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The Law

By Any Other Name ...
Most people are busy planning their wedding before they get married. But Kaori Oguni was too busy thinking about losing her maiden name. Oguni is suing the Japanese government. Japan has a law that says spouses must have the same surname. (Marriage, law)
Elementary
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Teaching Millions the Art of War
China is rapidly becoming a country on wheels and its crowded driving schools are racing to churn out licensed drivers as fast as cars roll off the assembly lines. But judging by the daily smash-ups and blatant disregard for even basic traffic rules on China's roadways, quantity seems to have trumped quality at many schools. (Driving and driving tests, Beijing, cars.)
Advanced
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Operation Flower
A Tokyo district with lots of burglaries has turned to planting flowers to help stamp out crime. "'Operation Flower' began about three years ago. By planting flowers, people will be keeping an eye out while taking care of the flowers or watering them... The best way to prevent crime is to have more people on the lookout." (Fighting crime, neighborhood watch groups, miming, listening for numbers, listening to true or false statements, past simple tense verbs - making negatives, making a poster.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Under Attack
It may affect as many as half of U.S. teenagers, can be as bad or worse than being beaten up in the schoolyard, and is so relentless and emotionally devastating that suicide can seem the only answer. Whether it is through emails, instant messaging, cellphones, texting or web sites, cyberbullying is a growing problem. This lesson looks at cyberbullying and bullying. (Bullying, notetaking, Internet research, comprehension.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Employing Bullies
Nearly half of working Americans said they suffered or witnessed workplace bullying ... according to a 2007 survey. Bullying at work remains a problem in different parts of the world. (Bullying at work, restructuring, depression, the US, Norway, simple present, present perfect and simple past contrasted, uses of present perfect simple, for and since.)
Intermediate
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Yellow cabs to go Green
New York City's famed yellow taxi cabs will go green within five years...1,000 hybrid taxis -- powered by gasoline and electricity -- would be introduced by October 2008. (Alternative fuels, transport, the environment, hybrid vehicles, discussion, skimming, choose the best answer, reading and notetaking, first conditional, Internet research.)
Intermediate
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Killer Games
A 2007 article says that violent video games do not make children into murderers. (Violent video games and effect on children, violence, discussion, vocabulary hunt, filling the gaps in a table, finding and correcting grammatical errors.)
Intermediate
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Max Vocab Worksheet: The United Nations
Here are a couple of exercises on words related to the United Nations and the Security Council. This worksheet goes well with the Upper Intermediate lesson "The Security Council".
Upper-Intermediate
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In the Shadow of the Knife
A teenager lies in a pool of blood in the street after he is stabbed in a dawn attack. Britain is living "in the shadow of the knife", as one tabloid headline writer put it. And experts fear the number of fatal stabbings will spiral out of control if a growing knife culture among young people is not tackled. (Violent crimes, young people, city life, discussion, choosing a headline, matching information, comprehension, ordering paragraphs.)
Advanced
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Trouble At The Top
Leading celebrity photographer Mario Testino has defended Kate Moss after she lost lucrative modeling contracts over allegations of cocaine abuse: "I know Kate very well and I don't think she's at all tormented, torrid, depressed." (Famous models, alcohol abuse, drugs, judging or forgiving someone, word hunt, true or false, comprehension.)
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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Ethical Education
An Indian teenager fooled governments, the media and even the president into believing he had topped the world in a NASA science exam. Canadian university students cheated on an ethics course. (Dishonesty, plagiarizing, examinations, understanding the main idea, answering true, false or not given questions, describing past habits and routines, writing a questionnaire.)
Upper-Intermediate
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ATM Thieves
There has been a huge increase in Japan in the number of robbers using large diggers to remove automated teller machines (ATMs) from the lobbies of banks. (Bizarre crimes, construction and crime, vocabulary, matching pictures and words, predicting from the headline, main idea, reading for detail, reading carefully, before / after + -ing, pair crossword, gap fill.)
Elementary
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Global Bicycle Thieves
Amsterdam police will use bicycles equipped with hidden GPS transmitters to bait thieves and track them down in the latest effort to stamp out rampant bike theft. (Theft, GPS, Amsterdam, discussion, predicting from the headline, guessing meanings from context, mixed questions, completing a table of information, true, false or not given, words used as nouns and verbs, word search puzzle.)
Intermediate
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Young Smokers Find A Way
Restrictions on the sale of tobacco to minors may be prompting more teenage smokers to steal cigarettes or get them from parents and older friends, according to a U.S. study of student smoking habits in Texas. (Minors and smoking, anti-tobacco laws, scanning, completing a table, matching figures with information, true or false, prepositions, describing increases and decreases, cloze listening, discussion.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Extra Jail for Smoker
For a 73-year-old Canadian man, 20 months in a smoke-free jail looked just too long, so instead he took 24 months in a prison where he can smoke cigarettes. (Smoking issues, discussion, understanding the main idea, comprehension, choose the best answer, regular and irregular simple past tense verbs, nouns - nationalities and languages.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Not The Retiring Type
The oldest bank robber in the United States, a 92-year-old man, was sentenced to more than 12 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to robbing a Texas bank. He said he robbed his first bank when he was about 80 because he wanted revenge against banks for sending him into a financial crisis. (Bizarre stories, crime, banks, discussion, Find Your Other Half Vocabulary game, predicting, skimming, sequencing, question construction, phrasal verbs, read and draw.)
Intermediate
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Someone Found My Wallet!
A wallet that was lost in southern Sweden more than 40 years ago has been returned to its owner and her money was still in it. (Lost and found stories, bizarre stories, personal items, understanding the main idea, forming and answering questions, matching information, reading and thinking, choose the best answer, question words (who, where, what, when, how, whose, why, which), short partner questionnaire, writing a short description, discussion.)
Elementary
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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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Swaziland Crisis
Desperate HIV-positive Swazis are lining up in droves to try the latest "miracle AIDS cures", falling victim to patchy medical regulation in a country with one of the world's highest HIV infection rates. (HIV / AIDS, bogus 'wonder drugs', con artists, Swaziland, developing countries, brainstorming and problem solving, Find Your Other Half Game, placing headlines, matching information, scanning, differentiating fact from opinion, true or false, running dictation, discussion.)
Advanced
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In A Crate
A man trying to save a little money, traveled in an air cargo crate by plane from New York to Texas. Investigators are now asking him questions about his trip. (Bizarre stories, deliveries, predicting, understanding the main idea, making questions, ordering events, reading for detail, personal pronouns, sequencing game.)
Elementary
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International Treaty Against Smoking
More than 190 countries approved the first international treaty against smoking, including an advertising ban, aimed at kicking a habit that kills nearly 5 million people a year. (Antismoking, WHO, complete the headline, scanning, reading carefully, summarizing, relative clauses, information exchange, debate, complete the drawing.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Winning and Losing
A NZ$200,000 ($112,000) dispute between two New Zealand companies has been resolved in an unusual out-of-court settlement -- an arm-wrestling match. (Business, disputes, discussion, sentence order, writing questions, comprehension, a/an/the, prefix 'un', pair crossword, correct or incorrect game--the apostrophe for possession.)
Pre-Intermediate
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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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Police Cars For Sale
A Charlotte, N.C. company, Government Acquisitions, has come up with a plan to provide police departments free cruisers in exchange for having the cars sport advertising reminiscent of blurbs seen on NASCAR race cars. (Police departments and advertising, discussion, sequencing, matching information, true, false or not mentioned, expressing an opinion, listing advantages or disadvantages, have / get something done ...)
Upper-Intermediate
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Unsafe Swings
A European Union rule has forced a British parish council to close its playground swings which are used by hundreds of children a year. (Playgrounds and safety, children's games, prediction, reading for detail, comprehension, question words, discussion, nouns and adjectives, word find puzzle, group design project.)
Elementary
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T-Shirt Not So Peaceful
A lawyer was arrested and charged with trespassing at a public mall in the state of New York after refusing to take off a T-shirt advocating peace that he had just purchased at the mall. (Slogans on T-shirts, choose the best answer, complete the information, sequencing, true, false or not given, writing slogans, discussion, the prefix 'mis'.)
Intermediate
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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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Traffic Fine
An Austrian woman has begun a 500-day jail sentence for ignoring parking tickets and a woman in Glasgow, Scotland is one of the world's worst parking offenders. (Parking and rules, bizarre stories, infinitive of purpose.)
Elementary
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No excuses!
"The dog ate my homework." If students at a Houston middle school say this to their teachers, their parents may be asked to go to court. (Schools, parents and students, understanding the main idea, multiple choice, matching information, true or false, discussion, making excuses, crossword.)
Elementary
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Lawyers Want Government Jobs
Today, the Enron and WorldCom stories have transformed corporate crime fighting into a top choice for law students who, only two years ago, might have looked down their noses at a career in government. (Legal graduates and government law, listening comprehension, discussing pros and cons, true, false or not given, comprehension, completing statements, verbs that take the infinitive, role play.)
Advanced
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No Driver's License
A German motorist who was sentenced to prison for repeatedly driving without a license was caught driving just moments after leaving the court, police said. (Careless driving, matching pictures and words, prepositions, word find, sequencing, comprehension, true or false, discussion, role-play.)
Pre-Intermediate
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Gum Law May Change
Chewing gum has been banned in Singapore since 1992. The law said that Singaporeans could not import, sell or make it. But now Singapore may change the law. (Chewing gum ban in Singapore, understanding the main idea, comprehension, true or false, matching ideas with pictures, discussion, group project imperatives.)
Elementary
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Free To Speed
A computer game company's offer to pay the speeding fines of all British drivers as part of an advertising promotion for a new motor racing game has been branded irresponsible and dangerous by the government. (Dangerous driving and speeding, scanning, true or false, direct and reported speech, the prefix 'ir-', discussion, writing a radio advertisement.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Smiling Bank Robber
A man had his two gold teeth knocked out as he ran into traffic and was hit by a van after robbing a bank, FBI agents said. (Understanding a headline, matching words and pictures, gap fill, comprehension, reference words, past simple and base verb forms, word find puzzle.)
Elementary
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You Can't Copy That!
A copyright dispute over two pieces of silence, one by American avant-garde composer John Cage and the other by a composer best known for novelty tunes, has been settled. (Plagiarism and copyright, music, scanning, guessing words in context, true or false, headlines, the expression: It was one of the most...I've ever..., discussion.)
Upper-Intermediate
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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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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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Buskers Permitted Here
In the past, street performer Yasunori Koyama would be sent packing by police patrolling the streets and parks of Tokyo even as he performs his impressive juggling act to a visibly delighted crowd, but times have changed. (Street performers, city councils, predicting, true, false and not given, summarizing, relative pronouns (who, which, that), discussion.)
Intermediate
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Inauthentic Parmesan?
Italy has liberally sprinkled praise on a decision by Europe's highest court barring cheap imitations of Parmesan cheese. (Copies of products, Parmesan cheese, understanding the meaning, comprehension, guessing meanings of words by context, figurative language, discussion.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Chimp Burglar
British police are looking for a chimpanzee who has stolen things from two London homes. (Chimpanzees, burglaries, predicting, mixed sentences, true or false, writing sentences using prompts, pair 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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Lottery Court Case
A Canadian care worker who bought a lottery ticket that won C$11.4 million ($7.2 million) won't pocket a penny. She bought the ticket for an elderly client with whom, she said, she had a verbal agreement to share the jackpot if the ticket was a winner, but the client said she had made no such deal. The disagreement ended up in court. (Gambling, agreements, sharing, court cases, headlines, sequencing, use of superlative structure "One of the _____-est".)
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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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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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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Sue them!
Does your boss plague you with irritating phone calls at home? You'd be well within your rights to sue, says Britain's Institute of Management. (Business, conditions of employment, rights and responsibilities,writing an application letter, employment agency role play, use of 'even'.)
Upper-Intermediate
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Lawyer Has No Luck At All
If there were a prize for the world's unluckiest man, British solicitor Edward Bentley would surely be in the running. (Gambling, bad luck, crime, regrets about the past, "I wish")
Intermediate
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Justice Systems
Aromatherapy? Soft lights? Soothing string music? It sounds like a new age seance, but it's the new way of doling out justice, Brazilian-style. (Judges, courts, legal systems, punishment, phrasal verbs, smell/sound/feel/ + like, metaphors.)
Intermediate
HTML Format
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