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culturati: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 10 hours 50 min ago
culturati: people deeply interested in cultural and artistic matters.

Cartoon: European Lifeguard

The English Blog - 12 hours 20 min ago

European lifeguard

EU leaders agreed to triple the funding of naval search and rescue missions in the Mediterranean. However critics are displeased, believing it’s a face-saving measure, especially as some EU leaders still advocate blowing ‘illegals’ out of the water. The move comes after an overloaded migrant boat coming from Libya sank on Sunday, killing up to 900 people. Only 28 people are believed to have survived the disaster, making it the worst on record involving migrants fleeing Africa through Libya. The EU has been facing a growing wave of criticism for not doing enough to save the migrants fleeing to Europe. Full story >>

The cartoon by Chappatte from the International New York Times shows a lifeguard wearing a suit, and clearly meant to represent the EU (the sunshade makes that obvious) telling a boat that is sinking under its load of migrants to 'Go Back!' The people on the boat are waving for help, and some have already fallen into the water and are drowning.The lifeguard is sitting in one of those high chairs that lifeguards have so that they can see better, and using a megaphone to call to the boat. A lifebelt is attached to the side of the chair. The skies are stormy, adding to the danger.

The message is fairly clear — the EU is not doing enough to save the migrants fleeing to Europe from war-torn Libya and other Africa countries across the Mediterranean Sea.

Related articles Human Rights Watch Daily Brief, 23 April 2015 Cartoon: The EU and the Migrant Boat Disaster EU borders chief says saving migrants' lives 'shouldn't be priority' for patrols Hammond: Europe must target human traffickers A look at EU's handling of the Mediterranean migrant influx

Everyday Grammar: In, On, and At

VOA Special English - 24 April 2015 - 10:09pm
  When English speakers talk about time and place, there are three little words that often come up: in, on, and at. These common words are prepositions that show a relationship between two words in a sentence. Some prepositions are rather easy for English learners to understand: behind, over, under, next to, etc… But these little two-letter prepositions seem to create confusion. Here are a few rules to help you understand when to use in, on, and at in a sentence. For...

Migrants Are Dying Trying to Reach Europe

VOA Special English - 24 April 2015 - 10:01pm
  From VOA Learning English, this is In the News. The European Union announced its intention to increase funding for search and rescue efforts at sea after an emergency meeting in Brussels, Belgium. Also, French President Francois Holland said he will seek a resolution at the United Nations. He said the resolution would authorize the E.U. to destroy boats used by smugglers to take thousands of migrants from North Africa to Europe. The E.U. officials were reacting to the...

More US Students Learning Korean

VOA Special English - 24 April 2015 - 10:01pm
  Korean language studies are quickly growing in popularity across the United States. The Modern Language Association says the number of U.S. college students taking a Korean language class rose by almost 45% between 2009 and 2013. The group notes that the increase comes at a time when the number of college students taking foreign language classes has declined. This is K-pop -- Korean popular music. Many people around the world like the sound of K-pop. “They do a lot of...

Monkeys Rule the Ruins in Disney Documentary

VOA Special English - 24 April 2015 - 10:00pm
Monkeys are entertaining. They can swing through trees, hang by their tails, play, dance, kiss and argue. A new Disney movie captures all of that and more. The nature film “Monkey Kingdom” stars a group of monkeys that live among the ruins of the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka. These small reddish-colored monkeys are known as toque macaque monkeys. They also follow an established social order. “Monkey Kingdom” centers on Maya and her newborn, Kip. Maya is low on the...

Sierra Leone Dog Population Rising Because of Ebola Crisis

VOA Special English - 24 April 2015 - 10:00pm
The Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone has led to growing concern about another disease: rabies from wild dogs. Many owners fear their dogs could infect them with Ebola, so they have freed the animals. As a result, the stray dog population and number of rabies cases are increasing. Rabies is spreading in Sierra Leone. The country now has one of the largest stray dog populations in Africa. The situation has become worse during the Ebola crisis. Doctor Gudosh Jalloh is a veterinarian. In...


Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 24 April 2015 - 1:13pm
Agile; graceful.

Ad of the Day — Airbnb's 'Never a Stranger'

The English Blog - 24 April 2015 - 11:15am

This new Airbnb ad features a real Airbnb traveler, Ellie, voicing a letter to her hosts that starts off: "Dear Stranger, when I booked this trip my friends said I was crazy." She goes on to explain how the neighborhood was friendly, the home was perfect -- even the host's friends reminded her of her own friends -- and eventually became her own. (via Creativity Online

This ad would make a great discussion starter. You could get students to talk about their travel experiences, and find out what they think about the Airbnb concept — renting accommodation in strangers' homes. As a follow-up, you could get them to write their own 'thank you' letter to someone they stayed with (real or imaginary).

I've always told my students that the word 'accommodation' was uncountable, but I've noticed that more and more people are using it in the plural (especially in America). This is from Airbnb's 'About Us' page: Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations [sic] around the world — online or from a mobile phone.


Related articles Airbnb lands on Donald Trump's radar Airbnb and HomeAway: What You Need To Know (Part 1) Beware of Airbnb entering the hyperlocal travel guide business How Hotels Can Challenge Airbnb for Millennials' Hearts How Airbnb uses machine learning to detect host preferences

1,097 - Landscaping a Home

English As A Second Language Podcast - 24 April 2015 - 9:00am

Make your house the talk of the neighborhood after listening to this episode.

Slow dialog: 1:15
Explanations: 3:03
Fast dialog: 16:15

Mona: I want a lawn. I’ve always pictured our new house with a lawn.

Kellan: Lawns require a lot of water and upkeep. I think we should use hardscape for most of the yard and plant only drought-tolerant plants.

Mona: I don’t want my yard to be full of gravel and rocks. I picture a water feature in the middle, with annuals and perennials planted all around it, surrounded by a big, beautiful lawn.

Kellan: We can have some kind of slow-growing ground cover if you want to, but the rest isn’t practical.

Mona: I don’t know what you mean. We can plant a hedge over there and install planters along the walkway.

Kellan: Who will do the pruning and mulching? Who will pull the weeds and mow the lawn? Who will rake the leaves when the seasons change?

Mona: Well, I guess I will, with your help.

Kellan: Don’t count on me. My motto is: No muss, no fuss!

Script by Dr. Lucy Tse

sang-froid: Dictionary.com Word of the Day

Dictionary.com Word of the Day - 24 April 2015 - 9:00am
sang-froid: coolness of mind; calmness; composure.

Learn English With Photos 2.0 iTunes U Course

The English Blog - 24 April 2015 - 8:48am


Following the unexpected success of my first "Learn English With Photos" course on iTunes U (over 140,000 students enrolled!), I'm pleased to announce that "Learn English With Photos 2.0" is now available. In addition to the ten photo-based videos I've already posted on this blog, you get PDF transcripts and glossaries, crosswords, word search puzzles, and quizzes. You can subscribe to the course here.

Related articles Apple offers 'For Educators' collection of App Store, iBooks, & iTunes U educational resources Apple and Education Trends | For Educators (from Apple) iBooks Author and iTunes U Use Zaption to Enhance Video Content


OALD Word Of The Day - 24 April 2015 - 3:00am
blurb: a short description of a book...

US, Italian Hostages Killed in Anti-Terrorism Operation

VOA Special English - 24 April 2015 - 12:29am
  A U.S. anti-terrorism operation in January killed American and Italian aid workers. White House officials said Thursday al-Qaida had been holding the two men on the Afghan-Pakistan border. The victims, American Warren Weinstein and Italian Givovanni Lo Porto had been working on aid projects in Pakistan. A U.S. official told VOA the hostages were killed mistakenly during drone airstrikes January 14. President Barack Obama on Thursday apologized for the incident. He...

Benito Cereno by Herman Melville, Part Three

VOA Special English - 23 April 2015 - 10:02pm
Herman Melville

India Looks to Become Arms Supplier Instead of Buyer

VOA Special English - 23 April 2015 - 10:02pm
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently pointed out that India imports nearly 60 percent of its defense needs. In fact, a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute – SIPRI – finds that India was the world’s biggest arms importer in the last five years. Mr. Modi wants to change that. He is urging a “Made in India” policy that extends to the country’s defense needs. He has even said the country should try to export weapons. Foreign manufacturers The...

Facebook Has More Users than Population of China

VOA Special English - 23 April 2015 - 10:01pm
The social network Facebook reported that it now has 1.44 billion monthly active users (MAU) worldwide. That is 50 million more users than the population of China and over 188 million more than India’s population. Facebook also reported that 75 percent of its users access the site via mobile devices as of March 2015. Despite its growing user base and accessibility via smartphones and tablets, Facebook’s income dropped 13 percent over year-ago levels to $933 million. That...

Looking to Webb Telescope on Hubble 25th Anniversary

VOA Special English - 23 April 2015 - 10:00pm
  Before the Hubble Space Telescope, people saw the field of astronomy differently than they do today. American spacecraft did provide detailed pictures of Jupiter and Saturn, planets in our own solar system. But deep space, the place where nebulae and galaxies exist, remained mostly colorless -- until the Hubble Space Telescope. It has provided detailed and often colorful images of once unimaginable objects. Friday marks 25 years since Hubble left the ground. It was launched...


Wordsmith.org Today's Word - 23 April 2015 - 12:55pm
Not easily handled, managed, or controlled.


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