How To Make Working From Home Better | Reading Comprehension

Covid 19 is affecting Europe very badly now. Now there are many lockdowns in place across different countries in Europe. Many people are now working from home and working from home can be difficult. Here you can find some tips for making it better and you can practice your English reading at the same time!

Open the Curtains

It is important to let light into the room you are working in. Scientists across the world agree that sunlight is extremely important for our mental health. Freshness and nature are also good for our mental health. Sunlight helps us to feel calm, relaxed and focussed on our jobs. If you can, put your desk near a window. Another thing to try is opening the curtains and cleaning the windows! Other ways to let more light into the room include painting it white and using mirrors!

Keep the noise down

Having a nice, relaxed atmosphere is very important when working at home. This also means keeping the noise down. Sharp, sudden and loud sounds are very distracting when we are working. So if you live next to a busy street with lots of cars passing by, make sure to keep the windows closed so you can get some peace and quiet! Using rugs and heavy curtains can also absorb the sounds from outside better. This means you can work better in peace!

Tidy up

It is also important to have a tidy home while you are working there. When there is a lot of mess, it makes us very stressed which has a very negative effect on our ability to work. Your home is a bit like your brain. If your home is very cluttered, then your thoughts and mood will be very disorganised too. Some tips for this are to have a regular tidy up and use lots of storage containers to keep your things in.

Stand up

Sitting down all day has a very negative affect on us. Now that we are staying at home all day working, we are not walking to catch the bus or even walking around the office to talk to colleagues. This means our general physical activity level is far lower than usual. Therefore it is important to remember to stand up regularly and walk around the house! When you are not working, try to get outside for some exercise too, or do some yoga.

Get some plants

Having plants in your home is very beneficial to your general health. They reduce stress, anxiety and blood pressure. They also absorb CO2 from the atmosphere which also helps you to think more clearly. Even just looking at natural things can help our brains relax so it is good advice to buy some plants for your home. Watering the plants is a good excuse to stand up and walk around too!

We hope you enjoyed our tips for working at home. Why not try our quizzes on the vocabulary and content too?

How to Work Better From Home | Definitions Quiz

Match the word to the correct definition.

How to Work Better From Home | True or False

Decide if the statement is true or false.

Adapted from https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54886125

Premier League Problems | Reading Comprehension

The English football Premier league is having some problems at the moment. Some of the managers are saying there should be some serious changes to the organisation of the matches. If you’re interested in football and improving your English, read this article and try the quizzes attached too!

VAR

Video Assistant Referee (VAR) is a recent addition to many of the big football leagues. It has been introduced in many of the big European leagues and it was introduced in the Premier League last year. It is fair to say it has stoked some controversy since its introduction. The technological system involves a separate referee checking decisions by using video technology, and alerting the on-pitch referee if he has made a clear and obvious mistake. When the VAR is not sure themselves about the decision, the referee is asked to go to a screen by the side of the pitch to look himself. Then, hopefully he can make the correct decision. The main problem that fans, players and managers have with the new system is that there have been many decisions made against attacking teams, when one of the attackers is deemed offside. Some of these decision have been very tight. Usually when a player is level with the defender when the ball is played, he is onside. But with VAR, if the player is level and even just one part of his body is past the defender, for instance his arm, then the goal is disallowed. These very close decisions have infuriated managers up and down the league, with Jose Mourinho, manager of Tottenham Hotspur, recently saying “I miss my old football”.

Scheduling

Some of the top teams in the Premier League have to play a lot of games. Some teams are involved in up to four competitions at the same time with the two domestic cups, the league and a European competition all to play for. This means the schedule for a team can become very tight, with lots of fixtures in a short space of each other. For example, this week Manchester United played on Wednesday evening in the Champions League and then had to play at 12.30 in the afternoon on Saturday, a space of only two full days to rest. This infuriated manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was frothing at the mouth in his post-match interview. The interview was after his side’s 3-0 victory over Everton that day. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp had the same opinion and told reporters that the scheduling of the Premier League had caused some of his players to get injured. He said “If you want good football, give the guys a few more days rest!”.

Five substitutions

Many of the big European football leagues recently introduced a new rule giving teams the option of five substitutions and a bigger bench. This was also introduced in the Premier League after the quarantine, but since the restart of the new season, the decision was made to only allow teams to have three substitutions. During this weekend, managers also expressed their displeasure at the decision, partly because having the option of five substitutes would allow the teams playing lots of games a chance to give their players a rest. Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said “I was talking with Jurgen Klopp about this and I think we’re going to fight it [the decision to not allow five substitutions]”. The decision was reached during the summer after all of the Premier League’s twenty clubs voted on the issue. Many of the smaller teams voted against the idea of letting teams have five substitutions. This is because many of them are not involved in a lot of different competitions and they felt this would give an advantage to the bigger teams. Perhaps it is not surprising then that it is two of the league’s biggest clubs that are so sour about the issue!

We hope you enjoyed the reading! Try the quizzes below to test your knowledge on the vocabulary and the content.

Premier League Problems | Definitions Quiz

Match the words to the correct definitions

Premier League Problems | True or False

Choose if the statement is true or false

History Time: On this day 1492 Christopher Columbus travels to America

On this day in 1492, the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus left Spain to sail across the Atlantic ocean. He thought he would find Asia, but instead he made the first European discovery of America…

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Christopher Columbus

Christopher Columbus is the name of a man most people know for his explorations during the 15th century. Columbus was an Italian explorer who was financed by the Spanish royalty to compete with the Portuguese in the “Age of Exploration”. During that era, ships sailing to Asia took long and dangerous routes. Explorers that were sent out to sea were also asked to find new lands and bring wealth back to the country they represented.

The Atlantic Ocean

Columbus made four trips across the Atlantic Ocean: 1492, 1493, 1498 and 1502. On one voyage he was searching for India, and when he landed in America, he thought it was India and called the people “Indians.” The 15th and 16th centuries were together called the “Age of Exploration,” and with newly designed ships, many countries were sending explorers out to find spices, gold, and other items from Africa and Asia. Spain and Portugal led the way with the most ships and explorers and it was during this time that Christopher Columbus was given ships to sail to unknown territory to claim land for Spain.

Early Years 

He was born on October 31, 1451, in Genoa, Italy, and began sailing when he was just a teenager. Columbus was married to Felipa Moniz Perestrelo, in 1477 who later died while giving birth in 1485. In his early life, Columbus studied cartography, mathematics, astronomy, and navigation. These lessons were valuable for his future voyages.

Columbus had different ideas

The Portuguese had figured out a way to make the sailing route to Asia shorter, but Columbus had a different idea. He believed he could sail across the Atlantic instead of around the African Cape of Good Hope, and then he planned his voyages. Columbus thought that the people who calculated the circumference of the Earth were wrong. He thought it was smaller than the experts said and that an easier journey was possible. Soon he realised he was incorrect, but it did bring him to other successes. Columbus approached both the Portuguese and the English to accomplish his ideas, but only Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, monarchs of Spain were interested. Their goal was more land, riches, and expansion of the Catholic religion, and they believed that Columbus had the right ideas. Columbus made an agreement with the Spanish monarchs to keep ten percent of the riches he could find as well as having a Spanish noble title, and to be the governor of any lands that he discovered.

Discoveries in 1492

1492 is the famous year that Columbus launched the ships named the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria, with the objective to find a shorter route to the East Indies. The first landing was on one of the islands in the Bahamas. Columbus and the three ships sailed for months from one island to the next in the Caribbean. At this point, they were searching for riches like gold, silver, precious stones and spices. By 1493 Columbus had to leave some of the men from the ships behind in a place they called Hispaniola; (today’s Haiti and the Dominican Republic) so he could return to Spain.

Detailed diary

Columbus kept a very detailed diary of the first voyage, writing about everything from daily life with the crew to animals they saw. The diary includes very racist impressions of local island people. Six months later Columbus began another voyage to America. His voyage to find riches was a failure but he brought 500 slaves back to Queen Isabella. To the surprise of Columbus, Isabella did not want to take the slaves as she thought these people were Spanish subjects.

What happened in 1498

By 1498 Columbus was on his third voyage and this time he stopped at the mainland of South America and Trinidad. When he sailed back to Hispaniola, the colonists had revolted and the native Taino population had all been killed. Columbus was arrested and returned to Spain in chains, where he was cleared of charges in 1502 but lost his noble title. The last voyage for the old Columbus took his ship to Panama, only miles from the Pacific Ocean. After storms damaged two of the four ships, he abandoned them and returned to Spain where he died in 1506.

 

Thanks for reading. Now try the quizzes below to test your knowledge of the article and the words in bold.

Christopher Columbus | Definitions Quiz

Match the words to the correct definitions

Christopher Columbus | True or False Quiz

Decide if the statement is true or false

Adapted from https://www.historyforkids.net/american-history/new-explorers/columbus.html