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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Human Interest

I'm From Got Milk?
Biggs, California is not "Got Milk?"... After a week which saw the small community catapulted into the international spotlight after it considered changing its name to "Got Milk?" to mark the 10th anniversary of a milk marketing campaign, city elders turned down the proposal. (Changing the name of a town for marketing purposes, listening gap fill, scanning, checking for details, true or false, meanings from context, direct and reported speech, discussion.)
Intermediate
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Madonna sings for her supper
Multimillionaire pop singer Madonna had to borrow money in a London restaurant after finding she didn't have enough money to buy a slice of cake for her son, a British newspaper reported. (Madonna biography, information exchange, question formation, comprehension, reading for gist, reading for detail, word find puzzle, test your memory.
Elementary to Pre-Intermediate
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Housework After a Baby
After the arrival of baby, new fathers can help hold on to marital harmony by picking up a broom more often, according to new research. (Discussion, understanding a headline, true or false, matching information, multiple choice questions, summarizing, -ing clauses, negotiating.)
Intermediate
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Emerald Discovered in Shell
A diver has discovered a large emerald in a conch shell while diving at the site of a 380-year-old wrecked Spanish galleon. (Describing a picture, understanding a picture sequence, matching information and pictures, summarizing, listening for correct information, while with past simple and past continuous tenses, word find puzzle, discussion.)
Pre-Intermediate
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The Harmful Effects of Scolding
When parents are driven mad by badly behaved children, most do not smack them and instead give them a telling-off. But verbal abuse could be as harmful as beating, according to new Danish research. (Discipline and children, listening for key points, listening and note-taking, understanding the main idea, scanning, reading gap fill, finding evidence, discussion, difference in meaning between shout at and shout to, role play.)
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
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A Very Long Ride
An American teacher has ridden a roller coaster for ten hours a day for the past three months to try to get a world record. (World records, listening for correct information, comprehension, collocations, irregular verbs, word find puzzle.)
Elementary
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Alive or Dead?
An Austrian woman has had to convince her electricity supplier that she is alive after the company wrote to her asking for information about her contract following her "passing away." (Clerical errors and bureaucracy, reading for overall understanding, reading for details, sequencing, adding extra information to sentences, crossword.)
Intermediate
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Bring Your Parents
British pensioner Joseph Dickinson, 103, had a shock when his local hospital phoned him to ask him to come in for an eye test... and told him to bring his parents! (Making and answering questions, memorizing a short text, word find, discussion, simple past tense forms.)
Elementary
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A Baby's Name
An angry Italian mother has gone to court after her husband secretly named their newborn son after a prize-winning horse. (Naming children, sequencing, reading for detail, a / an / the, word search puzzle, discussion.)
Elementary
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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.)
Advanced
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Young Whale Looks For Family
A young female killer whale rescued near Seattle swam to freedom on Sunday to join her relatives in what scientists hope will be a permanent and groundbreaking reunion. (Killer whales, animals in captivity, scanning, zoos or aquariums, true, false or not given, summarizing, 'if + present simple, will + infinitive', listening gap fill.)
Intermediate
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The Cost of Tying the Knot
New York is the most expensive city in the United States to get married and many couples will spend about $27,000 to tie the knot and that doesn't include the cost of the honeymoon. (Cost of a wedding, planning a wedding, finding the main idea, summarizing, find someone who..., persuasive essays.)
Intermediate
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Around The World In A Balloon
U.S. balloonist Steve Fossett ended his record-breaking solo round-the-world flight being dragged like a rag-doll through the dusty Australian outback. (World records, ballooning, ranking dangerous activities, comprehension, cloze listening, the structure 'by + -ing', planning a trip around the world.)
Intermediate
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Woman Remembers Three Centuries
The wrinkles in Hava Rexha's pale skin were carved by a life spanning three centuries, under Ottoman Turkish rule, Albanian monarchy, Italian occupation and Stalinist dictatorship. On August 14th 2002, surrounded by 120 offspring of four generations, she was 122 years old. (Longevity, biography, arranged marriages, crossword, listening and matching, debate, ranking, discussion.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Cyber Romance
A worldwide poll showed that 30% of web users regard the Internet as a good place to find a boyfriend or girlfriend. And despite the public perception that cyberspace is a shallow, hostile environment, lovers who meet through Internet chat rooms may actually end up forming strong relationships. (Internet chat room relationships, scanning, summarizing, 'despite', 'in spite of' and 'although', discourse markers, understanding a graph, writing an ad, interviews.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Can't Face the Stairs
Three elderly British holidaymakers who disappeared while traveling in France and started a huge manhunt have turned up safely, happily enjoying their holiday. (Strange stories, holidays, simple past tense verbs, crossword.)
Elementary
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Finders Keepers
Two Australian families are arguing over $10,000 in cash dug up by a gardener in a back garden. (Lost and found, sequencing, reading for overall understanding, the structure used to, crossword.)
Elementary
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Child Support
Italy's highest appeals court has decreed that fathers must carry on supporting adult children until they find a job to their liking. This was in the case of a son who is in his 30s, has a university law degree, lives in one of the smartest parts of the Naples, and has turned down several job offers. (Family, responsibility, supporting children, court cases, relative clauses.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Noisy Yoga
A trendy London yoga institute known as a haven of peace and relaxation has come under attack from local residents -- for being too noisy. (Yoga, neighbors, summarizing, word forms, letter of complaint.)
Intermediate
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Sentimental Husbands
As married couples age, husbands appear to become more sentimental in talking about the relationship, while wives grow more reticent, according to a U.S. study of 20 long-term marriages: "The men were really excited about telling their stories... they were willing to show a wider range of emotions in terms of joy as well as sadness." (Relationships, emotion, men and women, pronouns, completing a story.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Body Language
Max takes a look at body language.
Intermediate
HTML Format
Stuck!
A man squeezed into a garbage chute in an apartment building to retrieve a favorite old sweater thrown away by his wife, but got stuck between floors... (Rescue story, apartment buildings, garbage chutes, crossword puzzle.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Drummed Out
London's theater district could lose a popular musical because of local resident complaints that the show is too noisy. The show's producer first thought it was a joke. "Here we are in the middle of the West End playing a musical and they're saying it's too loud... But if anyone buys a place in the West End, they must understand they are not going to have peace, quiet and tranquillity." (Live performances, theater, conflicting rights, South Africa, London's West End, reviews, use of 'if'.)
Upper-Intermediate
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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.)
Advanced
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Shelter Pup Finds Career
A dog success story: A puppy left at a Toronto-area animal shelter last summer has risen through Canada's detector dog program to earn a job as a drug-sniffer. (Animals rescuing people stories, proverbs, word order.)
Intermediate
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Super Milkman!
British milkman Steve Leech, who saved a row of shops and flats by dousing a fire with 320 pints of milk, has been named "Hero Milkman of the Millennium" by the National Dairymen's Association. (Fire safety, bravery, guessing vocabulary by context, nationality words, surveys.)
Pre-Intermediate
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The Drinks are on Me
A businessman offered to pay for everybody's drinks at a British nightclub, and ended up with a bill for more than 42,000 pounds ($59,000). (Alcohol rules and laws, drinking alcohol, spending a lot of money on others, non-defining relative clauses.)
Pre-Intermediate
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World's Oldest Man Dies
The world's oldest man, 112-year-old Antonio Todde from Sardinia, has died. His life has been a part of a scientific study. A remarkable number of Sardinia's 1.6 million inhabitants live through a century. Some 135 people per million live to see their 100th birthday while the western average is nearer 75. (Secrets of a long life, habits and lifestyle, scientific studies, prepositions.)
Intermediate
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Warning: Money
Do you think that having lots of money can make you become a nicer person? See what Americans think! Can it make you happy? A British survey seems to think so! (Money, surveys, wealth, modal verbs 'can' & 'can't')
Pre-Intermediate
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Stowaway Cat
This is about an international rescue mission to rescue a New Zealand cat that stowed away on a ship to South Korea. (Ships, ports, rescue, stowaway, quarantine, phone call, use of "tried to... but... too...".)
Elementary
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We Do!
Policemen in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh played fathers of the bride when an orphan they raised at their police station got married. (Police, weddings, public safety and rescue workers, different forms of the word "marry".)
Pre-Intermediate
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Lost and Found
A British tourist who lost a gold-plated watch while on holiday in Malta found a gold ring on her way to a police station to report her loss. (Losing and finding, holidays, travel, honesty, relative clauses using "who".)
Elementary
HTML Format
Reviving a Lost Art
France's Sorbonne University has launched a degree course in professional letter writing because a generation addicted to brief e-mails and mobile phone text messaging has forgotten how to write letters. (Methods of communication, writing letters, history, use of 'as'.)
Intermediate
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Finders Keepers?
A 22-year-old who describes himself as poor but honest became a hero when he found and returned a plastic bag crammed with $203,000 that had fallen off the back of an armored car the night before. (Honesty, finding money, sequencing, the past perfect.)
Intermediate
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A Helping Hand
A blind Colombian man accompanied by his faithful dog was led to safety by his female boss down 70 flights of a narrow staircase of a tower of the World Trade Center after it was hit by a hijacked plane. (Helping someone, seeing eye dogs, Sequencing, prepositions of place.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Lord of the Ring
Two stories of amazing finds: A man searched and found his wedding ring more than a year after it slipped off his finger and sank to the sea floor and another ring was eaten by a fish that was eaten by a fish that was eaten by a shark. And then what happened? ... Do the lesson and find out. (Losing and finding things, love stories, first conditional and if and when, relative pronouns.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Criss-Crossed Lovers
A man missed his girlfriend so much he flew 11,000 miles back to Britain from Australia to propose to her, only to find she wasn't there. She had flown from Britain to Australia! They even sat in the same airport lounge in Singapore at the same time... and didn't see each other. (Love, coincidences, being impulsive, Non-defining clauses, use of "think about" and "think of".)
Intermediate
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Winning Millions
This lesson is about shy people who when they learned they had won millions of dollars in a lottery jackpot, walked away. I know what I would do! (Lottery, money, Canada, luck, present perfect)
Intermediate
HTML Format
True... or not?
This lesson is about a portable lie detector for sale in Korea. You can use it over the phone! (Technology, Korea)
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate
HTML Format
Tough as Nails
A group of women in Hong Kong refused to evacuate a burning office tower until their nails were perfect! (Danger, fashion and beauty, fire, Hong Kong, verbs followed by to + infinitive)
Intermediate
HTML Format
Tipping
This happy story is about a waitress who thought her dream of going back to school had come true thanks to a generous stranger's $10,000 tip. She may still get her wish even though her British benefactor may be a deadbeat. (luck, money, education, credit cards, punctuation)
Intermediate
HTML Format
Switch Off Your Phone!
Modern Etiquette: Ringing in good mobile phone manners! Modern technology may have provided us with mobile phones and the convenience of instant communication, but it's also created a lot more ways to irritate or offend. This lesson also looks at mobile phone misuse by politicians and doctors. (Laws, crime, technology, scanning paragraphs for topics, word order)
Upper-Intermediate
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Running Man
Many people today want to be the best at something. Read through these recent news articles to get an idea of what sort of records people try to break. (world records, sauna, Everest, running around the world, muti-word adjectives)
Intermediate
HTML Format
Private Lives
Does what people do away from work not influence how they perform or behave at work? Find out what the answer to this question has been in these two articles. (Religious freedom, teachers', parents' rights, sport, reported or indirect speech)
Upper-Intermediate
HTML Format
Politics - No way
The article in this lesson tells of a survey of high school seniors in Japan on which jobs were least popular. The survey quoted students as saying, "the image of politicians is awful. It is a boring job. Their work doesn't matter." (Careers, politicians, Japan, 'because of' and/or 'because')
Elementary
HTML Format
Noisy Neighbors
Apartment dwellers have a new weapon to use on noisy neighbors: a CD of 64 minutes of lawnmower noise! (Cities, revenge, weapons, noise, neighbours, phrasal verbs)
Intermediate
HTML Format
Mothers In Law
According to a Canadian survey, mothers-in-law are not the hated, interfering monsters the stand-up comics would have us believe. (Families, relatives, Canada, survey, compound nouns)
Intermediate
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Dog Boy
A 10-year-old boy who had been abandoned by his parents survived for two years in a cave with a pack of stray dogs who scavenged for food with him and may even have suckled him. (Living in remote places, child being cared for and fed by dogs, vocabulary.)
Intermediate
HTML Format
Is Anybody Listening to Me?
It has one article saying that a dog wagging its tail could be eyeing you as its next meal (and a snarling dog could be just smiling at you), and another article saying that humans and animals communicate with one another telepathically all the time. You can try this at home! (Dogs, animal communication, body language, conjunctions)
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
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Meeting an Actor
"It's not every day you get a Hollywood superstar phoning you when you're doing the housework". (Dustin Hoffman, famous people, taxi drivers, actors, articles)
Pre-Intermediate
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