This content is recommended for 30~60 minute sessions. Note that tutors may not be familiar with the content. Make sure you consult with your tutor before using this material.
After a quick greeting, read the following article out loud. Your tutor will go over pronunciation if necessary.
[P1] Having the tremendous opportunity to live and work overseas in my career has exposed me to more wonderful cultural and global perspectives than I ever dreamed. It has helped me grow professionally as well as personally, which is why I always recommend that young entrepreneurs take every opportunity available to get outside their comfort zones and travel internationally. Doing so will absolutely make you a better leader.
[P2] One particular part of international culture I have appreciated is International Women’s Day, March 8. Living in the former Soviet Republics of Central Asia for many years, where Women’s Day includes lavish celebrations and events, really helped me understand how important this holiday is to much of the world.
[P3] The occasion has taken on new meaning these days, with movements like #MeToo and #NoMore giving life to the need for understanding the imbalance of power throughout the world, not just between men and women but among cultures, nationalities and races. And with the reach of the internet and social media, we have been able to unite global contradictions that persist in all cultures.
[P4] As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, I am traveling and working in Spain, leading a group of student consultants as part of a community and business engagement program I manage. Today, throughout Spain, labor — and particular women — are leading day long demonstrations and strikes at major metro and railways. In Barcelona, throngs of people are marching downtown.
[P5] While this may seem like just another protest to most Americans, the cause of the movement here in Spain is incredibly meaningful to many. As a close Spanish friend confided in me recently, Spain — like many regions of Europe — is still struggling with racism, discrimination and inequality, to degrees that makes the US look like the Eden of Equality.
[P6] The point is that we may never eliminate the plight that many people face. It seems to me that things are getting better, but in reality, I am a white, middle-class male living in a predominately white, male world. I do not see — nor do I dare to pretend to see — the challenges and obstacles that many women or minorities face.
[P7] What I can do is appreciate and advocate for movements and events such as International Women’s Day, which help us all to appreciate and understand where we are today and where we all want to be in the future. We cannot get to equilibrium without facing our demons, admitting our faults and embracing change.
[P8] So, for now, happy International Women’s Day to all.
Read the word/expression and definition out loud. Your tutor will go over anything you do not understand. Practice creating a sentence or two to make sure you know how to use the word/expression properly.
|comfort zone||(n) a place, situation, or level where someone feels confident and comfortable
e.g. He pushes the players to perform beyond their comfort zone.
|lavish||(adj) having a very rich and expensive quality
e.g. a lavish feast/party
|take on new meaning||(idiom) [for an event] to acquire a new interpretation
e.g. All these monuments take on a new meaning when you realize the amount of human artistry and skill it took to design and build them.
|persist||(v) to continue to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop
e.g. The reporter persisted with his questioning.
|confide in||(phrasal verb) to tell personal and private things to (someone)
e.g. She often confides in me.
Use the following questions as a guideline to help develop an interesting conversation with your tutor. Feel free to diverge from these suggestions if anything interesting comes up.
- Summarize the article in your own words.
- What is International Women’s Day? How did you celebrate the day?
- What are some challenges that women or minorities face these days in your country?
- What does equality mean to you? Share your thoughts with your Cambly tutor!