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Chinese Students Return Home
China began letting more of its students out into the world in the late 1970s. But it is only recently that foreign-trained Chinese have begun to return, lured by a booming economy and more opportunities in the growing number of private companies and foreign firms that now have offices in China. (China, students, employment, scanning, comprehension, gap fill, true, false or not given, the suffix 'ee', role play, essay topic.)
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The Business of First Impressions
You have 10 seconds; no more than 90. That's how long it takes to form a first impression, which for business travelers can ultimately sink or seal a deal. (Business etiquette, preparing for a meeting, making a good first impression, understanding the headline, finding ideas, business crossword, thinking carefully, writing an e-mail, ordering text game, conditionals and even.)
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Up, up and away!
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a strap-on flying machine. And it could be yours on eBay for $1 million with just one catch -- you have to agree not to use it. (Flying machines, auctions, listening for gist, information exchange, reading for specific information, adjectives, persuasive essay.)
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Music Sales Sinking
Slumping music sales left the recording industry with a whopping New Year's hangover, but rap star Eminem has plenty to celebrate. (Music sales in 2002, talking about music, summarizing the main idea, jigsaw reading, multiple choice questions, reading interview with hip-hop musician, Michael Franti, discussion, writing a statistical report.)
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Peace Training Grounds
McCarthy loves the long-shot. Good thing, too, because the journalist-turned-peace activist is betting that warlike humanity will some day evolve into enlightened creatures guided by love and harmony. (Peace studies, finding the main idea, true, false or not given, missing sentences, sharing information, gap fill, suffixes, finding grammatical errors, essay.)
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Pampering Pets in Style
Pet salons are but the latest sybaritic development that help make a dog's life in Tokyo these days very, very good indeed. Statistics are not kept on Japanese pet spending, but the industry seems immune to the chill economic winds that have caused consumer spending to otherwise slump. (Beauty treatments for dogs in Japan, how people spoil their pets, predicting, reading and matching pictures, text organization, comprehension, descriptive language, writing an ad.)
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Lawyers Want Government Jobs
Today, the Enron and WorldCom stories have transformed corporate crime fighting into a top choice for law students who, only two years ago, might have looked down their noses at a career in government. (Legal graduates and government law, listening comprehension, discussing pros and cons, true, false or not given, comprehension, completing statements, verbs that take the infinitive, role play.)
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Inventing the Future
Three years ago, few people stopped to consider that a $70 or $80 monthly charge might deter the typical American consumer from buying online music, video and games. The actual product being peddled was broadband Internet access, and it was supposed to be an easy sell at any price. (Broadband access and the fate of companies promoting it, making predictions, understanding the main idea, true or false, comprehension, inventions through history, prepositions, discussion.)
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Ecstasy Warning
Ecstasy, the popular "club drug" favored by young partygoers, may damage the same brain cells hurt in Parkinson's disease, U.S. researchers said. (Effects of using Ecstasy, ordering ideas, information gap fill, inference, true or false, word families, discussion, persuasive essay topic, role play.)
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eBay Watch
Few would question that auction enterprise eBay has become one of the most important companies on the Internet. But what was it about eBay that not only allowed it to survive, but thrive in a nascent industry where success became the exception rather than the rule? (The auction website eBay, guessing words from context, sequencing, role play, discussion, spot the mistake - grammatical errors.)
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Ground Zero
Today's lesson looks back to the events of September 11, 2001 and analyses an article giving an account of the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to the ruins of the World Trade Center complex shortly after the event. (Vocabulary and style, scanning, text organization, synonyms, analyzing a text, expressive writing, human interest stories.)
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The Fuss About Fugu
One of Japan's most famous fish dinners could be a date with death. A meal of fugu, a poisonous blowfish, is famous throughout Japan. (Unusual meals, Japanese restaurants, scanning, matching information, true, false or not given, text organization, interviews, discussion, role play and word forms.)
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Accent on Second Language Development
Hearing a second language spoken day-to-day will not translate into fluency but it may help children speak with a more convincing accent, results of a study suggest. (Second language development, self-evaluation of language learning, finding the main idea, true or false, pronunciation of past tense verbs.)
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Who Are You?
The need to prove identity in the world left changed by September 11, 2001 is driving technology designed to help people clear security checkpoints at airports and elsewhere. (Security identification systems, choosing appropriate verbs, listening, debate.)
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Life Saving Computing
Scientists using the power of more than a million home computers, all cranking along as one, have come up with thousands of possible compounds that could be developed as a cure for anthrax. (Computers, networks, health, research, scanning, intensive reading, present participles.)
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Dead as a Dodo
Scientists at Oxford University have extracted DNA from a dodo, the famous flightless bird hunted to extinction in the 17th century. (DNA, endangered animals, summarizing, question words.)
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Work Internet Stopped
Major corporations are increasingly classifying employee email and Internet privileges as potential security hazards, distractions or worse, costly legal dangers in the making. As a result, companies are considering dramatically curtailing, or even abolishing completely the freedoms, on which employees have grown increasingly reliant over the past few years. (The Internet, business, employment, personal phone calls at work, adverbs, writing a memo.)
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60 Years Among Stars
This lesson is about the famous cosmologist, Stephen Hawking. (Physics, cosmology, famous people, paragraph beginnings, question tags.)
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Water, water everywhere...
Many of the world's freshwater lakes face death by pollution, resulting in catastrophe for the human populations that depend on them. Experts have warned that there is not a lake left on the planet that is not already being affected by human activities. (Discourse markers, text structure, participles as relative clauses.)
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Nostradamus Email
Thousands of people received e-mails containing a prophecy from 16th century French astrologer Nostradamus that forecast the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, often with a second part forecasting that the attack on the twin towers would mark the beginning of World War III. (Believing information, Nostradamus, email, summarizing, researching, giving a talk.)
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Put a cork in it?
Portuguese cork producers are worried that more and more wine bottles will use plastic seals. At stake, they say, is not only a billion-dollar industry but the mainstay of many farmers in Portugal's south, where ancient cork trees also prevent desertification and are a refuge for bird life. (Business, the environment, Portugal, the present perfect, for and since.)
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Stunt Animals
As an employee looking after stunt animals on movie sets, this woman was called upon to even protect a cockroach! (Hollywood, animal protection, movies, articles)
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Monkey Business
Scientists have genetically engineered a monkey, the closest relative yet to a human to be genetically altered. What's next? (Genetic engineering, science, health, punctuation)
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Corking Row over Sour Grapes
Researchers in Australia say metal screwcaps appear to be better at preserving the quality of white wine than corks. (Tradition, wine connoisseurs, descriptive language.)
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Worker Privacy
Employee privacy in the United States is under threat. A survey showed that Internet connections were monitored by 63 percent of companies, telephone use was tracked by 43 percent, computer use such as time logged on or keystroke counts was monitored by 19 percent, and video surveillance for security purposes was used by 38 percent. (Present perfect, oxymorons.)
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Viruses - An Old Enemy
Physicians may someday recruit an old enemy -- viruses -- to fight human cancers. (disease, mice, cancer)
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Football - Union or Association?
What's it to be, Rugby or soccer? Read this argumentative article and you be the judge. (Britain, history)
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Arctic Adventures
If you yawn at the thought of a Mediterranean cruise and couldn't care less about Caribbean beaches, how about climbing a frozen waterfall or helping to skin a seal? Arctic tourist adventures. (Nunavut, tourism, the Arctic)
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Possible Bioweapon
This lesson is about Australian scientists who inadvertently created a killer mouse virus, and the problems of trying to control the spread of biological weapons. (Virus, scientific mistakes, bioweapons)
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