Archive | June 2013

WEP 300613

Click on the image to download this week’s Weekly English Practice from English Coaching Projects.

WEP 300513 cover

Colouring pets to look like wild animals

Would you colour your pet to make it look like a different animal?

to dye: to add colour to an object eg hair, clothes

fierce: intense, aggresive

wealthy: to be rich, to have a lot of possessions or money

to fuss over: to show excessive and unnecessary aenttion to something

outfits: a set of clothes that are worn together

trend: a tendency or fashion

to raise: to breed (reproduce) animals and plants

to view:  to see or consider something (opinions)

dayglo: a very bright or flourescent colour

ban: to prohibit / a prohibition

chicks:  baby birds

dog groomer: a person who looks after animals

poodles:  a type of dog with very curly hair

Would you like your pet dog to look like a panda or tiger? Over the last few years, this has become increasingly popular in China. Don’t be surprised to see ‘mini-Pandas’ in the park – they are just Chow Chow dogs dyed to look like the country’s national symbol. Last summer’s Pets Show in Taipei, saw a fiercely competitive dog-dyeing competition.

With more money to spend, newly wealthy Chinese are using their dogs as social statements. Dogs are brought into restaurants, fussed over in public, dressed up in ridiculous outfits and dyed to look like ferocious tigers.

The trend demonstrates how quickly and dramatically attitudes toward pets — particularly dogs — have changed in many parts of Asia. In Taiwan, for example, just 10 years ago, dogs were still eaten in public restaurants and raised on farms for that purpose. Traditional Chinese medicine used to say that “fragrant meat” from dogs was good for your health. Now, eating dog is viewed by many as an embarrassing reminder of a poorer time.

…. but it’s not only China where animals are dyed…

In 2012 the US state of Florida approved an agricultural bill, which permits animals to be dyed colours such as neon green and dayglo pink.

Florida Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff, introduced an amendment to repeal a 45-year-old prohibition on artificially dying or coloring certain animals The original ban was introduced to prevent people from buying novelty animals – such as chicks – as gifts for others. Senator Bogdanoff maintained that she was just protecting the rights of dog groomers, who, she believes, should be able to compete in animal shows and parades with coloured canines.

Animal rights groups protested. “This law has protected thousands of animals from neglect and abuse, and it shouldn’t be changed just because one dog groomer wants to dye poodles purple.”

Read more about this story:

   Something to chat about

  • Do you have any pets? Would you dye any of them? If so, why?

  • Do you think dyeing an animal a different colour is abuse? Do you think it should prevented by law?

  • What rights do you think animals should have by law? Should they have any?

  • If you could, would you have more pets?

“ilook, ithink, ispeak” Express yourself better

(Click on the image to download it)

Talking about pets and animals

Look at these different pictures (including the cover). Talk about the different animals. Which ones are typical pets?

Discuss what you have to do to look after each animal as a pet in your home. 

Decide which ones would be the easiest and the most difficult to look after.

Write it all in an email to your ECP coach (and record your voice!).

WEP 300513 ilook ithink ispeak

WEP 230513

Click on the image to download this week’s Weekly English Practice from English Coaching Projects.

WEP 230513 cover

Workers fly to New Zealand to work night shifts during the day

How can someone work at night and during the day at the same time?

to take turns: to alternate doing something with another person

night shift: the period of time (shift) you work at night

staff: the people who work at a company

to set up: to start or configure something new

abroad: to be in another country

handful: a small number or quantity

chance: an opportunity

chirpy: to be happy and full of energy

Workers from Moneypenny, a company based in Wrexham in Wales, are taking turns to live in New Zealand to cover night shifts back home in the UK. As the time difference between New Zealand and the UK is 12 hours, staff still work during the day but actually work the night shift in the UK.

Moneypenny provides a phone answering service, handling over 8m calls a year for 6,000 clients from many different companies. Bosses say more and more UK customers are making these types of calls during the night.

Rachel Clacher, who set up the company with brother Ed Reeves, said they had initially resisted expanding the service to answer calls at night because of the detrimental effects on people’s health and attitude of working nights. They believed this would have an effect on the quality of their service.

A group of four staff will soon return to Wrexham after flying out to Aukland last November. They have been working four days on and four days off so that they can do some tourism while living abroad. These working hours will continue when the next group takes over. Each group spends between four and six months on the other side of the world.

Before opening the office in Auckland, bosses asked staff if they wanted to work nights or relocate temporarily. Only a handful of the company’s 280 staff said they wanted to work nights. However, more than 40 said they were interested in mixing work between home and abroad.

Jess Edwards, 24, says she is enjoying the experience so much that she hopes to be able to continue working there. “It is an absolutely fantastic opportunity,” she said, “I am getting to see places I probably never would have the chance to see otherwise. I have visited Australia and both the North and South Islands of New Zealand.”

Now, when the Wrexham-based workers leave the office at 20:00 GMT their colleagues in Auckland take over until 08:00 GMT and UK customers continue to receive the same service through the night. As Ms. Clacher explained, “By working on the other side of the world we’re now able to offer a truly 24 hour first-rate service, with bright, chirpy and wide-awake people.”

Read more about this story:

Something to chat about

  • Would you do what these Moneypenny staff have done?

  • Have you ever worked night shifts?

  • What adventages and disadvantages are there to working ‘unusual hours’?

  • If you work, do you like your hours or would you like to change them?

iLook, iThink, iSpeak – express yourself better

(Click on image to download it)

Talking about work habits

Look at these different pictures. Talk about the hours that these people work. Do they work during the day? At night? Both?

Discuss what type of inconveniencies each job has. Think about how much they have to travel, what time they have to get up, how long they have to work for, if they spend time away from their families and so on.

Decide which job has the worst hours and conditions and explain why.

Write it all in an email to your ECP coach (and record your voice!).

WEP 230513 ilook ithink ispeak

WEP 160513

Click on the image to download this week’s Weekly English Practice from English Coaching Projects.

WEP 160513 cover

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Weekly English Practice

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