Learn English with the News – EU Buys 300 Million COVID Vaccines

Finally some good news after almost a year (or what seemed to be longer) of one bad news story after another. The EU, which has one of the largest concentrations of COVID infections in the entire world, has purchased nearly half a billion vaccines which will be administered throughout the first months of 2021. Things are looking better already for this new year!

Watch the video and then do the accompanying English language exercises.

The news is a consistent source of entertainment, knowledge and discovery that never ceases to exist and always comes out with more and more material each day. Because it plays such a vital part in our lives and is so important to keep up with, it is without a doubt a piece of your everyday routine that can’t go ignored.

Whether it is to understand the ramifications of recent legislation passed, to hear about recent events and grasp the potential consequences to your country, or simply hear about what is happening in other countries in order to compare them to what’s happening in yours, the news is certainly a staple in our lives and the most consistent way to get information.

This is why Scrambled Eggs has decided to unite two of your biggest worlds: learning English and keeping up with what is happening in the world. We hope our challenging daily exercises, composed of listening, vocabulary and comprehension exercises in English, will satisfy both of those above worlds in a satisfactory and also entertaining way.

So enough about introductions, let’s get to today’s Learn English with the News topic:

Adapted from this article.

EU Buys 300 million COVID Vaccines | True or False

Indicate which sentences are true and which ones are false.

EU Buys 300 million COVID Vaccines | Fill in the Blank

Fill the empty spaces with the proper words.

EU Buys 300 million COVID Vaccines | Definition Match

Put the following words to the correct definitions.

Full text:

Up to 300 million doses of the Coronavirus vaccine have been imported by the European Union, after showing positive results in trials.

Pfizer and BioNTech have said that the deliveries should start by the end of 2020.

The EU, however, have decided not to include information about how the vaccine will be carried out. They have only said that “a range of steps” will be taken in advance to ensure everyone’s safety.

Early evidence shows that the vaccine prevents more than 90 percent of individuals from experiencing symptoms of Covid-19. In context, the flu vaccine is only 50% effective!

As of Monday, the vaccine had been tested on over 43,000 people with no safety concerns raised.

Daniel Fagbuyi, an emergency physician/biodefense expert, said that this level of reliability is consistent with our best childhood vaccines, such as the vaccine against measles and chickenpox. “That’s a big thing, that’s a big deal,” he said.

The two companies that created the vaccine will apply for emergency permission to start using it by the end of November. In this case, a few people will receive the vaccine this year.

European Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said at a press conference on Wednesday that the EU vaccine agreement was ‘extremely important’, adding that it will only be distributed when it is “proven to be safe.”

Encouraging data was also produced by a Russian vaccine named Sputnik V.

Russian scientists revealed on Wednesday that the Sputnik V vaccine had so far demonstrated a 92 percent success rate. However, the information has not been checked by experts outside of Russia, therefore it cannot be verified.”

Learn English with the News – Amazon Engineer Unveils App to Translate Your Cat’s Meow

Are you a cat lover who has always wanted to be able to decipher what your cat is saying? Well, A former Amazon engineer’s app is changing the way we interact with pets with this innovative, cutting-edge technology. We don’t know how accurate “Meowtalk” will be, but it will certainly be a fun trick to test on your cat!

Watch the video and then do the accompanying English language exercises.

The news is a consistent source of entertainment, knowledge and discovery that never ceases to exist and always comes out with more and more material each day. Because it plays such a vital part in our lives and is so important to keep up with, it is without a doubt a piece of your everyday routine that can’t go ignored.

Whether it is to understand the ramifications of recent legislation passed, to hear about recent events and grasp the potential consequences to your country, or simply hear about what is happening in other countries in order to compare them to what’s happening in yours, the news is certainly a staple in our lives and the most consistent way to get information.

This is why Scrambled Eggs has decided to unite two of your biggest worlds: learning English and keeping up with what is happening in the world. We hope our challenging daily exercises, composed of listening, vocabulary and comprehension exercises in English, will satisfy both of those above worlds in a satisfactory and also entertaining way.

So enough about introductions, let’s get to today’s Learn English with the News topic:

Adapted from this article.

Now that you’ve had a listen, let’s put your knowledge to the test with some of our vocabulary and comprehension exercises:

Amazon Engineer Unveils App to Translate Your Cat’s Meow | True or False

Decide if the statement is true or false.

Amazon Engineer Unveils App to Translate Your Cat’s Meow | Fill in the Blank

Fill the empty spaces with the proper words.

Amazon Engineer Unveils App to Translate Your Cat’s Meow | Definition Match

Match the words to the correct definitions.

Full Text:

“A former Amazon Alexa engineer has developed a brand-new app which aims to translate what your cat is saying. The app, ‘MeowTalk’, asks you to record the sound of your cat meowing and then attempts to understand the meaning.

As of now, there are 13 different phrases built-in to the app, including ‘feed me!’ and ‘I’m angry!’.

Researchers have found that cats do not actually speak in one common language, instead each meow is individual to its owner, and some cats ‘speak’ more than others. Due to this fact, the app does not rely on a database of sounds, but instead uses an AI which changes with every cat’s profile.

The cat owner will help the app by labelling each translation, meaning the AI will learn quicker.

For example, if your cat is meowing in the morning because it is hungry, you can record the sound in the app and label it ‘I’m hungry!’. The more people who use the app and the more often it is used, the better and more accurate it will become.

Eventually, the developers would like to create a smart-collar for your cat, which would instantly translate the meow, and a human voice would come out of the speaker.

Javier Sanchez, the program manager at the app developer (Akvelon) said:

“I think this is especially important now because, with all the social distancing that’s happening, you have people that are confined at home with … a significant other – this feline. This will enable them to communicate with their cat, or at least understand their cat’s intent, and build a very important connection.”

The app is available now for free, but some users are complaining of bugs. One user is receiving the translation ‘I’m in love!’ 90% of the time, and others are not able to access the service at all due to connection issues, but the app has an overall rating of 4.3/5 on the Google Play store, so it can’t be all bad!

Anita Kelsey, cat behaviourist and author of ‘Let’s Talk About Cats’, said:

“We will probably never be able to convert a cat’s meow into human words, but the app seems like fun and there’s no harm in having fun with your cat.”

Would you like to know what your cat is thinking?!”

2nd Conditional Quiz – English Grammar Exercise

If I had to choose my favourite part of English grammar, it would be the second conditional! The second conditional is one of the most useful grammatical constructions in the English language. It allows us to communicate a hypothetical or imaginary idea. It also allows us to express our hopes and ideas for the future. The only problem? Sometimes it’s a bit tricky to form it, grammatically speaking.

Take a look at the explanation below and then take our quiz to test your skills!

2nd Conditional

To describe hypothetical, unlikely situations, the 2nd conditional is used.

Construction: If I [past tense verb], I [would + verb]

Example:

‘If I knew how to surf, I would go surfing right now!’

‘If Art won the lottery, he would buy a car’

Exception:

The verb ‘to be’ is always conjugated in the past as ‘were’- ‘If he were older, I would tell him’

2nd Conditional Quiz

Fill in the gaps with the correct words