This is a reading comprehension lesson to test
your ability to understand information written in
English. Read the information below
and then answer the 10 test questions.
if you cannot understand something on this page,
then use the Fun Easy English
(opens in a new window)
Holiday:World Toilet Day
The World Toilet Organization (WTO) is a global
non-profit organization committed to improving toilet and
sanitation conditions worldwide. WTO focuses on toilets
instead of water, which receives more attention and
resources under the common subject of sanitation. Founded in
2001 with 15 members, it now has 151 member organizations in
53 countries working towards eliminating the toilet taboo
and delivering sustainable sanitation. WTO is also the
organizer of the World Toilet Summits and World Toilet Expo
WTO was founded in 2001 by Jack Sim with the stated
aim of being a global network and service platform wherein
all toilet and sanitation organizations can learn from one
another and leverage media and global support to influence
governments to promote sound sanitation and public health
In 2005, WTO started the world's first World Toilet College
(WTC) to provide training in toilet design, maintenance,
School Sanitation and Disaster Sanitation and implementation
of Sustainable Sanitation systems. WTO was also one of the
founding members of the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA),
a coalition of 50 organizations to promote sustainable
In addition to advocacy, capacity building and sanitation
projects, WTO is now driving a market-based strategy to
address the dysfunctional sanitation market for the poor, by
installing efficient market infrastructure.
In 2001, the World Toilet Organization declared its founding
day, 19 November, as World Toilet Day. Since then, 19
November has been observed globally by its member
organizations. In September 2009, a new website was launched
dedicated to the celebration of World Toilet Day. Its 2012
slogan was “I give a shit, do you?”.
Did any of you know about this holiday? I thought this
was kinda interesting and decided to turn this into a
lesson. Hopefully you like it.
The world is full of different toilet styles. After
spending many years teaching English in Japan I can
honestly say these were my least favorite. Especially in
the countryside train stations, this was the only type
of toilet you could find.
The traditional Japanese-style (和式, washiki) toilet is a
squat toilet—also known as the Asian toilet as squat toilets
of somewhat similar design are common all over Asia. A squat
toilet differs from a Western toilet in both construction
and method of employment. A squat toilet essentially looks
like a miniature urinal set horizontally into the floor.
Most squat toilets in Japan are made of porcelain, although
in some cases (as on trains) stainless steel is used
instead. The user squats over the toilet, facing the
hemispherical hood, i.e., the wall in the back of the toilet
in the picture seen on the right. A shallow trough collects
the waste, instead of a large water-filled bowl as in a
Western toilet. All other fixtures, such as the water tank,
piping, and flushing mechanism, may be identical to those of
a Western toilet.
Flushing causes water to push the waste matter from
the trough into a collecting reservoir which is then
emptied, with the waste carried off into the sewer system.
The flush is often operated in the same manner as a Western
toilet, though some have pull handles or pedals instead.
Many Japanese toilets have two kinds of flush: "small" (小)
and "large" (大). The difference is in the amount of water
used. The former is for urine (in Japanese, literally "small
excretion") and the latter for feces ("large excretion").
The lever is often pushed to the "small" setting to provide
a continuous covering noise for privacy.
A lot of words are used to describe toilet in English.
Different words are used in different English speaking
countries like the United States, Canada, Australia and the
United Kingdom. When traveling in these countries find out
from the local residents which "toilet words" they use. This
will avoid some embarrassment later.
The following are a few of the more popular slang terms for
Slang terms used to describe the room
where a toilet is located: