Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Advanced 1: Early Birds vs. Night Owls

Click here. Fill in the gaps with one or two words (select the blanks to see the answers).

You may have heard the saying “the early bird gets the worm”, but when it comes to humans, do morning people really have an advantage over night owls? Does one come out on top as more intelligent or successful than the other in this battle over bedtime?
The somewhat surprising truth is that we have little say in sleep preference as it’s almost entirely genetically predetermined. Chances are if you’re a night owl it was slightly passed down from an ancestor who was also a night owl, and from an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense. Having individuals with varying sleeping patterns would allow for better protection of a group throughout the day and night. Instead of everybody sleeping at one time, some people naturally stay up later and some wake up earlier aware of threats or predators while others sleep.
But considering most modern societal activities happen between 9 am and 5 pm, it may seem clear that night owls are put at a disadvantage. And researchers have actually coined the term “social jet lag” to describe the sleep deprivation many experience to accommodate social norms. For night owls, this social jet lag feels like living in a different time zone every single day. Considering chronic sleep deprivation has a direct effect on brain functioning, it’s no surprise that studies report night owl university students have lower overall grades. Not to mention early birds tend to display more positive social traits such as being proactive and optimistic, and are less prone to depression or addictions to nicotine, alcohol and food. And we can see these traits represented physically in the brain, particularly the white matter which helps neurons communicate. Night owls exhibit significantly less white matter and, as a result, there are fewer pathways for feel-good hormones such as serotonin or dopamine to travel through.
But it’s not all bad for the late nighters. In fact, they tend to be much more creative, have been found to have higher cognitive abilities, and are known to be risk takers. What they lack in white matter, they make up in cortisol levels. This stress hormone gets your body ready to face an immediate threat, contributing to their risk-taking behavior, which studies show can translate into opportunities and potentially much more financial gain. Furthermore, even though morning people can be very energetic right after waking, they tend to lose steam faster that night owls throughout the day. Both sides perform equally well in reaction-time tests an hour after waking, but after 10 hours of being awake, night owls perform significantly better.
Your inner clock is regulated by many proteins which are created from various genes in your DNA. Studies have even shown that a single change of the genetic code, near a gene called Period 1, can result in an hour difference in your waking time.
As crazy as it seems, scientists also found a correlation between these same genes and your time of death. The early risers were more likely to die around 11am, while the night owls were more likely to die before 6pm.
What about teenagers, you say? It’s true, most tend to be night owls due to the hormonal changes during puberty, but this tends to wane out into your genetic default as you enter adulthood.

So while there may be some truth to early birds getting the worm, night owls aren’t exactly lagging behind in life… they’re just lagging behind in time!

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Conditionals (extra practice)

Click here and watch the video on "if clauses". The video is about the different types of sentences and provides exercises too.
Now you can do the exercises:
Zero conditional. Click here.
First conditional. Click here.
Second conditional. Click here.
Third conditional. Click here.

In case you need extra practice... Click here.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017


What are these sports called in English? Have a look at the pictures and fill in the blanks with the names of the sports. Click here. (Scroll down to see the key)
If you are interested in extreme sports, click here and here. (Scroll down to see the key)

Sport (Conversation questions)

Click here.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Climate Change Basics

Click here, watch the video and fill in the gaps with one or two words. Select to see the answers. (Special thanks to Ana Felpete for the link)

Climate change has been in the news for years, but what is it? And how will it affect us?
To understand climate change, you first need to know about the greenhouse effect.  The Earth gets heat from the sun. In the atmosphere, greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide trap this heat and keep it from escaping back to outer space.  Trapping some heat in the atmosphere is a good thing, because it keeps the planet warm enough for us to live. But there’s a problem: People all over the world are adding extra carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. That’s because today we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas to do many of our everyday activities, like driving our cars, using our computers, and heating our homes. All this extra carbon dioxide is trapping more heat in the atmosphere, making the Earth warmer and causing other climate changes, too.
The signs of climate change are all around us. Temperatures are getting warmer, giant ice sheets are melting, and the oceans are rising. In many places, flowers are blooming earlier, snow is melting sooner, and birds aren’t flying as far south for the winter.  So why does this matter? Well, if the planet keeps getting warmer, we can expect more powerful storms and more floodingdroughts and heat waves. And these changes could cause additional problems, like the spread of certain diseases, more wildfires, and food and water shortages.  Climate change could put entire ecosystems, like coral reefs, in danger, and many plants and animals could become extinct.
The good news is that we can take action! We can put less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere if we generate electricity from clean sources like solar and wind power instead of burning coal, oil or gas.  We can also drive less, use public transportation, and choose cars that go further using less gas. And you can do your part! Reduce your energy use by turning off the lights, the computer, and TV when you’re not using them, and walk or ride your bike to work or school.
By making smart choices and working together, we can make a difference.

Check out the rest of this website to learn more about the causes and effects of climate change as well as the practical solutions that can help protect our planet’s future.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Advanced 1. The environment

Words to talk about the environment. Click here and here.
Reading comprehension. Click here

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Advanced 1. The weather

Click here and listen to a woman talking about the different types of weather you can face in Argentina.
Now listen to a man talking about changes in the weather he has noticed in his local area. Click here.

Advanced 1. Mini sagas.

Click here and enjoy.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Advanced 1. Videos: Virgin America safety instructions.

Virgin America Safety Video. Click here and enjoy!

And this one is another the video about in-flight safety instructions. Watch it and practise. Click here.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Personality test

Take the test and find out which US state matches your personality. I belong in Illinois!
Click here