Alright, so there is a bit more variety in this week’s “You Should Read More” column!  

First up, I read the February 2023 issue of National Geographic.  A few stories stood out:

  • Why these colorful fish engage in mouth-to-mouth showdowns is a short article about some weird and wonderful fish.  The sarcastic fringefish has a unique way of fighting, but also of avoiding fights with others of its species.  This is an example what I think it called agonistic behavior, which I am 100% sure has been used as type three speaking question.

  • Origami is revolutionizing technology, from medicine to space is the month’s title story.  It is about practical and high-tech uses of techniques inspired by origami.  It isn’t exactly the sort of thing that would appear on the TOEFL, but it is a lengthy academic-level passage that will probably hold your attention.

  • The extraordinary benefits of a house made of mud is about the use of mud in construction.  Mud is actually a traditional building material in parts of Africa.  The article discusses some of its advantages.  There is plenty of good science in here, and I can picture a TOEFL reading passage about this construction material!

Meanwhile, I read the February 27/March 6 issue of Time Magazine.  A couple of things are worth mentioning:

For a recent project I read Did we get the ‘old-age dependency’ of aging countries all wrong?  It’s about the way we think about the productiveness of “old” people in society.  Traditionally, societies have considered those above the age of 65 to be “dependent” on the rest of society, and therefore when those people make up a greater and greater proportion of the overall population, alarm bells are sounded.  But maybe it doesn’t have to be like that.

Finally, I’ve been plugging away at a large textbook called “They Say, I Say.”  It’s a guide to essay writing for freshman students, but also contains a huge number of academic readings meant to stimulate critical thought and written discussion.  I am not quite finished with it, so I think I’ll save it for next month, when I will discuss it both as a source of writing advice and as a source of academic reading material.

Someone posted a recommendation last month.  Don’t worry.  I haven’t forgotten you, and I’m going to hunt around for a copy of the recommended text.  I’m always open to recommendations!

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