Tuesday, 29 July 2014

More links on the death penalty

Resist!



Is our secret safe tonight
And are we out of sight
Will our world come tumbling down?
Will they find our hiding place
Is this our last embrace
Or will the world stop caving in?

It could be wrong
Could be wrong
But it should've been right
It could be wrong
Could be wrong
To let our hearts ignite
It could be wrong
Could be wrong
Are we digging a hole
It could be wrong
Could be wrong
This is out of control
It could be wrong
Could be wrong
It can never last
It could be wrong
Could be wrong
Must erase it fast
It could be wrong
Could be wrong
But it could've been right
It could be wrong could be

Love is our resistance
They'll keep us apart they wont stop breaking us down
Hold me
Our lips must always be sealed

If we live our life in fear
I'll wait a thousand years
Just to see you smile again
Kill the prayers for love and peace
You'll wake the thought police
We can't hide the truth inside

It could be wrong
Could be wrong
But it should've been right
It could be wrong
Could be wrong
To let our hearts ignite
It could be wrong
Could be wrong
Are we digging a hole
It could be wrong
Could be wrong
This is out of control
It could be wrong
Could be wrong
It can never last
It could be wrong
Could be wrong
Must erase it fast
It could be wrong
Could be wrong
But it could've been right
It could be wrong could be

Love is our resistance
They'll keep us apart they wont stop breaking us down
Hold me
Our lips must always be sealed

The night has reached it's end
We can't pretend
We must run 
We must run 
It's time to run

Take us away from here
Protect us from further harm 
RESISTANCE...

Monday, 28 July 2014

Death penalty

Hardly a week goes by without an other report of executed inmates in some countries like the States, China, Iran and Philippines, appearing in the news. However, I am convinced that nobody has the right to claim a life, even if the convicted has committed the most ultimate offense, thus I am inclined to believe that the death penalty should be abolished.

The protesters against the penalty of capital punishment claim that if murder is wrong, because it violates a person’s right to life, then it must be wrong for the state to take a person’s life. As the famous motto goes, ‘two wrongs do not make a right’. Obviously, the only difference between an individual murderer and the authorities who execute the condemned to death inmate , is that the state kills with the permission of the court, even though that doesn’t mean that sentencing someone to death is the right thing.

On the other hand, the supporters of the legal execution concede that without capital punishment as a deterrent, more lives would be lost since the homicide rate will go up. Nevertheless, the murder rate in the U.S is nearly three times higher than the U.K which has not established this kind of penalty, so it is obvious that if a person reaches the point of becoming a murderer, he doesn’t  bear in mind the consequences of his actions and the death penalty does not function as an obstacle. Besides the moral issues and the effectiveness of killing criminals, judicial systems are fallible and errors are made quite often. Consequently, with capital punishment it is inevitable that sooner or later innocent people will be executed. This is clearly illustrated by the case of Troy Antony Davis, who stayed in death row for years and was executed in 2011, albeit there was little evidence against him and nothing could be done in order to bring him back to life. 


To sum up, capital punishment is a really thorny issue. Countries like China and Iran should take all issues into consideration and think of alternative punishments in order to finally achieve the abolition of the death penalty.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

ECPE Speaking, stages 2 and 3

STAGE 2
Student A.
OPTION 1
In the first alternative, the penalty is a six month sentence in adult prison.
This punishment is a very strict one, since the young boy will have to undergo a shock therapy which is going to modify his behavior.
Furthermore, because the people responsible take juvenile crime seriously in this detention center, (this is unrelated to the next sentence) the 17-year-old offender will be forced to socialize with stern criminals, such as burglars,forgers and murderers as well. Obviously this punctilious type of retribution is going to gratify the injured party.
However, because of the lack of leniency, free psychiatric treatment is included.

OPTION 2
The second option is six months in a detention center for juveniles. This sentence includes a military type of discipline, as the inmates have to march every morning, although, it is not as harmful as the first option, since the adolescent is not going to mix ed with serious criminals (comparisons will be made in later stages). Moreover, this program is composed of a variety of (reading and writing) activities and classes to upgrade the literacy skills of the offenders. In addition, the staff is knowledgeable in dealing with young criminals and, apart from that, there are psychologists who assist the convicts twice a week.

Student B.
OPTION 1
My first option is electronic tagging and curfew.
The offender is going to be under custody for 24 hours with an implanted a microchip that uses GPS system technology.
Moreover, the teenage boy supervised will have to stay indoors from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., so the stigma is less than when being an actual prisoner.
However, once a week it is mandatory to have a meeting with a police social worker.
The good thing is that the teenager remains in the community and he is able to study, work or do ing extracurricular activities and the only reason to get imprisoned is the removal of the microchip from his ankle.

OPTION 2
My alternative option (the final option/ choice/ solution/ punishment available) is the community service punishment.
In this kind of sentence, the offender has to stay at home and work for 8 hours per day for the local parks department under the supervision of experts. The point is that if he fails to complete this task, he is getting imprisoned immediately.
(Apart from the degrading outdoors working) Even though working outdoors may seem degrading to an adolescent, the good thing is that he will be able to get a piece of valuable advice in order to obtain a job in the future.

STAGE 3
A)Right then, the second option seems more appropriate retribution for this young offender- I am talking about the six months in a detention center for juveniles. What is the option you consider to be best?
B)I would say that community service fits this teenager better, as it is not such a strict penalty and it helps him to fit into society straight away. What led you to your second choice?
A) Well, this alternative combines discipline which is indispensable and education too, for instance there is a military type of marching everyday morning and classes for improving literacy skills. What makes you think that community service is the right choice?
B)I firmly believe that in this way the boy is going to give back to the society what it deserves, by working outdoors under the supervision of experts. Apart from that, he is staying in his home and doesn’t lose the paternal and maternal support. Thus, I tend to believe that my option is more appropriate than yours, don’t you agree?
A)I think that you have a point, although your option is too lenient ly and maybe the teenager is going to break the law again.
B) Yes, but bear in mind that if he fails to complete the schedule, he is going to be penalized with a sentence in prison.
A) That is correct. It is settled, then. The community service is just what is needed for the young offender to learn his lesson.

Monday, 14 July 2014

How are shoplifters treated in your country? Do you think that this is what they deserve?

I maintain that shoplifting in Greece is considered a petty crime, that's why shoplifters are detained for a short time. However, I firmly believe that most of those people's actions are a result of a kind of illness or addiction, thus they shouldn't be treated as criminals.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Vegetarianism

Over the past 10 years or so, it has become more common for adults to prefer greens in their nutrition, a movement widely known as vegetarianism, while the majority still insists on being meat eaters. However, it is (significantly) necessary to mention that both preferences have their own advantages and drawbacks that we need to bear in mind, so as to achieve healthy living.

Nowadays, it is widely believed that vegetarianism is as beneficial as meat consumption, since it includes all the vital materials that human beings need, like proteins, fats and vitamins. According to experts, vegetarians are extremely unlikely to suffer from protein deficiency,since they consume all the types of pulses, such as beans and lentils. Additionally, individuals who prefer greens include many kinds of cereals in their nutrition,which is valuable as they are fortified with vitamins. As a result, vegetarians are not in need of vitamin s supplements, which are not the proper remedy for deficiencies and can sometimes harm the whole organism. As far as animals’ rights are concerned,it can be argued that in some way being a vegetarian will contribute to the rescue of our fauna, as the number of animals which are slaughtered is increasing every day. Vegetarians are really sensitive with this matter because they maintain that animals are an essential part of our life cycle and they do not need to suffer.

On the other hand, one of the drawbacks of being a vegetarian is that green snacks can be hard to find in some places; thus, vegetarians sometimes give the impression that they are unnecessarily fussy and difficult at social events where they refuse to eat the same dishes as everyone else. Another disadvantage* is the missing pleasure, when vegetarians have to avoid all the delicious dishes which contain meat. Furthermore,vegetarians and vegans, which is an extreme form of vegetarianism, must not bring up their children on a vegan diet, (comma) since they need daily produce and eggs, otherwise they will be malnourished. Last but not least, we need to keep in mind that most of the vegetarians and vegans especially are likely to suffer from iron deficiency and from lack of vitamin B12, which plays an extremely vital role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.

Taking everything into account, I am inclined to believe that the drawbacks of vegetarianism outweigh the advantages. (Full stop) However, a vegan or a vegetarian ism nutrition is like a double edged sword,as individuals can reap the benefits from an environmental perspective, but can simultaneously cause bodily malfunctions if their diet does not include all types of food in moderation.

*cons-> used in the plural only to refer to the negative side of an issue

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Benefits and drawbacks of being a vegetarian

More and more people are deciding to turn to a vegetarian diet; this means that they consume no meat at all, and they substitute protein and vitamins with the appropriate amount of greens. Recent estimates provide that this alternative nutrition is particularly popular among the younger generations. Although there are some benefits in being a vegetarian, none would deny that there are also some serious drawbacks.

First of all, it is fiendishly healthy to consume greens in a daily diet, since blood pressure is maintained in normal levels because of the low quantity of cholesterol that is produced. That is why the majority of vegetarians do not suffer form heart diseases; more specifically, it is observed that those who avoid meat are 40% less likely to develop heart attacks and cancer as well. From an environmental viewpoint, animal rights are protected by this alternative nutrition, since the animals slaughtered are being reduced. Therefore, other living beings are respected if more people opt to consume more vegetables.

On the other hand, it is very inconvenient to be a vegetarian, owing to the fact that these kind of food , like lentils, salads and so on is extremely difficult to be cooked or found outside. Most of the times vegetarians can give the impression that they are unnecessarily fussy in social events where they refuse to eat the same dishes as everyone else. However, because there are very few vegetarian convenience foods, vegetarians spend more time cooking for themselves, and with a busy schedule that is not always possible. Another drawback of this alternative nutrition is that children cannot be brought up with a vegan diet, which is an extreme form of vegetarianism. At the very least, they need dairy produce and eggs, otherwise they will be malnourished and in the long run they might suffer from iron deficiency. 

The obvious conclusion to be drawn is that every coin has two sides, so insisting on vegetables would be as harmful as consuming exclusively meat. For this reason, I am inclined to believe that we should eat everything in moderation in order to have a healthy nutrition and achieve well-being.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

CPE Sentence Transformation

PHRASAL VERBS

1 Diseases such as smallpox have still to be eradicated.
stamped
Diseases such as smallpox ................ yet.


2 John was nominated for the post of treasurer by two committee members.
forward
John has ................ the post of treasurer by two committee members.


3 If you receive any mail for me after I’ve gone would you be kind enough to forward it to me.
send
Please could you ................ that arrives for me after I’ve gone.


4 The colour of that dress showed off her complexion.
enhanced
Her complexion ................ the colour of that dress.


5 As part of his new year’s resolution he has renounced cigarettes and bad food.
up
He decided ................ cigarettes and bad food in the new year.


6 They are building a new car park next to the shopping centre.
put
A new car park ................ next to the shopping centre.


7 You should erase any mistakes on the exam script.
out
Any mistakes on the exam script may ................ a soft eraser.


8 The government suppressed all the details of the financial scandal.
up
Details of the financial scandal ................ the government.


9. Give me a call only if you have to buy gas for the car.
run
Unless ............................................................. gas, don't call me.


10. You are not a bad lawyer Martin, but I don't think it is a very suitable job for you.
cut
I just don't think you ............................................................  a lawyer.


11. Everyone is criticising the government for its poor unemployment record
come
The government ..............................................................over its unemployment record.


12. She still hasn't really recovered from losing her job in August.
being
She still really hasn't got ……………………………………………………………… in August.


13. I'm afraid I believed his fake story completely!
taken
I regret to say that I ……………………………………………………………………. his fake story.


14. This washing machine will give you years of service if you care for it properly.
after
Properly ………………………………………………………………………. will give you years of service.


15. The news that the President had quit came as a great surprise to everyone.
aback
Everyone ………………………………………………………………………………………President quitting.


16. I offered Fred the position but he refused it.
turned
Fred was …………………………………………………………………………………………. it down.


17. Karen had just started her new teaching job when she got flu.
came
Karen ……………………………………………………………..just after starting her new teaching job.


18. Kids and seniors are much more prone to infection than others.
pick
Kids and seniors …………………………………………………………………..easily than others.


19. The author said that he'd invented the whole plot himself.
thought
The scriptwriter said that he'd ………………………………………………………………………… any help.
  1. have not been stamped out
  2. been put forward for
  3. send on any mail
  4. was enhanced by
  5. to give up
  6. is being put up
  7. be rubbed out by
  8. were covered up by
  9. you run out of
  10. are cut out for , are cut out to be
  11. has come in for criticism
  12. over being sacked/made-redundant
  13. was taken in by
  14. looked after, this washing machine
  15. was taken aback by
  16. offered the position but turned
  17. came down with flu
  18. pick up infections more
  19. thought up the plot without


COMPARATIVES


1 Until she passes her medical exams, she is as qualified to be a doctor as I am.
more
Until she passes her medical exams, she ................ qualified to be a doctor than I am.

2
It has warmed up considerably compared to yesterday.
nearly
It is ................ yesterday.

3
Mandy and her mother are as beautiful as each other.
bit
Mandy is ................ her mother.

4
I don’t like either candidate but Michael Jones is not quite as bad.
lesser
I don’t like either candidate but Michael Jones is the .................

5
Not as many people attend the gym now as when it first opened.
lot
There are a ................ the gym now as when it first opened.

6
Her son thinks he’s really clever but he isn’t.
half
Her son isn’t ................ he thinks he is.

7. Electricity is getting very expensive these days.
cost
The …………………………………. higher and higher these days.

8. Harry plays tennis much better than I do.
nearly
I am not  ...................................................... tennis player as Harry is.

9. Both candidates for the job are strong. They are both equally good.
hardly
There is .................................................... the two job candidates.

10. That child is twice as tall as he was two years ago.
doubled
That child's ...............................................in the last two years.
  1. is no more
  2. not nearly as cold as (it was)
  3. every bit as beautiful as
  4. lesser of the evils
  5. lot fewer people attending
  6. half as clever as
  7. cost of electricity is getting
  8. nearly as good a
  9. hardly any difference between
  10. height has doubled


EXPRESSIONS

1 “Why don’t you listen when I talk to you?” said my wife.
paying
My wife accused me of ................ when she was talking.


2. Seeing as you broke the window you shouldn’t have said someone else was responsible.
blame
It was wrong of you to ................ someone else after you broke the window.


3. I used to try winning arguments against Jonathan but I eventually decided there was no point.
conclusion
I have ................ that it is pointless trying to win an argument against Jonathan.


4 Doctors believe that people who smoke regularly are more likely to die prematurely.
link
Doctors believe that a strong ................ smoking and premature death


5 When I forgot to do the washing up my mother became really angry with me.
lost
My mother ................ me because I forgot to do the washing up.


6 The conflict between the two political parties will carry on for a long time.
means
The conflict between the two political parties is ................ over.


7 I didn’t expect to enjoy the concert performance as much as I did.
surpassed
The concert performance .................


8 That the company is losing money is something that must be accepted.
face
The company must ................ it is losing money.


9. Don't get involved in this John, it has nothing to do with you.
keep
This has nothing to do with you so…………………………………………………..


10. You can't just suddenly decide to go on a safari. You need to plan things very carefully.
spur
Going on safari isn't a decision you can make……………………………….……………moment. You need to plan things very carefully.


11. If they ever discover your role in the incident, you will go to prison.
light
If your role in the incident …………………………………………., you'll go to prison.


12. She wants nothing less than to get that job. It would be a dream come true.
set
She has .......................................................... getting that job.


13. There were very few people who understood what the professor said in the meeting.
virtually
There  ..................................................who understood what the professor said in the meeting.


14. The bank robbers had disappeared completely by the time the police arrived.
sign
There ...................................................... robbers when the police arrived.


15. Watch the new secretary carefully this week to make sure she doesn't make any big mistakes.
eye
Keep ....................................................... secretary this week to make sure she doesn't make any big mistakes.


16. You shouldn't be surprised at Kevin winning that tournament.
come
It ……………………………………………………………. that Kevin won that tournament.


17. There is no doubt at all that the government will win the election.
conclusion
It is .......................................................  that the government will win the election.


18. I presume you are coming to the party Miriam.
read
Can I ....................................................................that you are coming to the party Miriam?

19. I don't have the foggiest idea whether he will be coming or not.
whatsoever
I have ...................................................... whether he will be coming or not.


20. He failed the exam as he didn't work as fast as the rest of the class.
pace
His failure was blamed on his inability ...............................................................  rest of the class.


21. He was always going to leave that house after the divorce was finalised.
bound
He …………………………………………………………….. the house after the divorce.


22. I don't find it at all surprising that nobody came to the party.
wonder
It's …………………………………………………………….. that nobody came to the party.


23. Don't tell anyone else what I told you about Elizabeth.
keep
………………………………………………………. yourself what I told you about Elizabeth.


24. Our boss is absolutely determined not to give us that pay rise.
intent
Our boss ……………………………………………………………………..the pay rise.


25. You don't have to come and see the new house if you don't wish.
obligation
You are ………………………………………………….. and see the new house if you don't wish.


26. Police arrested Johnson because they think he was involved in the robbery.
suspicion
Johnson was detained ……………………………………………………………… in the robbery.


27. You don't need to concern yourself with the new tax laws till October.
effect
The new tax laws …………………………………………………………………………………… .


28. The judges gave Joseph the impression that he would win the competition.
believe
Joseph ………………………………………………….. he would win the competition.


29. Sharon really has no idea of the difficulty of finding a parking spot.
how
Little does Sharon ………………………………………………………………. to find a parking spot.


30. Ken said absolutely nothing because he was afraid of offending the women.
fear
Ken remained absolutely silent ……………………………………………………… offence to the women.


31. Barbara's total dedication to her job has always been exemplary.
herself
Barbara ……………………………………………………………………. in the most exemplary way.


32. He doesn't mind at all if Kim records his speech.
objection
He has ………………………………………………………………………. his speech.


33. They thought that the music was too loud.
far
As ………………………………………………… , the music was too loud.


34. In spite of all my efforts, I didn't manage to persuade them to come to the concert.
hard
No matter ……………………………………… , I didn't manage to persuade them to come to the concert.


35. The police were forced to release the suspect because new evidence was produced.
light
The police were forced to release ……………………………………………… the suspect  evidence produced.


36. People know more about my novels than the plays I write.
better
I'm ………………………………………………………………… than as a playwright.


37. I've been informed that you've been late to the office every day this week.
brought
It has …………………………………………………….. that you've been late to the office every day this week.


38. I apologise but I totally forgot about our dinner appointment.
confess
I must ………………………………………………………………………………………… my mind.


39. They made him wait for two hours, then eventually let him in.
kept
He was eventually allowed in after having ……………………………………………………………. for two hours.


40. Dylan never pays much attention to what his father says.
notice
Dylan doesn't ever ……………………………………………………………………… what his father tells him.



41. I wish Julie would learn to drive.
high
It's  ……………………………………………………………….. drive.


42. Kim doesn't intend to visit her uncle again.
has
Kim ………………………………………………………………………………..her uncle again.


43. The third candidate impressed the panel immediately.
made
The third candidate ………………………………………………………………………………..the panelists.


44. It's highly unlikely that we'll promote Debbie this summer.
chance
There's very little ………………………………………………………  being promoted this summer.

45. It's very difficult for many people to express their feelings.
words
Putting …………………………………………………………………….. is very difficult for many people.

46. I'd never thought of asking the hotel manager for advice about tourist sites.
occurred
It had never ……………………………………………… the hotel manager for advice about tourist sites.


47. Please read the user manual with care before you use this machine.
making
Before ………………………………………………… this machine, please read the user manual with care.

48. Your brother must try to accept that he'll never be an author!
terms
Your brother must ………………………………………………… the fact that he'll never be an author.

49. I felt so relaxed at Tricia's apartment because her friends greeted me so warmly.
ease
Tricia's friends ……………………………………………………………………..with the warmth of their greeting.


50. The accountant called a meeting to discuss the company's perilous finances.
purpose
The accountant's …………………………………………………….. to discuss the company's perilous finances.


51. What's the point of all this extra furniture?
aid
What is ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. of?


52. Martin was very happy to be selected for the hockey team.
delight
Much …………………………………………………………………………………. selected for the hockey team.
  1. not paying attention (to her)
  2. put the blame on
  3. reached the conclusion , come to the conclusion
  4. link exists between , link has been established between,  link has been made between
  5. lost her temper with
  6. by no means
  7. surpassed (all) my expectations
  8. face the fact that , face up to the fact that
  9. keep out of it.
  10. on the spur of
  11. ever comes to light.
  12.  set her mind on , set her heart on
  13. was virtually nobody , was virtually no-one
  14. was no sign of the
  15. an eye on the new
  16. should come as no surprise
  17. foregone conclusion
  18. take it as read
  19. no idea whatsoever
  20. to keep pace with the
  21. was bound to leave
  22. no wonder
  23. keep to/for
  24. is intent on not giving
  25. under no obligation to come
  26. on suspicion of invoment
  27. don’t take effect till October
  28. was made to believe (that)
  29. realize how hard it is
  30. for fear of causing
  31. dedicates herself to her job
  32. no objection to Kim recording
  33. far as they were concerned
  34. how hard I tried
  35. in the light of new
  36. better known as a novelist
  37. been brought to my attention
  38. confess our dinner appointment slipped
  39. been kept waiting
  40. take much notice of
  41. high time Julie learnt to
  42. has no intention of visiting
  43. made an immediate impression on
  44. chance of Debbie
  45. feelings into words
  46. occurred to me to ask
  47. making (any ????) use of
  48. come to terms with
  49. put me at my ease
  50. purpose for the meeting was
  51. all this furniture in aid
  52. to Martin’s delight, he was




CONDITIONALS AND FORMAL STRUCTURES

1 It was really unexpected when my football team achieved the result it did.
time
At ................ my football team to do as well as it did.

2 If there is an accident phone the emergency services.
of
Phone the emergency services ................. an accident.

3 I couldn’t have bought that motorbike unless my mother had agreed to pay the monthly repayments.
But
................ agreeing to pay the monthly repayments I could never have bought that motorbike.

4 I have a lot of respect for his writing style although I do not agree with the opinions he expresses.
much
................ his writing style, I do not agree with his opinions.


5 We would have missed our connecting train if we had not caught the earlier plane.
not
Had ................ the earlier plane, we would have missed our connecting train.

6 Even though her C grade in the Proficiency wasn’t quite as high as she had expected, it was still a good result.
if
Her grade C in the Proficiency exam, ................, was still a good result.

7 Purchases may be refunded within seven days.
mind
Should ................ your purchase you have up to seven days to bring it back for a refund.

8 Providing that you make up the time later in the week you can take Monday off.
condition
You can have the day off on Monday ................ make up the time later in the week.

9. As soon as I arrived at the pub, a fight started.
sooner
No ................................................................ a fight broke out in the pub.


10. Whatever happens, don't let anyone into the building without proper identity.
circumstances
 ......................................................... should you let anyone into the building without proper identity.


11. If it wasn't for your arrogance, you would have gotten your promotion a long time ago.
but
 .................................................... arrogance, you would have gotten your promotion a long time ago.


12. I could only afford that house because of the loan you gave me.
lent
Had ……………………………………………………. money, I wouldn't have been able to afford the house.


13. She is already married and you knew! I wish you had told me.
might
You ………………………………………………………………… she was married!


14. I went in to work for an hour even though I knew it was a holiday.
not
I need …………………………………………………………………………… into work but I did anyway.


15. It would have been a total catastrophe for her to be made responsible.
put
If she ……………………………………………………… , there would have been very serious consequences.


16. I'd prefer to be given the opportunity to work with other colleagues.
allowed
I think it would be better …………………………………………………………………………… as a team.


17. Without the umbrella, we would have been soaked.
it
Had ………………………………………………………………………… the umbrella, we would have been soaked.


  1. no time did I expect
  2. in case of
  3. But for my mother
  4. Much as I respect , Much though I respect
  5. we not caught
  6. if a little lower than expected
  7. you change your mind about
  8. on condition (that) you
  9. sooner 
  10. Under no circumstances
  11. But for your
  12. you not lent me the
  13. might have told me (that)
  14. not have gone
  15. had been put in charge
  16. to be allowed to work
  17. it not be for