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A self-described shaman who discovered the healing powers of herbs while seeing visions on his sickbed; a former consultant for IBM who ditched PowerPoint presentations to drive across Africa and an artist from Luxembourg who is a qualified plumber. (Migration, alternative lifestyles, conjunctions.)
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Wedding Dress Record
A Chinese bride is hoping to enter the record books after getting married in a wedding dress with a train more than 2 km (1.2 miles). (Longest wedding dress in the world, wedding customs, discussion, role play, superlative adjectives, adjective order, romantic poems.)
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Real-life Avatar
A world away from Hollywood in remote eastern India the story of Avatar is being played out. Avatar tells the story of the Na'vi whose existence is threatened by a mining corporation which wants to exploit mineral deposits beneath a giant sacred tree. In India's state of Orissa, indigenous tribespeople are battling to stop Vedanta Resources from extracting bauxite from their sacred mountain. (Religion, environment, sharing information, making a diagram, timeline, discussion.)
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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.)
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Two Courageous Dudes
One guy saved his mate from a crocodile and the other went for help for his father, even though he was badly injured. (Bravery, crocodiles, awards, past continuous and past simple, using past tense verbs to tell a story.)
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Feeling Weird?
Mysteriously snuffed out candles, weird sensations and shivers down the spine may not be due to the presence of ghosts in haunted houses but to very low frequency sound that is inaudible to humans. (Scientific experiments, ghosts and the supernatural, categorizing words, discussion, understanding the main idea, sequencing, comprehension, true or false, summarizing, writing a story, listening to a story, ghost stories, identifying grammatical errors, pair crossword.)
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced
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Smokers Denied Transplants
Surgeons at the Alfred Hospital in Australia are demanding that smokers stop the habit before undergoing major heart and lung surgery. The reported ban has raised a storm of controversy in Australia.  (Health, ethics, smoking, responsibility, 'verb+that+clause sentences')
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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)
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A Child's View
Movie star Jamie Lee Curtis believes children will be a focus in her life when she quits acting and everyone should see the world from a small child's point of view. (Fame, doing worthwhile things, sentences, making notes.)
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Soul Man
Single Americans in their 20s want to marry someone who shares their innermost thoughts and feelings, rather than someone rich or of the same religion. (Love, marriage, essay writing, relative clauses.)
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A firm of undertakers in Ireland is hiring out hardwood coffins to meet growing demands to cut funeral costs and spare precious timber. (Funerals, death, belief, obituaries, the use of "since".) Please Note: This lesson looks at funeral practices and rites. Please think about your students' cultural backgrounds before choosing this lesson. The lesson also raises questions about death and what happens to people after they die.
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Virtual Church
Germany's Protestant Church has seized the latest technology by transmitting text highlights of a religious service to mobile phone users and inviting them to join in. "Now it is up to you when and how you participate in mass," said their Internet site. (Religion, the Internet, Punctuation.)
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