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Instant Lesson

Epidemic Fear
Staff with the World Health Organisation battling an Ebola outbreak in West Africa see evidence the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimates the scale of the outbreak, the U.N. agency said on its website. With West Africa facing the deadliest Ebola outbreak ever fear and mistrust is driving dozens of victims to evade treatment, frustrating doctors trying to contain the epidemic. (Ebola, deadly illnesses and West Africa.)
Advanced  Lesson Updated: 22 August 2014
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Keeping a City Flush with Water
When the going got tough due to one of the worst droughts in a century, the parched Texas city of Wichita Falls got going with its program to recycle sewage water for drinking. (Water shortages, recycling.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Bridging the Gap
Do you want a bridge? The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is selling 11 historic bridges. (Bridges, historic buildings and structures, tense revision, passive and active voices.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Hurricane Gender
Because people unconsciously think a storm with a female name is less dangerous than one with a masculine name, those in its path are less likely to flee, and are therefore more vulnerable to harm. As a result, strong Atlantic hurricanes with the most feminine names caused an estimated five times more deaths than those with the most masculine names. (Hurricanes, power of names, gender stereotypes.)
Intermediate
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Nurses Save Money
A Massachusetts program that put full-time registered nurses in schools more than paid for itself by averting medical costs and lost work for parents and teachers. (School nurses, education, productivity, interviews, daily routines, frequency adverbs and the present simple.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Star Wars Arms
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a robotic arm for amputees that is named for the "Star Wars" character Luke Skywalker and can perform multiple, simultaneous movements, a huge advance over the metal hook currently in use. (Robotic arms and hands, amputees, collocation, sensory tests.)
Advanced
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Beautiful Noise
Whether playing in a symphony orchestra or a rock concert, professional musicians may have almost four times the risk of hearing loss as their audience does.
Upper-Intermediate
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Vending Machines
It's late, the shops are closed and you simply must have a roasted eggplant-and-ricotta sandwich, a cupcake, a bike helmet, a gold bar and an iced cappuccino. (Vending machines, true, false or not given, comprehension, pronouns, discussion, the passive.)
Intermediate
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Cost of the Prom
American girls are going to spend less money on the prom this year. Most prom dresses at David's, a store selling prom dresses, cost around $200. Many popular dresses cost $100.(Proms, shopping and beauty, charity organizations, planning a prom date, be going to.)
Elementary
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Children's Games
Very few kids get the amount of physical activity they need every day, but a new study from Canada finds that parental support may be the key to getting kids moving and pushing kids into specializing in a single sport before adolescence is not seen as a good idea. (Exercise and children, parental input, sport, children, Olympics)
Upper-Intermediate
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Avoidance Apps
Trying to avoid an awkward encounter with an ex? Fearful of an embarrassing meeting after an argument? New apps can help people avoid bumping into others and provide escape routes if they do. (Avoiding people you do not want to see, vocabulary hunt, answering a questionnaire.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Easter Bunny?
The Easter Bunny may not always be an Easter icon in Australia and New Zealand, as conservationists remove to replace it with the Bilby or the Kiwi. (Easter, conservation, the rabbit as a pest.)
Pre-Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 15 April 2014
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Easter Egg Surprises
A Fabergé Easter Egg made for Emperor Alexander 111 of Russia and lost for more than 100 years will be displayed in London. The egg was nearly melted for scrap, but an American scrap dealer realized what it was. (Russian Revolution, Fabergé eggs, writing questions, passive voice.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Tennis Riddles
As a player Andre Agassi relied as much on a razor-sharp tennis brain as brute force to collect eight major titles and complete a career grand slam. Now his eyes light up at the prospect of following the likes of Ivan Lendl and Boris Becker into coaching. (Coaching, Andre Agassi, tennis, compound adjectives, talking about sporting events.)
Advanced
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I Quit!
Are you thinking about quitting your job? Are you worried about how to quit? A funny new app tells your boss for you. (Jobs, quitting, apps, do you want to...?)
Elementary
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Bee Ware
Australian scientists are gluing tiny sensors onto thousands of honey bees to track their movements in a trial aimed at halting the spread of diseases that have wiped out populations in the northern hemisphere. (Bees, pollination, scientific experiments, because and because of, process descriptions.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Social Climbers?
When most people go into crocodile territory, they keep a lookout for crocodiles in the water or on the land. But now researchers say people should look up. Researchers say crocodiles can climb trees. (Crocodiles, ability of animals for different tasks, using 'can/can't' to describe ability to do something, being good at something.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Child Stars
Three years after a popular TV talent show launched child soprano Jackie Evancho on a meteoric career, she still has no singing coach, can't read music and sticks to a modest rehearsal routine. As she makes the transition to professional artist, Evancho, is seeking to balance her school work - and play time - with a busy concert tour schedule and recording her sixth album. (Singing, Jackie Evancho, child stars.)
Advanced
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Noisy Travelers
Americans hate parents who don't take care of their children on planes, a new survey found. Passengers don't like parents who let their kids misbehave or cry on planes. (Airline travel, likes and dislikes.)
Elementary
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Nine Months to Mars
More than a thousand people will now take tests to decide who will live on Mars. In 2011 two Dutchmen set up Mars One with the aim of having people live on Mars permanently from 2025. They hope the project will get money from investors and the rights from a TV documentary-reality television show of the tests, training and final selection. (Mars, reality television, science, travel, future forms and would like/love to do something.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Kangaroos to China
Once considered pet food, kangaroo meat could soon be sold to China as a luxury product, to encourage Chinese consumers to do something few Australians will - eat it. (Skimming, scanning, matching information, jigsaw reading, internet research)
Intermediate
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The Bionic Man
A first-ever walking, talking "bionic man" built entirely out of synthetic body parts made his Washington debut on Thursday. (Bionics, science, the human body, television shows, vocabulary, uses of different tenses including the present perfect simple.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Growing Food for the Needy
Surrounded by rows of kale and collard greens, Bill Shick ticks off statistics about yields and the man-hours it takes to harvest the leafy green vegetables to be given away by the Chester County Food Bank in its efforts to grow food for the needy. The fresh produce program gives low-sodium, low-sugar foods to the poorest Americans year-round.
Advanced
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Dear Santa
One 13-year-old boy who sent a "Dear Santa" letter to the U.S. Post Office this year asked only for covers for his bed, "so I can stay warm this winter." Heartrending letters like this are sent each year to the Post Office "Letters to Santa" program, now in its 100th year. Some of the letters are answered by charitable groups, businesses, schools, postal employees and individual anonymous givers, who pick letters and go shopping. (Santa letters, helping others, Ho!, Ho!, Ho! competition.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Writers say “Read”
This lesson is about children's books, the future of reading, and the importance of reading! It includes information on writers Malorie Blackman and Jacqueline Wilson, with Jacqueline Wilson kindly doing an exclusive interview with ETG! (Writing, reading, famous people, books, e-books, education.)
Intermediate
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"I Have a Dream"
Clarence Jones was sitting 50 feet behind his boss, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in 1963 when King delivered the speech that would forever change the course of race relations in the United States. Now, 50 years later, Jones recalls how the words "I have a dream," were not written in the text that King prepared and began to read that day. (Martin Luther King, famous speeches, "I have a dream" speech, punctuation.)
Advanced
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Surprise Trips
A 9-year-old boy from Minneapolis went through security at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and caught a flight to Las Vegas without a ticket and three German children aged five, six and seven who said they were fed up with cold weather at home set off on a voyage to Africa but only got as far as the local train station. (Children and mishaps, transport, taxis, past simple and past continuous tenses, ordinal numbers, the prefix -un.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Doing The Right Thing
A Boston homeless man turned over to police a backpack stuffed with nearly $42,000 worth of cash and travelers checks shortly after he found it at a shopping mall. He has then been rewarded for his selfless act with about $60,000 worth of online donations from people impressed with his honesty. (Honesty, suffix -less, past simple and past continuous.)
Intermediate
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A Drop of Wine
A flipped lesson: students should have done the Instant Workbook '(A Drop of Wine)' before doing this lesson. There is a printout at the end of the Instant Workbook which they will need to use in class. The great mystery of what may go down in wine annals as the crime of the century - the destruction of the equivalent of 80,000 bottles of a choice Sangiovese wine - may have been solved.
Upper-Intermediate
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Robots
Tiny recon robots have introduced a new generation of drones at a DSEI defense fair in London. Robots that can talk, find [lost] glasses, draw airplanes and play with your children attracted thousands of visitors at another expo. Robot nurses may soon be helping the sick by telling them when to take their pills. (Robots, nurses, health, technology, 'will', 'by + verb + ing' used to say how something is done.)
Pre-Intermediate
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"Bug Out"
The Department of Health in New York has lots of bed bugs. The new $316 million building in Queens has bed bugs, the Health Department said. (Staying healthy, insects, expressions of quantity.)
Elementary
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Expensive Counter
It will take someone with pretty deep pockets to buy and move one of four surviving 17th-century French "pocket" calculating machines, to be sold in London in October. (Computers, pocket calculators, development of machines, antiques, opinion and descriptive adjectives, writing a description.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Testing The Littlest
A national push to make public schools more rigorous and hold teachers more accountable has led to a vast expansion of testing in kindergarten. And more exams are on the way, including a test meant to determine whether 5-year-olds are on track to succeed in college and career. (Exams for kids, summarizing, scanning, giving your opinion)
Advanced
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Leftovers
Xu Jiajie has gone on countless blind dates and to numerous match-making events in search of a husband. At 31 she is under enormous pressure to get married. But the right man is hard to find, for urban, educated and well-paid Chinese women in a society where the husband's social status is traditionally above the wife's. (China, professional women, linking words, words for discourse markers.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Super Hero
He wears a green Power Rangers suit and a mask. He waits by the stairs of a Tokyo subway station. He helps old people, passengers with heavy packages and mothers with baby strollers. He is a superhero. (Helping other people, Tokyo, superheroes, prepositions of place, simple past tense - negatives and rules.)
Elementary
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Record Chat
Popular Norwegian crime writer Hans Olav Lahlum set the world record for the longest interview on Thursday after spending more than 30 non-stop hours chatting in an online television broadcast.(World records, interviews, superlative adjectives, nationality suffixes.)
Pre-Intermediate  Lesson Updated: 8 August 2013
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Bugs, Bites and Parasites
The tourist who got more than she bargained for on an overseas holiday and a cheap natural therapy for arthritis has been recommended by scientists - hirudo medicinalis, or more simply, leeches. (Arthritis and treatments, leeches, maggots, could for possibility, ability and requesting,reading for detail, guessing words by context, 'affect' and 'effect', medical vocabulary, dialog and essay writing.)
Upper-Intermediate
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You're Kidding Me!
First, there were the maid cafes and then there were cat cafes for cat lovers to play with cats while they sipped a cup of coffee. Now, there is a goat cafe. The cafe has a pair of friendly goats for customers to pet, play with and even take for walks through Tokyo's concrete jungle. (Cafes, animals, present continuous, planning a dream cafe)
Pre-Intermediate
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Not To Your Taste?
President Barack Obama likes burgers, hot dogs and such, but when it came time to answer a question about his favorite food, broccoli was the first word that sprang from his lips. Former American President George Bush Sr.'s famous dislike of broccoli might be put down to the fact that he could be a "supertaster". (Predicting using a headline, writing questions, summarizing the text, metaphors, writing a report, prepositions, future - will for predictions.)
Intermediate
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Room Service Cleared Away
Soon, the black-uniformed waiters wheeling trolleys of food will disappear from the halls of the Hilton Midtown. Will visitors to New York City's largest hotel mind having to leave their rooms for sustenance? (Hotels, New York, phrasal verbs and collocation.)
Upper-Intermediate
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A Female Draft
Norway's parliament voted overwhelmingly to conscript women into its armed forces, becoming the first European and first NATO country to make military service compulsory for both genders. (Women's rights and gender equality, army, reported speech, the passive.)
Intermediate
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Old and Older
Two years short of 70, Zhang Guosheng spends his days caring for an 81-year-old fellow villager - a routine he'll keep up until he himself needs the type of care he is now giving. "Living here is better than staying at home alone. We help each other and have a common language," said the spritely Zhang, an enthusiastic dancer. "We are very happy here." (Aging, China, care of the elderly.)
Advanced
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Party Bribes
Sometime on Sunday morning, a Pennsylvania high school student will be presented with the keys to a black Honda Civic just for going to a party after the school's annual prom dance. Schools and civic organizations are using extravagant prizes to encourage high school students to attend supervised, alcohol-free events after their annual high school proms to keep them away from wild private parties. (Proms, teenage social behavior, pair crossword.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Medical Trips
Sitting in a private clinic in an upscale neighborhood of Istanbul, Salem is preparing to leave Turkey with a smile on his face and more hair on his head. Having been to Istanbul for sightseeing and shopping, Saleh has returned as the new kind of high-spending visitor Turkey is increasingly seeking to attract: a medical tourist. (Medical tourism, Turkey, plastic surgery.)
Advanced
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Sorry Red Bull
Formula One world champion Sebastian Vettel apologized in person to Red Bull staff for ignoring team orders in a controversial Malaysian Grand Prix. (Formula one, winning in sport, team sports, collocation.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Tattoo Me Too!
Do the Obama daughters want tattoos? Probably not. Their father told "Today" show how the Obama parents are keeping their daughters away from tattoos. (Tattoos, different viewpoints on tattooing, first and second conditional)
Pre-Intermediate
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Fill 'er Up?
Seeking a place to work out of the office that is quieter than a bustling coffee shop and provides drinks, printers, Wi-Fi and even petrol? Regus, a provider of ready-to-use office space, thinks it has the answer. It has teamed up with Shell Germany to open up workplace hubs and lounges in 70 petrol stations in and around Berlin. (Reading for information, brainstorming, expressions used with business equipment, present simple tense uses and forms).
Intermediate
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Barbie Land
Are you a Barbie fan? There is tea, tutus and pink tables at a Taipei cafe for Barbie lovers. "Every little girl has a Barbie..." said Henry Chiu. Fans like the cafe. "I feel like a Barbie doll in a fairy tale world. I feel like a princess," said Shiao Yu, a 30-year-old housewife. (Barbie dolls, yes/no questions, have got for possession, yes, he is/no, he isn't.)
Elementary
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A Holiday Fix?
A dentist's office may not be everyone's idea of a perfect holiday destination. But a growing number of Europeans are traveling abroad for medical treatment to save money, or maybe to combine a visit to the doctor with some sightseeing. "It was simply cheaper for me to go to a dentist in Hungary," said a 42-year-old physical therapist from Berlin. (Medical tourism, health, tourism, debating.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Old Timers
The world's oldest woman lives in Japan. (Longevity, world records, scanning, making questions, discussion.)
Elementary
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