Autonomous flying taxis

How would you feel about travelling in an autonomous flying taxi by yourself?

Rodin Lyasoff talks about this idea on TED Talks. Listen to the talk and take notes as you listen.

COMPREHENSION

Listen for a second time and use your notes to help you create comprehension questions based on this talk. Write the questions including the answer. Check through the transcript if you need extra help with this task. Try to make at least 6 comprehension questions.

IMAGES

Find images related to the topic of autonomous vehicles – cars and flying taxis. Look for a variety of images including graphs, photo’s or infographics. Try to gather at least 4 images to share with other students.

For more academic English lessons go to:

Smart English Class

Ocean Plastic

What do you know about plastic waste and the impact on the ocean?

Listen to this TED Talks by David Katz titled The Surprising Solution to Ocean Plastic and take notes the first time you listen.

Listen for a second time and answer these comprehension questions:

  1. According to David Katz, what is the last thing we need to do?
  2. How much plastic is produced each year?
  3. Where is 80% of ocean plastic coming from?
  4. Plastic Bank encourages recycling by offering trade with plastic bags for what type of things?
  5. What do Plastic Bank do with the plastic they get?
  6. What does plastic neutrality invest in?
  7. What are the advantages of social plastic?
  8. Complete this phrase: We ……. all be a ……. of the ……..  and ……. the ………

 

Answers: 1. clean the ocean 2. over 300 million ton 3.  countries with extreme poverty 4. school tuition, medical insurance, Wi-Fi, cell phone minutes, power, sustainable cooking fuel, high efficiency stoves 5.  the plastic is sold to suppliers for manufacturing 6. recycling infrastructure 7. social plastic is a tradable currency that alleviates poverty and cleans the environment 8. We can all be a part of the solution and not the pollution

For more note-taking activities go to Unit 6 Scanning, Skimming and Note-taking.

Film about a scam: Ocean’s 8

Ocean’s 8 is an American comedy about a group of women who plan to steal a diamond necklace worth 1.5 million dollars.

Listen to the trailer for the film and fill in the missing words:

Good ……………… Miss Ocean, as you know ……………………..is a privilege. It was a ………………….., ahhh but it ………………….., and umm if I …………………..to be released I would umm I would …………………..want the simple ……………….., I just want to …………….down a ……………., make some …………………, yeah, ……………..my bills. Even if this was ………………..you’d need 20 people. 7 …………………. Why do you …………………..to do this? Cause it’s what I’m ………………….at. How ………………….would it take you to make ………………pieces of jewellery? 5 or 6 …………………….. How long if I ………………..you you didn’t have to ……………….with your mother ……………………? Less. What’s your ……………….? Nine Ball. What’s you …………………name? Eight Ball. I’m gonna be ………………..poor. What if we ……………….make all this go ………………….. Can I get my ………………..back please? And hers as ……………….? Sorry. It’s ok. I am with my ……………………I told you not to. I’m in ……………..garage. Do you want …………….to tell you how …………………..the job is? No ……………out. I’ll tell ……………..how big the …………………..is…I’ll be back ……………………..you know it. Can I ……………..with you? This is Mommy’s ………………..special work ………………. In ………………….and a half weeks The Met will be …………………it’s annual ………………….and we are ………………..to rob it, not the ball itself, on the ………………..of Daphne Kluger. Valued at ……………..100 million dollars, ……………….million actually. …………………it’s a two for. Do ………………run a job in a ……………….. Kluger Smith? Can’t ………………..just go to ……………..? Do we have to ………………stuff? Yes. Is ………………..genetic? Are the ………………….family like ……………..? Literally.

Now you can go and watch the film!

Answers:
Good afternoon Miss Ocean, as you know parole is a privilege. It was a mistake, ahhh but it happened, and if I were to be released I would umm I would just want the simple life, I just want to hold down a job, make some friends, yeah, pay my bills. Even if this was possible you'd need 20 people. 7 people. Why do you need to do this? Cause it's what I'm good at. How long would it take you to make seven pieces of jewellery? 5 or 6 hours. How long if I told you you didn't have to live with your mother anymore? Less. What's your name? Nine Ball. What's you real name? Eight Ball. I'm gonna be really poor. What if we could make all this go away. Can I get my watch back please? and hers as well? Sorry. It's ok. I am with my family I told you not to. I'm in your garage. Do you want me to tell you how big the job is? No I'm out. I'll tell you how big the job is. I'll be back before you know it. Can I come with you? This is Mommy's very special work trip. In three and a half weeks The Met will be hosting it's annual ball and we are going to rob it, not the ball itself, on the neck of Daphne Kluger. Valued at over 100 million dollars, 150 million actually. Revenge it's a two for. Do not run a job in a job. Kluger Smith? Can't we just go to this? Do we have to steal stuff? Yes. Is it genetic? Are the whole family like this? Literally.

For more listening activities go to  Unit 7 Listening to Lectures.

The jobs we’ll lose to machines

Listen to this lecture on TED Talks by Anthony Goldbloom about machine learning and our future. Take notes as you listen to the lecture.

Use your notes to complete these points:

  • 9 months –
  • 2013 –
  • 1 in 2 –
  • 100’s of 1,000’s –
  • early ’90s –
  • 2012 –
  • 10,000 –
  • 40 years –
  • 50,000 –
  • millions –
  • World War 2 –
  • frequent, high-volume tasks – 
  • tackling novel situations –
9 months - the age of his niece
2013 - researchers at Oxford University did a study on the future of work
1 in 2 - jobs have a high risk of being automated by machines
100's of 1,000's - experts to solve important problems for industry and academia
early '90s - machine learning started making its way into industry 
2012 - a challenge was set to build an algorithm that could grade high-school essays
10,000 - a teacher might read 10,000 essays 
40 years - a 40-year teaching career
50,000 - an ophthalmologist might see 50,000 eyes
millions - a machine can read millions of essays or see millions of eyes within minutes
World War 2 - the microwave oven was invented
frequent, high-volume tasks - machines are getting smarter and smarter
tackling novel situations - humans

Go to Unit 6 for more activities on note-taking.

A new national anthem

Listen to this interview by Mandia Sami discussing how Switzerland is holding a competition to find a new national anthem and take notes the first time you listen.

Hundreds enter Swiss competition to find a new national anthem

Listen for a second time and answer these questions.

  1. What are the common images of Switzerland?
  2. Do most Swiss people know the lyrics of their current national anthem?
  3. When was the current national anthem composed?
  4. What do they not like about the national anthem?
  5. What percentage of the Swiss population can sing the national anthem without reading the lyrics?
  6. How many people have sent in a tune for the competition?
  7. What are the 4 official languages of Switzerland?
  8. How many people are there in the jury?
  9. How many songs do the public get to vote for?
  10. What will they do with the winning anthem?
Answers:
1. mountains, chocolates, clocks, tradition 2. no 3. 1841 4. too hymn like and old 5. 4% 6. more than 200 7. German, French, Italian, Romansch 8. 30 9. 3 10. submit it as a suggestion to the government

For more activities on National Anthems go to Unit 2 of the Teachers Course.

Online news

New research has found most Australians prefer online outlets as their main source of news.

Listen twice to the audio from ABC News Radio, 16th June 2015 and answer the questions that follow.

  1. What percentage of people use smart phones weekly to access news?
  2. What percentage of people use social media as a source of news?
  3. What are two examples of social media sites that offer the news?
  4. What age group primarily source the news online?
  5. What age group primarily read the newspaper and watch TV news?
  6. What are three forms of traditional news outlets?
  7. What is the percentage of people in Australia who pay for news in some form?
Answers
1.      59%, 2.      51%, 3.      Facebook and twitter, 4.      Under 35’s, 5.      Over 45’s, 6.      Print, TV and radio, 7.      11%

Go to Unit 2.2 Listening to the News for more listening activities.

Red Dog: True Blue

Red Dog: True Blue is the second film made about Red Dog a popular Australian film from 2011. This new film is about the history of the people and the dog called Blue before the legend became famous.

Watch this film trailer and fill in the missing words as you listen.

_______ Australia – _______, _______, a place that _______ legends.

He _______ my life _______ – _______.

Every _______ has a _______.

‘_______! You’re _______, you’re _______! I have a good _______ about us, I _______ we’re _______ to be _______ mates.’

Answers:
Outback Australia - vast, rugged, a place that creates legends. 
He saved my life once - truth. 
Every legend has a beginning. 
'Blue! You're red, you're red! I have a good feeling about us, I think we're going to be best mates.'

For more activities on the history of people go to Unit 8 Biography.

The race that stops a nation

The first Tuesday in November marks the day when all of Australia watch the Melbourne Cup horse race. It is a popular event where people dress up and attend Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne or parties around the country to watch the race live. It is the one race of the year where a large amount of people try their luck to bet on the winning horse.

Listen to this interview with Greg Miles, an on-course race caller at Flemington Racecourse and take notes as you listen for the first time.

Vocabulary

Punters = people who attend a race and place a bet

A different kettle of fish = a phrase meaning something entirely different

Use your notes to see if you can answer these questions.

  1. When did Greg start working at Flemington?
  2. Make a list of the things a race caller has to do while calling a race.
  3. A good race caller has to be A________, E________, I________, O________, U________.
  4. How long does it take to prepare for a race?
  5. What are the 4 P’s of broadcasting?
  6. What equipment does he need?
  7. How does he feel about calling the Melbourne Cup?

Now listen for a second time and answer the questions.

Answers:
1. 1989
2. add to the pictures, identify all the horses in the race, where the horses are in the race, how they are travelling in the race, who wins, who loses 
3. Accurate, Entertaining, Informative,  Original, Understood
4. a day
5. Preparation prevents poor performance.
6. a stand, binoculars, a swivel and a microphone 
7. so important, such a special race, he gets nervous

For more note-taking activities go to Scanning, Skimming and Note-taking.