Dexway English Magazine: A1 – Edition 6

TAX on E-books

TAXING

Reading books is very important when you are learning a foreign language. There is no value added tax (VAT) on paper books. This is because books are educational and they help to develop culture. But it is necessary to cut down trees for the paper and we use ink to print them. Transport systems, trains, lorries, and ships are needed plus fuel to get books from the factories to the shops and to export them, so they are not very environmentally friendly.

Electronic books, or eBooks, are educational as well, and they dramatically reduce the effect on the environment, but consumers in the UK still have to pay VAT on eBooks. Is it fair? Digital books are becoming more and more popular and there is an official petition to stop VAT being added to eBooks.

Business meetings

MEET AND GREET

When two companies are selling a similar product are called competitors. Different companies like to do things in different ways. Even if two companies are from the same country and they are competitors, they often have different company policies.

An example of this is the way organizations hold business meetings. There is no right or wrong way to have a business meeting. If it is an external meeting and you are meeting a client or a business partner from another country, then it is a good idea to learn about their business customs. It is important to know if it is normal to give a gift or not. We always want to make a good impression.

If it is an internal meeting with your colleagues and your boss, then it is helpful to prepare some notes. It is also useful to know what business meetings are like in your company. If you are new in your company maybe you could ask one of your colleagues what a typical business meeting is like.

Honey Bees

Honey is delicious. For thousands of years people have loved its sweet and intense flavour, but bees do not just make honey. Bees are responsible for pollinating millions of plants around the world and around 30% of the crops that we humans eat. If there is a reduction in the number of bees there will be a reduction in the amount of edible food produced around the world.

Populations of bees are going down. Since 2006, many beekeepers have reported that their beehives are dying for no reason. There are various theories for the decline in bee numbers: parasites, viruses, climate change and loss of habitat, but research being carried out by scientists shows that pesticides might have an effect on bee populations.

Neonicotinoids are pesticides that kill insects but do not kill mammals. The companies that produce pesticides know that bees are important and they have to test all chemicals to make sure that friendly, useful insects are not killed. The research shows that non-lethal levels of the pesticides can harm bees because they reproduce more slowly and less effectively, they do not produce as many queens, which are needed for new colonies, and they lose their homing sense.

France, Germany and Slovenia have already restricted the use of neonicotinoids because of the results of the investigations on bees.

Canada

Canada is an English and French speaking country so it is a great place to holiday for people learning English or French and wishing to practice their skills. There are approximately 34 million people in the country and is almost the size of Europe. There are lots of amazing things to do in Canada. The scenery in the countryside is absolutely breath-taking. In the winter, you can enjoy ice skating, hockey, skiing and snowmobiling. In the summer, you can go trekking, walking, mountain biking, swimming, go to the beach and go nature spotting. In the autumn it is very beautiful because all the trees leaves change from green to red, orange and yellow.

A few points of interest include: Banff National Park, Niagara Falls, the Rocky Mountains and a large theme park Canada´s Wonderland. Apart from the beautiful scenery and extreme sports adventures available in Canada, there is a fantastic gastronomic tradition. The steak in Canada mainly from the province of Alberta is some of the best in the world. To get amazing seafood, including a large Atlantic lobster, visit the east coast in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island. The province of Quebec is mainly French and offers many purely Canadian delights like Poutine (French fries with brown gravy and cheese curds) and, of course, our most famous export, Maple Syrup!

Many famous Canadians have become international stars including actors Keanu Reeves, Jim Carrey, Pamela Anderson, musicians Avril Lavigne, Justin Bieber, Bryan Adams and director James Cameron.

As the national motto says, “Keep exploring!”

THE AMERICAN FLAG

THE STARS AND STRIPES

The national flag of the United States of America has 13 (thirteen) equal horizontal red and white stripes and a blue rectangle with 50 (fifty) white stars to represent all 50 states. The 13 stripes represent the 13 colonies that claimed independence from Great Britain. The United States became a country in 1776. The flag is nicknamed (also called) Stars and Stripes, Old Glory and The Star-Spangled banner. The modern meaning of the flag was formed in December 1890, before this, it was just used as a military symbol or to mark American forts, embassies, ships and land.

Today the flag is a common theme on clothes, flags hang outside people´s houses, on car bumper stickers, and on flag poles outside major shopping malls and stores. There is a lot of debate over who designed the first flag. There are strict rules on how it should be flown, folded, and used. But whoever designed it, it has become a symbol of Americanism and is more than just a flag for the American people; it is a set of ideals, pride and dreams.

What does your country´s flag represent?

The Food chain

HERBIVORES, CARNIVORES, OMNIVORES

When biologists talk about food chains they are talking about the link or connection between living creatures and their source of food.

Everything belongs to food chain. Some animals are at the top of the chain and things such as green plants are the bottom.

The good chain is divided into producers such as plants, and consumers, the animals. They are called producers as they produce their own food using sunlight, and the consumers are animals that eat the plants.

Some animals are Herbivores, which means they only eat plants. Herbivores include rabbits, mice and cows.

The food change also has Carnivores, and these animals eat only meat. Examples of Carnivores are wolves and lions.

There are also Omnivore, which eat both meat and plants. Examples of omnivore include humans.

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