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Dirty Money: Panama Papers

Tax avoidance – a multibillion-dollar industry

Since the late 1980s, several multinational companies have been criticized for avoiding taxes by jumping through different European tax loopholes. A system called the “double Irish”, for instance, has made this possible. This is how Apple has used and enjoyed the

Through a scheme literally called the “double Irish”,
a company can create two Irish subsidiary companies,
and the first Irish company (usually in the Cayman
Islands) licenses everything to a second Irish
company, the upshot being that the mother ship
is not considered a tax resident anywhere thanks
to differences between the US and Irish definitions
of residence. The result of all this is that Apple had
a “head office” in Ireland with no premises, no employees
and no real activities. But because they had
pulled the double Irish, the European commission
has ruled, Apple deprived the EU of $14.5bn over
the last 10 years.
                       -Mike Daisey, The Guardian, 7 September, 2016

Tax evasion is illegal. It means not paying, or underpaying, taxes. It has been estimated that about 5.1 per cent of annual world GDP is lost to tax evasion. Tax avoidance is the use of legal methods to pay as little tax as possible. Although a given tax avoidance
scheme could be strictly legal, it is usually in contradiction with the intent of the law. In this video you can learn more about tax avoidance (YouTube).

Instead of studying the technicalities of European tax laws, we would like you to focus on the effects of the loopholes. In groups of 3–4, choose either Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft or Starbucks as your case study.

• How much has the company paid in corporation tax
in EU countries in recent years?
• How is the company’s tax-avoidance case
commented on in the media?
• In your own opinion: How fair is the system? What
would be a reasonable level of corporate tax for
“your” company? Make sure you support your
claims with concrete evidence based on reputable

Create a collaborative document, for instance in Google Docs, and write a few paragraphs where you present your findings and views.

This task is taken from E2 International English. You can read more about E2 here.

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Why care about English?

Motivation is the key to learning. We asked two successful Norwegians about their incentives for learning English. Perhaps their stories can help students reflect on their own experiences and language skills? Perhaps they might even inspire them to put in that extra effort.

You can download the text here

“Two bullets of vanilla ice-cream, please”

Brede Hangeland: rachael-gorjestani-154906

The answer to this question may not be obvious to all students, as it is to me now. Personally, I enjoyed my English lessons at school, and despite the fact that my mother was an English teacher, it took me a long time to fully understand the importance of having good English skills.

My first encounters with the English language were endless repetitions of vocabulary and grammar, a giant puzzle that slowly fell into place. I remember how I made the leap and started talking, as best as I could, both in class at school, and on holiday abroad. You should try not to worry about possible mistakes, as nobody can learn English without making some. On the contrary, take pleasure in the laughable situations that sometimes occur. Like when a friend of mine ordered “two bullets of vanilla ice-cream, please”!

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International English – A visual presentation

A new school year is upon us. This teaching resource helps your students get acquainted with the content and aims of the course International English, using the cover of E2.

Are you planning to use E2 in class this year? Here is our suggested year plan. It may prove useful.

Good luck with the new school year!

Lesson plan – A visual presentation of International english

Suggested Year Plan for E2

Varieties of English in E2


According to Statista, 1,500 million people speak English worldwide. Only 375 million of them are native speakers. This partly explains the subject name International English and it also justifies the competence aim: “enable pupils to give examples of other varieties of English than those that are used in the Anglo-American core area, and reflect on their distinctive character”. E2 includes:

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Teaching Resources from The Guardian


On 2 May, as part of our annual English seminar, 57 Norwegian teachers visited the Guardian’s headquarter in central London. Head of Education, Margaret Holborn, promised to share all the useful resources presented. You find them below.


“Lots of viewpoints, knowledge, debate, questions, resources, not to mention inspiration that I can take with me into the classroom.”  

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Seminar International English

The launch of our new textbook for International English, E2, gives us the privilege and pleasure of inviting English teachers to a seminar in Oslo.

Samantha Simmonds, former journalist with the BBC and news anchor at Sky News, will shed light on Trump’s strategy of branding certain news outlets as “fake news”. She will also compare and contrast CNN and Fox News in particular, and TV news in the UK and US in general.

Moreover, we will present E2 and share useful tips on teaching International English.

When: 12 May 2017
Where: Gyldendalhuset, Oslo

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Dear teachers of International English!

We are absolutely delighted that so many of you want to come to London with us in connection with the launch of our new textbook, E2. The seminar was full within minutes and to those of you who were first past the post – we look forward to seeing you in Fitzrovia in May!

Oslo, 12 May
Soon we will be back with an invitation to Gyldendalhuset on Friday 12 May. Should a trip to Oslo be inconvenient we are more than happy to come to your school to present E2. Please get in touch and we will find a suitable date.