Wednesday, December 7, 2016

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THE LATEST “PISA” RESULTS


Do your research to find out what PISA is, what its function is and what the significance of the tests are. Then write an essay in which you explain what PISA is and what we can learn from the tests they organize about how the quality of education can be improved and what factors have a negative effect.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         https://www.oecd.org/pisa/aboutpisa/ Watch all the videos and check out the links.
Test yourselves: try out PISA science questions:
·         https://www.oecd.org/pisa/test/  
Check your own country’s ranking:
·         https://www.oecd.org/pisa/data/  
Reading material to make notes on:
·         What the world can learn from the latest PISA test results
Factors that impact learning:
·         Computers 'do not improve' pupil results, says OECD

Videos:

Andreas Schleicher: PISA https://www.ted.com/talks/andreas_schleicher_use_data_to_build_better_schools?language=tr


·         Schools need to get back to basics http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2014/s4106212.htm

FORGIVENESS


TEXT I: Forgiveness is the answer to (almost) all of our ills
“Let go of resentments and attend to helpful thoughts. You’ll live better”
“Never does the human soul appear so strong and noble as when it forgoes revenge and dares to forgive an injury” E.H. Chaplin
By: Jason Powers
Level of Difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ
One of the experts whose views are discussed in the following two texts is Fred Laskin. In the following videos you hear him explaining his views. They will help you tackle the text and add depth to your writing later on. So watch, listen and take notes.
·         Healthy Living - The Benefits of Forgiveness with Dr. Fred Luskin - Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2poM6nZmW8
·         Dr. Fred Luskin: The Art and Science of Forgiveness (Workshop)
QUESTIONS
1.       Read the first paragraph of the text. Which of these sentences would best serve as the concluding statement?
·         Not forgiving injury or hurt is seriously stupid
·         Not forgiving injury or hurt is seriously damaging
·         Not forgiving injury or hurt is seriously insulting
·         Not forgiving injury or hurt is seriously evil
2.       The quote from Max Lucado has been included in the paragraph to support the view that………………………………………….
3.       Read the story told by Dabney Ewin. Why did this burn surgeon take the time to talk to his patients like this? So that……………..
4.       What conclusion can be drawn from the same story?
5.       Where, in the paragraph beginning “Then” would you place the following sentence: It seems that the psychological well being provided by forgiveness impacts a whole range of problems
6.       We understand from the list of advantages of forgiving that it is in our interest to forgive/in our control to forgive/  to our advantage to learn to forgive/ in our hands to forgive (Mark as many as fit)
7.       It is implied in the paragraph beginning “So” that we should enjoy making mistakes/ we shouldn’t be too hard on our selves / we should understand ourselves/ we should accept we are human/ we should be kinder to ourselves if we want to start learning to forgive. (Mark as many as fit)
8.       Read the two paragraphs describing the process of learning to forgive. Now answer the following questions:
·         What sensible piece of advice does the writer deliver when starting out?
·         The writer also draws our attention to something that should be obvious but isn’t. It is the fact that ……………………………….
9.       What does “That” at the beginning of the last paragraph refer to?
10.   What warning does the writer offer at the end of the text?
TEXT II: How to be a better forgiver; four tips from experts on letting bygones go
By: Sunny Sea Gold
Published: Nov 2016; Scientific American Mind; https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-to-be-a-better-forgiver/ 
Level of difficulty: **
BEFORE YOU READ
QUESTIONS
1.       The purpose of the examples listed in the first paragraph is to try and prove that….
2.       We understand from the quote from Frederic Luskin that it is wrong to assume that forgiveness…………………
3.       The study involving the women from Northern Ireland proves that it is important to learn to forgive if we want to ……………………
4.       The purpose of the empty chair dialogue is to………..
5.       What is the expected outcome of an empty chair dialogue?
6.       Deep breathing and compassion meditation will not help in dealing with the flight or fight response if …………………….
7.       Read the section titled “Keep trying” and mark true or false
·         Forgiveness doesn’t happen over night
·         Forgiveness doesn’t come easy
·         Some people can never forgive
·         Some people need professional help to forgive
·         People need to work at trying to forgive
8.       We understand from the same section that some of the awful things that have been happening in societies can be prevented if ….
WRITING TASK
Use all you have learnt concerning forgiving to write about the advantages of forgiving and not seeking revenge both in terms of the individual and in terms of the society as a whole
FORGIVENESS KEY
These two texts complement each other and focus on the benefits of forgiving and how to go about it. Considering how difficult it is to forgive and how much we all have to learn in this respect, the task should lead to some good discussion and an essay
TEXT I: Forgiveness is the answer to (almost) all of our ills; Key and Teachers’ notes
1.       The second
2.       Without forgiveness, anger and resentment putrefy
3.       So that their skin graft would take
4.       The attitude of patients greatly impacts their healing
5.       At the very end
6.       One and three
7.       Two and five
8.       Choose a minor hurt; Forgiveness is more about our relationship with ourselves than whom or what we are forgiving
9.       The previous sentence
10.   Fear might try rekindling the fire of resentment from time to time
      TEXT II: How to be a better forgiver; four tips from experts on letting bygones go; Key and Teachers’ notes
1.       Our larger human family needs forgiveness right now
2.       Is a gift we bestow on someone once they have apologized or made restitution.
3.       Reduce depression and anxiety
4.       Try to get the people to look at things from the point of view of the person who hurt them and get a sense of empathy for what was going on with that person.
5.       For the less negative emotions to begin to edge out some of the pain and anger
6.       You haven’t had adequate time to grieve.
7.       T, T, F, T, T
8.       The amount of background bitterness, resentment and hostility can be lowered



Thursday, December 1, 2016

WHEN ECONOMIC GROWTH DOESN’T MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY


“That economic expansion leads to greater well-being is a central tenet of modern thought. And yet, that is not what is happening in America today”
By: Jonathan F. P. Rose
Level of Difficulty: ***
BEFORE YOU READ
Watch the following videos and think about them. They focus on the main points of the text to follow and will help you tackle the reading task.
·         Dr Edward Skidelsky - Happiness and Economic Growth https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCEXbksbHao
·         Economic Growth - measuring happiness https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5D57fgvtg6E
QUESTIONS
1.       The fact that US ended up near the bottom in the UNICEF report involving probably came as a surprise because…………………………(Use your own words)
2.       Which of the concluding statements below can be placed at the end of paragraph two?
·         In short, the conventional view has been proved wrong
·         In short, cities are not happy places despite the high standard of living
·         In short, happiness doesn’t necessarily follow from prosperity
·         In short, growth and productivity are not linked to happiness
3.       What major change in social structure paved the way towards social unrest? The fact that……………………………….
4.       We understand from the same paragraph that the lower/the greater the gap between the rich and the poor, the less/ the greater the collective sense of we-ness and the less / the greater probability of social unrest
5.       Look at paragraph beginning “People moving”. And answer the following questions:
·         How would you join the first and the second sentence?
·         What kind of a sentence would you place before the sentence beginning “Some aspects of poverty”? Use your own words.
·         Decide which of the concluding statements listed below could go at the end of the paragraph?
-          In short, increasing household incomes goes part of the way towards providing well-being in society
-          In short, increasing household income has nothing to do with providing well-being
-          In short, increasing household income will provide increased well-being in society
6.       Where, in the paragraph beginning “Urbanization” would you place the following: and this can have some devastating consequences?
7.       We understand from the same paragraph that
·         Urban centers should have the necessary social structures to be able to provide well-being for newcomers
·         Urban centers should be prepared to receive more citizens in order to alleviate poverty and provide well-being for new comers
·         Urban centers should have the necessary infrastructure to be able alleviate poverty and provide well- being for new comers
·         Urban centers should have the necessary background to be able to alleviate poverty and provide well-being for newcomers.
8.       The reason why people don’t seem to happier despite economic growth seems to be…………………………………….
9.       Read the last sentence of the paragraph beginning “Following” . Could we erase it? Why or why not?
10.   What is the Easterlin principle?
·         Increased wealth doesn’t necessarily lead to increased happiness
·         Increased wealth sometimes leads to increased happiness
·         Increased wealth never leads to increased happiness
·         Increased wealth leads to increased happiness up to certain level
11.   What is surprising about the fact that 75.000 dollars seems to be a cutoff point beyond which further happiness is not witnessed?
12.   Read the paragraph beginning “But there is…” Where would you place the following phrases:
·         Communication, the exchange of ideas and sharing of feelings are deeply gratifying
·         After all, chores, which people have to deal with on a daily basis, are mind-numbingly boring.
·         Activities that set the mind free are like a breath of fresh air.
13.   We understand from the paragraph beginning “This survey” that …(Mark as many as fit)
·         The nature of the work people do is also important
·         Gainful employment is the single most important determinant of well-being
·         Gainful employment on its own can make people miserable
·         Work needs to be mentally satisfying as well as bringing in a living wage
·         Gainful employment can pose a serious health risks in spite of providing an income
14.   The paragraph beginning  “In the past” is composed of seven sentences. Two of these sentences can logically be moved and placed somewhere else in the paragraph. Which sentence? Where could it be placed?
WRITING TASK
Use all you have learnt to write an essay concerning the factors that lead to happiness in modern urban centers:
·         Having gainful employment
·         Mentally and emotionally satisfying work
·         Meaningful leisure activities (Walking, exercise, playing, reading, making love)
·         Stream-lining chores
WHEN ECONOMIC GROWTH DOESN’T MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This text is a very topical one and should lead to a good writing task. The questions this time are slightly different focusing more on how a teacher would handle such a text in class. The questions should help with the writing too.
1.       Possible answer: The US is one of the most advanced / developed countries in the world; The Us is a rich country / a welfare state and the like
2.       The third (The fourth goes too far, two is just a paraphrase of four and one is not true; it is not wrong it is incomplete)
3.       Cities became more hierarchical
4.       The greater, the less, the greater
5.       * People move to cities because they seek opportunity, hoping to improve their lives, not to stay mired in a life of poverty, which is extraordinarily debilitating, and whose persistence…
·         Possible answer: The negative impacts of poverty can be far-reaching
·         The first
6.       At the end of the sentence beginning “But for…”
7.       The second (the word prepared covers everything)
8.       The complexities and uncertainties of the modern world
9.       No we couldn’t because it provides transition to the next paragraph (it tells us what the rest of the text is going to be about)
10.   Four
11.   The figure is the same expensive cities and lower cost cities
12.   After “That is when people are happiest”; Before “How many people really enjoy…”; Before “Walking…”
13.   One and four
14.   Six and seven can be placed after sentence three



Wednesday, November 30, 2016

WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF BELIEVING IT IS POSSIPLE TO ALTER OTHER PEOPLE’S BELIEFS?


By: Alex Fradera
Level of difficulty: **
WATCH AND LISTEN
·         The dangers of willful blindness https://www.ted.com/talks/margaret_heffernan_the_dangers_of_willful_blindness
BEFORE YOU READ
Read the text carefully and indicate which paragraphs the following subtitles refer to:
·         The Introduction
·         Beliefs and Willingness to Advocate
·         Understanding the Contradiction
·         Conclusion
QUESTIONS
1.       We understand from the first paragraph of the text that the focus of the text is whether or not behavior can be manipulated / feelings can be flexible/ opinions can be changed / tendencies can be transformed.
2.       What conclusion can be drawn from paragraph two? Be precise
3.       Read the Omair Akhtar’s experiment carefully. Did the immediate outcome of the experiment prove or disprove the researchers’ original hypothesis? How do you know?
4.       Further examination of the data came up with a surprising and seemingly illogical result. Believing in the permanence of opinions not only……….. but also………………..
5.       Read the two paragraphs concerning the second online experiment. Why were those who believed that attitudes were fixed more willing to take on the death penalty opponents? There are two answers; find both.
6.       What conclusion can we draw from both experiments?
7.       Read the example of the run up to the US election. We understand from the paragraph that
·         The desire to be heard helps bring people together
·         The desire to be heard can lead to radicalization
·         The desire to be heard sways public opinion
·         The desire to be heard energizes the public
8.       It is implied in the same paragraph that the opinions thus shared become more pessimistic/  more entrenched / more stable/ more immutable/ more extreme
9.       We understand from the last paragraph that confrontation with single minded opponents can be avoided if
·         We accept that we have different mindsets
·         We agree to disagree
·         We are open to suggestion
·         We  try and reduce frustration
·         We agree to change our minds
WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF BELIEVING IT IS POSSIPLE TO ALTER OTHER PEOPLE’S BELIEFS? KEY AND TEACHERS’ NOTES
This text is a straight forward, well-organized scientific reading passage and as such is very well suited for class work. Thanks to the subject matter, I have been able to write a wide variety of questions.
BEFORE YOU READ
Introduction: paragraphs one and two
Beliefs and willingness to advocate: paragraphs 3, 4 and 5
Understanding the contradiction: paragraphs 6, 7 and 8
Conclusion: paragraph 9
 KEY TO THE QUESTIONS
1.       Opinions can be changed
2.       Whether belief is fixed or malleable is a tricky topic to study (The first sentence of the paragraph is unacceptable)
3.       It proved it; “just as we suspected might happen”
4.       Not only tips us towards convincing others but also deters us from trying to convince them.
5.       Because they saw it as chance to stand up for their views; OR Because they were animated by the chance to be heard.
6.       Whether we are motivated to engage in advocacy depends on a combination of how we view the purpose of advocacy and our beliefs about human certainty.
7.       The first (The last sentence)
8.       More entrenched
9.       We are open to suggestion (The phrase means that it is possible that we may change our minds)

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

TELL THE STORY OF THE HIGHLAND CLEARANCES


The Highland clearances constitute one of the darkest chapters in Scottish history. Do your research and find out why; when you are finished write an essay on the topic. Explain the background, the causes, what actually took place and the effects.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
Podcast:
·         Highland clearances https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vma0gapMHks
Reading material to make notes on:
·         The Highland clearances and their causes, effects and results
·         The patterns of the Highland clearances http://www.scottishhistory.com/articles/highlands/clearances/clearance_page1.html
·         The cultural impact of the Highland clearances http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/british/civil_war_revolution/scotland_clearances_01.shtml
Videos
·         Highland clearances Sutherland Part 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJUGPVjDPI4

·         The Sutherland Clearances Part 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmAaTZRrhCU   

Monday, November 28, 2016

MOVING HOUSE


The research based writing activity below was prepared to accompany the unit on moving house in Language Leader (program 1). It was prepared by MESUT UZELLİ, SERTAÇ GALİP GENÇ, HASAN HÜSEYİN ÇELİK .
Reading material:
·         “Problems with moving to a new house and how to handle them” http://www.mymovingreviews.com/move/problems-with-moving-to-new-home
·         “Moving house; making it less stressful for children” http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/health_advice/facts/movinghouse.htm
Videos
·         “Problems with moving house” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ud5Xj-obsA


WHY IS IT A GOOD IDEA TO SAVE MONEY?


The research based writing activity below was prepared to accompany the unit on money in Language Leader (program 1). It was prepared by MESUT UZELLİ, SERTAÇ GALİP GENÇ, HASAN HÜSEYİN ÇELİK .
Reading material:
·         “Why is saving so important?” http://www.incharge.org/money-101/how-to-save-money/why-is-saving-so-important
·         Learn the most important reasons to save money” http://moneyfor20s.about.com/od/reasonsandwaystosave/tp/Top-7-Reasons-to-Save-Money.htm
·         “10 Reasons why you should save” http://www.mymoneycoach.ca/why_save.html
Videos: watch them after you do the reading

·         “Money savers: why young people should start saving early” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXWN8NuMf3g