How to listen to this talk: Graham Hill “Why I’m a weekday vegetarian”

How to listen to this talk: Graham Hill “Why I’m a weekday vegetarian”

(1) Answer “Before Watching/Listening” questions below.

(2) Listen to it twice.
If you didn’t understand everything, listen two more times with subtitles. (Click “English” in the box below the video.)
If you didn’t understand everything, visit the website and read the transcript. (Click on the box below the video that says “show transcript”. You’ll have to visit the TED site to do this.)
For any difficult parts, click on the words in the transcript. Then, you can listen to him say those parts again.
Now, if you’re really having trouble, you can listen with subtitles in your language.
After you’ve listened with subtitles in your language, listen again in English.

(3) Answer the “Comprehension Questions” below.

(4) Answer the “Discussion Questions” below.

Before watching/listening:

Discuss these questions with a partner or write short answers to them on your own.

What’s a vegetarian?
How often do you eat meat?
What do you usually do on weekdays?
What do you usually do on weekends?

Watch the Video

Comprehension Questions
What’s a “green” guy?
What does it mean to grow up with “hippie” parents?
What website did he start?
What reasons does he give for being a vegetarian?
How much does eating a hamburger a day increase your risk of dying by?
What does hypocritically mean?
How do meat emissions compare to transportation emissions?
How much more water does beef production use than vegetables?
How much more meat do Americans eat now compared to the 50s?
How was he “stalling”?
What was the “binary solution”?
Why didn’t he want to become a vegetarian?
What are taste buds?
What does it mean to commit to do something?
What’s “weekday veg”?
What are the major “culprits” in terms of environmental damage?
What is red meat?
What is processed meat?
What does it mean to swap something?
What does he suggest swapping out the bad meats with?
What’s “sustainably harvested fish”?
What does he mean when he says it’s OK to break it here and there?
What’s a carbon footprint?

Discussion Questions
Do you like this idea? Why/Why not?
What’s a vegan?
What’s a factory farm? What do you think the conditions are like?
What else might you give up on weekdays?
What’s something you might start doing on weekdays?
How have eating habits changed over the past decades?

Answers to Comprehension Questions
What’s a “green” guy? (A “green guy” is an environmentalist, someone who loves nature.)
What does it mean to grow up with “hippie” parents? (His parents were hippies. Hippies are from the late 60s, they like rock music, have long hair, etc.)
What website did he start? (The site is called treehugger.)
What reasons does he give for being a vegetarian? (He discusses three reasons: it’s healthier, it’s not cruel to animals, and it’s better for the environment)
How much does eating a hamburger a day increase your risk of dying by? (It increases the risk by 1/3.)
What does hypocritically mean? (It means to act differently than you think others should act.)
How do meat emissions compare to transportation emissions? (Meat emissions are greater.)
How much more water does beef production use than vegetables? (100 times more.)
How much more meat do Americans eat now compared to the 50s? (They eat twice as much.)
How was he “stalling”? (He was delaying becoming a vegetarian. to stall = to delay, to wait for something to happen before acting.)
What was the “binary solution”? (He felt he must choose between two things: meat eater or vegetarian.)
Why didn’t he want to become a vegetarian? (He likes the taste of meat)
What are taste buds? (They are the things on your tongue that let you taste food.)
What does it mean to commit to do something? (To make a promise to yourself or others that you’ll do it.)
What’s “weekday veg”? (It’s someone who is a vegetarian Monday thru Friday, but sometimes eats meat on the weekend.)
What are the major “culprits” in terms of environmental damage? (A culprit is the guilty person/thing, the one that did something wrong. Red and processed meats cause the most damage.)
What is red meat? (It’s darker meat, red when uncooked.)
What is processed meat? (Meats that aren’t simply cut from the animal–for example, bacon, hot dogs, etc.)
What does it mean to swap something (It means to exchange it or replace it.)
What does he suggest swapping out the bad meats with? (He suggests eating sustainably harvested fish instead of red/processed meats.)
What’s “sustainably harvested fish”? (Fish that are caught without reducing the total number of fish.)
What does he mean when he says it’s OK to break it here and there? (It’s OK to stop doing it sometimes.)
What’s a carbon footprint? (The amount of carbon that is used because of you.)

How to listen to this talk: Marco Tempest: The electric rise and fall of Nikola Tesla

How to listen to this talk: Marco Tempest: The electric rise and fall of Nikola Tesla

Before watching/listening:

Discuss these questions with a partner or write short answers to them on your own.
How has electricity changed our lives? (What was life like before? What’s it like now? What’s the future of the technology?)
How about radio?
Wireless telegraphy?
Remote control?
X-rays?
Hydro-electric dams?

Watch and listen to this video

Listen to it twice.

If you didn’t understand everything, listen two more times with subtitles. (Click “English” in the box below the video.)
If you didn’t understand everything, visit the website and read the transcript. (Click on the box below the video that says “show transcript”. You’ll have to visit the TED site to do this.)
For any difficult parts, click on the words in the transcript. Then, you can listen to him say those parts again.
Now, if you’re really having trouble, you can listen with subtitles in your language. After you’ve listened with subtitles in your language, listen again in English.

Comprehension Questions
Who is this about?
What talents did he have?
What future did he imagine?
What mistake did he make?
Why did he do what he did?
What was his question at the end?

Discussion Questions
Who are other great thinkers? What did they do?
In your country, who are some great thinkers of the past and today?
Are great thinkers always respected while they live?
If you could have a conversation with a great thinker from the past, who would you choose and why?
What will technology be like in the future? How will it change our lives?

Answers to Comprehension Questions
Who is this about? It’s about Nikola Tesla

What talents did he have? He could do math problems easily. More importantly, he could see how a machine would work in his mind before he built it. Therefore, he could design and test an invention in his mind before building it in his workshop.

What future did he imagine? “A world where there would be no humiliation of the poor by the violence of the rich, where products of intellect, science and art will serve society for the betterment and beautification of life.”

It means he wanted a world where technology helps everyone—so that the rich don’t humiliate the poor.

What mistake did he make? He explained that his world telegraphy center (similar to today’s cellular networks and internet) could contact aliens. This scared people.

What was his question? He asked “what will man do when the forests disappear, and the coal deposits are exhausted?”

Summertime and the Living is Easy

Yes, it’s summertime and many students and teachers are on vacation. August is the time to relax. No stress. No problems. But you and your students don’t want your English to disappear. Here are six relaxing ways to study English in the summer.

Watch TV TV is a great way to learn English. Find a show you like in English and watch all the episodes. Normally, you should turn off the subtitles, but this is a relaxing way to learn, so keep the subtitles on and watch all the episodes of your favorite show.

Watch Movies And movies too. Good movies, bad movies, any movies. Use the extra time you have in the summer to watch all the movies you want to watch during the school year.

Go to a bar (or a coffee shop) Making friends who speak English is always the best way to learn and practice. It’s hard, but go to the bar (or coffee shop) in your area where the foreigners hang out. You don’t even need to say hello, you can just relax and listen. Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky and meet a new friend.

Make some food But do it in English. Search the internet for recipes of a food you want to try. Get the ingredients and make yourself a great summer meal.

Read an easy book OK. So reading a book isn’t very relaxing if it’s hard, but it doesn’t need to be hard. Go to the bookstore and choose a really easy English book. Children’s books can be fun and interesting. Young adult novels are cool too. Don’t worry about challenging yourself. Just pick a fun one.

Sing a song Do you like to sing? Sing at home. Sing at karaoke. Sing while you walk. All in English, of course.

And above all, have a great summer!

Corporate Titles and Organization Charts

Hello! This is easily the most popular post on this site and I can’t figure out why. Could you let me know what you were looking for? Thanks!

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Corporate Titles and Organization Charts

Many Business English students ask about titles. For example: What’s the difference between a Senior Manager and a Vice-President? What do General Mangers do exactly? How do companies use titles differently? Trying to translate titles between English and another language can be quite tricky.

But a lesson on the topic can easily solve the problems. Here are several resources you can use and then some follow-up questions.

For starters… Wikipedia’s article on corporate titles is a good place to start. You’ll find a list of over 70 titles and descriptions of what the people do.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_title

Check out some org charts… You can find links to thousands of org charts on the internet. Just do a search for “org charts” or “organization charts”. Here are a few links, anyway. Look at them with your students and discuss how they are similar or different to each other. Also, which titles do you see?

Here’s one.

And another.

And one more.

How about a joke? Follow this link for a funny cartoon. Ask your students why it’s funny?

And an article to read… Finally, about.com has a nice article about org charts. It briefly talks about charts, titles, and the purposes behind them. You can use it as a starting point for a discussion.

http://management.about.com/cs/generalmanagement/a/OrgCharts.htm

Here are some discussion questions you might ask your students:

  • What’s the purpose of an organization chart?
  • Do small companies need organization charts too?
  • At what size does a company probably need a chart?
  • How might a manager use a chart to increase productivity?
  • How might an unclear chart hurt productivity?
  • Which titles do all org charts need? Which titles are specific to certain companies?
  • What’s your dream title? Why?

voxopop.com

Website Review: voxopop.com

In short: Voxopop is a message board website. You don’t type your thoughts and read stuff that others write. Instead, you record your voice and listen to stuff that others record. It’s pretty cool. And it’s great speaking and listening practice.

For students: Check out all the different categories and add your voice. (You can just listen first, then you’ll need to set up an account to add comments.)

For teachers: You can start a private Talkgroup just for your class. You can use it for homework or for extensions on stuff you did in class.

P.S. Jason Renshaw (a.k.a. English Raven) made a great video review of Voxopop a while back. You can check it out here.

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