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Teachers' Room > Lesson Library > Browse Library

Economics

Raising Kids
How much does it cost to raise a child in the United States? A middle-income family will spend about $245,000 over 18 years to raise a child who is born in 2013. (Cost of raising a child in USA, cost of living.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Life and death on India's Network
As the Kalka Mail train pulls into Delhi railway station at dawn, it is every man, woman and child for themselves. Before the train has stopped, crowds elbow and jostle into packed compartments destined for Kolkata, 1,500 km (930 miles) and 25 hours away on one of the largest, most decrepit and dangerous rail networks in the world. (Train travel, business investment, India, descriptive verbs.)
Advanced
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Greek Mosquitos
Just when it seems things couldn't get any worse for Greece, the exhausted and indebted country has a new threat to deal with: mosquito-borne diseases. Species of the blood-sucking insects that can carry exotic-sounding tropical infections like malaria, West Nile Virus, chikungunya and dengue fever are enjoying the extra bit of warmth climate change is bringing to parts of southern Europe. (Malaria, Greece, health system, disease and prevention control).
Advanced
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Sports Bill No Laughing Matter
Jodi Furman likes to joke that she should paint her minivan yellow. That's because she basically turns into a taxi driver in the afternoons and on weekends, as she delivers her three children to various sports practices in Palm Beach, Florida. But the bill for all those sports is no laughing matter. (Families, sport, do, play or go.)
Intermediate
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Adolescent CEOs
Venture capitalists are funding more chief executives under age 21 than ever before. Josh Buckley, chief executive of an online gaming start-up, is looking forward to the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, particularly for the parties and the schmoozing with industry A-listers. There's one problem: Buckley may be turned away from many of the parties because he is not old enough to drink. (Young entrepreneurs, work, high-tech companies, venture capitalists, 'will' + infinitive.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Replacing the Carrot with a Stick
While workers mostly like to see an employer offer smoking cessation classes and weight loss programs, too few are signing up or showing signs of improvement. So now more employers are trying a different strategy - they're replacing the carrot with a stick and raising costs for workers who can't seem to lower their cholesterol or tackle obesity. They're also coming down hard on smokers. (Health care and compulsory wellness programs, business, pair crossword, opinion essays and discussion.)
Advanced
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Change of Energy Source?
The lakeside town of Port Hope, Ontario, encompasses both the promise and the dark side of the nuclear industry. The town is home to the world's longest running facility to process nuclear fuel, a massive white eyesore that towers over the sailboats bobbing in its tranquil harbor. (Nuclear energy, the environment, business, nuclear accidents, like and unlike.)
Advanced
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China to Age Before it Gets Rich?
The harsh logic of China's one-child policy is starting to unravel... Demographers worry that without change, China will become the first country in the world to age before it gets rich. China's choke on family size to usually one child in cities and two in the countryside now threatens its economic future, with fewer people left to pay and care for an increasingly gray population. (Aging population, one child policy, China, family size, census results.)
Advanced
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Sprucing Up The Down-at-heel
In Paris' upmarket St Germain district, hairdresser Lucia Iraci spends her days coiffing the city's glitterati, including actors, models and musicians. Yet once a month she opens her doors to a more downtrodden clientèle, offering free pampering and a dash of glamor to women from poor districts who are often long-term unemployed or victims of abuse and even slavery. (Hairdressing and beauty, amazing life stories, women's rights, helping others.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Pirates!
A new spate of hijackings by Somali pirates has shown they are determined to go on striking at shipping on the region's strategic trade routes despite intervention by Western and other navies. Multi-million-dollar superyachts sailing from the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean for the European summer could be the next high-profile target of Somali pirates, security experts say. (Super yachts, piracy, choosing the correct headline, finding errors.)
Advanced
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"American Dream"
Kim Bischof is entering the U.S. job market after she finishes college in May with a degree in special education and is confident that the "American Dream' is still alive for her, recession be dammed. Her optimism, echoed by other students in interviews, may reflect the fact that many young Americans today are indeed better off than their parents were at the same age. (American dream, reality of life for young Americans compared to parents, summarizing, verb forms.)
Advanced
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The Gleaners
It's closing time at a market in Belleville, a working-class neighborhood in Paris, and a young woman in a black parka and white cap is rummaging through the abandoned crates. After a thorough inspection, she slips a cauliflower and some slightly squashed oranges into her shopping bag. "That's going to be my dinner," says the woman, who will only give her name as Yng. (Economic difficulty, scavenging for food, summarizing key points.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Getting Smashed
Welcome to Sarah's Smash Shack, where customers can relieve stress by throwing dinnerware and bric-a-brac against a wall, as hard as they can, day and night, seven days a week. (Stress, smashing plates, setting up a business, verb patterns: like/love/dislike + infinitive or verb-ing and enjoy + verb-ing.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Trim the grocery bill, not nutrition
Food prices, fuel costs and economic fears are growing, but that doesn't mean you can't eat healthfully while on a recession diet. Feeding yourself and your family on a budget can still include nutritious lean protein, fruits and vegetables in your diet every day... It just requires an open mind and a bit of extra time. (Nutrition, health, shopping and cooking, must/ must not/ should/ should not/ have to.)
Upper-Intermediate
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The Secret Billionaire Giveaway
He wears a $15 watch, flies economy class and does not own a house or car. For years few guessed that Chuck Feeney was one of the world's biggest philanthropists, secretly giving away his billionaire fortune. (Philanthropy, making money and being rich, lifestyles, discussion, reading and note-taking, sharing information)
Intermediate
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Farming Tourists
Like many farmers, Martin Busin works from dawn till nightfall, but he still needs the help of his cafe-au-lait cow, Miss, to bring in tourists to keep afloat his smallholding in Italy's mountainous Alto Adige region. (Agritourism, Italy, choosing a headline, using the context to guess a meaning of a word,choosing a headline , conducting an interview.)
Advanced
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Greyhound Gives a Picture
Every morning a Greyhound bus loads up with passengers to start its journey to Atlanta. The ride provides an insight into the lives of America's poor as the bus crosses the Deep South states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. (Greyhound bus travel, descriptions of people, discussion, completing the gaps, choosing the best headline, completing a summary, understanding points of view and purpose, word families, writing an email.)
Advanced
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Hard Workers
The United States is the world's biggest economy but it does not guarantee workers paid vacation or holidays. One in five British workers spend longer in the office than they have to, a survey shows. Yet sixty percent would choose an extra week's holiday rather than an extra week's pay. (Paid holidays and vacations, annual leave, work pressures, 'either... or', superlative adjectives.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Left Behind Kids
Xiao Yun and Xiao Bo are, in many ways, typical rural Chinese kids. But when the 11 and 12-year-old return to their small cave home - still common for many here on the edge of the Loess Plateau in China's northwestern Shaanxi province - there are no parents waiting for them. (Text Organization, Problem Solving, Discussion, Research Project)
Advanced
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Air Affecting Business
Andy Ridehalgh, a British expatriate who has worked as an English teacher for three years in Hong Kong, has had enough of the city's air pollution. (Air pollution, Hong Kong, the environment, first and second conditionals brainstorming, choose the best answer, matching information.)
Intermediate
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On with biotech crops?
As the GM crops industry celebrates its 10th anniversary, the early promises of biotech crops remain largely unrealized, and many countries have banned the technology amid concerns about health and the environment. (An overview of the first decade of GM crops, business, discussion, predicting from a headline, comprehension.)
Advanced
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Money Money Money
An Irish winner has won of Europe's biggest lottery prizes - 115 million euros ($139.2 million) in the EuroMillions jackpot. The woman has five children of whom the youngest two still live at the family home. Her youngest son, 13, cycled around telling excited friends he would like to buy a horse and go on holiday. (Lottery jackpots, unreal situations, second conditional, discussion, comprehension, giving an opinion, sequencing.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Keeping the river flowing
The Jordan River is heavily polluted with sewage and is in danger of drying up after decades of conflict and intense agricultural use, environmentalists say. (Environment, agriculture, natural resources, religions, the Middle East, rivers, answering true or false questions, comprehension, cloze reading, reported speech, direct speech, team quiz.)
Upper-Intermediate
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World's Largest Lesson 2005
All Level Lesson - WLL 2005.
Governments are doing far too little to remove unexploded bombs and landmines. Landmine Action said not only were children being killed and maimed as they unwittingly played with the brightly colored unexploded bomblets from cluster bombs, but land and antitank mines were slowing postwar aid delivery and development. (Landmines, world's largest lesson, postwar development.)
Intermediate
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Back in Fashion
"We want gold to be contemporary, something that is young and people want to possess, to wear," says Bobby Godsell, chief executive of South African mining house AngloGold Ashanti, which last year mined six million ounces of gold worth $2.6 billion (1.4 million pounds). Gold is claiming more of the traditional markets for objects of desire. (Gold, luxury items, making choices, predicting from the text, comprehension, cloze reading, understanding figures, persuading someone.)
Advanced
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Real Music by Real Musicians
Forget manufactured pop. After suffering a surfeit of Reality TV shows that propelled instantly forgettable stars into the charts, British music fans have had enough. Durability is the new buzzword as the British music business hands out its annual awards after a buoyant year. (Music trends, manufactured bands, popstars, make a choice, understanding the main idea, guessing words from context, presenting a summary, phrasal verbs, giving an opinion.)
Advanced
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"Hello, is that Travel Dot Com?"
Online travel booking was meant to save businesses money, and make the whole process easy and painless. However, some problems have emerged, and business people are again reaching for the phone to make travel arrangements the old-fashioned way. (Business travel, online business, discussion, travel vocabulary, finding the main idea, sequencing, ranking and listing activity, Internet research.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Looking Up
Tall people earn considerably more money throughout their lives than their shorter coworkers, with each inch adding about $789 a year in pay, according to a new study. (Successful people, employment, sharing points of view, completing a table, scrambled words, true, false or not given, words made with 'short', talking about employment problems and problem solving game.)
Intermediate
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Loans for Hope
Maqsood is one of more than 1,600 beneficiaries of a micro-credit program launched by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan. The program provides interest-free loans to disabled Afghans eager to start their own small-sized businesses. There is also an interview with the founder of SPBD, a microfinance organisation in Samoa. (Microeconomics, microfinance, Afghanistan, jigsaw reading, vocabulary in context, comprehension, past perfect, synonyms, discussion.)
Intermediate
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The Most Powerful Man In Music
The new album is nearly here, and U2's lead singer Bono is the most powerful man in music, and not just because of his singing, says a poll of top music business people. (Bono and U2, music and politics, reading for overall understanding, reading for detail, true or false, because, gap fill, word find puzzle.)
Elementary
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A Micro $4 Billion
Muhammad Yunus, 63, is the founder of Grameen Bank, which has made more than $4 billion in tiny loans to poor Bangladeshis, providing a lifeline for millions and a banking model that has been copied in more than 100 nations from the United States to Uganda. (Microfinance, microcredit, Bangladesh, problem solving, reading and predicting, general knowledge, comprehension, multiple choice, jigsaw reading, identifying present and past tenses, pair crossword.)
Intermediate
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Fishy Milk?
Some landlocked Canadian cows are enjoying a little seafood with their hay and grain so they can produce a new kind of milk being touted for its benefits for the brain, eyes and nerves. (Modified foods, diet, fish, nutrition, discussion, comprehension, meanings in context, true or false, prepositions, design a poster, dialogue build.)
Intermediate
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Is Ecotourism Too Popular?
Ecotourism is taking its toll on wildlife and may be endangering the survival of the very animals people are flocking to see, according to researchers. (Ecotourism and its impact on wildlife, animal quiz, talking about animals, predicting, completing a table, check your understanding, true, false or not given, the present continuous, jigsaw reading, crossword.)
Intermediate
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Changing Careers
Boardroom lunches and presentations to high-flying British executives were routine for Martin during his 15 years as a management consultant. Now his lunch break is spent supervising school dinners and he gives presentations to his hardest audience yet -- geography students at a London school. (Teaching vs business as a career, job satisfaction, interview - attitudes to work, writing questions, complete a table, making comparisons between things that are not equal or the same, peer dictation.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Business Trip Mothers
It is a tough emotional decision every work-trip mom faces: will being away doing a deal damage her relationship with her children, as some studies show, or, as many professional moms say, will their children be more well-rounded individuals and less prone to separation anxiety. (Business travel, career and family, women, personality quiz, choosing the best headline, completing a table of information, true, false or not given, gerunds, Same Or Different listening Game, discussion.)
Advanced
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Against The Law!
The poor, oil-rich nation of Venezuela is considering decriminalizing the theft of food and medicine in cases where a thief is motivated by extreme hunger or need. (Justice, poverty, decriminalization, different crimes, ranking and discussion, understanding the main ideas, giving an opinion, scanning, modal verbs, prefixes - in-, de-, non-, crossword, Vocabulary Bingo Game.)
Intermediate
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Something's Cooking for Career Changers
Lisa Poulos loved the frenetic pace of her job as assistant to a top executive at a Manhattan financial firm, but she quit her job and enrolled in Manhattan's French Culinary Institute where she could learn cooking and baking skills. (Cooking, career changes, comprehension, guessing meanings of words from context, summarizing, food and cooking vocabulary, bar and line graph work, matching words game, reading an interview.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Stressed! Stressed! Stressed!
Job stress is a leading cause of illness, depression and workplace violence in America today and is increasing, experts say. (Stress in the workplace, causes, business, sharing opinions and fluency speaking practice, understanding the headline, matching information, reading for information, spot the mistake - grammatical errors, sequencing game.)
Advanced
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Green Packaging
Wild Oats Markets Inc. became the first grocery store in the United States to roll out a new type of "green" packaging which looks like plastic but turns into compost after disposal. (Environmentally friendly packaging, comprehension, true or false, meanings from context, summarizing, information gap activity, language - making predictions.)
Intermediate
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Cleaning Up Their Acts
With its landfill sites almost full, Japan has launched a plan to halve the amount of trash it buries. Meanwhile, Ireland battles a price of economic success: a waste disposal crisis. From a third island nation, New Zealand, comes a possible waste management solution. (Waste management, environmentally friendly waste management systems, matching sentence beginnings and endings, listening for information, true or false, choose the best answer, using 'also', understanding a process diagram.)
Intermediate to Upper-Intermediate
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No-Frills Cinema
The world's first no-frills cinema is opening in Britain promising tickets from just 20 pence -- but with no popcorn or blockbuster movies on show. (Cinemas and movies, quick survey, gap fill, choosing a headline, scanning, true or false, have to..., brainstorming, movie crossword, peer dictation.)
Intermediate
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Tallest Building
The world's tallest building in Dubai is 828 meters (2,717 ft) high. (Burj Khalifa, Taipei 101, world's tallest buildings, discussion, comprehension, reading for specific information, reference words, identifying nouns, comparative and superlative structures, shouting dictation, information gap game.)
Elementary
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Donor Debate
A Moldovan woman, desperate to feed her family, decides to sell one of her kidneys to a rich Westerner for $3,000 - - more than a year’s salary for the donor, peanuts to the recipient. Is it an act of exploitation in Europe’s poorest country or a lifesaving transaction which could and should be regulated? (Body organ trading, understanding the main idea, understanding viewpoints, summarizing, discussion, words in context.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Shopper Guilt
Do you ever wonder why you have a closet full of items you never use or have used just once? Canadian researchers found that retail shoppers often buy from helpful salespeople because they want to reciprocate a personal connection. (Shopping, relationships, discussion, multiple choice questions, true or false, conditional, matching, survey.)
Upper-Intermediate
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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.)
Advanced
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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.)
Advanced
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Don't Be Alarmed!
Police in Los Angeles have settled on a new way of handling those pesky burglar alarms that take up so much of their time. They will now ignore them -- unless someone can prove that there is a genuine emergency. (Crimes, burglary, predicting from the headline, guessing words from context, comprehension, true or false, summarizing, the present perfect simple, vocabulary: robbery, theft, burglary, giving an opinion in speaking and writing.)
Intermediate
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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.)
Advanced
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Germans Lose Shirts Over Taxes
Angry Germans who think Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder wants to tear the shirts off their backs with his plans to raise taxes have decided to spare him the trouble. His office is being deluged with old shirts. (Tax increases and protests, comprehension, true, false or not given, thinking carefully, main idea, the past perfect tense, discussion.)
Intermediate
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Never Too Late
A 92-year-old Australian woman has become the nation's oldest first-time home buyer after getting a housing loan she does not have to pay off for another 30 years. (First home buyers, banking and housing vocabulary, discussion, predicting, gap fill, true or false, reading for information, 'have to' / 'don't have to', pair crossword, group discussion.)
Intermediate
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