How About A New Calendar? - The Calendar Issue



NPR News: Listening Activity

1.Pre-Listening Task

Discuss the following questions.


  • What are the pros and cons of the current calendar?
  • In your opinion, how can the calendar be improved?
  • Can you think of a better system instead of a 7-day week?
  • How would be the new working week?
  • Imagine you need to change the days’ names. What would you use instead of planets and gods?
  • How about changing the months? Would you keep the same number and names? Why? Why not?
  • Would you change the seasons?
  • How many days would your calendar have?



VOCABULARY:

Read the seven examples below. Find the meaning of the underlined terms in the chart:

1. When we were kids, in winter, we were bundled up in clothes.
2. The crowds hailed the soccer champions.
3. Our math teacher demands accuracy in all problem details.
4. The house needs cleaning. We can’t live in this messiness.
5. After the storm we saw a couple of boats drifting away.
6. It’s hard to follow a diet and be on track when everybody around is eating fast food and pastries.
7. I like how the garden looks so much streamlined now. It seemed a rainforest before.

1. Bundled
a. Disorder, confusion.
2. Hailed
b.Without a specific route or order; carried away.
3. Accuracy
c. Put together, tied up like a package.
4. Messiness
d. Following the right course or route.
5. Drifting
e. Saluted, recognized.
6. On track
f. Precision, correctness.
7. Streamlined
g. Simplified; without anything unnecessary.
 
2.Listening Task


Scientists at John Hopkins University think they can come up with a better system for an improved calendar.  



Complete each of the sentences with the words given. Then, listen to the news audio to check your work.

  1. Four hundred and 30 years ......, Pope Gregory XIII ...... the West a calendar, which ...... 365 days into what ...... to be ...... a year.
( called – gave – divided – ago  - was   )

  1. ...... 12 months ...... seven days bundled ...... so-called weeks, the Gregorian calendar was hailed ...... a marvel ...... medieval accuracy.
( into – with – and  -  of -  as  )
  1. We use it ......, despite its ...... messiness - drifting ......, leap ...... and 28-day .......
( days – months – today – years - occasional )

  1. But now ...... researchers at Johns Hopkins University have devised a different ...... to count ...... days with a leap week ...... few years to keep the calendar on .......
( every – track - some – our  - way )

  1. Holidays, ...... Christmas and New Year's Day, would always ...... on a Sunday. It ...... neat and streamlined for our modern ......, ...... maybe to those of us who work on Sundays.
( fall – seems – like – except - age  )




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