Monday, December 29, 2014

The US immigration system is broken - Obama wants to fix it!

The United States was started as a nation of immigrants. Everyone came from someplace else.  The pull of the "Golden Medina" as we say in Yiddish, fueled the economic boom in America throughout the years.  But now, there are too many people answered the call, and they have come illegally.  These people don't pay income taxes, yet they take advantage of all the services of the United States.

Read this article to see what Obama is trying to do!

Key Terms
took office
 to secure
to the back of the line


What is the major problem with immigration in the United States?
Which taxes do they pay?
Which taxes don't they pay?
What process does Obama want to see happen now?
What is the final goal of the current system?
What does Obama's want to see happen?
Why doesn't Congress pass a bill about the immigration problem?
Is there a big immigration in your country?
What is your government doing to help the immigrants?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbah- Professional English Teacher

Thursday, December 25, 2014

J.K.Rowling reveals how she feels about Draco Malfoy's character

J.K.Rowling successful Harry Potter series has become a classic,  I read a fantasy book recently, that even mentioned a character from the books as part of another story.  The word Muggle has even entered the modern vocabulary!  Read the latest about the series!

Key Terms

published- two syllables 
fictional - three syllables
acknowledge- three syllables
position - three syllables
damaging- three syllables

What does J.K. Rowling feel about Draco Malfoy?
What does this article add to our knowledge of Draco?
According to the story, why is Draco bad?
How does the relationship between Draco and Harry mirror what is going on in the outer story. 
Why do girls like the character of Draco?
Why does Draco have blonde hair, and Harry black hair?
In which book does Draco show he doesn't want to murder people?
Do you think that Draco and Harry will be friends?
Which names did she choose from mythology?
Which is your favorite character in the series?
Do you see other sides to the characters? Are they all one dimensional?
One of the most interesting characters is Snape.  Tell me about him.
Are there other characters who are multidimensional?
Have you read other of J.K.Rowling's writing?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Obama wants to establish relations with Cuba

Does normalizing relations with Cuba sound like a good idea?  It seems to me that it would boost the whole economy of the Caribbean, and help Cuban-Americans feel that they are more accepted in their home country as well as in their adopted country.  There were secret talks even with Pope Francis!

Read this text and be prepared to speak about it with your English Teacher.

Key Terms
 historic shift
profound differences
 in a civilized manner
economic ties
easing restrictions
unilaterally end
abrupt use
major obstacle
long-standing ban
annual cap
five decades
Sen. = Senator
 hailed as heroes
bypassed local censorship

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla  

Senator Marco Rubio - Republican Senator from Florida
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev  - 
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Democratic Senator from Nevada

What do you know about this subject before reading the text?
How will normalizing relations between Cuba and the USA help them?
What will be the restrictions even with the new relations?
What will help Cuban residents the most?
Who would be the first tourists to Cuba?
Does your country have normal relations with Cuba?  Why or why not?
Did the economic embargo affect the United States?  Cuba?
Would you want to visit Cuba?
How can the Cuban government improve Human Rights?
Do you think that Cuban should be on the "supporters of terrorism list?"
What other steps need to be taken now?
Do you think that the United States should try to change Cuba's political system?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher

Monday, December 22, 2014

Russia's economy is on the verge of collapse !

Putin has worked for the past 15 years to stabilize the Russian economy, but now it seems to be on the verge of collapse as investors are losing hope and moving their money elsewhere, even to Japan!
In order to stem the tide, the Central Bank of Russia has raised interest rates.  Is this going to be enough?

Read this webpage and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher!

extraordinary development
held mostly steady
sharp interest rate hike
deep recession
worsened living standards
inevitably rise
 imported goods
financial meltdown
defaulted on debts
wiped out
 buoyed by 
 economic stability
easing of sanctions
 constructive choices

What is this article about in general?
What does raising the interest rate do?
Why did the Central Russian Bank raise the interest rates?
What is the problem when the dollar - ruble exchange rate changes too fast?
Is Putin still popular in Russia right now?
What is he doing to avert the crisis?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Mediterranean diet could help you live longer - English Conversation

I heard an Oprah Winfrey show where she had a guest who was selling a pill to get longer telomeres.  But as this article shows, you don't have to take a pill, just eat the Mediterranean diet!

Key Terms
leukocyte telomere length
cardiovascular disease

cellular ageing  


Why do you think that this study is significant?

What is the Mediterranean diet? Have you heard it about it before?
Would you change your diet based on these finding? 
What type of lifestyle is conducive to living longer?
Which food in the Mediterranean diet do you like the most? 
If you had to give advice to someone, how to stay healthy what would you say to that person?
How much fish do you eat a week?
How much poultry  do you eat a week?
What about fresh vegetables?
Do you think that you have a healthy diet?
What is the connection between health and longevity?
How much risk does a person have of cardiovascular disease if they eat a healthy diet?
Who chooses the menu in your home?
How many meals does your family eat together? 
Which foods do you eat for lunch and dinner? 
How important is breakfast for you?  What do you eat for breakfast?
What is the  difference between older people's diets and younger people's diet? 
How often do you eat candy?
Do you keep track of the foods that you eat?
Do you keep track of the amount of calories that you eat? 
How important is exercise to you? 
How often do you exercise?
Who in your family is overweight?
If not, why is that? 
Do you like to eat pizza and junk food? 
How often do you eat these foods?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English teacher 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Can you tell if a picture is taken with a Digital Camera or a Cellphone? English conversation Lesson

Ever since I had a Nokia Smart Music Phone, I have been taking pictures and putting them up on the Internet.  I had a Canon Snap Shot camera, but now my Galaxy Note 2 gets much better pictures and videos.   Here is an article that pits both types of cameras against each other.  Can you tell the difference?

 Key Terms
blue-footed boobies 
 elephant pudenda
grim-faced pack mule
aforementioned gear
ore out-of-way 
lugging around
noble instinct
photocentric trips
Aperture shows
two visual anchors
getting the better of
big rig
het up

What equipment did the author take with him on his latest trip? 
Which was the most useful for him? 
What advice did Reid give the author?
How were the cellphone pictures received by the audience at the show on the boat?
How much money did the author spend on extra lenses and equipment? 
Does he feel that it was worth it? 
What type of photography do you do? 
Which equipment do you use? 
How often do you take pictures? 

Here is a link to my photo blog of Jerusalem

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

December 1st is National AIDS day, but we this year we can really celebrate!

National AIDS day was established many years ago to raise awareness about this chronic disease.  I remember that I once wrote a paper  for a university class at UCLA that AIDS was the modern disease that had the possibility to change the genome of the human race.  There will be people who are immune to the disease, and those who succumb to it.   What is happening now with AIDS? 

Read this article to find out

Key Terms

campaign group 
keep AIDS at bay
advocacy group
preventable disease
around the corner
global level
easily stall
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
antiretroviral drugs
dramatic improvement
domestic budgets
injecting drug users

How is the day recognized in your country? 
What does the author mean when he says that it is the "beginning of the end" of the AIDS pandemic? 
Are there many AIDS sufferers in your country?
How many AIDS sufferers are there world-wide?
What other health threats do we have in the world today?

Monday, December 8, 2014

English Vocabulary in English

Even English speakers need to improve their vocabularies. 
Here are a few to study and start to use in your everyday speech.  One way to remember new words is to create a mind map of words that call this word to mind. Answer the questions, and then go back over these words at least three times. Good luck!

1.  Narrative:  Noun   a story.   
Mr. Smith read the class a narrative written by a soldier in the Second World War. 

Narrative -- story  --- narrative -- first person narrative -  narrator 

 What is a narrative that you have enjoyed reading or listening to? 

2. Patriot - Noun - someone who loves and support her or his country. 
 A great patriot of the American Revolutionary War was Paul Revere. 

Name a patriot of your country?  What did this person do?  When did the person live? 
Why do you remember this person? 

3. Charisma -  Noun - Charm or appeal    
Politicians often have charisma, otherwise they wouldn't get elected. 

Name a person who has charisma in your city.  Does anyone in your family have charisma? 
What is the negative of charisma? 

4. Ancient - Adjective  - from a long time ago. 
The remains of Rome are ancient.  

What is something ancient that exists in your country? 

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach Professional English Teacher 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Is it difficult to find Heros nowadays? English lesson

Heros may be a vanishing breed, In the Internet age, everyday we hear about bad news, but good news can be hard to find, or even boring.  Read this article to find out about modern superheros that we can look up to!

Key Terms
 grime fighter
 comic book.

According to the audio, what did Finn try to do at home when he was a kid? 
Why are firefighters often thought of as superheros? 
Why is Chitabatman special? 
When did he start to do his mission?  
What does Mr. Full Moon do? 
Why is this interesting? 
Why does he do this?
How do you think that the Internet has affect our perception of heros?
Which type of ordinary people would you consider a hero?
Which political figures in the world today could be a hero?
Tell me about some of your heros. Say who the person is, what did the person do, and why you admire this person.
When did Superman first appear in a comic book? 
In your opinion, Why did the creators change him from a villain to a good guy? 

Lesson plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher

Are Robot Security Guards the answer? Business English Lesson

Microsoft has ordered robot security guards to patrol its offices in California.  What can these robots really do?  What type of actions can they take?  These questions and more will be answered when you read this interesting article.

Key Terms
strategic work
beefed up 
 natural calamities 

How will this robot move around?
What will it do when there is a bump in the road?
What will these robot security guards do? 
What functions would you like them to do?
What would the laser beams do?
What kind of natural calamities could the robot deal with?
How would  the face scan information be used?
How would they alert people about a security problem?
What potential problems do you see with the use of these robots?
Would a robot like this be useful for your place of work?
What other types of robots would you like to have at home?

Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach - Professional English Teacher 

A Video A Day Helps You Learn English - Bucket List

What is a bucket list?  Well, you have to watch the video to find out, Don't worry, it will only take a MINUTE!  Well, three minutes be...