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The European Union has voted to end time changes after recent pressure from citizens. In 2018, the European Commission conducted a poll on whether or not to get rid of the time changes twice a year. 84% of the 4.6 million respondents to the poll stated that they were in favour of removing the changes.

In the EU, the clocks are changed to summer time at the end of March and to winter time at the end of October. This has been the case across the EU since 2001. The idea was for markets in the EU to work more smoothly by using the same timezones and for energy costs to be reduced due to the extra daylight. Historically, countries often changed their clocks in the summer and winter for farmers to have more daylight hours in which to work.

However, it has been found that the energy savings are marginal. Also, the timezone changes create problems for EU entities which work with countries outside of the EU, especially ones which don’t change their clocks. Further, there have been studies which have suggested that the clock changes have a negative impact on people’s health. The EU Commission said: “the effect on the human biorhythm may be more severe than previously thought”.

The new permanent time for countries in Europe will be for the individual country to decide. Currently, the EU area has three timezones. GMT, which is used by the UK, Ireland and Portugal. Central European Time (GMT+1), the most used timezone, which is used by 17 EU countries. The last one is Eastern European Time (GMT+2) which is used by eight European countries.

EU leaders have expressed a desire for countries to decide their choice of timezone together. This would reduce the risk of economic disruption caused by mismatched timezones. Countries which choose winter time, also known as standard time, will have their final clock change in October 2021. Meanwhile, countries which choose permanent summer time will have their last time change in March 2021.

Difficult words

Conduct: To organise or carry out.

Respondent: Someone who responds or replies to someone.

Poll: A question that is asked and voted on.

Marginal: Slightly, or small.

Entities: A thing with independent existence, body, being.

Impact: One object coming into contact with another, being affected by it.

Permanent: Something that will not change.

Disruption: A disturbance or interrunption.

Mismatched: Things that do not belong together or are not the same.

Activities

For listening practise, listen to the recorded article here:

British English: Coming Soon!

American English: 

Match the Synonym!

1. Conduct A. Vote
2. Respondent B. Dissimilar
3. Poll C. Effect
4. Marginal D. Interruption
5. Entities E. Replying
6. Impact F. Lasting
7. Permanent G. Slightly
8. Disruption H. Organise
9. Mismatched I. A body

True or False?

1. The EU has voted to keep time changes. T / F

2. A poll found that the majority of people did not like time changes. T / F

3. The time changes in winter and spring.  T / F

4. The time changes have saved people a lot of money in electricity. T / F

5. The time changes create problems in communicating with other countries. T / F

6.  Countries changed the time to help farmers. T / F

7. Scientists say the time changes have a positive impact on health. T / F

8. Each European country will choose its own time.  T / F

9. The new, permanent time change will take effect in 2019. T / F

10.  The UK is part of the most used timezone. T / F

Unscramble the sentence!

1. markets / work / the / in / The / to / idea / more / for / smoothly / EU / was

2. EU / This / 2001 / the / been / across / case / the / since / has

3. timezone / Also, / the / create / problems / changes

4. timezones / EU / the / Currently, / has / area / three

5. risk / of / economic / reduce / the / would / This / disruption

Listening and Vocabulary

Listen to the article and fill in the words OR practice vocabulary and fill in the words.

British English: Coming Soon!

American English:

Removing Energy Permanent
Daylight Pressure Individual
Suggested Countries Summer

The European Union has voted to end time changes after recent ______________ from citizens. In 2018, the European Commission conducted a poll on whether or not to get rid of the time changes twice a year. 84% of the 4.6 million respondents to the poll stated that they were in favour of _____________ the changes.

In the EU, the clocks are changed to _____________ time at the end of March and to winter time at the end of October. This has been the case across the EU since 2001. The idea was for markets in the EU to work more smoothly by using the same timezones and for energy costs to be reduced due to the extra daylight. Historically, countries often changed their clocks in the summer and winter for farmers to have more ______________ hours in which to work.

However, it has been found that the ____________ savings are marginal. Also, the timezone changes create problems for EU entities which work with countries outside of the EU, especially ones which don’t change their clocks. Further, there have been studies which have ______________ that the clock changes have a negative impact on people’s health. The EU Commission said: “the effect on the human biorhythm may be more severe than previously thought”.

The new permanent time for countries in Europe will be for the ______________ country to decide. Currently, the EU area has three timezones. GMT, which is used by the UK, Ireland and Portugal. Central European Time (GMT+1), the most used timezone, which is used by 17 EU countries. The last one is Eastern European Time (GMT+2) which is used by eight European _____________.

EU leaders have expressed a desire for countries to decide their choice of timezone together. This would reduce the risk of economic disruption caused by mismatched timezones. Countries which choose winter time, also known as standard time, will have their final clock change in October 2021. Meanwhile, countries which choose _______________summer time will have their last time change in March 2021.

Conversation Questions

Take turns speaking with a partner or try to answer on your own:

1. Did you find this article interesting? Why or why not?
2. Did you learn anything new from this article? If so, what?
3. What do you think about this article?
4. Does the time change in your country?
5. Do you think the time changing is helpful?
6. Would you prefer to have more daylight in summer?
7. Does the amount of sun affect your mood?
8. Is daylight necessary for your job?
9. Do you think daylight-savings is an outdated idea?
10. Have you ever been inconvenienced by the time changing?
11. Do you think daylight-savings is bad for health? If yes, in what way?
12. What is the daylight like in your country during the summer and winter?
13. Do you ever need to contact people abroad?
14. How would daylight-savings positively affect you?
15. How would daylight-savings negatively affect you?
16. Some people say daylight-savings reduces car accidents because there is more light on the road. Do you think this is true?
17. If your country had a similar poll, how would you vote?
18. Do you use more electricity in the winter or summer?
19. Do you have a regular sleep schedule?
20. How would you react if your sleep schedule was interrupted by daylight-savings?