Teacher Charlie's news and adventures from the world; Korea to Germany and all points in between!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Are Most Nuclear Power Plants Vulnerable?

Washington’s Blog strives to provide real-time, well-researched and actionable information. George – the head writer at Washington’s Blog – is a busy professional and a former adjunct professor.
Whenever there is a disaster, those responsible claim it was “unforeseeable” so as to escape blame.
For example:
  • It happened with 9/11
The big boys gamble with our lives and our livelihoods, because they make a killing by taking huge risks and cutting costs. And when things inevitably go South, they aren’t held responsible (other than a slap on the wrist), and may even be bailed out by the government.
Are All Nuclear Power Plants Vulnerable?
Much of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex has experienced difficulties because the earthquake knocked out the main power, and then the tsunami destroyed the backup diesel generators.
Of course, many other reactors are built in seismically active areas. But that’s not my point.
Nasa scientists are predicting that a solar storm will knock out most of the electrical power grid in many countries worldwide, perhaps for months. See this, this, this, this, this, this and this.
Indeed, the Earth’s magnetic field protects us from the sun’s most violent radiation, and yet the magnetic field fluctuates over time. As the Telegraph reported in 2008:
Large hole in magnetic field that protects Earth from sun’s rays … Recent satellite observations have revealed the largest breach yet seen in the magnetic field that protects Earth from most of the sun’s violent blasts.
I’m not predicting some 2012 Mayan catastrophe. I am simply warning that a large solar storm – as Nasa is predicting – could knock out power throughout much of the world, especially if the earth’s magnetic field happens to be weak at the time.
What would happen to nuclear power plants world wide if their power – and most of the surrounding modern infrastructure – is knocked out?
Nuclear power companies are notoriously cheap in trying to cut costs. If they are failing to harden their electrical components to protect against the predicted solar storm, they are asking for trouble … perhaps on a scale that dwarfs Fukushima. Because while Fukushima is the first nuclear accident to involve multiple reactors within the same complex, a large solar storm could cause accidents at multiple complexes in numerous countries.
If the nuclear power companies and governments continue to cut costs and take large gambles, the next nuclear accident could make Fukushima look tame.
I’m not saying this will happen in 2012, or 2013 (although Nasa appears to be hinting at this). But a large solar storm which knocks out electrical grids over wide portions of the planet will happen at some point in the future.
Don’t pretend it is unforeseeable. The nuclear power industry is on notice that it must spend the relatively small amounts of money necessary to prevent a widespread meltdown from the loss of power due to a solar storm.
Note: Future generations of nuclear reactors will presumably run at lower temperatures and will store spent rods in a safer manner.
But most current reactors are of a similarly outdated design as the Fukushima reactors, where the cooling systems require electricity to operate, and huge amounts of spent radioactive fuel are housed on-site, requiring continuous cooling to prevent radioactive release.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

IELTS test in India – April 2011 (General Training)

The topics and questions below were shared by our kind friend A who took his IELTS exam in Pune, India. He didn’t remember any of the Listening or Reading topics, but did a great job on the Writing and Speaking:

Writing test

Writing task 1 (a letter)

Write a letter to the principle of your college to inform him that you have joined an evening course, which is different from the one described in their brochure. Please say

- What course have you joined?
- Describe how the course is different from the one described in the brochure.
- What action do you expect the principal to take?
- What are your suggestions regarding this matter?

Writing Task 2 (an essay)

Children are influenced by their friends’ opinions. In what way are children affected by their friends? How can parents make sure this influence is positive? Please provide supporting examples.

Speaking test


- What is your full name?
- Do you prefer to read newspapers or to watch news on TV?
- Do you use internet to read the news?
- Where do you prefer to see movies, on a TV screen or in the cinema? Why?
- What kind of movies do you like? Why?

Cue Card

Describe an advertisement you have seen recently, please say:

- What was it about?
- What was included in it?
- In your opinion who should watch the advertisement?


- Are advertisements important to you?
- In what way?
- Why do they use celebrities in advertisements?
- Do you think children should be in advertisements?
- What are the media getting by showing advertisements?
- In what places can advertisements be allowed?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Don't worry - Be Happy!

ELTS Speaking test in Australia – March 2011

Speaking test


- What is your full name?
- Can I see your ID?
- Do you work or study?
- How important is this job to you? How about the the people you work with?
- Do you like flowers? Why or why not?
- What is the meaning of flowers in your country?

Cue Card

Talk about an expensive item that you bought, please say

- What was it?
- When did you buy it? Why?
- Where did you buy it?


- Do you think people are spending a lot today? Why?
- What does influence people in their shopping habits?
- Is it good to spend a lot?
- What do people enjoy buying the most these days?
- Do you think people today are becoming more materialistic than in the past?

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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

IELTS Essay Writing

This article was written by Ryan Higgins, an online IELTS instructor, blogger and author. For more of his free IELTS resources, visit his blog.

As an IELTS writing instructor, I am often asked by my students what the secret is to successful essay writing. When I tell them ‘lots of practice, lots of guidance and lots of patience’, they usually look at me a bit disappointed as though my answer was too obvious.

So I tell them, ‘just follow the 4 Cs.’

‘The 4 Cs?’ they ask with new interest.

Yes, the 4 Cs: conciseness, cohesion, coherence and composition. Each needs to be employed properly if you want to score well on your Task 2 essay. In this short article, which I am writing exclusively for www.ielts-blog.com, I would like to touch on each of the 4 Cs and describe how you can use these powerful ideas to heighten your IELTS score.

So let’s begin with conciseness. Unlike other languages which prize long and very elaborate sentences, proper written English is language that says a lot in few words. Students often falsely believe that the longer a sentence is the more academic it sounds. Writing longer sentences in your response is problematic for 2 reasons. The first is it heightens the chances of errors related to coherence. The second is it makes it more difficult for you to control the grammar of the sentence, leading to silly grammatical mistakes. Too often, students receive disappointing marks on their IELTS essay simply because their long sentences led them to issues with coherence and grammar.

So how long should a sentence be? Including cohesive phrases (the second ‘C’ in our list), typical sentences are somewhere between 8 and 15 words.

Now let’s take a look at how to write these cohesive phrases.

Cohesion refers to words and phrases that help ideas link together. Cohesive phrases include wordings like…

Because of this, …
As this shows, …
As can clearly be seen from this example, …
It is clear that…
Thus, the idea that…
To illustrate this, …
After analyzing both points of view, …
To provide a summary, …
Without a doubt, this causes…

What I always suggest to students is to commit many of these phrases to memory and learn how to use them properly. When you get to your examination, you can use these phrases with confidence, which will not only save you time but also reduce the chances of grammatical mistakes.

Our third C is coherence, which is the notion that all ideas you present in your essay should be easily understood by your reader. As you can probably guess, using the cohesive phrases above correctly can really help to boost the coherence in your essay as they clarify your ideas. Coherence is also greatly improved by proper grammar, so make an effort to brush up on this prior to your examination.

Our final C, composition, refers to employing a proper essay structure. This means including a thesis (in the case of an argument essay), at least 2 supporting ideas, real-life examples, proper discussion of those examples as well as some kind of summary and finally a reasoned conclusion. To break it down, an argument essay is most likely going to contain 15 sentences partitioned into 4 paragraphs and follow a pattern something like this:

Introduction paragraph

  • A background sentence giving some background information on the essay topic.
  • A more detailed sentence linking the background sentence to the thesis.
  • A thesis that presents your point of view on your given topic.
  • An outline sentence declaring the 2 points you are going to use to support your thesis.

Supporting paragraph 1

  • A topic sentence illustrating the first point you will be presenting to support your thesis (this point taken from your outline sentence).
  • A sentence showing a real-life example of this topic in action.
  • A discussion sentence that shows how your example links or proves your topic sentence.
  • A conclusion sentence that links this entire paragraph back to your thesis.

Supporting paragraph 2

  • A topic sentence illustrating the second point you will be presenting to support your thesis (this point taken from your outline sentence).
  • A sentence showing a real-life example of this topic in action.
  • A discussion sentence that shows how your example links or proves your topic sentence.
  • A conclusion sentence that links this entire paragraph back to your thesis.

Conclusion paragraph

  • A summary sentence that briefly states the 2 points you discussed in your supporting paragraphs.
  • A restatement of your thesis using different words.
  • A prediction or recommendation based on the topic you have been given.

By employing a logical structure like this you fulfill your essay’s requirement for proper composition.

So, in a nutshell, the 4 Cs make up the essential elements in a successful essay. Conciseness keeps sentences brief, cohesion helps the sentences link together, coherence maintains understanding in the essay and composition links all parts of the essay together logically.

Make an effort to use the 4 Cs properly and I guarantee your IELTS written mark will improve.

Good luck on your exam!

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Toyota says North American plant closures likely this month


Tuesday 05th April, 06:45 AM JST

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky —

Toyota Motor Corp said Monday that it’s inevitable that the company will be forced to temporarily shut down all of its North American factories because of parts shortages due to the earthquake that hit Japan.

The temporary shutdowns are likely to take place later this month, affecting 25,000 workers, but no layoffs are expected, spokesman Mike Goss said. Just how long the shutdowns last or whether all 13 of Toyota’s factories will be affected at the same is unknown and depends on when parts production can restart in Japan, he said.

So far the North American plants have been using parts in their inventory or relying on those that were shipped before the earthquake, Goss noted. But those supplies are running low.

“We’re going to get to a point this month where that gap in the pipeline starts to show up. So we’ll have to suspend production for a while,” he said.

The March 11 earthquake and tsunami damaged auto parts plants in northeastern Japan, causing shortages that idled most of the nation’s car production. Japan’s daily auto output has fallen by more than 500,000 vehicles since the disaster, says Scotiabank Senior Economist Carlos Gomes. Some manufacturers are bringing plants back on line, but only at low speeds due to a lack of parts.

Shortages of parts from Japan are also affecting manufacturers outside the country. Just last week, Ford Motor Co and Nissan Motor Co said that several North American plants would be closed for part of this month, and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has said his company will see disruptions.

Toyota only gets about 15% of its parts from Japan for cars and trucks built in North America, “but still you have to have them all to build the vehicles,” Goss said.

Goss spoke Monday ahead of an appearance in Louisville, Kentucky, by Toyota’s head of North American operations. Toyota has about 500 companies supplying parts in North America, but many of them get components from Japan that might not be available, he said. During the shutdowns, workers will focus on training and reviewing operations for ways to improve. They also can take vacation or time off without pay.

The shutdowns will affect all Toyota and Lexus models made in North America, he said. Already several large dealership chains are predicting shortages of models from Japanese automakers in the spring and summer.

Goss wouldn’t estimate how long the assembly lines would be shut down. “It depends on how fast we can help get those suppliers up and running again in Japan,” he said. “Things change every day and we’re trying hard to minimize any disruption to our production in North America.”

Toyota is running short of multiple parts, mainly electronics and paint pigments, said Yoshimi Inaba, chief operating officer for North American operations. The company is looking for alternate parts suppliers. He also said it’s too early to predict the impact on Toyota’s sales and its effort to rebound from a string of safety recalls last year that have hurt sales.

“We have some inventory. So if the disruption on the production is short enough, then it wouldn’t have any major impact,” he told reporters after appearing at a literacy event in Louisville. “It is too early to predict how big the impact is.”

Toyota last month warned that production cuts were possible at some North American factories, but said it didn’t know when or for how long.

Saturday, April 02, 2011

IELTS test in Tehran, Iran – March 2011 (Academic Module)

Listening test

Section 1. A phone conversation about a children’s complex and its facilities, prices and needs.
Questions: filling in blanks.

Section 2 and 3. Don’t remember.

Section 4. About the library of Alexander, the way they gathered books, and people who were involved in renovating it.
Questions: multiple choice, information matching (match a person to an action, 5 out of 7-8 names).

Reading test

Passage 1. About the history of Homeopathy and its founder Samuel Heinemann, the way of cure and so on.
Questions: True/False/Not Given, headings matching, information matching (statements to paragraphs).

Passage 2. About a lake and the way scientists found out about its history of climate during the last thousand years via the sediment settled at the bottom.
Questions: diagram labeling, True/False/Not Given.

Passage 3. An article about language, it was divided into basic language that was used by apes and their babies which covers just basic communication and the whole language that was just used by human beings, including all emotions, logic, discussion and so on.
Questions: multiple choice, headings matching.

Writing test

Writing task 1 (a report)

We had a table showing percentage of people in 5 countries who lived in cities (urban areas) in 2001, 2005, 2010 and a projection for 2020.

Writing task 2 (an essay)

Some people think that government should support artists (poets, musicians) financially, other argue that money should be spent on other, more important, issues. Do you agree or disagree?

Speaking test


- Which city do you live in?
- Do you go out often?
- Why do young people spend most of their time outside?

Cue Card

Talk about books that you like to read. Please say

- What kind of books do you read (scientific, novels, poems and so on)?
- Why do you like this kind of books?
- Do you suggest these books to others?


- Is reading important? Why?
- What is the role of the Internet on our generation’s lifestyle?

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Friday, April 01, 2011

The stake that sticks up gets hammered down--Japanese Proverb

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Chinese score low in English proficiency test

English contest offers Asians scholarships

'Mo' Recognized For Improvement At Banquet

David Wolman
Osawatomie girls’ basketball coach Don Blanchat speaks to the crowd at the school’s annual winter sports banquet. He guided the varsity team to a 13-7 overall record and a perfect 10-0 mark in the Pioneer League this season. He shared a story about Mo Preueksapraopong, a foreign-exchange student from Thailand who made two 3-pointers in a late season basketball game against Anderson County.

Young women blending entrepreneurship, philanthropy

KAREN QUINCY LOBERG/The Star Elizabeth Guzman, Genesis Mena, Taylor Penny, Paloma Guzman and Shomari Patterson huddle to see an image related to their social enterprise Compassion Fashion.

KAREN QUINCY LOBERG/The Star Elizabeth Guzman, Genesis Mena, Taylor Penny, Paloma Guzman and Shomari Patterson huddle to see an image related to their social enterprise Compassion Fashion.

Read more: http://www.vcstar.com/news/2011/mar/30/young-women-blending-entrepreneurship/#ixzz1IBpa1Ozu
- vcstar.com

The monks and I: Teaching and learning in Thailand

International volunteers pay to teach Buddhist monks in Chiang Mai and Ratchaburi. Journey to nirvana not guaranteed

Volunteer in ThailandForeign teachers can expect to work six hours a day, but can spend the rest of their time absorbing Thai culture.

Foreigners are being invited to teach English to Buddhist monks at two temples in Thailand -- at a cost of hundreds of dollars.

And staff at one temple claim that many visiting instructors "experienced nirvana temporarily" during meditation sessions.

The temples, Wat Luang Phor Sodh in Ratchaburi and Wat Doi Saket in Chiang Mai, run slightly different programs, but essentially offer the chance to learn about Thai culture while teaching English.

Foreign teachers have to pay for their own lodging, food and other expenses, as well as their airfare to and from Thailand. And though all of the saffron-robed monk students are male, the temples welcome both men and women teachers.

"All English speakers are welcomed," said Dr. Barton "Bart" Yanathiro, a 75-year-old American Buddhist who helps run the classes in Ratchaburi, about two hours southwest from Bangkok by bus.

Teaching English in Thailand
Foreigners teach basic English grammar, pronunciation, spelling and conversation to monks in brightly lit classrooms.
Dr. Yanathiro is the temple's secretary for international affairs and assists with the Immersion in Buddhist English Program. He also manages the Buddhist Meditation Institute, which teaches meditation in English, as part of the World Buddhist University.

Dr. Yanathiro said the abbot and several monks at the temple already speak English, and "a foreign professor monk" heads the teaching program.

"We began informally two years ago, but last year was our official opening," said Dr. Yanathiro. "We have had a total of 18 teachers and 85 registered students so far. Two teachers stayed long-term, but most came for one to two months.

"The [monk] students learn English from fluent English-speakers, and the teachers learn meditation and Thai Buddhist culture."

Classes run from May 23 to September 7, and from October 10 to February 22, 2012.

When foreign instructors are not teaching the monks, they can study Buddhist Samatha-Vipassana meditation, in an English-language program led by Dr. Yanathiro.

"Numerous teacher volunteers have been able to meditate to experience nirvana, and get advice from Buddha or the Noble Disciples," he said. "This is an undreamed of, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"Of 16 teachers since the very beginning, six experienced nirvana temporarily. An additional three transcended beyond this world to Dhammakaya, and another three more achieved trance states like heavenly bliss. The remaining four only attained inner peace."

Thai monks
All of the monk students are male, but both temples welcome male and female teachers from abroad.

Asked about their purported temporary experience of nirvana, Dr. Yanathiro replied: "I am using the official definition, where one actually sees and communicates with Lord Buddha and his disciples.

"Most amazing is the personal instruction some have gotten directly from Buddha. One was taken to a volcano and told to jump in. When he did so he became one with the earth. In another meditation he became a tree. Another teacher-meditator experienced becoming a leaf on a tree which then fell to earth, decayed and became part of the earth.

"They see Buddha and the disciples. Communication is by direct telepathy, so language is irrelevant. One does get clear verbal communications, but more impressive are their descriptions of experiences such as feeling oneself becoming a tree."

None of the teachers reported any side effects from their trances.

'Hey, fat lady! You so beautiful!'

Foreigners who want to teach and study at the temple can register with Global Service Corps of San Francisco, via its website which offers classes lasting two weeks or longer.

Fees, described as "Service-Learning Program Contributions," start at US$1,480 for a two-week program and jump $415 dollars for each additional week, up to a 13-week program which costs a total of $6,045. After that, the weekly fee increases by $255.

The temple provides "a U.S.-style house across the street from the wat, which has two bedrooms for two people each. A cabin and separate dormitories for men and women, which are more spartan, are also available inside the temple," Dr. Yanathiro said. Thai cuisine, non-vegetarian and often spicy, is included.

An American woman, who taught at the temple, wrote in her "CHITARITA" blog in 2010 that shortly after she arrived, a good-natured monk called out to her: "Hey, fat lady! You so beautiful!"

Teaching English in Thailand
American director David Poppe has been developing the teaching program at Wat Doi Saket since October 2009.
She described her role as an English teacher at the temple as a "culture shock" and fascinating life-changing experience.

In Chiang Mai, Wat Doi Saket welcomes foreign teachers but does not actively encourage meditation, though they are welcome to study Buddhism in their free time.

"I have been developing this program since October 2009," said Wat Doi Saket's teaching director David Poppe, 25, who was born in Simsbury, Connecticut.

"The temple has 160 novice monks, and class sizes range from six to 35. Given the size and schedule of the school, only two volunteers can live here and teach at one time.

"Teachers can expect to work roughly four to six hours per day, with the mornings free."

Wat Doi Saket's English teaching program is part of the ATMA SEVA Foundation. Foreigners pay much less to teach English at Wat Doi Saket, compared with the teaching and meditation program in Ratchaburi.

The first volunteer came for four months and paid 30,000 baht (US$1,000). A two-week trip would cost between 5,000 to 8,000 baht, depending on accommodation and working hours.

"At the wat, there is a kitchen below the volunteers' bedrooms, and each day one of the cooks delivers breakfast, lunch, and dinner," Mr. Poppe said.

"So far, none of the volunteers has been Buddhist. Religion has no bearing in regards to acceptance to the program. The goal is to improve conversational English, and if volunteers are interested in Buddhism they can pursue infinite knowledge, but nothing is scheduled or pushed."

Mr. Poppe first came to Thailand in 2007 and while not a Buddhist himself, is "very intrigued by Buddhism."

"I can arrange meditation retreats, dharma lectures, and have access to Buddhist resources if the desire to learn is present," he said.

For more information on volunteering in Thai temples, click on the above links.

Richard S. Ehrlich is from San Francisco, California. He has reported news for international media from Asia since 1978, based in Hong Kong, New Delhi and now Bangkok.

Read more about Richard S. Ehrlich

Read more: The monks and I: Teaching and learning in Thailand | CNNGo.com http://www.cnngo.com/bangkok/play/volunteering-thailand-temples-invite-foreigners-teach-english-monks-746045#ixzz1IBpGQNVN

The golf course inside an airport

The golf course inside an airport
From a distance Don Mueang International looks like any other midsize airport. However, smack-dab in the middle of the two runways is an 18-hole golf course. (Link)

Thailand-No 3G and half a MB maximum is the reality

Kansas City is first city chosen for Google's fiber-to-the-home rollout

Last year Google announced plans tobuild and test ultra high-speed broadband networks in a small number of trial locations across the U.S. that will deliver Internet speeds of one gigabit per second (1 Gbps) via a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) service. After receiving submissions from nearly 1,100 cities, the Internet giant has now revealed it will build its first ultra high-speed network in Kansas City, Kansas. Read More

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Presides at the Opening Ceremony for High Level Group for Education

The 10th Meeting of the High Level Group for Education for All (EFA) at Pattaya Exhibition And Convention Hall (PEACH), Royal Cliff Hotels Group

Pattaya, Thailand – H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided the opening ceremony of the 10th Meeting of the High Level Group on Education for All (EFA) at Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall (PEACH), a prominent facility of the Royal Cliff Hotels Group.

This conference was hosted and presented by the Government of Thailand, which included Thailand’s Prime Minister, HE Mr. Abhisit Vejjajiva, the Minister of Education Thailand, Mr. Chimnavorn Bunyakiat and senior Thai Government Officials on 22nd – 24th March 2011. Together with UNESCO’s Director General, Mme. Irina Bokova and officials from 34 leading member countries of UNESCO, delegates converged to discuss strategies on educational progress of ‘Education for All’ objectives.

This meeting was considered an important record in Thai history as Thailand had the opportunity to again host this conference which was first held in 1990, when the Jomtien Declaration was launched; and where the birth of Education for All (EFA) was initiated. This followed by a meeting held in Dakar, Senegal and where the Dakar Declaration was formed.

This meeting held in Jomtien-Pattaya, Thailand had objectives to achieve 6 of EFA’s goals, which included: pre-kindergarten educational cares, basic education, life skills, literacy rates, educational equalities among genders and educational qualities. HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s personal interest in education, children and the efforts of EFA was apparent in Her Royal Highness’ speech during the event. In his opening speech, Thailand’s Premier pledged the kingdom’s efforts to work together with all nations to identify strategic and operational initiatives to address the remaining challenges before the next meeting in 2015.

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn also graciously declared open a commemorative exhibition of His Majesty, King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who has been conferred as the ‘Teacher of the Land’ for His Majesty’s continual work with education and children.

HRH the Princess and all delegates enjoyed a Welcome Dinner at PEACH, and were entertained by children from the local schools and institutions, who put on spectacular performances from traditional Thai dances, theatrical shows to enchanting choirs.

Royal Cliff Hotels Group’s Managing Director, Mrs. Panga Vathanakul and the hotels group’s executives were present to welcome HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, the Prime Minister, Mme. Irina Bokova, top dignitaries and all delegates who attended this productive and important meeting.

Pattaya Exhibition And Convention Hall (PEACH) is a world-class multipurpose ‘one stop convention solution’ offering complete versatility and flexibility for any meeting, exhibition or banquet needs. Located on the eastern coast of the Gulf of Thailand; PEACH together with the Royal Cliff Hotels Group, offers 53 different meeting venues measuring over 23,500 sqm, making it the largest and best ‘state-of-the-art’ convention centre outside of Bangkok. This highly rated self-sufficient column-free convention centre accommodates up to 8000 delegates in theatre-style seating and 3700 seats for banquets.

For more information on the Royal Cliff Hotels Group facilities, please visit www.royalcliff.com or www.peachthailand.com

IELTS test in Italy and Sri Lanka – March 2011 (Academic Module)

Listening test

Section 1. A conversation between a receptionist at the hotel and a man booking rooms for a group of college workers.
Questions: filling a form, multiple choice.

Section 2. A student talks to his study adviser about his experience in a volunteers’ organization and about his thesis status.
Questions: filling in blanks, multiple choice.

Section 3. A lecture by a university lecturer about the history of Bergers and Tuareg people (nomads).
Questions: filling in blanks.

Section 4. A lecture by a wild life photographer regarding photographing red squirrels.
Questions: multiple choice, filing a form.

Reading test

Passage 1. Research into dinosaurs.

Passage 2. An article dated 2003 about e-books and e-publishing.

Passage 3. A scientific article about planet formation and interstellar matter.

Writing test

Writing task 1 (a report)

We had to write a report on a data table of total visits to the cinemas in three countries, namely Australia, Azerbaijan and Japan, between 1995 and 1999.

Writing task 2 (an essay)

Some people say that individuals are depending a lot on each other and some say individuals are getting more independent of each other. Discuss both views and give your opinion.

Speaking test


- What is your full name?
- What should I call you?
- Are you working or studying?
- What is your major?
- Is it easier for you to relate to the teachers or other students?
- Where are you from?
- Let’s talk about live music.
- On what occasions can people listen to live music in your city or region?

Cue Card

Describe a situation when you have helped someone. Please say

- Who is the person that you have helped?
- What kind of help was it?
- How did you feel when you were helping him/her?


Don’t remember.

Cesium Fallout from Fukushima ALREADY Rivals Chernobyl

Cesium Fallout from Fukushima ALREADY Rivals Chernobyl....but anyone who believes that Fukushima cannot possibly become as bad as Chernobyl has no idea what they are talking about.