Saturday, January 7, 2017


“How do people or companies with vested interests spread ignorance and obfuscate knowledge? Georgina Kenyon finds there is a term which defines this phenomenon”
By: Georgina Kenyon
Level of difficulty: **
·         What is agnotology?
BEFORE YOU READ: The Students and the teacher
·         Janet Kourany: Agnotology
1.       The paper published in 1979 was significant because….
2.       What does “It” refer to in the sentence “It is also a means of establishing a controversy”?
3.       The reason Proctor studied tobacco companies was
·         To establish the truth about tobacco
·         To satisfy his personal curiosity
·         To see if smoking tobacco caused cancer
·         To see how tobacco companies confused people
·         To see what exactly the public knew
4.       We understand from Proctor’s research that tobacco companies lied about the facts/ mislead the public / instigated a cover-up / spent a lot on advertising. Mark True or False
5.       Why, according to Proctor, is it important to study agnotology? Because agnotology  is mainly ………………………………
6.       Read the first paragraph of the section “Balancing act”. We draw the conclusion from this paragraph that agnotology is a popular business tactic /Can be a popular business tactic/ is mainly used in politics /Can be used in politics/ is used to spread panic / can be used to spread panic/ is used to spread ignorance/ can be used to spread ignorance. Mark as many as you think are correct.
7.       Read the last three paragraphs of this section. Mark True or False
·         Balanced debate isn’t a good thing
·         Science can be abused by powerful people
·         Scientists can create a false picture
·         It is not possible to reach a rational conclusion
8.       Look back at the same section. What was the purpose of the tobacco companies in responding in the way they did to research into the link between tobacco and cancer?
9.       Read the section Titled “A new era of ignorance” carefully to the end. We understand from this section that ill-informed people are in danger of being tricked if….
10.   Refer back to the same section. It is implied in this section that…(Mark as many as fit)
·         All the misinformation in the public domain is clouding people’s judgment
·         Basing opinions on faith, tradition and propaganda is a mistake
·         Special interest groups consider ignorance an advantage
·         Scientific illiteracy is the reason for the success of the environmental skeptics
11.   Read the section titled “Making up your own minds”.  Which of the following is an example of an unworkable solution propagated by a person with a vested interest, which is an unconstitutional solution and which is both?
·         Stating that the border wall to be built between Mexico and the US will be funded by Mexico.
·          Stating that Muslims won’t be allowed into the US
·         Stating that global warming is a myth
·         Stating that all personally owned fire arms will be confiscated in the US
·         Stating that all people of color will be sent to different schools in the US
12.   What surprising admission does the writer make about the mass of information available on the internet?
13.   The writer warns against being too quick to jump to conclusions because…
Write an essay in which you discuss what agnotology is, how it comes about and what its impacts are. Use both the videos and the text.
The topic covered in this text is probably one of the most important and one of the most relevant to the modern world. It is essential that students’ eyes be opened to this business tactic that has invaded all areas of life.
1.       It revealed many of the tactics employed by big tobacco to counter “anti-cigarette forces”.
2.       Doubt
3.       4, You need to determine what This revelation refers to in order to answer the question.
4.       False, True, True, False
5.       A political ploy, a deliberate creation by powerful agents who want you not to know.
6.       Can be used in politics. This is the only correct answer as although some of the others are correct for agnotology, they are not conclusions we can draw from this paragraph.
7.       They are all false
8.       To create a false picture of the truth; OR to create ignorance
9.       Special interest groups work hard to create confusion about the issue
10.   All true
11.   Unworkable, Both unworkable and unconstitutional, Doesn’t fit, unconstitutional, unconstitutional
12.   The internet is helping to propagate ignorance
13.   We are being mislead into a false sense of expertise

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Some nouns can be both count nouns and non-count nouns with different meanings. This causes a lot of confusion. For example, the plural form of food is assumed to be foods, which is not the case as the word can be both a count and a non count noun. The following link will give you a clearer picture.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016


The oozing yellow organism has no neurons, but it can solve mazes, make decisions, and learn by merging together
By Ed Yong
Level of difficulty: **
·         You don’t need a brain to think
·         What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime
·         Are you smarter than slime mold?
Remember to watch the videos in the text when you reach them.
1.       What is surprising about the escape artists in Dossutour’s lab?
2.       We understand from paragraph two that unicellular organisms are / aren’t expected to be able to perform………….
3.       We understand from paragraph three that Physarum is extremely clever / versatile/ active/ dull/ elastic.
4.       We understand from paragraph four that the Plasmodium
·         Is motivated into taking certain action
·         Is influenced by physical stimuli
·         Is susceptible to light
·         Hunts for its food
·         Has a sense of rhythm
5.       What does “This simple behavior” in the sentence “This simple behavior can produce extraordinary results” refer to? Be very careful. The fact that….
6.       We  conclude from the paragraph beginning “It can also rival…” that
·         Brainpower is not needed to build a rail network
·         Slime mold should be used more widely in engineering projects
·         The slime mold can move if it is fed
·         Slime mold is capable of much more than we realized
·         Slime mold needs more time than engineers to map a network
7.       What immediate conclusion can be drawn from the experiment involving repellents? Slime molds seem to be capable of….
8.       What is the ultimate conclusion we can draw from the experiment? It seems to be possible…
9.       We understand from the second bridge experiment that once habituated slime mold is allowed to fuse with completely unhabituated slime mold, …(Mark T/ F)
·         Memories are transferred
·         Memories are concentrated
·         Memories are not eradicated
·         Memories remain intact
·         Memories can become fused
10.   The conclusion that can be drawn from the experiments with slime mold and worms is that………………….
11.   What does “that” at the end of the text refer to?
Write a one paragraph summary of the text
This is a fascinating science text detailing the incredible feats single cell life forms like slime mold can perform despite not having neurons. It should appeal to science students.
1.       They are slime molds
2.       Aren’t/ complicated and almost intelligent behavior
3.       Versatile
4.       Is influenced by physical stimuli
5.       The fact that it behaves like a colony
6.       Slime mold is capable of much more than we realized
7.       Habituation
8.       For a cell to learn
9.       T / F/ T/ T/ F
10.   Memory doesn’t depend on neurons
11.   How the brainless majority are able to adapt their behavior in changing environments

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Learning about Learning Disabilities

Learning disabilities are neurologically-based processing problems. These processing problems can interfere with learning basic skills such as reading, writing and/or math.  They can also interfere with higher level skills such as organization, time planning, abstract reasoning, long or short term memory and attention.  It is important to realize that learning disabilities can affect an individual’s life beyond academics and can impact relationships with family, friends and in the workplace. Moreover, learning disabilities should not be confused with learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps; of mental retardation; of emotional disturbance; or of environmental, cultural or economic disadvantages.

It should be noted that a learning disability cannot be cured or fixed; it is a lifelong challenge. However, with appropriate support and intervention, people with learning disabilities can achieve success in school, at work, in relationships, and in the community.

Prepared by: GÖZDE SIZAN, my teaching assistant at The School of Foreign Languages, Boğaziçi University


  • Listening: What are learning disabilities and how to cope with them?
  • Prezi: Learning Disabilities by Alyssa Tharp
  • Learning Disabilities and Their Symptoms
  • How to cope with learning disabilities
  • Listening: Learning Development and Difficulties by LearnFast Education (8 videos)


DYSCALCULIA - difficulty with math

  • Understanding Dyscalculia
  • My world without numbers | Line Rothmann by TEDx Talks (12 mins)

DYSLEXIA - difficulty reading

  • Learning Dyslexia by Listening
  • Prezi: Dyslexia by Colleen Packman
  • I have Dyslexia. What does it mean?
  • Dyslexia Explained: What's It Like Being Dyslexic? by Nessy (8 mins)
  • A Short Film about Dyslexia by GRIMFilm (7 mins)
  • Test for Dyslexia: 37 Common Traits
  • The True Gifts of a Dyslexic Mind | Dean Bragonier | TEDxMarthasVineyard by TEDx Talk (17 mins)

DYSGRAPHIA - difficulty with writing

  • Dyslexic Advantage | What is Dysgraphia? by Dyslexic Advantage (3 mins)
  • Symptoms of a Teenager with Dysgraphia
  • Prezi: Dysgraphia by Sarandon Landers

DYSPRAXIA - difficulty with fine motor skills

  • Dyspraxia by FixersUK (3 mins)
  • What is Dyspraxia?
  • Prezi: Dysapraxia by Kathryn Russel
  • Dyspraxia Children: How to Help (2 mins)
  • Childhood dyspraxia: James' story by NHS Choices (4 mins)

DYSPHASIA/APHASIA - difficulty with language

  • What is Aphasia?
  • Prezi: Broca’s Aphasia by Rose Jansen
  • Aphasia: The disorder that makes you lose your words - Susan Wortman-Jutt by TED-Ed (6 mins)

AUDITORY PROCESSING DISORDER (APD) - difficulty hearing differences between sounds

  • Learn more about APD by listening
  • What is APD?
  • Prezi: Auditory Processing Disorder by Jamie Goehring
  • What is Auditory Processing Disorder (APD)? by Gemm Learning (2 mins)
  • Causes, Symptoms and More: Auditory Processing Disorder by LearnFast Education (6 videos)
  • Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) - How does it feel like? (4 mins)

VISUAL PROCESSING  DISORDER – difficulty interpreting visual information

  • Listening: Visual Impairment
  • Visual Processing Issues
  • Prezi: Visual Processing Disorder by NJ
  • What are the differences between Dyslexia and Visual Processing Disorder?
  • Visual Problems & Dyslexia by dystalk (11 mins)
  • A Child's View of Sensory Processing by ESGWNRM (10 mins)


ADHD - difficulty focusing

  • Learn more about ADHD by listening
  • Prezi: ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) by  Shevanie Singh
  • Let Me Be Your Camera - Understanding ADHD - ADHDPerkins (3mins)
  • 10 Tips for Going to College With ADHD
  • What ADHD Feels Like by BuzzFeedVideo (3mins)
  • ADHD As A Difference In Cognition, Not A Disorder: Stephen Tonti by TEDxTalks(14 mins)

AUTISM - pervasive developmental disorders

  • Listening: Autism
  • What is Autism?
  • What is Autism? by ScottishAutism
  • Living with Autism - Ky's Story by Autism Queensland (5 mins)
  • BBC - My Autism and Me by AutismAssociation’s Channel (15 mins)
  • Stranger In The Family (Autism Documentary) - Real Stories (52 mins)


  • Prezi: Learning disabilities in College Students
  • College Steps: Support for Students with Autism or Learning Disabilities by The College Steps (14 mins)
  • As They See It: Technology for Students with Learning Disabilities by Bookshare (4 mins)
  • Study tips for students with learning disabilities by WWLP-22News (7 mins)
  • 10 Tips for College Students with Disabilities