Card 1.2Exams are a fair way of testing students. Do you agree? Every year thousands of students take important exams which can decide their future, for example, students have to pass exams grades in order to get a place in a university. Are exams a fair way of judging a students ability? On the one hand, exams seem fair. The questions are the same for all students. Also, the exams are marked according to a strict scheme and usually by more than one examiner. Furthermore, students do the exams at the same time and under the same conditions. On the other hand, there are some drawbacks the exams. Despite some students deserving to pass, they might be so nervous on the big day that they make a mess of the exam. Moreover, there may be other reasons, such as illness, which affect a students performance in an exam. An alternative to exams would be a system of continuous assessment of course work by teachers during the year although this would mean more regular testing and more work for teachers. There would be a greater opportunity for students to copy work, too.
(From: New Opportunities Russian Edition Intermediate Students Book, p.89)
Card 2.2 Why do we enjoy feeling afraid?Have you ever wondered why horror stories are so popular? People like stories that have an emotional effect on them. For example, some people like romantic stories, which make them feel sad or remind them of being in love. Horror stories make our hearts beat faster. We experience the same feelings that we get when we do sport. People feel panic because they are frightened when they think about the 'monster'. The danger can just an idea or an image, but it is always frightening and evil. The person watching the film or reading the book shares the feelings of the human being in the story. There is another reason why people enjoy feeling afraid. It seems that horror stories help people to do something about things that worry or scare them, such as the dark or pain. They can sit in a safe cinema seat and watch the dark or pain on the screen. When they come out of the cinema, their real fear doesn't seem so sad. Finally, frightening stories are popular because they show us impossible, unknown beings and things we don't understand. These things both fascinate us and terrify us. Because we are fascinated, we keep on watching or reading, even though we are frightened. This is what gives us the experience which so many of us find enjoyable! (From: Matrix Pre-Intermediate. Students Book, p. 42-43)
Card 3.2 Dogs in the city.(Letters to the editor.) Mans Best Friends Not Welcome in City Life.
Dear Editor, What is wrong with the owners of dogs in this city? Every time I go out for a walk, I have to compete with big dogs for a place to walk! Dogs are loud and dirty; moreover, they frighten little children and old ladies. The city is no place for a dog. Big dogs need a lot of room for running; therefore, they should live in the country... Can't the city pass a law against dogs? Fred Brown, head pharmacist Westside Pharmacy, Centerville
Dear Editor, Many people are speaking out against large dogs these days. This is not fair because dogs can't speak for themselves. They are man's best friend; therefore, I will speak for
dogs. The city already has a leash law; owners must keep their dogs tied up on a leash. The city also has health laws; owners must clean up after their dogs. There is no law against owning a dog, unless the dog hurts somebody. People should have big dogs if they want them. City life can be sad and lonely for older people; however, dogs are good friends. Moreover, dogs make life safer. We train our dogs to be gentle; as a result, they are very patient and good with children. Our dogs sit outside our store all day and don't make any trouble. Bob Kovacik, owner Bob and Marsha's Grocery
(From: Developing Writing. P.W. Peterson. USA, Washington, D.C., 2000, p. 105-106)
Card 4.2 More exercises, less stress?Do you know how dangerous stress can be? It affects us both physically and mentally, so reducing stress is something that we should all try to do. While many people feel that the best way to get rid of stress is some form of exercise, there are other ways which are just as effective. The benefits of physical exercise are obvious. First of all, keeping fit helps your body stay strong and healthy. Therefore you are less likely to get sick or suffer from stress-related health problems such as heart attacks and cancer. Furthermore, exercise is a good way to get rid of frustration and anger, because after exercise the brain produces hormones called endorphins which make us feel good. On the other hand, if you are out of shape, exercise can be quite painful. You may pull a muscle or injure yourself. Furthermore, exercising may even cause more stress since it will add to your already hectic schedule.
(From: Upstream Intermediate. Students Book, p.82)
Card 5.2 TourismTourism is a bad thing because it makes people fly all over the world and, according to many scientists. 15 per cent of all greenhouse gases will come from aeroplanes by 2050. And as more aeroplanes fly it gets more dangerous up there in the sky. And that's not all. Tourism has a bad impact on the places where tourists go. Water is diverted from agricultural areas and the poor suffer. Tourism generates a lot of rubbish. It destroys countryside and wildlife disappears. And worst of all it destroys traditional customs. However, tourism benefits local economies and anyway, it's the world's largest industry. One of the most important aspects of tourism is that it provides employment for many people who wouldn't have a job without it. And tourism helps the different peoples of the world understand each other. The last few years have also seen a huge increase in eco-tourism. The most important thing for the eco-tourist is to have as little effect on the local environment as possible. If tourism is restricted, only the rich will be able to travel, and that would be a great pity. Everyone needs a chance to unwind, and that's what tourism provides. (From: Just. Intermediate. Listening and Speaking. J Harmer, Marshall Cavendish Ltd, 2004, p. 43)
Card 6.2PARENTS AND CHILDRENLUCY. |I think housework is a waste of time! I don't mind doing the vacuuming or emptying the rubbish, but I really hate cleaning the bathroom and doing the washing-up. I have to clean the bathroom once a week and I also have to do the washing-up every evening. It really gets on my nerves. Mum says my bedroom is very untidy but I don't think ifs a problem. OK, is very untidy but I don't think it's a problem. OK, but it's my room. I say to her "Shut the door and don't worry. I'll tidy it up next week.
LUCY'S MOTHER I don't mind doing all the cooking, the washing and the ironing, but I am certainly not going to do everything. When I want Lucy to do something, I sometimes have to ask her three or four times. She often just refuses. Her bedroom is very untidy. There are a lot of smells in there - food, old cups of coffee and trainers. The strongest smell is her perfume. It's strong enough to cause an explosion! I worry about Lucy. What is she going to be like when she's older and she's got a place of her own?"
(From: Snapshot Elementary Students Book, p.83)
Card 7.2 Animals in zoosThe question of whether it is right to keep animals in captivity is one that has been under discussion for some time now. After all, what right do we have to decide if an animal should be free or not? There are several points in favour of keeping animals in zoos. First of all, it gives people the chance to see and learn about animals which they would probably otherwise never see. Many species are saved from becoming extinct by being kept in zoos, where they are encouraged to breed. Animals in zoos are forced to live in a completely unnatural environment and are often not given the amount of living space that they need. Living in captivity makes animals dependent on humans and means that they cannot be released back into the wild, as they would not be able to survive. It is obvious that keeping animals in zoos can deprive them of the right to live in their natural environment. It is sometimes the only way to prevent more species from becoming extinct.
(From: Interprise Intermediate Coursebook Express Publishing, p. 117)
Card 8.2 TV or not TV?Television is a wonderful invention and a cheap form of entertainment. It gives pleasure to millions of people, especially those who live alone. Its also an excellent way of escaping from our dull reality. It involves us in strong emotions: love, hate, passion. Even the silliest of soaps help to solve somebodys
problems by showing what might happen if a person do certain things. Each year, both kids and adults spend more time glued to the TV-set than doing anything else, except for sleeping! People have worried about the effects of TV ever since the 1940s, when television became popular. Studies show that too much TV watching leads to such problems as bad eating habits, lack of exercise, obesity and depression. And far from relaxing us, TV actually raises stress levels. More and more children today are overweight. Sitting in front of the tube for long hours is one reason. The steady stream of commercials advertising sugary soda, chocolate and fast food is another. (From: Speak Out 2, 2004, p. 2-3)
Card 9.2 Computers in modern societyComputers are a major technological breakthrough of the twentieth century. Their benefits are numerous yet much can be said against them. Clive James, an Australian critic, once said that "It is only when they go wrong that machines remind you how powerful they are". The main disadvantage of computers is that staring at a screen for long periods of time can be damaging to the eyes, and sitting on a chair for hours at a time is certainly not healthy. S