Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Homework 2013-2014

In this blog you will find extra material to improve your English.

Bibliography C2 2013-2014
Unit 1         1.1        1.2         1.3       Exam folder 1
Unit 2         2.1        2.2         2.3       Writing folder 1
Unit 3         3.1        3.2         3.3       Exam folder 2
Unit 4         4.1        4.2         4.3       Writing folder 2     Revision U 1-4
Unit 5         5.1        5.2         5.3       Exam folder 3 
Unit 6         6.1        6.2         6.3       Writing folder 3
Unit 7         7.1        7.2         7.3       Exam folder 4
Unit 8         8.1        8.2         8.3       Writing folder 4     Revision U 5-8
Unit 9         9.1        9.2         9.3       Exam folder 5
Unit 10       10.1      10.2      10.3       Writing folder 5
Unit 11       11.1      11.2      11.3       Exam folder 6
Unit 12       12.1      12.2      12.3       Writing folder 6     Revision U 9-12
Unit 13       13.1      13.2      13.3       Exam folder 7
Unit 14       14.1      14.2      14.3       Writing folder 7
Unit 15       15.1      15.2      15.3       Exam folder 8
Unit 16       16.1      16.2      16.3       Writing folder 8     Revision U 13-16
Unit 17       17.1      17.2      17.3       Exam folder 9
Unit 18       18.1      18.2      18.3       Writing folder 9
Unit 19       19.1      19.2      19.3       Exam folder 10
Unit 20       20.1      20.2      20.3       Writing folder 10   Revision U 17-20
Assignments

1. An essay:
Write a balanced discussion ( essay ) about the process, the necessity and the inevitability of major political, cultural, and social change. You can get more information on writing essays on pages 22 &23, 56 & 57. You can also get some ideas on this topic in Unit 1 and on this website (Deadline 30 Oct)
2. A review:
An international magazine wants readers to contribute writing a review. (Objective Proficiency p 39 Ex 6). Here you can find useful language for reviews. You can get more information on writing reviews on pages 38 & 39. Finally, you can find useful language for writing here. (Deadline 18 Nov)
3. An essay:
Write a discursive essay. (Objective Proficiency p 56). Do we as a society take music as seriously as we should? You will get more ideas on how to write an essay on pages 22 &23, 56 & 57  and here. You will find useful language, here, here , here , here  and here . You can also get some ideas and vocabulary on this topic here . (deadline: 9 Dec)
4. A proposal
Write a proposal. Find the details here. (Deadline 8 Jan) 
5. An article
Write an article. Find the details here. (Deadline 15 Jan) 
6. A Presentation:
Give a 10 minute presentation on one of the curriculum topics
Deadlines:  

30 Oct: tell your teacher the topic
Feb: give the presentation  

7. A report
You work for the tourist office in your area. Your manager has asked you to write a report in English on the places that are popular with tourists who are interested in art. You should briefly describe the most popular places. Your report should also recommend two or three improvements that would enhance the tourists' experience and explain why these would attract even more visitors. You can find useful vocabulary to talk about art here. You can get information on writing reports on pages 106 & 107. Finally, you can find useful language for writing a report here and here. (Deadline 17 February)
8. Write a letter. You have read an article that appeared on the NPR website entitled "Will We 'Fix' The Weather? Yes. Should We Fix The Weather? Hmmm". You decide to write a letter to the writer of the article, , commenting on the views expressed and giving your own opinions. You can get more information on writing letters on pages 124 & 125. You will also find a letter writing guide here and here . You can find useful language here. Finally, you can get some ideas for your response in the comments readers have left below the article. (Deadline: 10 March)
9. Write a review of a book you have read this year.   Useful language .  (Deadlines: before 30 Oct tell your teacher the book you are going to read. On 31 March hand in your review) Click here for a list of readers and more instructions for this assignment. 
10. Write an article. An English-language newspaper is inviting readers to contribute to a series of articles about clothing. You decide to write an article about wearing the right clothes for the right occasion. You can find useful vocabulary to talk about clothing here. You can get some ideas on how to write articles on pages 90, 91, 158, 159, 174 & 175. Finally, you can find useful language for writing here. (Deadline: 16 April)
 
 

Workbook
You can do the exercises in Units 1-20 

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Reading List C2

Readers C 2

Your assignments are:

A) You will choose two books to read. Tell your teacher which books you have chosen. (Deadline: 30 Oct.). You will then read the books.
 
B) You will write a review about them. You can also include your favourite quotes from the books and add some explanations. In the final paragraph try to compare the two books you have read. You can also try to convince the reader that the books you have chosen should (not) be on the Reading List next year. (Deadline: April)

Reading List (suggestions)

  1. A Thousand Splendid Suns is a 2007 novel by Afghan author Khaled Hosseini, his second, following his bestselling 2003 debut, The Kite Runner. It focuses on the tumultuous lives of two Afghan women and how their lives cross each other, spanning from the 1960s to 2003. 384 pages.
  2. 84,Charing Cross Road is a 1970 book by Helene Hanff, later made into a stage play, television play and film, about the twenty-year correspondence between her and Frank Doel, chief buyer of Marks & Co, antiquarian booksellers located in London. 240 pages.
  3. Notes from a Big Country is a collection of articles written by Bill Bryson for The Mail on Sunday from 1996 to 1998. The book was published in 1998. When Bill Bryson returned to the USA he was asked to write a weekly column about what life was like in the big country. The results, combined here to make a book, are funny and insightful, making you snigger. Full of descriptions and statistics. 368 pages.
  4. The Island is a historical novel written by Victoria Hislop in 2005. It has won several awards. Set on the island of Spinalonga, off the coast of Crete, The Islandtells the story of Alexis Fielding, a teenager on the cusp of a life-changing decision. Alexis knows little or nothing about her family's past and has always resented her mother for refusing to discuss it. She knows only that her mother, Sofia, grew up in Plaka, a small Cretan village, before moving to London. Making her first visit to Crete to see the village where her mother was born, Alexis discovers that the village of Plaka faces the small, now deserted island of Spinalonga, which, she is shocked and surprised to learn was Greece's leper colony for much of the 20th century. 320 pages.
  5. A Room with a View is a 1908 novel by English writer E. M. Forster, about a young woman in the repressed culture of Edwardian England. Set in Italy and England, the story is both a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century. Merchant-Ivory produced an award-winning film adaptation in 1985. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked A Room with a View 79th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. 256 pages.
  6. A Bull On The Beach: Enjoying The Good Life In Mallorca is a 2012 novel by

  7. The Brooklyn Follies is a 2005 novel by Paul Auster. The 60-year-old Nathan Glass returns to Brooklyn after his wife has left him. He is recovering from lung cancer and is looking for "a quiet place to die". In Brooklyn he meets his nephew, Tom, whom he has not seen in several years. Tom has seemingly given up on life and has resigned himself to a string of meaningless jobs as he waits for his life to change. They develop a close friendship, entertaining each other in their misery, as they both try to avoid taking part in life.  320 pages
  8.  Disgrace is a 1999 Booker Prize-winning novel by South African-born author J. M. Coetzee who won the Nobel Prize in Literature four years after its publication. David Lurie is a South African professor of English who loses everything: his reputation, his job, his peace of mind, his good looks, his dreams of artistic success, and finally even his ability to protect his own daughter. He is twice-divorced and dissatisfied with his job as a Communications professor, teaching one specialized class in Romantic literature at a technical university in Cape Town in post-apartheid South Africa. His "disgrace" comes when he seduces one of his students and he does nothing to protect himself from its consequences. 220 pages. 
  9.   Notes from a Small Island  is a humorous travel book on Great Britain by American author Bill Bryson, first published in 1995. Bryson covers all corners of the island observing and talking to people. On his way, Bryson provides historical information on the places he visits, and expresses amazement at the heritage in Britain. Sideways, Bryson pays homage to to the humble self-effacing fortitude of British people under trying times such as the World Wars and Great Depression, as well as the various peculiarities of Britain and British English. 327 pages.   
  10.  Enduring Love (1997) is a novel by British writer Ian McEwan. On a beautiful and cloudless day, a middle-aged couple celebrate their union with a picnic. Joe Rose and his long-term partner Clarissa Mellon are about to open a bottle of champagne when a cry interrupts them. A hot air balloon, with a 10-year-old boy in the basket and his grandfather being dragged behind it, has been ripped from its moorings. Joe immediately joins several other men in an effort to bring the balloon to safety. In the rescue attempt, one man, John Logan, dies. 247 pages.
  11. Teacher Man is a 2005 memoir written by Frank McCourt which describes and reflects on his teaching experiences in New York high schools and colleges. 272 pages.
  12. Interpreter of Maladies is a book collection of nine short stories by Indian American author Jhumpa Lahiri published in 1999. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award in the year 2000 and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. It was also chosen as The New Yorker's Best Debut of the Year and is on Oprah Winfrey's Top Ten Book List. 198 pages.




Choosing your two readers

1. The Brooklyn Follies, Paul Auster 
2. Notes from a small Island, Bill Bryson 
3. Disgrace, J.M. Coetzee 
4. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini 
5. Enduring Love, Ian McEwan 
6. Teacher Man, Frank McCourt 
7. Many a Shadow, David Barter

a. Match the following with the titles

A- More than a few problems, much sadness, trouble
B- The most populous of New York City's five boroughs
C- (Noun) the loss of respect, honour, or esteem /ɪˈstiːm/; ignominy /ˈɪɡnəmɪni/ (public shame and loss of honour); shame
D- (Adjective) lasting for a long time
E- (Noun) (formal): a way of thinking or behaving that is stupid and careless, and likely to have bad results
F- A toy that flies in the air while you hold it by a long string 


Describe the covers of each of the books







c. Guess what plot corresponds to each of the books

A. The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father’s servant, .............................. is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies. A sweeping story of family, love, and friendship told against the devastating backdrop of the history of Afghanistan over the last thirty years, from the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy through the Soviet invasion, the mass exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.
............................. is an unusual and powerful novel that has become a beloved, one-of-a-kind classic.

B.  .............................. describes and reflects on the author's teaching experiences in New York high schools and colleges, describes how his thirty-year teaching career shaped his second act as a writer and it is also an urgent tribute to teachers everywhere. In bold and spirited prose featuring his irreverent wit and heartbreaking honesty, the author records the trials, triumphs and surprises he faces in public high schools around New York City. His methods anything but conventional, the author creates a lasting impact on his students through imaginative assignments. The author struggles to find his way in the classroom and spends his evenings drinking with writers and dreaming of one day putting his own story to paper. ..............................shows his unparalleled ability to tell a great story as, five days a week, five periods per day, he works to gain the attention and respect of unruly, hormonally charged or indifferent adolescents.

C. .............................. is the story of Bill Turner. Bill was a country lad, born in a small farm cottage in Oxfordshire at the end of the First World War. Growing up in this rural idyll, William thrived, attending school and becoming an apprentice carpenter. Before long, William was called into the army, where he was part of the Normandy invasion and the subsequent bitter fighting throughout France. Detailing his life before, during and after the war, .............................. follows William from his humble beginnings ­– playing pranks with his friends at his village school – through to the sleepless nights he spent pondering the horrors he had witnessed in Normandy. Aged just 26 when he returned home, William had already lived two lives – one of a simple country boy; another in the army on active service ­– but now he was to embark on a new life as a husband, to a wife he had never spent longer than three months with, and a father to two children, one of whom he had never seen before.

D. Set in post-apartheid South Africa, this novel tells the story of David Lurie, a twice divorced, 52-year-old professor of communications at Cape Technical University. Lurie believes he has created a comfortable, if somewhat passionless, life for himself. Though his position at the university has been reduced, he teaches his classes dutifully; and while age has diminished his attractiveness, weekly visits to a prostitute satisfy his sexual needs. He considers himself happy. His disgrace comes when he seduces one of his students and he does nothing to protect himself from its consequences. Then he retreats to his daughter's farm, where they become victims of a savage and disturbing attack which leaves both of them badly shaken and further estranged from one another. After a brief return to Cape Town, where Lurie discovers his home has also been vandalized, he decides to stay on with his daughter, who is pregnant with the child of one of her attackers. Now thoroughly humiliated, Lurie devotes himself to volunteering at the animal clinic, where he helps put down diseased and unwanted dogs.

E. The 60-year-old Nathan Glass returns to Brooklyn after his wife has left him. He is recovering from lung cancer and is looking for "a quiet place to die". In Brooklyn he meets his nephew, Tom, whom he has not seen in several years. Tom has seemingly given up on life and has resigned himself to a string of meaningless jobs as he waits for his life to change. They develop a close friendship, entertaining each other in their misery, as they both try to avoid taking part in life. Nathan is working on a book not unlike the author's. Its theme is human foolishness, too, and it draws on Nathan's and others' experiences, including the experiences that flow from his decision to reflect full time. He's clever. He realizes that composing a memoir can magically attract the future.

F. .............................. is a humorous book on Great Britain by American author ..., first published in 1995. The author covers all corners of the island observing and talking to people. On his way, he provides historical information on the places he visits, and expresses amazement at the heritage in Britain. Moreover, the author pays homage to the humble self-effacing fortitude of British people under trying times such as the World Wars and Great Depression, as well as the various peculiarities of Britain and British English.

G. On a beautiful and cloudless day, a middle-aged couple celebrate their union with a picnic. Joe Rose and his long-term partner Clarissa Mellon are about to open a bottle of champagne when a cry interrupts them. A hot air balloon, with a 10-year-old boy in the basket and his grandfather being dragged behind it, has been ripped from its moorings. Joe immediately joins several other men in an effort to bring the balloon to safety. In the rescue attempt, one man, John Logan, dies. By the novel's end, you will be surprisingly unafraid of hot-air balloons, but you won't be too keen on looking a stranger in the eye. 

d. Find a genre for each of the books?
A- Mystery, suspense, drama
B- Memoir
C- Biography; historical account
D- Travel book
E- Bildungsroman, coming-of-age story; Redemption story
F- Autofiction /ˈɔːtəʊ-/
G- Post-apartheid fiction

e. Now make up your mind and choose two books. Remember this is your task:
A) You will choose two books to read. Tell your teacher which books you have chosen. (Deadline: 29 Oct.). You will then read the books.
B) You will write a review about them. You can also include your favourite quotes from the books and add some explanations. In the final paragraph try to compare the two books you have read. You can also try to convince the reader that the books you have chosen should (not) be on the Reading List next year. (Deadline: 14th April)



Vocabulary
 kite /kaɪt/ C NOUN : a toy that flies in the air while you hold it by a long string. Cat. Estel de jugueta

comet /ˈkɒmɪt/ C NOUN : a bright object in space that has a tail of gas and dust. Cat. Estel del cel

enduring /ɪnˈdjʊərɪŋ/ ADJ : lasting for a long time. Also long-term. Cat. Durader

borough /ˈbʌrə/ C NOUN: a town or a district in a city that is responsible for its own schools, libraries etc. Cat. Municipi

disgrace /dɪsˈɡreɪs/ U NOUN: the loss of other people’s respect because of something bad that you have done. Cat. Vergonya

many a  /ˈmeni/ /ə/ PREDETERMINER (followed by the indefinite article ‘a’ and a singular noun): more than a few. Cat. Molts. We shall not see each other again for many a long day.

dregs /dreɡz/ NOUN PLU: the small amount of liquid and solid pieces left in the bottom of a container. Dregs of tea / coffee. Sp. Posos

foresee /fɔː(r)ˈsiː/ : to see or know something that will happen in the future. Also predict. Cat. Preveure

stray /streɪ/ ADJ: lost or without a home, e. g. a stray dog: Sp. perro callejero

embrace /ɪmˈbreɪs/ [with object]: hold (someone) closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection: Aunt Sophie embraced her warmly  [no object]: the two embraced, holding each other tightly.

hug /hʌɡ/ [with object]: squeeze (someone) tightly in one’s arms, typically to express affection: he hugged her close to him people kissed and hugged each other.
[no object]: we hugged and kissed.

one of a kind /wʌn//əv//ə//kaɪnd/ ADJ: used for saying that someone or something is completely different from other people or things. Also unusual. Cat. Especial i diferent a tota la resta, únic

unruly /ʌnˈruːli/ ADJ: very difficult to control

witty  /ˈwɪti/ ADJ: clever and funny. Cat. Enginyós

idyll /ˈɪd(ə)l/ C NOUN: a place or situation where everyone is very happy and there are no problems. Also peace. Cat. Idil·li

prank /præŋk/ C NOUN: a silly trick that you play on someone to surprise them. Cat. Broma

ponder /ˈpɒndə(r)/ [with object]: think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion: I pondered the question of what clothes to wear for the occasion.
[no object]: she sat pondering over her problem.
Also consider.  Cat. Ponderar

apartheid  /əˈpɑː(r)tˌheɪt/ U NOUN: the political system that existed in the past in South Africa, in which only white people had political rights and power

dutiful /ˈdjuːtɪf(ə)l/ ADJ: careful to do things that other people ask or expect you to do. Also obedient /əˈbiːdiənt/. Cat. Obedient

savage /ˈsævɪdʒ/ ADJ: cruel and unpleasant or violent. Cat. Violent, cruel

rip /rɪp/ : to tear something quickly and with a lot of force. Also tear. Cat. Esqueixar
Stop pulling my shirt – you’ll rip it.

mooring /ˈmɔːrɪŋ/ C NOUN: a place where a boat or ship can be tied up. Cat. Amarrador

self-effacing /ˌself ɪˈfeɪsɪŋ/ ADJ :a self-effacing person does not want to be noticed by other people and tends not to talk about their abilities or achievements. Cat. Modest

ANSWER KEY

a. A-7, B-1, C-3, D-5, E-1
c. A-4, B-6, C-7, D-3, E-1, F-2, G-5
d- A-5, B-6, C-7, D-2, E-4, F-1, G-3


Related stories:

Speakout Advanced p 56. Relationships. The Kite Runner. Extra Reading

Speakout Advanced p 56. Khaled Hosseini. Extra Listening

 


Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Mock Exam. Listening. Vocabulary



trace: trace of something a very small amount of something. E.g. The post-mortem revealed traces of poison in his stomach. She spoke without a trace of bitterness.
haughtiness: the trait of behaving in an unfriendly way towards other people because you think that you are better than them. E.g. without the slight trace of haughtiness or indifference.
grapple: to try hard to find a solution to a problem. E.g. grapple with something The new government has yet to grapple with the problem of air pollution.
price tag: label on something that shows how much you must pay. E.g.  (figurative) There is a £2 million price tag on the team's star player.
gouge somebody/something /ɡaʊdʒ/ (North American English) to force somebody to pay an unfairly high price for something; to raise prices unfairly. E.g. Housing shortages permit landlords to gouge their renters. Price gouging is widespread.
tilt the playing field
tilt: to move, or make something move, into a position with one side or end higher than the other. E.g. Suddenly the boat tilted to one side.
There is a concept of the "level playing field", which means a fair environment in which both sides have the same chances. A playing field which slopes favours the side which is playing downhill.
level the playing field: to give everyone the same advantages or opportunities. E.g.  It was an effort to level the playing field and achieve greater equality between the sexes. Government funding can level the playing field for political candidates without money.
Tilting the playing field means to change things to make it harder for your opponent to win. The phrase comes from football. If one goal is higher than the other, the team attacking downhill has an unfair advantage.

sabre-rattler
sabre-rattling  also saber-rattling threatening behaviour which is intended to frighten someone. E.g. After months of sabre-rattling, the two sides have agreed to a peaceful resolution of their differences.
sabre or saber /ˈseɪbə(r)/ 1 a heavy sword with a curved blade 2 a light sword with a thin blade used in the sport of fencing. Sp sable.
rattle (something) to make a series of short loud sounds when hitting against something hard; to make something do this. Sp. repiquetear. E.g. Every time a bus went past, the windows rattled. He shook me so hard that my teeth rattled.
creep in/into something to begin to happen or affect something. E.g. As she became more tired, errors began to creep into her work.
rein somebody/something back/ rein something in to start to control somebody/ something more strictly. Keep under control; restrain. E.g. We need to rein back public spending. She kept her emotions tightly reined in. The government had failed to rein in public spending.