Robots and Society

Robots have increasingly become an important part of society. Engineers have designed many types of robots, such as industrial robots, medical robots, and service robots.

Japanese engineers have been particularly influential in the development of robots. For example, Softbank developed Pepper, a robot who can talk and assist businesses. See the video below to learn more about Pepper.

Today, many businesses are finding new uses for robots. For example, check out the article below about how a restaurant in the Netherlands is using robots during coronavirus to greet customers, take orders, and serve food, just like waiters.

In the future, engineers will continue to develop robots with various applications. What do you think about this? Are robots good for the future, or are there potential negatives associated with robots?

News article: Dutch Restaurant Uses Robot Waiters

In this news article, the writer introduces a restaurant in the Netherlands which uses robots as waiters. Read the article and consider the ways robots will change common businesses, such as restaurants or even schools, in the future.

Video: “We Interviewed Pepper”

Watch the following video in which a journalist introduces and “talks” with Pepper, the Softbank Robot. What do you think about robots like Pepper?

Important Vocabulary related to Robots

Application (noun – definition 2)Electricity (noun)
Artificial Intelligence (AI) (noun)High-tech (adjective)
Battery (noun)Machine (noun)
Control (verb)Robot (noun)
Develop (verb), Development (noun)Robotic (adjective)
Digital assistant (noun)Robotics (noun)


Questions to ask at English Lounge

Have you ever “met” a robot? What was the experience like?

What are some future applications for robots? In other words, what are some other ways robots can help humans in the future?

In your opinion, are robots helpful or harmful to society? Why?

Making Vacation Plans for the Summer

It’s June, which means summer has finally arrived! The temperature is increasing day-by-day, so people will soon be heading to parks and beaches to relax and enjoy this weather.  

Since summer has just begun, it’s a great time to start thinking about our summer plans! Even though we may be limited this year due to coronavirus, we can still imagine what types of things we would like to do during the summer.

Check out the following articles, videos, and learning resources so you are prepared to talk about your summertime plans and vacations!

Video: Easy English 32 – Travel Destinations

In this video, a man asks people in Margate (a beach near New York City) the following question: “If you could go anywhere in the world for your ideal vacation, where would you go?”

Watch the video and listen to the answers. What kinds of places do these people want to visit? What are their reasons for wanting to visit these places?

If you could go anywhere in the world for your ideal vacation, where would you go? Why?

Article: Walt Disney World and the Coronavirus

Many people are looking forward to visiting Tokyo Disneyland this summer. However, although amusement parks like Disneyland are reopening, there are strict rules to ensure that the coronavirus does not spread.

Read this article to learn about some of the precautions that theme parks are taking to limit the spread of the virus!

What kinds of precautions can you take to protect yourself from coronavirus this summer?

Useful Vocabulary to talk about Vacations

General Travel Vocabulary

abroad (adverb)safari (noun)
adventure (noun)sightseeing (noun)
backback (verb)souvenir (noun)
excursion (noun)stay (noun)
foreign (adj.)traveler (noun)
postcard (noun)voyage (noun)
road trip (noun) 

Planning a Vacation

day trip (noun)destination (noun)
tour (noun)brochure (noun)
tourism (noun)visa (noun)
travel agency (noun)honeymoon (noun)
travel agent (noun)package tour (noun)
reservation (noun) 
Cruise (noun)
Theme park/Amusement park (noun)

Hotels and Accommodations

accommodation (noun)double room (noun)
book (verb)room service (noun)
card key (noun)pack (verb)
check-in (noun/verb)unpack (verb)
checkout (noun)guest (noun)
Hostel (noun)
Bed and breakfast (noun)
Cottage (noun)
Villa (noun)
Resort (noun)
Front desk (noun)

Camping

camp (verb)explore (verb)
campfire (noun)trek (noun)
campsite (noun)backpack (noun)
tent (noun)sleeping bag (noun)
hiking (noun) 

Day Trip to the Beach

sand (noun)sunbathe (verb)
sandy (adjective)sunscreen (noun)
seaside (noun) 

Money and Travel

budget (noun)exchange (noun)
currency (noun) 

Possible Questions about Vacations to ask during English Lounge

  1. If you could travel anywhere, where would you like to go and why?
  2. What is your favorite part about traveling?
  3. When you travel, where do you prefer to stay? For example, do you prefer a hostel, bed and breakfast, resort, or private villa?
  4. Which do you prefer: going camping or going to the beach? Why?
  5. Have you ever been on a cruise? What was that experience like?
  6. When you travel, how do you budget your money? What do you spend the most money on? What do you spend the least money on?