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Improve your Speaking online Episode 3, Introduction:

This week we bring new current topics in Episode 3 so you can improve your online speaking from home.


Topic 1: Economy 💰

«Spain reports biggest monthly drop in unemployment on record»

The rate of unemployment in Spain descends in August.

Episode 3

Keeping women safe: Self defense classes and firearm courses available and necessary

Every day women fear for their life whether they are in a life-threatening altercation or not.

A mugging, home-invasion, potential assault or domestic violence event are only a speck of the situations where self defense training could come into play as a weapon.

«More of my self defense is going to the range,» said Talina Massey, information technology administrator at Brain Tap Technologies, Marine veteran and involved leader/activist in the New Bern surrounding area. «I actually am a concealed carry owner.»

Close to half, 42.2%, of females own firearms in the nation, according to the 2021 National Firearms Survey. A switch from the male-dominated ownership of guns.

More women are also interested or taking self defense classes for several reasons, which sometimes are not even from personal experiences.

«I do have more women taking self defense classes,» said Nicholas Walters, owner of Walters Jiu Jitsu who teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and self defense. «I have some that do it for anxiety and others for better awareness and to learn how to defend themselves if issues do arise.»

More: Minority, women-owned businesses apply for emergency pandemic relief

More: Parade, festival now a go for New Bern’s largest-ever Juneteenth celebration

More: 52 Faces of Community: Talina Massey

Massey said she goes to the shooting range because not only is it her right to bear arms, but with being known for community activism, not everyone agrees with her beliefs.

«It’s scary nowadays to even share your ideals whether it’s politics or religion with people,» she said. «You just don’t know how people are going to react or how they’re going to judge you.»

Massey said people who are involved in the same interest as her receive threats online which sometimes escalate to death threats.

«You feel like a target when you’re in your community or you’re advocating for something that you believe in, which you shouldn’t feel that way,» she said. «You have to protect yourself and you have to be prepared for almost every instance.»

Often times, Massey goes to people’s homes or businesses for work when it is dark and she does not feel comforted, especially being a female.

«I no longer feel safe just by myself as a woman to go do a consultation,» Massey said. «First because of COVID, but second because of the looks, the stares, the sundown town (all-white community) atmosphere that I feel when I’m there.»

Walters said he’s seen a huge increase in women interested in self-defense classes after COVID first broke out. He has about 10 females that train with him on a regular basis and up to four new students a week.

Why do women feel unsafe?

Massey said there are three common stories women come to her about when asking for advice about taking a form of self defense.

The first is political affiliation. People in the public eye are sometimes scared to express how they feel openly without having a target on their backs.

Second, is bullying, specifically cyberbullying. Though this is a not a situation where physical defense has to be used, if they see the person in public, some sort of negative exchange will happen, Massey said.

Last, domestic violence. Often times women could be in a situation with their parent or significant other at home and not feel safe.

«COVID definitely has exacerbated some of those problems,» Massey said. «Especially with us staying home more often. I never felt the need to feel more secure… than I have right now.»

What is taught in self-defense classes?

Walters said self defense classes with jiu-jitsu incorporated are better for smaller, weaker people to take advantage.

«We do sparring (fighting) after every class and it’s always great to see the smaller person or females escape bigger, stronger men,» he said. «Something that is actually helping and benefiting them in real-life situations.»

Women also learn how to get out of a situation if someone is in their guard, or may be wrapped around their leg. They even have to get out of movements where someone is on top of them and try to escape.

«A lot of the self defense I do is private lessons and we do a lot of stand ups,» Walter said. «Say someone tries to grab you from behind, we have the female make themselves heavy and try to escape from that.»

Massey and Walters both agree that feeling more secure by taking some form of self defense is good for people mentally.

«I think everybody should take self defense classes,» Walters said. «It’s better awareness of their body and mind and helps them in day to day life situations.»

«It (feeling secure) is definitely a slice of our mental health pie,» Massey said. «The more secure we feel to go about our day and live out our freedoms that we feel we have on being American citizens, I think that definitely leads to a peace of mind.»



We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. Do you think everyone should learn self-defense?
  2. Would you say that self defense is equally important for men and women?
  3. Do you sometimes feel unsafe, too? Why?
  4. Let’s say somebody is teasing you. Would you confront that person or would you ignore him/her?
  5. And now imagine you are an expert on self-defense and a person with a knive wants to steal your wallet. Would you risk your life for your wallet?


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

  • To advocate: To promote an idea.
  • To ravish: To have forced sex.
  • To flee: To escape.
  • Hold: A wrestling technique to immobilize your oponent.
  • Mugging: A robbery.
  • Hot-headed: A person who gets angry easily.
  • To exacerbate: To make things worse
  • To turn a blind eye to sth: To pretend something bad has not happened.

Topic 2: Series and Films 🎬

«The Moment The Simpsons Became The Best Show On TV»

Here are some of the episodes that made The Simpsons shine.


We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. Comment your opinion about the episodes mentioned in the video.
  2. What is your favourite episode?
  3. The Simpsons has a lot of funny moments; describe some of your favourites.
  4. Have you seen The Simpsons movie? How was the experience?
  5. Do you think the simpsons are currently as good as before? Why?


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

  • Issue: Problem.
  • White humour: A type of humour that doesn’t contain any type of negative connotations.
  • Underrated: To evaluate something too low.
  • Inherently: Innately.
  • Top (adj): Very good.
  • Dull: Boring.
  • Punch line: The part of a sentence that ends a joke or a funny story.
  • To chill out: To do something relaxing after a period of hard work.

Topic 3: Natural disasters 🔥

«La Palma volcano brings both destruction and renewal to the island»

A volcanologist analyzes the pros and the cons of the eruption of La Palma Volcano.

We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. How did you react when you heard about the eruption?
  2. Have you ever considered hiring an insurance against natural disasters? And now?
  3. Have you ever experienced a natural disaster? Tell us how you reacted or would react.
  4. Let’s say a volcanologist explains to you that eruptions are vital, too. What would you answer?
  5. How do you think the volcano issue will end up?


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

  • To spew: To eject violently.
  • Ashes: Cinders from fire.
  • To trigger: to provoke.
  • Earthquake: A seismic tremor.
  • Coverage: Protection against a risk listed in an insurance policy.
  • Nuts (adj): A crazy person.
  • To weep: To cry.
  • To send your best: To give positive wishes to sb.

Topic 4: Games 🎮

Xbox Head Phil Spencer Reaffirms that Xbox Game Pass is «very, very sustainable»

Phil Spencer wants you to know that Game Pass is doing just fine, and is still growing.

Episode 3

Xbox Head Phil Spencer Reaffirms That Xbox Game Pass Is «Very, Very Sustainable»

Xbox Head Phil Spencer has once again reaffirmed that Game Pass is «very, very sustainable», claiming that the company isn’t «burning cash right now for some future pot of gold.» Speaking to journalist Stephen Totilo from Axios, Spencer makes it absolutely clear that the current Game Pass model is working just fine and that the service is continuing to grow:

«Game Pass is doing very well from a business perspective and a creative and engagement perspective, so it continues to be, I think, a real differentiator for our platform and enabler for creators and players…» explains Spencer. » It’s not the only focus of the organization, and it, as a standalone thing, is very sustainable as it sits today, like just today.»

The argument that Game Pass can’t possibly be sustainable is a popular argument, pushed forward by skeptics such as former Sony Interactive Entertainment America CEO Shawn Layden. In an interview with gamesindustry.biz earlier this year, Layden claimed that Xbox would need a ludicrous amount of subscribers for the service to be sustainable due to the rising cost of video game development.

However, high-profile companies such as Microsoft and even Epic Games have seen success with customer-friendly subscription models and giveaways, suggesting that short-term losses can lead to long-term gains. Companies like Microsoft and Epic already have a level of success that allows them to spend vast sums of money on long-term projects, allowing them to experiment with seemingly unsustainable business models relatively risk-free.

It’s also worth taking into account that Xbox Game Pass is over four years old now. The service was undoubtedly unsustainable back when it first launched, but consistent growth and increased popularity in the Xbox brand has made Game Pass much more appealing over time, to the point where Phil Spencer is now claiming the service is completely sustainable «as a standalone thing.»

It’s likely that Game Pass will continue to grow, especially with big titles such as Forza Horizon 5 and Halo Infinite coming to the service on the day of release. With even bigger titles such as Starfield, The Elder Scrolls 6, and Fable in the pipeline, it’s clear that the Game Pass model is working and will continue to push the case for a subscription-based future for years to come.


We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. Is Xbox Game Pass the future of gaming?
  2. Are you a console player or a PC player? Why?
  3. If you have ever subscribed to Xbox Game Pass, what is your favourite game from the list? Why?
  4. Do you think it is worth to pay a Xbox Game Pass subscription rather than buying a single videogame?
  5. In your opinion, will other companies such as Steam or Epic Games get a similar product?


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

  • A pot of gold: something impossible to get or achieve.
  • Customer-friendly: a mindset where you care about your customers. and view them as the most important people in your business.
  • Appealing: atractive, of interest.
  • Standalone: independent or separate computer program.
  • In the pipeline: being developed.
  • Gaming: the action or practice of playing computer games.
  • Subscription-based: used to describe a website or television station that customers pay to use.
  • Ahead of the game: to have an advantage over a situation.

Topic 5: Motor ⛽

«Why some electric car owners return to gas – the reasons aren’t surprising»

A study has looked into why about 18% of electric car owners go back to gas-powered vehicles.


A study has looked into why about 18% of electric car owners go back to gas-powered vehicles.

The reasons are mostly exactly what we expected.

University of California Davis researchers surveyed just over 4,000 households who own or owned electric vehicles in California and found that about 20% of plug-in hybrid owners and 18% of all-electric vehicle owners end up going back to gasoline-powered vehicles.

This number will be surprising to some, but the focus of the study was the reasons that led them to switch back to gas, and when you look into those, they are not really surprising.

Researchers Scott Hardman and Gil Tal wrote in the study posted in the Nature Energy journal:

“Here, on the basis of results from five questionnaire surveys, we find that PEV discontinuance in California occurs at a rate of 20% for plug-in hybrid electric vehicle owners and 18% for battery electric vehicle owners. We show that discontinuance is related to dissatisfaction with the convenience of charging, having other vehicles in the household that are less efficient, not having level 2 (240-volt) charging at home, having fewer household vehicles and not being male.”

Therefore, loyalty is higher to battery-electric vehicles than plug-in hybrids, which is not too surprising considering plug-ins have been seen as a compromising technology to help the transition to all-electric.

The main problem appears to be access to level 2 charging at home, which is the most obvious reason and a problem that the industry has been trying to address.

Arguably the biggest consumer advantage to all-electric vehicles for consumers is the potential of always having “a full tank” overnight without having to go to the gas station.

If you can’t charge at home for whatever reason, like not having a parking spot or no parking with access to charging, which is often the case for apartment dwellers, it really hinders the EV ownership experience.

Those EV owners have to rely on public charging stations, which is not as smooth of an experience, but charging networks are trying to add more capacity in urban areas to address the issue.

The most surprising factor that appears to influence going back to gas is that women EV owners go back at a higher rate than men.

But that may also play a role in the kinds of electric vehicles people are buying.

The study found that people buying Tesla vehicles are the least likely EV owners to go back to gas, while Fiat 500e buyers are much more likely to go back to gas.

That’s not surprising when you look at how the former compares to gas-powered cars in its segments in comparison to the 500e in its own segment.


We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. Would you like to own an electric or a petrol car? Why?
  2. Would you consider a plug-in hybrid or a pure electric car? Why or why not?
  3. Do you think it is profitable an electric car nowadays?
    What are the main problems about plug-in hybrid or pure electric cars today?
  4. Where do you think pure electric cars are worthwile? Why?


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

  • Households: people or homes.
  • Gas (US) – petrol (UK): vehicle fuel.
  • Apartment dwellers: people who live in flats.
  • Charging point: the location where electric vehicles can be plugged in and charged.
  • Range: the distance you can travel on pure electric power before the battery requires a recharge.
  • Zero-emission vehicle: a vehicle that does not emit exhaust gas or other pollutants from the onboard source of power.
  • A plug-in vehicle: any road vehicle that can be recharged from an external source of electricity.
  • Down the road: in the future.

Topic 6: Lottery 💶

«The Spanish Christmas lottery»

Murcia Today describes one of the most famous raffles in Spain.


We will focus the conversation on the following questions:

  1. Do you like the Spanish Christmas lottery? Why or why not?
    Winnings above 2,500 € have to pay 20% tax.
  2. What is your opinion on that?
  3. Do you like watching the Christmas lottery commercials? If you do, what is your favourite? Why?
  4. Do you like watching the Christmas lottery raffle on TV? Why or why not?
  5. If you were to win the first prize, what would you spend it on?


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

  • The Fat One: The first prize of the Spanish Christmas lottery.
  • Raffle (noun): An activity in which people buy tickets with different numbers that are chosen to win prizes.
  • Tax: A sum of money paid to a government.
  • Charmed: Lucky.
  • Whim: Something you buy and don’t really need.
  • Faith: Trust in a person or thing.
  • To gamble: To play at a game of chance for money.
  • To break the bank: When a product is too expensive, we say it breaks the bank.

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 your ideas will be very good 😁