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How are you doing?

According to I post the lessons too many and too long since before. But now I think that it may cause you unhappy.

Today I cut off and remain one only for each lesson, in VOA News, BBC News, and The Nation News. As in this

an alternative method, I hope you'll like and learn with happy.

 Many thanks to Google Translate and together with G Grammarly as ever.

FRANCE 24 Live – International Breaking News & Top stories - 24/7 stream

https://youtu.be/IBlUM-0NZZU

....................................................

A 'Struggle' to Understand

2 hours ago

Ask a Teacher
Ask a Teacher
 

In today's Ask a Teacher, Learning English follower Shahram is “struggling” with a certain word. He wrote to us:

Question:

Please explain the word "struggle." I get confused about it.

Answer:

Thanks for writing, Shahram! We hope you will be completely at peace with "struggle" by the end of this program!

Struggle can be a verb or a noun. A simple definition of the verb “struggle” is to work very hard to try to gain something. You might use all your energy struggling for control of a ball in a sport, for example. Or you might spend a lot of time and brain power searching for a solution to a problem.

Here are some example sentences:

“My son is struggling to pass math this term. He works for hours every night to understand fractions.”

Or:

“The baby bird had to struggle to spread its wings and fly.”

Struggle is often used in terms of moral, social and political goals. A recent VOA Learning English headline read: “Women with Albinism Struggle for Acceptance.”

The story told about a movement to end discrimination against people with a medical condition that leaves their skin very light in color.

Next, we turn to the meaning of the word struggle when it is used as a noun. Merriam Webster’s online dictionary defines the noun struggle as “an act of strongly motivated striving.”

When struggle is a noun, “the” or “a” often comes before it. For example, we can return to our earlier sentence about the math student.

“It is a struggle for my son to learn fractions.”

Struggle as a noun is often used when people are talking about social movements. You might have heard the phrase “the struggle for civil rights in America,” or “the struggle to end apartheid” or “a struggle for freedom.”

A commonly used term in political news reports, is “power struggle.” This often refers to different political parties or individuals fighting to control a government or a policy issue.

Hope that helps, Shahram! And, to all our English Learners, please keep your questions coming to Ask A Teacher.

I’m Caty Weaver.

Now try this practice:

Try to rewrite this sentence using the verb form of struggle:

The struggle to learn native accents is a struggle for all foreign language learners.

Can you rewrite this next sentence using struggle as a noun?

Every morning Daisy struggles to wake up and go to school.

(Write your answers in the Comments section)

Caty Weaver wrote this story for Learning English. Mario Ritter Jr. was the editor.

________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

confused adj. unable to understand​

fraction n. mathematics : a number (such as ¹/₂ or ³/₄) which indicates that one number is being divided by another​

motivate - v. to give (someone) a reason for doing something​

strive n. to try very hard to do or achieve something

apartheid- n. a former social system in South Africa in which black people and people from other racial groups did not have the same political and economic rights as white people and were forced to live separately from white people​

refer - v. to have a direct connection or relationship to​

...........................................

 

The English We Speak

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL

Soft skills

EPISODE 190610 / 10 JUN 2019

Summary

Rob’s thinking of applying for a new job, but it needs someone with ‘soft skills’. Feifei thinks he’s ‘soft’, but has he got the right skills? Watch this programme to find out what soft skills really are and who might be suitable for the new position.

Transcript  

Feifei
Hello and welcome to The English We Speak. I’m Feifei.

Rob
And I’m Rob! Hey, Feifei, did you know they’re looking for a new team leader to manage and motivate our team?

Feifei
Ooo, a promotion! And you think I should apply for it?

Rob
No, no! I was going to ask you if you think I’d be good for the position?

Feifei
Well, you’re sometimes friendly and you like to chat. 

Rob
Great. Well, the job description says that they want someone with ‘soft skills’ – and that means 'the ability to communicate and work well with other people'. I'm basically a team player.

Feifei
You are a team player? Well, Rob, you’re certainly ‘soft’ – not very strict – so nobody would listen to you!

Rob
Well, we’ll see about that. We are going to hear some examples, and no arguing!

Examples
We’ve got to build a team that works well together, so soft skills are vital if you want to work here.

The recruitment company are looking for someone with soft skills to fill the vacancy.

A positive attitude, self-confidence and being a good communicator are the soft skills we’re looking for in this job. Does that describe you?

Feifei
This is The English We Speak from BBC Learning English and we’re talking about the phrase ‘soft skills’, which describes someone’s ability to communicate and work well with others. But, Rob, I’m still not sure if you’ve got the soft skills for the new job.

Rob
Oh well! Thanks for your vote of confidence!

Feifei
Actually, maybe I should apply for the new job.

Rob
Hmmm, let’s have a think about your skills… You’re bossy. You tell people what to do. You take charge. They sound like ‘hard skills’ to me.

Feifei
Hard skills?! It sounds like I’d be perfect for the job. So, Rob, pop outside the studio and make me a cup of tea.

Rob
Any chance to you could ask me using some ‘soft skills’?

Feifei
No, Rob. Just do it. See ya! 

Rob
Somehow I think she’d get the job! Bye!

Today I want to...

be surprised

download your app

use your courses' sitemaps

search your site

improve my pronunciation

read a grammar guide

test my grammar knowledge

find materials for teachers

start an easy course

start an intermediate course

start a difficult course

start an advanced course 

study with Shakespeare

improve my study skills

find 6 Minute English

prepare for a date

get some exam tips

 ...........................................

 

 

  • Courtesy of Greennet.
  • Courtesy of Greennet.
 

 

REPORT: Organic products face new challenges as market moves online

big read June 15, 2019 01:00

By PIYAPORN WONGRUANG 
THE NATION WEEKEND

Every one’s going organic, but few really care about the essence of “being organic”

The Growing demand for “clean and green” food is having an immediate effect in both the real and virtual worlds, but there is still doubt as to whether people are grasping the essence of being fully organic, with sustainable agriculture and fair trade. 

This doubt was aired at a recent Food Security Assembly forum spearheaded by BioThai – Thailand’s top campaigner for food security and biodiversity – and its 30-plus allies in networks dedicated to sustainable and alternative agriculture. 

The concept of organic products arose more than 20 years ago as a symbol in the fight against a so-called green revolution by farming communities. Markets were created as platforms to offer these goods as alternatives.

With lifestyles now shifting, the demand for clean food is growing and conventional markets, modern trade outlets and even the new online-retail option created by Jack Ma are adding green goods to their line-up of products. 

However, food-security advocates and economists believe the growing call for clean, green food can present challenges. 

Independent researcher Premkamol Phukaew, who presented her findings at the forum, said more fresh markets in Bangkok and neighbouring provinces were selling organic products, and some traders were opting for technology such as QR codes to boost sales. 

But hygiene remains an issue because these markets are not well regulated. In her study using data from the Bangkok Food Sanitation Office, Premkamol found that only 350 of the 1,120 markets in the city were regulated. In the rest there are no official checks on standards or hygiene. 

“The state is only controlling 30 per cent of the markets, so the question is whether the authorities will ever notice this and take action to improve the standards,” Premkamol said. 

BioThai network Thai-Pan recently conducted random checks on vegetables sold at such markets and found that more than half the samples were contaminated by chemicals, she said. 

Sellers’ understanding and the attitude of market owners, she said, play a key role in lifting standards in markets where state measures are obviously absent. 

The markets have managed to survive despite the shift in retail trends because they play a major role in connecting buyers with producers. 

A study by Oxfam Thailand found that modern trade outlets, such as large supermarkets and hypermarts, have also started carrying organic products in response to demand, said Theerawit Chainarongsophon, who works in private-sector engagement at Oxfam. 

He pointed out that the market value of the modern-trade sector stood at Bt2.3 trillion last year, despite there being few outlets. BioThai noted that such outlets hold a 50-per-cent share in the food market, while convenience stores command a share of up to 75 per cent among ready-to-eat products. 

However, these outlets do not quite pay heed to fair trade. A study by Oxfam International found that at least 30 per cent of their earnings go to the operators and barely 14 per cent to farmers. 

“This is an unfair and unbalanced distribution of the benefits,” Theerawit said. 

Oxfam Thailand found similar data when studying the distribution of income in Thailand’s shrimp industry. It discovered that up to 30 per cent of earnings went to modern-trade operators, while producers were given so little that they suffered food insecurity themselves. 

Theerawit said fair trade and food security were clearly the challenges faced by producers when they engage with modern trade, which has played more role in a food chain and bcome in more direct contact with producers.

Then there’s the new retail toy created by Ma, which is posing fresh challenges since modern technology moves high volumes of goods across borders at cheaper costs, but leaves farmers empty-handed. 

“There is a big change in relationships in the food chain. Monopolies and manipulation of production and distribution are posing new concerns,” said Kingkorn Narintarakul Na Ayutthaya, BioThai’s deputy director.

Virtual or application-based e-markets are also changing the way food is bought and produced. In South Korea, for instance, photos of food items are posted on public trains and buses and people can order these items using their phones. This trend appears to be coming to Thailand as well. 

Kingkorn said the trend is growing in the Asia region mainly because so many people live in cramped cities. “This type of trade could even kill fresh markets,” she said. 

Food-security advocates and economists say that, although markets and modern outlets have decided to put clean food on their shelves, they still ignore the mainstay of organic food – sustainable agriculture and fair trade – which is leaving farmers at the source of the food chain hungry. 

They blame the trend on consumers’ drive to be healthier. In their hunger for clean food, few people think about the producers who are critical to the food chain and its sustainability. 

Independent economist Sarinee Achavanuntakul, founder of Sal Forest – a company that promotes sustainable business growth – said her research shows there are different terms used to define organic products and “health food”, and the market values of these two categories are vastly different. 

For instance, she said, organic products generated around Bt1 billion last year, while health food earned Bt170 billion – a clear reflection on consumption trends and perception. 

She said the biggest challenge for clean products and markets was maintaining their value at competitive levels. 

While some green markets serve their local communities, the operators should think more about their unique value and how they can contribute to new trends and changing lifestyles. 

“Maybe it’s not about green or alternative markets, but more about marketing, about how we can lift our producers and connect them in the correct way with consumers. This will help us focus and reposition the organic-food chain in line with new market trends,” Sarinee said.

................................................

FINISHED

June 15, 2019

 

 



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