Thursday, 21 June 2018

Why schools should start later for teens

https://www.ted.com/talks/wendy_troxel_why_school_should_start_later_for_teens/transcript#t-514088

     It is a video about a very common problem among teenagers.Adolescents sleep late at night and they have to wake up early in order to go to school.As a result, they don't sleep the recommended time that scientists suggest (8-10 hours) and that may cause many problems to their school progress and to their life generally. Also, because they don't sleep enough they don't get up in time to go to school so  they are usually late  and they miss the first hours. For the speaker this problem  is caused by the public policy. So in order to find a solution to this, the time when school starts needs to be changed, because the more the teenagers sleep, the better they do at school!

Food and Alientation nowadays

https://www.ted.com/talks/jamie_oliver/transcript

The very intriguing and timely subject of this specific talking concerns the alientation and food habits that moslty children and adolescents have nowadays which in a vast majority are undoudtedly dissapointing.
Jamie Oliver,thespeaker is a very seasoned and experienced chef  on anything as far as food and cooking is involved and I firmly agree with him that we all have to take a little bit of time to consider which was the last time we actually  scheduled strictly our diet.Really there is no need to be exaggerating or eating solely salads and fruit but everyone needs to contamine their unhealthy food choices and actually start adopting a healthier lifestyle involving physical activities in order to feel better with ourselves and avoid feeling ashamed of our appearance or affecting our health in harmful way . To conclude,I definetely recommend hearing and paying attention to this thought-provoking speech.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Reading techniques in the exams


Basic reading strategies

 1. Skimming – quickly read the text to get the main ideas (the gist)- how?- look at the introduction, the title, the topic sentence of each paragraph (first sentence)

 2. Scanning – quickly read to find a detail- how?- search for key words/phrases


 What to do with unknown words
1. Read the sentences before and after.
2. Think of words in the same family.
3. Figure out what part of speech it is, based on its suffix or place in the sentence.
4. Guess its meaning according to what the sentence is intended to say.
5. Worst-case scenario: ignore it, guess what information may fill this gap and move on.


Advanced exams reading tasks and how to deal with them (You need to have skimmed the text before you do any of the following activities.)

Multiple-choice questions
a. Skim the text.
b. Underline keywords in the question (at first, read the questions only, not the answers).
c. Spot the key words (or their synonyms) in the text – this is where the answer is.
d. Read all options and choose the correct answer that is true based on the text and not your general knowledge. Also make sure your chosen answer matches the question you are answering.

Friday, 18 May 2018

Revision time!

(Our students can ask to be sent the link to an online folder full of revision material)

Online GCVR test:
http://fullspate.digitalcounterrevolution.co.uk/ecpe-grammar-practice-test.html

Listening practice at home:
http://www.hau.gr/?i=learning.el.podcasts-in-english

Lots of interesting speaking and writing topics on the right-hand column of the blog (desktop view), such as:

http://markaki-literature.blogspot.com/search/label/Culture

http://markaki-literature.blogspot.com/2016/12/volunteerism-refugees-and-immigrants.html


More for our students: Phrasal verbs, prepositional phrases, word lists and mock tests.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

ECPE Challenge Unit 9: Global Population

1. One of the best known initiatives to limit population growth was the One Child Policy instituted in China from 1979 to 2015. Things have now changed, and all couples are now allowed to have two children. Here is a video explaining why the policy was of limited success, what the consequences have been, and why other countries achieved comparable reductions in population without introducing draconian laws. At the end of the video you'll find links to videos on population issues in other countries.



 2. India is soon set to be the world's most populous nation. Here is a Deutsche Welle report (in English!) on how education and income influence family size, particularly among India's growing urban middle class.



3. Following on from the above, here is a TED talk by the Swedish academic Hans Rosling (1948-2017) on why the global population has ballooned in recent decades, and his view of the only sensible solution to the problem.


Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Into the universe

Here is an official documentary called “Into The Universe with Stephen Hawking: The story of everything” which explains the advantages of venturing into space in its last 20 minutes. Of course, all of the video is extremely intriguing and informative. https://youtu.be/dpma-J68Etc

Monday, 26 March 2018

ECPE Challenge Unit 7: Space Exploration

A TED talk entitled "Space Exploration is the Worst". Or is it? Plenty of food for thought. Watch and see:



More poetry: The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost (1874-1963) is perhaps the best known American poet of the 20th century. In honour of his birthday (26th March), here is his most famous poem.

The Road Not Taken 

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.






And here is a short discussion with an expert on why, according to him, the poem is generally misunderstood:






Tuesday, 20 March 2018

International Day of Poetry 21st March: Dead Poets’ Society

Have you seen the exceptional “Dead Poets’ Society” starring Robin Williams? These are certain scenes of the film related to this day.

Understanding poetry: https://youtu.be/Is5eyrEc1Mg

Why do we read and write poetry? https://youtu.be/aS1esgRV4Rc

Against conformity: https://youtu.be/nJ_htuCMCqM

Carpe diem lecture: https://youtu.be/xv9JOVkR5PQ

O Captain, my Captain! https://youtu.be/j64SctPKmqk


O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done, 
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won, 
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting, 
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring; 
                         But O heart! heart! heart! 
                            O the bleeding drops of red, 
                               Where on the deck my Captain lies, 
                                  Fallen cold and dead. 

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells; 
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills, 
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding, 
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning; 
                         Here Captain! dear father! 
                            This arm beneath your head! 
                               It is some dream that on the deck, 
                                 You’ve fallen cold and dead. 

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still, 
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will, 
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done, 
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won; 
                         Exult O shores, and ring O bells! 
                            But I with mournful tread, 
                               Walk the deck my Captain lies, 
                                  Fallen cold and dead.


Wikipedia link to the poem:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/O_Captain!_My_Captain!

Thursday, 1 March 2018

ECPE Challenge Unit 7: Science and Technology Videos

1. Watch this video by the Irish Stem Cell Foundation, offering a simple introduction to stem cell research.


2. And this on the biotechnology behind 'clean' meat and fish, and the future battle to win over the hearts and minds of the eating public




3. Looking forward to the essay, here's a BBC Newsnight report and debate on the pros and cons of GM crops:





4. Finally, we have read of the claim that GM crops are needed to help solve the problem of hunger in developing countries. Here are Greenpeace's objections to that argument.