Some of the questions of the following quiz relate to the reinsurance company hannover re, but not all. Those that do concern HR’s specific company culture.
Last week we had an interesting little debate about math education. It does happen every once in a while that we talk about maths, and I always find it interesting. I have quite a few mathematicians in my groups and in general like to know a little about my group participants’ fields of expertise. I also used to like maths in school before I had the wrong teachers. And yes, there is no doubt about it: your success in maths has little to do with your brain (or gender) and all with your maths teacher/s. Continue reading
Every year around 1 000 experts (700 in 2014) from industry, international organizations, government, academia and society are asked to give their assessment of a list of global risks. The results are reported on the WEF webpage, where you can also find the survey itself and graphic analyses of the results.
Here the link to this years WEF report.
One of my favorite webpages, and one I can strongly recommend to teachers and students of English alike is www.macmillandictionary.com/buzzword, and here especially Kerry Maxwells collection of ‘BUZZWORDS’.
Buzzwords are newly formed or created terms that reflect upon different kinds of social phenomena or new fads and trends and thus are great for discussion. Additionally, from a language perspective, they offer insight into word formation processes. On the webpage is a whole list of new words and an archive going back several years.
Every once in a while I choose some I find interesting and believe (or hope) will trigger lively discussions. (see post May 2013) Continue reading
Last week we watched a documentary from the BBC about an English couple who move to Germany to find out what living in Germany is like: Make Me A German. Justin and Bee Rowlatt, both journalists, move to Nuremberg where he takes on a job with a medium sized company (Faber-Castell) and she stays at home to be a good housewife and mother. The differences to their lives at home in England and the related problems they encounter offer great material for discussion.
On my visit to London this year, I went to the Tower of London to look at the art project installed to commemorate the British soldiers who died in WWI.
It is quite fascinating as you can see if you go to the link below or google Tower of London.
… are always a chance to take up the topic of a historical event.
The most crucial anniversary of 2014, at least from a European perspective, is the centennial of World War 1. History books tell us the outbreak of war was triggered by the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand in Sarajevo, an incident that Nassim Taleb considers might have been a Black Swan: an unpredictable event of large impact. Continue reading
In the beginning minutes of class meetings, we sometimes talk about the weather – actually ‘rather often’ would be a more accurate description. But us being in Germany, this might not be so surprising as the weather changes all the time, and not just by nuances (talking about the weather in Florida might be less entertaining). Continue reading
One of my favorite newspaper columns is Oliver Burkeman’s This Column will Change Your Life that he writes for the Guardian Weekly. The texts are short and poignant, the topics often refreshingly provocative and thus great for classroom discussions.
His column from February 2, 2014 is about our nostalgic tendency to believe in the past everything was better. Depending on the age of the person reminiscing, this could be any decade. What unites them all, according to Mr Burkeman, is that the person praising the respective time (and complaining about how things have changed since ‘then’ – and not to the better) was around seven at the time.
Last week the topic of the ‘seven sins’ came up again (see post from 25. June 2013). In one group, we had been reading about a decline in the sales of soft drinks and the topic of the attempted ban of XXL drinks in New York City was mentioned, so I took the text I had provided on the ‘History of Supersizing’ once more to class, in which our tendency not to take seconds so as not to appear piggish is explained in connection with one of the so-called cardinal sins – in this case ‘gluttony’. Continue reading
Last week, a little news item seemed to cause quite some stir. As it was one of the leading articles on the BBC web site, I couldn’t fail to notice it too. There was a warning of watching the accompanying video, as the images could be disturbing:
Warning: The following video contains graphic scene which may cause distress
Recently we read an article in class on the mayor of New York City’s attempt to ban the sale of supersized soft drinks. In January, the city’s health board “passed a ban on serving sodas and other sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces (0.5 l) in restaurants and cinemas” (Moya Irvine in Read On , January 2013, p 1).
We discussed the pro and con arguments and related issues like causes of obesity, our own eating and drinking habits, general lifestyle issues etc. According to Moya Irvine, the main parties against the ban were those who feared Continue reading