Progressing to Advanced English

1. Course introduction

Welcome

Welcome to the Progressing to Advanced English Course.

This course is mostly based on real-life materials: videos, audios and articles. Apart from skill formation sections, this course is rich with vocabulary items appropriate for the progression from B2 towards the C1/C1+ CEFR levels of language competency. Its main focus lies on advanced vocabulary, writing and oratory skills, necessary for Academic English or for C1+ certificates.

Course structure

The course is basically devided into thematically organized units. The units cover the most important topics and themes that a proficient language learner should be able to discuss and opinate on freely. 

The units are further divided into several parts, which cover the following skills:

  • listening
  • speaking
  • reading
  • writing
  • grammar
  • projects

Not all skills are equally covered in all lessons. 

Grammar section is to revise and order the knowledge the student should already have, which is related to proper composition and opinion stating. It does not refer to grammar aspects in a teachable way.

Projects

Some units include projects: they usually require research and presentation preparation.

Study tools

The external tool used for vocabulary training is Quizlet. It allows you to get to know the vocabulary and practice it in various ways. Please feel free to come back to vocabulary sections whenever needed and try out the available types of exercises:

  • Flashcards
  • Learn
  • Speller
  • Test
  • Scatter
  • Space Race

Recommended learning techniques

Unit 1 on Learning Strategies will give you some hints on how your brain learns. Use these to see which are the most successful for you and apply them to your learning process.

Your tutor might also advise you the best learning technique adaptable to your lifestyle.

Technical Requirements

To be able to fully enjoy the course you will need a computer with a stable internet connection. Using the course requires live video and audio streaming (YouTube and other).

Table of Contents

The course is comprised of 12 theme-based units, divided into digestible sections. Projects, speaking and writing activities are separate sections.

  1. Learning Strategies
  2. Time Management
  3. Technology breakthroughs
  4. Travel and the changing society
  5. Health and medicine
  6. Accommodation
  7. Personality and character
  8. Gender and other social issues
  9. Work, jobs, career
  10. Lifestyle and Entertainment
  11. Global issues and the Environment
  12. Politics and Economy

Introductory Project

Presenting Tools

You can use a number of tools to create your presentation. You can start with a standard powerpoint, or its equivalents, e.g. OpenOffice, Google Slides, Keynote. You can also resort to more sophisticated tools, such as Prezi (prezi.com), where you can add extra voice commentary, Haiku Deck(haikudeck.com), or a video (e.g. YouTube).

Essentially, the tool you use should not influence the correctness and coherence of your presentation, but it will surely make a better impression if you show the effort you put in using the more sophisticated tools.

Introductory project

Choose and describe your favorite strategy you found in the presentation. Explain how and why it applies to you. Prepare a short (5-6 slides) presentation that will describe your learning world. Save the project in your individual student folder.

2. Time management and distractions

2.1 A focus on distractions

Vocabulary

Study the time management-related vocabulary:

 

Study the following expressions appearing in the "A focus on distractions" article by the New York Times. 

 

Now read the text carefully

A focus on distractions:

TECHNOLOGY has given us many gifts, among them dozens of new ways to grab our attention. It’s hard to talk to a friend without your phone buzzing at least once. Odds are high you will check your Twitter feed or Facebook wall while reading this article. Just try to type a memo at work without having an e-mail pop up that ruins your train of thought.

But what constitutes distraction? Does the mere possibility that a phone call or e-mail will soon arrive drain your brain power? And does distraction matter — do interruptions make us dumber? Quite a bit, according to new research by Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab.

There’s a lot of debate among brain researchers about the impact of gadgets on our brains. Most discussion has focused on the deleterious effect of multitasking. Early results show what most of us know implicitly: if you do two things at once, both efforts suffer.

In fact, multitasking is a misnomer. In most situations, the person juggling e-mail, text messaging, Facebook and a meeting is really doing something called “rapid toggling between tasks,” and is engaged in constant context switching.

As economics students know, switching involves costs. But how much? When a consumer switches banks, or a company switches suppliers, it’s relatively easy to count the added expense of the hassle of change. When your brain is switching tasks, the cost is harder to quantify.

There have been a few efforts to do so: Gloria Mark of the University of California, Irvine, found that a typical office worker gets only 11 minutes between each interruption, while it takes an average of 25 minutes to return to the original task after an interruption. But there has been scant research on the quality of work done during these periods of rapid toggling.

We decided to investigate further, and asked Alessandro Acquisti, a professor of information technology, and the psychologist Eyal Peer at Carnegie Mellon to design an experiment to measure the brain power lost when someone is interrupted.

To simulate the pull of an expected cellphone call or e-mail, we had subjects sit in a lab and perform a standard cognitive skill test. In the experiment, 136 subjects were asked to read a short passage and answer questions about it. There were three groups of subjects; one merely completed the test. The other two were told they “might be contacted for further instructions” at any moment via instant message.

During an initial test, the second and third groups were interrupted twice. Then a second test was administered, but this time, only the second group was interrupted. The third group awaited an interruption that never came. Let’s call the three groups Control, Interrupted and On High Alert.

We expected the Interrupted group to make some mistakes, but the results were truly dismal, especially for those who think of themselves as multitaskers: during this first test, both interrupted groups answered correctly 20 percent less often than members of the control group. In other words, the distraction of an interruption, combined with the brain drain of preparing for that interruption, made our test takers 20 percent dumber. That’s enough to turn a B-minus student (80 percent) into a failure (62 percent).

But in Part 2 of the experiment, the results were not as bleak. This time, part of the group was told they would be interrupted again, but they were actually left alone to focus on the questions. Again, the Interrupted group underperformed the control group, but this time they closed the gap significantly, to a respectable 14 percent. Dr. Peer said this suggested that people who experience an interruption, and expect another, can learn to improve how they deal with it.

But among the On High Alert group, there was a twist. Those who were warned of an interruption that never came improved by a whopping 43 percent, and even outperformed the control test takers who were left alone. This unexpected, counterintuitive finding requires further research, but Dr. Peer thinks there’s a simple explanation: participants learned from their experience, and their brains adapted.

Somehow, it seems, they marshaled extra brain power to steel themselves against interruption, or perhaps the potential for interruptions served as a kind of deadline that helped them focus even better.

Clifford Nass, a Stanford sociologist who conducted some of the first tests on multitasking, has said that those who can’t resist the lure of doing two things at once are “suckers for irrelevancy.” There is some evidence that we’re not just suckers for that new text message, or addicted to it; it’s actually robbing us of brain power, too. Tweet about this at your own risk.

What the Carnegie Mellon study shows, however, is that it is possible to train yourself for distractions, even if you don’t know when they’ll hit.

------------------------------------------------------

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/opinion/sunday/a-focus-on-distraction.html?_r=0


How we hurt our learning - listen and comment:

Yor are going to listen to an audio "How we hurt our learning". Before you listen to the audio, make a list of the things that distract you in your daily life and prevent you from effective focus. Name and describe them. How do you think they are influencing your learning?

Speaking:

Having heard the audio and read the text, think of the following and prepare short spoken answers (2-3 minutes each):

  • How do you get distracted, according to the audio?
  • There are two key terms used throughout the audition: inhibited and suppressed. Do you know what their role in the process is? If you are not sure, relisten to the audio.
  • What is the bad news role in information transmission? What can you do to elevate its influence?

2.2 Writing a summary

How to Write a Summary

A "stand-alone" summary is a summary proving that you have read and understood something. The idea of a summary is to put across information, not words.

How to produce a summary:

  1. Read the article to be summarized and be sure you understand it.
  2. Outline the article. Note the major points.
  3. Write a first draft of the summary without looking at the article.
  4. Always use paraphrase when writing a summary. If you do copy a phrase from the original be sure it is a very important phrase that is necessary and cannot be paraphrased. In this case put "quotation marks" around the phrase.
  5. Target your first draft for approximately 1/4 the length of the original.

The features of a summary:

  1. Start your summary with a clear identification of the type of work, title, author, and main point in the present tense.Example: In the feature article "Four Kinds of Reading," the author, Donald Hall, explains his opinion about different types of reading.
  2. Check with your outline and your original to make sure you have covered the important points.
  3. Never put any of your own ideas, opinions, or interpretations into the summary. This means you have to be very careful of your word choice.
  4. Write using "summarizing language." Periodically remind your reader that this is a summary by using phrases such as the article claims, the author suggests, etc.
  5. (Write a complete bibliographic citation at the beginning of your summary. A complete bibliographic citation includes as a minimum, the title of the work, the author, the source. Use a chosen format.)

Summarizing

Write the answers in your individual student folder.

  1. What is the purpose of the article you read in 2.1 section? 
  2. Write 5-8 sentences summarizing the article. 

2.3 Grammar in use - adjectives

Identify how the adjectives from the text are used in the sentences below:

  1. In most situations, the person juggling e-mail, text messaging, Facebook and a meeting is really doing something called “ rapid toggling between tasks, ” and is engaged in constant context switching.
  2. But there has been scant research on the quality of work done during these periods of rapid toggling.
  3. During an initial test, the second and third groups were interrupted twice.
  4. To simulate the pull of an expected cellphone call or e-mail, we had subjects sit in a lab and perform a standard cognitive skill test.
  5. Does the mere possibility that a phone call or e-mail will soon arrive drain your brain power?
  6. Most discussion has focused on the deleterious effect of multitasking.
  7. This unexpected, counterintuitive finding requires further research, but Dr. Peer thinks there's a simple explanation:
  8. Those who were warned of an interruption that never came improved by a whopping 43 percent, and even outperformed the control test takers who were left alone.
  9. But in Part 2 of the experiment, the results were not as bleak.
  10. We expected the Interrupted group to make some mistakes, but the results were truly dismal, especially for those who think of themselves as multitaskers [...]

2.4 Avoiding Distractions

Watching

Watch the video (till 2:40 min.):

 

Having watched the video, answer the following: what does being efficient mean?

Do you agree with the core techniques for enhancing efficiency that are mentioned in the video, like:

  • changing the environment
  • daily planning (max. 5 minutes per day)

Speaking

What other techniques can you think of? Based on your own experiences and what you have seen in the video, prepare a speech of approx. 5 minutes that describes the best techniques for time management and efficiency. Remember about an introduction, body and summary.

 

3. Technology

3.1 Tech breakthroughs may mean 'digital everything' by 2025 - reading

Tech breakthroughs may mean 'digital everything' by 2025

Study the vocabulary that appears in the "Tech breakthroughs may mean 'digital everything' by 2025" article. Then read the text and complete the vocabulary exercise.

 

Now read the text.

Tech breakthroughs may mean 'digital everything' by 2025

Think you're digitally connected today? Well, you haven't seen anything yet. Forget carrying a smartphone in your pocket. In about 10 years, we're likely to have digitally connected cars, smart homes, as well as refrigerators and dishwashers that can think for themselves

On top of that, towns, cities and even continents may be digitally connected and responsive. That's all according to a new study from the science unit of Thomas Reuters, a media and information company based in New York. The World in 2025: 10 Predictions of Innovation looks at what scientific breakthroughs are likely to make the biggest impact on society over the next decade or so. "It's human nature to want to know what's coming," wrote the analysts behind the study.

Going through news articles, scientific papers and academic, as well as commercial, research, analysts at Thomas Reuters, culled what they believe will be game-changing technologies and science. For example, breakthroughs in genetics are expected to greatly improve the prevention and treatment of diseases like dementia and Type I diabetes. Solar energy is expected to become the primary source of energy, while food shortages should come to an end and cancer treatments should have fewer side effects.

In the tech field, one of the breakthroughs was an increasingly digital world. "The digital world as we know it today will seem simple and rudimentary in 2025," the analysts wrote. "Thanks to the prevalence of improved semiconductors, graphene-carbon nanotube capacitors, cell-free networks of service antenna and 5G technology, wireless communications will dominate everything, everywhere... from the most remote farmlands to bustling cities -- we will all be digitally directed. "Imagine the day when the entire continent of Africa is completely, digitally connected," they added. "That day will happen in 2025."

The phrase "Beam me up, Scotty," which Star Trek made famous, also may get more usage in another 10 years. According to Thomas Reuters, actual quantum teleportation will be tested in 2025. "The frequent request heard on Star Trek will not be such an abstract concept as we move through the 21st Century," the analysts wrote. "We are on the precipice of this field's explosion; it is truly an emerging research front. Early indicators point to a rapid acceleration of research leading to the testing of quantum teleportation in 2025."

The report points to the physics work that has been done with at CERN's Large Hadron Collide to find the elusive Higgs boson. Measurement techniques developed to understand the particles generated in the collider use new kinematical techniques -- a form of classic physics that studies the motion of objects and groups of objects.

OK, don't get too excited. The study notes that by 2025 humans won't be teleporting from one place to another. However, "significant investment in and testing" will be well underway.

 

source: http://www.itnews.com/wireless/80838/tech-breakthroughs-may-mean-digital-everything-2025

Vocabulary practice

Word Roots & Stems - "less"

residence.

Fill in the blanks below, just as in the models.

thoughtless = thought + less: He is a thoughtless boy. penniless = (penny - y) + iless: The poor family is penniless. 

careless ____________ ________________________________________________ 

sleepless ____________ ________________________________________________ 

powerless ____________ ________________________________________________ 

tasteless ____________ ________________________________________________ 

Insert the right word with the right form.

  1. The of the disease shocked the doctor.
  2. It was so cold out that everyone into the warm house.
  3. The farmer the bad prunes from the good ones.
  4. The climbers went to the top of the mountain and faced the .
  5. Einstein made some great in physics.
  6. The of newspapers in many different languages showed that there were people from all over the world in the city.
  7. She was all ready to swat the mosquito but it was .
  8. A knife is a tool in every-day life.
  9. The  of this word is restricted to certain regions of the country.
  10. Regular dental hygiene is the best method for the of cavities.

3.2 Digital Age - what do you think? - speaking

Speaking

Answer these questions related to the text. Devote about 2-3 minutes to each statement.

  1.  Suggest a different title for this text.
  2. What does it mean to be digitally connected? 
  3. "The digital world as we know it today will seem simple and rudimentary in 2025." What is meant by this quotation? 
  4. How has technology changed your life in the past decade? How has it influenced your lifestyle?
  5. Can technological orientation be considered a lifestyle at all?

3.3 Grammar in Use - predicting the future

Predicting the Future

There are 3 cases for describing future:

  1. Prediction: "Will" and "Going to" are the same when the speaker believes something will happen: "The Yankees will win." is the same as "The Yankees are going to win."
  2. Plan: To describe a plan we usually use "going to": "We are going to see a movie tonight. "
  3. Willingness: For something we agree to do (or someone else agrees to do) we use "will": "Don't worry about dinner; I will cook. "

How is the future used in the sentences below? Decide which case is used in each sentence:

  1. However, significant investment in and testing will be well underway.
  2. The digital world as we know it today will seem simple and rudimentary in 2025, the analysts wrote.
  3. Thanks to the prevalence of improved semiconductors [...] wireless communications will dominate everything, everywhere.
  4. That day will happen in 2025.

3.4 First glance at the technology trends

Listening:

Project

You are going to prepare a small project. First listen to the interview. It talks about some of the trends in technology in 2015. Answer the questions below, they will help you get the most important information from the audio.

  • What is the internet of things?
  • What is understood by productive customization?

Once you finish listening, prepare a presentation on the current state of affairs for technology trends. Your presentation should be about 7 minutes long. Feel free to also search for other sources.

4. Travel and the changing society

4.1 How millennials are changing international travel

How millennials are changing international travel

Before you read the text study the vocabulary.

 

Now read the text carefully.

How  millennials are changing international travel

In the summer of 2012, at age 24, I left home to travel the world. In just over a year, I backpacked through South America, South Asia, Western Europe, and the western United States. I hiked the Inca Trail, skied the Alps, hitchhiked through Patagonia, and trekked through the Himalayas. I worked at hostels, stayed at a Buddhist monastery, and gardened at an English women’s retreat center in exchange for meals and a place to sleep. And while I learned many things on the trip, what was most surprising was how many people my age were traveling just like me.

In the United States, the Boston Consulting Group reports, the millennial generation, defined as those between the ages of 16 and 34, is more interested than older generations in traveling abroad as much as possible—by a 23-percentage-point margin. The United Nations estimates that 20 percent of all international tourists, or nearly 200 million travelers, are young people, and that this demographic generates more than $180 billion in annual tourism revenue, an increase of nearly 30 percent since 2007. The UN attributes that growth both to rising incomes in emerging markets and a commitment by youth in advanced economies to “continue traveling despite economic uncertainty.” We are now the fastest-growing age segment in terms of the money we spend on travel, according to American Express Business Insights.

Not only that, but we’re redefining the very meaning of international travel, foregoing standard vacations in favor of extended, meaningful experiences. The World Youth Student and Educational (WYSE) Travel Confederation, which recently surveyed more than 34,000 people from 137 countries, found that young travelers are not as interested in “the traditional sun, sea and sand holidays” as previous generations are. They are spending less time in “major gateway cities” and instead exploring more remote destinations, staying in hostels instead of hotels, and choosing long-term backpacking trips instead of two-week jaunts. The study showed an increase from 2007 in young travelers taking trips (like mine) for longer than two months, with the average trip lasting 58 days.

This kind of travel did not come naturally to me. I grew up middle class in Florida in a family where “traveling” generally meant driving two hours to the nicest nearby beach. I got a passport when I was 16 so I could visit my extended family in Ecuador, and by the time I entered college, that family reunion was still the only time I had ever been overseas. Until I discovered the backpacking scene, I always considered travel to be something reserved for the wealthy, or at least for people with far more experience abroad than I had.

But with easy access to social media and budget-travel tools like Airbnb, Couchsurfing, Skyscanner, and Lonely Planet message boards, I soon realized that long-term travel wasn’t nearly as expensive or difficult as I had imagined. I funded my 15-month trip on a little more than $16,000 (that’s luxurious: many backpackers I met spent half as much in the same amount of time). I saved more than half the money from a part-time job in high school, and the rest came from two years of work after college. And while there’s little data on the economic backgrounds of backpackers, the people I met during my trip—waiters, teachers, seasonal workers, flight attendants, carpenters—gave me the sense that people of diverse means had done the same.

In the case of American millennials, many of us also feel like there’s little reason to wait until our golden years to see the world. Our generation has arguably been hit hardest by the recession, and grown skeptical of the best-laid retirement plans. According to the Center for Retirement Research, less than a third of private-sector workers in the U.S. had defined-benefit coverage for retirement in 2010, down from 44 percent in 1995 and 88 percent in 1983. Since 1985, the number of companies offering pensions has fallen from 112,000 to 23,000. The Pew Research Center has reported that only 6 percent of millennials expect to receive the kinds of Social Security benefits that today’s retirees enjoy. Half don’t believe there will be money remaining in the Social Security system by the time they retire, and an additional 39 percent think these benefits will be significantly reduced. Under these circumstances, it makes sense that we’d travel now, instead of saving travel for a future that is in no way guaranteed.

Faced with a lack of reliable, long-term employment options, a number of millennials are also using travel to take a break from job-searching and reevaluate what to do next. In 2013, at every education level, millennials aged 25 to 32 confronted a higher unemployment rate than those facing older generations, and an overall unemployment rate of more than 8 percent. Both of my traveling partners, Kevin Parine and Chelin Lauer, considered going abroad after finding limited job opportunities in their area of study. Parine graduated with a degree in geology but decided to travel after struggling to find work in his field. Lauer graduated with a degree in biology and ended up moving to South Korea to work as a science and English teacher, and then travel whenever she had the chance.

“Teaching English in Korea was the highest-paying job I could find after graduating,” Lauer, 26, says. “But the flipside to a bad job market is that it gave me a chance to explore something I probably would have never done otherwise.”

But even those lucky enough to find jobs may be tempted to travel by their dissatisfaction with the way the United States approaches work. While corporate profits have increased by 20 percent in the past two decades and productivity has surged, income has stagnated, suggesting people are working more and getting paid less. Forty percent of professional men and 15 percent of professional women work more than 50 hours per week, and the United States is one of only nine countries around the world that doesn’t require employers to offer paid annual leave. Perhaps it’s no surprise, then, that only 30 percent of American employees feel engaged at work, according to a 2013 Gallup poll. A Harris survey found that 73 percent of older workers said they never landed in the job they dreamed of when they were younger.

“We’re looking at the corporate world as it is now, and this yester-year of people spending all their life working at a job they often hated, retiring, and that’s it, and we’re disillusioned with that,” says Jessie Goldstein, 26, who recently completed a five-month road trip across the United States. After finishing a master’s degree in sustainable development and getting admitted into Ph.D. programs, she decided to take the trip to figure out whether more graduate school was the right choice for her. “If I’m going to continue putting that much of my life into something, and that much effort, it better be something I’m really passionate about,” she explains.

Studies indicate that millennials advocate strongly for work-life balance, and have few qualms about leaving jobs that don’t meet their expectations. A 2012 Net Impact survey found that young workers are more concerned with finding happiness and fulfillment at the office than workers of past generations. The study found that 88 percent saw a “positive culture” as essential to their dream job, and that 86 percent felt the same way about work they found “interesting.” Fifty-eight percent said they would stomach a 15-percent pay cut to work for an organization “with values like my own.”

Travel creates time to reflect on these priorities and decide how our career choices can accommodate them. We understand that bumming around in our twenties for too long is irresponsible, but we also find it irrational to work unfulfilling jobs only to feel legitimate. And if we have the financial resources to pause, travel, and reassess, then why not take advantage of that privilege?

But while long-term travel and gap years have been popular for years in countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom, the idea is still relatively new in the United States—and not yet widely accepted.

“If you were to ask older people. ‘Is this a good idea, should I go do this?’ the answer perceived is ‘no,’” says Randall Bourquin, 25, who spent six months last year backpacking through South and Central America. “People think that there’s too much opportunity cost, or that it’s going to cause a speed bump in your career.”

Yet according to the WYSE Travel Confederation’s report, many young travelers use their extended trips not only for leisure, but also as a form of job training: 22 percent of respondents wanted to learn a language during their travels, 15 percent wanted to gain more work experience, and 15 percent wanted to study—all increases since 2007.

These skills can translate into a competitive advantage in the workplace. Elizabeth Harper, 25, discovered her career interests while backpacking in Southeast Asia. Traveling gave her time to read for pleasure, and she ended up leafing through books passed around in hostels about atrocities that had occurred in the countries she was visiting. She eventually graduated with a master’s degree in international human-rights law and has since worked on human-rights issues for the United Nations and the International Commission of Jurists. Bourquin leveraged his trip into a sports-marketing job at Univision. My travels helped me obtain a summer job with Global Glimpse, an organization that takes disadvantaged students on educational trips through Nicaragua.

As a daughter of immigrants, the American Dream has played an ever-present role in my career decisions. After seeing how few options my mother had as a woman who spent a large part of her childhood in poverty, I wanted to do everything she never had the opportunity to accomplish. Growing up, that meant graduating from a prestigious university and getting a respectable job. But gradually I realized my standard definition of the American Dream was incomplete: It was not only about obtaining education and a good job, but also about focusing on how my career choices contributed to my overall well-being. It was about gaining experiences outside my career, like travel, that would have otherwise been unavailable to me.

For me and many others millennials, this was the opportunity we worked hard to achieve: the opportunity to have options—to have time to reflect, and to experience the world in a way many generations before us never could.

source: www.theatlantic.com/international/print/2014/06/how-millennials-are-changing-international-travel/373007/

Word Roots & Stems - "dis-"

The prefix dis adds "take away", "not" or "deprive of" to the meaning of a word. Dis suggests a change; for example, to disrobe means to take off clothes. Fill in the blanks below, just as in the models. If you do not know the meaning of a word, look it up in a  dictionary:

dishonest: dis + honest: If you lie, you are being dishonest. 

disassemble = dis + assemble: First we have to disassemble your engine to see what's wrong. 
discourage = ________________________________________________ 
dislike =  __________________________________________________ 
disconnect = ________________________________________________
disservice  = ________________________________________________ 

4.2 Millenials and the travel patterns - speaking

Speaking

Having read the text, try to answer these questions in a sentence or two:

1. How is the travel industry changing, according to the Boston Consulting Group? 

2. What is the WYSE Travel Confederation's conclusion? 

3. What characterises the "millennials?" 

 

Prepare a short-3-5 minute speech on this final question.

4. What are your travel patterns? Why do you travel?

 

4.3 Grammar in Use - gerund

The gerund

The "ing" form of a verb can be used as a noun. These are called gerunds. Sometimes gerunds are used as the object of a verb. For example, in the sentence "I like sleeping," the gerund "sleeping" is the object of the verb "like." Find the gerunds in the sentences below and study their use and meaning:

  1. Lauer graduated with a degree in biology and ended up moving to South Korea to work as a science and English teacher, and then travel whenever she had the chance.
  2. I grew up middle class in Florida in a family where “ traveling ” generally meant driving two hours to the nicest nearby beach.
  3. Both of my traveling partners, Kevin Parine and Chelin Lauer, considered going abroad after finding limited job opportunities in their area of study.

4.4 Travel & Tourism Vocabulary

Means of transport and accommodation

Here's a vocabulary revision on items related wityh tourism and traveling.

 

Sport and Sightseeing

 

4.5 Travel Hacking

Watching

Before you watch the"Travel Hacking" video, try to guess what it might be about, then watch the video to see if you were right.

 

 

Speaking

Answer the questions (1-2 sentences):

  1. What is travel hacking?
  2. What are the ways to get free travels?
  3. What do you think about the methods introduced in the video?
  4. What is the danger behind the methods?

4.6 Introduction to essay writing

Summarizing

Task 1.

You already know how to write summaries. Now write a 10-sentence summary of the Millenials article.

Writing a composition

Expository essays

When writing your expository essay, follow these eight basic steps:

  • Select a topic:Be sure the topic is narrow enough to make it manageable within the space of an essay.

  • Write a thesis sentence:Be sure the thesis statement(or sentence) expresses a controlling idea that is neither too broad nor too specific to be developed effectively.

  • Select a method of development:Check through all the methods before you finally settle on the one which will best serve your thesis:

definition | example | compare and contrast | cause and effect | classification | process analysis

  • Organize the essay: Begin by listing the major divisions which the body paragraphs in your essay will discuss; then fill in the primary supports that each body paragraph of the essay will contain.

  • Write topic sentences for the body paragraphs of the essay:For each body paragraph, furnish a topic sentence that directly relates to the thesis sentence.

  • Write the body paragraphs of the essay:Each body paragraph should develop the primary support covered in that paragraph's topic sentence.

  • Furnish a paragraph of introduction:An introductory paragraph should state the thesis of the essay, introduce the divisions in the body paragraphs of the essay, and gain the interest of the reader.

  • Write a paragraph of conclusion:

    1. Restate the thesis and divisions of the essay.

    2. Bring the essay to an appropriate and effective close.

    3. Avoid digressing into new issues.

Argumentative essay

To write an argument essay, you’ll need to gather evidence and present a well-reasoned argument on a debatable issue.

You cannot argue a statement of fact, you must base your paper on a strong position. Ask yourself…

  • How many people could argue against my position?  What would they say?

  • Can it be addressed with a yes or no? (aim for a topic that requires more info.)

  • Can I base my argument on scholarly evidence, or am I relying on religion, cultural standards, or morality? (you MUST be able to do quality research!)

  • Have I made my argument specific enough?

Worried about taking a firm stance on an issue?

Though there are plenty of times in your life when it’s best to adopt a balanced perspective and try to understand both sides of a debate, this isn’t one of them.

You MUST choose one side or the other when you write an argument paper!

Don’t be afraid to tell others exactly how you think things should go because that’s what we expect from an argument paper.  You’re in charge now, what do YOU think?

Do…

  • …use passionate language
  • …cite experts who agree with you
  • …provide facts, evidence, and statistics to support your position
  • …provide reasons to support your claim
  • …address the opposing side’s argument and refute their claims

Don’t…

…use weak qualifiers like “I believe,” “I feel,” or “I think”—just tell us!

…claim to be an expert if you’re not one

…use strictly moral or religious claims as support for your argument

…assume the audience will agree with you about any aspect of your argument

…attempt to make others look bad (i.e. Mr. Smith is ignorant—don’t listen to him!)

Why do I need to address the opposing side’s argument?

There is an old kung-fu saying which states, "The hand that strikes also blocks", meaning that when you argue it is to your advantage to anticipate your opposition and strike down their arguments within the body of your own paper. This sentiment is echoed in the popular saying, "The best defense is a good offense".

By addressing the opposition you achieve the following goals:

  • illustrate a well-rounded understanding of the topic

  • demonstrate a lack of bias

  • enhance the level of trust that the reader has for both you and your opinion

  • give yourself the opportunity to refute any arguments the opposition may have

  • strengthen your argument by diminishing your opposition's argument

List of Connectors*

1. Linking words for essays, reports, papers

listing

  • firstly, secondly ...

  • to begin / start with ..., to conclude with

  • in the first place, in the second place

  • next , then , finally, last(ly)

  • to conclude ...

  • last but not least ...

  • to summarise , to sum up

adding

  • also, too, then

  • furthermore ...

  • moreover ...

  • in addition to that ...

  • above all ......

  • what is more ...

  • additionally

comparing

  • equally, likewise, similarly, in the same / a different way

  • compared to / with, in comparison with

  • as ... as , both ... and ...

  • you can´t compare it with ...

concluding

  • all in all...  /  in conclusion ...

  • to sum up ...

  • I draw the conclusion / arrive at the conclusion that ...

  • I conclude ...

  • consequently ..

exemplifying

  • for example (e.g.), for instance

  • that is (i.e.)

  • that is to say

  • ... such as ...

  • namely ...

result

  • consequently

  • hence

  • therefore

  • thus

  • as a result

  • because of that ...-

  • that´s why ...

reformulating

  • to put it another way

  • in other words

alternative

  • on the one hand... , on the other hand ...

contrasting

  • on the contrary

  • in contrast to that

  • but , yet, however

  • nevertheless ...

  • whereas ..., while ...

  • neither .... nor ...

  • on the one hand ..., on the other hand ...

concession

  • besides, however, still, though,

  • in spite of that, despite that

  • admittedly

  • if , unless

2. Giving one´s own opinion

  • In my view; To my mind, In my opinion, As I see it,
  • I think that , I believe that , I have come to the conclusion that,
  • I would not say that ..., Therefore I cannot agree with ...,
  • I am doubtful whether / certain that ...
  • According to the text ...
  • It seems to me that ...
  • Another argument is that ...
  • As far as I am concerned, ....
  • One reason is that ...
  • I would say that ...
  • As we have seen, ...
  • As we know from ...., ...
  • For all these reasons I would support the view that ...
  • As a result ...
  • In short ...
  • With regard to ...
  • It is for this reason that I think ...
  • I am convinced that ...
  • I feel that ...

*http://www.bossmeyer.gidw-online.de/Textarbeit%202/List%20of%20Connectors.htm

http://percybal.files.wordpress.com/2008/11/2c2ba-bachillerato-writing-a-composition.pdf

Task 2.

Then choose one of the quotations and and write a 250-300 word essay on it in your individual student folder:

  1. Airline travel is hours of boredom interrupted by moments of stark terror. -- Al Boliska
  2. When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable. -- Clifton Fadiman
  3. The saying "Getting there is half the fun" became obsolete with the advent of commercial airlines. -- Henry J. Tillman

5. Health & Medicine in Modern Culture

Medical Drama - what do you know?

Medical Drama - what do you know?

Here's a list of popular medical dramas. Which are you familiar with? What do think about this type of a show? Prepare a short speech about the topic. 

 Medical Drama Embed

 
 
 

 

5.2 The House Effect

The House Effect: Are Real Patients Misled by TV Docs?

Study the vocabulary and then read the text.

 

The House Effect: Are Real Patients Misled by TV Docs?

He badgers, belittles and berates his patients. He deliberately deceives his colleagues and his boss, and he often bends hospital rules (and the law) to suit his purposes. He self-medicates with booze and (illegally obtained) painkillers. And he makes for excellent TV.

Dr. Gregory House, the cantankerous main character of Fox's medical drama House, M.D., played by British actor Hugh Laurie, is no portrait of compassion or medical ethics. (To wit, the show's website loads to a sound track of some of his more offensive remarks, including, "Is it still illegal to perform an autopsy on a living person?") Yet however offbeat or unethical his approach, he is wildly popular with audiences worldwide — and with future medical professionals.

A 2008 survey of medical and nursing students conducted by researchers at the Berman Institute of Bioethics at Johns Hopkins University found that 65% of nursing students and 76% of medical students watch the program. According to the same survey, published in the American Journal of Bioethics, students are also mad about ABC's Grey's Anatomy — another medical drama that portrays doctors behaving in less than professional ways — with 80% of nursing students and 73% of medical students following the sexual, romantic and occasionally medicine-related escapades of surgical residents at the fictional Seattle Grace Hospital.

To most viewers, especially those in medical training, it's clear that such TV dramas only vaguely resemble legitimate medical environments. Indeed, in the 2008 survey, medical and nursing students said they did not draw any significant professional lessons from the programs. But the study's authors questioned whether mere exposure to the shows — and the slippery ethics presented in them — may still subtly affect doctors' or patients' attitudes toward the practice of medicine.

To begin answering that question, three authors of the 2008 survey reteamed to conduct a follow-up study to measure the frequency and nature of ethical missteps and unprofessional behavior presented in House and Grey's Anatomy. The results, published in the April issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics (JME), suggest it's a good thing Drs. House and McDreamy practice medicine only on TV.

Researchers cataloged 179 depictions of bioethical dilemmas in 50 episodes of House and Grey's Anatomy that aired between fall 2005 and spring 2006. Of those, 49 involved obtaining informed consent for treatment from patients or their loved ones. In some instances (43%), the characters behaved according to professional codes of conduct, but in most cases (57%) they missed the mark completely — as when TV doctors failed to obtain any consent at all for a procedure or brazenly lied to patients to get them to sign off (two scenarios particularly common on House).

Researchers also noted 22 incidents in which fictional doctors deliberately veered from standard practices, endangered patients unnecessarily or disregarded their own medical ethics. In one episode of Grey's Anatomy, the character Dr. Isobel Stevens deliberately harms her heart patient (who is, hello, also her boyfriend) in the hopes that his worsened condition will bump him up higher on the heart-transplant list.

In a separate category, researchers examined portrayals of professional behavior on the two shows. Not surprisingly, exemplary behavior was uncommon. Just 5% of 396 interactions between medical colleagues and fewer than one-third of doctor-patient interactions conformed to real-life professional standards. Further, as researchers cataloged the various incidents depicted, they found they had to create a whole new category for sexual misconduct, which they primly concluded is "clearly a breach of professionalism."

But the question is whether dramatic devices on television have any bearing on the perceptions of real-world viewers. If past research on the impact of entertainment is any indication, it wouldn't be surprising if they do. One study in 2007 identified what has become popularly known as the "CSI effect": because of the public's increasing familiarity with technology and the importance of scientific evidence — due in part to media coverage of real scientific advances as well as the trumped-up technology on TV shows like CSI — juries have become more demanding of forensic evidence in courtrooms. In the study of more than 1,000 people who had previously served on juries, many said they would vote to acquit if no such evidence was presented, even if they otherwise believed the defendant to be guilty. A 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences further found that the CSI effect was helping to foster a misguided sense — even among judges and lawyers — that forensic evidence is infallible.

Does this effect translate to the field of medicine? Past research suggests that TV docs can sometimes serve as educators. A 2007 study looked at the effect of a single episode of the long-running medical drama ER on viewers' understanding of their own health. Researchers from the University of Southern California found that an episode in which a teen girl was diagnosed with high blood pressure and encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetables appeared to edify the audience, resulting in self-reported healthier eating habits and a better understanding of hypertension and weight issues among surveyed ER viewers.

In some cases, people may grasp health information better when it's presented as fiction rather than fact. A study published in the January issue of the journal Human Communication Research found that college-age women who had watched a drama involving teen pregnancy were more likely to report in a poll two weeks later that they planned to use birth control regularly, compared with those who had watched a news report on the topic. (The same effect wasn't seen in men who watched the drama, however.)

Still, a co-author of the new JME study, Ruth Faden, who is the director of the Berman Institute of Bioethics, says there isn't much evidence to support a negative "House effect" in real-life medical settings. She cites a 2002 report in the European Journal of Emergency Medicine as the closest to showing misconceptions about medical-procedure expectations derived from fictionalized TV depictions: in that study, researchers surveyed 820 young adults about their TV-consumption habits, knowledge about cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and their expectation of survival of a patient who undergoes CPR in the hospital. The survey found that people who watched medical dramas were more likely than people who didn't to overestimate survival rates for patients needing CPR.

But when it comes to real-world situations involving medical ethics, the issues are usually not as clear-cut. So while viewers of Grey's Anatomy may find Seattle Grace's medical staff to be frivolous and unprofessional, Faden doubts they believe "doctors and nurses are regularly as discourteous or indifferent as some of the characters." Faden admits to being a fan of House. "As a normal watcher myself, I don't think most people come away thinking there are lots of Dr. Houses out there," she says.

Rather, she says the high drama in TV hospitals probably does little more than spur dinner-table conversation about the ethics of medicine, possibly including complex topics like end-of-life care and access to health care — "big questions that we face in our society," Faden says.

Indeed, to encourage such useful conversation among the public, she and a group of colleagues recently formed an initiative to get TV and movie producers to collaborate with medical ethicists when creating content. "From our standpoint as scholars in bioethics, we see great opportunity," she says. "The thing about scripted television shows is how frequently they appear, coming out 20 and 25 times per year. They engage millions of people around the world, so the opportunity for bringing public attention to these issues is enormous."

source: http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1978591,00.html

Speaking

Having read the article answer these questions. Devote about 3 minutes to talk about each statement:

  1. What is the problem with medical dramas according to the article?
  2. Is ethics in medicine a problem? 
  3. Do you believe you could actually learn something about medical conditions by simply watching medical dramas? What about medical language? 

Vocabulary practice

Word Roots & Stems "mis-"

The prefix mis- adds "wrong" to the meaning of a word. For example, misspeak means speak incorrectly. Identify the word that ends with mis- in each sentence and describe its meaning.

  1. Further, as researchers cataloged the various incidents depicted, they found they had to create a whole new category for sexual misconduct, which they primly concluded is "clearly a breach of professionalism.______________________________________________________________
  2. To begin answering that question, three authors of the 2008 survey reteamed to conduct a follow-up study to measure the frequency and nature of ethical missteps and unprofessional behavior presented in House and Grey's Anatomy.  ______________________________________________________________
  3. A 2009 report by the National Academy of Sciences further found that the CSI effect was helping to foster a misguided sense — even among judges and lawyers — that forensic evidence is infallible.______________________________________________________________

Insert the right word with the right form.

  1. admitted robbing the bank.
  2. His parents  his love of reading.
  3. The real criminal was caught after Fred's execution so it was to late for him to be .
  4. The doctor  his illness as influenza.
  5. The alarm was a mistake. There is no fire. Please the fire alarm and return to your seat.
  6. The light is red, which is an that you should stop.
  7. The law recognizes the document as .
  8. She was fired for her outrageous .
  9. Humans energy from other organisms through the process of cellular respiration.
  10. The car was coming straight at me, but it at the last second.

5.3 Medical Vocabulary

Medical English - medical equipment

 

 

Medical equipment - basic

 

 

5.4 Disease and diagnose

Watching

You are going to watch a video compilcation featuring one of the diseases ferquently presented in the "House, M.D." - lupus. 

 

Project

Task 1

What other diseases can you come up with? Make a list of at least 7.

lupus

  1. ...
  2. ...
  3. etc.

Task 2.

Find the description of lupus or any other the diseases you found above and make a short (3 minute) presentation about it. 

5.5 Essay writing

Opinion Essay

An opinion essay is a formal piece of writing which requires your opinion on a topic. The opinion must be stated clearly, giving different viewpoints on the topic supported by reasons and (preferably) examples. You should also include the opposing viewpoint in another paragraph.

A successful opinion essay should have:

  1. an introductory paragraph → state the topic and your opinion.

  2. a main body → develop several paragraphs, each presenting a separate viewpoint supported by reasons. You also include a paragraph presenting the opposing viewpoint and reason why you think it is an unconvincing viewpoint;

  3. conclusion → reformulate your opinion in other words. 

Introduction

Paragraph 1

state the topic and your opinion clearly

Main Body

  • Paragraph 2 viewpoint 1 & reason, example

  • Paragraph 3 viewpoint 2 & reason, example

  • Paragraph 4 viewpoint 3 & reason/ example*

  • Paragraph 5 opposing viewpoint & reason/example*

Conclusion

Final paragraph

summarise/restate opinion

  • You may include more viewpoints, and thus more paragraphs in the main body.

Points to consider

  • Decide whether you agree or disagree with the subject of the topic, then make a list of your viewpoints and reasons.

  • Write well-developed paragraphs, joining the sentences with appropriate linking words and phrases. Do not forget to start each paragraph with a topic sentence which summarises what the paragraph is about.

  • Linking words and phrases should also be used to join one paragraph with the other.

Now choose one of the quotations and and write a 250-300 word essay on it in your individual student folder :

  1. Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory. -- Albert Schweitzer
  2. It's no longer a question of staying healthy. It's a question of finding a sickness you like. -- Jackie Mason
  3. Walking isn't a lost art: one must, by some means, get to the garage. -- Evan Esar

6. To rent or to buy?

6.1 Vocabulary + speaking

Vocabulary

Study the vocabulary conntected with the topic. The move on to discussing the questions below.

 

Speaking

Answer these question:

  1. What is the state of renting real estate in your country? Do a lot of people do that? 
  2. What are the conditions people agree on while renting?
  3. What is your opinion on renting/ Do you prefer to rent or buy? Why?

6.2 Accommodation trends

How do you prepare for a lifetime of renting?

Before reading, study the vocabulary from the text.

 

Now read the article.

How do you prepare for a lifetime of renting?

In much of the UK many young people have no prospect of getting on the property ladder. So how can they prepare for decades of renting? There's a long-held view in the UK that people rent only because they have to. They rent when young, when it seems a rite of passage. They rent before they've decided where to live permanently. But most of all, they rent because they can't yet afford to buy. Many renters enjoy the freedom.

They live in an area where they could never afford to buy. There's less hassle and responsibility. If the boiler breaks, the landlord will get it fixed. But at a certain age, perhaps in one's late 20s, there's also a nagging fear. The clock is ticking. People use phrases like "rent's just dead money".

Right To Buy in the 1980s led to a boom in home ownership. In 1988 only 9% were privately renting homes. But in recent years, as house prices have risen and the economy has stalled, the move has been in the opposite direction.

New York is a city of renters. Only 31% of homes are owned, which is less than half the national average and the lowest of all the big cities, according to the Furman Center for Real Estate at New York University. Renting can be a happy experience and for some, a lifetime of tenancy holds few fears. "I may not own the property but this is definitely my home," said one. Yet the American Dream of home ownership still holds sway, so another less-visible community across the country is growing too - the ex-New Yorkers.

Evening Standard columnist Richard Godwin has just bought a house. It's been 10 years of saving up his salary, getting help from his parents and his wife's parents.

Renting carries a stigma. "There is a social expectation to own a house at a certain point. You're made to feel like a second-class citizen if you rent." New figures predict that a 25-year-old single person in London who wants to buy will be 54 by the time they can afford it. But for the majority of people in their 20s across the whole of the UK, buying a house is becoming a decade-long pursuit. They face a pincer movement of high and rising house prices, but stagnating wages. Research by homelessness charity Shelter estimates that the average single person will have to save for 14 years before they can afford a home.

In March this year, Shelter research suggested the cost of renting had risen by £300 a year over the past year. Department for Communities and Local Government figures estimate that the average renter pays £160 a week in England. Meanwhile, the average owner-occupier pays £143 a week on their mortgage. 

Young people's reaction seems to be one of resignation. It will take time to buy. The word "precarious" crops up a lot in conversations with renters in the UK. Tenancy agreements of just a year are the norm in many places, with either party able to terminate at the six-month mark where a break clause is included. "If you want to have a child, you know it's almost impossible in private rented accommodation as you could be thrown out," says Shiv Malik, a journalist and co-founder of the Intergenerational Foundation.

But with more people forced to rent longer, how can people prepare? The fall and recent rise of renting in England and Wales One way is to look at the rest of Europe. Long-term renting is normal in many places. Figures for 2011 show that 13.3% of people in the UK privately rent (with social housing, the renting figure is 32.1%). This compares with 51% in Switzerland, 40% in Germany and 32.8% in Denmark. European countries provide much greater legal protections. Renting itself needn't be a disaster, Malik says. "In Germany people who rent have a right to make it their home."

But in the UK it can feel like a second-class system. There are limited protections. Landlords can typically boot people out of rented flats with two months' notice once a fixed term has elapsed. Sometimes tenants refuse to go and force the landlord to seek an accelerated possession order. (They have 14 days to appeal against this before a judge would typically award a possession order and give the tenant 14 or 28 days to leave.) In countries such as Germany, Switzerland or Belgium, long-term contracts and more flexibility give tenants the chance to plan for the future. But with the pool of renters in the UK rising, so is their clout. There are more of them. And they are becoming more vociferous.

Recent legislation is more renter-friendly than before. The tenancy deposit protection scheme has given peace of mind to renters worried about losing their deposit on a technicality. There is nothing to say that other measures could not be achieved by pressure on this or a future government. Many renters would welcome longer contracts where increases are pegged to the rate of wage inflation.

Banning lettings agents from charging fees to tenants would be another move that would please many renters. Neither of those measures are currently in the pipeline, so how can renters make the best of the current situation?

Finding a friendly, trustworthy landlord can really help, says Godwin. "I've been quite lucky as I was renting somewhere for seven years. My friends are amazed we've managed to stay somewhere so long." Building a strong personal relationship with a landlord can help.

Source: Eurostat

Penny Anderson, who writes the Renter Girl blog, says the big picture is uncertainty, but there are coping strategies. If possible avoid letting agents and go direct to the landlord, she says. Then find someone you click with. For the people who rent through an agent, using word of mouth to find the most honest and reasonable is always sensible. And there's nothing to say you can't personalise your rented home. In a non-permanent way. "Find a way to make your temporary home a proper home," says Anderson. "Try and have space where you can [entertain] friends when they come around. And make space for plants and ornaments." But don't accumulate too much stuff - clutter is depressing. If the letting agent is only interested in a short-term let, see if you can go direct to the landlord. Tenants have a legal right to contact the landlord during their tenancy, she says. "Go to the landlord and see if you can get a longer tenancy agreement."

And of course, one of the key ways for long-term renters to cope mentally is to keep their eyes fixed on the dream of buying somewhere. The UK builds many fewer houses than it needs every year and has done for a long time. But there's nothing to say that won't change under this or a future government.

Source: US Census Bureau, National Real Estate Development Council (India), Office for National Statistics

Then there will be plenty of renters who dream of another property crash helping them out. With prices currently rising against a background of a stagnant economy, and that rate of increase tipped to rise with the effect of the government's Help to Buy scheme, there are all the ingredients of another crash. Many renters focus on saving money, hardening themselves to making sacrifices so they can build up their deposit. Young people in the most expensive parts of the country - like south-east England - may need to ask themselves if they could do their job anywhere else.

Kate Garner, 24, who lives in Brixton, London, plans to move back to Manchester to settle down. She pays rent of £500 a month on a salary of £20,000 a year. "My friends in Manchester are definitely talking about buying houses. Up there they can consider it, whereas I can't."

And however depressing it might seem for individuals, the increasing number of people renting will inevitably lessen the whiff of social stigma. Older renters are going to become more common.

Anthony Lewis, 40, of Brighton, has been saving up for a deposit for almost a year - about £500 a month - to buy a property on his own. He says he is only just approaching the financial situation where saving is a possibility. Lewis says he wouldn't mind renting if the situation was more like it is in Europe - the rents are lower and it's more stable. "I've been renting for more than 20 years. It's just the norm these days. Renting is just what people have to do. It's the state of the nation when it comes to housing. "I can't afford a pension so I want to own my own home. It provides such security - much greater than a pension. I want to do it, I just don't how it's going to happen."

 

Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22952667

Vocabulary practice

Insert the right word in the right form.

  1. He got tired of paying rent and being a  so he bought a house and became an owner.
  2. The project was too expensive so the company it.
  3. The baby was in a position at the edge of the roof.
  4. When he came home from prison, Mike still felt the of his crime.
  5. The angry customer was in explaining the situation to the manager.

6.3 Writing predictions

Grammar and writing

In the Unit about tech breakthroughs we took a look at predictions. In your individual student folder write 5 predictions about the changes in the real estate market and rending habits of people within the next 10 years. Use proper grammar. Here is a reminder:

For predictions we normally use "Future Smple: will". However, "will" and "going to" are the same when the speaker believes something will happen: "The Yankees will win." is the same as "The Yankees are going to win."

7. Personalities and characters

7.1 Vocabulary + speaking

Vocabulary

Take a look at the vocabulary connected with personality.  

 

Speaking

Which features are crucial for a charismatic leader and why? Answer the question in 7-10 sentences.

7.2 A leader's personality

Read the Forbes article.

Overcoming Charisma

It was Max Weber, the great sociologist of the early 20th century, who first made the link, which now seems obvious, between leadership and charisma. Compared with “rational” leadership, whereby the leader derives his or her authority from a set of rules, charismatic leadership depends on the leader’s very personage.

But what is charisma? By definition, it eludes definition. It is precisely the ineffable X, the secret sauce or magic ingredient that can’t be pinned down. However, if its essence is obscure, its effects can’t be ignored. Charisma seduces people, who willingly go along with the seducer. Perhaps it equals persuasion without force.

All well and good, but the seductive powers of the charismatic leader aren’t intrinsically benevolent. Just because you can persuade someone without force doesn’t mean you’ll persuade them to do good. Charisma is an instrument of the will, and if that will is set on harm, you’d better watch out. Hence the moral ambivalence of charisma. It can be exploited for malfeasance. The devil wears charisma.

Precisely because of this moral ambivalence, the ultimate depiction of the charismatic leader must be George Orwell's Big Brother in 1984. He presents himself as benign, but he oozes a background malignity as dark and slick as engine oil. Except that he never presents himself at all. Big Brother's charisma is founded largely in absence. He is portrayed everywhere, but like some real totalitarian leaders, he doesn't appear in person. Thankfully, we have a concept of charisma that's not so morally circumscribed. It's called presence, not least because it's not afraid to be present and doesn't lurk behind screens like Big Brother. Presence is a being there without the hidden agenda that casts a shadow over charisma, without, that is, the sense of personal gain that lies behind it.

Obviously enough, the person who has presence is present, i.e., there's nothing he or she is not bringing into the room, no sense of being preoccupied or distracted, no absence to dilute the being there. It's even more compelling than charisma, for the person blessed with true presence makes you feel that the most important thing in the world is happening right here, right now. The person with presence, in other words, is a living event. It's an obvious and topical example, perhaps, but Nelson Mandela would appear to have such presence. His magnetism arises from the sense that he is there to do a job, not just to bask in glory or attract fans.

But if that still suggests something too cultish, something a leader might shy away from as too celebrity-like or demagogic, it's actually the far more practical attribute. Where the charismatic leader attracts attention to himself or herself, the leader with presence stays focused on the moment, and on what needs to be done. Presence isn't about the person but about being present for the problem that needs to be solved. We know this from our experience of people who are said to have stage presence. The moment they walk on, we're in their grip and we're in their grip because they are so in the grip of the situation they've walked into. Where inferior actors worry about how they're doing, and whether they'll fluff the next line, the actor with presence will live completely in the moment, as if--to reverse Shakespeare's adage--a stage is the world. Their saturation in the immediacy of their predicament then infects the audience, which becomes equally saturated in what's going on, in what you might call dramatic empathy. The leader with presence is like that actor. His immersion in the urgency of what is brings others in; it compels them into sharing his agenda. There's none of the manipulation involved in charisma, for what matters is the situation and the leader's ability to become infused with it, to own it, to make it a matter of utmost concern. Where charisma ends in adulation, presence leads to action.

The lesson is that when we become besotted with charismatic people, we should beware. It's the same feeling that makes us vulnerable to a Big Brother. Far better to look in a leader for those Mandela-like qualities of presence, to believe that the person you're beholding is there to get something done because it's more important than he is. Apply this to the contemporary scene, if you will. With Sarah Palin, you have someone desperately trying to gain in charisma through media manipulation. Gradually she's getting there, but as for presence, she's a long, long way off.

Charisma is a fundamentally narcissistic quality, and she appears to have no deficit of that, but as for the altruism that comes with presence, it couldn't appear further from her concerns. Does she have a counterpart with real presence? Does Barack Obama meet the presence test? The truth is that he doesn't yet have the maturity not to be caught between the two. He's still flattered by the image of himself as charismatic, but that image in the long run is corrupting. He's best  when he focuses on the presence side of things, when he's gearing up to do what's right for others, not what makes him feel good.

 

source: http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/25/charisma-presence-communication-leadership- managing-speaking

Vocabulary

Now study the vocabulary from the article.

 

 

Word Roots & Stems "-ity'

The suffix ity adds "quality" or "state" to the meaning  a word. For example: eternity is the state of being eternal. Identify the word that ends with -ity in each sentence and write it on the line.

  1. He presents himself as benign , but he oozes a background malignity as dark and slick as engine oil.
    ______________________________________________________________
  2. Compared with “rational” leadership, whereby the leader derives his or her authority from a set of rules, charismatic leadership depends on the leader's very personage.
    ______________________________________________________________
  3. But if that still suggests something too cultish, something a leader might shy away from as too celebrity-like or demagogic , it is actually the far more practical attribute.
    ______________________________________________________________

7.3 Grammar in use

Contrasting Ideas

When we show the difference between two things, we contrast describes how things are different. One word we use to contrast two things is "but". For example: "Bob likes dogs but Mary likes cats." Other ways to show difference include "however" or "even though". 

Identify how the contrasts is used in the sentences below.

  1. However, if its essence is obscure, its effects can't be ignored.
    ______________________________________________________________
  2. All well and good, but the seductive powers of the charismatic leader aren't intrinsically benevolent.
    ______________________________________________________________
  3. The truth is that he doesn't yet have the maturity not to be caught between the two.
    ______________________________________________________________

7.4 Can you learn to be charismatic?

Watching

Speaking

  1. What are the 5 characteristics?
  2. Do you agree with them?
  3. Do you think Aaron is charismatic?

7.5 Essay writing

Refer to the article

Task 1.

Answer these questions refering to the article in 3-5 sentences in your individual student folder:

  1. There is a number of characteristics mentioned in the article. Which are absolutely positive and which absolutely negative, in your opinion?
  2. “The leader with presence is like that actor. (...) There's none of the manipulation involved in charisma. (...) Where charisma ends in adulation, presence leads to action,” - do you agree with this statement?
  3. What does the statement “The devil wears charisma” mean here? Refer it to examples know to you (in any way).
  4. What is the common problem with charismatic people?

Opinion essay

Task 2.

Choose one of the quotations and and write a 250-300 word essay on it in your individual student folder:

  1. People with courage and character always seem sinister to the rest. -- Hermann Hesse
  2. You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans. -- Ronald Reagan
  3. Go through your phone book, call people and ask them to drive you to the airport. The ones who will drive you are your true friends. The rest aren’t bad people; they’re just acquaintances. -- Jay Leno

7.6 Presenting the leader

Project

Having read the article and watched the video prepare a presentation on a charismatic person/leader. Describe what they do, how charisma helps them achieve thier status. Your presentation should be about 7-10 minutes long.

8. Social issues

8.1 State, society, civilisation vocabulary

State, society, civilisation vocabulary

Study the vocabulary sets connected to the topic of social issues.

 

 
 

 

 

 

8.2 Gender trouble - reading and speaking

The ‘Sissy Boy’ Experiment

Study the vocabulary from the text, then read the article from TIME on gender trouble.

 

The ‘Sissy Boy’ Experiment: Why Gender-Related Cases Call for Scientists’ Humility

 Some of the most harrowing cases of psychological and medical malpractice involve attempts to change a child’s gender or sexual identity. Not only have such misguided “therapies” often resulted in patients’ suicides, but they also repeatedly appear to foster scientific misconduct. In back-to-back shows on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper is exploring the tragic case history of Kirk Andrew Murphy. His story has been cited as evidence that the use of punitive behavioral therapy can prevent “sissy boys” from growing up gay. But Murphy’s family believes such “therapy” ultimately led to his suicide.

As a child, Murphy preferred playing with dolls and engaging in other stereotypically “girly” activities. Concerned that he was not “normal,” his mother took him to a young doctoral student at University of California-Los Angeles named George Rekers, who claimed to be able to prevent such boys from becoming gay.

If Rekers’ name sounds familiar, it may be because he has long crusaded against homosexuality as a founder of the conservative Family Research Council. It may also be because in 2010, he was photographed in the company of a male prostitute, Jo-Vanni Roman, whom he hired from Rentboy.com to accompany him on vacation. (Rekers continues to deny that he is gay or that he was sexually involved with Roman; Roman says otherwise.)

Whatever did or didn’t happen between Rekers and Roman, Rekers’ research has long been used to oppose gay rights and to support efforts to “convert” men to heterosexuality. Back in 1974, Rekers published the case history of Kirk Andrew Murphy, to whom the author referred by the pseudonym “Kraig.” The paper claimed that after having been rewarded by his mother for “masculine” behavior and punished by his father (with harsh beatings, the family has revealed) for stereotypically feminine acts, Kraig was no longer effeminate and was now like “any other boy.” (Note: Rekers’ co-author on the paper was O. Ivar Lovaas, who would later develop Applied Behavior Analysis, a widely used treatment for autism that has in the past utilized punishment as well as reward.)

In reality, Murphy became increasingly miserable and filled with self-hatred. He grew up to be gay — but, unable to accept his sexuality, he committed suicide at age 38. Meanwhile, Rekers continued to cite Murphy’s case as a success story in research articles and books. Until the Rentboy.com incident in 2010, Rekers was regularly testifying in court cases as an expert witness against gay adoption and spoke out widely about his therapeutic success.

“Kraig’s” is not the only case study in the gender and sexuality literature that has been widely misrepresented and used in the service of politics — and ended in suicide. The case of David Reimer, widely known as the “John/Joan” case, is even worse. When Reimer, who was born with an identical twin, was maimed in a circumcision accident as a baby, he was surgically made to look anatomically female and raised as a girl. During childhood, he was never told that he had been born a boy.

His case study was used for decades to prove that gender was completely socially constructed and not biological. I recall reading about the “John/Joan” case — the pseudonyms that Reimer’s psychologist John Money gave him — in several psychology and gender textbooks as an undergraduate at Columbia College in the 1980s. Money presented the case as a success — just like Murphy’s.

Money claimed that dressing “John” as a girl after he lost his penis, providing him girly toys, calling him “Joan” and putting him in therapy to convince him he was female had worked. “Joan” had become a happy, heterosexual girl, according to Money (and the texts that cited his study), arguing that the result meant that biology had nothing to do with human sexual orientation or gender identity.

Except Reimer never saw himself as a girl. At 13, he threatened to kill himself if he was made to continue seeing Money for therapy. At 14, when he was finally told what had really happened to him, he immediately began identifying as male and underwent surgery again to attempt to reconstruct his genitals.

Reimer co-wrote a moving and brilliant account of his life story called As Nature Made Him, which was published in 2000. He married a woman but remained so unhappy that, like Murphy, he committed suicide at 38. 

Yet similar behavior-modification therapies are still being used in various teen boot camps and “tough love” programs, which attempt to make gay teens straight or to stamp out other gender variant behavior. Reimer’s and Murphy’s stories should remind us that therapeutic and scientific humility — and the physician’s oath to do no harm — should guide all attempts at treating children, particularly where highly politicized issues like gender and sexual orientation are involved.

 

source: http://healthland.time.com/2011/06/08/the-sissy-boy-experiment-why-gender-related-cases-call-for-scientists-humility

Speaking

Address these questions. Prepare a speech of about 7 minutes that discusses the aspects mentioned below.

  1. What do you think about the experiment? 
  2. Identify a quote from the text that you think is very important and explain why. 
  3. What general pattern do you observe in the information provided? Explain what evidence supports this pattern. 
  4. How does society respond to gender issues in your country?

8.3 Essay writing

Opinion or exposition

Choose one of the quotations and and write a 250-300 word essay on it in your individual student folder:

  1. The needs of society determine its ethics. -- Maya Angelou
  2. I hate women because they always know where things are. -- James Thurber
  3. The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society 

Untitled fill in the blanks question

Insert the right word with the right form.

  1. The doctors are worried that the child has  .
  2. His parents his love of reading.
  3. The doctor was accused of .
  4. His taste in music is very , he only likes the classics, but he loves new movies.
  5. The muscular man acted quite to everyone's surprise.
  6. She was fired for her in the office.
  7. The old school was into an office building.
  8. Her parents took away her car for reasons.
  9. He shows a lot of for such a powerful and rich person.
  10. When talking about his failures, his parents often his sister's success.

9. Work, Jobs, Career

9.1 Work, Jobs, Career - vocabulary and speaking

Employment and the Office vocabulary

Before discussing the topic of work, jobs and career study the vocabulary.

 

 

Speaking

Now answer these questions:

  1. What is the current situation on the job market in your country? 
  2. What is necessary for a managerial position?

9.2 Job search

So Much for Qualifications: Employers Hire People They Like

Study the vocabulary from the article below. Then read the text.

 

Now read the article.

So Much for Qualifications: Employers Hire People They Like

Ever wondered how recruitment folks at elite law, banking and management consultant firms choose between all those Ivy League graduates who arrive at their doorsteps bearing dangerously high-GPA degrees? Those with the best skill set? Those with the greatest level of commitment? Those with the most impressive hair?  If an interesting new study is to be believed, they choose the ones they like.

The study, published in the American Sociological Review, looked at the interview and hiring techniques of the three high-paying professions —first year JDs can expect to make about $175K a year—to tease out how much cultural cues influence who gets those plum jobs. The researcher, Lauren Rivera assistant professor of management and organization at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, conducted 120 interviews with job interviewers to figure out what criteria they use.

Hiring practices are important because, as all job seekers are all too well aware, the first position is always the toughest one to land. Once a young lawyer already has a few years under his or her belt at Tony, Tony, Tony & Titan law firm, other doors swing open more easily.  Moreover, since pay in the legal, banking and management consultant sector can get stratospherically high, the job interview for that first position is ground zero for income inequality. It could be argued that those 45 minutes are when society decides who’s going to be the 1% of the future.

Finding a successful employee is not an exact science, but it’s one of the key arts of management. Hiring the wrong person is an expensive mistake. And, yes, many of the candidates who apply for the elite jobs have had superior educations and worked really hard; that’s what gets them into the room. So what’s the secret sauce? As Rivera puts it in the study, “Employers sought candidates who were not only competent but also culturally similar to themselves.”

This is not so surprising; a firm’s culture is important. It’s how one business differentiates itself from another, how it goes about its mission and determines who will be its leaders. But sometimes, Rivera argues, this was more important than ability. “Concerns about shared culture …often outweighed concerns about productivity alone,” she writes in the study. This was not necessarily a race thing or a gender thing, both cultural categorizations which have been extensively studied. This is more about an elusive quality known as fit.

“Evaluators described fit as being one of the three most important criteria they used to assess candidates in job interviews; more than half reported it was the most important criterion at the job interview stage, rating fit over analytical thinking and communication,” says the study (italics mine). And what is “fit?” Basically, it’s whether your colleagues feel like they’d be able to spend the long hours with you that these high end positions entail. As one evaluator put it: “You know, you will see more of your co-workers than your wife, your kids, your friends, and even your family. So you can be the smartest guy ever, but I don’t care. I need to be comfortable working every day with you.”

(One of the joys of this study are the quotes from the evaluators. Consider this gem, from a banker: “We don’t really like people here to have outside interests.”)

And how do job applicants come by this “fit?” Well, either they’re lucky and their interviewer also played squash, lacrosse and viola, or more likely, they have such a wide swath of interests and abilities that they can find something in common with almost anyone. “Cultural similarity can thus be thought of as a form of capital that has economic conversion value in labor markets,” writes Rivera. In other words: hobbies and interests are able to be traded or cashed in when it comes to job hunting.

But interests and skills don’t arrive overnight. They are the result of years of cultivation not only by the job applicant, but more saliently, by the job applicant’s  parents, who have to have sufficient wealth, patience and know-how to get their kids participating in the right activities early. That usually turns out to be wealthy, upper class parents—you know, that 1%. It turns out income inequality starts really early.

source: http://healthland.time.com/2012/12/10/so-much-for-qualifications-employers-hire-people-they-like/

Vocabulary practice

Insert the right word with the right form.

  1. He is a drummer but a great pianist.
  2. The dangerous experiment was in a secret laboratory.
  3. The between the rich and poor became worse last year.
  4. Marriage is a big and you should probably wait until you're older.
  5. How should I fixing this?

9.3 Grammar in use

Relative Clauses

Relative Clauses give information about a subject. Sometimes the information identifies the subject. For example, in the sentence "Canada is the country which is north of the United States," the relative clause "which is north of the United States" identifies Canada.Sometimes a relative clause gives extra information that does not identify the subject. In the sentence "Miguel is from Mexico, which is south of the United States," the subject is "Miguel" and the relative clause "which is south of the United States" tells more about Mexico, NOT about Miguel. It is extra information that does NOT  identify Miguel. The clases can be introduced by which, who or that or commas.

Identify how the relative clauses is used in the sentences below:

  1. [...] Employers sought candidates who were not only competent but also culturally similar to themselves.________________________________________________________________________
  2. Well, either they're lucky and their interviewer also played squash, lacrosse and viola, or more likely, they have such a wide swath of interests and abilities that they can find something in common with almost anyone.________________________________________________________
  3. The study, published in the American Sociological Review, looked at the interview and hiring techniques of the three high-paying professions [...].________________________________________________________
  4. Ever wondered how recruitment folks at elite law, banking and management consultant firms choose between all those Ivy League graduates who arrive at their doorsteps bearing dangerously high-GPA degrees?________________________________________________________

9.4 Life and Business Coaching

Listening

Before you listen to the audio on career and business coaching think what coaching is about. 

While listening, focus on the following aspects:

  • goals
  • career plans
  • professional burnout
  • networking
  • blame shifting
  • strengths and weaknesses
  • mentoring vs. coaching

 

Watching

Also, watch the video on an exemplary executive coachiong session. What is your immediate impression? Who is doing more talking? What is the role of the coach?

Project

Having listened to the audio and having watched the video prepare a 7-10 minute presentation on business and career coaching. Search for more information on the topic, you might focus on these aspects:

  • what is coaching?
  • how does it work?
  • which areas of life does it cover?
  • examples of coaching sessions
  • is there some coaching offer in your country/region?
  • etc.

9.5 Short answers and essay

Short responses

Task 1.

Answer these questions related to the article in 3-5 senternces. Write your answers in your individual student folder:

  1. How do recruiters work, according to the article? 
  2. What is the fit quality? How can you get it? What is it more important than? 
  3. How is culture important, according to the article and your knowledge about your country? 

Composition - expository or argumentative

Task 2.

Choose one of the quotations and and write a 250-300 word essay on it in your individual student folder:

  1. Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose. -- Bill Gates
  2. I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed. -- Michael Jordan
  3. Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't. -- Pete Seeger

10. Lifestyle and Entertainment

10.1 Lifestyle and Entertainment

Lifestyle and Entertainment

You are going to read two articles on popular culture and entertainment. They are 20 years apart. Compare the points of view and attitudes presented in both texts.

Text 1.

Popular Culture Leaves Its Mark On The 20th Century

January 26, 1993|By Jon Margolis.

 

Bill Clinton is the first president of the 21st Century.

No, that's not a prediction that he'll be re-elected in 1996. When he took office he became the first president of the 21st Century, which has already begun. The 20th Century is over. Historian John Lukacs, one of the first to notice, said the "main political and social phenomenon" of the 20th Century was nationalism.

But it was also the century of democracy and consumer technology, and through them the century of popular culture. The 20th was the American Century. The 21st may not be. The 21st Century is likely to be dominated by electronic technology, which rejects national boundaries. It allows people to live farther away from each other, and also provides more ways to have fun. Individualism gives everyone the right to have fun. Mass affluence, an invention of the 20th Century, enables most people to have fun.

Thus, popular culture. At one of those symposiums that serious intellectuals attend, Saul Bellow complained recently that "the prevailing culture is what we see on television," that "our mental life is being taken over by (popular culture's) powers," and that "there seems to be a collective turning away from the arts."

Well, serious intellectuals are always complaining like this, and in some ways "the arts," measured by concert audiences, book sales and university theater departments, have never been healthier. "Serious" culture has so far survived popular culture, but in diluted form.

The dilution results not because popular culture exists but because it is taken seriously. There are sociologists of football. A certified college professor has written a book about Madonna, whose only talent is self-promotion. Three new books are about to appear on the topic of Hunter Thompson, the "gonzo" journalist who has little to say and doesn't say it very well, perhaps because he doesn't know much. He writes about political campaigns without knowledge of politics, history, economics or how society works. He has insights, some wit and no restraint.

That's how popular culture has diluted everything around it. Insight and passion are sufficient to win a hearing. Even to inquire about other credentials is deemed undemocratic. Were someone to come along now and say, "a fair and open field is not to be refused to any speaker, but this solemn way of heralding him is quite out of place, unless he has . . . some significance," he would be derided as elitist and reactionary. In fact, Matthew Arnold, who said that some 120 years ago, was a liberal. He was an elitist, though, and part of an educated elite.

As he knew, that elite could be snobbish and empty-headed. But at least most of its members knew things. Nor was it necessary to have been born into the elite. Robert Burns, 100 years earlier, was a poor Scottish farmboy who never went to a university. He had insight and passion, but he also knew a great deal-the Bible, Greek mythology, the history of his country, Shakespeare and Milton, a foreign language. An ignoramus could not be a great poet.

Popular culture means democratic culture, in which every idea is equal to every other idea, as long as it is fervently held and boldly stated. An important point of view in the finest universities holds that all works are simply "text"-Danielle Steele no less than Shakespeare. No wonder there's a book about Madonna.

The democratization of culture and politics has enormous benefits. Modern America is the first place in the history of the world where almost everyone can go to college. This gives unprecedented access to both economic opportunity and great skill.

But there is a danger in learning skills without learning content. Oliver Stone is an extraordinarily skilled moviemaker, and an extraordinarily ignorant man. His movies are good, in the way a Buick commercial is good. But because their technique is superb, their content becomes influential.

There is probably nothing to be done about this. As Neil Postman points out in his book, "Amusing Ourselves to Death," a society that gets its knowledge through television differs from one that gets its knowledge through books. Even their concepts of "knowledge" differ.

"We have so thoroughly accepted (television's) definitions of truth, knowledge and reality," Postman said, "that irrelevance seems to us to be filled with import, and incoherence seems eminently sane." The result, he said, is that "much of our public discourse has become dangerous nonsense." So it's interesting, and perhaps important, that Clinton reads a lot and immerses himself in the details of policy. The first president of the 21st Century is in some ways a 19th Century person. Maybe what 21st Century America needs is a 19th Century president. After all, America is an 18th Century idea.

 

source: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1993-01-26/news/9303172229_1_21st-century-popular-culture-american-century

Speaking - short responses

Now answer these questions in 3-5 sentences.

  1. This article is over 20 years old. What did you expect of it before reading? 
  2. Suggest a different title for this article. Why do you think that this would make a good title? 
  3. What are the prediction posed in the article about pop culture of the 21st century. 
  4. How do you understand popular culture? 
  5. What is the state of pop culture today? 
  6. Would you agree with this statement: "Popular culture has gone bad." Explain your answer. 

Text 2.

The Thinking Person’s Entertainment

By ALISSA QUARTJAN. 12, 2013

SOME of television’s most compelling shows start up again this month — and thank heaven for that. “Downton Abbey,” “The Good Wife” and “Girls” will happily draw viewers — like me — back into their characters and their plot-heavy story lines. There is a reason for our attraction to these shows other than that they simply entertain us. “Downton” and today’s other quality television series also promise a welcome escape from a muddled, technology-addled existence.

By pulling us away from Twitter, texts, e-mails, pointless videos and all the other technological distractions demanding attention, “Homeland,” “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad” provide a coherent (albeit sometimes disturbing) refuge from our fragmented lives. I, for one, find a sense of narrative order, however fleeting, from these shows.

They provide relief from nonnarrative mobile messages, from different voices nattering away, all at once, on different subjects and the multiple, inconstant jobs that now fill so much of our lives.

Today’s shows are qualitatively different from older, sophisticated shows like “St. Elsewhere” or “Hill Street Blues” or “thirtysomething,” all of which, though deftly written, were relatively formulaic. A “Hill Street Blues” episode inevitably ended with a slow cop car chase around the same alley that eventually brought the criminal element to justice.

The conflicts presented in “thirtysomething,” one of the best shows of the late 1980s and early ’90s, were even less remarkable: in one episode, for example, the pretty boomer mom Hope Steadman struggled to find a good-enough nanny for her infant daughter. Story lines sometimes stretched beyond a single episode but, for the most part, dramas were neatly resolved in the allotted time slot. Madcap antics sometimes arose (an “L.A. Law” episode involved a member of the ensemble cast in a gorilla suit) but these were incidental to the central action.

The high-octane, multilayered story lines that drive today’s best television represent one side of an opposition posed by Lev Manovich, a scholar at the City University of New York Graduate Center: narrative versus database. Database logic (that of the computer archive) tends to lack beginnings or endings, and thematic developments are not necessarily sequential. Professor Manovich has written that the database is simply a collection of individual items in which “every item has the same significance as any other.” One bit of information stands on equal footing with every other bit of information. Information is gathered, without a fixed order.

IN the first years of the new century, television seemed to be looking to find a competitive niche for itself in a media world increasingly dominated by the database logic of the Web. “Lost,” “Heroes” and other shows of this era (and films like “Babel” and “Traffic”) offered what I call “hyperlink television” and “hyperlink cinema.” Their “sideways” and flashback-laden narratives involved constant cutting back and forth among disparate characters, reflective of an emerging culture of sensory as well as existential multitasking. TV shows, like the rest of the world, started to operate at a frenetic pace.

Those shows made sense to Web-savvy audiences alive to the fun of skipping back and forth from one thread to the next, and to random-seeming series of nonlinear sequences directed mostly by whim, taste and mood.

Smartphones have helped make our lives so multilayered and cacophonous that only super-narrative television shows like “Boardwalk Empire” can offer respite from our everyday “hyperlinked” reality. My preference for these shows over “hyperlink” shows suggests that I, along with a large segment of the American viewing public, again want to be captivated by melodrama.

DVR, Netflix streaming videos, television series on iTunes and television box sets with commentaries mean we can now watch these high-charged, emotive narratives as we once read novels, in long sittings, without regard for a television network’s schedule. We may well take in whole seasons or at least several episodes at once.

These marathons, hilariously mocked in the show “Portlandia,” when a couple give up their jobs and friends in order to spend a week watching every episode of the latest TV iteration of “Battlestar Galactica” back to back, may actually bespeak a shared hunger for continuing, connected conversation and community. Television shows watched in this fashion provide a kind of through-line that’s missing from most of our lives.

Premium cable, with its loosened content restrictions and quality programming, has made possible a period of what the Brandeis University scholar Thomas Doherty called “Arc TV,” or “adult-minded serials” whose story lines unfold “over the life span of the series” and whose strongest kinship is to the serialized novel of the 19th century.

For many among today’s intelligentsia, television serials like “Homeland,” “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” with their continuing fables of Alicia Florrick and Walter White, Don Draper and Carrie Mathison, occupy the cultural position of the Dickens tales that were famously doled out in monthly installments. (Except that spoilers are possible now in a way they were not in the age of Pip or Little Nell.) Narrative shows have become the entertainment of choice. And that’s because stories, not algorithms, give order to our hectic world.

 

source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/opinion/sunday/tv-the-thinking-persons-entertainment-of-choice.html?_r=1

Speaking - short responses

Answer these questions in short responses (5-7 sentences):

  1. How would you characterize modern TV series, according to your personal experiences?
  2. How are modern shows different from the old ones? Do you agree with the assumption?
  3. What are quality shows? What is their advantage?
  4. How are formulaic shows characterized? What are some examples? Can you name any of your own instances?
  5. Would you see any value in modern TV series?

 

 

Word Roots & Stems "-ment"

The suffix -ment changes a verb into a noun, like judgement. Study the examples frm the articles:

  • My preference for these shows over “ hyperlink ” shows suggests that I, along with a large segment of the American viewing public, again want to be captivated by melodrama.
  • A “ Hill Street Blues ” episode inevitably ended with a slow cop car chase around the same alley that eventually brought the criminal element to justice.

Now fill in the blanks below, just as in the models.

  • statement state + ment: The president will make a statement tonight. 
  • imprisonment imprison + ment: His imprisonment lasted ten years. 
  • resentment ________________________________________________ 
  • nourishment ________________________________________________ 
  • excitement ________________________________________________ 
  • achievement  ________________________________________________ 

Vocabulary practice

Insert the right word in the right form.

  1. That bleach is too strong; you should it before you mop the floor.
  2. The work on our new house is very well at the moment.
  3. The first moon landing was .
  4. His made it possible for him to buy the company he used to work for.
  5. You must show your to enter the building.
  6. He was very sad that the newspaper his work.
  7. After a , the boys began to play again.
  8. The weather will change soon.
  9. They half their money to food.
  10. He was so excited he his words.

10.2 Grammar practice

Passive Voice

Notice the difference between the sentences "Carol washed the car" and "The car was washed by Carol. " The first sentence is about Carol; Carol is the subject and the verb is "washed", the simple past tense. The second sentence is about the car, the car is the subject and the verb phrase is "was washed", the passive voice in the past tense.

Identify how the passives is used in the sentences below:

  1. Were someone to come along now and say, a fair and open field is not to be refused to any speaker, but this solemn way of heralding him is quite out of place, unless he has.
    _______________________________________________________
  2. We have so thoroughly accepted (television's) definitions of truth, knowledge and reality, Postman said, that irrelevance seems to us to be filled with import, and incoherence seems eminently sane.
    _______________________________________________________
  3. The 21st Century is likely to be dominated by electronic technology, which rejects national boundaries.
    _______________________________________________________
  4. There is probably nothing to be done about this.
    _______________________________________________________

10.3 Project Lifestyle

Watching

You are going to watch a YouTube video on blogging and vlogging as a lifestyle. Making a living of blogging or YouTube channels has become incredibly popular lately. Listen to the story of the video's character. 

 

Project

Now make some more research on popular blogs, vlogs, channels and prepare a presentation on this topic. The ideas you should include are the following:

  • describe the chosen area: blogs, vlogs, channels or others,
  • give examples of types of content covered (generally),
  • choose 1-3 representatives and describe their work, justify why you chose them,
  • present an opinion on this type of lifestyle.

10.4 Writing a composition

Expository writing

Choose one of the quotations and and write a 250-300 word essay on it in your individual student folder:

  1. I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained -- Walt Disney Company
  2. What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish. -- W.H. Auden
  3. YouTube is becoming much more than an entertainment destination. -- Chad Hurley

11. Global Issues and the Environment

11.1 Vocabulary - The Environment and Conservation

Vocabulary - The Environment and Conservation

Before moving on to the core of this unit, study the environment-oriented vocabulary.

 

Speaking

Having studied studied the environment and conservation vocabulary, choose 3 problems that you come accross and prepare a short, 5-7 minute speech on their gravity and impact in today's world. Justify your choice.

11.2 Global threats

Read the 2014 article predicting global issues and risks to occur in the coming decades.

10 greatest threats facing the world in 2014

By: Kim Hjelmgaard, January 16, 2014

 

The World Economic Forum on Thursday released its Global Risks 2014 report.

"Taking a 10-year outlook, the report assesses 31 risks that are global in nature and have the potential to cause significant negative impact across entire countries and industries if they take place," is how the WEF describes the report in a statement accompanying its release. 

"The risks are grouped under five classifications — economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological — and measured in terms of their likelihood and potential impact," the statement says.

The report canvasses the views of 700 experts from around the world. Ten of what the WEF calls the "global risks of highest concern" for 2014 are as follows:

Fiscal crises in key economies

"Fiscal crises feature as the top risk in this year's Global Risks report. Advanced economies remain in danger, while many emerging markets have seen credit growth in recent years, which could fuel financial crises. A fiscal crisis in any major economy could easily have cascading global impacts."

Structurally high unemployment/underemployment

"Unemployment appears second overall, as many people in both advanced and emerging economies struggle to find jobs. Young people are especially vulnerable – youth unemployment is as high as 50% in some countries and underemployment (with low-quality jobs) remains prevalent, especially in emerging and developing markets."

Water crises

"Environmental risks feature prominently on this year's list. Water crises, for instance, rank as the third highest concern, illustrating a continued and growing awareness of the global water crisis as a result of mismanagement and increased competition for already scarce water resources."

Severe income disparity

"Closely associated in terms of societal risk, income disparity is also among the most worrying issues. Concerns have been raised about the squeezing effect the financial crisis had on the middle classes in developed economies, while globalization has brought about a polarization of incomes in emerging and developing economies."

Failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation

"Even as governments and corporations are called upon to speed up greenhouse gas reduction, it is clear that the race is on not only to mitigate climate change but also to adapt. Failure to adapt has the biggest effect on the most vulnerable, especially those in least developed countries."

Greater incidence of extreme weather events (e.g. floods, storms, fires)

"Climate change is the key driver of uncertain and changing weather patterns, causing an increased frequency of extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. TheGlobal Risks 2014 report draws attention to the combined implications of these environmental risks on key development and security issues, such as food security and political and social instability, ranked 8th and 10th respectively."

Global governance failure

"The risk of global governance failure, which lies at the heart of the risk map, was viewed by respondents as one of the risks that is most connected to others. Weak or inadequate global institutions, agreements or networks, combined with competing national and political interests, impede attempts to cooperate on addressing global risks."

Food crises

"One of the top societal risks in the report, food crises occur when access to appropriate quantities and quality of food and nutrition becomes inadequate or unreliable. Food crises are strongly linked to the risk of climate change and related factors."

Failure of a major financial mechanism/institution

"Over five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the failure of a major financial mechanism or institution also features among the risks that respondents are most concerned about, as uncertainty about the quality of many banks' assets remains."

Profound political and social instability

"At number 10 is the risk that one or more systemically critical countries will experience significant erosion of trust and mutual obligations between states and citizens. This could lead to state collapse, internal violence, regional or global instability and, potentially, military conflict."

 

Source: www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2014/01/16/wef-biggest-risks-facing-world-2014/4505691/

Now study the vocabulary from the article.

 

Vocabulary practice

Insert the right word in the right form.

  1. The politicians argued about policy and taxes.
  2. The water from the bathroom down the stairs.
  3. The accident traffic on the highway.
  4. Winning the lottery the pain of the divorce.
  5. Apart from a car, she also owned a house, which was her largest .
  6. English seems the most language in the world.
  7. The in the level of their knowledge stems from the difference in experience.

11.3 Summary and Essay

Summary

Task 1.

Answer these questions in your individual student folder.

  1. Write 3-5 sentences summarizing the article. 
  2. What is the main idea of this article? What details from the article support your answer? 
  3. Make a list of words that denote negative phenomena. 
  4. Which global issue do you perceive as the most dangerous and serious? 

Expository essay

Task 2. 

Choose one of the quotations and and write a 250-300 word essay on it in your individual student folder:

  1. The more rapidly a civilization progresses, the sooner it dies for another to rise in its place.― Havelock Ellis
  2. Water and air, the two essential fluids on which all life depends, have become global garbage cans. ― Jacques-Yves Cousteau
  3. Development is about transforming the lives of people, not just transforming economies. ― Joseph E. Stiglitz

11.4 The world has gone bad

Project

Prepare a 10-minute presentation on the greatest global issue (problem) of all times of your choice. Describe what (has) happened or is ongoing, giving pure facts and then present your own opinion.

You might get inspired by one of the videos below.

 

 

12. Politics and Economy

12.1 Politics and Economy

The euro-zone economy - Losing the plot

 

Read the article from the Economist and then aswer the questions below

The euro-zone economy - Losing the plot

AS IN a complex film script, at least two storylines have been in play for the euro zone this year. One is brightly lit, featuring the revival of both consumer and business confidence, the return of investors to the troubled economies in peripheral Europe and the continuing recovery from the double-dip recession. The other is sombre, focusing on the weakness of that upturn, the onset of disturbingly low inflation and the continuing fragility of over-indebted economies and their banks. The past few days have brought a reminder that this second story is not yet fully told.

A crisis at Banco Espírito Santo (BES), one of Portugal’s biggest banks, prompted a plunge in Portugal’s stockmarket and lesser tumbles elsewhere. Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, said that the episode illustrated how swiftly market nerves could return and how fragile the construction of the euro remained.

Renewed worries about banks have coincided with some gloomy economic numbers. Industrial production fell by 1.1% in May compared with April, leaving it up only 0.5% over the past year (see chart). The decline may have been exaggerated by temporary factors, such as workers taking additional time off after public holidays, but industrial output is still 13% lower than at its peak in April 2008, before the financial crisis. Business surveys have also been signalling a cooling in the euro zone since April. Investors’ confidence in the German economy, Europe’s powerhouse, is waning, according to the ZEW index.

Industrial production makes up only a fifth of the euro-zone economy. But its poor performance in May makes it likelier that the overall recovery, which started in the spring of 2013, remained feeble in the second quarter. To date, GDP growth has averaged only 0.2% a quarter (an annualised rate of 0.9%).

Another worry about the recovery is that it has been so uneven. What little growth there was in the first quarter was driven by German output, which expanded sharply. The French economy, the second-biggest in the euro area, stagnated while Italy’s, the third-biggest, contracted.

Unemployment is still disturbingly high in much of the euro zone. Though the overall jobless rate has fallen since its peak last year it remained at 11.6% of the labour force in May. That average disguises the fact that in Germany the rate was 5.1% compared with 12.6% in Italy and 25.1% in Spain.

Against this background, it is unsurprising that inflation is stuck at just 0.5%. Although the European Central Bank (ECB) took steps to counter “lowflation” in early June, the worry is that it has still not done enough. In a survey of the euro-zone economy published on July 14th the IMF urged the ECB to adopt quantitative easing—creating money to buy assets including sovereign bonds—if inflation remains too low.

Lowflation represents a particular threat to highly indebted countries like Portugal. The Portuguese example had been one of the brightest exhibits in the sunny storyline as yields on government debt plummeted and the country emerged from its bail-out in May. But this month brought shadows. The setback to industry was gravest in Portugal, where production fell by 3.6% compared with April, leaving it only 0.3% higher than a year earlier. Moreover, GDP contracted in the first quarter of 2014 after staging a recovery during 2013.

However, it is alarm about the viability of BES that really rattled the equity markets, in Portugal and beyond. The problem seems to lie in the complex ladder of holding companies above the bank. In June BES disclosed accounting irregularities and an “extremely negative” financial situation at one of these companies, which revealed this month that it had missed payments on some of its debt

The central bank insists that BES, which was the only big bank in Portugal not to have been bailed out during the euro crisis, has enough capital to withstand its parents’ problems. It has forced the bank’s founding family to make way for new managers with no connections to the family or the bank’s previous board. After losing two-thirds of their value in a month, BES’s shares recovered slightly this week

Yet the problems at BES underscore the significance of the ECB’s root-and-branch investigation of bank balance-sheets. Worries about what may be lurking on them have contributed to the credit drought that has enfeebled the economies of southern Europe. Suspicion that banks lack sufficient capital to absorb souring debts remains widespread. The ECB must allay it when it publishes its findings this autumn if the sunny storyline is to prevail over the film noir

Source: http://www.economist.com/node/21607822

Vocabulary practice

Insert the right word in the right form.

  1. The teacher the importance of the test.
  2. He refused to where he got the money from.
  3. The dead bird to the ground.
  4. A study showed how few students scored well.
  5. Last year business was good but this year we had a because of the war.
  6. The poison will a person and make it impossible to walk.
  7. During the blackout the mayor tried to people's fear.
  8. The Yankees are a in professional baseball.

12.2 To unite or to part? - writing

Writing

Having read the article answer these questions. Wrtite the answers in your individual student folder:

  1. Which numbers given in the text you find most important or disturbing? Why? 
  2. What is the current situation with the Euro currency in Europe? 
  3. What is your personal opinion on the monetary unity? 
  4. Write one sentence that summarizes the whole text. 
  5. Based on the last paragraph what is the next section likely to be titled?

12.3 Grammar in Use

Likelihood

When we are not sure something is happening or has happened, we use a modal before the verb to show how likely we think it is. For example, if we are indoors and cannot see the weather but do see a wet person holding an umbrella, we say "It must be raining". In cases where we are less certain, we say "It may be raining.", "It might be raining." or "It could be raining." The modals may, might, and could are all the same in this situation.

We can also use he modals-past-likelihood to refer to past occurances. We then use perfect auxiliaryhave. For example "It must have been raining" or "It must have rained".

Identify how the modals(-past-)likelihood is used in the sentences below:

  1. The decline may have been exaggerated by temporary factors, such as workers taking additional time off after public holidays, but industrial output is still 13% lower than at its peak in April 2008, before the financial crisis.__________________________________________________________________________
  2. Worries about what may be lurking on them have contributed to the credit drought that has enfeebled the economies of southern Europe.__________________________________________________________

12.4 First World Problems

Watching

Watch this home-made parody on "First World Problems". 

 

Speaking

Do you agree with the representation?

What other first-world problems can you think of or maybe you struggle with every day? Try typing it in a search engne and see what you might get. Comment on that too in a 7-10 minute speech.