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Archive for the ‘Listening’ Category

Perpetuating Stereotypes

 

This is an integrated writing task based on the video showing part of a Russel Peters’ presentation.

 

https://storify.com/defstef98/perpetuating-stereotypes

 

 Write your answer in no more than 200 words.

Dealing successfully with the Listening Section of the TOEFL iBT requires certain skills. Do you have what it takes?

Seize the opportunity

  1. The best time is now.
  2. Opportunity only knocks once
  3. Don’t let the it slip through your fingers.
  4. Make the most of every situation
  5. Never put off to tomorrow what you can do today
  6. Take the bull by the horns
  7. It’s your turn to shine
  8. Step into the limelight
  9. It’s now or never.
  10. A once-in-a-lifetime chance
  11. Don’t throw away your chances
  12. Don’t play with your luck.

The proverbs and sayings above all cover the same idea: SEIZE THE DAY

How do these words of wisdom relate to the current Brazil riots across the country because of bus fares (the original reason)?

We all have a right to know – Integrated skills

Shakespeare once said that ignorance is bliss. Many Americans would probably agree with him, in light of the recent surveillance programs scandal involving the National Security Agency. Or maybe they wouldn’t.

The debate now spins on the figure of ex- CIA technician Edward Snowden, for some a hero, for others a traitor. Why did he decide to blow the whistle? Watch the video to find out.

There are many words for someone like Snowden, someone who reveals top secret information and unleashes a scandal of catastrophic proportions.

Whistleblower = Squealer = Snitch = Rat = Canary = Sell-out

Regardless of the name you use, do you think Snowden did the right thing by revealing this kind of information? What reasons do you have for your view?

Improving your listening skills – Integrated task

Read and listen to some tips on how to improve listening skills. Then answer the THREE questions below in a continuous text in the COMMENTS box.

  1. What tips does the person give?
  2. Which of them do you find most useful?
  3. What other tip would you give to a person learning English?

Improve your listening skills

Integrated Writing – Protecting children

Read the article on this blog about ways parentes can protect their kids

http://www.childalert.co.uk/article.php?articles_id=124

Watch the video on what parents should allow children to do:

http://www.ted.com/talks/gever_tulley_on_5_dangerous_things_for_kids.html

Summarize the points raised in the video and say how the speaker’s position contrasts with that held by the author.

Time: 20 minutes

Length = 200 words minimum

Integrated Speaking – Going viral

 

Watch the video and state the main reasons according to the speaker why certain videos go viral. Then, state which in your opinion is the most important or effective way of popularizing a video.

Record your answers on the Voxopop page here.

Integrated Writing and Reading

Try your hand at going through TWO integrated tasks. The pages in the printed version of the book are in bold and in brackets.

SB

Integrated Writing p.657  ex. 23.2 (p.632) – Tasks 4 and 5

Listening p.321-329 ex. 12.2 (p.347)

You can post your draft answers to tasks 4 and 5 above in the Comments box if you please.

 

 

Integrated Writing – For or Against Gun Control in America

In the wake of the Aurora shooting, the perennial discussion on the individual right or non-right to guns in the U.S. once again comes to the fore. Read the following text on the topic:

I have a dream to counter the nightmare of Aurora. I see three or four ex-presidents standing together, speaking truth to the American people. Here is what they would say:

“Our fellow Americans, we have come together not as Democrats or Republicans, but as men who have been privileged to lead this great country. We all treasure the constitution and the Second Amendment. We believe that Americans have the right to own guns. But that amendment does not entitle citizens to own combat weapons like the assault weapon that the Aurora shooter used to kill 12 and wound 58 more in a Colorado theater. The AR-15 assault rifle is a military-style weapon designed to feature high-capacity ammunition magazines capable of firing up to 30 rounds of ammunition without reloading. You don’t need an assault weapon to protect your family or shoot a deer. No one should own an assault rifle except our folks in the military and the law enforcement officers who protect us. For 10 years, assault weapons like these were banned in all 50 states until Congress let the Federal Assault Weapons Ban “sunset.”

“Our fellow Americans, it’s time to reinstate this law. We call upon the men who lead, or want to lead this country, and the Congress, to do the right thing: protect American citizens by restricting the sale of such weapons to those who have been authorized to use them.”

Is such a group presidential statement a pipedream?

Former President Jimmy Carter has long called for reinstating the assault weapons ban. So, too, did President Clinton. In 1994 Clinton signed two bills that became the hallmark of such efforts. The Brady Handgun Violence Protection Act required a five-day waiting period and background check for the sale of handguns and created a National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The Assault Weapons bill he signed banned the production and importing of 19 types of military-style semiautomatic assault weapons and other guns with similar features, as well as ammunition magazines containing more than 10 rounds.

President George H.W. Bush signed an executive order making it illegal to import Uzis and AK-47s. Even his son, President George W. Bush, whose opposition to gun control may have helped him eke out victory over Al Gore, indicated in 2004 that he would have signed an assault weapons ban reauthorization had Congress approved it.

If not now, when? How many more massacres must Americans endure –the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Columbine, Amish girls, Virginia Tech, Fort Hood, Gabby Giffords? Can’t we do more than pray for families of victims and carry flowers to their graves? 

For the full article, go here.

Now watch the following video in which the speaker seeks to answer a very simple question: Do American Citizens have the right to own a gun?

The task: State how the reading passage contrasts with the views presented in the video. Give examples and reasons presented in each. Write at least 200 words.  

More Independent Speaking – Sample answers

Task 1
What was the most important decision that you have ever made? Why was this decision important to you?
Task 2
If you could spend a year living in any city in the world, which city would you choose to live in? Give the reasons why you would want to live there.
Task 3
What do you think of this statement?
Failure often leads to success.
Give an example of why you think this is sometimes true. Give another example of why you think this statement is NOT true. Then state your opinion of this statement.
Task 4
You have received a full scholarship to a good university in your country. You have also been offered a full scholarship to a top university in another country. Which of these two scholarships would you accept? Why?