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English Detective 13, Social Entrepreneurs: Using Business to Fight Poverty. May 21, 2013
May 21, 2013

Introducing this issue:

In his issue, you can read and listen to two very interesting discussions about how businesses can help make the world better while still paying the bills. The Voice of America has a discussion of Ashoka, an organization that encourages people to develop new organizations and businesses that can make a difference. Then there is a TED talk by Iqbal Quadir about how cell phones are fighting poverty in Bangladesh.

You can practice this week’s vocabulary (as well as review some earlier words) with a crossword puzzle and a page of vocabulary exercises. The crossword, “Promote the General Welfare” (a phrase from the U.S. Constitution) also gives practice with related vocabulary from next week.

There are two kinds of vocabulary exercises: fill-ins using paragraphs about various types of organizations, and “Odd One Out,” a synonym game.

The issue finishes with a word family investigation: subsidiary, subsidy, and subsidize.

Your First Clue: Vocabulary we’ll Emphasize in this Issue

apparently, authority, civil, contrast, files, flexibility, founded, guidelines, incompatible, infrastructure, instance, institution, invest, parameter, practitioner, principal, purchase, removed, sex, solely, somewhat, sphere, subsidiary, welfare.

Which words do you already know? Which are familiar, but you’d like to know more about them? Which are completely new?

Notice how they are used in the readings and practice activities. Then try to use some of them yourself, in a sentence or two.

Getting the whole story: this issue’s reading/listening practice:

Click here for a discussion on social entrepreneurs.

Here's a TED talk on how cell phones are fighting poverty.

Follow the Clues (Vocabulary Practice):

Click here(or right-click to download) for the crossword. The answers are here.

Here's more practice with this issue’s vocabulary.

Word Family Investigator:subsidiary

This word family has several related words: subsidiary, n. or adj.; subsidy, n.; subsidize, v.; subsidized, adj. (The American form is subsidize/d; in the U.K. the verb is spelled subsidise and the adjective is subsidised.)

These words came into English from French, but originated with the Latin ‘sub’ (under) + ‘sedere’ (to sit-- also used in the English word ‘sedentary.’) They formed the Latin words ‘subsidium’- aid or help, and ‘subsidiarius’-- to assist.

Examples of their use:

A subsidiary is most often a company controlled by another (parent) company. Often multi-national corporations will have subsidiaries in the different countries in which they do business. Subsidiaries may have similar structures and purposes or may be completely different types of businesses. For example, they may provide a product or service the parent company needs and therefore wants to control (to ensure availability and to limit price increases.)

In the U.S. the government subsidizes student loans. There are also rent subsidies for poor families in areas with high housing costs. Often there are long waiting lists to get into subsidized apartments.

Coming in the next issue: Working toward a World without Hunger.

In case you missed these: Earlier issues of English Detective have articles on a number of topics, plus practice with over 200 words from the Academic Word List. You can check them out with the link to the back issues page below (or find what words were practiced each issue here.

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