風の歌を聴け

自然のチカラを借りてちょこっとだけ楽しませてもらう・・・
そんな生き方めざしてマス。
それをウィンドサーフィン、マウンテンバイク、
そしてバックカントリー(スキー)
で表現している二児のオヤジライダーです。

英語学習

VOAで英語学習007



Small Change Can Improve a Child's Reading

Teachers and parents usually call attention to the pictures when they read storybooks to preschool children. But a study published in 2011 suggests that calling attention to the words and letters on the page may help a child's reading. The two-year study compared children who were read to this way in class with children who were not. The children whose teachers most often discussed the print showed clearly higher skills in reading, spelling and understanding. These results were found one year and even two years later.

Shayne Piasta at Ohio State University was an author of the study. She said most preschool teachers would find this method manageable and would need only a small change in the way they teach. They already read storybooks in class. The only difference would be increased attention to the printed text. If you get children to pay attention to letters and words, it makes sense they would do better at word recognition and spelling. But research suggests that very few parents and teachers do this in a systematic way. The report appeared in the journal Child Development. More than 300 children ages four and five were observed for the study.

The children came from poor families and were below average in their language skills. There are different ways that adults can talk to children about print. They can point to a letter and discuss it, and even trace the shape with a finger. They can point out a word. They can discuss the meaning of the print or how the words tell the story. And they can talk about the organization of the print -- for instance, showing how words are written left to right in English.

=======================
 

The Kabul Bank Scandal

A court in Afghanistan recently sentenced former leaders of the country's first private bank to prison. The two men were found guilty of crimes that led to the failure of the Kabul Bank in 2010. Some people say the five-year prison sentences were not enough. The bank failure led to a financial crisis in Afghanistan.

A special three-judge committee of the Afghan Supreme Court decided the case. The court found Kabul Bank's former chairman, Sherkhan Farnood, guilty of stealing $278 million. Former chief executive officer Khalilullah Ferozi was found guilty of stealing $530 million. The judge ordered the two men to repay the stolen money. The former bank officials have been under house arrest for more than a year. They were among 21 Kabul Bank and government employees who were tried and found guilty. The other defendants were given shorter sentences. All have the right to appeal.

The case was considered a test of Afghanistan's new legal system and the government's will to fight corruption. The special court did not charge several other influential people linked to the bank as shareholders or borrowers. These people included a brother of President Hamid Karzai and a brother of the first vice president.The Afghan government rescued the bank and renamed it the New Kabul Bank. Nations that help support Afghanistan, led by the United States, have promised billions of dollars in aid after NATO forces withdraw by the end of 2014. But they are demanding that the government bring corruption under control.

VOAで英語学習006



People Get Happier With Age

Do people get happier with age? If you said "Yes," then you were right. A recent study found that people generally become happier and worry less after the age of 50.

A team at Stony Brook University in New York asked people between the ages of 18 and 85 about their happiness. The researchers found that levels of stress were highest in adults between the ages of 22 and 25. Stress levels dropped sharply after people reached their 50s. Happiness was highest among the youngest adults and those in their early 70s. But those least likely to report feeling negative emotions were the oldest ones. The study also found that men and women have similar emotional patterns as they grow older. But women of all ages reported more sadness, stress and worry than men. The researchers also considered possible influences like having young children, being unemployed or being single. But they found that these situations did not affect the levels of happiness and well-being related to age.

So why would happiness increase with age? One theory is that, as people get older, they become more thankful for what they have and have better control of their emotions. They also spend less time thinking about bad experiences. Happiness is not the only thing that seems to improve with age. Another study found that people in their 80s reported the fewest problems with their sleep. Researchers had expected to confirm the popular belief that sleep problems are connected to aging. The survey found an increase in sleep problems during middle age, especially in women. But overall, people reported that they felt their sleep quality improved with age.


=========================


North Korea Eases Mobile Limits for Foreigners

Foreigners in North Korea can now use Twitter, Facebook, and other social media on their mobile phones. A steady flow of tweets and Instagram pictures has been observed since the mobile service provider Koryolink launched its third generation, or 3G, network last week. The move came weeks after the North Korean government announced that it would let foreigners bring their mobile phones into the country.Until recently, foreigners were required to leave their phones with customs officials. The changes represent a rare reform in what is considered to be the world's most repressive country. Some experts say it might be a sign that North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un, is open to easing official restrictions.

Martyn Williams operates the North Korea Tech blog. He says the changes could create a hole in the wall of censorship that keeps almost all foreign information out of the country.The new mobile Internet service will be available only to the small number of foreigners in North Korea. But Martyn Williams says the service could change the way foreign media report on North Korea. He says having an Internet connection on a camera-equipped mobile phone means reporters can avoid some of the official restrictions.

David Slatter works in Seoul as a writer for the website NKNews.org. He says that reporters might be able to publish some images without the approval of the North Korean government. But he says their effect may be limited.China's official Xinhua news agency says the Koryolink SIM card will cost $200 and the same amount for 2 gigabytes of data.

VOAで英語学習005

Nigeria's Uche Amazigo Wins Big Award for Public Health
 

From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report in Special English.

Nigerian doctor Uche Amazigo has received the Prince Mahidol Award for outstanding efforts in public health. Dr. Amazigo recently traveled to Thailand to receive the award. She has been a leader in sub-Saharan Africa in the fight against the disease known as river blindness.

The disease begins [when people are bitten by the black flies [that spread the infection]]. The disease is known as river blindness [because the flies live near fast-moving rivers and streams]. Tiny worms spread throughout the body. This incites the body's immune system to attempt to fight the invaders. But the body's intense response can destroy the eye nerves. The infection can cause not only blindness. It also causes a painful skin disease.

The cause of river blindness was first identified in Guatemala almost 100 years ago. The disease continues to be a serious health problem in many African nations and in Yemen. Medical treatment lasting as long as 20 years is necessary to keep victims free from the parasite [that causes the disease].

Dr. Amazigo is a former director of the World Health Organization's African Program for Onchocerciasis Control. That is the medical name for river blindness. Dr. Amazigo organized local treatment programs in communities. Now, 117,000 communities under 19 African governments treat the disease locally.

In 1987, the drug manufacturer Merck launched a program to provide a medicine called ivermectin to everyone affected by the disease. The company said [it would provide the treatment for free, as long as necessary, through the community-directed program].

For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn Presutti. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 20Feb2013)

VOAで英語学習004

Children Mining Diamonds in Liberia
 

From VOA Learning English, this is the Education Report in Special English.

More and more children in Liberia are leaving school to work in diamond mines. Fifteen-year-old Mike Coleman dropped out of school several months ago. He left to search for diamonds in western Liberia to help his parents.

The country's Ministry of Lands, Mines and Energy says [that Liberian diamond mines employ at least 1,500 children]. Nora Quae is the head of a Junior High School in western Liberia. She says [that more than 200 students, half of the school, dropped out this year to work in the mines].

Liberia's unemployment rate is nearly 85 percent. The World Bank estimates [that 95 percent of the country's population lives on less than $2 a day]. Work in the diamond mines is difficult and dangerous. But the possibility of earning $50 for each diamond is too good for many people to turn down.

Employing anyone under the age of 18 in diamond mines is illegal. But many mine operators are willing to hire children [who are small enough to fit into the narrow tunnels and tight spaces of mines]. Thomas Wleh heads the Liberia Mining Entity in western Liberia. He says [a worker's age does not matter to mine owners]. And he says [the operators do not force children to work for them].

But Mr. Wleh says [the Ministry of Education should put measures in place to keep students in school]. The United Nations Security Council helped ban the mining and export of so-called blood diamonds in Liberia in 2001 during the country's civil war. But the United Nations ended the ban in 2007. The diamond mines are again operating, increasing the demand for young workers.

For VOA Learning English, I'm Carolyn Presutti. (Adapted from a radio program broadcast 21Feb2013

VOAで英語学習003



EU Countries Agree on Financial Framework

European Union countries have struggled to find common ground as they tried to work out a budget agreement in Belgium. But this month, they agreed on the European Union's multiannual financial framework, or MMF, for the period from 2014 to 2020. The MMF sets the EU's yearly spending at about $1.3 trillion. That is one percent of the income of the EU.

Members agreed to reduce total spending by more than three percent for the period. This is the first time that members have accepted cutting costs. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy spoke after the agreement was announced. He said [the compromise budget might not be perfect]. But, he said, it should help all EU membersGerman Chancellor Angela Merkel praised the long-term spending plan. She said [the agreement makes policy more predictable and enables members to act in Europe's interest].

Some EU leaders have been calling for greater spending controls in their home countries. They wanted the EU to show that it too is willing to cut costs.British Prime Minister David Cameron welcomed the agreement. Before the two-day meeting in Brussels, he had threatened to veto the budget, if there were no steps toward reducing spending. But the agreement still might not succeed. The European parliament must approve the measure. And some members of the parliament say [it fails to deal with many problems like the sharp differences in wealth between rich and poor people]. If the measure is approved, it will affect 28 European Union countries. The EU says [Croatia is expected to join the group in July].


Grammar
疑問文は3種類。真偽疑問文、選択疑問文、そして疑問詞疑問文。
真偽疑問文は「はい」「いいえ」で答えられるもの。
平叙文から真偽疑問文の作成手順は
①be動詞または助動詞を[主語]の前に出す。
②文の中にbe動詞も助動詞も存在しない場合は、助動詞do、does、またはdidを加えた形にして、do、does、またはdidを[主語]の前に出す。
③文末に疑問符(?)を置く。

European Union countries have struggled to find common ground as they tried to work out a budgetagreement in Belgium.

Have European Union countries struggled to find common ground as they tried to work out a budgetagreement in Belgium?


This is the first timethat members have accepted cutting costs.

Is this the first timethat members have accepted cutting costs?


The EU says Croatia is expected to join the group in July.

The EU does say Croatia is expected to join the group in July.

Does the  EU say Croatia is expected to join the group in July?

Vocabulary
budget(n):  [countable] the money that is available to an organization or person, or a plan of how it will be spent
これからの支出計画の概要で各支出にどう対応するかの提案も含む
(a summary of intended expenditures along with proposals for how to meet them)

praise(v): [transitive] to say that you admire and approve of someone or something, especially publicly
好意的な感情を表す
(express approval of)

policy(n): [uncountable and countable] a way of doing something that has been officially agreed and chosen by a political party, business, or other organization
個人あるいは社会的グループによって採用されている計画あるいは活動
(a plan of action adopted by an individual or social group)

 veto(v): [transitive] if someone in authority vetoes something, they refuse to allow it to happen, especially something that other people or organizations have agreed
反対の投票をする
(vote against)

measure(n): [countable] an action, especially an official one, that is intended to deal with a particular problem
目的への過程の一部としてなされる措置
(any maneuver made as part of progress toward a goal)


   

  
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