Family Tree


Who are the people in your family tree?

  1. Me
  2. My spouse
  3. My husband / My wife
  4. My boyfriend My girlfriend
  5. My significant other
  6. My partner
  7. My mother
  8. My father
  9. My stepmother
  10. My stepfather
  11. My grandmother
  12. My grandfather
  13. My daughter
  14. My son
  15. My stepdaughter
  16. My stepson
  17. My granddaughter
  18. My grandson
  19. My brother
  20. My sister
  21. My siblings
  22. My step brother
  23. My step sister
  24. Mother of the bride
  25. Father of the bride
  26. Mother of the groom
  27. Father of the groom
  28. Stepfather of the bride
  29. Stepfather of the groom


Aircraft Connectivity

Aircraft Connectivity

The Internet Comes to Airplanes

The advancement of wireless technology has spurred the development of the Internet of things, in which many devices are being connected to the Internet and are able to access information previously unavailable. Airplanes have joined this trend with the advent of servers and electronic flight bags (EFB). These devices allow the airplane to become a node in the operator’s network that is accessible and can exchange information in real time.

The Advantages of Having the Internet on the Aircraft

Systems on board airplanes produce significant amounts of data throughout each flight. However the data is confined to the airplane and downloaded through a labor intensive process only when needed. Today onboard servers and EFB allow the operators to quickly download the airplane data. Furthermore the connectivity to the Internet allows the crew to access real time information previously unavailable, from weather to updated flight planning information, giving them the capability to further optimize their routing and increase the comfort and safety of the passengers.

The Dangers of Internet Connectivity for the  Aircraft

The connectivity to the Internet is however a two-way pipeline and it carries security risks with it. Modern onboard servers allow the operator to firewall the airplane from external risks, diminishing the downsides of the onboard use of the Internet.


  • What do you think about the advantages of allowing the aircraft to connect to its operator via the internet?
  • What about the dangers of allowing on-board servers to talk to ground operators via the internet?
  • Do passengers think the airplane systems are already connected to the internet?


  1. To spur: inciter
  2. Internet of things: internet des objets
  3. Devices: appareils ou dispositifs
  4. A node: un module
  5. Real-time: en temps réel
  6. Labor intensive process: processus qui demande un travail important
  7. Two-way pipeline: conduit à deux sens
  8. To firewall: établir un coupe-feu

Click here for the longer article from Astronautics Corporation of America

Long i and short i sounds in English

All vowels in English can be pronounced with either a short sound and or a long sound. For example: “paper” and “paternity”. Today, let’s work on the vowel “i” which tends to be difficult for French speakers. First, let’s review all English vowels together: a, e, i, o, u.

Short “i”, like SIT — Long “i”, like BIKE

Here are some words with the long “i” first, then the short “i”:

  • file/fill
  • mice/miss
  • fight/fit
  • night/knit

Short “i” sound, like SIT

imagine, engine, famine, pig, quick, bit, zip, hill, brick, sick

Long “i” sound, like BIKE

bike, stripe, file, night, bright, light, site, high, why, fly, apply, satisfy

Practice: make a sentence with the following words:

sit / site

hit / height

pin / pine

file / fill

fight / fit

Some words have both sounds in the same word: crisis [cry-sis]


Watch English Videos with English Subtitles

To get better at English you NEED to include more English into your daily life. One way you can do that is by watching some YouTube in English. I recommend you look for videos that have subtitles in English (called “Closed Caption”) because if you listen to English and read in French subtitles you probably won’t retain very much.

Click here to find out how to search for Closed Caption videos. If the words don’t appear immediately, click on CC at the bottom right of the video.

Here are two that I recommend that are approachable for most students:

On a more serious note:

How to Pronounce Words that end in ED

In English there are 3 ways to pronounce words that end in “ED”

/t/ {like Burt} helped, laughed, washed, watched, kissed, danced, fixed, hoped, liked, reached, stopped, advanced, cooked, developed, walked, worked, missed, marched

/d/ {like Fred} called, cleaned, offered, damaged, loved, used, claimed, played, allowed, begged, remained, answered, arranged, arrived, burned

/id/ {like David} wanted, needed, invited, landed, visited, greeted, started, rested, ended, completed, created, decided, estimated, invented, started, limited

It is easier to memorize how to say common words than to understand complex phonetics rules. So I recommend you listen and repeat and be aware of this difficulty in English.

Job Fair in Seattle, WA

Davontia Porter came to the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative Fair and Forum in Seattle hoping to connect with a few job recruiters. He didn’t expect to find himself sitting across the table from Starbucks chief executive officer Howard Schultz.

“I was anxious at first, but as it went on I felt more relaxed,” Porter said. “He took the time to ask questions and really listen to my answers. He was understanding, and talked to me just like he would anyone else.”

Porter, who received his GED certificate in 2012, was among the more than 1,000 at Seattle’s hiring event, which brought together top U.S. companies to help engage young people with meaningful jobs and career paths. In the Seattle area there are an estimated 50,000 youth between the ages of 16 and 24 who are disconnected from employment and education.

Related Photo Gallery: Hundreds of Job Offers Extended at Seattle Opportunity Fair

“My journey was just like everyone else’s,” Porter said. “But I’m willing. I’ve got an attitude that nothing can break me. If I’m positive, then how can I be negative?”

Porter and Schultz talked for about 20 minutes. Schultz asked him about his life and the challenges he had faced. He also asked about his approach to customer service.

“I was surprised by how open he was to me,” he said. “I felt comfortable for the first time in an interview, like I’m not being judged. Like I belong.”

After his interview with Schultz, Porter spoke to a Starbucks recruiting manager and was hired for a barista position on the spot. He says he’s considering enrolling in the Starbucks College Achievement Plan with Arizona State University, with full tuition reimbursement to all eligible partners.

“ASU, see that’s a blessing,” said Porter. “If everything goes out right, this will be a real life-changing moment.”

Tax Dodging Is a Popular “Sport”

Tax Dodging happens in every country, as the revelations of “Panama Papers” have made clear, but recently voters have become less and less patient with individuals and companies who cheat and do not pay their fair share of taxes. What constitutes tax dodging?

Companies that Cheat on their Taxes

In Europe, Starbucks, Amazon, Apple, and Fiat have all been investigated by the European Commission to see if they are cheating on their taxes, or taking unreasonable “tax avoidance” measures (see below). The European Tax Commission is setting new rules to reduce the number of tax loopholes.

Tax avoidance is legal but means using tax laws in a way that was not intended when they were written. You’re OK by the letter of the law if you’re avoiding tax, but you’re not playing fair. ”

Celebrities and Politicians who Cheat on their Taxes

There has been many cases of famous people who got caught at cheating on their taxes and some actually went to jail because of their illegal activities. For instance, American celebrity lifestyle TV personality Martha Stewart went to jail for 5 months in 2004 and has since made an impressive come-back in popularity.

Martha Stewart Tax Dodger

  • What European Personalities are famous for tax dodging?
  • Are these individuals still popular with the public?
  • How about politicians who get caught at tax dodging? Does it compromise their future election prospects?

Read More

Firms Forced to Reveal Gender Pay Gap in the UK

Gender Pay Gap Around the world

Starting in April 2017, companies with more than 250 employees will have to calculate and make public the gap in pay between male and female employees. Recent figures reveal that women in the UK make 20% less than their male counterparts.

“Employers must also publish their gender pay gap on their websites. They will have to report every year and senior executives will be expected to sign off the figures personally.”

Pay Gender Gap most and leas equal countries

Gender Pay Gap in France Gender Pay Gap in the USA
Gender Pay Gap in Australia Gender Pay Gap in the UK
  • Do you think that shedding the light on this issue will help make it better?
  • Do we need to do better in France, or is it good enough?
  • What do you think explains gender pay gap generally speaking?
  • Would you like France to also make it mandatory for French companies to reveal the gender pay gap?

Read More

Simple Past or Present Perfect?

The Rule

The action started in the past and ended in the past = simple past
The action started in the past and still going into the present = present perfect

  • We have talked on the phone every Sunday for the last two years. (Implied: We will talk on the phone again next Sunday.)
  • We talked on the phone every night. (Implied: We don’t any more.)
  • When I was young, I loved candy. (Implied: I don’t love candy any more.)
  • I have always loved candy. (Implied: I still do today.)
  • Did you like Star Wars? I don’t know, I have never seen it. (Implied: up until now I have not seen it, but I may see it one day.)
  • I didn’t see Star Wars until I was 10. (Implied: but I saw it when I was 10.)
  • I haven’t seen Star Wars since I was 10. (Implied: I saw Star Wars when I was 10, but have not seen it again until now.)
  • I was fired from my job and I never saw it coming. (Implied: I didn’t see it coming, but now it has happened and it is past.)
  • My sister has been to London 5 times. (Implied: She may go to London again.)
  • I’ve forgotten my password! (Implied: I cannot open my email today.)
  • I forgot my password! (Implied: but now I remember it.)

Simple Past or Present Perfect

Skills Shortages

Vocabulary you will need to talk about this topic

skill requirements (or required skills) compétences requises
skill shortages pénurie de main-d’œuvre qualifiée
qualified employees employés qualifiés

The Problem with Skill Shortages

Around the world, the skill requirements of the job market have been altered by rapid globalization and technological change. These days, skill shortages are becoming a growing problem for employers, though the scale of that problem varies dramatically between countries.

Around 40 percent of employers in Europe have experienced difficulties finding employees with the required skills, especially in the manufacturing sector, according to an OECD report. However, the problem is most pronounced in Asia and in Japan and India in particular. The same report used data from the Manpower Talent Shortage Survey which shows that 81 percent of Japanese firms (with ten or more employees) had a problem finding qualified employees.

Over half of companies with over ten employees in India, Brazil and Turkey also found it difficult to fill their specific job positions. Even though the onset of the financial crisis in 2007 resulted in a fall in skill shortage levels, the problem has returned and intensified since 2008, despite high unemployment levels.

Countries with the biggest skills shortages

Original article by Niall McCarthy, Forbes contributor.

Listening Comprehension US English

Read the questions, then listen ONCE and answer the questions.

Listening comprehension 3

Listening Comprehension UK English

Listen ONCE and answer the questions.

Listening Comprehension 2

Why Are Jet Engines Getting Bigger?

This is fast technical English. Can you understand it?

Answer these questions:

Why are jet engines getting bigger?

What are the two parts of a jet engine?

What provides most of the thrust in a jet engine?

What is the ideal size for a jet engine?

Will jet engines continue growing in size?

In, On, or At?

IN, ON, or AT Geographic Location

When speaking about geographic location, IN is used to indicate big places, for example:

  • Big, as in IN a country: We live IN France. The statue of Liberty is IN the USA. There are many languages IN Europe. You can buy nice jewelry IN Paris. There are nice old houses IN the Bronx.
  • ON is used to indicate smaller places. There is a bakery ON my street. It’s impossible to park ON this avenue. Many birds live ON the Amazon.
  • AT is used to indicate very specific locations such as: I will meet you AT the intersection. She’s already AT the store. I have pet birds AT my house.  You can let dogs loose AT this park.

Date and Time

The same usage of IN, ON, and AT happens with date and time.

Big: There was a lot of industrial development IN the 19th Century. I visited Africa IN 2016. I take my vacations IN July. It’s not surprising to have rain IN the first week of March.

Small: I will be in New York ON my birthday. They do fun activities ON the weekend (Watch out! They say “AT the weekend” in England). I talk to my mother ON Mondays.

Smaller: He always has a sandwich AT lunch. She drinks coffee only AT breakfast. Let’s meet AT noon.

These rules do NOT work 100% of the time. There are EXCEPTIONS such as: “in the evening”, “in the afternoon”, “in the morning”.

Aircraft and Square Windows

There was actually once a plane that had square windows: the De Havilland Comet. After a few fatal crashes resulting from breakups in midair, the aircraft had its certificate of airworthiness removed. A thorough investigation revealed that the crashes were caused by increased stress especially at the corners of the windows. As a result, the fatigue on the aircraft over many flights resulted in the stress points at the corners of the windows to give way. All windows on airplanes are structural weak points, even round ones. Each additional window is decreasing the structural integrity of the body of the aircraft.

Airplane with square windows

Square Windows on Airplane

Difficult Words

allow, allowed
This machine will allow us to make better parts.
We are not allowed to smoke in the building.

This new engine is fuel efficient.

The new mayor is popular.

Now is the time to take action.