April 29, 2016 08:05 UTC

  • US Lawmaker: More Operations in South China Sea

    The Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee spoke this week. He says the freedom of navigation operations in the South China Sea have not kept China from its building efforts in the disputed ocean territory.


About Level Two

 

Level Two articles are meant for intermediate learners of American English.

 

Stories are often more than 500 words in length. Stories may include audio from newsmakers.

 

Some may use more complex sentences or language. There may be a quiz to test your understanding.

 

New words are explained in the Words in This Story area at the bottom of the article. 

 

 

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English in a Minute

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English in a Minute: Keep Your Eye on the Balli
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04/23/2016
A lot of idioms in American English come from sports. "Keep your eye on the ball" comes from baseball, but we can use this expression for many situations.
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Video English in a Minute: Keep Your Eye on the Ball

A lot of idioms in American English come from sports. "Keep your eye on the ball" comes from baseball, but we can use this expression for many situations.
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Video English in a Minute: Bucket List

What is on your "bucket list?" Find out what this term means in this week's English in a Minute!
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Video English in a Minute: Deer in the Headlights

Have you ever felt like a "deer in the headlights?" Find out what this surprising expression means in this week's English in a Minute!
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Video English in a Minute: That Ship Has Sailed

If someone says to you, "that ship has sailed," it might mean you have missed out on an opportunity. Learn how to use this expression in this week's English in a Minute!
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Video English in a Minute: A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Why would Anna and Jonathan be talking about the fashion choices of a wolf? Watch this week's English in a Minute to find out what it means if someone is "a wolf in sheep's clothing!"
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Video English in a Minute: Best of Both Worlds

We always hope for the best possible result or outcome. But what is the 'best' way to use this expression? Find out in this week's English in a Minute!
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Video English in a Minute: Get Roped Into

Is it a good thing or a bad thing to "get roped into" something? Find out in this week's English in a Minute!
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Video English in a Minute: Throw the Baby Out with the Bathwater

This expression sounds unsettling. But....are Anna and Jonathan really talking about throwing out a baby? Let's find out!
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Video English in a Minute: Living Under a Rock

You might have missed something if someone asks you if you have been "living under a rock!" Find out what this expression means in this week's English in a Minute!
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Video English in a Minute: Wiggle Room

To "wiggle" means to move up and down or from side to side with short, quick motions. But, what could "wiggle room" possibly mean? Find out in this week's English in a Minute!
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Video English in a Minute: Fly Under the Radar

This saying has to do with avoiding attention. But, how could "flying" under something help you avoid attention? Let Anna, Jonathan, and Ashley explain this week's English in a Minute expression!
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Video English in a Minute: Fall Through the Cracks

Falling is no fun. You can get hurt. "Falling through the cracks" sounds even worse. But, what does this expression really mean? Find out in this week's English in a Minute!
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Video English in a Minute: Head Over Heels

Have you ever been "head over heels" for someone? Find out what this dizzying expression means in this week's English in a Minute!
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Video English in a Minute: In the Spotlight

Some American English expressions like to be at the center of attention! What do you think "in the spotlight" means? Watch this week's English in a Minute to find out!
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Video English in a Minute: Face the Music

Playing music, or just listening to music, is a fun activity. But, "facing the music" can often be unpleasant. Learn how to use this expression in this week's English in a Minute!

English @ the Movies

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English @ the Movies: 'Make It Count'i
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04/22/2016
The movie "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II" is the last in The Hunger Games series. This week's English @ the Movies phrase is "make it count." Are they talking about counting, like in a math class? Listen and find out.
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Video English @ the Movies: 'Make It Count'

The movie "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II" is the last in The Hunger Games series. This week's English @ the Movies phrase is "make it count." Are they talking about counting, like in a math class? Listen and find out.
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Video English @ the Movies: 'Sounds Screwy'

The movie "Hail Caesar!" is funny one about Hollywood in the 1950s. Trouble stars when a movie star disappears. Our English @ the Movies phrase we are talking about is "sounds screwy." Want to know what that means? Listen and find out.
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Video English @ the Movies: 'So Long'

Our English @ the Movies phrase is from the movie "The Secret Life of Pets." This is a funny cartoon movie about pets and what they do when their owners leave. The phrase is "so long." Does this have anything to do with measuring? Listen and find out.
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Video English @ the Movies: 'Pick A Fight'

"Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice" is about two action super-heroes. Batman and Superman end up in a fight. Our English @ the Movies phrase we are talking about is "pick a fight." What do you think that means? Listen and find out.
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Video English @ the Movies: 'Waste Of Time'

"Youth" is a movie not about the young, but about getting old. Our English @ the Movies phrase from this funny movie is "waste of time." Listen and find out what it means.

Health & Lifestyle

Why It's Harder to Sleep in a New Place

It is well know many people have a hard time sleeping in a new place. Researchers from Brown University think they know why. They said the left part of the brain is more active when people sleep in a new place. They said the brain appears to be keeping watch for possible danger. More

Business

Audio Japan’s Yen Gains in Value against US Dollar

The value of Japan’s money has been increasing on foreign exchange markets and that worries Japanese officials. Japan’s central bank has taken measures aimed at supporting economic growth. But that has caused the Japanese yen to sharply rise in value against foreign currencies. More

Science & Technology

Apps to Help Students Do Their Best Work

Apps can help students get better organized, study for tests and prepare research papers. In other words, they can help the user do his or her very best work. Whether or not you are a student, here are some apps worth considering. More

Entertainment

Maria Sharapova May Get a Second Chance

In March, the World Anti-doping Association suspended a number of athletes from competing in their sports because they tested positive for a drug banned in January. Now, the group says it does not know how long the drug can stay in an athlete’s system and it is reconsidering the suspensions. More

The Day in Photos

Empty shelves are seen after items sold out at a store following a series of earthquakes in Kumamoto, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo.

Empty shelves are seen after items sold out at a store following a series of earthquakes in Kumamoto, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo.

Word of the Day

observe (verb)i
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04/18/2016

observe (verb)

See how well you learned the Word of the Day by taking this short quiz!