Thursday, December 20, 2012

WHAT IS TERRORISM?


Level of Difficulty: **

WATCH, LISTEN AND CONSIDER
·         What is terrorism? Definition, types, history and statistics
http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-terrorism-definition-history-types-statistics.html
What is terrorism? Definition, types and examples http://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-terrorism-definition-history-types-examples.html

QUESTIONS

1.       In the introduction to the article, we are presented with a dilemma concerning terrorism. What is it?
2.       What conclusion can we draw from the examples stated in paragraph 3?
3.       What are the two main characteristics of terrorism?
4.       Of the examples stated in paragraph 5, which one is real terrorism?
5.       Can one always differentiate clearly between terrorism and guerrilla warfare? What is the problem?
6.       What would you call the following examples: The IRA bombing of a pub near London (70’s); the bombing of a bus containing, among others, soldiers returning from the front; Aum Shirinyo’s nerve gas bombing of the Tokyo underground; IRA bombing of the British barracks near Londonderry.
7.       The case of the men who shot up a white church congregation in South Africa is an example of………………………………………………………………………………………………………..(Be very specific)
8.       The Tamil Tiger bombing in Colombo and Dier Yassin are given as examples to prove that………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
9.       Give one example of diplomacy by terror.
10.   State one example of governments which are guilty of terrorism.
11.   The cases of Hiroshima, Nagazaki and the Allied bombing of Germany near the end of the war are given as examples proving that……………………………………………………………………………..
12.   The basic difference between the 19th century anarchist and nihilist and the present day terrorist is that the former ………………………………………………………………………………………………..
13.   The activities of The IRA, ETA and The Shining Path may be contrasted with such events as the Tokyo metro nerve gassing, the Oklahoma city bombing and the activities of Algerian terrorists. The Three latter events are different in that ………………………………………………………..
14.   Read paragraphs 18 through 20 and find three similarities and one difference between a terrorist group and a government( i.e. an army)
15.   State two reasons why the British withdrew from India, Cyprus and Kenya.
16.   On reading paragraph 25, how would you rate a government’s chances of success in dealing with terrorists? What do you base your opinion on?
17.   What do the Baeder- Meinhof mob and Aum Shirinyo have in common?
WHAT IS TERRORISM / KEY
The text is a brilliant descriptive essay endeavoring to describe what terrorism is and isn’t. I, unfortunately, have no way of getting the soft copy to you so you are going to have to find it in the economist archive. This you can do by paying a nominal fee or enlisting the help of members of staff who are already members. Getting back to the task at hand, you should start with a discussion during which certain criteria will emerge. These criteria could be noted on the board for comparison with the views expressed in the text and further discussion. The vocabulary should be exploited while reading – something I like to do while reading through the text. Due to the way it is written, this text will never be outdated. It can be used with intermediate groups at the beginning of December which should give you some idea of its level of difficulty. It is important that you discuss the arguments in the text as you read as not everyone will agree with all of them and it is important that they learn to have civilized discussions and listen to each other. A writing task is not recommended at this stage of the year as the topic is too hard.
1.       Terrorism is not the simple, sharp edged bad guy phenomenon we all love to condemn.
2.       What act or person earns the label depends on who wants to apply it.
3.       Terrorism is indeed about terror; not just violence but its use to spread terror. And the violence is aimed specifically at civilians.
4.       Italy’s Red Brigade blew up a train in Bologna station killing 84 people.
5.       There are grey areas
6.       Terrorism, grey area, terrorism, guerrilla warfare.
7.       A terrorist act with a “good cause”.
8.       The terrorists’ ultimate success or failure doesn’t alter the truth.
9.       Iran, Libya, Carlos the Jackal, East Germany…
10.   Much of Latin America
11.   Armies of proud democracies can be guilty of terrorism too.
12.   Discriminate assassination was the typical weapon of the 19th century anarchist and nihilist.
13.   Random terrorism
14.   Difference: the group is almost impossible to smash; similarities: personal devotion to a cause, both groups may include people who enjoy violence for its own sake; both are pursuing a policy they hope will succeed.
15.   Weakness and a world view that said colonial empires had had their day.
16.   Not high; it could not usually zap the terrorists’ territory as it could that of a hostile state.
17.   They were nutters.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

VIDEO RELATED WRITING ACTIVITY: CYBER CRIME



    What do we recollect when we think about "crime"?Certainly,nobody had any idea of a"cyber crime" until 1990s. In the first years of 1990s, a hacker group which developed the website that provided the opportunity was named Carders to become industrialized for cyber crime.They used people's credit card data and stole a huge amount of money.So "cyber security systems" became a neccesity and new points were added to cyber crime in laws.However, these measures were not able to prevent hacking.Hackers continue to hack because of their demands.
    We should divide hackers into 2 categories.The first group steals money,data etc. and uses it.Then, the second group hacks websites for political reasons.Both groups are criminals according to the laws.However,i think we must understand the differences of these groups.This is shown by the following example.The guy in Carders ( his nickname is RedBridge) stole 150.000 euro once a week but another hacker group(Anononymous) have never used data or stolen money.They have done this for political purposes such as anti imperialism, anti war, protecting the environment,anti capitalism.The second group does not harm people physically,materially or psychologically. They want what's good, peace, and happiness for all of us i.e they only want governments change their wrong policies because these policies endanger the future of the world also our future.
    Next, most hackers have some similar personalities although they are divided into 2 categories.The first is asociality. According to research,most of hackers were asocial when they were children.The second is the age at which they started on the Internet.Most of them start using the Internet in their childhood and it develops. In their adolescence,it is the most important activity.So perception of crime can not improve for these people.In the other words, they are open to persuation about crime.According to research most of the hackers were deceived into stealing.
   We explained some points about hackers.Now,we must ask a question.What is the solution? The governments and big companies use special cyber security systems and they paid approximately 2 million euro for nothing because these systems could not stop hacking.Secondly, they convict hackers.These criminals are in jail for a long time.Then, most hackers begin to work for governments because of their abilities about cyber systems and the governments exploit them for "their secret crimes".Do you think this is a solution? It does not seem like a good solution because hacking is increasing rapidly and these criminals are not reintroduced to society.In addition,some hackers (the second group) are staying in a prison although they are innocent.
    Now,I want to write about the most suitable solution.Firstly, the governments must listen to the second group's demands.If they do not listen,these hackers will keep hacking forever.Secondly,the first group is not only criminal.They are also human. Punishment is neccesary but the governments must provide opportunity to these hackers to improve their abilities also the governments and big companies must hire the hackers.You can say how we believe in criminals.According to research most of the first group says "Please give us a chance to work in a legimate industry.We just never knew how to get there,what we were doing.We want to work with you."
    To sum up,hacking is increasing rapidly but the governments and big companies are following wrong policies.They must give up stigmatizing hackers.In addition, we should be aware of this issue.
Şua Mihriban Çavga Preint 2012

VIDEO RELATED WRITING ACTIVITY: SLAVERY




In the ancient times, in Greece, Egypt and other old societies, slavery was widely accepted. Kings, those of noble blood and rich people used uneducated, poor people to do the worst jobs. Thus, the institution of slavery became established and continued for a long time. In the 1800’s, slavery arose in the U.S.A. with Africans brought over on infamous slave ships and Mexican immigrants both of whom worked as agricultural workers. This showed us that slavery existed in the past but it unfortunately it has carried on into the present albeit in different forms.
Nowadays, slavery is not a word which is used obviously. Miners, textile workers and children are also new names of slavery in the modern world. They have to work in bad conditions and for long periods like 17 or 18 hours a day approximately. They have no chance of receiving a good education and good job.
Miners work at many hundreds of meters under the ground. They have neither enough oxygen nor light there. According to research, miners have more pulmonary diseases than other people. Textile workers usually work with textile colors, which include many chemicals and toxins as a result of which they die younger. Children are very important for the workforce. They are the easiest source of slaves. Especially in poor countries like Nepal, Afghanistan etc. children work in very hard jobs without any pay; just a little food is enough for them.
 A cheap workforce and low cost are indispensable for employers so they turned slavery into workmanship. Modern businessmen claim that is fair but slavery or work for a little pay is in conflict with human rights.


Melis Celik; Intermediate; The middle of December 

Monday, December 17, 2012

VIDEO RELATED WRITING ACTIVITY



  According to a speech by Amy Cuddy,we show a lot of mimics,gestures and postures when we communicate.These are parts of our life.
                 We observe other people’s mimics and gestures,which enables us to understand emotions of other people.This is very important to communicate.Our moods affect nonverbal behaviour.Also nonverbal behaviour affects our mood.It shows that moods and nonverbal behaviour are interdependent.The study of Amy Cuddy proves that people can fake their behaviour.At the end of a certain period,the emotions of people start to change.People feel more confident and powerful.Afterthat, they internalise it.
               I think that most of this is true but there is a point which we should focus on: seeming powerful is a useful thing but it may cause arrogance.It may have bad effects on relationships and daily life
             If we want to succeed in our life,we should be careful about seeming powerful.In conclusion,”you can fake it till you make it” without harm to relationships.


ÖMER UMUT BAŞDEMİR
Preint H

Sunday, December 16, 2012

SUCKING CO2 FROM THE AIR WITH ARTIFICIAL TREES


SUCKING CO2 FROM THE AIR WITH ARTIFICIAL TREES
By: Gaia Vince
Published: 4 October 2012 http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20121004-fake-trees-to-clean-the-skies When searching for the article on the bbc website, don’t use all capital letters if the link doesn’t work. This, I have discovered, is what throws the search engines of magazines and similar publications. Google has no such shortcomings though and you should be able to find the article any which way you type it.
Level of Difficulty: **( This is due to the argumentative essay that follows)
BEFORE YOU READ
·         What causes the greenhouse effect?
·         How urgently do we need to find solutions to the problem?
·         What measures are currently being taken to deal with co2 emissions?
·         Can you envision any additional measures?
QUESTIONS
1.       What dilemma concerning co2 is expressed at the beginning of the text?
2.       What does the phrase “If it works” in paragraph 2 mean?
3.       The phrase “this balance” in the first sentence of paragraph 4 refers to the balance between: …………………………………, …………………………………………………… and ……………………………………………… You will need to tweak the text to get the answer to fit grammatically.
4.       What will the ultimate result of releasing more CO2 than plants can absorb be? Be specific.
5.       Why are animals and plants at a greater disadvantage as a result of climate change?
6.       Why is it better to find ways of removing CO2 from the atmosphere?
7.       What are the two current methods of lowering carbon emissions and what are their disadvantages?
8.       How exactly do Klaus Lackner’s artificial trees remove CO2 from the atmosphere?
9.       What four practical advantages do these fake trees have?
10.   What common name is given to the two naturally occurring ways of dealing with the CO2 collected?
11.   What is the common disadvantage of the above methods?
12.   What is the advantage of producing syngas from the CO2 collected? There are two answers, one obvious and one less so, find them both.
13.   Express in your own words as briefly as possible what the current disadvantage of Lackner’s system is.
14.   Read the last paragraph and decide whether the writer thinks Lackner’s system is viable or not.
WRITING TASK
Write an essay arguing in favor of Lackner’s system of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
In your introduction: start by discussing the serious consequences of global warming and the need to reverse the trend. Then discuss briefly the two current methods employed to tackle the problem (planting trees and Scrubber devices) and state why they are inadequate. Then have your thesis statement where you advocate Lackner’s system.
In the first paragraph of your development: discuss the practical advantages. ( Leaves don’t need to be exposed to sunlight so they can overlap one another, removing the CO2 is easy, you rinse the leaves, CO2 produced in one part of the world can be removed in another. Remember to give examples)
In the second paragraph of your development: discuss efficiency.( These trees can remove one tone of CO2 a day; CO2 from the process could be used to make liquid fuel)
In the third paragraph of the development: introduce the major disadvantage – high initial cost – and refute it with the claim that it will be cheap in the long term and that we don’t really have much choice any longer.
In your conclusion: discuss the urgency of the problem and stress that we can no longer afford to sit on our hands. Assert that it is time to act and that artificial trees are a viable solution.
SUCKING CO2 FROM THE SKIES WITH ARTIFICIAL TREES
This wonderful text is all about an innovative solution to an ongoing problem. The beauty is that it lends itself to a wonderful argumentative essay which fits in with one of the standard ways of organizing such pieces of writing. So if you wish to tackle argumentative essays at a simple level, this is the reading task you want.
1.       CO2 only makes up a tiny fraction of the atmosphere but has a huge effect on the Earth’s temperature.
2.       If scientists can remove some of this greenhouse gas from the air.
3.       The CO2 we (metabolic life forms) emit, the CO2 photosynthetic organisms take in, the O2 photosynthetic organisms emit.
4.       A new balance at a hotter temperature.
5.       They may not have time to evolve to the new conditions.
6.       Because even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today, there is enough CO2 in the atmosphere that temperatures will continue to rise for a few hundred years.
7.       Growing plants that absorb a lot of CO2 and store it / we need land to grow food for an increasing population; Carbon capture and storage/ Removing the gas takes a lot of energy and is expensive.
8.       The leaves are coated in a resin that contains sodium bicarbonate which pulls carbon out of the air and stores it as bicarbonate.
9.       They don’ need to be exposed to sunlight for photosynthesis so they can be much more closely spaced and overlapped; Lackner’s trees can remove one tone of CO2 a day; If mass produced they would cost around 20.000dollars;CO2 produced in an American city can be removed in Oman.
10.   Carbon Dioxide Absorption Processes
11.   They are on geological time scales. This means they take a very long time.
12.   It can be readily turned into hydrocarbon fuels such as methanol or diesel; It can be used to make fuels for transport vehicles.
13.   Cost or price
14.   Yes

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

READING RELATED EASSAY: WHAT PSYCHOPATHS TEACH US ABOUT HOW TO SUCCEED


There is no doubt that surviving and being successful in the work environment has been tough since the level of  competition amongst individuals has reached its peak .In order to make  unprecedented progress in business life, a person should have some qualifications which enable him/her to surpass his/her colleagues. As individuals who rank high in the hierarchy in companies encounter various types of challenging situations and deal with employees from different walks of life, they have to adopt distinct traits which allow them to find a way compatible with the requirements of the circumstances. That is why, As far as I am concerned, the administrators of both international or local companies should have various positive and negative characteristics to be able to achieve their aims.

         To begin with, I believe the positive hallmarks which each and every  administrator  ought to have are determination, fearlessness, and focus. The combination of these three characteristics brings about success. Along with fearlessness, determination is one of the important traits in business life since there are a host of obstacles which prevent people from reaching their goals. For example, people in quest of profit and success tend to adopt deviant behaviors so as to intimidate their rivals and force them to give up but if one has enough determination to take  action and to persist in this action, s/he can easily overcome the hurdles emerging as a result of competition. The second trait is the ability to focus entirely on an undertaken duty. Most administrators are capable of continuing to work on the tasks that have  utmost importance and their obsessions are their main incentives which compel them to completely and successfully finish their duty.

          Secondly, there are negative characteristics that are useful and feasible in business life, but that are regarded as psychopathic hallmarks detrimental to not only a person having these but also others with whom they interact. The administrators differ from other workers who they employed  in that they have aforementioned traits which give a chance to them to promote and rise in the hierarchy. It goes without saying that controlling and leading a group is tough because in the presence of problems and conflicts people tend to quit and slack off their duties. In order to eliminate these problems and conflicts, an administrator sometimes has to be ruthless since s/he has to explain the importance of the tasks which they undertake and how they should do that.

To sum up, we are not aware of it at first but from the aforementioned arguments we can easily see that apart from the positive hallmarks, administrators should have some negative characteristics in order to keep employees efficiently working and to be good at their jobs.
Ali Alp Gürer Preintermediate Remedial

RESEARCH RELATED ADVANTAGES / DISADVANTAGES ESSAY OUT OF WRITING FILES 2: ONLINE RECRUITMENT


     Technology has affected our life so greatly that individuals have started to plan their life according to that. That is why the efficiency of a host of people and organizations depend on the internet. One of the ways to use the internet in business life is to hire workers with regard to online interviews. This implementation is loosely called online recruiting. Online recruiting has a number of both advantages and disadvantages.
      To begin with, one of the advantages of using the online recruiting system is that it enables companies which are looking for candidates whose qualifications match with the requirements of the job to find whatever they want. To be more precise, the applications of the candidates are stored in the database of the websites. If a company calls for a worker and wants to hire him/her, they will eliminate those whose qualifications are incompatible with the company’s demands through doing researches in the database. Then they want people who are selected after the process of the elimination to send job application essays which they are expected to cover some topics clearly such as why they want this job and what their contributions to the company will be. It goes without saying that via the internet this process takes place quickly. Therefore, companies examine and hire people in a short period.
        Secondly, apart from positive effects to using online recruiting, it also has some drawbacks. One of them is that sometimes it is hard to get noticed by companies since they can easily ignore some applications without reasons. To be more precise, due to the ease of applying to jobs by using internet, hundreds of people want to apply to the same job with the hope of being hired in spite of the fact that their qualifications do not overlap with that of the companies. Because of the high number of the applications forms, companies have to use some key words and other criteria which are not useful to determine whether someone’s qualifications are compatible with the requirement of the job or not.
   To sum up, using internet with the purpose of examining and hiring candidates makes companies complete the process fast. However, to not cause problems, companies should be aware of the backdraws  of these implementations and find different ways to analyze the high number of applications instead of ignoring.
Ali Alp Gürer Preintermediate Remedial

THE EFFECTS OF WAR ON CHILD SOLDIERS IN MANY COUNTRIES ALL OVER THE WORLD


          
          Throughout  history,children have been increasingly used to fight wars for many reasons like the fact that children are more convenient economically and they are very decent soldiers since they do not know fear.Thus,many of the youngest are forced to participate in small units to carry stolen goods,food,and water.However,the wars have an adverse impact on child soldiers with respect to physical effects and emotional effects.
           To begin with,there are some devastating physical influences of wars on children such as malnutrition and drug addiction.Because of the lack of various fruits,vegetables ,and cereals ,they are not able to eat well and ingest many vitamins,proteins,and carbonhydraets all of which are necessary to grow up healthily.In addition,due to the great number of combatants,food is not sufficient  for all the children.The other negative physical effect of wars on child fighters in drug addiction.Drug addiction is quite pervelant  among child soldiers in many countries all over the world.Actually, drug smugglers in armies involving child soldiers sell drugs like marijuana to children by deceiving them so as to earn a lot of money.Because children are confronted with many challenges in armies,they suppose that they will feel more comfortable and relax by using drugs.
           Furthermore,wars have several negative emotional effects on child fighters like cruelty and not controlling themselves.Indeed,children in armies witness a lot of wild events and even massacres.After a period,they are desensitized to painful incidents which they experience.They have been taught to punish and even kill other children who disobeyed or tried to flee from armies from an early age.Another issue is that child soldiers are not able to control themselves.Even if peace comes,these children have enormous difficulties getting accustomed to this new situation.For instance,when rebel leaders grow up,they proceed to abduct many children for various purposes.Namely,child fighters cannot  live as other people.
            Taking everything into consideration,wars have lots of adverse impacts on child soldiers physically and psychology.They are distant from their families and schools.When they grow up,they will be cruel and unfeeling.Therefore,they will kill a great number of people thoughtlessly and ruthlessly.Neverhless,children should be with their families and go to schools instead of wars.

This essay is based on Kalashnikov Kids, a reading task posted on this blog
                                                                                                                                              Büşra ÜNLÜ
                                                                                                                                               INT / REM.

THE AUTONOMOUS LANGUAGE LEARNER AT WORK



THE FIRST SUGGESTION:
1.        Select a topic that you are interested in like slavery in the modern world, women’s rights or war for example.
2.       Access ted.com and  print your topic into the search section.
3.       When you have discovered the videos related to your chosen topic, grab a pen and paper
4.       Listen to each video at least twice. If you are intermediate and above in terms of level, listen first without the script and make notes; then listen again this time with the script and check your notes. If you are a pre intermediate student reverse the process. If you feel you need to listen three times, that is fine too.
5.       Gather your notes together and write them up in the form of an essay.
6.       Access grammarly.com and copy paste your essay on to the site. Then select academic essay and hit “check your essay”.
7.       When you have a list of your mistakes, go back to your essay and try and locate them yourself.
8.       Finally, take your essay to any of the writing centers or your teachers for a final correction.
Note to the teacher: this procedure could be used as a project as well in which case the students should be requested to hand in their notes  and the links to the videos they watched as well.
THE SECOND SUGGESTION
1.       Access imdbfree.com and select a category that interests you like war films for example
2.       Select a couple of films in your chosen category and watch them with English subtitles.
3.       Then write an essay comparing and contrasting the films and their handling of war for example.
4.       Last of all, access grammarly.com and follow the procedure outlined in steps 6, 7 8 in the first suggestion.
Note to the teacher: this procedure could used to write essays in class or as a project. In the case of the latter, students should be required to state their choice of category and specific films beforehand to prevent large groups watching the same films.
THE THIRD SUGGESTION
1.       Access theproproom.blogspot.com and select an appropriate level of reading activity. If you are an intermediate or pre intermediate student, this would be “Level of difficulty*”; if you are an advanced student, it would be “Level of difficulty**” to start with. Level one is lower intermediate in terms of level so should be manageable for pre intermediate students as well. If you are a remedial student and failed reading, you follow the same procedure advanced students do. If you passed reading start with “Level of difficulty ***”.
2.       Select a reading task that looks interesting
3.       Locate the text by googling the title and the author’s name and get a printout.
4.       Read the text carefully once, looking up key words on dictionary.com, which you need to download onto your laptops and telephones, and guessing the meanings of other words.
5.       Now try and answer the questions. While doing so, write out the answers; do not just underline.
6.       When you have completed the questions, check your answers. If there is anything you don’t understand, bring it to the writing centers or ask your teacher.
7.       Now access ted.com and search for related videos using key words in the text. For instance, if you have just completed work on “War Against Girls”, search for videos related to women’s rights; if you have just completed work on “How to Die”, search for humane end of life practices.
8.       Watch and take notes on the videos as outlined in the first suggestion.
9.       Now return to the blog and do the writing task.
10.   When you have completed your essay or paragraph, follow the procedure outlined in steps 6, 7 and 8 in the first suggestion.
Warning: it is important that all this be done at one sitting to enable flow of information from the reading to the listening and from both to the writing task. A delay would mean that a valuable learning opportunity has been wasted.
THE FOURTH SUGGESTION (INTERMEDIATE, ADVANCED AND REMEDIAL)
  1. Access the following website:  pagebypagebooks.com, classicshorts.com or americanliterature.com and select a writer. Roald Dahl or Edgar Allen Poe for example.
  2. You may select a novel, a single story, a couple of stories by the same writer or a couple of stories discussing the same theme by different writers.
  3. After reading the story or stories you have selected, write a reaction essay, a comparison or an opinion essay concerning the ideas in the story.
  4. Lastly, follow the procedure outlined in steps 6, 7 and 8 in the first suggestion.
THE FIFTH SUGGESTION (ADVANCED SECOND TERM AND ANYONE WHO PASSES THE PROFICIENCY, DURING THE SUMMER OR ALONG WITH COURSE WORK IN INDIVIDUAL DEPARTMENTS)
  1. Access coursera.org and select a field of study that interests you.
  2. Select a course and apply for it. The courses are completely free
  3. You will get all your material, tests and projects online and be expected to hold up your side of the bargain.
  4. The advantage is that you will not only practice your English but also broaden your horizons and learn subject specific vocabulary.
Note to the student: use the suggestions listed here as guidelines to discover additional ways to improve your language skills.

VIDEO RELATED WRITING ACTIVITY: A BROKEN BODY ISN'T A BROKEN PERSON



             

As Janine Stephend told us clearly, there is nothing mankind can not do in his life. She is a brilliant example for us to realize we have a big chance because we have a soul to improve even if we are broken. We are healthy but do not know what an excellent thing it is to have good health. We always complain about unimportant matters and make ourselves unhappy.

It is very easy to find a negative event or thing instead of good ones to feel we’re unlucky. We tend to start thinking that the situation we live in is unfair and we don’t deserve it when we encounter a hardship. We always compare ourselves to someone because he has more qualifications than we have.We  always have big dreams that have to happen in a minute or else we consider that we have been dealt a bad hand by God. We are always in a competition that finishes with just one person and this person must be ourselves. If we really care about our family, we think, it affects  this ‘important’ work badly and wastes our ‘valuable’ time. We are always in a hurry when we prepare our schedules. There is no time to sit and think for a while about what we are doing.

We call some people ‘blind’ but we are the only blind ones because we can not see how beautiful life is. We call some people ‘deaf’ but we are the only deaf ones because we can not hear the good words that people say; how intelligent or beautiful we are. We call some people ‘broken’ because they can not walk or use some parts of their bodies but we are the only broken ones because we can not move in our little dark spaces and can not use our brain  to hug people with our behavior and words. We call them broken or blind but we do not realize that they have a comparable heart which lifts them from their wheelchairs and they have an eye that they can not only see the objects we see but also feel a person’s emotions in all their variations. They all have a sense of humour that we never had. If we see those people all around the world, we can understand they have bigger ambitions than we had because they know that they are very capable of doing whatever they want.

To sum up, it is very sad that we do not consider our amazing features which make us live and achieve something. We all deserve good things but they are always in someone’s hands. They know what they have and thank God everyday because it is a new day to breathe one more time. And it is not worth wasting this amount of time on unnecessary conversations or works. When we all see a broken person, then, we are thankful for our health. Yes, it is good to pray but actually, they are not broken. The only broken thing is our hearts.

                                                                           Aynur Dilan Tosun
                                                                      Advanced, December 2012



VIDEO RELATED WRITING ACTIVITY: THE IMPORTANCE OF LETTERS




            As the world has been  growing and technology has been developing day by day , some valuable feelings have been getting lost. Such activities as talking to each other, visiting old parents or writing emotional letters were very prevalent in almost every person’ life. Nevertheless, today it is hard to see these habits because people’s attitude has changed. But there are a few people trying to return to the old days when people were writing letters. But why do they try to do it instead of using technology?

These people think letters have many powerful influences on people’s feelings. People who were far away from their parents or lovers wrote letters because it was the only way to expose their emotions or hear the news. There was paper and pen; that was all they could have. Writing was endless, because they could write many words and sentences, which are now limited to only 140 characters in the social media.

The media has been developing itself but destroying the cultural connection between people. Today, almost every person is using Facebook or Twitter just to write some words that do not make sense, when someone reads them. People are writing wrong words and punctuation that shows us the knowledge of writing and reading their native languages has been decreasing. In fact, most of them are not able to express their feelings. Their walls are full of pictures and nonsense headlines which do not wake the connections with people. Moreover people have forgotten to talk; even saying ‘hello’ is very hard because they know if they say it, a conversation starts and they must not spend their time on a stupid conversation instead of their phones.

There is no need for people to write long sentences because they are old and odd, they think. In this century, people must be in step with technology. Writing letters is considered just as an old popular hobby which old people used a long time ago.

To sum up, people have forgetten the importance of letter writing because of the speed of technology. Touching a pen and  paper does not mean anything to them because they all do their work on a screen which is always in their pockets. If we think why people are getting angrier today than before and why the happiest couples are divorcing, we can see the monster of this century is destroying every good connection between people.. In a person’s  life, just writing one or two letters may change thoughts and feelings about people and the world.

                                                                                  Aynur Dilan Tosun
                                                                        Advanced, December 2012


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

READING RELATED WRITING ACTIVITY:MEASURES TO REDUCE URBAN AIR POLLUTION



Air pollution is a major problem which affects public health in the world. Research shows this problem could be as damaging to our health as the radiation Chernobyl survivors were exposed to. Air pollution also causes cancer, respiratory illness, adverse pregnancy, etc. On the other hand, there are many measures which can be taken to reduce air pollution in cities.

There are many things city councils and the government should do. First of all, it s important to educate people about air pollution because every citizen must be conscious. Filters must be compulsory for factories, because they reduce damages of the factories. Another measure is producing more environmentally friendly motor vehicles. There are hybrid cars that were produced recently. However, they must be more common. Besides, using cleaner energy is very important, too. The government should provide cleaner energy such as natural gas, solar, wind, or geothermal energy. In addition to these, city councils should plant more trees and should encourage people to do that, because trees can reduce air pollution and clean the air. That is why, everybody must give importance to planting trees.

City dwellers can also take some measures. For example, when walking in a big city one should stay away from street canyons, smokers, and leeward side. Wearing a mask can be good thing, but it only make a difference if masks fit tightly and are cleaned regularly. People on bus should sit on the side nearest to the pavement or upstairs on a double-decker. Surprisingly, indoor pollution can actually be more of an issue than that found outdoors. Ventilating the home is an important step to take in reducing risk.

To sum up, air pollution is increasing because of human activity and it also damages health. That is why, people must be more sensitive to this matter. All these measures should be taken urgently, otherwise the world will be no longer habitable.

This writing activity is the writing task for Breathing Lessons, which is posted on this blog

 Aslıhan Ezber Preintermediate J First Week of December
                                                                                                                              

Sunday, December 9, 2012

WILL WE EVER... PASS THE TURING TEST FOR COPMPUTERS?



By: John Pavlus
Published: BBC Future; May 16 2012; http://www.bbc.com It is suggested you access the bbc website, click future, and enter the title in the search section; failing thet, just google the title and the ariter's name
Level of Difficulty:* One word of warning: don’t make this the first task in this file that you tackle
Note to the student: Listen and take notes on the following before you tacvkle the reading task. The links have been contributed by my friend and fellow teacher Nick O'Gara
http://www.radiolab.org/blogs/radiolab-blog/2012/mar/19/turing-problem/
http://www.radiolab.org/2011/may/31/
BEFORE YOU READ
Will we ever be able to create computers that think in the way we understand it? Discuss
QUESTIONS
  1. What must a person do to pass the Touring test?
  2. For what two reasons do computers fail the Touring test? Be brief.
  3. What does it doesn’t mean in the sentence “Except it doesn’t”?
  4. The views concerning computers that think in the 1960’s fail when there is some sort of ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
  5. What is the example of the purpose of the book? Use your own words.
  6. What quality of speech do chatbots share?
  7. ALICE probably won the Loebner prize because the conversation it had with the judges was …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….
  8. What does “This subcognitive information refer to?
  9. What exactly is the Achilles heel of a disembodied program?
  10. What exactly does the phrase “But that may soon change” mean?
  11. In order to have a realistic conversation a computer would not only have to accumulate ……………………………………………………….. but also ………………………………………………………………
  12. Read the last paragraph of the text. Does E Dijkstra believe that computers will ever be able to think or not?
WRITING TASK
Write an essay or a paragraph discussing your views concerning computers that can think. Before doing so, check out some relevant videos on ted.com, voanews.com or YouTube
WILL WE EVER PASS THE TOURING TEST FOR COMPUTERS KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
This little gem also comes from that wonderful section Future on the BBC website. It is riveting, topical, has a wow factor and is simple to boot. It should fly in my view.
  1. Not mistake the computer for a human.
  2. The mushy parameters of the test itself (The rest is not necessary as it is et off with dash marks that function like a parenthesis. However, it is not wrong to include it. You could practice shortening answers though).
  3. Intelligence doesn’t emerge.
  4. Ambiguity
  5. Possible answer: to try and explain why computers can’t think
  6. Statelessness
  7. Vacuous (Don’t say human; that is the purpose of the competition. What human quality helped ALICE win)
  8. Associative sensory experiences
  9. It doesn’t have a history of embodied experiences
  10. Computers may soon have a history of embodied experiences; OR computers may lose or get rid of their Achilles heel.
  11. All the sights, sounds and sensory experiences; analyze and correlate them.
  12. He doesn’t 

IS OUR POLITICAL VIEW REALLY ENCODED IN OUR GENES?



By: Tom Stafford
Level of Difficulty:* However, I do have a warning: try this reading task after you have done the others in this section as it is a tiny bit harder.
BEFORE YOU READ
1.       In your view, what factors influence a person’s political opinions?
2.       Which of the factors you listed is the greatest influence in your view?

NOW WATCH THE VIDEO
Nature Vs Nurture | How Are Political Beliefs Formed?
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEHKb2bvv5A

QUESTIONS
1.       What are the conventional factors that are believed to shape our political views?
2.       The fact that there is a field of study called genopolitics proves that ………………………………..
3.       What does “This” refer to in the phrase “This began with a pivotal study?
4.       What surprising finding was made in the studies involving identical twins in relation to inherited political opinions?
5.       The purpose of the example of the mp3 player is to show that …………………………………. (Use your own words)
6.       Behavior, according to the text, is determined by the complicated relationship involving ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..
7.       What does “That” refer to in the phrase “That would be ridiculous”?
8.       Believing that there is a simple, direct genetic basis for political belief would be illogical because of the following three reasons: ………………………………………………………………………… (You will need to tweak the text)
9.       The writer lists three examples: political opinions, personality traits and common health conditions. What do these examples have in common?
10.   What does “This” refer to in the phrase “This implies that people whose basic emotional responses to threats are more pronounced…”?
11.   What was the conclusion that differences in emotional processes may influence political beliefs based on?
12.   Based on your understanding of the text, how could the link between genes and political opinions be best described?
WRITING TASK
Write an essay or a paragraph discussing the factors that influence political opinions based on your own views and what you learnt from the text. Before doing so, seek out a related video on YouTube, ted.com or voanews.com and make notes. You can consider the following points as guidelines:
·         Environmental factors ( the family, neighborhood, friends, school, career, partners and the like)
·         Inborn inclinations ( personality and genetic factors; use the text)
IS OUR POLITICAL VIEW REALLY ENCODED IN OUR GENES KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
BBC future is, I have discovered, a treasure trove of rather straight forward but fascinating little texts and this is one of them. I can see it leading to some interesting discussion. If you wish, you could ditch the writing task and have them write a summary – provided you help that is; at this level, it would be tough.
1.       Our upbringing, career, friends and partners.
2.       The idea that political opinions have a genetic basis is widely accepted. Dash marks work like parentheses so that part of the sentence does not need to be included though it is not wrong if you do
3.       The idea that political views have a genetic component.
4.       The position people occupy on a scale from liberal to conservative is heritable.
5.       Possible answer: there is really very little information in the DNA
6.       Your genes, the proteins they create and your environment.
7.       A gene controlling how people answer questions about their political beliefs.
8.       The gene would have had to lies dormant for millions of years (this is enough although writing the rest would not be wrong); how could such a gene evolve before the invention of democracy; what would it do before voting became common.
9.       They have no sole genetic cause. The fact that they are things we are most interested in measuring is also a common point but considering the topic this answer would be illogical on its own. However, if you wrote both that would be fine but unnecessarily long.
10.   The fact that American volunteers who started to seat most when they heard a sudden noise were also more likely to support capital punishment and the Iraq war.
11.   The differences in brain structure between liberals and conservatives. This is enough. To see why, refer back to question 2.
12.   Political opinions are believed to develop differently in people with different basic biology.