Chocolate ears

I found this video on a post from Youngzine about chocolate and Valentine’s Day. Youngzine is a good source of reading and watching/listening material — mostly about news & current events —  for EFL students of any age, though the specified target audience is native English speaking children.

The video has a couple of funny subtitle mistakes. Listen and see if you can correct them.

at about 1:46:

at about 2:30:




One of the best ways to improve vocabulary recognition and gain reading fluency is to take a topic you already know well — like last night’s snowfall — and compare how different news sites cover it.

The Japan Times: “Tokyo hit by heaviest snow since 2014”

Japan Today: “Heaviest snow in 4 years hits Tokyo”

The Japan News: “Kanto blanketed by heavy snowfall”



Flu jab

It’s cold and flu season. How are you arming yourself against it? Did you get a flu shot (called a “flu jab” in British English, apparently)?

This is how your body arms itself:

Here’s a TED-Ed lesson about the immune system, if you want to learn more.

I’m reading a book about Thomas Jefferson right now. Well, it’s a semi-fictional account of his daughter’s life, but it’s well-researched and contains parts of his letters. Starting in the 1780s, he became an early adopter of vaccines for smallpox (天然痘). The procedure as described in the book is primitive, but it appeared to work. Here’s a letter he wrote in 1801 describing the experiments he did, vaccinating some of his slaves (yes, it was that era) and even his children.

A healthy vending machine

I bought a book of short stories at a used book store years ago that was organized by length of the story. But it wasn’t by word count; it was by how long it would take you to read the story. So the first section was titled “Waiting in line at the supermarket” and others were “Waiting at a doctor’s office” and “Commuting on the train” and others I don’t remember.

This website is like that: Short Edition

It’s a France-based company, and the website is in English and French.

You can choose 1-minute, 3-minute, or 5-minute stories. For many non-native speakers, though, you might think of them as 5-minute, 10-minute, or 15-minute stories?

There’s also a section of Classics by century where you can find short stories and poems by such authors as Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland), Shakespeare, O. Henry, and many more.

And according to Mental Floss, they have installed vending machines that dispense short stories. The first one was put in France’s main airport and there are more than a hundred around that country and about 20 in the U.S.