Intensive Advanced 2

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Advanced 2. The history of the Oscars.

Click here, watch the video and then complete the sentences with one or two words. Select the gaps to see the answer.

Each year, millions tune in to watch the Academy Awards.  Over the decades, thousands of Oscar statuettes have been handed out to those who work in the film industry - from actors to directors and film editors.  How much do we really know about the Academy Awards?

The Academy Awards have a
 rich history that spans more than eight decades.  The first official Academy Awards ceremony took place during a banquet held at Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel on May 16, 1929. This was by no means the type of ceremony we see today - less than 300 people were on hand.  Each paid a whopping $5 for a ticket to the dinner.

In 1927 and 1928, a total of 15 Oscar statuettes were handed out to winners in various categories. Actor Emil Jannings was the Academy's first-ever Best Actor winner - he received the Oscar for
performances in two films: ''The Last Command'' and ''The Way of All Flesh.''

And what about that golden statuette that all the winners get on Oscar night?  The
 trophy has a rich history.  It was originally designed by founding Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences member and art director Cedric Gibbons.  Gibbons came up with the statuette's unique design: the majestic image shows a knight plunging his sword into a reel of film.  The first Oscar statue, originally called the "Academy Award of Merit," was hand-cast in bronze at a cost of $500. In 1939, the award was named the Oscar.

Why is the statue called the "Oscar" now?  The
 nickname origins aren't exactly clear. Some claim that legendary actress Bette Davis dubbed the statuette the "Oscar" because the back of the trophy, specifically the backside, reminded her of her husband, Harmon Oscar Nelson.  Other theories say the first librarian of the Academy, Margaret Herrick, dubbed the statue the Oscar because it reminded her of her uncle Oscar.

For more information on this topic visit the links below.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Advanced 2. Money

Read the text about what British teenagers do with their money and then do the exercises. Click here.
Here you can read about a charity called Comic Relief. They celebrate Red Nose Day in the UK. Why? Click here and find out.
Money and phrasal verbs: Watch the video and answer the questions in the exercises below. Click here.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Advanced 2. Economy: How the euro caused the Greek crisis

Click here, watch the video about the situation of Greece and the Eurozone and fill in the gaps with 1-4 words. Answers must be based exclusively on the information in the video. Select to see the answers.

1. In a metaphorical dinner if you're cooking for yourself and your spouse, you can cook something both of you love.
2. However, it's harder to accommodate a vegetarian, or someone who is gluten free.
3. Greece's economy has a very high debt burden
4. In order to make their currency cheaper countries can print extra money . 
5. An expensive currency increases people's purchasing power. 
6. The unemployment rate in Greece is 25%.
7. Greece is described as a poor country isolated from the rest of the Eurozone. 
8. The euro was a symbol of Europe's determination to have peace on the continent.
9. When did Greece join the euro? In 2001.
10. In America, the poorer states are constantly getting money through the welfare system, : Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. 
11. Germans are willing to support poor German people, but not poor Greek people. 

To understand what's happening with Greece and the Eurozone, think about a dinner party. If you're cooking just for yourself and your spouse, it's easy: You make something you both like. But if you've got guests, things get harder. If you need to accommodate a vegetarian, and someone who is gluten free, and someone with a soy allergy, your options get really limited. And that's the problem with Europe's idea of having a whole bunch of countries: all use the same currency. So Greece's economy is in a disaster. A quarter of the population is unemployed and it has this very high debt burden. Normally, if you've got really high unemployment what happens is that a country makes its currency cheaper by printing extra money. That makes its products cheaper on world markets, it makes it a more attractive tourist destination and it means that foreign investors can get great bargains. But if unemployment is really low, a country likes to have an expensive currency. That increases people's purchasing power. It keeps prices down. And in Europe you have a bunch of economies that are really different. A price of euros that's appropriate for Greece where they have a 25% unemployment rate is way too low for Germany, where the unemployment rate is below 5%. And Greece's problem is that it's small, poor and geographically isolated from the rest of the Eurozone. It's like the only vegetarian at a barbecue, except when it comes to currencies, there's no side dishes. And so there's plenty of specific decisions we can second-guess, plenty of things Greece did and various banks did that we can question, but fundamentally having all these countries come to a dinner party with only one dish on the menu was a mistake. The euro was a project that Europe set about on for really political reasons. It was a symbol of their determination to have peace on the continent, but they didn't really take the economics of it seriously. So Greece joins the euro in 2001 and initially it works out great for Greece because all of a sudden everyone was like "yeah, sure, let's lend them money", so they borrowed lots and lots and lots of euros, except that didn't change the fact their economy is a lot weaker than some of the other European countries. So to really work, you would need a much, much, much closer union where you had big financial transfers coming from the richer places to the poorer places all the time. In the United States, the poor states like Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama, they're constantly getting money from the richer states like Massachusetts, California, NewYork, through the welfare system, through Social Security, through Medicare, through Medicaid. And you know, people may sort of complain about this or that programme, but we don't dispute the idea that it's all one country so money is gonna circulate around. Europeans, you know, they just don't feel that way. Germans are willing to support poor German people but they don't wanna support Greek people with their tax dollars. So they're kind of like half-way integrated in a way that doesn't really work.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Advanced 2. Sample writings

As requested by some of you, here is some advice on how to write an article, an essay, etc. together with a collection of sample writings (model questions and answers). I hope you find this link useful. Click here

Advanced 2. Time Management

Would you like know how to manage your time better? Watch the video and fill in the gaps with one or two words.  (Click here)

Are you constantly finding yourself behind at work or school? You’re right at the end of the day and you realize you’ve accomplished nothing on your to-do list?
Well, odds are you’re not very good at time management. And that is not doing your psychological health any favours. In fact, a study published in “Work & Stress” found that workers who didn’t productively manage their time fell less in control of their lives. Here’s the good news: you can get better. Paying attention to how you spend your time will help you manage it more effectively. And we’re gonna help you learn how to do just that.
Today on Wellcast we’re gonna get you in control of your day with our RAC method: Recording, analyzing and changing. Three easy steps to great time management. Pause and print a copy of our handy Wellcast Day Planner. While it’s printing, let’s dive in.
Step 1: Recording. When you wake up tomorrow, note the time in your day planner. As the day progresses, write down everything that you do. Yes, we mean everything. The ten minutes you spend getting dressed, the half-day of productive work, the hours you spend between social networking sites, we mean it all. Keep this up from the time you wake up until you go to sleep.
Step 2: Analysing. At the end of the day, go through the schedule and highlight any terms of time you don’t feel were used productively. Pick out your five biggest time wasters in your day. Be honest with yourself. You spent half an hour by the coffee machine talking to your coworker. You spent an hour on Facebook and you stared into space for 20 minutes. Come on, you get the picture.
Especially focus on the time wasters at work, why? A study published by the British Medical  Journal sasy that the workplace stress is minimized by effective time management. It also says that workplace stress bleeds over into home life and undermines the relax life at home.
Here’s the ugly part. Add up all the time you wasted, how much productive time did you blow on activities that got you no results?
Step 3: Changing. Now it’s time to come up with a way to get that time back. Your three ways to change your time wasting habits and become a better time manager.
Prioritize: To-do lists are a really effective way to manage your time and your priorities. Limit the number of tasks you have on this list to five and assign rankings to them in order of importance.
Declutter: Not only is decluttering great for your health, but you won’t waste time digging around piles of stuff to find that one piece of paper you really need.
Check out our Wellcast on Clutter for some helpful tips on lightening your load.
Schedule: Hey, we all try to kill two birds with one stone but odds are multitasking will actually just stress you out and delay you even more. Instead, set aside blocks of time for individual activities. For each activity, set start and stop points. This way your day is clearly segmented. Then stick to this schedule.
Try going one week without using these tips to reduce your waste of time. At the end of the week go figure out where you’ve improved your time management skills and how much time you’ve saved.

Let’s recap: Today you learned how to manage your time better by using our Wellcast RAC method. You recorded, analyzed and hopefully changed how you use your time. And you did this by learning how to prioritize your most important tasks, decluttered your workspace to save you time and you learned how to build yourself an effective schedule to block out your day. Hey, how did RAC work for you? We wanna hear how much time you were wasting and how much you’re saving now. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Advanced 2. Media Multitaskers Pay Mental Price.

Watch this video and fill in the gaps with one or two words. Click here.

Well, the study was inspired by the idea that we saw more and more kids on campus and of course all around the country multitasking and, if you look at classical psychology textbooks, they tell you people can’t multitask, it is psychologically impossible. So, on the one hand, we had this clear statement: Look, people can’t multitask. And, on the other, we had people multitasking like crazy.
-I think it is unrealistic to do one thing at a time, but…erm… it’s just the way things are: you can’t help to multitask.
-Thanks for coming in. So in this task you’ll basically be looking at different rectangles that are gonna be presented. It’ll be red and blue rectangles, and they’ll either change orientation or they won’t.
And as soon as you brought in the high multitaskers, the more blue rectangles you brought in, the more distractions, even though we clearly told them that these were completely irrelevant, they couldn’t help paying attention to them.
We really don’t know what’s happening other than that they seem to like to be flooded with information. It ‘s almost as if they preferred to scan the environment, just constantly scanning round new information rather than ponder what they have. We don’t know whether there are advantages to that but, so far, we haven’t found any.
-Are you a good multitasker?
-I thought I was! I’m not so sure for this study, but, erm, I do listen to music and chat with my friends all the time at the same time.
-To our absolute shock, we found that in any of the categories of activities that we thought their brain would be better at, that would enable them to manage multiple streams of information at one time, they were actually worse at all of them. So it is a great mystery what the heck is going on. Right now all we can say is ‘multitaskers are lousy at multitasking.’

Advanced 2. Multitasking.

Watch the video and follow the instructions. Click here. (Special thanks to Ana Felpete)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Just for fun

It all started when a Dutch show presented Donald Trump with a very simple idea: We totally understand it's going to be America first, but can we just say The Netherlands second?
Now the rest of Europe can't stop making similar videos. They can't help trolling Trump. If you want to see them, just click on the links. Enjoy! 
Portugal (jump past the introduction to get to the video at the 2:06 mark)
Germany (jump past the introduction to get to the video at the 1:47 mark)

Advanced 2:Tradtional or digital newspapers?

Click here and read the article.

Advanced 2. Vocabulary: The media

The media: Click here and here and practise-