Thursday, 21 March 2019

Writing: Dicussion essays. Guns control

Guns and Weapons.

Why guns should be legal:
In some countries, people are allowed to own firearms Individuals have the right to protect themselves
People can use guns in self defence
This deters criminals
Why gun ownership should be illegal:
There is a risk of accidents with guns
The number of violent crimes increases when guns are available
Criminals may be armed
The police then need to use guns
Suicide rates have been shown to rise when guns are available
Guns create violent societies with high murder rates
Why polices should use guns 
Many criminals use weapons
The threat of a gun can deter criminals
Police officers can forces a criminal to surrender
It is easier to arrest someone and avoid physical violence
The police may shoot violent criminals in self defence
They can protect the public
They can shoot an escaping criminal who poses a serious danger to the public
Why police should not carry guns
There is a risk of accidents and mistakes
The police might shoot an unarmed criminal or an innocent person
Accidents can happen in public places
There are several alternatives to guns (e.g tear gas, sprays and electric shock weapons)
Only special police units should use guns
Arm Trade: Positives 
The export of arms, or weapons, is an extremely controversial issue
Governments of rich, industrialized countries sell arms to each other
This industry creates jobs and wealth
The trade of weapons may improve relationships between governments
Arms Trade: Negatives 
Weapons may be used in conflicts and wars
The supply of arms could be responsible for deaths
Governments are promoting war in order to make a profit
Rich countries can influence the politics of other nations.

Writing samples:
In many countries, laws are quite flexible to let ordinary individuals carry firearms while in many other countries it is quite hard to get a license, even for a notable person, to own a gun. It is often said that when a state or country allows its citizens to carry weapons, the crime and violence rates increase there and I quite agree with this statement.
First, guns are meant to shot someone either to wound or kill him. Thus the very objective of a gun is to kill a person and thus this deathly weapon can only increase the crime and violence in a society. For example, we can compare a country like the USA, where carrying a gun is allowed, with a country like Japan, where it is restricted. In 2014, when the United States experienced over 18,000 gun-related homicides, Japan had only 14 and this is quite an alarming comparison that reveals how firearms ownership by mass people can increase violence in a country.
Second, research indicates that owning and carrying a gun can psychologically affect our behaviours and thus people often commit crimes only because they have guns with them. Accidental, psychological, and family violence gunshot wounds and death are quite high in many countries, especially where people can carry guns with them, and the only way to reduce such crime rate is to restrict the ownership of guns.
In conclusion, the only reason the authority would permit someone to carry a gun is to ensure the safety of this person. However, the reality is quite contrary and allowing people to carry guns is actually letting criminals also won it. Thus there is no doubt that people in a country should not be allowed to carry firearms and restricting it would significantly decrease the crime and violence.

Whether normal citizens can have guns or not has been a frequent topic of discussion for a long period. Recent US gun shot which killed innocent children and responsible staff brought endless sorrow to the community and arouse the public's rethinking towards gun control.

Advocates, who maintain gun ownership is a civil right , hold on the belief that firearms play an essential role in self-defense. Specifically, as gun control laws and policy vary greatly around the word, some people from countries where rights to keep and bear arms are guaranteed by national constitution treat gun possession as individual liberties. Besides, researches have also shown that victims armed with a weapon are less likely to be murdered or robbed than those who don't have one when crime occurs.

Nevertheless, opponents suggest that the government should enact strict laws to forbid guns. Assault weapons easily accessible to the public , to some extent ,increase the rate of suicide and domestic violence . Generally speaking, suicide candidates have greater chances to kill themselves successfully with a gun at hand than others using alternative methods. Moreover, devastating harm caused by gunshot supports the notion that a federal ban on assault weapons should take effect. A weapon is so powerful that a criminal can shoot so many people in such short time. What's even worse, it seems to be more difficult to resist and overtake a criminal with a gun. Therefore, compared with other violence, serial gunshot normally lead to higher death toll . Overall, the availability of purchasing , trading and bearing guns puts the whole societal members under threat and disrupt the stability of the nation as a whole.

To sum up, whilw we may need guns for self protection, I personally stick to the latter opinion that guns are better controlled or even banned in public. Whereas in those countries where gun possession is historically legal, harsher measures should be taken to scrutinize the nation's gun laws, mental health system and the role that violent video games and movies might play in shootings.

Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Email writing

EBAU Practice- Reading

Barcelona will ban cars that are older than 20 years from the road during the week to cut traffic emissions by 30% over 15 years. The measure will come into force on January 1, 2019 and will cover Barcelona and the 39 neighbouring municipalities. Under the terms of the agreement, it will be prohibited to drive private cars registered before January 1997 and vans registered before October 1994 on working days. 
Although the ban will not be fully effective for two years, those same vehicles will already be banned from the roads during periods of high pollution from 1st December this year. The aim is to first reduce emissions by 10% over the next five years to gradually reach the levels recommended by the World Health Organisation. Then the adoption of the stricter measures will be implemented in order to reach the level set by the European Union before 2020. 
Janet Saiz, the city’s deputy for the environment said, “The people of Barcelona have told us clearly in surveys that they want to fight against air pollution because it is a health problem of the first order.” The city hopes to convince people to cooperate by offering free public transport to those who give up their vehicles. 
In a similar move last January, the Norwegian city of Oslo banned diesel cars from the road for two days in one particular week to combat rising air pollution. Many motorists were angered because they had been encouraged to purchase diesel cars by the state government just a few years before, when they were considered a better environmental choice than petrol cars. Drivers who did not obey the ban were fined around €200. A city councillor said at the time, “In Oslo, we can't ask children, the elderly, and those suffering from respiratory problems to stay at home because the air is too harmful to breathe.” 
Some Norwegians, however, were happy with the idea, like Kenneth Tempel, who wrote on Facebook, “Very good measure. We should introduce a permanent ban on diesel vehicles in all big cities. The fines should also be doubled.” According to the Norwegian Institute of Public health, air pollution causes 185 premature deaths in Oslo each year. 16 January 2017 and 7 March 2017, 

The Guardian (Adapted).

Question 1: Indicate whether the following statements are true or false and write down which part of the text justifies your answer. 
a) The ban will happen in Barcelona immediately. 
b) Cars registered before 1997 will not be banned at weekends. 
c) The people of Barcelona feel this is an important issue. 
d) The Barcelona authorities will not offer any incentive to make people comply with the ban. 
e) Kenneth Tempel believes the fines should be lower than they were.

Question 2: Find words or phrases in the text that correspond to the words and definitions given
a) Surrounding, closest (paragraph 1) 
b) Conditions (paragraph 1) 
c) More severe (paragraph 2) 
d) Without a charge (paragraph 3) 
e) Option (paragraph 4)

Question 3: Choose the correct option, a, b or c for each question and COPY the option chosen onto your answer sheet. 
1. The people of Barcelona..
a) were not told to give their opinion about the air pollution problem by the government. 
b) were asked their opinion about the air pollution problem by the government. 
c) were not asked their opinion about the air pollution problem by the government. 
2. Tempel believed that... 
a) a permanent ban on diesel vehicles should be introduced in all big cities. 
b) a permanent ban on all vehicles would not be beneficial in all big cities. 
c) a permanent ban on some vehicles should be beneficial in his city. 
3. A Norwegian driver caught ignoring the ban last January... 
a) had to pay a €200 fine. 
b) must not have paid a €200 fine. 
c) was paid a €200 fine. 
4. The Norwegian authorities... 
a) are used to believing that diesel cars were better for the environment. 
b) didn’t use to believe diesel cars were better for the environment. 
c) used to believe diesel cars were better for the environment. 

Question 4: Write a short essay (about 120-150 words) on the following topic: – In your personal opinion, what are the advantages and disadvantages of owning a car?

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Ireland. A little bit of history and story too...

Listen to the recording and fill in the gaps. Note the use of numerous passive sentences in this text.

Saint Patrick's Day is an  celebration of the  Saint of Ireland. It is   on March 17, which is   to be the date of Saint Patrick's . This day is a national holiday in Ireland, but it is  by Irish communities and many   in countries around the . The festival  the time when Saint Patrick   Christianity to Ireland in the  . On this day, it is  to wear green or shamrocks. This is because, according to , Saint Patrick  a shamrock to explain the  idea of the Holy Trinity to Irish  .
Around the world there are  Saint Patrick's Day . In Dublin, there's a  parade that  nearly a million people and it's five days long. But the  parade is in New York City, which is  by over two million people. Saint Patrick's Day is also   for being a "drinking holiday". Drinking , especially Irish , has become an important part of the . And the colour green is not only  on people's bodies. In Chicago, for example, the city authorities   the river green. And famous   around the world are   in green lighting. Many people also celebrate the day  green food and drinking green beer. 
In recent  , St Patrick's Day celebrations have been  , particularly for  association with drinking alcohol. And some people that the festivities have become too , and that the original idea of the festival has been  .

I can't believe the ___________
Oh, I can't
close ____________
And make it
How long?
How long must we
How long, how long?
'Cause tonight, we can be as one
Broken __________  under children's ______
Bodies strewn across the dead end
But I won't heed
the ___________
It puts my back up
Puts my back up against the wall
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Sunday, Bloody Sunday, Sunday, Bloody Sunday (alright)

And mothers, children, brothers, sisters torn apart
There's many lost, but tell me who has won
And the battle's just begun
The trench is dug within our hearts
Wipe the tears from your eyes
your tears away
, wipe your tears away
, wipe your tears away (Sunday, Bloody Sunday)
, wipe your blood shot eyes (Sunday, Bloody Sunday)
Sunday, Bloody Sunday (Sunday, Bloody Sunday)
Sunday, Bloody Sunday (Sunday, Bloody Sunday)
And today the millions cry
the real battle just begun
And it's true we are immune
We eat and drink while tomorrow they die
When fact is fiction and TV reality
(Sunday, Bloody Sunday) to claim the victory Jesus won
On Sunday Bloody Sunday, yeah
Sunday Bloody Sunday

Monday, 11 March 2019

Grammar: Reported/Direct Speech

Reported Speech

We use a 'reporting verb' like 'say' or 'tell'. (Click here for more about using 'say' and 'tell'.) If this verb is in the present tense, it's easy. We just put 'she says' and then the sentence:
Direct speech: I like ice cream.
  • Reported speech: She says (that) she likes ice cream.
We don't need to change the tense, though probably we do need to change the 'person' from 'I' to 'she', for example. We also may need to change words like 'my' and 'your'.
But, if the reporting verb is in the past tense, then usually we change the tenses in the reported speech:
Direct speech: I like ice cream.
  • Reported speech: She said (that) she liked ice cream.
TenseDirect SpeechReported Speech
present simpleI like ice creamShe said (that) she liked ice cream.
present continuousI am living in LondonShe said (that) she was living in London.
past simpleI bought a carShe said (that) she had bought a car OR She said (that) she bought a car.
past continuousI was walking along the streetShe said (that) she had been walking along the street.
present perfectI haven't seen JulieShe said (that) she hadn't seen Julie.
past perfect*I had taken English lessons beforeShe said (that) she had taken English lessons before.
willI'll see you laterShe said (that) she would see me later.
would*I would help, but..”She said (that) she would help but...
canI can speak perfect EnglishShe said (that) she could speak perfect English.
could*I could swim when I was fourShe said (that) she could swim when she was four.
shallI shall come laterShe said (that) she would come later.
should*I should call my motherShe said (that) she should call her mother
might*I might be lateShe said (that) she might be late
mustI must study at the weekendShe said (that) she must study at the weekend OR She said she had to study at the weekend
* doesn't change.
Occasionally, we don't need to change the present tense into the past if the information in direct speech is still true (but this is only for things which are general facts, and even then usually we like to change the tense):
Direct speech: The sky is blue.
  • Reported speech: She said (that) the sky is/was blue.
Reported Questions
So now you have no problem with making reported speech from positive and negative sentences. But how about questions?
Direct speech: Where do you live?
In fact, it's not so different from reported statements. The tense changes are the same, and we keep the question word. The very important thing though is that, once we tell the question to someone else, it isn't a question any more. So we need to change the grammar to a normal positive sentence. A bit confusing? Maybe this example will help:
Direct speech: Where do you live?
  • Reported speech: She asked me where I lived.
Do you see how I made it? The direct question is in the present simple tense. We make a present simple question with 'do' or 'does' so I need to take that away. Then I need to change the verb to the past simple.

Direct speech: Where is Julie?
  • Reported speech: She asked me where Julie was.
The direct question is the present simple of 'be'. We make the question form of the present simple of be by inverting (changing the position of)the subject and verb. So, we need to change them back before putting the verb into the past simple.
Here are some more examples:
Direct QuestionReported Question
Where is the Post Office, please?She asked me where the Post Office was.
What are you doing?She asked me what I was doing.
Who was that fantastic man?She asked me who that fantastic man had been.

So much for 'wh' questions. But, what if you need to report a 'yes / no' question? We don't have any question words to help us. Instead, we use 'if':
  • Direct speech: Do you like chocolate?
  • Reported speech: She asked me if I liked chocolate.
No problem? Here are a few more examples:
Direct QuestionReported Question
Do you love me?He asked me if I loved him.
Have you ever been to Mexico?She asked me if I had ever been to Mexico.
Are you living here?She asked me if I was living here.
There's more! What if someone asks you to do something (in a polite way)? For example:
  • Direct speech: Close the window, please
  • Or: Could you close the window please?
  • Or: Would you mind closing the window please?
All of these requests mean the same thing, so we don't need to report every word when we tell another person about it. We simply use 'ask me + to + infinitive':
  • Reported speech: She asked me to close the window.
Here are a few more examples: 
Direct RequestReported Request
Please help me.She asked me to help her.
Please don't smoke.She asked me not to smoke.
Could you bring my book tonight?She asked me to bring her book that night.
Could you pass the milk, please?She asked me to pass the milk.
Would you mind coming early tomorrow?She asked me to come early the next day.
To report a negative request, use 'not':
  • Direct speech: Please don't be late.
  • Reported speech: She asked us not to be late.
Reported Orders
And finally, how about if someone doesn't ask so politely? We can call this an 'order' in English, when someone tells you very directly to do something. For example:
  • Direct speech: Sit down!
In fact, we make this into reported speech in the same way as a request. We just use 'tell' instead of 'ask':
  • Reported speech: She told me to sit down.
Direct OrderReported Order
Go to bed!He told the child to go to bed.
Don't worry!He told her not to worry.
Be on time!He told me to be on time.
Don't smoke!He told us not to smoke.
Time Expressions with Reported Speech
Sometimes when we change direct speech into reported speech we have to change time expressions too. We don't always have to do this, however. It depends on when we heard the direct speech and when we say the reported speech.

For example:
It's Monday. Julie says "I'm leaving today".
If I tell someone on Monday, I say "Julie said she was leaving today".
If I tell someone on Tuesday, I say "Julie said she was leaving yesterday".
If I tell someone on Wednesday, I say "Julie said she was leaving on Monday".
If I tell someone a month later, I say "Julie said she was leaving that day".

So, there's no easy conversion. You really have to think about when the direct speech was said. Here's a table of some possible conversions:
nowthen / at that time
todayyesterday / that day / Tuesday / the 27th of June
yesterdaythe day before yesterday / the day before / Wednesday / the 5th of December
last nightthe night before, Thursday night
last weekthe week before / the previous week
tomorrowtoday / the next day / the following day / Friday

Saturday, 9 March 2019

Grammar: Conditionals.


  1. If it rains, the boys  hockey.
  2. If he  his own vegetables, he wouldn't have to buy them.
  3. Jim  whisky distilleries if he travelled to Scotland.
  4. Would you go out more often if you  so much in the house?
  5. She wouldn't have yawned the whole day if she  late last night.
  6. If you  a minute, I'll come with you.
  7. If we arrived at 10, we  Tyler's presentation.
  8. We  John if we'd known about his problems.
  9. If they  new batteries, their camera would have worked correctly.
  10. If I could go anywhere, it  New Zealand.
  11. If they left now, they(be) in London by lunchtime.score
  12. You(not fail) the exam if you'd studied a bit harder.score
  13. If we'd brought a map with us, we(not be) lost now.score
  14. I(not speak) to him again unless he apologises.score
  15. You can go to the party as long as you(come) home before midnight.score
  16. Had I known you were bringing your friends, I(prepare) more food.score
  17. Suppose your car broke down in the middle of nowhere, what(do)?score
  18. I'd go out tonight if I(not have to) work tomorrow.score
  19. If we meet at 9:30, we  (to have) plenty of time.
  20. Lisa would find the milk if she  (to look) in the fridge.
  21. The zookeeper would have punished her with a fine if she  (to feed) the animals.
  22. If you spoke louder, your classmates  (to understand) you.
  23. Dan  (to arrive) safe if he drove slowly.
  24. You  (to have) no trouble at school if you had done your homework.
  25. If you  (to swim) in this lake, you'll shiver from cold.
  26. The door will unlock if you  (to press) the green button.
  27. If Mel  (to ask) her teacher, he'd have answered her questions.
  28.  (to call) the office if I was/were you.

There are four main kinds of conditionals:
  • The Zero Conditional:
    (if + present simple, ... present simple)
    If you heat water to 100 degrees, it boils.
    Click here to learn more.
  • The First Conditional:
    (if + present simple, ... will + infinitive)
    If it rains tomorrow, we'll go to the cinema.
    Click here to learn more.
  • The Second Conditional:
    (if + past simple, ... would + infinitive)
    If I had a lot of money, I would travel around the world.
    Click here to learn more.
  • The Third Conditional
    (if + past perfect, ... would + have + past participle)
    If I had gone to bed early, I would have caught the train.
    Click here to learn more.

Thursday, 7 March 2019

Info about language learning-Inmersión Lingúística

Extracto de la Resolución de 25 de febrero de 2019, de la Secretaría deEstado de Educación y Formación Profesional, por la que se convocanbecas para la participación en un programa intensivo de inmersión lingüística en inglés en España, para el año 2019.

Extracto de la Resolución por la que se convocan becas para la participación en un programa intensivo de inmersión lingüística en inglés en España, a desarrollar durante el mes de julio, destinado a estudiantes de Bachillerato, Enseñanzas Profesionales de Música y Danza, Grado Medio de Formación Profesional, Grado Medio de Artes Plásticas y Diseño, Grado Medio de Enseñanzas Deportivas y de Enseñanzas de Idiomas (Nivel Intermedio o Avanzado) para el año 2019.  
Son requisitos generales:
  • Haber nacido entre el 1 de enero de 1999 y el 31 de diciembre de 2002 y estar matriculado en el curso 2018-2019 en cualquier curso de alguno de los niveles indicados anteriormente.
  • Haber obtenido en el curso 2018-2019 la condición de becario del Ministerio de Educación y Formación Profesional.
  • Tener totalmente aprobado el curso inmediato anterior, con una nota final mínima de 7,50 puntos en la asignatura de inglés.
 El resto de requisitos, así como la convocatoria, pueden consultarla en las siguientes direcciones:

Las solicitudes deben cumplimentarse obligatoriamente en la Sede Electrónica del Ministerio y Formación Profesional.
El plazo de presentación se inicia el día 07/03/2019 y finaliza el 10 de abril de 2019.
Extracto de la convocatoria | Descargar