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English Cafe #503

English As A Second Language Podcast - 31 December 2015 - 9:00am

Topics: American Presidents – Calvin Coolidge; further versus furthermore versus more; resilience versus resistance; You can say that again.

to strike
labor union
lack of
to appoint
to abuse power
income tax
estate tax
to veto

1,107 - The Death of a Pet

All animals eventually die, even your pets. Learn how to deal with it in this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:34
Explanations: 3:32
Fast dialog: 15:47

Dad: Honey, I have some bad news for you. Fluffy has gone to the other side.

Sarah: You mean she’s out of her cage again? I’ll go and try to find her.

Dad: No, you don’t understand. Fluffy passed away in the night.

Sarah: Oh, she died! That’s too bad, but she was getting up there in years.

Dad: Yes, but she didn’t die a natural death. She was run over by the neighbor’s car.

Sarah: You mean she was flattened? Cool!

Dad: Well, I wouldn’t put it that way, but I understand if you’re in shock. I guess people show grief in different ways...

Sarah: Fluffy went out with a bang. That’s the way she would have wanted to go.

Dad: I’d like to think of her as being in heaven and she’s gone to meet her maker.

Sarah: I don’t think there’s an afterlife for animals, Dad. It’s all just a part of the circle of life.

Dad: Okay. I thought we could have a funeral for her so we can pay our respects.

Sarah: Is that really necessary?

Dad: I’d thought you’d want one. She was your pet after all.

Sarah: No, let’s just bury her in the backyard.

Dad: And who said that the youth of today is cynical?

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

FIFA President: Charges Bring Shame to Sport

VOA Special English - 2 hours 43 min ago
  FIFA President Sepp Blatter said corruption scandals within the world soccer organization have brought "shame and humiliation" on the sport. Mr. Blatter spoke Thursday at the opening of the FIFA Congress in Zurich, Switzerland. He was speaking publicly for the first time since U.S. and Swiss officials announced major corruption investigations of the organization. Meanwhile, two major European football associations called on Mr. Blatter to resign, ahead of the...

Successful Debaters Earn Business Benefits

VOA Special English - 28 May 2015 - 10:03pm
Over the last few weeks we discussed a method for teaching debate to English learners. Debate is a valuable way to practice communicating. It can also bring long-lasting rewards outside the classroom, especially for people working with Western businesses. Communicating Western-style The main activity of debate is presenting one's opinion and supporting it with evidence, such as statistics or facts. It is a way of persuasive communication – of making someone believe what you...

Extreme Heat in India Kills Over 1100

VOA Special English - 28 May 2015 - 10:00pm
Usually hot weather is affecting people across large parts of India. Temperatures reached and even topped 46 degrees Celsius. Indians who had a choice stayed inside buildings or at home to escape the killer heat. But tens of thousands of people did not have that choice. Many of them are employed as construction workers, taxi drivers and street vendors, who make a living by selling goods to passersby. Shaibaz Qureshi drives an auto rickshaw in the city of Hyderabad.  He...

Greece Says No Payment to Lenders Without Deal

VOA Special English - 28 May 2015 - 10:00pm
Greece has said it cannot make its debt payment to the International Monetary Fund for June. The country’s Interior Minister Nikos Voutsis spoke on Greek television Sunday. He said the country needs to reach a deal with its creditors or it will not be able to make payments. European countries using the euro have been negotiating with Greece for four months.  Greece is seeking the release of over $7 billion to avoid defaulting on its loans. The loans are repayment for a...


Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 28 May 2015 - 5:24pm
Self-styled; so-called.

Call me chef — but only in the kitchen

Spotlight - 28 May 2015 - 12:54pm

Inez Sharp describes the contents in the June 2015 issue of Spotlight magazine.

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Spotlight in the classroom 6/2015

Spotlight - 28 May 2015 - 12:41pm

Get your students to invent a life story for an opera singer.

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Spotlight plus 6/2015

Spotlight - 28 May 2015 - 12:10pm

In June in our workbook, Spotlight plus: Making requests by e-mail, crime and punishment and Toronto. Practice makes perfect! Practise with plus!

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middling: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 28 May 2015 - 9:00am
middling: mediocre; ordinary; commonplace.


OALD Word Of The Day - 28 May 2015 - 3:00am
indulge: to allow yourself to have or do something that you like...

Islamic State Executes 20 in Palmyra Roman Theater

VOA Special English - 27 May 2015 - 11:36pm
A Human Rights group says that the Islamic State militants have executed 20 people in the ancient Roman theater in Palmyra, a UNESCO World heritage site. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the militant group accused the men of working with the Syrian government and shot them. The militant group captured Palmyra on May 21. It has executed more than 200 people in the city.  Syria’s antiquities director Mamoun Abdulkarim told Agence France-Presse that the killings...

China Describes Its Island-Building in the South China Sea

VOA Special English - 27 May 2015 - 10:02pm
China has defended its efforts to build up islands and coral reefs in the South China Sea. Chinese officials say the efforts are no different from public construction projects. Officials compared the activities to repairing roads, and building bridges and homes. The question about who owns islands and reefs in the South China Sea has caused tensions between China and other countries for many years. The territorial dispute deepened in recent weeks after the release of evidence that...

Japan's Past Threatens Chances for World Heritage Site

VOA Special English - 27 May 2015 - 10:01pm
  South Korea, on Tuesday, objected to Japan’s request to add historic locations to the UNESCO World Heritage sites. South Korea wanted Japan to admit that Koreans were forced to work in the coal mines, steel factories and shipyards during World War II. This is the latest development in a longstanding dispute between the countries over Japan’s wartime activities. Japan has proposed 23 sites to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO,...

US, Swiss Officials Take Action Against FIFA in Corruption Cases

VOA Special English - 27 May 2015 - 5:58pm
  United States officials have brought charges against current and former leaders of FIFA, the group that governs the sport of football around the world. A U.S. federal indictment accuses them of corruption and other wrongdoing. On Wednesday, the Swiss government announced its own investigation connected to the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup championships. Swiss police arrested several FIFA officials in Zurich. The U.S. indictment includes 47 charges against 14...

de rigueur

Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 27 May 2015 - 5:03pm
Required by fashion, custom, or etiquette.

Spotlight 6/2015

Spotlight - 27 May 2015 - 12:16pm
Canada's biggest city looks to the future

Sweet and tender Dungeness crab

False friends

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Clone of Green Light 6/2015

Spotlight - 27 May 2015 - 12:13pm

Green Light is our booklet in easy English to help you refresh the basics. It's free inside every issue of Spotlight magazine. In June: luggage, "should", and bush taxis.

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Spotlight Audio 6/2015

Spotlight - 27 May 2015 - 10:39am

The dangers of false friends, multicultural Toronto and much more.

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