Anagomezgarcia’s Weblog

This is a blog for my students at the Official Language School in Valencia

1B1 Exam Units 7-12 Model B May 21, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 10:33 am

1B1 TEST: LISTENING, READING AND WRITING ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT

Listen to Brian, Olivia, Celia, Carl, Christina and Martin. Read about Justin. Take notes, choose one option and write 100-200 words(*):

OPTION A

Write an email to Justine, the ethical man. Ask him questions about his experience. Tell him about Brian, Olivia, Celia, Carl, Christina and Martin giving details of what they all do to make the world a better place. Tell him about your carbon footprint (more or less) and your plans to reduce it.

OPTION B

Should corporations stop pollution? Can governments reduce the power of corporations? Can the media help with examples like Justine’s? How important in comparison are individual contributions like those of Brian, Olivia, Celia, Carl, Christina and Martin? Write a forum post about the role each has to play.

Reading

Hi – I’m  Justin Rowlatt and I´m the BBC´s “Ethical Man”. So, what does living ethically mean? Giving up the car, recycling wine bottles, not using plastic bags? I spent a year trying to find out. I want to be clear about one thing right from the start – it wasn´t my idea to become the BBC´s ethical man. I had just started working for the BBC and on my first day the editor asked me to come into his office.

“What did I think  about the idea of a journalist trying to live as ethical a lifestyle as possible for a year?” he wanted to know. He asked me if I liked the idea. What did I think? It was my first day; I said I thought it was a great idea! That´s why my family  and I agreed to spend  a year doing all we could to reduce our impact on the  environment.

We changed the light bulbs in our house to energy – saving bulbs. We changed the way we heat and power our home. We stopped flying and we got rid of the car. Instead we walked, used bicycles, or took public transport.  We did our supermarket shopping on line, ate organic vegetables and I even stopped eating meat (for a month). My heavily pregnant wife, Bee, walked two miles to hospital in the middle of the night, to give birth to our third daughter. When we went on holiday to France, instead of choosing a flight, we went on a nightmarish twelve-hour journey on the train, in a heatwave.

It has been a tough year. I put my family through hell and there were many arguments, but what was the final result? We reduced our carbon footprint by 37 percent. Being forced to go green has shown me that anyone can achieve more than we think. However,  most people are too busy to make the sacrifice. In our case, we don´t regret it: we aren´t planning to get the car back and many of the other changes will remain, too.

(*)Please notice that writings that are more than 20% identical will be not be valid.

 

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1B1 Exam Units 7-12 Model A

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 8:15 am

1B1 TEST: LISTENING, READING AND WRITING ABOUT LIFE CHANGES

Listen to Julie and read about Greg. Take notes, choose one option and write 100-200 words(*):

OPTION A

Write a blog post or a page of your diary. Describe Julie and Greg’s life changes and explain if you would like to have similar experiences or not. Give reasons.

OPTION B

Imagine Greg and Julie died long ago and they were your brother and sister. Write your kids an email telling them what happened to their aunt and uncle. Invent the ends.

Reading

Most people have dreamt of winning the lottery. They think being very rich will make them happy. However, in reality this is often not the case and many lottery winners spend all their money and end up with nothing. Some lucky winners have done better and managed to change their lives for the better.

One such example is car mechanic Greg Davies from Edinburgh, Scotland. In 2014, at the age of 39, he won nearly £100 million on the lottery. At the time he owned a repair garage, but dreamt of becoming a professional racing driver. Winning the lottery didn’t change his life overnight. In fact, to begin with he didn’t even celebrate, as his partner thought he was joking about his win and wanted to check his numbers. Greg didn’t spend all the money. He bought his mother a house and his son a motorbike. He also bought himself a sports car and a speedboat. Now both Greg and his partner Linda are deciding what to do with the rest of their lives.

They aren’t thinking of getting married but they have decided to give up their jobs. Greg plans to become a professional racing driver and Linda wants to buy a horse or two. One thing is for certain, there will be another big change in their lives. They have decided to move house so they can have a larger garage for the cars Greg wants to buy. Winning such a large amount of money has, they said, been an interesting experience. They have found, though, that not everyone believes they are rich. Even they don’t believe that they are wealthier than many famous celebrities!

(*)Please notice that writings that are more than 20% identical will be not be valid.

 

 

 

1C1 Exam Units 6-10 Model B May 20, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 12:49 pm

EXAM INSTRUCTIONS

1-You have 2 hours to read, listen (3 times) and write A/B (200-300 words).

2-Send me your listening notes(1), reading notes(2) and writing(3) before the end of the class.

3-Exams with the same words/ideas will not be considered valid.

EXAM QUESTIONS

OPTION A: The speakers you have just listened to are the main characters of the story you are going to write for the ols.net (*) competition. The third speaker is the writer of the text 10 Reasons to Watch Less Television and wants to persuade everybody stop watching tv.

OPTION B: How can we reduce the amount of brainwashing that comes with mainstream and social media? Write a problem-solution essay. Include some of the ideas of the listening extract. You might want to look at other historical periods to draw comparisons.

(*)Official Language School

TEXT

10 Reasons to Watch Less Television

1-It is influencing your worldview. Anybody who has ever been a policeman, a lawyer, a psychiatrist, a doctor, or an FBI agent will attest to the truth that television does not accurately portray their life. In almost all aspects, television rarely depicts the world and life accurately. Too much television results in disillusionment about what to expect from the world around us. This can most commonly be seen in people’s expectations of love, romance, and sexuality.

2-It is influencing your spending habits.If you think you are immune (or too smart) to be influenced by the power of advertisements, you are wrong. Corporations do not spend trillions of dollars in advertising hoping to influence you. They spend trillions of dollars because they knowthey will influence you.

3-It is taking you away from the real people all around you.The characters on television are not real. They are thought up in an office building and given life on a piece of paper. In contrast, you are surrounded every day by real people living real lives. These real people are facing real problems. They need you. And you need them. Limit your kids’ screen time.

4-It is robbing you of precious mental energy.When your television is on, your concentration is held hostage. Your mental energy is drawn into the screen and your ability to control it is given up.

5-It is costing you money. Americans spend over $6 billion per year just paying for the electricity to power their television sets. Add in the cost of cable/satellite bills, DVD’s, movie subscriptions, peripherals … and we’re starting to talk about real money.

6-It impairs your capacity for rational thought. TV oversimplifies reality. It presents subjects in a matter of minutes and everything is nicely wrapped up at the end. This harms clear thinking by conditioning you to expect that most problems have a simple, clear solution that can be implemented in 60 minutes or less.

7-It is bad for your health.Numerous studiesdraw direct parallels between excessive television watching and obesity.

8-It results in less satisfaction with life.According to the Journal of Economic Psychology, TV viewers report lower life satisfaction, higher material aspirations and more anxiety.

9-It results in less sex. Couples who keep a TV in the bedroom have sex half as often as those who don’t. And if you ask me, that should be reason enough.

10-Its opportunity cost is too great.The average American watched an average of 5.1 hours of television per day in 2009. That’s time you could have spent exercising, eating a meal together, entertaining, enjoying nature, meditating, enjoying a hobby, reading a book, or fulfilling a dream.

Adapted from https://www.becomingminimalist.com/

 

 

 

1C1 Exam Units 6-10 Model A

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 10:33 am

EXAM INSTRUCTIONS

1-You have 2 hours to read, listen (3 times) and write A/B (200-300 words).

2-Send me your listening notes(1), reading notes(2) and writing(3) before the end of the class.

3-Exams with the same words/ideas will not be considered valid.

EXAM QUESTIONS

OPTION A: What can be done about bullying in the workplace? Write a problem-solution essay considering all the important points mentioned in the listening and reading texts.

OPTION B:Write a review of a real or imaginary book/film/documentary on bullying in the workplace using the ideas in the listening and reading texts.

TEXT

Workplace Bullying

   Bullying costs American organizations billions of dollars a year, and the trauma is emerging as a more serious problem for both individuals and organizations than all other occupational stresses combined. It is estimated that fifty-four million people have been bullied at work. With all the laws, policies, and regulations designed to protect workers from harassment, asking how bullying can happen is a paramount question.

One contributing factor is that bullying behavior is often ignored, tolerated, misinterpreted, or even instigated by the organization’s management as a deliberate management strategy. Although workplace bullying should be a serious concern for organizations, it often goes unreported because the targets feel humiliated and shamed. Moreover, employers exacerbate the problem by ignoring or discounting complaints. Many targets suffer silently; some quit their jobs. For others, the stress is so unbearable it contributes to heart attacks or other stress-related physical ailments. In extreme cases, either the bully or the target resorts to homicide or suicide.

These overwhelming feelings of stress can impact not only the target but other workers who witness the bullying. The stress and desire to quit also translate to witnesses of workplace bullying. In other words, workplace bullying is not a problem isolated to the target and the bully but is a systemic problem. Bullying is akin to a cancer in the workplace; and, if measures are not taken to cure it, both the organization and individual employees will become increasingly unhealthy.

Targets of workplace bullying often report increased fear, anxiety, helplessness, and anger. Although the source of these feelings is emotional abuse at work, the targets often carry the negative effects into their personal lives. In addition, targets report reducing their efforts, taking time off to avoid the bully, or leaving the organization. As a result, productivity and profits diminish.

As the public’s awareness of workplace bullying increases, targets will become more vocal and conciliatory remedies will be necessary. Some people believe this matter is best resolved by organizational awareness and training programs. However, proponents of legislative changes posit that power imbalances, evidenced by the fact that seventy-two percent of the bullies are supervisors, and the organizational culture contribute to the problem. In their opinions, companies will continue the status quo until mandated to change.

Most of the existing research on workplace bullying has been conducted outside of the United States, in countries including Sweden, Australia, France, Britain, Finland, Italy, and Germany. Although bullying is endemic in American organizations, the United States has lagged behind other countries in studying this phenomenon. As American companies expand into global markets, they will need to understand and address the problems associated with workplace bullying.

 

 

1B1 Exam Units 1-6 Model B May 19, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 10:29 am

1B1 TEST: LISTENING, READING AND WRITING ABOUT EDUCATION

Listen to Ulrike, Paul and Sylvia talking about a teacher they liked or disliked. Read the text about Home Education. Take notes, choose one option and write 100-200 words(*):

OPTION A

Imagine you are Paul, from the conversation about teachers (Listening). Write a web comment of the article Home Education at deschoolingsociety.net from your (Paul’s) point of view.

OPTION B

Write a story for the ols.net(*) competition. Your main characters are Paul, Ulrike and Sylvia, who are brother and sisters. Their parents moved to the United States and  decided to educate them at home because of the gun culture and the terrible school massacres.

(*) Official Language School

TEXT

Home Education

Homeschooling is a form of education where the parent or guardian is the instructor. The reason  is usually that the parents are not happy with the nearby schools, or sometimes for political, religious or moral purposes.

In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, any homeschool arrangement must by law satisfy inspectors that the children’s education is good. This is because, under the Education Act of 1944, parents or guardians are legally obliged to send children to school. The legal possibility of other methods has been added as an alternative, subject to certain checks.

A common situation is for several families to come together to provide the skills needed. This serves two purposes. First, the range of knowledge and skills is wider, and the schooling has a more social angle, which itself is good for the development of children.

Some private schools try to achieve similar objectives by other means. Summerhill attempts to make a school more flexible and responsive to the needs of individual children. The rules of the school are decided by students and teachers together in assemblies. Children learn about the consequences of their behaviour in a collectively regulated environment.

Dangers of home education include propaganda and the vulnerability of children to unsupervised adults. Education may be uneven, leaving children with a unequal understanding of the different subjects. Without school, children need activities to socialise. Some parents are better at organising home education than others. On the whole, home educated children tend to do better in their careers.

 

Adapted From Easy English Wikipedia

 

1B1 Exam Units 1-6 Model A

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 8:16 am

1B1 TEST: LISTENING, READING AND WRITING ABOUT FILMS IN ENGLISH

Listen to a teacher talking about watching a film in English with subtitles. Read about learning English with subtitled films. Take notes, choose one option and write 100-200 words(*):

OPTION A

Write a web comment on artucation.net, a website on learning through art. How important is it to enjoy literature, cinema and songs when you are learning a language? Are films with subtitles especially useful? Why? How?

OPTION B

Last weekend you had a fight with your other half (spouse/sweetheart) about the fim you wanted to watch together. You wanted the original version in English with subtitles  but you lost the argument and you watched it dubbed. Tell your best friend the story in an email explaining your reasons.

TEXT

Original films with subtitles or dubbed?

Should I Use Subtitles on Movies to Learn English Listening Skills?

Imagine that you’re watching a TV show to learn a language, most language-learners ask themselves “Should I use subtitles on movies to learn English listening skills?”

ADVANTAGES OF USING SUBTITLES

  • Some English-learners may or may not have noticed, but English is not a phonetic language. What this means is that there are plenty of words in the English language that are said differently from how they’re written (e.g. Wednesday and island).
  • You’ll be able to watch your favourite shows and movies in English, which will make the experience even more enjoyable! You can also listen to music with English subtitles!
  • Using English subtitles will activate your listening and speaking parts of the brain. Developing two skills at the same time, instead of one, will make words “stick” to your brain (it makes words easier to remember).
  • You’ll be able to pause the movie/show and use a dictionary to study any words you see that you’re not familiar with.

DISADVANTAGES OF USING SUBTITLES

  • It’s recommended for intermediate-level students to use English subtitles. Students who are at an advanced level of English aren’t going to get the same level of learning, and can probably understand most of the movie/show without using subtitles.
  • Students who have a beginner-level of English may feel overwhelmed and not be able to understand most of the spoken and written words in the film/show, even with subtitles.
  • Subtitles on TV shows/films will not help you if you don’t enjoy what you’re watching! Always watch something you like or you think is interesting.
  • Slang that is presented in the English language might not be correctly translated into your native language.

Always keep in mind  that people learn in different ways, using different material. Experiment with subtitles and see if it works for you!

Adapted from https://www.gonaturalenglish.com/use-subtitles-movies-learn-english-listening-skills/

 

1C1 Exam Units 1-5 Model B May 18, 2020

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 12:46 pm

EXAM INSTRUCTIONS

1-You have 2 hours to read, listen (3 times) and write A/B (200-300 words).

2-Send me your listening notes(1), reading notes(2) and writing(3) before the end of the class.

3-Exams with the same words/ideas will not be considered valid.

EXAM QUESTIONS

OPTION A: You are a journalist for humanresources.net and you have read about hidden identities in the workplace.  You feel that the old Myers-Briggs test many companies are still using is insufficient. Write an article suggesting a new approach to recruitment that makes people with hidden identities welcome.

OPTION B: To fight hidden identity stigma, prevalent in large companies, the government has decided to subsidise self-employment. You are one of the people in the listening extracts. Write a proposal of a family business describing your product/service and the positive relationships that will contribute to the business success.

Hidden Identities In the Workplace

Social identity has a profound impact on the way employees interact with their colleagues in the workplace. This lesson explores some of the more common social characteristics that impact a workplace.

Invisible Social Identities in the Workplace

A workplace is heavily influenced by the diversity, culture, and identity of the people of whom it is comprised. Research supports a conclusion that perceived social stigmas have a profound impact on the way individuals interact in the workplace. In an effort to avoid them, many individuals draw strict lines between their personal and professional life. For some, the ability to work well within a diverse team is negatively impacted when individuals are quiet and withdrawn for fear of saying or doing something that will create a stigma.

Concealing social characteristics means that an individual cannot or will not interact with colleagues and managers in a comfortable and fluid way. In addition to the overall decrease in communication, in many instances protecting social identity means misleading the employer or co-workers in order to prevent exposure.

Sexism, Racism and Homophobia

Sexual orientation is at the top of the list in terms of social characteristics an individual often seeks to conceal. A heterosexual couple seeking a week off of work for a honeymoon will simply say that, but a same-sex couple is far more likely to lie about the reason for the absence in order to avoid the stigma associated. Likewise, many individuals in interracial relationships will opt out of company social events such as picnics or Christmas parties to avoid the stigma of being seen by co-workers. And within these groups, females will be quieter than males.

Sizeism and Obesity

The number of individuals who are medically defined as obese has jumped 66% in the last 10 years, and discrimination or bias based on body weight has skyrocketed as well. Credible research has demonstrated an undeniable link between obesity and workplace decisions. One study documented the fact that obese people face unfair hiring practices, are paid lower wages, receive harsher discipline, and are terminated more freely than their thinner counterparts.

Aware of this stigma, obese individuals in the workplace often modify their clothing choices, eating habits, and make self-deprecating statements which may cause awkward interactions between co-workers and offer virtually nothing in terms of a positive influence or outcome. The situation is especially uncomfortable for the obese employee whose weight is such that the workplace infrastructure must be modified to accommodate their size.

Obesity affects self-confidence as well, and many obese individuals will not realize their full potential in the workplace. Obese individuals will often decline to seek career advancement, even when fully qualified, because of the low sense of self-esteem. Others will avoid certain types of job roles entirely, such as sales or public communications, because of the profound fear associated with bias related to physical characteristics.

Mental Health Issues

In a small town, a male in his 50s has been an independent insurance salesman for the last 20 years. In addition to being bright and capable, the individual also has schizophrenia. It’s been nearly 2 decades since he had an acute psychotic episode, but two decades has changed little. Despite his demonstrated success in community involvement, a combination of his embarrassment and to potential employers’ liability make it nearly impossible for him to find meaningful work with area employers.

Consequently, despite not genuinely having a passion for insurance sales, the job was one of the only good paying careers that such an individual could get in a small community. Again, the impact to the workplace is profound because this gentleman’s skill set and intelligence would allow him to contribute significantly in many employment settings, but memories of his acute psychotic episodes have left him with the stigma that has made him untouchable – even after more than two decades.

Physical Health Issues

Chronic illnesses and disability status also impact the social identity of a workforce. People with specific structural diseases like multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease may be subject to inaccurate but very real discrimination related to an unfounded belief that they are unable to perform the duties of the job.

Individuals with poorly documented conditions like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome are often labelled as troublemakers…

Adapted from https://study.com/academy/lesson/social-identity-the-workplace-definition-factors.html