Sunday, May 22, 2016

THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF BIODIVERSITY DECLINES


Loss of biodiversity is probably the greatest threat to our continued existence on Earth, yet it is the most neglected issue. Many pay lip service to the dire consequences of loss of ecological biodiversity but far too little is being done about it. Do your research and discover the extent of the problem then write an essay in which you discuss both the precipitating factors and the threat it poses.
Familiarize yourself with the issue
Reading material to make notes on
·         What is biodiversity? http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/what-is-biodiversity.php 
·         Biodiversity loss and why we should be concerned about it http://www.tropical-rainforest-animals.com/biodiversity-loss.html
·         Loss of diversity: causes and consequences http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK219310/ 
Videos to watch and make notes on

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

THE ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF GAMING


Gaming is now extremely popular with all age groups as a leisure activity and for practical purposes. Is the current prejudice against video games justified? Do your research and find out then write an essay in which you discuss the advantages and disadvantages.
Familiarize yourself with the issue
·         Video games: Effects https://prezi.com/wtqjhwupk76h/video-games-affects/  
Reading material to make notes on
·         Gaming in adolescent boys and girls https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/07/150717101435.htm
·         Positive and negative effects of video games  http://www.raisesmartkid.com/3-to-6-years-old/4-articles/34-the-good-and-bad-effects-of-video-games  Make sure to watch the video as well.
·         Effects of video games: more good than bad for youth development  http://www.rootsofaction.com/video-games-for-kids-more-good-than-bad-for-development/  
Lecture to listen to and make notes on
·         How do video games change your brain? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b249MFHf_K0
Video to watch and make notes on
·         Let’s get gaming https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erl3qXRK1qM
Panel discussion

·         Your brain on games https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnRq1up3E2s

Thursday, May 12, 2016

SHOULD HERITABLE GENE EDITING BE USED ON HUMANS?


“The medical potential is enticing, but the technology raises biological and ethical concerns. Gene editing for human sperm, eggs and embryos could eliminate disease – but also lead to designer babies”
Published: The Wall Street Journal , April 10, 2016, You will need to sign in to read the text but it is free http://www.wsj.com/articles/should-heritable-gene-editing-be-used-on-humans-1460340173# OR  https://hms.harvard.edu/news/should-heritable-gene-editing-be-used-humans
Level of Difficulty: ***
FIRST WATCH AND LISTEN TO THE FOLLOWING:
NOW WATCH AND LISTEN TO THE FOLLOWING:
LAST OF ALL, WATCH AND LISTEN TO THE FOLLOWING:
QUESTIONS
1.       Which of the following best expresses the main idea of the section as far as “Yes”, or the introduction of the text?
·         Heritable gene editing is a worthwhile venture
·         Heritable gene editing is a fool-hardy venture
·         Heritable gene editing is a rash venture
·         Heritable gene editing is an inevitable venture
·         Heritable gene editing is a controversial venture
·         Heritable gene editing should progress slowly
·         Heritable gene editing should progress carefully
·         Heritable gene editing should be regulated
2.       Read the section titled “YES: If evidence shows the technique is safe and effective” and decide how many of the following could best complete the sentence. Parents who carry gene mutations for terrible heritable diseases …………………………………….
·         Now have little option but to allow the disease to run its course
·         Now have little option but to have no normal kids
·         Now have no option but to resort to adoption and donation
·         Now suffer due to unsatisfied psychological and physical needs
·         Now remain dissatisfied with the solutions they are offered
3.       The main disadvantage of the current policy in place to avoid having children with heritable diseases is the fact that…………………………………………………….
4.       The reason for the above is that………………………………………………………
5.       The writer thinks we need to wait / we don’t need to wait until we understand the whole human genome to conduct heritable gene editing because: (Mark as many as you see fit)
·         Current technology will allow us to edit for heritable diseases
·         We have proved with past medical developments that we can do it
·         We can check for one component without understanding the whole
·         Current technology already allows us to screen for some diseases
6.       What does “This” refer to in the phrase “This is far higher certainty…”?
7.       Which adjective is wrong according to the information in the text? The writer feels the use of gene editing to treat adults is:
·         Harder
·         Impossible
·         Riskier
·         Ineffective
8.       What three things does the writer feel are necessary to be able to safely go ahead with heritable gene editing?
9.       Now read the section titled “NO: The biological risks and ethical concerns call for caution”. The problem with reproductive gene editing for heritable diseases is that: mark the answer that is wrong according to the text
·         Scientists will have one shot to get it right
·         There will be no room for error
·         The alterations will be permanent
·         The risks are far too great
·         The implications of the changes are unpredictable
10.   Up to now public and official reaction to the prospect of gene editing has been positive/ negative.
11.   The writer feels that there is no need to take unnecessary risks as there are……………
12.   What is the alternative suggested for heritable gene editing?
13.   There are various personal drawbacks of this alternative listed in the text. Can you think of another one with wider ethical implications?
14.   What would be the social implications of possible “offspring upgrades”?
15.   What is the scientific argument against genetic enhancement of any kind?
16.   The writer trusts/ doesn’t trust officials to be able to successfully regulate gene editing.
WRITING TASK
Draw on all you have read and listened to in order to form an opinion concerning heritable gene editing and write an argumentative essay in which you defend your own opinion and refute the counter arguments.
SHOULD HERITABLE GENE EDITING BE USED ON HUMANS? KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
What was once a farfetched dream has now become a distinct possibility thanks to advances in genetics: we may be able to edit genes to get rid of heritable conditions. Is the trepidation with which some approach the topic plain old paranoia and are they standing in the way of an enormous scientific breakthrough or do they have a point? Should we leave nature alone diseases and all, or should we try and tip the balance in our favor? This fascinating text will set out all the arguments and hopefully give students a chance to reach a decision.
  1. Heritable gene editing is a controversial venture
  2. 3, 4, and 5
3.       Embryos are destroyed
4.       Editing would be done on sperm or egg cells
5.       All are correct
6.       The fact that the latest versions of gene-editing enzymes have zero detectable off target activities
7.       Impossible
8.       Regulation, discussion and monitoring
9.       The risks are far too great. The fact that the risks are unacceptable doesn’t necessarily mean they are great. Sometimes a very small risk is unacceptable.
10.   Negative
11.   Safer ways
12.   Pre implantation genetic diagnosis
13.   Some unused embryos will be discarded
14.   The emergence of genetic haves and have-nots, with new forms of discrimination and inequality
15.   One genetic risk is generally traded for another (a gene that confers one biological risk might also protect against another)

16.   Doesn’t trust

Thursday, May 5, 2016

THE PRESIDENTIAL VERSUS THE PARLIAMENTARY SYSTEM


While most countries in the world are governed with a parliamentary system some others like the US are governed with a presidential system.  Do your research and decide which is best for your country and write an argumentative essay in which you defend your opinion.
Familiarize yourself with the issue
Reading material to make notes on
·         Is a parliamentary form of government beter than a presidential form of government?
http://www.debate.org/opinions/is-a-parliamentary-form-of-government-better-than-a-presidential-form-of-government
If you feel adventorous, try this article: Presidential values in parliamentary democracies http://icon.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/2/207.full
Presidents versus Parliaments http://rumiforum.org/presidents-versus-parliaments/
            9 Meaningful pros and cons of parliamentary democracy http://connectusfund.org/9-meaningful-pros-and-cons-of-parliamentary-democracy
·         Parliamentary democracy pros and cons list http://nyln.org/parliamentary-democracy-pros-and-cons-list
·         Advantages and disadvantages of the presidential system http://www.researchfaculty.com/2015/11/advantages-and-disadvantages-of.html
Videos to watch and make notes on

·         Presidential system of government http://study.com/academy/lesson/presidential-system-of-government-roles-of-the-president.html
      Parliamentary versus Presidential democracy explained https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4quK60FUvkY

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

LONELINESS


The two texts covering loneliness are designed to go together and form the basis of a common writing task
TEXT I: HOW LONELINESS WEARS THE BODY
“New research supports the idea that social isolation is detrimental to physical health – and that companionship may improve it”
By: Jessica Lahey and Tim Lahey
Level of Difficulty: **
NOW WATCH AND LISTEN:
QUESTIONS
  1. What additional purpose do the food deliveries by Veggie Cares serve?
  2. How do the writers support their view that the companionship the volunteers provide may be physically nourishing? They show that social isolation may cause ……………………………………………………….( Two answers, find both and express clearly)
  3. Social isolation may have far reaching and seriously detrimental effects because sufferers are more likely to develop…………………or even ……………………………………….
  4. Further research has shown that the negative impact of social isolation can/cannot be reversed. This conclusion was reached as a result of observing………………………..
  5. Read the paragraph beginning “A few decades ago…” and fill in the blank: It doesn’t make sense that social isolation is still regarded as only a psychological or social issue because research has proven that……………………………………………………………………
  6. Which sentence in the paragraph beginning “Yet” best expresses the main idea?
  7. It is implied in the text that the best health intervention for the elderly
  • May involve a cup of tea
  • Should involve medication
  • May involve companionship
  • Should involve socialization
  • May involve story telling
TEXT I: HOW LONELINESS WEARS THE BODY KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This little text touches on an issue we all know but which experts have recently gotten round to trying to prove: the link between physical and psychological health. As such, it should appeal to a lot of people. As for the questions, the toughest are question 2 and question 7; the easiest is the first question. The rest are of a moderate level of difficulty. Correct understanding of the text is a prerequisite to be able to answer the questions.
  1. Delivering companionship
  2.  Paraphrasing question: The genes responsible for inflammation to be more active , while the genes that help defend against viral infections are depressed. / people to be more prone to inflammation and less able to fight viral infections
  3. Paraphrasing question: dementia, die sooner/ earlier / before their peers
  4. Higher numbers of circulating blood monocytes, a key type of immune cell
  5. There is a link between social life and immune cell genetics
  6. The psychological and the physical are inextricably linked
  7. May involve companionship
TEXT II: CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR LOVED ONES ARE LONELY?
“A new study suggests yes but it depends on the relationship”
By: Julie Beck
Level of difficulty: **
NOW WATCH AND LISTEN

·         John Cacciopa on Loneliness http://bigthink.com/videos/john-cacioppo-on-loneliness

QUESTIONS
  1.  The findings of the first study mentioned in the text proves that
  • People are wrong to deny being lonely
  • People are right to deny being lonely
  1. Why are people sometimes not completely honest when answering researchers’ questions?
  2. The …………the relationship between people ………………….they are able to identify loneliness in each other
  3. Who, according to the study, made the most realistic assessment of loneliness? Why?
  4. The reason why friends’ and parents’ assessments of loneliness are not as accurate is that they………………………………………………………………….
WRITING TASK
Use all you have learnt in the two videos you have watched and the texts you have studied to write about loneliness: discuss the gravity of the issue (refer to its effects) and how to deal with it.
TEXT II: CAN YOU TELL IF YOUR LOVED ONES ARE LONELY? KEY AND TEACHERS NOTES
  1. People are right to deny being lonely
  2. So that people will like them
  3. Closer, the better
  4. Romantic partners, their relationship is more intimate or partners learn about all parts of their lives
  5. They don’t learn as much about all parts of the subjects’ lives


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

FOOD INSECURITY; CAUSES AND EFFECTS


Some of us our lucky enough to be able to walk into a supermarket and buy whatever we want; others have to pinch and scrape and even avoid basic food stuffs because they are too pricey. These people are not exactly starving but are suffering nevertheless. What’s more their experiences have far reaching consequences. Do your research and find out more about the problem. When you are finished write a cause and effect essay.
Familiarize yourself with the issue
Reading material to make notes on
·         Food security and access: what does food insecurity mean? http://www.sustainabletable.org/280/food-security-food-access
·         The underlying causes of food insecurity http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/x8406e/X8406e01.htm
Videos to watch and make notes on

Monday, May 2, 2016

PEOPLE OVER PROFIT


 IELTS ESSAY TOPIC
Questıon:As well as making money, businesses also have social responsibilities. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
In today’s capitalistic economic system, businesses mainly tend to focus on making a profit and earning a lot of money from their work rather than ethical concerns. However, there is an important issue(that)most of them ignore: ‘corporate social responsibility’. This notion is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the work force and their families as well as the local community and society at large. I completely agree with the idea that businesses should do more for society than simply make money.
The social obligations that companies have cover a wide range of fields – from environment to health and to education. One primary focus of corporate social responsibility is the environment. Businesses have a large carbon footprint. Any steps they can take to reduce those footprints can be considered to be  a global environmental benefit. Besides, corporations should contribute to health issues. Unfortunately, lots of people in the world suffer from serious or even fatal ilnesses such as ‘leukaemia’, which is a type of cancer, and many charity organizations have been establishedin order to give a helping hand to these ill people, for example ‘American Cancer Society’ and ‘LÖSEV’ which is a charitable foundation giving aid to child cancer patients in Turkey. If firms make donations to these charities, they will represent a major form of corporate philanthrophy. Apart from these, it is an undeniable fact that education is an inseparable part of corporate social responsibility,too. In this sense, many projects carried out in Turkey can be mentioned in order to explain this matter. For example, the campaigns called ‘Dad, send me to school’ and ‘Let’s go to school, girls!’ are organized and funded by various firms or foundations and as consequences of these social responsibility projects, lots of children are encouraged  to receive an education and achieved gender parity in primary school education.
On the other hand,the social responsibility of business is to increase ıts profits. Namely, corporate social responsibility is also advantageous to firms due to the fact that social responsibility enterprises give credibility to the companies and raise brand recognition. As a matter of fact, these projects become an efficient form of promotion(an effective way to promote the company) after advertisements. Moreover, employees’ and clients’ commitments to the companies rise thanks to these initiatives and on the top of that, the companies will gain the public’s trust.
In conclusion, I believe that companies should place as much importance on their social reponsibilities as they do on their financial objectives.
TUĞBA ARDA