~ TLW ~ News for Discussion ~ Group One ~

~ The following procedures are recommended for studying the topics in this curriculum ~


1) Before class, read through the text and questions in order to prepare for your discussion.

2) When study begins, as a class, in groups, or in pairs, read the text and discuss the content and vocabulary. 

3) After that, in a similar fashion, choose the questions you¡¯d like to answer or create your own questions.

4) Take some time to prepare meaningful responses to the questions (with the teacher or in pairs/groups).

5) Take part in the class discussion with your peers, and follow your teacher¡¯s prompts and suggestions.


Click to print questions: .docx /.doc

~ News Discussion ~ 103 ~ Pollution and the Quality of Life ~


Pollution in the 21st Century ~ Adapted from Opposing Views


As the world's population continues to grow, waste in all forms becomes an ever-growing problem. Pollution deteriorates the environment and drastically affects human and animal health. In the 21st century, carbon dioxide and other air pollutants, water pollutants and land pollutants are the most common types of substances contaminating the Earth.


Carbon dioxide exists naturally in the environment, trapping infrared radiation and keeping the planet warm. Without it, the Earth would be a chilly negative 18 degrees Celsius (zero degrees Fahrenheit). Human activity since the Industrial Revolution has led to an excessive amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and as a result, the Earth has been warming unnaturally over the last couple hundred of years, a phenomenon known commonly as global warming. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the largest contributor to global warming. Electricity production, transportation, and industry are the largest anthropogenic, or human-born, sources of carbon dioxide¡¦


Dirt and bacteria are the most common categories of pollutants in the Earth's water. Dirt is carried into the Earth's rivers and streams by rainwater. It can clog the gills of fish, kill fish eggs, and prevent sunlight from reaching the bottoms of streams and rivers, interfering with photosynthesis. Deforestation and mining are the two most common sources of dirt. Overflowing sewers and runoff from animal waste are the two most common sources of bacterial water pollution. Bacteria cause water-born diseases such as cholera and typhoid fever.


Improperly disposed trash is the most common source of land pollution. Each day, Americans throw away 200,000 tons of edible food waste... Half of the world's properly disposed trash is sent to a landfill, and just 2 percent is recycled. If land pollutants are stowed improperly, they can seep directly into the ground, contaminating water tables. They can also leak toxic vapors into the atmosphere, contributing directly to air pollution.


Group A

1) Is littering a problem where you live? If so, why? What are the penalties for littering?

2) How do people in your community recycle trash? Is the system adequate? Describe.

3) How often is garbage collected in your neighborhood? Who collects it? Are you satisfied?

4) Are there people in your community who make their living from picking-up garbage?

5) What could your local government do to make your community more livable? Explain.


Group B

1) What alternative energy sources are the most promising? How can we develop them?

2) Do you think nuclear power is safe? Should it be further developed? Why/Why not?

3) Who should pay for renewable energy? How should the money be generated? Explain.

4) What is global climate change? Can you describe the processes at work? Is it real?

5) What should we do to increase awareness about environmental pollution? Explain


Group C

1) Does your country have any smoking laws? Where can/do people smoke in public?

2) Do you think overpopulation is an important environmental issue? Why or why not?

3) What is "urban" or "vertical" farming? How could such practices benefit communities?

4) Who do you think is responsible for pollution: individuals, corporations,  governments?

5) What do you think is the most important issue facing the environment today? Explain.







cheek by jowl ~ When people are cheek by jowl, they are crammed uncomfortably close together.
The refugees are living cheek by jowl in a temporary camp.


keep up with Joneses ~ To keep up with the Joneses means to try to have the same possessions or social status as someone else.
First the Browns moved their children to an expensive school, then the Smiths followed.

live high off the hog ~ Someone who lives high off the hog has a lot of money and a very comfortable lifestyle.
Now he's wealthy and living high off the hog.


live in an ivory tower ~ A person who lives in an ivory tower has a lifestyle that preserves them from the problems and difficulties experienced by others.
You're completely out of touch - it's time to come out of your ivory tower and see what's going on!

live on the edge ~ If you live on the edge, your lifestyle involves dangerous or risky activities. 
Extreme sportsmen or gamblers are examples of people who live on the edge.


live the life of Riley ~ A person who has a comfortable and enjoyable life, without having to make much effort.
He married a millionaire, and since then he's been living the life of Riley!

Warm~up: Related idioms from Learn English Today:

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