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Do you want to practise your reading and learn about global issues, special days and festivals?

In this section, read articles about a wide variety of topics. The articles are written for intermediate (CEFR level B1) and upper intermediate (CEFR level B2) learners.

You will improve your reading comprehension and develop your vocabulary on a diverse range of international events, celebrations and topics. Each article has interactive exercises to help you understand and use the language.

Choose a topic

12 Nov 2019

December 2 is the United Nation's International Day for the Abolition of Slavery. Did you know that slavery still exists today and is probably much closer to you than you realise?

12 Nov 2019

Every year in November, people look for bargains on Black Friday. But did you know that the same day is also Buy Nothing Day?

11 Nov 2019

Every autumn, Canadian and American families gather for a day centred around community, food and giving thanks – the day of Thanksgiving. Where did this holiday come from and how is it...

11 Nov 2019

Children all around the world need adults to help them, to protect them and to teach them their rights. Do you know what the Rights of the Child are? Every year, 20 November is Universal...

05 Nov 2019

World Kindness Day is celebrated on 13 November. How can we become happier by doing kind things for others? And how can we help the world by doing kind things for ourselves?

30 Oct 2019

If you’re ever in the UK on the evening of 5 November, you might wonder why you can hear fireworks. Bonfire Night is celebrated all over the country, but what is it about? Find out about...

25 Oct 2019

Vegans argue that animal farming is not only cruel but also bad for the environment. World Vegan Day, on 1 November, puts the focus on the vegan way of life.

17 Oct 2019

October 31 is Halloween and is now celebrated in many countries around the world, but do you know anything about the origins of this scary special day? Read the article and find out.

17 Oct 2019

Diwali is a festival of light which originated in South Asia and is celebrated over five days. The dates change every year, but it is always celebrated in October or November and is now...

02 Oct 2019

World Mental Health Day, on 10 October, is a day to raise awareness of the effects mental illness has on millions of people’s lives across the world, and to help educate and inform us...

29 Sep 2019

October 5 is World Teachers' Day. Find out which famous people want to say thank you to their school teachers for their success.

03 Sep 2019

‘Mindfulness’ is a word we hear a lot these days, but what exactly does it mean? Find out what it is, what the benefits of mindfulness are and how you can start to practise it.

01 Sep 2019

Knowing how to read and write is a very important factor in most people’s lives. But some people never learn these skills. How can we make sure that everybody gets the opportunity to...

10 Aug 2019

What risks do people face when they are in countries at war? And why are humanitarian workers a target for attacks? The UN's World Humanitarian Day puts the focus on these important...

28 Jul 2019

The International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples on 9 August is a day to promote indigenous peoples' rights and celebrate indigenous communities, from the Inuit in the Arctic...

23 Jul 2019

July 30 is the United Nations International Day of Friendship. Read about the importance of friendship and find out why the UN decided to give it a special day.

19 Jul 2019

The horrific crime of human trafficking may be closer to you than you realise. Read more about the UN's World Day against Trafficking in Persons.

01 Jul 2019

Did you know that there's a World Emoji Day? Well, there is ... and it's on July 17! ...

26 Jun 2019

What do you know about chocolate? Learn about the history of chocolate and the interesting journey from cocoa bean to chocolate bar.

12 Jun 2019

Yoga is becoming more and more popular around the world. What exactly is it, where did it come from and what are the health benefits of doing yoga?

10 Jun 2019

Did you know that every minute of the day 20 people leave their homes to escape war or terror? World Refugee Day is a day when we can support and celebrate the strength and courage of...

30 May 2019

World Oceans Day is a day to think about the extremely important role that the oceans play in all our lives, the dangers that are facing our oceans and the actions we can take to protect...

24 May 2019

On World Environment Day people from countries all around the world come together to take action to defend our planet. Find out about some of the things people are doing to celebrate...

Magazine – The Eurovision song contest
21 May 2019

Many Europeans see the Eurovision Song Contest as the best show on Earth. And now, the rest of the world is starting to discover it too. What is so special about this annual song...

26 Apr 2019

Ramadan is a holy month for Muslims. What happens during Ramadan and what does it mean to millions of Muslims worldwide?

15 Apr 2019

English Language Day is celebrated on 23 April. Read about where English came from, how it came to be spoken all over the world and how it is changing.

12 Apr 2019

Tea is the world's second most popular drink (after water!). In the UK, you can even celebrate drinking it on 21 April.

25 Mar 2019

April Fool's Day is a special day for jokes and tricks in many countries. Read this article to find out all about it.

15 Mar 2019

World Water Day, 22 March, draws attention to the essential role of water in our lives, the difficulties people face in getting it and solutions to these problems.

14 Mar 2019

Holi is sometimes called the festival of colours. Find out more about this very special springtime festival in this article.

13 Mar 2019

Nowruz is an important festival in Iran, Central Asia and beyond. Read on to find out how people celebrate the Persian New Year.

12 Mar 2019

There's more behind the International Day of Happiness than you might think. Find out more by reading the article and answering the questions.

11 Mar 2019

Get ready for green lights, green hats, even green beer! Saint Patrick's Day is on 17 March. Why is Ireland's national day such a worldwide party?

01 Mar 2019

March 8 is International Women's Day, but the global campaigns for equal rights for women continue all year round. Read more about #IWD in this article.

25 Feb 2019

Pancake Day is on a different date every year and is a celebration unique to the UK. Read the text and find out why British people celebrate with pancakes.

20 Feb 2019

Carnival is an annual festival celebrated in many different ways in many countries around the world. Some of the world's most famous carnivals are held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, New...

15 Feb 2019

One of the world's most important inventions was 'born' in March 1989 and is celebrating its 30th birthday. Read the article to find out what it is.

14 Feb 2019

There are about 6,500 languages in the world, but did you know that a language disappears and dies every two weeks? International Mother Language Day, on 21 February, is a day to...

08 Feb 2019

Valentine's Day is celebrated in many countries, but what are the differences between today's celebration and in the past? Read the text to find out some curious facts about the most...

04 Feb 2019

February 11 is International Day of Women and Girls in Science. We explore some of the reasons why there are fewer girls and women interested in working in science, technology,...

28 Jan 2019

Were you born in the year of the Dog, the Monkey or maybe the Rooster? Read on to find out more about Lunar New Year and how it is celebrated in some places in Asia.

11 Jan 2019

On Safer Internet Day let's take a closer look at who uses our online data, what it's used for and what we can do to protect it.

17 Dec 2018

On the night of 31 December and the morning of 1 January, people in many countries all over the world will celebrate the beginning of a new year. How will they celebrate and how did this...

10 Dec 2018

It's the time of year for Santa Claus, fairy lights and all the best pop songs. What are the essential elements of Christmas in the UK?

26 Nov 2018

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival that is celebrated for eight days, usually in December. It is also called the Festival of Lights. Find out why and learn about what people do to celebrate...

01 Nov 2018

The First World War ended on 11 November 1918. One hundred years later, it's time to remember the events of those dark days. How much do you know about this terrible but fascinating...