Thursday, October 20, 2016


Groping, whistling, catcalling and similar forms of harassment are still very common almost everywhere in the world. Why do men do it and how can the problem be dealt with? Do your research and write an essay in which you describe the problem and suggest solutions.

This writing task was prepared as a response to certain unpleasant incidents that have occurred recently

Reading material to make notes on
·         The difficulty of dealing with groping
·         Groping incident reveals reasons for reluctance to report
Videos to watch and make notes on
·         Groping and Harassment; BBC Radio program ;


Wednesday, October 19, 2016


“Overwhelmed? It can seem like we’re busier than ever, but that’s not quite true, says Oliver Burkeman, who has been exploring the topic in a new series for BBC Radio 4.”
By: Oliver Burkeman
Level of Difficulty: **
Watch the following videos, make a few notes and have a think about the problems presented
·         The Disease of Being Busy and How It Affects Us, Tessitura’s Innovator Series
·         I am too busy! How can we get out of the busyness trap?
1.       Read the first two paragraphs of the text and decide whether the following statements are true or false:
·         People in the modern world are busier than they think
·         People in the modern world feel very busy
·         People in the modern world have too much to do
·         People in the modern world are inundated with work
·         People work the same way people in the past did
·         People in the modern world think they are neglecting their kids
2.       Read the paragraph beginning “What’s going on?” Which of the following sentences could be placed at the end of this paragraph?
·         In short, both the state of the economy and the limits set to employment in the modern world alter people’s perspectives
·         In short both changing attitudes to time and the nature of work in the modern world alter people’s perspectives
·         In short, both the value of time and labor in the modern world alter people’s perspectives.
·         In short, both rising incomes and the lack of physically punishing labor alter people’s perspectives
3.       We understand from the text that there is / there isn’t no discernable limit to the amount of work that can be done in a day. The reason for this is the transformation of work to …………..
4.       Why does time pressure negatively impact the quality of performance and less empathy?
5.       The example of Maria Popova’s hobby is given as an example to prove that….
6.       What proof does the writer offer to the contention that our attitude to work is completely nonsensical?
7.       Why is the locksmith’s story ironical? Use your own words.
8.       How should we measure our success?
9.       What does “this” refer to in the sentence “To put it mildly, this makes no sense.”?
Use the information in the text and the videos to write about busyness trap; focus on both the causes and the solutions .
This text focuses on a very common problem in the modern world that we should all think about because it prevents us from getting the most out of life: the busyness trap. The beauty is that it is a relatively simple text which can be easily understood and discussed. The writing task requires students to focus both on the problem itself and the solutions, which to me, seems more logical.
1.       F, T, F,F, F, T
2.       The second
3.       There is (There isn’t a limit but we cannot use a double negative), knowledge work
4.       Because feelings of scarcity, whether money or time, prey on the mind, thereby impairing decision making.
5.       The busy feeling has spread to infect our leisure time
6.        Possible answer: the fact that Freedom not to work was the ultimate symbol of wealth, social achievement and superiority in the past and that now busyness has become the indicator of high status
7.       Possible answer: People thought he deserved to be tipped when he was inexperienced and took longer to complete a task but not when he grew better at it and worked faster
8.       According to the results we achieve
9.       Living frenetic lives because it makes us feel good about ourselves

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


If you are worried about your addiction to technology and blame yourself, you need to think again. Do your research on persuasive technologies and describe what they are and how they work.
Familiarize yourself with the issue
·         Tech guilt: 5 'persuasive' technologies to help you be good
·         Faster, stronger, better - A guide for persuasive behavior change  
Reading material to make notes on
·         Technology and persuasion
·         The Invisible, Manipulative Power of Persuasive Technology

Video to watch and take notes from
·         Persuasive technologies


In the modern world, getting into university is believed to be vital if one is to have any hope of finding a good job. Now, however, there is a second alternative: degree apprenticeships. Do your research and find out what this program entails and write an essay.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
Reading material to make notes on
·         The dept free alternative to university
Videos to watch and take notes from
·         Goldman Sachs supports technology apprentices in London

·         Degree apprenticeships launch for the digital and technology space

Monday, October 17, 2016


By: Bobby Azarian
Level of Difficulty: ***
Watch the following videos and make a few notes:
·         A Virus Called Fear and why it distorts our perceptions.
·         Understanding Cognitive Distortions
1.       Start reading the text and decide where the introduction ends. What is the function of the last sentence of the introduction?
2.       Look back at the introduction of the text and answer the following questions:
a.       What unexpected point is made in the text concerning anxiety? The fact that…
b.      What does “This” refer to in the phrase “This can have profound consequences? The fact that…
3.       The development of the text is divided into various sections. Start reading the first section, decide how many paragraphs it includes and give it a subtitle. Select from the following short list: Notoriety is the Key,  Place it Center Stage, Publicity Matters, Shine a light on it
4.       Now look back at this section and answer the following questions:
a.       We understand from the first paragraph of this section that there are restrictions /limits / borders / deadlines to the amount of data we can focus on at any given time.
b.      What conclusion can be drawn from the paragraph beginning “We can appreciate…”?
c.       What does “This” refer to in the sentence”This makes reality comprehensible”?
d.      Shifts in the spotlight of our attention take place consciously/ voluntarily/ automatically and are very important because…………………………..
5.       Continue reading and decide where the next section starts and where it ends. Then give it a subtitle. Select from the list that follows: Shift your Attention Quick /The Journey on the Subway / The Spotlight on Overdrive.
6.       Look back at the section you have just read and answer the following questions:
a.       We understand from the paragraph beginning “While” that anxiety causes our attention to become negatively inclined / lop-sided / irrational / threatening (Select the answer that doesn’t fit )
b.      Read the example of the ride on the subway once again. Frequent repetition of similar experiences skews perception because it leads to ……………………………………….
c.       We understand from the 2009 study that the negative bias towards Middle Eastern people is probably involuntary / unwitting / conscious / compulsory / knee jerk. (Select as many as fit)
d.      We can surmise from the text that Trump supporters in the 2016 presidential election had probably focused on……………………………….
e.      Donald Trump, The Republican presidential candidate in the 2016 election campaign painted a bleak picture of USA because ………………………..(Use your own words)
7.       Read on until the end of the text and give this last section a title as well. Select from the list: Recent Research /Light at the End of the Tunnel / Attention Bias Modification Training/ Changing Opinions.
8.       Look at the section you have just read and answer the following questions:
a.       What is the purpose of ABMT?
b.      The success rates of ABTM could be increased by using ……………………
9.       ABTM could contribute to world peace by stopping anxiety from…..
Watch the following videos and write an essay in which you discuss the effects of anxiety:
·         Your brain on stress and anxiety
·         Rethinking anxiety: learning to face fear
·         How to identify and challenge cognitive distortions
This is a well organized text which focuses on a particular problem which it discusses and provides solutions for. Anxiety is a widespread problem and it is interesting to see how it skews our understanding of the world and our perceptions. Hopefully, the text will lead the students to rethink some of their own prejudices
1.       The introduction ends with the words “in which it can be influenced” This last sentence is the thesis statement 
2.       The fact that it changes what we focus our attention on throughout the day.
The fact that anxiety alters what we are conscious of and in turn the way we experience reality
3.       Place it Center Stage; Notoriety means famous for a negative reason,  publicity means the media is involved, shining a light on something indicates the you actively select what to focus on, which is not the case as far as our brains are involved
4.       Limits. The word ‘restrictions’ implies outside interference, the word ‘borders’ is a political or geographical term and the word ‘deadlines’ refers to the time when a project must be completed.
We have a localized spotlight of attention
Focusing only on what is important while ignoring the irrelevant
Automatically, they alert us of something in the environment that may be crucial to survival
5.       It begins “Thanks to evolution” and ends with the sentence beginning “Essentially,…” The Spotlight on Overdrive. The title ‘Shift your Attention Quick’ implies that the person is shifting his attention consciously, and ‘The Train Journey’ implies that the whole section is about a train journey
6.       Threatening; an overly threat conscious appraisal of the environment; involuntary, unwitting knee jerk; Aversive images; possible answer: he wanted to maintain the electorate’s levels of anxiety so they would vote for him.
7.       Light at the End of the Tunnel. ABMT is just one solution mentioned in the text; Recent Research is far too vague; Changing Opinions is also vague plus one app didn’t work so this title would be misleading. The section starts with the words ‘At its worst’ and ends before the last paragraph
8.       To train the brain to habitually focus away from threat and negative information towards positive information; more dynamic tasks that use highly realistic stimuli OR A more lifelike environment
9.       Distorting reality, instilling fear and altering belief systems

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


The trail of tears is the name given to one of the darkest chapters of US history. Do your research and find out what it refers to then tell the story.
Familiarize yourself with the issue:
·         Trail of tears 
Reading material to make notes on:
·         Indian treaties and the Indian removal act of 1830
Videos to watch and take notes from:
You will need to subscribe to this site but it is well worth it. I cannot stress enough what a good site it is and how useful it will be.
·         The Cherokee & the Trail of Tears: History, Timeline & Summary
Documentaries to watch and take notes from:
·         Trail of tears: they knew it was wrong
·         We shall remain – Trail of Tears
·         Trail of tears national historic trail


If you thought slave labor was only seen in third world countries or could be seen in the annals of history think again. Do your research to discover more about the contract children of Switzerland; a practice that continued well into the second half of the 20th century and tell the story.
Reading material to make notes on:
·         Switzerland’s shame: the children used as cheap farm labor
·         Thousands of Swiss children sold into slavery
Videos to watch and take notes from:
·         Switzerland’s stolen generation
·         Switzerland: Forced child laborers
·          Switzerland: compensation for child laborers