jueves, 26 de febrero de 2015

Science and technology

"We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology"

Carl Sagan


Science and technology

Word formation. Complete the gaps with the correct form of words in the right. Use the word given in capitals at the end of the text to form a word that fits in the gap in the same line

The twentieh century witnessed a ______(1)_____ change in the relationship between science and society. In World War I scientists were conscripted and died in the trenches. In World War II they were exempted as national treasures and committed to secrecy, and they rallied behing their country's war effort. The explanation of the change is not hard to find -governments came to believe that _____ (2)_____ research can produce practical improvements in industry, agricultures,and medicine. The belief waas firmly reinforced by developments such as the discovery of antibiotics and the _____ (3)_____ of nuclear physics to the production of atomic weapons. Science became so identified wich practical benefits that the _____ (4)_____ of technology on science is commonly assumed to be a _____ (5)_____ relationship and a single enterprise. Science and technology, research and development -these are assumed to be almost _____(6)_____ twins.  These rank among the sacred phrases of our time. The belief in the _____(7)______ of science and technology is now petrified in the dictionnary definition of technology as applied science, and _____(8)_____ reports under the rubric of "science news" are, in fact, often accounts of engineering rather than scientific achievements. The belief, however, is an aircraft of today's cultural attitudes superimposed whitout warrant on the _____(9)_____ record. Although the record shows that in the earliest civilizations under the _____(10)_____ of pharaons and kings, and in general whenever centralized states arose, knowlegde of nature was exploited for useful purposes. 


Phrasal verbs. Look at the examples below ans analyse how phrasal verbs are used to talk about technical equipment. Then, try the following activity to practice phrasal verbs

"When the battery is low, the whole unit simply plugs into the mains supply to recharge"
"Tune into any radio station anywhere in the world with Worldband software. You can pick up thousands of stations 24 hours a day
"No need to spend hours wiring everything up. Bluetooth means you just switch on and connect! " Wiring up: connecting something to a piece of electrical equipment by using electrical wires
"Most Scanners take up to minute to warn up. The Zono 844B takes just 10 seconds Warn up: start working so that it becomes warm enough to work well
"Looking for a photocopier that doesn't seize up every time you change the paper? The new Jentra 850 has unique paper-flow controller" Seize up: stop moving or working in the normal way

Choose the correct word to complete theses sentences

1. With my new radio I can _____ far more stations that I used to be able to get
          a) tune in          b) pick up           c) set up
2. If a machine stops moving or working normally, you can say that it has_____
          a) cut off           b) wiped out       c) seize up
3. Okay, if you want to create a template, go _____. Word and open the File menu
          a) onto              b) in                     c) into
4. I'm going to have to get my printer repaired - it keeps going _____ for no apparent reason
          a) on                  b) off                    c) out
5. Please could you help me _______Internet acces on my new computer?
          a) set up            b) tune in             c) pick up
6. Whenever Dave is abroad he _____ the BBC World Service listen to the news
          a) seizes up      b) tunes into          c) goes onto

More phrasal verbs related to technology and devices

break down: stop working (for a machine...)
carry out: perform an experiment...
come off: succeed
come on: develop or make progress
come up with: think of (an idea, a plan...)
cut off: stop the supply of sth
find out: discover information...
give off: produce something such as heat or smell
narrow down: reduce the number of possibilities
plug in: connect to the electricity supply
put throught: connect by phone
turn into: change into sth different
turn off: stop a machine working
work out: find the solution to a problem...

Complete using the correct form of the words

plug, turn, carry, narrow, put, work, come, break

1. A lorry had _____ down on the motorway and we had to wait for over an hour     
2. I have _____ it down to two computer games, but I still can't make up my mind
3. I wish youo would _____ the TV off and go outside and get some exercise
4. Scientists are trying to _____ out ways to reduce pollution from aircraft
5. Tomorrow, we will be _____ out an experiment to test this theory
6. Who _____ up with the idea of the ball-point pen?
7. I'll just _____ you though to our research department. Please hold on
8. No wonder the vacuum cleaner isn't working. You haven't _____ it in!

Answer Key

Word formation      
(1) fatal; (2) theoretical; (3) application; (4) dependence; (5) timeless; (6) inseparable; (7) coupling; (8) journalistic: (9) historical; (10) patronage

Phrasal verbs
1.b; 2.C; 3.c; 4.B; 5.a; 6.b

More phrasal verbs
1. broken; 2. narrowed; 3. turn; 4. work; 5. carrying; 6.came; 7. put; 8. plugges

jueves, 19 de febrero de 2015

Ukraine crisis


Ukraine crisis

Watch the video and complete with 1-3 words:


This is what a scorched earth policy actually looks like, barely recognizable for what it is: Donetsk International Airport, a symbol of the searing intensity of the war in Ukraine that's ______ (1)_______ stopped, a battle that pitches a Western-leaning government againts a rebel army that turns to its ______ (2)______

So this is Day 2 of a shaky ceasefire and heavy _______(3)_______ are supposed to be pulled back, but that isn't what's happening here.

The rebel Defence Minister says he'll only pull his forces back when he has proof that the Ukrainians on this front line have ______(4)______ theirs.

But the issue that threatens this ______ (5)______ isn't that the guns haven't pulled back here; it's that they're still firing

"This is supposed to be Day 2 of the ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine, and as we've been hearing, the peace has not ______ (6)______ in. We've been hearing the consistent sound of artillery shells being fired _ there's another one. Most of it ______ (7)______ outgoing, but what the people of the Donetsk People's Republic are saying is that the're supreesing fire-"

(Stay -Stay together. Run! Run! Run!)

The Ukrainians insist they haven't broken the truce, accusing the rebels of shelling ______ (8)______ territory.

"But that's fring out"

"No. It's in and out"

The Defence Minister says he's trying to stop the _______ (9)_______ at their positions

The ______ (10)______ to stop this war failed. Today's peace deal has ______(11)_______ in most places but there's a clear risk that what we're watching is history ______ (12)_______

Ian Pannell, BBC News, at Donetsk International airport

1.supposed to have; 2. russian neighbours; 3. weapons; 4. withdraw; 5. peace deal; 6. settled; 7. appears to be; 8. Their own; 9. enemy from firing; 10. last effort; 11. held; 12. repeating itself.

Look for the meaning of the words in black

Complete the following timeline about Ukraine crisis. Look for in different newspapers


martes, 17 de febrero de 2015

Rebuilt New Orleans and prefixes

There's certain things in life that I love. One is architecture. And music, culture, food, people. New Orleans has all of that

Lenny Kravitz

Rebuilt New Orleans

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005, to say the city was un prepared would be an   (2)_______ statement. The flood that followed the hurricane was completely (3)_____powering. Clubs, bars, restaurant and homes went under, Eighty percent of the city's buildings were flooded.

But it wasn't just the weather that contributed to the disaster; politics was involved. Many people, regardless of whether they were (4)_____-government or (5)______-government, thought the crisis in New Orleans was (6)_____managed - the response from the federal authorities seemed far too slow. A (7)______-mortem on the city would have said "completely devastated, but not entirely due to natural causes".

Such was the damage that when the rebuilding eventually started, the job looked like mission (8)______possible. Gradually, however, New orleans got back on its feet. The residents returned to fix up the buildings. Several (9)______-profit organisations contributed time and money, and some celebrities such as George Clooney and Steven Spielberg sent big cheques. Old neighbourhoods came back to life and the (10)_____functioning city began to function again.

Although many residents returned, the city is still (11)_____populated, with about 70 percent of its (12)_____-Katrina population living there. What has returned, though, is the city's vibrancy. The musicians are back on the streets, several movies and TV shows are being filmed there and some famous local hangouts like The Cat's Meow and Bourbon Street Blues have reopened. 

Local entrepreneur Davide Marchionise says, "The damage was terrible, but not (13)______reversible. Look around the city. It's still the biggest party in the country"

Complete the text with the prefixes 

anti     de     im     ir     mal     mis     non     over     post     pre     pro     un     under

Listen the next video

2 under: 3 over; 4 anti; 5 pro; 6 Mis, 7 post; 8 Im; 9 Non; 10 Mal; 11 de; 12 pre; 13 ir

                                                 "Speakout Advanced" by Antonia Clare and JJ Wilson

miércoles, 11 de febrero de 2015

Taking a message (very easy!)

Can I take a message?

Taking a message!

Listen the following video:

Do this exercise:

A Hi,  I  to Gregory Blake ?

B I'm 
 he's not at his  right now.  you like to  a message?

A Do you have any idea when 
 be ?

B I can't be sure of that, sorry.

A OK, 
 is his mother calling. Can you tell him that he left his keys at home and that I'm not going to be at home tonight. That he'll have to find himself another woman to go home to.

B Sorry can I 
 your name again?

A It's his mother.

B Can you 
 that please?

A Of course, M for mother...

B Ah OK, you're his 
. So, Greg  his keys at and you're not there tonight. He should  himself another woman to go home to.

A That's 

B OK, I'll 
 sure that he  the .

A Thanks very much, goodbye.


A Hi, [ could] I [ speak] to Gregory Blake [please]?

B I'm [ 
sorry] he's not at his [/desk] right now. [Would] you like to [/leave] a message?

A Do you have any idea when [he'll] be [back]?

B I can't be sure of that, sorry.

A OK, [this] is his mother calling. Can you tell him that he left his keys at home and that I'm not going to be at home tonight. That he'll have to find himself another woman to go home to.

B Sorry can I [
get] your name again?

A It's his mother.

B Can you [/
spell] that please?

A Of course, M for mother...

B Ah OK, you're his [mother]. So, Greg [left] his keys at [home] and you're not there tonight. He should [ find] himself another woman to go home to.

A That's [right]

B OK, I'll [
make] sure that he [gets] the [message].

A Thanks very much, goodbye.

domingo, 8 de febrero de 2015

Valentine's Day

Doubt thou the stars are fire, Doubt that the sun doth more. Doubt truth to be a liar, But never doubt I love

William Shakespeare

Valentine's Day...

It's that time of the year when couples show their love for each other by sending cards, floweres and chocolates. But Valentine's Day is not only about public displays of affection: in recent years it has also become big business. In the UK alone, more than 20 million pounds is spent on flowers, whilst in the United States over 1 milion dollars is forked out on chocolates.

Although Valentine's Day has become a global industry with more than 80 milion roses sold worldwide, the origins of the day are unclear and hidden in the mists of time. Nobody knows exactly who St Valentine was, although some historians suggest he was a Roman martyred in the third century AD by a Roman Emperor. It is said that the first recorded Valentine's card was sent by the imprisoned Duke of Orleans in 1415. It is Known as "Black Day" and is when the unfortunate men who received nothing on Valentine's Day gather to eat noodles and commiserate with each other.

Technological developments have also played their part in keeping Valentine's Day relevant in the 21st century, Valentine's e-card have been all the rage in recent years. However, internet security experts urge web users to be wary as malicious hackers could use e-cards to spread viruses and spyware.

Valentine's cards can also be used for less than romantic purposes. Police in the UK city of Liverpool sent Valentine's cards to criminals who failed to appear in court or have not paid fines. The cards contained the verse, "Roses are red, violets are blue, you've got a warrant and we'd love to see you". Who says romance is dead? 

Now, that you have read the article, you can listen to it here: 


public displays of affection – showing your feelings of liking or love for someone in public forked out – 
forced to spend (colloquial) hidden in the mists of time – too old for anyone to remember/confirm/clarify 
martyred – killed because of his beliefs 
recorded – known, documented 
imprisoned – put in jail 
sought solace – tried to find comfort 
confinement – imprisonment 
equivalent – here, a special occasion that has the same meaning and purpose 
customary – normal, usual 
commiserate with – show sympathy for 
e-cards – short for electronic cards, i.e. virtual cards that are sent via the internet 
all the rage – very popular 
wary – here, careful malicious 
hackers – people who access other people's computers with bad intentions (e.g. to look for their personal information, like credit card details, or to stop their computers working properly) 
viruses – here, computer programs which can make copies of themselves, preventing the computer from working properly 
spyware – computer programs that reveal the identity of a computer user 
warrant – a document that gives police specific powers, e.g. the right to search or arrest somebody

In the following link you will find the exercises adapted from BBC