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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Instant Lesson

In Love With My Car
A survey of drivers in the U.S. found that 63 percent actually talked to their cars, 43 percent said they considered their cars to be "part of the family," and 12 percent said they valued their cars more than anything else in their lives, including their children or their home. (Cars, automobiles, possessions, surveys, comparative language using 'more than' and 'less / fewer than'.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Ebola
"West African nations next to those hit by the Ebola epidemic - Mali, Ivory Coast, Senegal and Guinea Bissau - should prepare for the possible arrival of travellers carrying the deadly virus. The outbreak persists especially in the forests of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia." (Health, diseases, preventing the spread of disease, present perfect simple and present perfect continuous.)
Intermediate
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It's a dog's life
A plush, furnished place with televisions, a Feng Shui garden, showers, piped music and an aromatherapy unit - for homeless dogs! Funded largely from money left in a will. (Wills, leaving money to people and organizations, debate, designing an advertisement, English expressions.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Thief Trapped in Elevator
A thief who wanted to break into an apartment in the southern Swedish city of Malmo was rescued by police after spending 11 hours trapped in an elevator. (Crime, guessing by context, using 'because/and/however/so', using 'a/an/the'.)
Pre-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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A Moviemakers' Paradise
New Zealand, where the Lord of the Rings films were shot, is spending millions of dollars promoting itself as a movie makers' paradise, as well as encouraging tourists to come and see where Lord of the Rings was filmed: "New Zealand is Middle Earth,'' says actor Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo. (New Zealand, movie making, movies, prepositions.)
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
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Bah-Humbug!
A British man who went underground behind blast-proof doors and thick concrete to avoid a family Christmas emerged early. Why? Do this lesson to find out and also learn the story of another Scrooge.
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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Ring's Rave Reviews
"Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' and "The Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring," both films set in a fantasy world of magic, wizards and young heroes, have been crossing swords at the box office. Critics gave "Harry Potter" five stars. What did they give "Lord of the Rings"? (Movies, critics, movie ratings, movie vocabulary, "as...as" used to make comparisons, playing charades.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Teen Offenders
Certain factors can help predict if a troubled teen will return to the "straight and narrow'' with treatment or continue to be an aggressive and emotionally disturbed individual, according to New Hampshire researchers. (Health, society, teenagers, vocabulary in context, correcting grammar errors.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Gooooooaaaaaal!
Soccer: "The referee found the ball at his feet in front of the goal, kicked it into the net, then signaled a goal." The referee later resigned. This is a strange sports story. (Soccer, sports, referees, umpires, judges, guessing vocabulary by context, using 'when' and 'while' to connect two actions in the past.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Finnish Grapes
Grapes will soon ripen for wine production in Finland using warm water from a nuclear reactor cooling system. (Technology, farming, dictionary work, using 'will' to talk about a future fact.)
Elementary
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Birds of a Feather
Singapore is fighting an army of crows plaguing its high-rise apartments. Rome is battling swarms of starlings that swoop down on Rome's historic piazzas and baroque churches by broadcasting bird "distress calls'' over loudspeakers. (Scientific study, pests, proverbs, writing letters, relative clauses.)
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate
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Wild Elephants
Wild elephants killed four people and injured 15 others while rampaging through two villages in southeastern Bangladesh. (Problems related to protecting endangered animals, elephants, the Simple Past and Simple Present Tenses.)
Elementary
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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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Traveling Great Whites
Great white sharks have always been thought to stay in their own small territories. However, a new study shows that these massive creatures are in fact world travelers, with some swimming thousands of miles into the open ocean on mysterious migrations. (The passive, punctuation, Internet research)
Upper-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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What You Read is What You Get
A London real estate agency believes in telling it like it is in its advertisements, for example: "Almost certainly the scruffiest two-bedroom flat we've seen for a long time." (Real estate ads, honesty in descriptions, euphemisms, writing descriptions of houses, adjectives, adjective order, describing things in positive and negative ways.)
Upper-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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Stolen Animals
Criminals steal an estimated 38 million animals from Brazil's forests each year. A recent report has estimated that local traffickers of endangered animals earn about $1 billion a year, causing untold losses to the country's natural habitat. (Smuggling, synonyms, the passive, participle clauses, word forms, suffixes.)
Upper-Intermediate
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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.)
Advanced
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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
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Eye in the Sky
This is about a bank robber in Vancouver who was caught by the police because he used a taxi with a global positioning system to try and escape. (Crime, high-tech, Canada, transport, escapes, simple past tense.)
Elementary
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Fly Away Peter, Fly Away Paul
Thirteen tiny endangered songbirds stopped a Cathay Pacific Airways jet after a flight attendant heard them in a passenger's hand luggage just before takeoff. (Smuggling, endangered species, travel, scanning, joining words.)
Intermediate
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A State of Emergency
Italy has declared a state of environmental emergency in Venice, one of its most popular tourist destinations. "Extraordinary measures are needed because of the high levels of pollution," said Federica Cingolani, the environment ministry press secretary. "The states of emergency could last a year but it will be up to local officials to decide." (Pollution, Italy, tourism, collocations Writing / Peer Editing.)
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
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Stress
Researchers have found that people with optimistic personalities are only half as likely as their more pessimistic counterparts to develop heart disease. Also, a Berlin car recycling center has come up with a novel way to win customers and reduce the public's need for therapists: car smashing. However, let's not forget that another study suggests that certain types of stress may boost the immune system. (Stress, health, optimism and pessimism, use of "likely".)
Upper-Intermediate
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What's This in My Yogurt?
Fifty tubs of fake yogurt containing sensors will be hidden in French supermarkets to test the efficiency of cold storage in the distribution system. A break in the "cold chain" -- the non-stop refrigeration needed to preserve food such as dairy, meat, fish and frozen dishes -- can heighten the risk of bacteria such as listeria which can cause an uncommon but potentially fatal disease. (Bacteria, health, food storage, "will" + infinitive used about official arrangements in the future.)
Upper-Intermediate
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A Drunken Wedding
A British student went to Las Vegas, had a few drinks and got married. His problem was that he already had a girlfriend, and she was not pleased to hear that he had married a complete stranger. (Travel, strange stories, marriage, ordering events, apologizing.)
Elementary
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Model E Ford
Ford Motor Co.'s unprecedented scheme to give its 350,000 employees free personal computers and printers has been canceled due to an auto industry slowdown and fallout from the September 11th attacks on the United States. (E-mail memo, job descriptions, communicative crosswords, pair dictation.)
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
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Mother and Father Christmas
Under European Union sex equality rules, Father Christmas does not need a "Mother Christmas" partner. Also Santas with their own beards earn more money. (letter of complaint, job advertisement, the roles of men and women)
Intermediate
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Spot-less!
It's red, smelly, grows in the sea -- and it could spell the end of hours of angst in front of the mirror for teenagers stricken by pimples or dandruff. (seaweed, synonyms, dictation.)
Intermediate
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A Nightmare Dream Holiday
A contest to win a dream holiday for two people turned into a tax nightmare for a Swedish student. (Income tax, dialogue, past simple and past continuous.)
Elementary
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Yummy Fish
It's a stressful job, living in a fish tank and waiting to be cooked. But a Greek university is making progress in getting fish to relax. According to research, relaxed fish taste better. ('For' and 'when' - when something happened and how long - past simple and present perfect, listening)
Elementary to Pre-Intermediate
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Cyber Lambs
Ten of New Zealand's 44 million sheep have their own web site, after Japanese school children adopted them. (Animals, the Internet, using 'at least', 'or more', 'over' and 'plus' with numbers.)
Elementary
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Pass the Pit Bull, Please
A Californian man who used to have two pets -- a pit bull terrier and a Burmese python -- now has only one -- a 200-pound python with a pit bull-sized bulge. (Pets, animals, dangerous pets, must + infinitive of verb, must have + past participle of verb.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Turkeys Galore
Each Thanksgiving, Americans eat about 535 million pounds of turkey, and a turkey-cooking hotline gives advice to people with problems a trucker who needed to know how long to cook a turkey on the engine of his truck, and a Kentucky woman who panicked when her tiny chihuahua jumped inside a turkey carcass and couldn't get out. (Thanksgiving, holidays and festivals, synonyms, apostrophes, use of 'although' and 'even though'.)
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate
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Parking Meters
Hundreds of motorists didn't have to pay for parking when new solar-powered parking meters stopped working because of Britain's bad weather. (Solar power, traffic, cars, sequencing, use of 'don't have to'.)
Elementary
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A costly drink
Austrian police arrested a man who robbed a branch of a savings bank where he was known as a customer. (Crime, headlines, guessing from context, the passive voice.)
Pre-Intermediate
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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.)
Advanced
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The Paranormal
Mobile phones are killing off ghosts, a British expert says. (Mobile phones, ghosts, the paranormal, writing a story, summarizing , using "would" and "used to".)
Intermediate
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Life imitating art?
It was like life imitating art when a woman, who collapsed at a screening of "Thirteen Conversations About One Thing,'' was rescued by the movie's star, Matthew McConaughey. (Movies, movie stars, 20 questions, ordering, grammar dictation, use of "who".)
Pre-Intermediate
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Space Travel
One lucky Briton is set to win a prize that's literally out of this world -- a trip into space. (Competitions, prizes, space travel, the solar system, suffixes, prepositions ‘before’ and ‘after’ followed by a verb.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Phone Home
A British tourist lost in the Australian bush in heavy rain and fog rang his father in England on his mobile phone to get help. (Rescue, mobile phones, using present tense and past tense.)
Elementary
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What's in a Name?
Sophia tops the list of names for American baby girls for the second year in a row, while King and Messiah are becoming increasingly popular names for boys, the U.S. Social Security Administration said. (Names, famous people, retelling and comparing, word order.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Face-to-Face
The founder of online based "My Virtual Corp." and a totally wired executive, has found that even in this era of e-mail, mobile phones and instant communication, there's nothing like a face-to-face meeting to win a new client. (Online companies, e-mail, dictation, jobs, but, although or despite.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Connected
Any time there's a disaster, people reach for the nearest phone. The attack on September the 11th was no exception. This lesson looks at how mobile phones played an important role in Tuesday's tragic chain of events. (Telephones, summary completion, abbreviations.)
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
HTML Format
Bad Parking
A bad choice of car park led to the capture of an escaped Texas capital murderer for the second time in his criminal career. (Criminals, escapes, chain stories, sequencing, suffixes.)
Pre-Intermediate
HTML Format
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