Anagomezgarcia’s Weblog

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

Save the Trees February 23, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 10:57 am
SAVE BAILEN STREET TREES AND VALENCIA´S CENTRAL PARK
The Central Park development plan can jeopardise(is a danger for) the future of Valencia city. The Central Park Action Society, which promotes it, follows a well-known doctrine: more and more cement, market speculation, housing price rises (more expensive houses), bankruptcy (ruin), evicted families (people expelled from their houses)… That is what developers have in store  for (will bring to) the supposedly (not truly) green area of the future park; in short, gentrification.
 
Despite the city´s vast amount of (many) unoccupied(empty) homes, both rich and poor, they are planning to build four huge skyscrapers (super-high buildings) within (in) the park area whose original extension of approximately 300,000 square metres has already been more than halved (is reduced 50%). In fact, they have designed another neighbourhood with hotels and shopping malls added to thousands of new homes, when(although) the “park” had originally been hailed (admired) as a green hub spreading into (area connecting) Russafa, Arrancapins, Malilla, Raiosa, Cruz Cubierta and Encorts, districts seriously lacking  in (without) open spaces and recreation areas. All this in a city which has less than 6 square metres of garden (green area) per inhabitant (person), far from the minimum 10 recommended by the WHO (World Health Organisation).
 
The development will also involve the destruction of Bailén street´s centenarian urban forest, some of whose trees provided leafage (leaves) to the platforms of Utiel, the ancient(old) railway station. Those trees became a refuge for the victims of the civil war bombing. The forest deserves (merits) protection as a unique spot (place) of local and historical interest. The trees are part of our heritage (collective possession), part of our historical memory and also our emotional landscape, given the residents´ attachment(love).
 
Help us to have a true park, help us to save our dear trees…
 
We have proposals for the Council, feasible (possible) alternatives which are easy to implement (practise) and which can benefit our city making it unique and special in its respect for our environment and our people.
 
 
We, the residents, associations, local shops and other concerned parties, want a Central Park and we want it green, respecting the life of the already existing trees.
 
Sign now to stop the current development plan (PAI) and a new review of the agreement (convenio).
 

Many thanks ON BEHALF OF ALL THE RESIDENTS OF THE CITY OF VALENCIA

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Present perfect simple and continuous February 21, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 7:41 am

The present perfect simple is a like a tango between the present and the past: it is a past action that influences the present moment.

FOR AND SINCE: When something starts in the past and continues until the present moment, we use for (duration) or since (starting point): We´ve worked for three hours. We´ve studied since six o´clock. Now we need a break.

EVER, NEVER, ALREADY AND YET: When something happens in the past but its effect is important now, we use ever (=at any time), already (yes, done) or yet (not done/maybe done): Haver I ever been to Egypt? No, never, I haven´t gone there yet, but if you want to know, I have travelled extensively in Africa; I have already been to Morocco, Algeria and the Sub-Saharan countries.

JUST AND RECENTLY: Use just for the moment immediately before now and recently for the period that precedes the present : Oh, no! I ´ve just dropped the coffee on my trousers. I´ve had a lot of silly accidents recently. I need a holiday.

The present perfect continuous is very similar, but it emphasizes the action in the past rather than its effect or proximity to the present moment so it is OK with periods like since, for and recently but not with the other adverbs and prepositions (ever, never, already, yet and just).

We prefer the present perfect continuous when we focus on the duration, the repetition or  the process:  I have been peeling potatoes for more than two hours. I have been slicing them really thin for the omelette. I´ve been paying attention to all the instructions to do a good job.

Sometimes this emphasis in the continuity means that, in contrast with the present perfect simple, the action is unfinished: I´ve been reading the book (I haven´t finished) so don´t spoil the end for me if you have read it(you have finished). It also means that we don´t normally say how many times or how many things have happened: I´ve been tidying up the room. I have tidied all my books and clothes five times this month. Jimmy has only tidied three shelves.

Finally, remember that state verbs are not normally used in the continuous tenses!

For more information click here

For practice click here

 

Getting even: Trump 1, Oxfam 0 February 19, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 9:54 pm

OXFAM CAMPAIGN WHEN THE SUPER-RICH GATHER AT DAVOS

Did you know that 1% now own more than the rest of us combined?  Inequality is growing around the world. Every year, the gap between rich and poor gets even wider.

Far from(not) trickling down(helping the poor), income and wealth are being sucked upwards(going to the rich) at an alarming rate(speed). The very design of our economies have taken us to this extreme and unjust point, with rules  that benefit wealthy corporations and elites at the expense(cost) of everyone else.

The inequality crisis is also being fuelled(increased) by the use of tax havens that allows multinational companies and super rich individuals to avoid paying their fair share(part) of taxes. As much as $7.6 trillion of personal wealth is being hidden in offshore accounts, and it has a devastating impact on poorer countries.

Such extreme inequality is standing in the way (is an obstacle) of ending global poverty, and widening other inequalities like the gap between women and men. Our economy must stop excessively rewarding those at the top and start working for all people.

It is time to bring an end to inequality and overcome poverty for good. It is time to Even it up!   For the original text, click here

President Trump touts(promotes) his ‘Billionaires First’ policy(strategy) in Davos

In reaction to President Trump’s speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos today, Winnie Byanyima, Director of Oxfam International made the following statement:
“President Trump’s boastful (proud) sales pitch(message) was a victory lap for the trillions of tax cuts that the wealthy elites and corporations have clamored for(asked for). The evidence is clear: these tax cuts are looting(robbing) the US treasury to enrich the 1 percent.
“Yes, global markets are breaking records, but gains(money) are overwhelmingly(massively) going to the richest, while leaving the rest of the world to fight over crumbs(insignificant bits).
“The President who claims to be(says he is) fighting for the forgotten men and women is really seeking(wants) the approval of the world’s elites.
“President Trump may be an extreme example of a leader shaping an economy that works for(favours) the few(minority) but he is not alone – the choices(decisions) of government leaders around the world is fueling the inequality crisis to frightening levels.
“We need an economy that works for the majority: that guarantees a living wage(salary) to workers, that ensures(makes) corporations and the super-rich pay their fair share of tax and in which women workers have same rights as men. We need our governments run for the benefit of ordinary people – not billionaires.”

For the original text, click here

 

Singular numbers February 15, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 4:26 pm

singular numbers

 

Hunter-gatherers and shoppers February 8, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 12:18 pm

How many people see a link between hunter-gatherers and shoppers?

TEXT 1

We’ve all seen the stereotypical behaviors – men who move directly to and from the location of the item that they need to purchase and women  looking for the right gift. Kruger and Byker have studied these actions and link them to traditional behaviors among hunter/gathers.

Kruger and Byker conclude that “modern shopping behaviors are an adaptation of our species’ ancestral hunting and gathering skills. . . . .Women . . . . scored higher on skills and behaviors associated with gathering, even through the environment and the objects being gathered have changed with respect to our ancestral environment. . . . . Men scored higher on skills and behaviors associated with hunting. Thus men are still applying the skills that were developed to obtain meat in a hunter-gatherer environment.”

Gatherers need to be able to assess if a fruit or vegetable is ripe, which explains why women are more sensitive to variations in reds, pinks, and yellows than men, for example. Smells and textures also can indicate ripeness. There is a certain amount of browsing involved in gathering as patches of fruits and vegetables are visited to determine their ripeness. Tracking prey is important for hunting – new socks move around a lot less than a gazelle, however. Fresh killed meat is not something to dally around with, it starts to spoil quickly.

So while humans will change as the race accumulates more experiences, that evolutionary process is slow. For now, mixed-sex couples shopping together need to be patient with each other. Men and women will change, eventually.

Daniel Kruger and Dreyson Byker. 2009. “Evolved Foraging Psychology Underlies Sex Differences in Shopping Experiences and Behaviors.” Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology, vol. 3, no. 4, pp. 315-327.

Adapted from:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/people-places-and-things/201012/shopping-brings-out-our-inner-huntergatherer

I am convinced that the need to shop harks back to the days when we were real hunters and gatherers, and when ”work” was directly connected to gathering food and supplies.

If you went out and found a cache of ripe berries or roots, you were happy! But the happiness did not last long; soon you had to go out and get more food, wood and so on to feed your family and yourself.

Hence, the need for repeated shopping; the pleasure does not last even as the products ultimately do.

I think that this is the best explanation as to why people like to shop and why conspicuous consumption makes people feel good (at least in the short term).

Money is still pretty abstract. But bringing home things you can see, feel and touch makes you feel rich. And this pleasure is not met by boring trips to the supermarket.

Adapted from:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/12/10/opinion/l-hunters-gatherers-and-modern-day-shoppers-497690.html

 

Generous or practical? January 31, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 7:34 pm

Hundreds of America’s wealthiest(=richest) are begging(=asking) Congress not to lower(=reduce) their taxes.

More than 400 American millionaires and billionaires have signed a letter made public this week, in which they urge(=ask) Congress to raise(=increase), rather tan(=instead of) cut(=decrease), their taxes.

In the letter, the signatories(=people who sign) ask Congress not to pass a tax bill(=law) that “further exacerbates(increases) inequality” and adds to the national debt(=money that must be returned). They note(=say) a concern(=preoccupation) that revenue loss(=less money) “would lead to deep cuts in critical(=important) services such as education, Medicare and Medicaid, and would hamper(=reduce) our nation’s ability to restore(=recover) investments(=money/value multiplication) in our people and communities.”

Furthermore, they note(=say) that the Republican tax plan would disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while adding at least $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to the current(=today´s) national debt(=money that must be returned). This deficit “would leave us unable to meet(=cover) our country’s current needs and restrict us in advancing any future investments(=money/value multiplication),” the letter continues.

Liberal group Responsible Wealth led the effort, gaining(=adding) signatures from the likes of(=people like) Ben & Jerry’s co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, billionaire George Soros, philanthropist Steven Rockefeller, and fashion designer Eileen Fisher. The Washington Post notes(=says) many others who “aren’t household names”(=famous) but have at least $1 million in assets(=wealth) are among the other signers(=people who sign).

Adapted from:

Millionaires who want to pay taxes

 

 

 

 

2B1 Pair work

Filed under: Uncategorized — anagomezgarcia @ 11:16 am

Student A (1st and 3rd row) reads  p 7 of the pink book and student B (2nd and 4th row) reads the text on the screen. When you all  finish, answer these questions together referring to your texts where appropriate:

If you started your own business today, would you employ the candidate with the best qualifications?  All other things being equal, would you employ…

1)a woman or a man, both in their twenties

2)a woman in her twenties or one in her forties

3)a disabled person with a speech defect or an immigrant with a foreign accent