EPISODE 103
LEVEL B2

 

READING COMPREHENSION 

 

MINDFULNESS 

Mindfulness is a meditation therapy that has been gaining ground (= gaining popularity) in mental health circles as evidence builds up of its potential in dealing with a range of health problems from reducing recurrent (= happening many times or again) bouts (=a short period of illness or involvement in an activity) of depression and anxiety to possibly strengthening immune systems.

When people suffer from depression, negative moods become accompanied by negative thoughts such as “I’m a failure” as well as physical symptoms such as fatigue (=extreme tiredness). As a result, a mood swing (= changes in your state of mind) caused by something relatively trivial such as miserable weather or being laid up in bed can actually trigger the same combination of symptoms leading to  a recurrence of depression. 

Mindfulness based therapies allow sufferers to break this downward spiral by getting them to notice these patterns of thought, and then to refocus and anchor (= to fasten/ to connect) their minds in the present instead of dwelling on (= thinking for a long time about sth) the past or worrying about the future. It is believed to spark (=to cause the start of something, especially an argument or fighting) new neutral connections and studies have shown that areas of the brain associated with emotional regulation were bigger in people who had practiced meditation regularly over five years.

 

There are the following body actions people may experience during mindfulness:

  • Your mind drifts or wanders
  • Your belly rises and falls
  • Your heart beats fast
  • Your body shudders
  • You raise your eyebrows
  • You clutch your chest
  • You click your fingers
  • You shrug your shoulders
  • You stretch your legs
  • You flutter your eyelashes

 

EXERCISE 1 

after the reading answer the questions:

  1. drop us                         a. notice
  2. cannot make               b. in work
  3. short                             c. a line
  4. bring a friend             d. us
  5. join                               e. along
  6. be up to your eyes     f. it


EXERCISE 2 

Complete each gap with one word, then answer the questions.

  1. When was the last time you were up to your …………………………. in work? What happened?
  2. Is it ok for parents to bring their kids …………………………. when they go to a restaurant? Why/ why not?
  3. When did you last …………………………. your best friend a line? What did you write about?

 

 

ENGLISH IN USE  

There are two sentences in the letter which include adverbs used for emphasizing a quality, feeling or amount:

Sorry it’s taken me so long to reply.
I’m sorry it’s such short notice.


The meaning of both 'so' and 'such' is very similar, yet they do differ when it comes to usage. You simply have to be careful about the word that follows and depending on that, choose 'so' or 'such'.

’So' is followed by adjectives or adverbs as well as by quantifiers (many, much, few, little), e.g.

She is so clever!
It all happened so quickly!
They earn so much money they don’t know what to do with it.
I have so few friends here in Warsaw.


’Such' is followed by nouns or an adjective + noun combination; there is also one quantifier which uses 'such' – 'a lot of'. If the noun is singular, you use 'such a', if the noun is plural or uncountable, only 'such' is required. Look at the examples:

Why do you ask such questions?
I’d love to have such a dress.
Andy is such a kind man.
I hate such hot weather!
There are such a lot of people in shops before Christmas.

 

IDIOM CLOSE-UP

 

A/ This is Henry’s seventh shot of vodka!
B/ He sure DRINKS LIKE A FISH!

If somebody drinks like a fish, they drink a lot of alcohol regularly.

 

PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP

  1. When you DRINK TO something, you wish for health, happiness, or success for someone, then lift your glass and drink from it.

Let’s drink to the bride and groom.
„Here’s to a happy future then.” „I’ll drink to that!”

 

  1. When you DRINK something IN, you experience it with great enjoyment.

Sit out on the terrace and drink in the amazing view.
They drank in the words of their leader.

 

EXERCISE 3 

Decide if these sentences are true or false. Correct the false ones.

  1. When you drink something in, you drink a whole glass very quickly.
  2. When you drink to someone’s health, you wish them well.
  3. When you drink like a fish, you drink a lot of water.

 

NEWS

GUEST LIST

With the wedding season upon us, the couples about to get married face the perennial problem: who to invite? Of course, they would like to invite all the friends and relatives, but – more often than not – the wedding budget won’t stretch that far. So, how do you make the selection so that the newly-weds don’t immediately become the black sheep of the family? Well, you definitely have to include your parents, siblings, godparents, and best friends. Add to that the obligatory “plus ones,” and the list grows rather huge. Of course, you mustn’t forget to invite anyone who has invited you to their ceremony! Overwhelmed? Try hiring a wedding planner – she will make all the choices for you. For a fee! 

 

GLOSSARY 

perennial permanent, recurring
the newly-weds – the couple that have just got married
the black sheep – someone not approved of because they are thought to behave badly
godparents – the special people during the baptism ceremony
plus ones – people accompanying the main guests, e.g. boyfriends/ girlfriends
overwhelmed – shocked 

 

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>>Answers

KEY TO EXERCISES  

Ex.1

  1. c
  2. f
  3. a
  1. e
  2. d
  3. b

 

Ex. 2

  1. eyes
  2. along
  3. drop

 

Ex.3 

  1. False – you enjoy something.
  2. True
  3. False – you drink a lot of alcohol.

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