Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Julie and Julia

Some time ago, I saw the film Julie and Julia. I found the story inspiring and funny at the same time. Mary Streep´s performance is superb, the two plots are skillfully interwoven, and for those who love cooking this is the chance to get to know an icon of American cuisine.

Learn more vocabulary connected with cooking at:


Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Anne Frank

Fourth Adolescents is reading The Diary of a Young Girl, a most moving story about Anne Frank, a girl who has to go into hiding with her family during the Second World War. You can take a tour of the house where they stayed at the time:

You can also learn about its inhabitants:

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Have fun!

Unemployment in the States

Unemployment keeps being a serious problem in the States. Listen to the news and pay attention to the language used to talk about money and work.

Multisource political news, world news, and entertainment news analysis by Newsy.com

Get more multi-source business and political news from Newsy.com.

The nation’s unemployment rate remains steady at 9.5 percent for the month of July despite a gain of 71,000 jobs in the private sector. Analysts chalk it up in part to a loss of 131,000 temporary jobs, and now many are wondering if unemployment rates in the U.S. will remain stagnant for the next decade.

We’re analyzing coverage from Fox News, NPR, MarketWatch and CNN.

Recent figures confirm the U.S. economy slowed in the spring, and then came to a stall in the summer since employers failed to add as many jobs as anticipated. On Fox News Stuart Varney says unemployment numbers should be nowhere near this high.

“I cannot remember a time when you had 6.6 million people out of a job for more than six months. That is long-term, mass unemployment. Now that rate you just showed, 9.5 percent, that should be a lot lower at this stage of the ‘so-called’ economic recovery. We went into recession in December of ‘07, two and a half years later we should have an unemployment rate way below nine and a half percent.” 

But NPR’s Yuki Noguchi says it’s easier said than done, and points to a major problem in the jobs market.

“Earlier in the year Gault predicted private sector hiring would have accelerated by now but the economy hit a snag and now he expects it might be a few more months before business hire more than a 100,000 people a month. ... The further we go into the year the better the numbers should get on the private side.”

But in an article for MarketWatch, a progressive policy analyst warns it could have been worse.

“To be sure, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act saved or created up to 1.2 million to 2.8 million jobs, and without it, we would have had 8.7 million to 10.3 million jobs lost... the evidence is clear that these policies certainly helped. But we still have work to do.”

Finally on CNN one analyst highlights another problem she says is contributing to slow job growth.

“We’re seeing a trend. Employers are also bringing back temporary or contract workers instead of taking on full-time workers that they’d have to pay benefits to. Experts are saying that in the next few years forty percent of the workforce could be made up of freelancers, because Kyra you know there’s a lot of uncertainty as to what’s going to happen with health care especially, so you know companies are less willing to hire people on full-time.”

So what do you think? Is the economy at a halt, or will job growth pick up in the near future?

Links on the topic: