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Intermediate Instant Lesson™

The Best Place To Live

Pre-Reading Activities

A: Discussion
Discuss the following questions in small groups:
1. Where is your hometown? Is it a good place to live? What are the best things about your hometown? What are some things you dislike about your hometown?
2. If you could choose another town to live in (in your own country or anywhere in the world), where would you like to live? Give reasons for your choice.
3. What do the words 'quality of life mean'?

Reading Activities

A: Reading For the Main Idea
Today's article is about a survey. What was the survey about? Who did the survey?

Part One:
Once more, Vienna ranked world's nicest city and Baghdad worst

VIENNA, Tue Feb 23 (Reuters) - Vienna, Austria's grand capital on the Danube river, offers the highest quality of life of all cities in the world, while the Iraqi capital Baghdad, once more took its place at the bottom of a liveability list compiled by consulting firm Mercer.

The survey of 230 cities helps companies and organizations determine compensation and hardship allowances for international staff. It uses dozens of criteria such as political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport.

Global centers London (72), Paris (71), Tokyo (44) and New York City (44) did not even make the top 30... Switzerland's Zurich (2), New Zealand's Auckland (3), Germany's Munich (4) and Canada's Vancouver (5) followed Vienna - which reached the best position for the seventh time in a row - in the top five of most pleasant cities to live in.

Vienna's 1.7 million inhabitants benefit from the city's cafe culture and museums, theaters and operas. Rents and public transport costs in the city whose architecture is marked by its past as the center of the Hapsburg empire are cheap compared with other western capitals... (Continued.../)

Article © 2016 Thomson Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2016 www.english-to-go.com

B: Completing A Table
Read Part One of today's article again and complete the table.

The world's top cities offering the best quality of life, 2016 rankings
1st Vienna 2nd
3rd 4th
5th  

C: Reading For Understanding
Answer these questions about Part One and Two of the article.

1. The survey helps show which cities are easier to live in and which would require a hardship allowance. Who would find this information useful? Why?
2. Give examples of the kinds of things looked at in the survey.
3. Which city was at the bottom of the list? What reason does the article give for this?

Part Two:

(Continued.../) The best African entry on the list was South Africa's Durban at 85.

Baghdad (230) was again ranked lowest in the world. Waves of sectarian violence have swept through the city since the American-led invasion in 2003.

Damascus (224), five years into Syria's bloody war, ranked six places above Baghdad, with Bangui (229) in the Central African Republic, war-torn Yemen's capital Sanaa (228), Haiti's Port-au-Prince (227), Sudan's Khartoum (226) and Chad's N'Djamena (225) in between.

Article © 2016 Thomson Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2016 www.english-to-go.com


D: Understanding Statistical Descriptions
Below are some statements from the article which describe different results. Read them again and use your own words to say what they mean. Work in pairs to do this.

Switzerland's Zurich (2), New Zealand's Auckland (3), Germany's Munich (4) and Canada's Vancouver (5) followed Vienna... - in the top five of most pleasant cities to live in.

Vienna - which reached the best position for the seventh time in a row...

Global centers London (72), Paris (71), Tokyo (44) and New York City (44) did not even make the top 30...

Damascus, five year's into Syria's bloody war, ranked six places above Baghdad...

.


Post-Reading Activities
You may do one or more of these.

A: Ranking
What makes a town a good place to live in? Some features are listed below. Add three more of your own and then, with the other students in your group, rank them from 1 for the most important feature to 10 for the least important.

a. beautiful scenery
b. no traffic problems
c. low crime rates
d. good shopping facilities
e. affordable housing
f. good climate
g. good communal spirit
h. ________________ (your own idea)
i. ________________
j. ________________


B: Writing
Does your hometown have a good quality of life? Answer this question in a short essay?


C: Speaking On A Given Topic
Choose one of the topics below and prepare a short talk on it. Make notes and practice by giving it to another student who will critique your talk. Then give it to the class.

My Hometown - what I like about it.
Small cities are best.
What I want in a city.
My city - all you need to know.
If I were mayor, I would...


TEACHERS' NOTES AND ANSWER KEY

Pre-Reading Activities

A: Discussion - Sample Answer
3. 'Quality of life' refers to things which make life more enjoyable e.g. less stress, clean and beautiful surroundings, time and opportunities to relax, health and educational facilities, recreational facilities, a safe environment, etc. It is possible to have a high income and a poor quality of life because you are too busy or stressed to enjoy your life.

Reading Activities

A: Reading For the Main Idea - Answers
To find out which cities have the best quality of living. A management consultancy Mercer did the survey.
You may like to set a time limit to encourage your students to work quickly. The same thing could be done for Reading Activity B.

B: Completing A Table - Answers
The world's top cities offering the best quality of life, 2016 rankings
1. Vienna, Austria
2. Zurich, Switzerland
3. Auckland, New Zealand
4. Munich, Germany
5. Vancouver, Canada

C: Reading For Understanding - Answers
1. Governments and companies who are trying to work out how much to pay employees who are required to live in different cities around the world. The survey shows which cities would be easier to live in.
2. political stability, health care, education, crime, recreation and transport.
3. Baghdad, Because of violence in the city that has taken place since 2003.

D: Understanding Statistical Descriptions - Notes
Students work in pairs and say what each of these extracts means. Encourage them to use their own words. This can be an oral exercise or the oral pairwork could be followed by the students writing their own version of each extract.

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