英字新聞

読売、毎日、朝日各社英字新聞の主として社説を学習研究します

オンラインカジノ

四十歳を越したばかりの時スリランカの大きな灌漑プロジェクトを担当しました。工事の着工から工事竣工まで6年間を要しました。この長きにわたりプロジェクトを完成するためにひたすら我を忘れて一生懸命に働きました。 プロジェクトはコロンボから西側へ300 km ぐらい離れたジャングルのなかにありました。マハベリ川が流れ、近くには仏陀の遺骨が納められている寺院のあるマヒアンガナがありました。

一か月に一度だけ休みがあり、マヒアンガナのジャングルを抜け出して、コロンボにお出かけして、疲れた体と心を癒しました。唯一のお楽しみがカジノ遊びです。コロンボ市内にはインターコンチネンタルホテルがあり、ホテル内で、合法でカジノ遊びができました。私はこのカジノ遊びにすっかりはまってしまいました。

人間には闘争本能というものがあります。カジノ遊びをするということは、闘争本能をむき出しにするということにほかなりません。 私が遊んだのはルーレットです。トランプを使ったブラックジャックなどもよくやりました。 いずれの場合もディーラーと一対一の駆け引きがたまらない魅力でした。インターコンチネンタルホテルのカジノには高級洋酒が飲み放題のサービスがついていました。お酒の大好きなわたしにとってそこはまるで天国でした。

あのときカジノで遊んだ経験がもととなって、日本でたくさんのオンラインカジノの原稿を書きました。どの原稿も著作権はわたしに属しています。まとめてブログにしましたので興味のある方はどうぞ読んでみてください。

オンラインカジノ

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これから先の人生を変えてしまうほどの大きな発見

私がブラインドタッチを覚えたのは35歳くらいのときです。ブラザーの手動式のタイプライターを購入して、生まれて初めてブラインドタッチの練習をしました。2週間くらいで指が自然に動くようになりましたが、その威力は大変なものでした。やがて 社内では一番のタイピングスピードをほこるようになりました。あの時のブラインドタッチの練習は大変でしたが、習得した技術は、その後の私の人生を支えるようになりました。

2009年の9月15日に脳梗塞を発症しました。すぐに病院で MRA 血管撮影を受け、素早い処置をしたので、大事には至りませんでした。ですが、右手が多少不自由になり、タイピングのスピードも大幅に落ちるようになりました。昔のように、人が目を見張るようなスピードでタイピングをすることは、もはや、できなくなりました。一番悲しかったことは、クラシックギターで、得意のバッハを弾いて聴かせることができなくなったことです。

これはつい数日まえの話ですが、ネットを巡回していて、音声入力というものを発見しました。すぐに、音声入力の準備をしましたが、1日がかりでも、それを達成することはできませんでした。しばらくしてから、 Google 音声入力ができるのは、Google Chromeというウェブブラウザ 上だけで、それができるのを発見しました。 Google Chrome が提供する音声入力の威力は凄まじいです。PC上でも、 スマートフォンと同じように、素早く音声入力ができることを発見しました。それ以来、音声入力の虜となり、仕事にも応用できるようになりました。これは画期的な発見であり、私のこれから先の人生を変えてしまうほどの大きな発見でした。

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旅の終わりに

どんなに楽しい旅であっても、終りのない旅はない。
また、どんなに苦しい旅であっても、終りのない旅はない。
どんな旅であっても、終りはかならずやってくるのだ。
旅は人生の縮図であるともいえるし、
旅とは実は人生そのものだということもできる。

一昨日2011年5月1日、夜8時半にコンケン駅で列車に飛び乗った。
2等車の座席は満席だった。
しかたなくバンコク、ホアランポーン駅まで3等車の狭くて堅い座席で我慢した。
さらに、ディーゼル車の先頭車両だったので、音がものすごく、排気ガスが容赦なく目や喉(のど)を責めたてる。
列車は到着予定時刻の早朝5時より大幅に遅れて6時過ぎにホアランポーン駅に滑り込んだ。
9時間に及ぶ、拷問のようなつらい時間であった。
それでは、悪いことばかりだったのか。
答えはノーだ。
普段めったに交際できないタイ人家族と心も体も触れあう旅が楽しめた。

真向かいの体重80キロ超のおばさんは30歳くらい。
4~5歳の男の子を抱いている。
この堅い座席に座っているだけでも辛いのに子供を抱いているお母さんは柔和な表情をしている。
ときどき子供がむずかって、熟睡できないのか大声で泣きじゃぐる。
もしも白人の座席が近くにあれば間違いなくクレームをつけられるケースだ。
周囲のタイ人、全く動じない。動じているのは眠りを妨げられたスラチャイくらいのものだ。
満席状態で立ち席の人も多くいる。なんだか昔の日本の夜行列車の風景だ。

斜め前の20~30代の姉妹。なかなかの美形だ。
スラチャイが美人だなって見つめているとそれを見透かされたように笑顔を返してくる。
やがて妹のほうが眠りはじめて、姉の右肩に頭を埋めてこっくりしている。
こんなところでも美しい姉妹愛は人を感動させる。
もしもスラチャイが若くて独身だったら間違いなく話しかけているケースだ。

ずーっと向こうの席では、美しい20代の女性が大股開きでご開帳。
スラチャイが見て見ぬふりをして、そっと覗いていると、覗かれているのが分かるのか、閉じられてしまう。
こんな馬鹿なこと繰り返しているうちにも列車はひたすらバンコクを目指してがったんごっとん。
ご開帳のこの女性が突然目を覚ましてスラチャイと目があう。
赤くなって下を向いたのはスラチャイのほうであった。

横の30~40代のおばさん、スラチャイの横でやたらと姿勢をかえる。
そうでなくとも密着しているので、とても寝ていられる状態ではない。
スラチャイの左肩に頭を埋めて熟睡しているこの女性の首をしめてやろうかと思った。
こちらは一睡もしていないのだぞ!

コンケンからバンコクまでたくさんの駅に停車する。
深夜に列車が駅に到着する毎に大勢の物売りが乗り込んできて商いを行う。
次の停車駅までが勝負なので、深夜にもかかわらず大声が飛び交う。
タイの夜行列車でも三等車の車内はこの雰囲気なのでとても眠ることなどできないのだ。
売り子のなかにはまだ10代の美しいタイ娘がいたりするので、眠りかけていたスラチャイも現金なもの。
すぐに飛び起きて、飲み物や食べ物を買ってしまう。
サラパオ(中華まんじゅう)のお姉さんはまだ子供、多分14~15歳。美人だったな。
すらりと伸びた美しい姿態に圧倒されてしまった。
一瞬の静けさは、これらの売り子が列車を降りてしまって、次の売り子が乗り込むまでのわずかな時間だけなのだ。

明け方の6時半ころホアランポーン駅に到着した。
車内では乗車券のチェックがあるが駅の出口には係員さえいない。
誰でも自由に出たり入ったりできる。
3バーツ支払ってトイレを借りる。
タイでは公共トイレは有料なのだ。
電気カミソリでばりばりとひげを剃ると周囲のタイ人たちが珍しそうな顔をする。
かまわず歯を磨いて、顔を洗う。
爽快な気分が体いっぱいにあふれてくる。

ホアランポーン駅から徒歩10分で楽宮旅社、北京飯店がある。
スワニーさん元気にしているだろうか。
スワニーさんはまもなく80歳になる女性。
日本の貧乏旅行者(バックパッカー)にとって、楽宮旅社、北京飯店は聖地である。
欧米人のバックパッカーがカオサンを目指すのと好対照なのだ。
スワニーさんの料理はそのスピードが信条。いつもさっとおいしい日本料理を食べさせてくれる。
バンコクで遊びほうけてお金がなくなっては、ここで安い日本食を食べさせてもらった。
無性にスワニーさんに会いたくなった。

誘惑を断ち切って、ホアランポーン駅の地下鉄に飛び乗る。
日本大使館のあるルムピニまでわずか三つ目の駅であり、10分くらいで到着する。
早朝7時に日本大使館に到着、人影は全くない。
大使館領事部は8時半に業務開始であるが、8時には中に入れる。
8時にドアーが開くまで、チェンマイからやってきたビザ取得が目的の女性と、とりとめのない会話をする。
彼女は横須賀に行くと言っていた。

9時に在留証明申請を受け付けてもらったら、わずか30分で発行された。
大使の署名付きであるが、最近大使が人事異動で入れ替わっていた。
タイの大使は入れ替わりが激しいような印象を受ける。
これでは地に着いた大使館業務、サービスは難しいのではと思った。
大使は日本を代表する表看板なのだから。
職員はこの10年変わっていないようだ。
タイ語は流ちょうでもプライドが高すぎるような印象を受けた。(受け付けてもらった女性)

9時半に大使館の前からタクシーに飛び乗って、北バスターミナルへ。
いつもは高速道路を利用するが、運転手が今日はすいているので下を走りたいと抜かす。
何のことはない、時間をかけても走行距離を稼ぎたかっただけなのだ。
なつかしいあの道、この道、全部覚えていた。まるで昨日のことのように。
当時、バンコクの端から端までタクシーに乗っても100バーツを超すことはなかった。
北バスターミナルでメーターを見たら、137バーツとなっていたので、140バーツ支払った。
高速道路を利用すれば80バーツくらいなのだが、高速道路料金40バーツは客が支払う。
結局、時間の浪費であったが、バンコク観光をした気分にはひたれた。

10時半のバスに飛び乗って、夕方4時にはコンケンに無事戻ることができた。
コンケンのバスターミナルからローマホテルまで徒歩5分。
ローマホテルに駐車していた車に飛び乗って、団地に戻る。
まだ明るいので、娘たちは元気に外で遊んでいた。
バンコクからコンケンに戻ると空気までちがう。
安堵のため息をついたあとで、家族でローマホテルに出かけソレントレストランで食事をした。
酒を飲むので帰りはいつもタクシー。
わずか100バーツのタクシー代をけちって、事故っても情けない話だから。
私は小さな幸せを感じていた。



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South Korea Says North Shot at Soldier Trying to Defect

North Korean soldiers shot at and wounded another soldier who was crossing the border between the North and South.

The South Korean military said Monday the soldier was trying to defect in the Joint Security Area of the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ.

North Korean soldiers have crossed the border to defect at times. But it is rare for a North Korean soldier to defect by crossing the DMZ. North and South Korean soldiers stand meters away from each other.

The North Korean soldier left from a guard post at the northern side of Panmunjom village to the southern side of the village. He was shot in the shoulder and elbow and was taken to a South Korean hospital, said the South’s Defense Ministry.

It was not immediately known how serious his injuries were or why he decided to defect.

South Korean troops found the injured soldier south of the border after hearing the sound of gunfire. South Korean troops did not fire at Northern soldiers, a South Korean Defense Ministry official said.

The defection came at a time of heightened tension over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. North Korea has normally accused South Korea of enticing its citizens to defect, something the South denies.

Panmunjom and other DMZ areas are guarded by hundreds of thousands of troops from North Korea and the United Nations Command. The command includes troops from the United States and South Korea.

The area is a popular stop for visitors from both sides. American presidents often visit the DMZ during their trips to South Korea. President Donald Trump planned to visit the DMZ during his visit to South Korea. But bad weather prevented his helicopter from landing near the border area.

It is estimated that about 30,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953. But most of them travel through China.

In 1998, a North Korean soldier fled to the South through the DMZ, but there have been few incidents in recent years.

Earlier in 1976, North Korean soldiers with axes and knives attacked a group of soldiers in the DMZ, killing two American soldiers and injuring five South Korean soldiers. The U.S. then flew nuclear-capable B-52 bombers toward the DMZ as a warning to North Korea.

In 1984, North Korean and U.N. Command soldiers exchanged gunfire after a Soviet citizen defected by sprinting to the South Korean side of the village. Three North Korean soldiers and one South Korean soldier died in the gunfire.

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Paris accord takes effect to combat global warming

November 4, 2016 (Mainichi Japan)
Paris accord takes effect to combat global warming

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Paris Agreement on fighting global warming entered into force Friday, creating a new international framework for involving every country in reining in greenhouse gas emissions.

The accord, adopted at the U.N. convention on climate change in December and ratified by many major emitters including China and the United States, aims to hold global average temperature rises to "well below" 2 C above preindustrial levels to avoid the serious consequences scientists say will be caused by climate change, such as more droughts, floods, melting glaciers and rising seas.

Japan, which has lagged behind other major emitters, is expected to ratify the landmark agreement later in the day. The Cabinet proposed ratification to the Diet after it became clear the accord would take effect.

Countries will set their own emissions reduction targets and provide progressively more ambitious targets every five years, but there are no penalties for missing these goals.

Clearing the condition of ratification by at least 55 nations accounting for 55 percent of global emissions in October, the accord took effect in less than a year after adoption, a rare speed for a multilateral accord.

The first gathering of the signatories to the new accord will take place Nov. 15, during the 22nd session of the Convention of Parties starting Nov. 7 in Morocco. Japan will not be able to attend the first session of signatories as a member.

Once Japan becomes a signatory, it will be required as a major emitter to strengthen its efforts to curb carbon emissions and provide funds and knowledge to developing countries to support their efforts.

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Trump's Numbers Falling After Video Fallout

Trump's Numbers Falling After Video Fallout

2 hours ago from VOA


Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump appears at a campaign rally in Panama City, Florida, U.S., Oct. 11, 2016.

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump appears at a campaign rally in Panama City, Florida, U.S., Oct. 11, 2016.

The Republicans’ withdrawal followed the release of a video from 2005. In it, Trump said that he kisses and touches women sexually without their permission.

“…when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything,” Trump said. That includes, he continued, grabbing women in their private areas.

The Washington Post newspaper first published the video. In it, Trump was speaking off-camera to journalist Billy Bush. At the time, Bush hosted the entertainment news program Access Hollywood. The two men were on a bus going to a television studio. They were speaking informally but wearing microphones that recorded their conversation.

Trump later apologized for the comments he made on the video. He called the conversation “locker room talk.” In other words, the conversation included rude, sexual language between men that was not meant to be heard in public.

Trump added Tuesday in a Fox News interview that many women have told him they have heard much worse.

"If that's what it is going to take to lose an election, that will be pretty sad," Trump said in the interview.

Since the video was released last week, Trump has fallen sharply in national polls. He now trails Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton by 14 points. A week ago, the polls showed Clinton leading by only seven points.

Politicians answer Trump

Republicans who have withdrawn their support for Trump include former Republican presidential nominee John McCain.

McCain said in a statement that Trump’s behavior and comments “make it impossible to continue to offer even conditional support for his candidacy.”

But Trump does not appear to be concerned about losing support from other party leaders. He wrote on Twitter Tuesday that “it is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.”

In his interview Tuesday on Fox News, Trump said that Ryan and other powerful Republicans would support him in office if he wins the election.

President Barack Obama’s administration said Obama found Trump's remarks about touching women "repugnant," or disgusting. He said he considered it sexual assault.

Women answer Trump

Women voters, including longtime Republicans, have also been turned off by Trump’s 2005 comments.

Esther Rosser is a 71-year-old grandmother from Virginia. She has voted for Republicans candidates her whole life. But she said she has decided to vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton, in part because of Trump’s remarks about women.

“I know he apologized, and all you can do is apologize, but he could have said more,” Rosser told the Reuters news agency. “He disrespected us.”

LeighAnn Chase is a 27-year-old registered Republican voter from Florida. She told Reuters that she “can’t in good conscience vote for someone with that kind of mindset to the presidency.” She said she is now supporting Clinton.

But some women voters are sticking with Trump.

Amy Fryzelka is from Missouri. She told Reuters she thought Trump’s remarks were “horrible,” but she believed his personal life would not affect how he would govern. She said she will probably vote for Trump because she does not trust Clinton.

"I'd prefer not to vote for either of them, really," Fryzelka said.

Trump says Hillary Clinton disrespects women

Trump apologized again for his 2005 words during Sunday's presidential debate with Hillary Clinton. He said he was embarrassed about what he said.

But he also said that Clinton threatened several women who had accused her husband, former President Bill Clinton, of sexual attacks. Trump gave three of those women seats at the debate and pointed them out to the audience several times.

On Tuesday, Hillary Clinton ignored the sexual assault issue. She spoke in Miami, Florida, about what she called a global crisis: climate change. She said the U.S. could take the lead in dealing with it.

Clinton said she fully backed the Paris Agreement on climate change. She reminded the crowd that Trump has called global warming a Chinese-created hoax.

I’m Dorothy Gundy

And I'm Ashley Thompson.

Caty Weaver and Ashley Thompson adapted this VOA News story for Learning English, with additional materials from Reuters. Kelly Jean Kelly was the editor.

Share your thoughts in the Comments Section or post a message on our Facebook page.

________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

 

better off - adj. in a better position

locker room - n. a room in a school, sports stadium, etc., for changing clothes and for storing clothes and equipment in lockers

informally - adv. relaxed in tone: not suited for serious or official speech and writing

nasty - adj.​ unpleasant and unkind​

rude - adj. relating to sex or other body functions in a way that offends others

poll - n. study of voters opinions

trail - v. to be behind in a race or competition​

shackles - n. one of two rings or bands that are placed around a person's wrists or ankles and that are connected by a chain; (figuratively) something that prevents people from acting freely ​

repugnant - adj. causing a strong feeling of dislike or disgust

turned off - phrasal verb. to start to dislike something or someone

remarks - n. comments

conscience - n. the part of the mind that makes you aware of your actions as being either morally right or wrong

assault - n.​ the crime of trying or threatening to hurt someone physically​

hoax - n. an act that is meant to trick or deceive people​

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Study: Humans Will Never Live Much Past 115 Years

Study: Humans Will Never Live Much Past 115 Years
October 10, 2016 from VOA 

American researchers found that the longest a human being can live is about 115 years.

The researchers are with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. Their findings were published in the journal Nature.

The study was based on mortality and population records from the Human Mortality Database. The database has a collection of records from more than 40 countries dating back to 1900.

Great strides in life expectancy

The researchers found that the average life expectancy has risen greatly since the 19th century. This has resulted partly from developments in modern medicine, including the use of vaccines, antibiotic drugs and improved treatments for cancer and heart disease. In addition, there have been many improvements in public health and nutrition.

In 1900, someone born in the United States could expect to live 47 years. Today, Americans can expect to live to an average age of 80.

According to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, the Mediterranean nation of Monaco has the highest average life expectancy in the world -- 89.5 years. Next are Singapore and Japan -- each at 85 years.

The oldest documented person to ever live was Jeanne Calment of France. Calment was 122 years old when she died in 1997. An Italian woman, Emma Morano, is currently recognized as the world's oldest living person. She is 116 years old.

Highest lifespan reached in '90s

Researchers in the new study said their findings suggest that the greatest average human lifespan was reached during the 1990s. They noted that some individuals born in the U.S., France, Japan and Britain lived to be at least 110 years old between 1968 and 2006. But the number of people living past 110 years is very small, and considered not reachable by most of the population.

The study found that survival rates have improved since 1900, with some older adults living to age 100 and above. But then many of those individuals died a short time later, regardless of when they were born.

The head of the study, Jan Vijg, is head of the genetics department at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He said the findings show a decrease in the ability to reduce death rates among older adults. He said this suggests a possible limit to human lifespan.

Brandon Milholland was a lead scientist on the study. As he noted, “It is possible that someone might live slightly longer, but the odds of anybody in the world surviving to 125 in any given year is less than one in 10,000.”

Jan Vijg noted that continued medical developments to improve the quality of life - especially in the developed world - could push average life expectancy beyond 80. But he said researchers still do not expect the average human lifespan to ever break 100.

I’m Bryan Lynn.

Jessica Berman wrote this story for VOANews.com. Bryan Lynn adapted it for Learning English, with additional information from a report by Reuters. George Grow was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments section, and visit our Facebook page.

________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

mortalityn. the number of deaths that occur in a particular time or place

sanitationn. – process of keeping places free from dirt, infection, disease, etc.

life expectancy – n. how long someone (or something) can expect to live

regardless – adj. something not dependent on current conditions

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Roller Coaster Rides Can Help With Painful Condition

Roller Coaster Rides Can Help With Painful Condition
from VOA
 People ride a roller coaster at Worlds of Fun amusement park Saturday, June 2013, in Kansas City, Missouri. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

People ride a roller coaster at Worlds of Fun amusement park Saturday, June 2013, in Kansas City, Missouri. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Roller coasters are fast and exciting. But passing a painful kidney stone is not. The process is painful and can take a long time.

But American researchers have found that a roller coaster ride just might help those suffering from a kidney stone. They say such rides help patients pass the stones with a 70 percent success rate.

The findings come from researchers at Michigan State University. They published their findings in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

David Wartinger led the study. He says he became curious after hearing many stories of people who passed kidney stones after going on a fun ride at a theme park in Florida.

Patients told him that after riding a “roller coaster at Walt Disney World, they were able to pass their kidney stones.” One man even said he passed three different stones after going on the ride more than once!

To test whether the claims were true, Wartinger used a 3-dimensional model of a hollow kidney. Inside the model he placed three kidney stones, each no larger than 4 millimeters.

Then he placed the man-made kidney into a backpack. The researchers put the kidney on Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain roller coaster for 20 rides.

There are many variables

Wartinger found that where the person sits on the roller coaster can make a big difference.

He said “in the pilot study, sitting in the last car of the roller coaster showed about a 64 percent passage rate.” Sitting in the first few cars only had a 16 percent success rate.

Researchers decided to expand the study. They rode the same roller coaster with several kidney models. When sitting in the back car, the success rate of passing the stones was 70 percent.

It also mattered where the stones were located in the kidney. The researchers found that stones located in the upper part of the kidney model were passed 100 percent.

Another variable – it depends what kind of roller coaster. When it comes to passing kidney stones, not all roller coasters are equal.

The researchers used 174 kidney stones of differing “shapes, sizes and weights to see if each model worked on the same ride and on two other roller coasters.”

They found that “Big Thunder Mountain was the only one that worked.” The other two roller coasters both failed the test.

Wartinger said the other rides were "too fast and too violent." The movement forced the stones against the side of the kidney. He said that the ideal roller coaster is rough and quick with some twists and turns.

How common are kidney stones?

About 300,000 people in the United States go to hospital emergency rooms with kidney stones each year.

One common treatment for kidney stones -- called lithotripsy -- breaks up larger stones into smaller ones. But Wartinger said the treatment can leave many smaller stones. To solve this problem, he suggested riding a roller coaster “after a treatment when the remnants are still small."

Wartinger thinks roller coaster rides could also be used as a preventative measure. He said that a yearly ride on a roller coaster could even prevent stones from developing.

"You need to heed the warnings before going on a roller coaster," he said. "If you have a kidney stone, but are otherwise healthy and meet the requirements of the ride, patients should try it."

He adds that it’s “definitely a lower cost alternative” to other treatments.

And riding a roller coaster is definitely more fun!

I’m Anna Matteo.

VOANews.com reported on this story. Anna Matteo adapted the story for Learning English. George Grow was the editor.

________________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

 

curious adj. having a desire to learn or know more about something or someone

theme park n. an amusement park where the rides and attractions are based on a particular theme

3-dimensional adj. An object that has height, width and depth, like any object in the real world.

hollow adj. having nothing inside : not solid

factor n. something that helps produce or influence a result : one of the things that cause something to happen

variable n. something that changes or that can be changed : something that varies

pilot adj. done as a test to see if a larger program, study, etc., should be done

rough adj. having or causing sudden, violent movements

ideal adj. exactly right for a particular purpose, situation, or person

remnant n. the part of something that is left when the other parts are gone

heed v. to pay attention to (advice, a warning, etc.)

alternative adj. offering or expressing a choice

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What Is the Best Way to Teach English?

What Is the Best Way to Teach English?
 from VOA 

Children attending a summer school program in Cos Cob, Connecticut, last August. Educators are now discussing how to best teach English learners. (Chris Palermo/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP)

Children attending a summer school program in Cos Cob, Connecticut, last August. Educators are now discussing how to best teach English learners. (Chris Palermo/Hearst Connecticut Media via AP)

U.S. Education Secretary John King said the issue is important. That is because one in every 10 U.S. students from grades Kindergarten to 12th grade are English learners.

Most English learners arrive from a country that speaks another language, or have parents from a non-English-speaking country.

There has been progress in recent years, King said. He noted Spanish-speaking students are graduating high school and attending college at higher rates than ever before.

“But in too many places across the country, English learners get less -- less access to quality teachers, less access to advanced coursework, less access to the resources they need to succeed,” King said.

Education Secretary John King

Education Secretary John King

 

King said a new federal law called the Every Student Succeeds Act can help. It allows school districts more ways to use federal money to improve programs for English learners. That includes better training for English language teachers.

Kelly Gonez is a policy adviser at the Department of Education.

She said research shows giving instruction in two languages, English and the student’s native language, is better for English learners.

Although it takes them a little longer to master English, they do better on tests that measure reading and math skills, Gonez said.

So do people who enter dual-language programs already proficient in English, Gonez said. To be proficient means able to read and speak a language.

Sarah Catherine Moore is director of online learning at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington D.C.

She said two recent studies found English learners do better if they attend classes that use both English and the student’s native language.

But Gonez said such programs are still not offered by a majority of schools teaching English learners.

One problem is finding enough qualified teachers. Gonez said some school districts are hiring teachers from Spain and China. They are trying to make up for a shortage of teachers in the United States who can offer instruction in two languages.

But such programs are not always easy to set up.

In New York City, for example, the city’s Department of Education says its students speak a total of 180 different languages.

About sixty percent are Spanish speakers, and another 14 percent are Chinese speakers.

It also has 6,546 students who speak Bengali, 6,501 who speak Arabic, and 3,591 who speak Haitian-Creole. Thousands more speak Russian or Punjabi.

Gonez said that it may be hard to find instructors who can speak all the different languages spoken by students. But she said schools can get educational material in many more languages that just Spanish and Chinese.

Terry Richards is in charge of federal programs for the state of Delaware. She welcomes the new federal education law. It will allow state and local education departments to make more decisions about how to teach English learners, she said.

Richards said the law permits local school districts to consider “local” needs in developing English education programs.

I’m Bruce Alpert.

 

Bruce Alpert reported this story for VOA Learning English. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Mario Ritter was the editor.

We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section and share your views on our Facebook Page. Tell us how you learned to speak another language!

_______________________________________________________________

Words in this Story

 

allow -- v. to permit (something): to consider or treat (something) as acceptable​

access -- n. a way of being able to use or get something done

advanced coursework -- n. subjects that are more difficult than basic subjects

resources -- n. a supply of something (such as money) that someone has and can use when it is needed

dual language -- n. programs using two languages

hire -- n. to give work or a job to (someone) in exchange for wages or a salary​

qualified -- adj. having the necessary skill, experience, or knowledge to do a particular job or activity

instruction -- n. the action or process of teaching​

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Wild Surroundings at Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Wild Surroundings at Black Canyon of the Gunnison
October 07, 2016 from VOA
The inner canyon of Black Canyon of the Gunnison

The inner canyon of Black Canyon of the Gunnison

The canyon is so narrow and so deep that sunlight shines only briefly at the bottom at midday. That frequent darkness is what has given this canyon its name.

Welcome to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park!

Black Canyon seems impossibly steep and narrow. The fast moving Gunnison River formed the canyon over millions of years. As the river flows through the canyon, it drops an average of 18 meters per kilometer. The Gunnison River loses more elevation in its 77 kilometer canyon stretch than the Mississippi River does in 2,400 kilometers from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico.

This loss in elevation causes the river to gain speed and force. Over time, that force has carved and cut the hard rock, and created the wild and jagged rock formations found at Black Canyon. That process is known as erosion.

The Gunnison River is seen flowing through Black Canyon

The Gunnison River is seen flowing through Black Canyon

 

At its widest, Black Canyon is 14 kilometers. At its deepest point, it is 829 meters from the canyon edge to the floor.

Black Canyon attracted little attention from early Western explorers. In fact, no early Spanish explorers to the southwestern United States reported seeing Black Canyon. The first written record about the canyon came in 1873.

The Ute Indians certainly knew of Black Canyon. But only its rim, never the gorge, shows evidence of past human occupation. Even today, the depth and steepness of Black Canyon make it extremely difficult for humans to access.

Birds, however, have no problem surviving in the canyon environment. Black Canyon is home to many kinds of birds. They live at the canyon rim, along its walls, and by the river. Mountain bluebirds and great horned owls live in the rim area. The owls eat seeds and berries from the pinyon, juniper and oak trees found there.

Great horned owl chicks sit in their nest

Great horned owl chicks sit in their nest

 

Canyon wrens sing loudly within Black Canyon. Visitors are more likely to hear the birds than seen them. They build their nests on flat surfaces of the canyon walls. So do peregrine falcons. They prey on other birds. They dive at speeds up to 300 kilometers per hour to catch them.

American dippers build their nests in the gorge, next to the Gunnison River. A gorge is a narrow valley between hills or mountains. These dippers feed on insects and small fish.

Some people come to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park for world-class birdwatching.

But, it is the canyon itself that appeals to most visitors. Walking along the rim, seeing the canyon’s towering cliffs, and hearing the powerful flow of the Gunnison River far below is an overwhelming experience.

At Black Canyon, visitors can view some of the planet’s oldest exposed rocks. They are Precambrian rocks. Precambrian accounts for the Earth’s history from its very beginning up until about 540 million years ago.

Precambrian rocks are described as “basement rocks” because they are usually buried deep under the surface. The only become exposed when younger rocks have been cut away by erosion or other forces. At Black Canyon, the Gunnison has eroded the canyon walls so greatly that Precambrian rocks have become visible.

The canyon walls, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

The canyon walls, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

 

Often, the canyon’s rock walls look like works of art. Different kinds of rocks fold together and form colorful patterns. The patterns change as the sun hits different parts of the walls.

One area of the canyon is known as Painted Wall. It is the highest cliff in Colorado. Long pink bands of rock cover this section of the canyon, as if a person took a paintbrush to the wall.

The Painted Wall

The Painted Wall

 

This pattern formed as hot liquid from below the Earth’s surface forced its way into rock cracks. As it slowly cooled, large crystals formed. The bands get their pink color from a crystallized mineral called potassium feldspar.

Protecting the canyon

Local people knew how just special Black Canyon was. They began urging Congress to protect the canyon in the 1930s. It became a national monument in 1933. And in 1999 it became a national park.

The park protects more than 22 kilometers of the canyon. Most visitors spend their time exploring the canyon rim by foot or by car. Several kilometers of trails lead to many overlook points. A road also leads to several breathtaking views.

People look out at Gunnison Point

People look out at Gunnison Point

 

The U.S. Congress named the lands below the canyon rim a Wilderness Preservation System. This is meant to “protect forever the land’s natural conditions.”

Some adventurous travelers choose to explore this wilderness by hiking down to the inner canyon. There are no marked trails to guide them. Hikers must first get a wilderness use permit. These permits are free, but only a limited number are available each day.

Many of the paths are difficult to follow. Some are also dangerous. The Warner Point trail, for example, drops more than 820 meters. Walking down takes more than two hours. Walking back up can take up to four hours.

The park service warns that poison ivy grows wildly in the inner canyon. There is also the risk of falling rocks.

But, to reach a place where no humans ever tried to live is the reward. In the words of a 1901 explorer to Black Canyon’s river area, “Our surroundings were of the wildest possible description. The roar of the water...was constantly in our ears...Occasionally a rock would fall from one side or the other, with a roar and crash, exploding like a ton of dynamite when it struck bottom, making us think our last day had come.”


I’m Ashley Thompson.

And I’m Caty Weaver.

 

Ashley Thompson reported and wrote this story with materials from the National Park Service. Caty Weaver was the editor.

_______________________________________________________________

Words in This Story

 

steepadj. almost straight up and down : rising or falling very sharply

elevationn. the height of a place

jaggedadj. having a sharp, uneven edge or surface

erosionn. the process by which something is worn away

rimn. the outer edge of a usually round object

accessn. a way of getting near, at, or to something or someone

cliffn. a high, steep surface of rock, earth, or ice

overwhelmingadj. very great in effect

basementn. the part of a building that is entirely or partly below the ground

adventurousadj. not afraid to do new and dangerous or exciting things

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プロフィール

srachai

自己紹介・リンク

■近況

2009年の9月15日に脳梗塞を発症、右手が少し不自由になりました。
MRAで脳梗塞の部位を特定でき、素早い処置をとれたので大事に至りませんでした。
快復にむけてリハビリ中です。
(2011/01/01更新)

■自己紹介・リンク

[ はじめに ]
タイのスラチャイです。
英語学習に王道はありません。
毎日毎日の地道な努力の積み重ねが必要です。
スラチャイはNHKのラジオ英語会話で現在の英語力を身につけました。
一日僅か15分の学習でも数年間継続すれば相当な学習効果が期待できます。

[ 名前 ]
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