Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

    • ex. He thinks that imported bags are better quality than local bag brands.
    • ex. She struggled to go to work because it was raining hard.
    • ex. The store sells affordable clothes.
    • ex. The company no longer makes and sells the product because it’s not popular anymore.
    • ex. I’m still preparing dinner. In the meantime, you can wait in the living room and watch a movie.


Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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The prices for imported toys continue to increase. Because of this, Russian parents struggled to find affordable New Year gifts for their children. In the Central Children’s Store in Moscow, customers can choose between buying expensive Western toys or buying cheaper and less popular Russian toys.

The prices for Lego blocks and Barbie dolls have increased since the companies left the Russian market due to the Ukraine-Russia war. In the past, Lego and Mattel Inc. were the leaders in the toy market in Russia. These companies used to have 43% of the market. Now, Lego no longer sends products to Russia. But, the famous toy blocks can still be found on the shelves of Russian toy stores. These toys are sent to Russia in ways not allowed by the government.

In the meantime, Russian toy makers have made copies of these popular toys. They also have made original toys based on a popular Russian cartoon character or toy cars of the Russian traffic police. There are many items that Russian customers aren’t allowed to buy. But, still, they have happily bought Russian-style children’s toys. This is something encouraged by the Russian government.

This material was based on an article by The Associated Press.


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.


  • What is the importance of toys for children? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, is it important for children whether their toys are imported or local? Discuss.
  • Russian toy makers have made copies of imported toys. Do you think this is a good decision? Why or why not? Discuss.

Imported and Local Brands

  • Imagine you have to choose between an imported brand and a local brand. Which would you choose? Why? Discuss.
  • What imported brand do you like and usually buy? Why? Discuss.
  • What local brand do you like and usually buy? Why? Discuss.