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link@: LEARNING ENGLISH VIA NEWS: Monday, March 23, 2020

     

 

Don't be too serious right now, just remind yourself to avoid the spread of viruses that are too far away. The best thing at this time is that you should live in the house and away from your family.
However, many people leave Bangkok to go to their homes in the provinces. That causes problems that are difficult for society.
represent.

Government officials announce to tell people who have lived anywhere, continue to live.

Moreover, the patriarch There are orders to measure that can be done. Distributing food to the public to meet the needs as well

Thanks for Google Translate and G Grammarly again today.

 

 

FRANCE 24 English – LIVE – International Breaking News & Top stories - 24/7 stream https://youtu.be/is6Mv1U2hvw

 

 France 24 เป็นสื่อกระจายเสียงและแพร่ภาพสาธารณะของประเทศฝรั่งเศส วิกิพีเดีย (ภาษาอังกฤษ) FRANCE 24 English – LIVE – International Breaking News & Top stories - 24/7 stream https://youtu.be/6N0lbZr_wXs

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6 Minute English

INTERMEDIATE LEVEL

Chatting to new people

EPISODE 191212 / 12 DEC 2019

Introduction

Many people feel uncomfortable about the idea of talking to people they don't know, but this is something that could be good for their state of mind. Neil and Georgina discuss research that says that seemingly inconsequential conversations with new people can have a beneficial effect on our mood and wellbeing. And our presenters feel good about teaching you related vocabulary!

This week's question

According to the Oxford English dictionary, approximately how many words are in use in the English language? 

a)    171,146

b)    271,146 

c)    371,146

Listen to the programme to find out the answer.

Vocabulary

underestimate

think that something is smaller or less important than it really is

anticipating
guessing or expecting a certain outcome 

to pluck up (the) courage
to force yourself to do something that you’re scared or nervous about

connect
start or have a good relationship with someone

mood
the way we feel

introvert
person who prefers to spend time on their own 

Transcript 

Note: This is not a word-for-word transcript     

Neil
Hello. This is 6 Minute English and I'm Neil. Joining me for our discussion is Georgina.

Georgina
Hello!

Neil
Now, Georgina, you’re a chatty, sociable kind of person, aren’t you?

Georgina
Well, yes, I think so.

Neil
But would you go up to a stranger and strike up a conversation?

Georgina
That might be going too far – if you don’t know them, what are you going to start talking about?

Neil
A good question. But maybe you should – because in this programme we’re looking at how talking to strangers might actually be good for you! But first, let me talk to you about today’s question. I’d like you to answer this. To make conversation we need words – so according to the Oxford English dictionary, approximately how many words are in use in the English language? Is it…
a)    171,146
b)    271,146
c)    371,146

Georgina
We use a lot of words in English, but not 371,000 – so I’ll go for a) 171,146.

Neil
OK. Well, as always I will reveal the answer later in the programme.
Now, let’s continue our conversation about having conversations with strangers! Many of us spend part of every day surrounded by strangers, whether on our commute to work, sitting in a park or cafe, or visiting the supermarket.

Georgina
But we rarely reach out and talk to them because we fear it would make us both feel uncomfortable – or awkward. And Gillian Sandstrom, social psychologist from Essex University in the UK, can explain why. Here she is speaking on BBC Radio 4’s All In The Mind programme….

Gillian Sandstrom, Social psychologist, Essex University
We kind of underestimate, we have this negative voice in our head that's telling us "I shouldn't have said that, why did I do that? I said that story better last time". But the other person doesn't know any of that and they’re probably… they might be anticipating that they won't have a positive conversation and then they do. And they think, wow, that person was amazing. So we walk round with this fear that the other person isn’t going to be interested in talking to us.

Georgina
Fascinating stuff. So we have a negative voice in our head telling us about all the bad things that might happen. We basically underestimate ourselves.

Neil
To underestimate means to think that something is smaller or less important than it really is. We worry that what we say won’t be interesting or important enough.

Georgina
Ah, but the other person doesn’t know that. They’re also anticipating – or guessing - the outcome. They're thinking that if they have a conversation, it won’t go well. But of course, when strangers do talk to each other it normally goes well.

Neil
Yes, it’s just fear that is stopping us. But if we get over that fear, and get chatting, people might actually like us – and we might make new friends.

Georgina
Another reason why you should pluck up the courage to talk to strangers is that it’s good for our health!

Neil
Pluck up the courage’ – that’s a good phrase, Georgina, meaning force yourself to do something that you’re scared about and… research by the University of Chicago found we may often underestimate the positive impact of connecting with others for both our own and others' wellbeing.

Georgina
And connecting here means starting or having a good relationship with someone. So the research found that, for example, having a conversation with a stranger on your way to work may leave you both feeling happier than you would think.

Neil
Gillian Sandstrom also spoke about her research and the power of talking to strangers on the You and Yours programme. Listen out for the word ‘connected’…

Gillian Sandstrom, Social psychologist, Essex University
What we've shown in the research is that it's really good for your mood. So people are in a better mood after they reach out and have a conversation, however minimal, and the other thing that the research has shown is that just makes people feel more connected to each other.

Neil
There you go! Talking to strangers is good for our mood – and mood means the way we feel. It’s good for our mental health – and we might discover people actually like us!
And even if we’re an introvert – a person who prefers to be alone rather than with other people - experiments have shown that talking to others can make us happier.

Georgina
The problem remains, Neil, that when speaking to someone new, what do you talk about?

Neil
How about some interesting facts – like approximately how many words are in use in the English language? Which is what I asked you earlier. Is it?
a)    171,146
b)    271,146
c)    371,146
What did you say, Georgina?

Georgina
I said 171,146. Was I right?

Neil
Spot on, Georgina. Well done! Yes, there are an estimated 171,146 words currently in use in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary –plus many more obsolete words.

Georgina
I shall pick a few of them and make conversation with someone on the Tube later, but not before we recap some of the vocabulary we’ve explained.

Neil
Yes – so we highlighted six words, starting with underestimate which is to think that something is smaller or less important than it really is.

Georgina
Anticipating 
means guessing or expecting a certain outcome. I anticipate this programme to be 6 minutes long!

Neil
That’s a given! Next, we mentioned the phrase to pluck up the courage,meaning to force yourself to do something that you’re scared or nervous about.

Georgina
When you connect with someone, it means you start or have a good relationship with someone. I think we’ve connected on this programme, Neil!

Neil
Absolutely, Georgina. And that’s put me in a good mood – mood means the way we feel.

Georgina
And finally, an introvert is a person who prefers to spend time on their own.

Neil
Thanks, Georgina.  Well, that’s our conversation over, but you can hear more from us on our website and on our app. Goodbye!

Georgina
Bye!

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

 

TDRI urges all-out efforts to contain Covid-19, urgent cash handouts to low-income earners 

Mar 24. 2020
A large number of Thai labourers and migrants leave Bangkok for their hometowns, as many businesses in the capital temporarily shut down.
A large number of Thai labourers and migrants leave Bangkok for their hometowns, as many businesses in the capital temporarily shut down.

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By The Nation

The government must quickly mobilise national resources to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and urgently and adequately provide financial support to low-income groups affected by the impact of the pandemic. Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), an independent think-tank, urged the government to step up efforts both to contain the virus and help the poor.

Patients have to be given proper treatment. Overtime payments, life insurance and health insurance coverage must be offered to medical personnel. 

“The government should not worry about short-term fiscal position or economic growth in the short-run, but instead give top priority to public health,” said the research house.

It warned that given the rising number of new Covid-19 cases, Thailand may soon enter a crisis situation where the country's health infrastructure may not be able to handle the outbreak and potentially lead to loss of many lives, as has happened in some countries.

The TDRI urged the government to provide adequate and timely support for low income and unemployed people. The government plans to extend the coverage of Social Security Fund to include unemployment caused by communicable disease, but that is not sufficient, said TDRI. It suggested that the government also look after those who currently are not covered by the fund. For example, taxi drivers account for 70 per cent of the informal labour force, said TDRI.

Every Thai family should be given cash handouts by the government. For example, a family with one or two members should get Bt1,500 per month for three months, those with three to four members Bt2,500 per month, and Bt500 for each extra member.

The Finance Ministry should review the database of its welfare card programme by cutting out families with higher income such as owners of land and property worth more than Bt3 million, those saving more than Bt100,000 per annum or those having salary above Bt15,000 for each member of the family. So the eligible families could be estimated to be about six to seven million, TDRI said.

The current Finance Ministry database is not accurate as it leaves out a large number of low-income earners estimated to be five to six million, or about 64 per cent of total low-income earners, TDRI noted.

The government is urged to support small and mid-sized businesses throuh rent assistance or partial labour cost in order to prevent layoffs.

The government should also cancel subsidies on tap water and electricity bills because such a support is not benefiting the right targets and even rich families are able to avail of the subsidies.

The government should run business in crisis mode not business as usual and it should not get complacent if new cases of infections decrease. The government should communicate with the public more efficiently in order to get full cooperation from them, the research house added.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet is expected to consider cash handout measures at Tuesday’s (March 24) meeting.

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

Lack of critical thinking makes Thailand's competitiveness ranking slip

Oct 10. 2019

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By Wichit Chaitrong
The Nation

Thailand could improve its competitiveness among nations by tackling its weakest points – a lack of critical thinking in teaching, failure to dominate any markets, and unsafe drinking water, according to Switzerland-based World Economic Forum.
 

Thailand’s ranking among 141 economies has dropped to 40th place from 38 in 2018 in the just-released WEF Global Competitiveness Index.

 

Singapore tops the rankings, overtaking the United States, while Vietnam jumped 10 spots to 67th

place, according to a survey by the WEF, which seeks to promote public-private cooperation.

Kobsak Pootrakool, deputy secretary-general to the prime minister for political affairs, on Wednesday (October 9) acknowledged Thailand’s ranking slipping even as some scores rose. “It’s like a running competition – if our pace is slower, others will overtake us, so we have to run faster,” he said.

Assistant Professor Wilert Puriwat, dean of the Chulalongkorn Business School, which is allied with the WEF, said that, If Thailand wants to improve its ranking, labour skills must be improved. 

“The survey found that skills among new university graduates have declined, especially in the area of critical thinking,” he said.

The way students are taught needs to change, he said, noting that Thailand’s score on critical thinking in the classroom was the world’s lowest at 37 out of 100 points. In assessing skills possessed by the future workforce, the survey names Finland first for critical thinking in teaching, with 89 points.

“We’ve failed the exam and it can’t be fixed by simply retaking the test – we need to restart learning,” Wilert said, alluding to Thai students routinely performing poorly on tests compared to foreign counterparts, a lag blamed on the traditional reliance here on rote learning through memorisation.

The WEF urged Thailand to encourage creative and critical individual thinking in the classroom instead.

Finland ranks second for skills of current workforce, scoring 75.8 points compared to Thailand’s 52.2. The WEF recommended better staff training and increased attention to digital skills.

Noting the only a few large Thai companies dominate the domestic market, muscling aside smaller contenders, Wilert said Switzerland provides a model for spreading dominance among many firms by helping smaller ones gain market share. Switzerland ranks first in the sharing of market dominance, he noted.

“This will take time since the few big firms have dominated the market for so long,” he said.

Although tap water has become widely available widely across the country, it is not as safe to drink as that found in developed countries, said Wilert.

The index covers four main categories. 

First is proving an “enabling environment” and assesses institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption and macroeconomic stability. Second is “human capital” and examines health and skills. 

In the third, product markets, the labour market, the financial system and market size are compared. Fourth is the “innovation ecosystem”, which looks at business dynamism and capacity for innovation. 

In all there are 103 separate factors examined for which up to 100 points can be awarded.

Thailand’s 68.1 GCI ranking places it in the top 40 among the 141 economies surveyed, but it it progressing more slowly than other countries, Wilert noted.

Its identified weaknesses are in institutions, innovation capability, product markets and skills. Its strengths are the financial system, public health and macro-economic stability.

The score for institutions dropped from 55.1 in 2018 to 54.8 this year, the ranking from 67 to 60. Corruption and an inefficient legal framework for challenging regulations were the key damaging factors, the WEF said.

The score for infrastructure fell from 69.7 to 67.8 and the ranking from 71st to 60th place due to continued reliance on an inefficient railway service.

“Improvement in the rankings will come if there is rapid progress in several areas, such as reducing corruption, improving infrastructure and workforce skills, and boosting the level of domestic market competition,” Wilert said.

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

FINISHED

March 24, 2020

 

 

 


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