This Week’s Top 12 Articles To Learn English Taken From The News (2017 – Week 31)

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Learn English through Articles

This week, we have twelve interesting up to date articles, some with audio and video accounts, to suit all level students, taken from different news and general websites. You will be able to discuss these topics with our teachers.
Pick one, read it – write down new vocabulary, then let your teacher know before the lesson what article you want to talk about. Check out the different topics:
Current Affairs
Business & Economy
Science & Technology
Culture & Leisure
Health & Lifestyle
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Current Affairs

How pragmatic Finland deals with its Russian neighbor

From: BBC.com
Level: Intermediate and above
Includes: Article

Russian President Vladimir Putin is travelling to Finland at a symbolic time: the country is celebrating its 100th year of independence from Russia.
And the visit will be rich in symbolism.
Mr Putin will join his Finnish counterpart, Sauli Niinisto on Thursday in the picturesque lakeside town of Savonlinna – an area with plenty of history dating back to the Russian empire.
Read more
Questions:
The article talks about “prickly issues” that will be discussed between two parties, does your country have any “prickly issues” with another country? What are they? How can they be resolved?
Why do you think the relationship between Finland and Russia on the whole works now?
Vocabulary:
Acquiescing- verb accept something reluctantly but without protest.
Annexation- noun the action of capturing something, especially territory.
Counterpart- noun a person or thing holding a position that corresponds to that of another person in another place.
Derisive- adjective expressing contempt or ridicule.
Prickly Issues – adjective situations that are difficult and the other side could be offended.
Symbolism- noun the use of symbols to represent ideas or qualities.

France bans MPs from hiring family members

From: The Local
Level: Intermediate
Includes: Article

French politicians will no longer be able to hand out jobs to family members, after a parliamentary vote.
Employing ‘immediate family members’ will be punishable by fines of €45,000 and up to three years in prison under the new law.
Read more
Questions:
This new law has come about after the Francois Fillon scandal during the recent elections, what is your opinion of this new law?
Is it a good or bad thing? Who will it protect?
Without this scandal could Francois Fillon have won the election?
Vocabulary:
Crackdown- severe measures to restrict or discourage undesirable or illegal people or behavior.
Moralization- verb to reflect on or express opinions about something in terms of right and wrong.
Perceived- verb interpret or look on someone or something in a particular way
Plummeted- verb decrease rapidly in value or amount.
Spouses- noun a husband or wife, considered in relation to their partner.

The Case Of The ‘Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat’ Goes To Court

From: Newsy.com
Level: Low Intermediate and above
Includes: Video and Transcript

It’s true. Passenger space on airplanes is shrinking — so much so that the issue went to court.

A U.S. appeals court took on the “Case of the Incredible Shrinking Airline Seat,” which pits Flyers Rights — an advocacy group for airline passengers — against the Federal Aviation Administration.
Read more
Questions:
How often do you fly? Do you feel that your rights are being violated by having less leg space?
What according to this article are the risks to passengers?
Why do you think the case for Passengers rights was not successful?
Vocabulary:
Advocacy- noun public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy.
Decades- noun is a period of ten years
Evacuations – noun when people are removed from or leave a dangerous place.
Hinders- verb create difficulties for someone or something, resulting in delay or obstruction.
Shrank – verb become or make smaller in size

Business , Economy & Law

Grit: The power of passion and perseverance

From: Ted Talks
Level: Intermediate and above
Includes: Video and Transcript

When I was 27 years old, I left a very demanding job in management consulting for a job that was even more demanding: teaching. I went to teach seventh graders math in the New York City public schools.. After several more years of teaching, I came to the conclusion that what we need in education is a much better understanding of students. So I left the classroom, and I went to graduate school to become a psychologist.
Read more
Questions:
Do you agree that strength, perseverance work ethic are as or more important than intelligence and qualification in the workplace?
The speaker says” we need to be gritty about getting our kids grittier.” What does she mean by this and how can we do make this happen.
Vocabulary:
Challenging- adjective testing one’s abilities; demanding.
Dropping out- phrasal verb abandon a course of study
Grit –noun courage and resolve; strength of character
Rookie- noun informal a new recruit, especially in the army or police.
Stratospheric – adjective informal extremely high

Google yourself and build online fame: 5 ways to boost your personal brand

From: The Telegraph UK.
Level: Intermediate and above
Includes: Article

How often do you Google someone to find out what they look like? How frequently do you scroll through the social media platforms of people you meet?
For the first time in history, we can see into the lives of anyone – and that includes you and me. It’s why building your personal brand is so important, especially when starting out in business.
Read more
Questions:
How important is it to create a brand for yourself?
What does your image or brand say about you?
Do you think it is easier to “brand” a product or yourself and why?
Vocabulary:
Ambassador- noun a person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specified activity.
Audit- verb conduct an examination of an individual’s or organization
Brand – noun a distinguishing symbol, mark, logo, name, word, sentence or a combination to use to distinguish a product from others in the market
Corporate- adjective a corporation, especially a large company or group.
Resilient- adjective able to recover quickly from difficult conditions.
Revenue- noun income, especially when of a company or organization and of a substantial nature

Zarela Mosquera: Creating Messages Through Public Art and Design

From: Voice of America
Level: Low intermediate and above
Includes: Video ,Article & Audio account

Brazilian Zarela Mosquera moved to the United States as a teenager. The adjustment to a new place was difficult. Mosquera says she was a bratty teenager, as a result. But it was not just the adjustment that affected her behavior. Mosquera says there was another major stress in her life at that time: She was the only member of her family who spoke English. Mosquera is now a design strategist for Marshall Moya Design, an architecture and interior design company in Washington, D.C.
Read more
Questions:
What does Mosquera say about her experiences as a child? How do you think this formed her future ?
Why did Mosquera choose to study industrial design?
How does the designer inspire others to follow their career dreams?
Vocabulary:
Adjustment – noun the process of adapting or becoming used to a new situation.
Brand –verb creating a unique name and image for a product
Bratty – adjective spoiled, self-centered, and badly behaved.
Conversation – noun an informal talk involving two people or a small group of people
Cube – noun an object that has six square sides
Filter – verb to remove something unwanted from a liquid or gas
Foundation – noun something (such as an idea, a principle, or a fact) that provides support for something
Jack of all trade – noun a person who is adept at many different kinds of work
Pedestrian – noun a person who is walking in a city, along a road, etc.
Realm – noun an area of activity, interest or knowledge
Street harassment – noun a form of unwanted comments, whistling and other actions by strangers in public areas
Stress – noun a state of mental tension and worry caused by problems in your life, work, etc.

Science ,Environment & Technology

Ecology versus economy in Ghana

From: DW.com
Level: Intermediate and above
Includes: Article

Ghana is about to trade 5 percent of its bauxite deposits to China for $15 billion. In a guest commentary by environmental advocate Joshua Amponsem, he questions the motives and long-term impact of such a move.
Read more
Questions:
Do you agree that building the economy should not rip up a quality environment? How can this be done?
The article talks about a green economy what does that mean to you?
Vocabulary:
Activist- noun a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.
Exploitation- noun the action of making use of and benefiting from resources.
Extractive- adjective involving removal, especially of natural resources without provision for their renewal.
Second line of thinking- adjective is something that is not the preferred choice.
Self-sustainable- adjective maintaining or able to maintain oneself or itself by independent effort
Weariness- noun reluctance to see or experience any more of something.

This 10-Pound Keyboard From The 1980s Is Making A Comeback

From: NPR.org
Level: Low Intermediate and above
Includes: Audio and Transcript

Only a well-trained ear might be able to hear the difference between a generic keyboard and the IBM Model F keyboard that was popular in the 1980s.

The Model F is considered by many people to be the best keyboard ever. IBM stopped making it in the ’90s and the patent expired. But the keyboard is having another moment!
Read more
Questions:
What kind of keyboard do you prefer and why?
Why do you think has this keyboard made a comeback?
Vocabulary:
Hobby- noun an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.
Patent- noun a government authority or license giving the sole right a set period, especially to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention.
Striving- verb make great efforts to achieve or obtain something.
Tactile- adjective designed to be maintained and used by touch.
Well-trained ear- idiom an ear that can tell the difference between things

Culture & Leisure

5 Meal Prep Upgrades So You Can Have Healthier Lunches All Week

From: Bon Appetit.com
Level: Intermediate
Includes: Article

Its noon, and you’re staring into your work fridge, hoping that if you blink hard enough, a more exciting lunch will appear. Spoiler alert: It won’t. But, if you could turn back time, you would’ve meal-prepped better last weekend and maybe done some other stuff differently too
Here are five tips for making lunch al desk the best part of your day!
Read more
Questions:
(What do you normally take to work for lunch?
Do you eat at your desk ?
Which of these suggestions would you follow and why? )
Vocabulary:
Al desko- adverb informal eating lunch while working at one’s desk in an office
Cassava –noun the starchy potato like root of a tropical tree, used as food in tropical countries
Powerhouse- noun a person or thing of great energy, strength, or power.
Proponent- noun a person who advocates a theory, proposal, or project.
Spoiler- noun a person or thing that ruins something.
Upgrades – verb raise something to a higher standard.
Vegan – adjective using or containing no animal products

Do NOT Marry Someone Until You Can Honestly Answer These 20 Questions

From: Popsugar.com
Level: Low intermediate and above
Includes: Article

Maybe you’ve been together a while and are considering taking a big step, or perhaps you just started seeing one another and aren’t sure if you should stay the course.

Whatever your situation, a check-in is never a bad thing. Read on for 20 tough questions to ask about your relationships before moving forward.
Read more
Questions:
Do you think it is realistic to ask these questions before getting married?
Are there any particular marriage customs in your country?
Do you think that nowadays marriage is outdated or not?
Vocabulary:
Devastating- adjective highly destructive or damaging.
Gut- verb informal in this context the emotional part of a person
Internal conversations-noun the conversations that individuals have with themselves in their mind.
Intimidated- verb being frighten or overawe by someone.
Putting your best foot forward- idiom to show oneself in the best or most positive way possible; to make a favorable impression
Vouch- verb confirm that someone is who they say they are or that they are of good character.
Walking down the aisle- idiom getting married

Health & Lifestyle

One minute of daily exercise linked with better bones for women

From: MSN.COM
Level: Intermediate
Includes: Article

Got a minute? Then you’ve got enough time to strengthen your bones.
So say British researchers who found that women who did daily 60- to 120-second bursts of high-intensity, weight-bearing exercise — such as running — had 4% better bone health than those who exercised less than that)
Read more
Questions:
Do you have a history of osteoporosis in your family?
What do you do to strengthen your bones?
How important is the information in this article for women? Why is it important?
Vocabulary:
Biomechanics- noun the study of the movement or structure of living organisms
Bursts- noun a short, sudden, and intense effort.
Fractures- noun a break, usually in a bone
High-intensity training – noun where you work, then rest, then work again
Snippets- noun a small piece or brief extract.

Your Mighty New Mindful Habit: Learn to Respond, Not React

From: Apartment Therapy
Level: Intermediate
Includes: Article

Whether you’re talking with friends, family, romantic partners or even coworkers or employees, how you communicate means a lot, especially when it comes to serious topics or any sort of conflict. But how do you become a more considerate communicator?
Read more
Questions:
Do you think you are a good listener?
Do you react or respond?
How will this article help you in the future?
Vocabulary:
Biases- noun prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group usually in a way considered to be unfair.
Broaching – verb raise a sensitive or difficult subject for discussion
Considerate- adjective careful not to cause inconvenience or hurt to others.
Defensive- adjective very anxious to challenge or avoid criticism
Mindful- adjective conscious or aware of something.

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That is all for this week, we hope you have enjoyed the articles selected for you. Please let us know what type articles you particularly liked or if you would like another type of articles included in our weekly list. Share your thoughts and comments on our Facebook page or tell your teacher.

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