. What is the political style in your country?
  4. Do you vote always, sometimes, or never?
  5. Who do you think will be the next President of the United States? Is the result of the election important for your country?

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.

  • Drive-by
  • Fan the flames
  • Turn back the clock
  • Shout down
  • Schoolyard bully
  • Duke it out
  • Speak truth to power
  • Negative campaigning

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW

WHAT COUNTS MORE? GRADES OR FRIENDSHIPS?

[EDUCATION ★★]

WHAT COUNTS MORE? GRADES OR FRIENDSHIPS?

columbia-university-roaree-the-lion-and-friends

(P1) There is one factor in education that I feel is too seldom discussed, and which serves as a CONSTANT throughout PRECARIOUS times. That constant is friendship. In a world where busyness earns BRAGGING RIGHTS and where hyperconnectivity is the NORM, relationships can feel short-lived, INSTRUMENTAL, or SUPERFICIAL. And yet, there are few things more powerful in life than a genuine friendship. Indeed, for young people completing their studies, entering the working world, growing startups, and travelling to new cities, there are few things more VALUABLE in one’s life than true friendship.

(P2) Students, graduates and young professionals are wise to focus their attention on grades, career PROSPECT, and CASH FLOWS, respectively, for these factors can have short or even long-term influences on individuals’ lives. These early years are without question PARAMOUNT in building impressive CVs, gathering the experiences and achievements required to PROPEL us forward.

(P3) However, friendship is deeper and more ENDURING. I earned a strong GPA and a scholarship to the University of Cambridge, and now I employ other young people, but I can assure undergraduates that in time grades do not really matter. Salaries, cash flows, and clients will come and go. You will forget about 95 per cent of the content you’re memorizing for tomorrow’s exam. Your investors and employers will only glance at your transcripts before slipping them into the shredder.

(P4) Friendships are the ESSENCE of a university experience and the working world, at least in the early stages. As a young person, you owe it to yourself to surround yourself with individuals who inspire you, and whose perspectives and experiences both COMPLEMENT and challenge your own. These individuals will eventually reflect who you are as a person, and VICE-VERSA.

(P5) Sometimes, the UNLIKELIEST of friendships will endure and grow into relationships that shape others’ lives. In my HOME-TOWN of Edmonton, for example, Mayor Don Iveson and his Campaign Manager Chris Henderson met in high school – a COLLISION that would one day change the LANDSCAPE of Edmonton politics. I am no longer surprised to learn how COUNTLESS relationships in business and politics begin in university lecture rooms, fraternity and sorority houses, and student association council chambers. Young people should never STRIVE to make everyone their friend – conflict matters and will INEVITABLY lead to disputes and unique challenges. In some cases, you will learn that friendships aren’t worth continuing, and that’s OK.

(P6) We can seldom GO WRONG by putting ourselves in the company of curious, imaginative, courageous, and energetic PEERS, however. In short, those who inspire us with their words and actions. The energy and positive spirit that others display contributes significantly to one’s own character, where a friend becomes a REFLECTION of one’s self. These experiences cannot be measured by a grade or line on a CV. As we enter the New Year, there is little better that one can do than to enjoy the time spent with friends and the experiences that will outlive what is learned in a lecture hall.

WORDS: 498

SOURCE: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/education/what-matters-more-in-university-gpa-or-friendship/article22275013/

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 still friends with many people you knew in university or high school?
  3. Do you agree that these friendships are ULTIMATELY more important than the grades you earned or the content you learned?
  4. Do you think there is a strong difference between personal friends and professional friends?
  5. Are you very active in social networking? Have you made new friends that way?

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.

  • Bragging rights
  • Cash flow
  • Vice-versa
  • Home-town
  • Go wrong

PRACTICE ARTICLE NOW