El idioma saludable. 100% speaking ... Dilo, complementa en sus formaciones una metodología diferente con resultados rápidos y totalmente personalizados. info@dilodilo.es

Improve your Speaking online Episode 1, Introduction:

This week we bring new current topics in Episode 1 so you can improve your online speaking from home.


Topic 1: Series and Films 🎬

«Squid Game Halloween costume banned by NY school district.»

Schools ban Squid Game costumes to avoid violent scenarios.

Episode 1

The popular Netflix TV show Squid Game has become a phenomenon and now, with Halloween around the corner, many people are considering dressing up in the same costume as the characters, yet that will not be possible in one New York school district.

There is a fear that, given some of the violence seen in Squid Game, some impressionable students may try to act out some of these scenes in real life.

As CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported on Monday, three elementary schools near Syracuse are banning Squid Game costumes at Halloween events. The typical costumes consist of jumpsuits, tracksuits and masks.

«[The Squid Game outfits] do not meet our school costume guidelines due to the potential violent message aligned with the costume,» said the Fayetteville-Manlius district.

«One of the things we’ve been hearing about in school districts all across the country, is children coming to school and playing Squid Games on the playground,» added Dr. Joseph Ricca.

«It’s never appropriate to play at harming one another and that really is the guiding principle here.»



Squid Game costumes banned


It is not just in the USA that has seen these measures come into effect, as a school in Ireland and another in Spain have also banned Squid Game costumes.

As written in the Times, Castle Park Elementary School in Dublin has taken this decision after seeing a rise in students mimicking several of the violent scenes from Squid Game.

It is a similar story at a school in Madrid, where parents are being told to not let their children watch Squid Game if they are under the age of 16.

This will be frustrating for many people who were planning to go in Squid Game costume, with CNN claiming that costumes from the popular Netflix show are the top internet search this Halloween.





We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. Considering the cases of violence inspired by Squid Game, do you agree with banning Squid Game costumes?
  2. Do you think these cases of violence will increase?
  3. Will things get worse when the second season is released?
  4. Do you know other examples of riots «caused» by series or films?
  5. Some people state this type of series is the real guilty behind these cases. Do you agree?


Here we leave you some vocabulary you can use during the talk:

  • Jumpsuit: A one-piece suit worn by parachutist for jumping.
  • To mimic: To imitate an action.
  • Tracksuit: A warn suit worn during training.
  • Battery: An aggression.
  • Riot: A violent public disorder.
  • To bring about: To provoke something.
  • Crackdown: Severe measures
  • To dig your own grave: To do sth that usually causes you serious harm.

Topic 2: 💸Economy

«The American job market rises after the covid crisis.»

💰 Jobless claims fall below 300,000 for the first time since the pandemic began.

Episode 1
  • Jobless claims totaled 293,000 for the week ended Oct. 9, below the 318,000 estimate.
  • That was the first time initial claims dropped below 300,000 since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Continuing claims fell by 134,000 to 2.59 million.
  • Wholesale producer prices increased 0.5% for September and 8.6% over the past year, the latter being a fresh record and reflective of ongoing inflationary pressures.

Initial jobless claims fell below 300,000 for the first time since the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Labor Department said Thursday.

In another sign the jobs market is getting closer to its old self, first-time claims for unemployment insurance totaled 293,000, the best level since March 14, 2020, which saw 256,000 claims just as the Covid-19 spread intensified.

The Dow Jones estimate for claims was 318,000. Last week’s total represented a decline of 36,000 from the previous week.

The four-week moving average, which helps smooth out weekly volatility, dropped to 334,250, a 10,500 decline that also marked the lowest number since March 14, 2020.

Also, continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline number, fell by 134,000 to 2.59 million, another pandemic-era low.

A separate economic release Thursday showed that prices for final-demand wholesale goods increased 0.5% in September, slightly below the 0.6% Dow Jones estimate for the producer price index.

However, on a 12-month basis, the index increased 8.6%, a fresh record for a data series that goes back to November 2010 and reflective of the current inflationary climate, according to the Labor Department.

Excluding food and energy, the core PPI rose just 0.1% versus the 0.5% forecast, putting the 12-month gain at 5.9%, the highest level since March 1982.

Jobless claims fell as enhanced unemployment benefits associated with the pandemic began to fade. The rolls of those getting benefits under all programs declined by more than half a million to 3.65 million, according to data through Sept. 25.

Most of the decline came from those leaving two pandemic-related federal programs as well as other extended benefits. A year ago, the total receiving benefits was close to 25 million.

The drop in claims comes at an important time for the labor market, which has added jobs over the past two months at a decidedly slower-than-expected pace – 366,000 in August and 194,000 in September, leaving the household employment total still more than 5 million shy of where it was pre-pandemic.

Thursday’s jobless claims report covered the period just before the Labor Department’s survey week for the closely watched nonfarm payrolls report.

Federal Reserve officials have been watching the job market’s progress closely as the central bank weighs when to begin pulling back on the extraordinary help it’s been providing. Minutes released Wednesday from the Fed’s September meeting indicated that the first pullback could start as early as mid-November with a reduction in the amount of bonds it buys each month.

One big concern now for the Fed is rising inflation, and Thursday’s data showed continuing but concentrated pressures.

Final demand energy prices advanced 2.8% in September, pushed by a 3.9% surge in gasoline. The bulk of the price increases overall came from final demand goods, which increased 1.3%, compared with just a 0.2% increase in services.

More than two-thirds of the services gain came from an 11.6% burst in margins for fuel and lubricant retailing. By contrast, airline passenger services prices tumbled by 16.9%.

Final demand food prices increased by 2%, which included a 21.2% price increase on eggs for fresh use and a 19.4% jump in fresh and dry vegetables.


We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. Do you think jobless claims will continue dropping in the USA?
  2. Why would you say claims are falling
  3. There are sectors that have benefited from covid crisis. Now that things are gradually going back to normal, do you expect those sectors will be harmed?
  4. Do you know any company that took advantage of the quarantine?
  5. How is the rate of unemployment in your country?


Here we leave you some vocabulary you can use during the talk:

  • To pay through the nose: To pay a lot of money
  • Jobless claims: A request for a payment for unemployed people.
  • Subsidy: A payment made by the government to an industry or individual.
  • Boost: An increase of something (prices for example)
  • Enterprise: A company
  • Face-to-face: An event involving close contact with other people
  • Decline: To decrease something
  • Quarantine: A period during which a person or animal has to be kept apart to ensure his/her disiease doesn’t spread

Topic 3: Podcast 🎧 🎙

«How does technology affect college students?»

College students talk about the benefits of technology without considering the negative effects.


We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. Is addiction to technology a concern only for college students?
  2. How often do you check your phone in one day?
  3. How has the pandemic influenced on the time we spend on a screen?
  4. How does digital society affect children?
  5. How has addiction to technology influenced youngsters’ social relationships?


Here we leave you some vocabulary you can use during the talk:

  • Mental health problems: Problems with your psychic abilities.
  • Boot up: To turn on a gadget.
  • To spend time on a screen: To pass time in front of a device.
  • Technological era: A period of time dominated by technology.
  • To switch off: To turn off a device.
  • Dependence on technology: The state of being psychologycally dependent on technological devices.
  • To hit the panic button: To overreact to negative circumstances with fear.
  • PRT: Please retweet

Topic 4: Video 🎥 🎞

«One language, three accents»

These three girls show some differences in pronunciation and vocabulary between their accents.


We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. What is your favourite English dialect? Why?
  2. Imagine you have to move to Australia but you do not know the Australian dialect. Would you feel unconfident?
  3. Some people studying English as second language maintain their native accent (E.g. a French person speaking English but with French accent). Have you ever had communication problems with them?
  4. How many accents are there in your language? Could you talk about yours?
  5. Is there any accent that you find hard to understand? Why?


Here we leave you some vocabulary you can use during the talk:

  •  It’s completely beyond me!: It’s too difficult for me
  • A cold one!: A beer! (Aussie).
  • Mute letter: A letter that is not pronounced
  • Slang: Informal words and idioms.
  • Bloody: Very (Aussie).
  • Togs: Swimsuit (Aussie).
  • Unit: Flat (Aussie).
  • To drop a consonant: Not to pronounce a consonant where it should be pronounced.

Topic 5: Music 🎼🎤🎹

«Blinding lights»

Here we have one of the most successful singles in 2020 and possibly the most famous song of ‘The Weeknd’


We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. What does the song talk about?
  2. When did you hear it for the first time?
  3. Could you talk a little bit about your favourite group or singer?
  4. Is there a song you got hooked on recently?
  5. What is your least favourite music genre? Why?


Here we leave you some vocabulary you can use during the talk:

  •  To play an instrument by ear: To play an instrument with no previous practice.
  • To upload sth: To transfer (an audio, video, article, etc) to a platform.
  • Success: A gaining of wealth, fame, honors, etc.
  • To sound like a broken record: To repeat something over and over in an annoying way.
  • Mixtape: A compilation of songs.
  • Gold disc: A prestigious musical price.
  • To subscribe: To pay an amount of money to make a subscription.
  • To crack someone’s voice: To change the voice to a very high tone.

Topic 6: Anime and manga 🎌 🍜 🎏

«Drawn to Inspire | The Impact of Manga and Anime»

Manga and anime are two of the most recognizable japanese terms in the world. Here it is explained why.

Episode 1

Of all the unique art forms Japan has given to global pop culture, perhaps the most instantly recognizable is manga, and its “moving image” counterpart, anime. Characters like Astro Boy, Speed Racer, and Sailor Moon have become as ubiquitous as Mickey Mouse, adorning backpacks, toys, and lunchboxes worldwide. The pioneering cyberpunk visions of “Akira” and “Ghost in the Shell” shaped global science fiction, and past Academy Awards for anime director Hayao Miyazaki show that “cartoons” can be embraced as “high art”. JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles hosted «This is Manga», the first North American exhibition of the influential manga artist Naoki Urasawa, which drew wide audiences and fans from students to major Hollywood directors. So how did manga evolve into an international phenomenon?

To clarify terms, “manga” is the umbrella term for comics, cartoons, and animation. It’s comprised of two kanji: (漫) “man” for “whimsical or impromptu” and (画) “ga” for “pictures”. But today and especially outside of Japan, “manga” is used specifically for printed comic books, while “anime” refers to animated motion pictures – be those film, TV, or web videos. Often, popular manga are adapted into anime or launched in parallel as a comprehensive franchise, so the terms are sometimes used interchangeably.

Many scholars trace manga’s roots back through Japanese art history, such as 12th century scroll painting (“emaki”), which told stories in a right-to-left sequential tableau, and 18th century “ukiyo-e” woodblock prints, which were mass-produced for the public and combined illustration and text for dynamic effect. The book “Shiji no Yukikai (Four Seasons)”, published in 1798, was the first to use the term manga, and by the late 1800s, there were several comic magazines in circulation. A major turning point came with the US Army’s occupation of Japan starting in 1945, which introduced American comics and cartoons. Japan’s post-War youth generation absorbed and adapted these influences, among them Osamu Tezuka, now known as the “godfather” of manga, who premiered his character “Astro Boy” in 1951. Often compared to Walt Disney, Tezuka helped to shape the industry through his prolific output and stylistic innovations that soon became standard, like wide-eyed characters and cinematic visual techniques. Early on, he directly adapted the Disney animated films “Bambi” (1951) and “Pinocchio” (1952) to manga form. Later, in manga and anime, he created everything from light-hearted children’s fare to treatments of more adult, ambitious themes, such as his 14-volume life of the Buddha (“Buddha”, serialized from 1972-1983).

Tezuka’s range reveals the diverse audiences that the manga publishing industry developed to serve. Most manga works are first published in serialized form in anthology magazines that are aimed at specific demographics. “Kodomomuke” refers to manga for young children, but as they age up, the audience splits, with “shonen” manga targeting boys under the age of 15 while “shojo” targets their female counterparts. In the older cohort, “seinen” are aimed at adult male readers and “josei” for adult women. Each of these categories contains a spectrum of storylines and genres, from action-adventure, to romance, to mystery and comedy. And it’s worth noting that though still a male-dominated field, some of the most popular manga of all time were created by female “manga-ka” (manga artists), like Naoko Takeuchi (Sailor Moon), and Hiromu Arakawa (Full Metal Alchemist).

Over the decades, the manga industry has been at once commercialized, concerned with reliable profits, and experimental, supporting wildly original visions. Since the late 1950s, the term “gekiga” has been used to describe darker, more complex or literary tales – similar to the Western distinction of “graphic novels” that are more niche than “comics”. Yoshihiro Tatsumi was an early luminary of this sub-genre, penning gritty, impressionistic stories of Tokyo’s underbelly and everyday alienation, and opening a pathway for other auteur visions.

Naoki Urasawa, born in Tokyo in 1960, is one of the most prolific and critically acclaimed manga artists working today. He has been called “the next Tezuka” for his impact on the industry and innovative storytelling over nearly 40 years. With one foot in the dark naturalism of “gekiga”, but another in sci-fi and fantasy, his sprawling works like “Monster” and “20th Century Boys” have been best-sellers at home and abroad. His series “Pluto”, a moody murder-mystery inspired by Tezuka’s “Astro Boy” (one of Urasawa’s earliest influences as an artist), was not only adapted for anime, but also as a theatrical stage production which has toured internationally. The exhibition at JAPAN HOUSE Los Angeles displayed more than 400 of Urasawa’s original drawings and storyboards – a rare view into the artist’s creative process. His diverse fans include the Academy Award-winning film director Guillermo del Toro, who has long described his dream project to adapt “Monster” to the screen, and who enthusiastically posted about the exhibition on social media.

Manga’s global fanbase has expanded since the 1990s, often introduced first by the imported subtitled anime versions of beloved series like Dragon Ball Z, Death Note, Sailor Moon, and of course, Pokemon. Original feature-length anime like the Studio Ghibli films also paved the way to mainstream popularity, and new companies like Tokyo Pop (founded in 1997) and CrunchyRoll (2006) sprung up to translate and distribute works for non-Japanese audiences. Today, the international spread of aspects of manga culture like toys, video games, cosplay, and its echoes across art, music, and fashion, show that manga might just be getting started.

When asked to define the medium that he helped create, Osamu Tezuka said: “Manga is virtual. Manga is sentiment. Manga is resistance. Manga is bizarre. Manga is pathos. Manga is destruction. Manga is arrogance. Manga is love. Manga is kitsch. Manga is sense of wonder. Manga is … there is no conclusion yet.”

To start learning about the wide, colorful world of manga and anime, stop by the JAPAN HOUSE Library to check out selected volumes from pioneering artists like Naoki Urasawa and Osamu Tezuka.


We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. What is your opinion about manga?
  2. According to the articles, some manga characters like Astro Boy or Sailor Moon are as widespread as Mickey Mouse. Do you agree?
  3. What would you rather, manga or anime?
  4. What is your favourite manga? Tell us about it.
  5. Would you say watching anime is a good way to learn Japanese?


Here we leave you some vocabulary you can use during the talk:

  • Storyline: A plot.
  • Animator: A person who animates drawings or cartoons.
  • Acting skills: Abilities as an actor.
  • Script: The written words of a series, films, animations, etc.
  • Worldwide: Very popular
  • Audience: The public
  • To work sb’s fingers to the bone: To work very much
  • To be fond of sth: Having a liking for something for a long time

Topic 7: Free topic

Do you find these topics boring or uninteresting? Don’t worry. Dilo gives you the oportunity to choose your own topic for a conversation class. Think about some vocabulary you would like to learn related to your topic and send us some information about it with the subject «Free topic». We are sure you’ll have great ideas! 😁