Read the two texts below. Write an essay summarizing and evaluating the key points from both
text prompts. Try to use your own words, your own ideas are welcomed too. Write your answer
in 200- 300 words.
Language lives among people and therefore it should not be studied in isolation from society.
Source one: Fabisz, Natalia, [date of access: 6.04.2013]
(…)Such a linguistic analysis of a language should attempt to sort out the grammatical sentences from
the ungrammatical ones and study the structure of the grammatical sentences. Furthermore, the
grammar of a language will generate all the grammatical sentences of a language and none of the
ungrammatical ones. There comes, however, the question of what constitutes a sentence or a string of
grammatically-arranged words. Chomsky accounts, in this respect, on a native speaker’s intuition.
Hence, once a particular string of words or a sentence causes a feeling of wrongness in a native
speaker, then it can be classified as ungrammatical. Such an approach to grammaticality enabled
syntactitians to study language and its grammatical properties on the basis of devised sentences and
not through a corpus of observed speech as it was the case in the past. As put forward by Chomsky,
grammar of a language should be considered autonomous of meaning since it is likely for a sentence
to be grammatical on the one hand, and meaningless on the other, as in Chomsky’s famous example
‘colourless green ideas sleep furiously’. The opposite is possible as well, thus, a sentence or a string of
words may be both ungrammatical and meaningful, to cite yet another Chomsky’s example ‘read you
a book on modern music’. Therefore, a well formulated grammar of a language should produce all and
only grammatical sentences of a language, regardless of their meaning.
Source two: [date of access: 6.04.2013]
(…)What features of society affect language? How do they do so?
Any important aspect of social structure and function is likely to have a distinctive linguistic
counterpart. People belong to different social classes, perform different social rôles, and carry on
different occupations
1995; David Crystal: CEEL;
Note that:
Most (or all) of these affect real individuals in complex (multiple) ways.
The complex effect of these things is itself subject to change.
Restricted uses may become mainstream or standard (and vice versa).
The process is reciprocal: language use is both cause and effect of things in society.
Text 1
Everyone knows that a university degree can do wonders for your career prospects. But many people
overlook apprenticeships, which can also be a great way to kickstart your professional life.
And there is something for everyone, with more than 200 different types of apprenticeships, lasting
from one to four years — from nursing and graphic design, to horticulture and electric vehicle
engineering. You will be learning skills that are beneficial to employers, with the aim of making you
more employable in the future.
The more aware you are of your likes, dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, the better choices you will
make. You'll be able to sell yourself solidly and hiring managers will appreciate this.
Although there will be a learning provider involved in your apprenticeship, it will be the employer that
provides the practical experience, so it's important to know how you will be supported. What is the
culture like? Have they employed apprentices before? Will you have a work-based mentor? What are
the opportunities for you afterwards?
Apprenticeships can be hard to find, but make sure you don't pick one just because you fear another
opportunity won't come up. The programme must feel right for you.
Once you've found an apprenticeship you're interested in, you need to prepare your CV.
Try to focus on the following areas:
• Personal information: Don't be afraid to include details of your social media presence, alongside
your other contact details. It's becoming more common for employers to search for potential
employees online. You're allowed to have a personality and a life, but make sure that what they see
online matches what you are telling them offline.
• Structure: Some employers may only spend seconds glancing over a CV before deciding if it is
relevant. Use short sentences and bullet points to allow them to do this easily.
• Hobbies:. Show an employer how your hobbies demonstrate what type of an employee you'll be.
• Cover letter: This is an opportunity for you to build rapport with the employer and give them a
further insight into you and your application. Before you tell them why they should pick you, tell them
why you picked them. No employer wants to feel like you've just sent out a batch of applications,
hoping one of them calls you, so ensure you make it specific to the organization.
Text 2
As an increasingly popular way to learn a profession, there can be a good deal of competition for
apprenticeship places, so it’s important to prepare any application as well as possible.
Since the process of applying for apprenticeships can be time consuming, be sure you are applying for
vacancies that are suited to your skills, experience and interests.
While applications can be time consuming, it is advisable to write fresh text each time so that each
application is tailored to the specific apprenticeship.
It is often easy to spot when an applicant has copy-and-pasted text used before.
To give the impression that you have spent some time looking into the vacancy, try to make reference
to the company’s operations, or how your skills, experience or interests may make you a good
This ‘tailoring’ can be effective in both online and paper applications, as well as CVs.
Give your prospective employer plenty to go on as regards your personality and how you would fit in
with the organisation.
That said, ensure that each sentence is there for a reason – with the ultimate objective of demonstrating
how well suited you are to the role.
Your application is at least as important as your interview.
If you are an ideal candidate with the right qualifications and lots of enthusiasm, but your application
is let down by being badly written or lacking in information, you could be missing out on an
Let others read your CV and application before you send it. Ensure there are no grammatical or
spelling mistakes, and make sure it sounds positive and confident.
Don’t be let down by small mistakes such as forgetting to list contact information.
Some employers receive scores or even hundreds of applications.
As such, it is important to make yours stand out from the crowd.
Text 1:
The main differences that identify introverts and extroverts are the source of their personal energy,
their sense of boundaries and their comfort zone. The simplest way to explain the difference is that
introverts are energized by quiet, privacy and being alone or in small groups, and are drained by noise,
distraction and crowds. They are oriented toward an inner life. Extroverts are the opposite. They are
energized by crowds and stimulation, and drained by being alone. They are oriented toward an outer
life. According to the literature on the subject, introverts have positive and valuable attributes. They
are good at listening, planning, taking time for thought, focusing, concentrating on tasks for long,
uninterrupted periods of time. They can form strong and intimate bonds with people. They can act
independently, listen well, can step back from a situation to analyze it, and can persevere and be loyal.
Source: Canadian teacher magazine
Text 2:
It is suggested that personality traits determine students’ behaviour in the language classroom. By
studying the differences between extroverts and introverts teachers can predict what kind of activities
students will enjoy, what sort of teaching methods they require and what their learning styles are.
Introverts prefer to work on their own than in groups, they do not like being in the centre of attention
and need time and space to complete the tasks. Many of these students enjoy lectures and deductive
methods of teaching. They prefer writing than speaking that makes oral skills more difficult to acquire.
The strategies used in the classroom should include: small group interaction, relaxed atmosphere,
independent studies and role-plays. The students need to know what they are expected to do and have
suitable conditions to concentrate. On the other hand, there are extroverts who require high
stimulation, cooperating with others and movement in order to learn. They also like open discussions
and discovery activities. They are not afraid of making mistakes and experimenting with the language.
Teachers should be aware of personality characteristics among learners and use a great variety if
teaching methods in order to achieve the best results.
Text 1
Pay-as-you-weigh airfares the 'next step'
Samoa Air CEO defends 'pay as you weigh'.
The head of Samoa Air has defended its policy of charging passengers by their weight, arguing such a
system is not only fair but the future for other airlines.
"The next step is for the industry to make those sort of changes and recognize that 'Hey, we are not all
72 kilograms (about 160 pounds) anymore and we don't all fit into a standard seat,''' Chris Langton,
Samoa Air chief executive told CNN.
"What makes airplanes work is weight. We are not selling seats, we are selling weight."
Langton said Samoa Air's policy went into effect in November for domestic fliers and in the "past few
weeks" for international routes.
According to the airline's website, "your weight plus your baggage items is what you pay for. Simple."
"It's always going to be a sensitive issue, we try to keep it lighthearted and try to keep people on the
positive side, particularly for those that are carrying a fair bit of bulk."
Samoa Air says its program is the world's first fare structure that charges only by weight.
Text 2
Is Obesity a Disease? Doctors Debate
Obesity puts people at risk for a whole host of conditions, including Type 2 diabetes, high blood
pressure and sleep problems. But is obesity itself a disease?
Doctors are divided on the issue. Some say obesity is indeed a disease, with causes beyond eating too
much and exercising too little, and consequences that harm the body like any medical condition. In
addition, they say referring to obesity as a disease would improve care for patients, and ensure
treatments are covered by insurance plans.
Others argue obesity is a risk factor for health problems, but not a disease itself. They say calling
obesity a disease would stigmatize a huge population, and categorize some people as "sick" who
actually may be healthy.
"If we call obesity a disease, it would mean automatically, a third of Americans are in a diseased state
or sick," said Dr. Pieter Cohen, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and a
general internist at Cambridge Health Alliance, referring to the fact that about 35 percent of
Americans are obese. "That's absurd," Cohen said.
However, experts agree that obesity is a critical public health problem, and the medical system needs
to change to better manage obese people.
Text 1
Energy drinks 'make you sleepy'
Having a high sugar drink to
boost energy can actually make
people more sleepy, a study suggests.
Loughborough University researchers say the sugar rush gives a short
But after an hour, people who had such drinks had slower reactions
and more lapses in concentration than those who had a no-sugar, no
caffeine drink.
Sleep experts say energy drinks help athletes, but sleepy drivers or
others needing a boost should have a small amount of caffeine - and a
short nap.
In the Loughborough study, published in the Human
Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental journal, 10 adults
were studied to see what effect different drinks had on their
They had all volunteered to restrict their sleep to five hours on the day
before participating in the trial.
An hour after eating a light lunch they were given either an energy
drink containing 42g of sugar and 30 milligrams of caffeine, or an
identically tasting zero-sugar drink.
They then performed a monotonous 90-minute test during the
afternoon "dip" to assess their sleepiness and ability to concentrate.
The researchers found that for the first 30 minutes there was no
difference in the reaction times or error rates.
But 50 minutes after consuming the drinks, the performance of those
who had had the energy drink started to slip, and they became
significantly sleepier.
Guzzling energy drinks but more tired than ever?
America is in the midst of an energy crisis. We're guzzling energy drinks and shots at record rates but
feeling more lethargic than ever. Sales of these products have more than doubled in the past 5 years,
with 35 percent of men ages 18 to 24 drinking them regularly, a new Mintel survey reveals.
"Guys create an up-and-down trap with energy drinks and with whatever they take at night to help
slow down," says Matthew Edlund, M.D., author of The Power of Rest. "They never feel completely
rested." Or, even scarier, they end up on a gurney in the ER. Hospital visits related to energy drinks
have surged more than tenfold since 2005, reports the U.S. Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and
Quality. And most of those amped-up patients are men.
"Energy drinks emphasize vigor, power, all the things that appeal to men," says Cecile Marczinski,
Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Northern Kentucky University. Guys willingly swallow
the bottled boosters' claims, when they should really be asking, "Why am I so damn tired?"
"We don't use our bodies the way they're built to be used," says Dr. Edlund. "We guzzle energy drinks
and then can't sleep at night. We sit all day and then read e-mails at 3 a.m." It's no wonder we walk
around like zombies, and treat these drinks like liquid life support. As sales and heart rates spike, it's a
good time to question the trends and find healthier ways to power up.
Text 1
AMERICA is not an easy place for atheists. Religion pervades the public sphere, and studies show that
non-believers are more distrusted than other minorities.
Several states still ban atheists from holding public office. These rules, which are unconstitutional, are
never enforced, but that hardly matters. Over 40% of Americans say they would never vote for an
atheist presidential candidate.
Yet the past seven years have seen a fivefold increase in people who call themselves atheists, to 5% of
the population, according to WIN-Gallup International, a network of pollsters. Meanwhile the
proportion of Americans who say they are religious has fallen from 73% in 2005 to 60% in 2011.
Such a large drop in religiosity is startling, but the data on atheists are in line with other polling. A
Pew survey in 2009 also found that 5% of Americans did not believe in God. But only a quarter of
those called themselves atheists. The newest polling, therefore, may simply show an increase in those
willing to say the word.
Some are doing so loudly. When Democratic convention-goers arrive in Charlotte, North Carolina,
they will be greeted by a billboard sponsored by a group called American Atheists that claims
Christianity “promotes hate” and exalts a “useless savior”.
Text 2
How many atheists are there?
Only between 1.5 and 4 percent of Americans admit to so-called "hard atheism", the conviction that no
higher power exists. But a 19 percent of the American public spurns organized religion in favor of a
non-defined skepticism about faith. This group, sometimes collectively labeled the "Nones" is growing
faster than any religious faith in the U.S.
Why are so many people leaving religion?
The dropouts were turned off by churches' Old Testament condemnation of homosexuals, premarital
sex, contraception, and abortion. The Catholic Church's sex scandals also prompted millions to equate
religion with moralistic hypocrisy.
How are nonbelievers perceived?
Most polls suggest that atheists are among the most disliked groups in the U.S. One study last year
asked participants whether a fictional hit-and-run driver was more likely to be an atheist or a rapist. A
majority chose atheist.
How have atheists responded to this negative image?
A coalition of nonbelievers is out to make atheism more acceptable, starting with last month's "Reason
Rally" on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., where thousands stood up for their right to not
Will atheism ever be accepted?
Silverman hopes that as nonbelief spreads, atheists can become a "legitimate political segment of the
American population," afforded the same protections as religious groups and ethnic minorities.
Text 1
A couple have launched a campaign to pass a bill that would regulate the digital retouching of models
in magazines and advertisements.
Seth and Eva Matlins believe that the so-called Self Esteem Act will protect children and teenagers
from unrealistic ideals when it comes to body image. They want commercials and magazine spreads to
be accompanied by disclaimers if models have been significantly airbrushed or Photoshopped.
Mrs Matlins explained: 'We can't ignore that our beauty culture is having wildly negative effects on
girls and women. Real, serious, and enduring problems occur when we don't recognize that the images
and ideals of the human form being presented in the media are setting unrealistic expectations and
standards for our country's female population.'
The study of the Dove Self-Esteem Fund revealed that 80 per cent of women felt images of female
stars and models in the media made them feel insecure about themselves. ‘Images and ideals of the
human form presented in the media set unrealistic standards for the U.S. female population'. It also
showed that 71 per cent of girls with low self-esteem felt their appearance 'doesn't measure up,
including not feeling pretty enough, thin enough or stylish enough or trendy enough'.
Text 2
In the August 2012 issue of Seventeen Magazine, Editor-in-Chief Ann Shoket mentions the issue of
using Photoshop. “Like all magazines, we retouch images—removing wrinkles in fabric, stray hairs, a
few zits, random bra straps—but we never alter the way the girls on our pages really look. It’s crucial
that we represent girls of all shapes, sizes, and skin tones for their real beauty,” she writes. In that
same issue, Shoket, along with the entire magazine staff, pledges allegiance to the magazine’s “Body
Peace Treaty”. The treaty simply implies that they will celebrate every type of beauty in their
publication and will be open about the work behind their photo shoots.
Julia Bluhm first decided to create this online petition after overhearing some of her classmates
complain about having a “fat day”, claiming to look disgusting, or claiming they have blemished
skin. Seventeen is one of her favorite magazines so when she was thumbing through it recently, she
realized just what encouraged those young girls to feel that way. “I look at the pictures and they just
don’t look like girls I see walking down the street”.
Two other young girls are petitioning the same thing against Teen Vogue.
Text 1
Consider how often you use the Internet or a cell phone. Over the last decade, technology has become
ingrained in our daily lives, changing the way we work, communicate, and seek information or
entertainment. Children are especially tech-savvy, having grown up alongside computers, the Internet,
and cell phones, and many connect with friends several times a day through email, text messages, Web
sites, or instant messaging. But along with the convenience and communication that these high-tech
innovations provide, the potential for negative experiences has also emerged.
Cyberbullying is using technology to threaten, insult, or harass. These technologies allow for
aggressive expression toward others that doesn’t rely on physical strength or even physical contact.
Armed with a cell phone or the Internet, a child who cyberbullies can quickly and aggressively spread
rumors, threats, hate mail, or embarrassing photos through text messages, emails, or instant messages.
Today, anyone with access to the Internet or a cell phone has the tools to cause harm. Anonymity can
be a critical factor; it’s much easier for those who cyberbully to harass when they are able to hide their
identities with false screen names or temporary email addresses. In other cases, the targets have never
had any previous interaction with their aggressors, or only know them through online communication.
Although traditionally a child who bullies may target another child at school in front of a handful of
classmates, the potential audience for someone who cyberbullies is much wider. Humiliating messages
can be posted online for hundreds or thousands to see on websites, blogs, or social network sites such
as Facebook.
Text 2
Amanda Todd’s recent suicide, after being bullied relentlessly, sparked many arguments regarding
what to do with alleged bullies, particularly those who select their victims online. Consequently,
hacktivists, such as the online group “Anonymous,” have perceived what they believe is a justifiable
way to avenge the victim: it’s called Internet vigilantism. However, Internet vigilantism is
unwarranted, as hacktivists cause irreparable damage to the reputations of their victims and, ironically,
become bullies themselves. For example, Anonymous exercised their hacking skills and found who
they believed to be Amanda Todd’s original tormentor. Before long, Anonymous released a video on
YouTube, and attached was a link with the name, address, and other personal information of the
alleged bully. Amanda Todd supporters began posting wretched diatribes on his Facebook page, some
uttering threats and calling for his death.
Many issues surround the legitimateness of Anonymous’ claims and their means of discovering such
information. First of all, Anonymous is, for a lack of better words, anonymous. Anyone can make
claims—even false ones—that the public and media will take seriously. Secondly, there’s a strong
possibility that they have the wrong person. In fact, Anonymous did have the wrong man, but that was
only discovered after his reputation was bruised beyond recognition. As a result, the damage caused
when hacktivists make unverified accusations is irreversible and unmerited. Fundamentally, Internet
vigilantism is no more just than the original bully.
Text 1
The amazing memory marvels
HSAM - Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory
HM – Henry Molaison
Source: NewScientist, The amazing memory marvels, 18 August 2012
Text 2
Memory: Forgetting Is the New Normal
Memory researcher Dr. Scott Small would like to reassure you that you're not losing your wits. When
tell him how the last time you went to a party, he will tell you: "As age goes up, memory goes down.
Memory decline occurs in everyone." As we get older that also impairs memory: our brains are
making fewer neurons.
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein that stimulates the birth of new brain cells and
then helps them differentiate and connect and also enhances neural plasticity, the process by which the
brain changes in response to learning. In diseases like Alzheimer's, depression, Parkinson's and
dementia, BDNF levels are low. In people who exercise, BDNF levels rise.
If you want to keep your memory sharp, you should strive for a diet that keeps your belly fat down. A
study of more than 6,500 showed that people who were overweight and had a large belly were 2.3
times as likely to develop dementia as those with normal weight and belly size, while those who were
obese and had a large belly were 3.6 times as likely.
None of these insights, of course, make your sputtering memory less frustrating. When you've
misplaced your keys for the third time this month, it does you little good to be reminded that it all may
be just too much glucose and too few blueberries. And nothing entirely removes the specter of true
dementia and the horrors it implies. Still, figuring out how memory works is the most important step
in figuring out how it can be fixed. When you can make some of the fixes yourself, the news is even
First off, psychopath doesn't just mean someone who cuts you up with a chainsaw -- though the
majority of people who do things like that are psychopaths. What's the definition?
Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow
emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt,
egocentricity, superficial char, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and antisocial behaviors
such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality.
So which professions (other than axe murderer) do they disproportionately gravitate towards -- or
away from?
Via The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What
Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach
And the next thing that comes to mind
is: Why?
Most of the professions on the right require
human connection, dealing with feelings and
most of them don't offer much power.
Psychopaths, by their very nature, would not
be drawn to or very good at these things.
On the other hand, most of the roles on the left do offer power and many require an ability to make
objective, clinical decisions divorced from feelings. Psychopaths would be drawn to these roles and
thrive there.
Text 2
Many years ago I worked for a man who forced a pair of employees who had just ended their
relationship to move to adjacent workstations. He did it purely for his amusement. (…)But scientific
evidence that leaders really are different in their personal pathology from the rest of us has been
lacking - until now. Case studies by psychologists have claimed that "successful psychopaths" really
exist. These are portrayed as emotionally detached, with superficial charm and an unbounded
preparedness to use others, differing only from personality-disordered criminal psychopaths in being
law-abiding and less impulsive. Because such reports are ultimately anecdotal, Belinda Board and
Katarina Fritzon of Surrey University decided to test whether there was any overlap between the
personalities of business managers, psychiatric patients and hospitalised criminals (…).
Board and Fritzon found that three of 11 personality disorders (PDs) were actually commoner in
managers than in disturbed criminals. The first was histrionic PD, entailing superficial charm,
insincerity, egocentricity and manipulativeness. There was also a higher incidence of narcissism:
grandiosity, self-focused lack of empathy for others, exploitativeness and independence. Finally, there
was more compulsive PD in the managers, including perfectionism, excessive devotion to work,
rigidity, stubbornness and dictatorial tendencies.
Text 1
Silent way
The silent way is a methodology of teaching language based on the idea that teachers should be as
silent as possible during a class but learners should be encouraged to speak as much as possible. There
are three basic principals:
- The learner needs to discover or create
- Learning is made easier by the use of physical objects such as Cuisenaire rods
- Learning is made easier by problem-solving using the target language
The teacher shows the learners a small red Cuisenaire rod and a bigger blue one and says ‘The blue
one is bigger than the red one'. The learners repeat this. The teacher then substitutes the rods to
produce other models, and finally encourages the learners to produce their own comparisons.
In the classroom
Areas of target language where Cuisenaire rods can be useful include word boundaries, contracted
forms, prepositions, word order and word stress. Learners can use the rods to first represent and then
to manipulate language.
Text 2
What is Callan Method and How it Works?
Callan Method is one of the most effective methods of learning English. It is specially effective on the
early stages of the learning process.
The aim of The Callan Method is to enable students to be proactive in the learning process by
answering the wide range of questions put to them during the lessons. In this way grammar is
painlessly absorbed, and vocabulary broadened, step by easy step. There is no time to be bored by
complex, dry, conventional methodology; The Callan Method has been proven to increase learning
speed by up to four times.
The method is widely used in many countries to teach English to non-native speakers. The aim of the
method is to get students actively involved in the learning process by asking a range of questions that
students should give an answer to. Students grasp the knowledge of grammar and build their
vocabulary step by step and do not get distracted by too many complexities. The practice has shown
that as a result of such an effective method students make progress up to four times faster. The method
is unique for being not only effective, but enjoyable as well. Students enjoy the classes as they are not
bored and actively participate during the class.
Text 1
Over the last decade or so, the case for vegetarianism has grown ever-more urgent, and unanswerable.
A watershed came in 2008, when Rajendra Pachauri, the chair of the UN's intergovernmental panel on
climate change, highlighted the links between meat consumption and environmental crisis. Now as
then, the meat industry accounts for around a fifth of global greenhouse gas emissions, and is directly
responsible for huge levels of deforestation. Sixteen years ago, a Cornell University study established
that 800 million people could be fed with the grain used to fatten up US livestock; the majority of corn
and soy grown in the world is now set aside for cattle, pigs and chickens.
Such is the rising noise focused on the meat industry: on the one hand, level-headed arguments about
the future of the planet; and on the other, periodic spasms of outrage – as last happened in 2010, when
the campaign group Animal Aid revealed the stomach-turning brutality that seemed to be routine at
many English slaughter houses. The horsemeat scandal is probably the first big story that joins the two
elements together. Ever-rising food costs are what pushed retailers and manufacturers to source
questionable meat to keep prices low.
Text 2
While there are environmental and health reasons to reduce our dependence on animal farming and for
the better-off to drastically cut meat and dairy consumption, we must resist the temptation to abstractly
denote a universal vegetarian lifestyle as the sole or simple answer. At stake are also tenacious
problems of overconsumption and the inequitable commandeering of global resources, neither of
which will be solved merely by passing the braised tofu.
The irony of vegetarianism or veganism as a lifestyle choice in wealthier countries is that it correlates
with the relative affluence of being able to choose to spend your food budget on good-quality fruits,
vegetables and grains. The less affluent remain condemned to buying whatever is cheapest, whether
stale vegetables, processed foods or factory-farmed chicken.
A serious discussion about food security and natural resource usage must emphasize redistributive
social justice and not just lifestyle choices in the abstract. The excessive consumption of animal
products clearly poses a danger to both planet and human existence. But addressing this cannot take
the form of a coercive herbivorous moralism. We need a comprehensive reordering of the global
economy and our priorities as human beings to end the limitless scandal that is widespread hunger.
Polar bear hunting and migration 'hit by warming climate'
Researchers from British Ecological Society find that shrinking sea ice is affecting polar bears' health
and breeding success
The study found polar bears were arriving on land earlier in the spring than usual and departing later in
the autumn. Photograph: AlaskaStock/Corbis
One of the most southerly populations of polar bears now has only limited time to hunt on sea ice due
to a warming climate, research suggests.
The polar bears of Hudson Bay, Canada, migrate onto land in the summer when the sea ice melts,
relying on fat reserves to survive until the sea refreezes in late November or early December. During
the winter and spring months they take to the sea ice to hunt their prey of seals.
But the bears have been coming to land earlier and leaving later in recent years as a result of climate
change reducing the ice, said researchers from the British Ecological Society in the Journal of Animal
Longer stretches without food were impacting the predators' health, breeding success and population,
as for polar bears, "it's survival of the fattest", the researchers said.
The research involved monitoring 109 female polar bears between 1991 and 1997 and between 2004
and 2009, using radio collars which cannot be fitted to male bears as their necks are wider than their
heads and the devices would fall off.
The team, led by Dr Seth Cherry, of the University of Alberta, Canada, also monitored the position
and concentration of sea ice using satellite images.
The migration patterns of the bears were governed by the conditions of the sea ice, and climateinduced changes to the rate and timing of sea ice melt and refreezing affected how long the bears spent
on land, the study said.
Tracking the bears revealed a trend of them arriving onshore earlier in the spring and departing later in
the autumn.
Previous studies have shown that the western Hudson Bay polar bear population, recently estimated at
about 900 animals, has declined since the 1990s, as have their body condition and the number of cubs
surviving to adulthood.
Cherry said: "The data suggest that in recent years, polar bears are arriving on shore earlier in the
summer and leaving later in the autumn.
"These are precisely the kind of changes one would expect to see as a result of a warming climate and
may help explain some other studies that are showing declines in body condition and cub production."
The longer the bears spend on land, the longer they have to go without their energy-rich seal food,
with consequent impacts on their health and survival.
"Climate-induced changes that cause sea ice to melt earlier, form later, or both, likely affect the overall
health of polar bears in the area."
, Wednesday 20 March 2013 10.34 GMT
Giant pandas threatened by climate change
Global warming will wipe out much of the bamboo on which the bears rely for food, according to a
new study
The research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, focused on the Qinling Mountains in
Shaanxi Province, which is home to around 275 wild pandas. Photograph:
Giant pandas could be left hungry and struggling to survive by global warming, scientists have
A new study predicts that climate change is set to wipe out much of the bamboo on which the bears
rely for food.
Prime panda habitat in China could be completely lost by the end of the century, say the researchers.
Human development adds to the threat by blocking the bears' access to places where bamboo is less
affected by rising temperatures, they point out.
"We will need proactive actions to protect the current giant panda habitats," said lead researcher MaoNing Tuanmu, from Yale University in the US.
"We need time to look at areas that might become panda habitat in the future, and to think now about
maintaining connectivity of areas of good panda habitat and habitat for other species."
The research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, focused on the Qinling Mountains in
Shaanxi province, which is home to around 275 wild pandas. The animals make up around 17% of the
entire wild giant panda population.
Qinling pandas have been isolated for thousands of years due to a long history of human habitation
around the mountain range. Their restricted range makes them particularly vulnerable to the loss of
food resources.
Bamboo, which carpets the forest floor where the pandas live, is the sole item in the bears' diet and
also provides essential food and shelter for other animals.
The plant's unusual reproductive cycle limits its ability to adapt to climate change. One species studied
by the scientists only flowers and reproduces every 30-35 years.
Tuanmu's team assessed how three dominant bamboo species were likely to fare in the Qinling
Mountains as the climate warmed.
Even the most optimistic forecasts predicted major bamboo die-offs by the turn of the century.
Conservation efforts should now aim to protect areas that have a better chance of supplying pandas
with food, despite climate change, said the scientists. Natural "bridges" could also be created to help
the pandas escape from a bamboo famine.
Co-author Jianguo Liu, from Michigan State University in the US, said: "Understanding impacts of
climate change is an important way for science to assist in making good decisions.
"Looking at the climate impact on the bamboo can help us prepare for the challenges that the panda
will likely face in the future."
, Monday 12 November 2012 11.15 GMT
Text 1
The ban on animal testing for cosmetics within the European Union came into force in 1998, but
products can still be sold if they have been tested on animals outside the EU.
Troy Siedle of Humane Society International: ‘Animal testing is the ugly secret of the beauty industry,
and it's time for it to stop. Thousands of animals such as rabbits and mice continue to endure chemical
poisoning tests just to produce new lipsticks and shampoos, and that's simply unacceptable in a
modern society.'
Lush and HSI say cosmetics can be easily made without animal testing using ingredients for which we
already have safety data or by using advanced testing procedures such as 3D human skin models and
computer modelling. They argue animals are subjected to considerable pain and distress during
toxicity testing with the final results scientifically unreliable because humans and animals can
experience differing reactions to the same chemicals.
‘Some companies have adopted voluntary codes of practice to cut animal testing from their business.
But animals should not have to rely on good will, they should be protected by laws which force ALL
companies to adopt humane methods to bring their products to market.' said Lash.
Source: Mark Briggs, Take Action to End Animal Testing, Ecologist, 24th April 2012:
Text 2
Next month the EU will become “cruelty-free,” banning the sale of cosmetics that were tested on
animals. No sane person likes the idea of subjecting animals to unnecessary cruelty. But as things
stand we’re all being used as guinea pigs in the great test of new product safety, since the average
woman uses a dozen personal care products daily. Some contain the formaldehyde – a known
carcinogen, others lead. (In small amounts, but you might not want to kiss your kids if you’re wearing
lead-tainted lipstick.) What about thousands barely tested chemicals used in cosmetics?
The solution is testing, and whether it employs animals or other means might be less important than
whether it’s supervised by a governing agency. I’m all for ending animal cruelty, but there are perhaps
tens of millions of animals involved in laboratory testing, and it’s difficult to say whether their lives
are better or worse than those of the tens of billions cycled through the industrial livestock system
every year. If testing on laboratory animals can save human lives, and it’s the only method that can do
so — well, our hypocrisy around animals involves worse crimes. After all, we’re animals in need of
protection, too.
Source: Mark Bittman, The Cosmetics Wars, The New York Times, 5th February 2013:
You will possibly have spent an extended period in the country where the language of
your choice is spoken. Gaining an understanding of the people, their culture and national
characteristics at first hand is a vital factor. There is the argument of course that you can
translate a language you may not be able to speak. This applies to languages that are
closely related. For example, if you have gained fluency in French you may find that you
are able to translate Spanish. This is perhaps stretching the point though.
What do you do when faced with slang words, dialect words, trade or proprietary
names? This is when an understanding of the people as well as the language is useful. If
you have worked or lived in the country where the source language is spoken, it is very
useful to be able to contact people if you have difficulties with obscure words that are not
in standard dictionaries. If the word or words can be explained in the source language,
you have a better chance of being able to provide a correct translation.
Source: Samuelsson-Brown, Geoffrey (2004) A Practical Guide for Translators(Fourth Edition).
Multilingual Matters Ltd; pp.: 7-8*2c+t*c5*82umaczenia/Geoffrey+Samuelsson-Brown++A+Practical+Guide+for+Translators,331491646.pdf [date of access: 2.04.2013]
Text 2:
There is no agreed-upon definition of bilingualism among researchers. How much does one need to
“know” of more than one language in order to be qualified as “a bilingual individual”? What do we
mean by “knowing” two languages? As is often believed, bilinguals could be defined as individuals
who have “native-like control of two languages”
(Bloomfield, 1933, p. 56). However, this strict view of bilingualism limits the number of individuals
and groups that could be classified as bilingual, not to mention the fact that such a definition makes it
difficult to operationalize “native-like fluencies.” On the other hand, Haugen (1953) defined bilinguals
as individuals who are fluent in one language but who “can produce complete meaningful utterances in
the other language” (p. 7). This definition allows even early-stage L2 learners to be classified as
bilinguals. Many researchers employ this broader view of bilinguals and include in their definition of
bilinguals those individuals who have various degrees of proficiency in both languages (e.g. Hakuta,
1986; Macnamara, 1967; Mohanty and Perregaux, 1997; Valdés and Figueroa, 1994). Broader
definitions of bilingualism have an advantage in that they incorporate the developmental processes of
second language acquisition into the scope of studies of bilingualism (Hakuta, 1986). Grosjean (1999),
for instance, focuses on the daily use of two languages among bilinguals, and distinguishes bilinguals
who use more than two languages in daily life from “dormant bilinguals” who retain knowledge of
different languages but no longer use them in daily life.
Source: Butler, Yuko G., Hakuta K.: ” Bilingualism and Second
Language Acquisition” [IN:] Bhatia, Tej K., Ritchie, William C. (2004) The Handbook of
Bilingualism. Blackwell Publishing Ltd; pp.: 114-115
k_of_Bilingualism_chapter5.pdf [date of access: 2.04.2013]
Text 1
A type of brain stimulation caused by a mild electric current that appears to have minimal negative
side effects is showing promise as a potential treatment for major depression, according to several
The experimental therapy, known as transcranial direct current stimulation, or tDCS, involves a lowlevel charge about one-400th of that used in electroshock treatment. Unlike electroshock (also
calledelectroconvulsive therapy or ECT), which is administered for a few seconds to patients
under anesthesia, tDCS is given for 20 to 30 minutes continuously while patients are conscious.
While doctors do not see it replacing electroshock, considered the most effective approach for major
depression that has been treatment-resistant and requires urgent attention, tDCS does not appear to
cause memory loss as electroshock can. Because it is inexpensive and easily administered, scientists
say it might become an alternative or additional treatment for people whose depression is not
completely helped by medication.
Text 2
Research shows that a group-based psychological treatment, Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy
(MBCT), could be a viable alternative to prescription drugs for people suffering from long-term
MBCT proved as effective as maintenance anti-depressants in preventing a relapse, more effective in
enhancing peoples' quality of life and as cost-effective as prescription drugs in helping people with a
history of depression stay well in the longer-term.
The randomised control trial involved 123 […] participants split randomly into two groups. Half
continued their on-going anti-depressant drug treatment and the rest participated in an MBCT course
and were given the option of coming off anti-depressants.
47% of the group following the MBCT course experienced a relapse compared with 60% of those
continuing their normal treatment, including anti-depressant drugs. The group on the MBCT
programme reported a higher quality of life, in terms of their overall enjoyment of daily living and
physical well-being. […]
The study team compared the cost of providing MBCT programmes with the cost of maintenance antidepressant treatment. The findings suggest that MBCT provides a cost-effective alternative to antidepressant drugs. Unlike most other psychological therapies, MBCT can be taught in groups by a
single therapist, and patients then continue to practice the skills they have learned at home by
The Silent Way method
The Silent Way is the pedagogical approach created by Caleb Gattegno for teaching foreign
languages; the objective is for students to work as autonomous language learners.(…)
Relying on the students' mental capacities, their experience and acquired skills, the teacher endeavors
to ensure that they make their own discoveries, gain their own insights into the functioning of the
language, establish their own criteria for rightness, acquire a know-how, and above all, become
autonomous as learners and speakers of the language.
Because Silent Way teachers speak so little, they are free to observe their students carefully and be
available to them.
The teacher remains the indispensable guarantor of the correctness of the language (the sounds,
prosody, vocabulary, syntax, register...) and of its appropriateness to the situation (…).
In an advanced lesson, the students will be invited to talk to each other on any subject they wish. The
teacher will not correct the mistakes, but help the students to do so themselves by encouraging them to
discuss the problem, and find other similar and/or contrasting examples.(…)
The fun students have in this type of class is not derived from extraneous activities imported into
language classrooms (games, songs, role-plays...) but on the sheer pleasure of self-discovery though
the exercise of their mental capacities (imagination, intuition, sensitivity, etc.) on the task of language
learning itself.
The fun for the teachers is in having to "think on their feet" to ensure that their students are constantly
faced with do-able linguistic challenges.
The Callan Method
The Callan Method is a fast and effective system for the study of English by non-native speakers.
Thanks to its long record of achievement, it is securely established and internationally respected ( …).
The Method is a rigorously structured programme of instruction, divided into twelve stages. The
teacher asks students a series of questions which the students must answer. Because the Method aims
to get students to speak, classes hold the attention of students and stimulate their memory. The
structure of the Method ensures that students increase their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary
step by step. Students are never distracted by rare or complicated vocabulary, and must concentrate on
picking up the basics of the language.(…)
The key factors behind the success of the Method are its calculated and systematic approach to the
teaching of language, and its determination to maximize student involvement. Students learn best by
speaking and listening. (…) Repetition engages the memory, while frequent revision of the ground
already covered encourages accuracy (…).
The Callan Method is focused on teaching students the basic grammar of English and the most
essential vocabulary. (…)The Method enhances the performance of students with a flair for languages,
but it also works well with students of average ability. It can be used both by young people, and by
people in later life. The Method is also good value for money. Because the Callan Method is
comprehensive, students who use it do not need to buy any other books.
Text no. 1
How does US healthcare work?
In the States, there is no NHS. If someone gets ill, it's likely they will have to pay for their
The US government does fund two kinds of health plans though: Medicare and Medicaid. They are
especially designed for the elderly, disabled, poor, and young.
However, many Americans have their healthcare paid for by their employer. It's often included as a
fringe benefit in job packages.
But some aren't as lucky. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2007 almost 46 million people in
America didn't have health insurance.
It's thought the figure's rising as the country copes with a recession and many continue to lose their
A recent study published in the American Journal of Medicine says the biggest reason for bankruptcy
is medical debt.
Paying in instalments
It's claimed 62% of bankruptcies are caused by high health costs.
Not having health insurance doesn't mean people are turned away if they get sick though.
Hospitals and doctors must treat those needing help but often at the end of the procedure patients are
asked for their details so an invoice can be mailed to them.
The cost can be paid in installments depending on their financial circumstances.
Research shows individuals who have no insurance neglect their health because they don't have
regular screenings and check-ups.
And those who do have insurance, aren't always covered because of the plan they've got.
Some schemes are cheaper and therefore include basic treatments. Anything extra, is an additional
Text no. 2
Man robs bank for $1 so he could be arrested and sent to jail for free medical health care.
James Richard Verone woke up June 9 with a sense of anticipation.
He took a shower.
Ironed his shirt.
Hailed a cab.
Then robbed a bank.
He wasn’t especially nervous. If anything, Verone said he was excited to finally execute his plan to
gain access to free medical health care.
With his back against the wall, Mr Verone felt compelled that his only one remaining option was to
break the law so he could finally get the healthcare assistance he finally needed, because at least a
convicted felon is entitled to healthcare.
Mr Verone held a job with Coca Cola for 17 years before that job ended. After that he got job as a
convenience store clerk which led to him eventually incurring physical pains. Something on his wages
and lack of health insurance could hardly attend to.
Nevertheless Mr Verone applied for disability and early social security, instead all he got was food
stamps. By then his physical pains now included a protrusion in his chest, arthritis, carpal tunnel
syndrome. Ailments which he had no way of dealing with until Mr Verone finally decided to exercise
his last resort.
Verone didn’t want to scare anyone.
He handed the teller a note demanding one dollar, and medical attention, then he told the teller that
he [Verone] would sit over here and wait for police.
Verone is finally receiving the necessary healthcare that he needs. He says that he would do it once
again, and that he has no regrets because he did everything he possibly could in his power to get the
health attention he was in so desperate need of.
All of which begs the question, why does it take a man plotting his ultimate demise and freedom in
order to attain the dignity and well being that is afforded to most citizens in the free world?
The Silent Way
Created in the 1950s by Caleb Gattegno, an Egyptian mathematician who advocated the use of colors
in teaching, The Silent Way is used by more than half of the 11 English-language teachers at the
Centre de Linguistique Appliquée in Besançon, France, a branch of the Université de Franche-Comté.
"I have had really bad laryngitis and the pupils never even knew it," said Roslyn Young, a longtime
practitioner of the method who now heads an organization promoting its use.
"Sometimes the only thing I say during an entire class is, 'Shall we start?’
"The downside is that the teacher's silence can make some learners uncomfortable and frustrated," said
Nancy Peuteuil, head of the center's foreign language department. "But it is a great way to encourage
people to speak out in a language."Teachers of The Silent Way prepare no lesson plan, discourage
memorization, never use a book and - as the name implies - rarely speak.”Too many English teaching
methods waste time forcing students to memorize useless vocabulary," Young said. "Memorization is
painful and usually ends with forgetting."
It could be argued, of course, that such an approach to language teaching makes some learners
uncomfortable and confused. They find themselves in a situation where they have to take
responsibility for their own learning. Especially, it can be tough experience for the shy students. On
the other hand, it might be a way to cope with their shyness and to build their self – confidence.
Furthermore, this method can enable students to become independent, autonomous, responsible
learners. Although, the teacher remains silent, still they are able to signalise non-verbally the errors
and mistakes that are being produced by the students. Furthermore, students can freely use their
The Callan Method
The Callan Method is a unique method of learning English which has been in existence for several
decades and is tremendously popular all over the world. The Callan Method of teaching English was
created in 1960, when the first Callan School was set up. At the same time was released a textbook
based on the Callan Method which was divided into twelve stages. This method outdid other methods
of learning English and is enormously popular among people of all ages. The Callan Method makes
students as involved as possible in the learning process. It is a strictly structured programme of
instruction, divided into twelve stages as mentioned before. The teacher asks students a series of
questions which the students have to answer. Due to the fact that the Method aims to get students to
speak, classes hold the attention of students and stimulate their memory. The structure of the Method
guarantees that students improve their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary step by step.
There are certainly many advantages and drawbacks towards the Callan Method. Needless to say,
private schools will always recommend the methods they are currently providing students with. In this
case, private schools, where teaching is based on this particular method. Definitely, a good point is
that the teacher does not have to spend their time for the lesson preparation. Furthermore, the method
is structured in a way that the students, especially at the primary level, can pick up basic vocabulary
very quickly. They are forced to speak and correction is done on the spot and this, on the other hand,
can turn out to be a drawback because it is tiring and restrictive for both the students and the teachers.
Speaking becomes task-based repetition and students are not able to use their creativity.
Text 1
In the annals of self-inflicted national injuries, there's a prominent place for the federal government's
misguided values in spending scarce research money. The latest figures show that $37 billion, or about
53 percent of government research funds, is spent seeking better tools of war, and $12 billion, or 17
percent, on preventing and treating disease. Even less is allocated to basic science, energy, agriculture
and environmental tasks. There's something topsy-turvy in these choices, and it's bound to get worse.
Long-term congressional budgeting plans call for a steady decline in civilian research spending, and
increases for the Pentagon. The volume of money for the Pentagon's research activities tops the rest of
the world's combined military research spending, and, in its bite on the federal budget, is little changed
from the chilly Cold War decades of the 1960s and 1970s. While the United States is carrying on a
one-nation arms race, most other major industrial nations are focusing their research spending on
civilian goals, with emphasis on the promotion of industry and the development of commercial
products. And they'll reap the rewards of their shrewd decision.
Source :
Text 2
During 45 years of the Cold War, the United States engaged in a heated arms race with the Soviet
Union. Now it appears that America is engaged in an arms race with itself. Incredibly, this race is
heating up in a bidding war between a Republican Congress committed under the Contract With
America to increase defense spending, and the Clinton administration, determined not to be outdone in
its support for increased military readiness. Our present level of military spending virtually equals the
combined military spending of all other nations. A primary reason put forward to justify this huge
disparity in spending is that we must continue to modernize our forces in order to retain technological
dominance in weaponry. Technological superiority over an adversary is highly desirable, but rushing
into production of new generations of weapons to surpass the quality of your own first-class weapons
verges on the absurd. Programs to perpetuate the classic Cold War struggle for technological
superiority over the Soviet Union only put us in a wasteful arms race with ourselves - no one else is
even close.
"If TV is a monologue then YouTube is a conversation, The communal side of TV has been outdated
for 10 years. Something like Doctor Who, The X Factor will suddenly get everyone crowded round the
TV again, but in general TV just feels more distant. I will sit in bed and watch latest vlogs and you
feel far closer – like you're watching a friend."
This direct and intimate connection to the audience is perhaps the most revolutionary element of
YouTube. "One thing that's completely different is that a lot of creators involve their audience in the
creative process (…) they ask the audience questions, they ask them to comment and they see where
the audience has spent most of their time, which videos they like and dislike most, and then adapt their
content. It doesn't happen a lot in TV."
For this reason, YouTubers – those who make content specifically for the platform – will often
compare the process to theatre or playing music live, more than to producing a television segment.
Feedback is immediate and unfailingly honest, and they tailor their performances every time they post
a video. Such an environment has given rise to rabid fandom. At first glance, the wild popularity of the
video blogs can seem bewildering – really, 3m views for a four-minute video of a 17-year-old boy
making a cup of tea? But the more you watch, you begin to realise that the best vloggers share some
common traits: they are smart and genuine, and they are just a little bit funnier and cooler than their
audience. Great hair doesn't hurt either. In other words, they are perfect best-friend. YouTube superstars: the generation taking on TV – and winning
It's hard to be amazed by anything on the Internet these days, but the video-sharing site YouTube is
raising eyebrows among even the most savvy Web observers.
Started in February 2005, YouTube's popularity is exploding. In June alone, according to NielsenNet,
YouTube drew 19.6 million visitors, almost triple the number from this past January.
YouTube is, according to The Early Show national correspondent Tracy Smith, mushrooming into
the world's first online video network, featuring the latest and, in many cases, strangest videos from all
over the world.
It boasts a collection of some 70 million video clips, from the comedic, to the connoisseur, and
averages 60,000 uploads a day. There's no fee for uploads.
YouTube's community has grown to roughly six million members, a big audience with little overhead
for advertisers, though it could be difficult to get noticed.
It was started for amateurs, and most of the site's content is still uploaded by amateurs, but YouTube is
also fast becoming a major marketing tool for corporations that, in some instances, pretend to be
While it may look as if each video has been created from the quiet confines of someone's bedroom, it's
often a corporate boardroom calling the shots. YouTube Phenomenon Keeps Growing
Text 1
In the 1970s, Robert White performed the first successful brain transplant on a primate, surgically
attaching one monkey's head to another monkey's body.
White's real hope is that, one day, he'll be able to supervise the first human head transplant surgery,
but until then, he's not about to discourage curiosity,
As an adviser to Pope John Paul II's Committee on Bioethics, White has strolled through the Vatican
gardens with the pontiff on numerous occasions. They talk about medical breakthroughs, like fetal
tissue transplantation, brain death, as well as the pope's personal health matters. So far, the pope hasn't
asked about head transplants.
But if it does come up, White says he would say that the moral issue is not whether it's right to
transplant a body like you would any other donated organ, but "should the surgery be denied to people
who need it?"
A major part of White's career has been spent in the head trauma unit at MetroHealth, where he deftly
performed delicate operations, but had a tough time accepting his patients' dismal prognoses.
"I became very unhappy with the young people," he says. "As I looked at the brain coming out of the
skull, I realized, "Sure, I can fix it, I can put it back in, but they're never going to college again. Their
lives are finished.'"
Apparently and a bit oddly the immortality project to transplant people’s brains into robots has
received the blessing and support from the Dalai Lama.
“My project has humanitarian goals – it involves technologies that could mark a transition for
humanity, with endless benefits in the future. But already in the next few years, we will be able to
enhance the life of those who are disabled, radically improving their living standards. This is just the
beginning. It’s my goal to ensure it is affordable and accessible for all people – not just for the elite
and the military,” said Dmitry Itskov, founder of Russia 2045.
Itskov has been reaching out to spiritual leaders to start a dialogue about how they could reach
harmonious integration with scientists. “It’s important to establish a bridge between scientists and
spiritual leaders for a successful transition to a new phase for humanity,” he said.
The Dalai Lama agrees that it is crucial to discuss the ethics behind these types of progressive
technologies. “We should carry out these experiments with a full sense of responsibility and respect
for life that will only benefit humanity, benefit others.”