6 – copy into one document the more “interesting points” on positives and negatives.
7 – highlight collocations / phrases that you would like to activate (either in this essay or another)
8 – Plan your essay:
Read the statement / questions again
Some people say that children’s use of social networks, due to the negative effects, should be restricted at home and banned at school.
To what extent do you agree?
Do you need to discuss both sides?
Do you need to talk about both advantages and disadvantages?
As always, you just need to answer the question. In this case it is “To what extent do you agree?” So you just need to say…
fully agree / mostly agree/ generally agree / partially agreee/ fully disagree / disagree with some exceptions etc…
Naturally in your essay you will have to talk about the negatives. If you completely agree, then you won’t need to talk about positives very much, if you fully disagree, then you will need to show why common negatives are wrong, while also showing the positive sides to a greater extent.
Before reading the following article from CBCnews guess your answer to the question below, then read to see if you were right:
What are the reasons for the jump in the amount of homeless people in Vancouver?
What does the local government plan to do?
Homeless count finds housing affordability crisis driving numbers up
Half of people surveyed said lack of income and lack of affordable housing main reason for plight
Housing costs and a lack of income are driving up the numbers of Lower Mainland homeless, 22 per cent of whom were employed full or part-time, according to the latest count conducted by Metro Vancouver.
The report issued Tuesday said the takeaway from this year’s homeless count is the need for more affordable housing.
“In order to stem growing homelessness, it is clear we need more affordable housing options,” Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay, the chair of the region’s housing committee, said in a statement.
More seniors, fewer youths
About half the people surveyed had lived in the region 10 years or more before becoming homeless.
Vancouver, Surrey and Langley were the three cities with the most homeless people.
The report found 82 per cent of those surveyed had at least one health condition.
Aboriginal homelessness ‘troubling’
A finding 34 per cent of the homeless people surveyed were Aboriginal, an increase of 28 per cent from 2014, was called “troubling” by the authors of a separate report released Monday.
Aboriginal people only account for 2.5 per cent of Metro Vancouver’s total population.
“The enduring effects of colonization, the legacy of the residential school system and the impact of child welfare and the foster care system continue to impact the daily experience of many Aboriginal Peoples and families and directly contribute to the high incidence of Aboriginal homelessness,” the report read.
“The bottom line shows that Aboriginal peoples are 18 times more likely to be homeless in Metro Vancouver than the mainstream population.”
Read through the article again
highlight 4-6 points of interest. In those points, underline some key collocations.
re-tell in class the key points of interest for discussion
Read through the next article, from the Dail Telegraph (Australia), guess as many options as you can for the missing words
Homelessness is an increasingly 1)________problem in Sydney, especially in the inner city where it’s hard to miss the growing number of beggars, rough sleepers and people doing it tough on the streets. It’s a confronting, distressing sight.
Most of us are guilty at some stage of turning a blind eye to this suffering, writing it 2)______as a hopeless affair that can’t be solved. But that is simply not true. Sure, there is no magic 3)_______to solve homelessness, it’s a complex issue with complex causes, but there is one fundamental issue helping to perpetuate the cycle: a lack of affordable housing.
For decades, Australia has failed to meet the housing needs of our lowest income residents and nowhere is that more obvious than in Sydney. Housing affordability is at an all-time low and rents are skyrocketing, 4)_________more low and middle income earners at risk of homelessness than ever before. A single person on minimum wage can now pay up to 68 per cent of their income to rent a one-bedroom flat. Low income households earning $500 a week can pay up to 85 per cent of their income on rent. Many households are 5)___________just one unexpected expense away from disaster.
“In order to 6)___________homelessness we really need to have some affordable housing,” Homelessness NSW CEO Katherine McKernan says. “Crisis services are experiencing 7)__________demand but there’s simply nowhere to refer people into long-term accommodation.
“So there’s blockages occurring, which is why there’s an increase in rough sleeping because people simply aren’t able to access services.”
There’s nothing humane about sleeping on the street, it is never, ever a choice. Community attitudes, however, tend to 8)________some blame on the person experiencing it. A public perception survey by Homelessness Australia in 2014 found most people believed bad decision making, mental illness and substance abuse were the major causes of homelessness. The reality was that housing affordability, financial difficulties and family violence were much 9)_______drivers.
While the NSW Government has invested $22 million in additional private rental subsidies to provide access to housing for young people, women and children escaping violence, it doesn’t address 10)______________ issues like rental market affordability. It won’t address the 11)___________social housing waiting list nor the current high demand for homelessness services. And ultimately it boosts the coffers of private rental landlords rather than addressing the 11)___________issues contributing 12)_____high rents in Sydney, and the lack of affordable housing in general.
There is 13)__________evidence that a ‘housing first approach’ can reduce the risk and break the cycle of homelessness. That’s because when people have a roof over their heads with adequate support services, they’re more likely to get their life back on track.
“If you provide long-term accommodation with support, people will stay housed, they won’t fall back into homelessness,” McKernan says.
A Sydney housing forum was told last week that another 100,000 affordable homes must be made available in NSW over the next two decades to reduce housing stress and the risk of homelessness. That means 14)__________policies such as inclusionary zoning to ensure a percentage of new developments are affordable housing. That means developing innovative financial models to support more affordable housing.
An increase of supply won’t solve all of Sydney’s housing 15)_______but it will have a significant impact.
All it requires is the political will to create a city where everyone has access to housing, where everyone counts.
Click on the link here to find the answers, I also recommend reading the comments to the side of the article
Before reading the following article from the Toronto Star guess your answer to the question below, then read to see if you were right:
Which countries will the author critcise: Russia, China, America, Saudi Arabia, Canada?
Why is Vladimir Putin’s Russia seen as uniquely evil?
The question comes to mind again following former U.S. national security advisor Michael Flynn’s decision to plead guilty to charges of lying to the FBI about his conversations in late 2016 with Russia’s then ambassador to Washington.
So far, most reportage has concentrated on the effect this will have on U.S. President Donald Trump,
But I’m stuck on a prior question: Why did Flynn feel it necessary to lie in the first place? What was wrong with someone sure to be a key member of the new administration talking to an important foreign ambassador?
Technically, Flynn could have been charged under a 1799 law aimed at preventing private citizens from discussing matters of state with foreign entities. But it’s a law that, for obvious reasons, has never been used.
I expect Flynn wouldn’t have bothered lying to the FBI about conversations with, say, the Canadian ambassador on matters of mutual interest. But, in this climate, talking to the Russians was simply one step too far.
The ostensible reason is the widely held belief that Russian hackers working under Putin’s orders undermined the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The unspoken corollary is that Putin is responsible for Trump’s victory. The reigning conspiracy theory is that Trump and/or his minions colluded with Putin to bring this about.
All of this is possible. Sometimes there are conspiracies.
The simpler explanation, however, is that Trump won because his brand of right-wing populism worked particularly well in the complicated U.S. electoral college system and because his opponent, Hillary Clinton, ran a terrible campaign.
But the conspiracy theory fits the popular Western notion of Putin as evil genius.
I’m not sure why this notion holds. It is true that Russian elections are stacked. But as long-time political operative Donna Brazile has pointed out in a recent book, so is the U.S. Democratic Party’s nomination process.
At least the Russians do have elections, a nicety that the Saudis, say, don’t bother with.
Putin is justly criticized for unilaterally annexing Crimea to Russia. Yet no Western government berates China for its unilateral annexation of Tibet in 1950.
Beijing’s argument that Tibet is historically part of China is accepted. Putin’s argument that Crimea is historically part of Russia is not.
Canada, for instance, has imposed economic sanctions against figures around Putin for their gross violation of human rights. It has done nothing against Chinese rights violators close to Xi.
Some of the reasons for this double standard are economic. China is the world’s second-largest economy. Western business people want a piece of the action.
To that end, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to China thus week is focused on trade and investment. Don’t expect sunny Trudeau to dwell on downers such as Xi’s human rights record.
Other reasons for the double standard are geopolitical. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West became accustomed to a diminished Russia. To see it reasserting itself today in its traditional spheres of influence — Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Baltic states, Central Asia — is disconcerting.
China is also reasserting itself, particularly in the South China Sea. But that has given rise to little popular alarm in the West.
Which brings me back to Michael Flynn and America’s current fascination with the Russian threat. The notion of Trump as Putin’s malleable tool has the eerily familiar ring of Cold War paranoia. And it is equally improbable.
Have a go at translating the following without assistance, then check the internet to find options. There may be more than one (ortwo, or three) option for each. If so, what is the difference between the options
Being a teacher of English, I can say that I know a lot about grammar. And, having taught English for 15 years, I know 100% for sure that different people can use different structures when giving presentations. As someone who has seen hundreds of presentations, I’m convinced that this is connected with the fact that some people, when giving a presentation, need to use grammar structures to prove they have experience / have knoweldge. Other people do not.
For example, I used three in this text:
Being a teacher of English, I can say that….
Having taught English for 15 years, I know 100% for sure that
Assomeone who has seen hundreds of presentations, I’m convinced that
I used these expressions to show you, the reader, that you should listen to me because I have experience / knowledge about this. If you do not know me, you may not think my opinion about a topic is important. So I use the above structures.
However, if you know about me, then I may not need to use these structures to show you should trust me. You already know and trust me.
For example, if Bill Gates gives a speech about the computer industry
does he need to say:
“Being the founder of Microsoft, I know that it takes a lot of time to create an international company.”
The answer is .. not really. He might say it, but most people know who Bill Gates is, and what he has done, so he can just say…
“I know that it takes a lot of time to create an international company.”
and we will accept this.
However, if you do not know the experience level of the person, then using the structures like “Being a …., ” / “Having …… ” / “As a…” can help. For example;
“Being a mother of 6 children, I know that it can be difficult to raise a child.” = greater expert than just “I know that it can be difficult to raise a child.”
To improve your ability to use these structures when speaking:
Follow the steps on this page to learn how to improve:
grammar range by using the grammar structure “wish + II” to show you’re sad about your life now
grammar range even more by using II conditional after it
vocab range by using “really” and “kind of”
pronunciation by pronouncing the structure well to reflect the meaning.
watch the video
if you need more examples, scroll down for further explanations in the “notes” section, if not, click on the link here, fill in the table, and send it to your teacher.
when your teacher has checked that your sentences are correct, make a video of yourself practicing them and send the video to your teacher. When you make the video, focus on pronunciation. “really” should be stressed, “kind of” should be said to show that it’s not that important.
and that’s it. Keep reading for further practice
watch the video, and practice reporting. Note “she wishES”
the following sentences are from my life at the moment. They are real situations….
1 – I don’t have time to practice the guitar
2 – I sometimes smoke cigarettes
3 – I am tired
4 – I don’t know Chinese 100%
5 – I have to travel a lot
6 – I spend too much time reading the newspaper
If I’m talking with another person, and I want to tell them that
a – I have this situation
b – I am sad / unhappy about it
I can say….
I don’t have time to practice the guitar, and I’m unhappy about it.
I wish I had time to practice the guitar.
If I say… “I wish I didn’t smoke cigarettes” this is the same as saying “I smoke cigarettes and I’m sad / unhappy about it.”
So, the function of “I wish I…” = to tell the other person that you are sad / unhappy about a situation at the moment. You do this by ‘imagining’ a better ‘unreal’ situation. You want to go away from your ‘sad’ / ‘unhappy’ real situation into an ‘unreal one’. Please note, because you’re imagining an unreal situation, use the II (2nd) form of the verb (go = I, went = II , gone = III)
I am tired and I’m sad about this = I wish I wasn’t tired
am – wasn’t (we use ‘not’ because we are imagining the opposite situation)
I don’t know Chinese 100% and I’m unhappy about this = I wish I knew Chinese 100%
don’t know – knew (we don’t use ‘don’t’ because we are imagining the opposite ‘unreal’ situation. The real situation that makes me unhappy is ‘I don’t know Chinese’, so the imaginary / unreal ‘happier’ situation is ‘I knew’)
Note – The II (2nd) form here does not talk about the past!!! I wish I knew Chinese 100% NOW.
We can use the II form like “went, did, played, knew” for different functions.
– One function is to talk about the past “When I was young I knew mathematics well.” Students learn this function first, so they often think automatically that ‘knew’ is past simple or past indefininite, but…..
– Another function is to imagine an unreal present / future “If I knew mathematics now, I could help my child with her homework / I wish I knew mathematics now so I could help my child now.”
– there are more functions of II but I will not
So, the last two
“I wish I didn’t have to travel a lot” = “I have to travel a lot and I’m sad”
“I wish I didn’t spend too much time reading the newspaper” = “I spend a lot of time reading the newspaper and I’m sad about that.”
Look at the following sentences. In which ones do you know 100% how I feel about the situation? Put ‘not sure’ if it’s not clear if I’m unhappy / sad or maybe happy. Put if it is clear that I am sad / unhappy about the situation.
a – I can’t speak French. = not sure (how I feel)
This is a fact, but you can’t say if I am unhappy or not. E.g. I can say “I can’t speak French, and this is not a problem because I don’t like it.”
b – I wish I could speak French. =
This tells you that my real situation is “I can’t speak French, and I am unhappy about it.”
1 – I don’t go to the gym much.
2 – I have a class today.
3 – I wish I didn’t have class today.
4 – I wish I knew English better.
5 – I don’t know English well enough and I’m sad about it.
6 – I play the computer 5 hours a day.
1 = ? 2 = ? 3 = 4 = 5 = 6 = ?
Look at the following pictures. The people use ‘I wish I…..’ to tell you about a situation in their life that they are sad / unhappy about. What are the situations?
The situation = I don’t know and I’m sad / unhappy about this = I wish I knew
The situation = I don’t work there and I’m unhappy / sad = I wish I worked there
the sad / unhappy situation = ?
sad / unhappy situation =
sad / unhappy situation =
sad / unhappy situation =
3 = I’m not with Michelle / 4 = I can’t kill my parents / 5 = I can’t forget you / 6 = I can’t hate you / 7 = I can’t give you a hug.
Notes on the notes:
1 – As you can see, it’s typical for us to use this function with ‘I can’t – I wish I could’. This is because “I can’t….” is often something that is sad for us
2 – if the real situation is connected with ‘not much’ / ‘not well’ / too we often use ‘more’ / ‘better’ / so with the ‘I wish…’
e.g. I don’t see you much and I’m sad about this = I wish I saw you more (‘a lot’ is also possible)
I don’t speak well = I wish I spoke better. (‘well’ is also possible)
I smoke too much = I wish I didn’t smoke so much
3 – I wish I IS NOT “I want”. If you want a cup of coffee, say “I want / would like to have a cup of coffee.”If you say “I wish I had a cup of coffee.” it is like saying “I am sad / unhappy that I don’t have a cup of coffee
4 – don’t use it to talk about a future situation ‘will’. For example
“Tomorrow I’ll work a lot and I’m unhappy about this.” We can’t say “I wish I won’t / wouldn’t work tomorrow”.
If you are talking about the future but using a present verb and NOT ‘will’, e.g. ‘am’, you can use ‘wish’
e.g. “I am working tomorrow and I’m sad about this.” = “I wish I wasn’t working tomorrow.” (note that ‘working’ doesn’t change)
“I am going to a boring party tonight, it’s annoying.” = “I wish I wasn’t going to a boring party tonight.”
5 – we can use a structure “I wish to do”, but it has a different function. “I wish to go” = “I want to go”. It doesn’t say that you’re sad / talk about your feelings, it just says that you ‘want’. This structure for ‘wan’t’ is formal, so use it in business letters, not when having a conversation. You can see more examples here .
6 – don’t forget the second ‘I’. A typical mistake is…. “I wish wasn’t tired”
7 – don’t use ‘would’ with “I wish I…”. A typical mistake is “I wish I wouldn’t be tired”
Practice using the function ‘I wish I..’ to tell someone about a sad / unhappy situation at the moment in the following sentences
I can’t be with you and I’m sad about this = I wish I …..
I wish I could be with you
I don’t help you more and I’m sad about this = I wish..
I wish I helped you more
I don’t have a good relationship with my boss = I wish….
I wish I had a good …..
I play the computer 5 hours a day, it’s bad. = I wish I
I wish I didn’t play the computer 5 hours a day
I have to go to work tomorrow. Grrrrrr. = I wish..
I wish I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow.
I’m tired = I wish …
I wish I wasn’t tired
I have class today, and I don’t want to go. = I wish …
I wish I didn’t have class today
I’m going to the doctor today, I’m unhappy about this = I wish ..
I wish I wasn’t going to the doctor today
I drink too much alcohol. It’s very sad. = I wish I…
I wish I didn’t drink alcohol so much (or – I wish I didn’t drink alcohol)
In the IELTS / Cambridge exams there is a 100% chance you will be asked a question about the future, most likely more than one. In the TOEFL it’s also reasonable to believe that you will be asked a question about the future.
A lot of canditates when talking about the future use “maybe” and “probably”, but it is a good chance to improve your range of both vocabulary and grammar.
First, watch an example of a student activating a range of structures. What structures can you hear?
Second, below are a series of questions about the future. Use the attached sheet here to improve your range of grammar and vocab when answering the questions.
If you want, make a link to a video you have done and post the link in the comments, I will have a look and give you feedback.
Personal Questions (IELTS part 1, CAE / CPE part 1)
Ask and answer the following questions……………
What will you be doing in 3/5/10 / 25 years’ time?
Where will you be living in 3/5/10 / 25 years’ time?
How many children / grandchildren will you have in 3/5/10 / 25 years’ time?
Will you do / be the following more or less in the future?……………………………………
e.g. “Will you read more or less in the future?” / “Will you be happier in the future?”
read / do dangerous things / dance / draw / donate money / write / trust people / watch movies / use technology / make presents by hand / look in the mirror / use public transport / drive a car / fly / use a phone / exercise / eat / go to concerts / travel / work / visit zoos / spend time with friends/ go to restaurants / visit libraries / sleep / go shopping / use electricity / go to cafes / study English / use English / read or watch the news / use paper / make speeches or presentations / go to parks / do gardening / use a computer / write sms’s / wake up early / play with children / lie on the beach / help elderly people / spend time in crowded places / sit in traffic jams / be happier / energetic / take photos / be late
General Questions (IELTS part 1, CAE / CPE part 1)
To make the questions suitable for Part 3 of the IELTS / CPE / CAE, just use “Do you think people will …. more or less in the future?”
e.g. “Do you think people will read more or less in the future?”
“Do you think people will dance more or less in the future?
If you’re interested in analysing how words are used in different contexts, or which words are more popular than others, analysing corporas, or just want to process people’s twitter / social media accounts to see who /what they’re positive about and what they don’t like so much, then python language programming can help.
And it’s easier than you think .
you can either search the internet for advice / videos on
“how to use python to….”
and generally end up watching some videos to learn. Just two points:
1 – make sure you actually do yourself on your computer what you see in the video (or read)
2 – as you “do” on your computer, play with what you’re doing, change it, experiment, have fun.
for learning about analysing language use, you can do the above, or follow the outline given below..
About the outline below, when followng it I recommend flexibility, i.e.
skip stuff that’s boring
look up more videos / articles for stuff that is difficult / more interesting
skip stuff that is still difficult after the previous advice
don’t be afraid at any moment to brach out into doing other things in python. THe stuff you learn will help with Natural Language Processing
definitely watch videos of stuff with python for doing anything so you raise your awareness of capabilities (in tihs case it miught be a good idea not to worry about actually doing what you see, just watch and pick pu general ideas even if you’re not sure about everything that is going on)
If you’re not happy about something that happened in the past and want to criticise yourself or another person, you can use…
subject + should + have + III
First, watch the video:
Now, read through written examples and watch the student video:
Note, ALL OF THE SENTENCES BELOW ARE ABOUT SITUATIONS THAT HAPPENED IN THE….
notabout situations happening now or that might happen in the future
e.g. You can criticise yourself or your friends
Ishould have started learning English earlier. =Real situtaion: I didn‘t start English earlier and now I’m not happy about the fact and I want to criticize myself for this.
You should have told me earlier. =Real situtaion:you didn’ttell me earlier, I’m not happy about the fact that and now I’m criticizing you for this.
If you’re not happy with what your government / president did / did not do IN THE PAST, you can use this to critcize them…
The president shouldn’t have wasted so much money on useless roads last year. = I’m not happy that the president wasted money on the roads last year and I want to criticise him / her for this.
The government should have invested more money into education over the last ten years. = I’m not happy that the government did NOT invest more money into education over the past ten years and I want to criticiseit for this.
You can also criticise your parents for what they did / didn’t do for you when you were younger:
My parents should have helped me more when I was younger. = My parents did not help me enough and I want to criticise them
You can improve your linguistic choice in this situation by making the criticism stronger or weaker. In exams like IELTS / TOEFL this will help improve your pronunciation and range scores
I really should have studied more for the exam. = strong criticism that I didn’t
I should have studied for the exam. = standard criticism
I probably should have studied for the exam.= soft criticism
Analysize another student:
Listen to the student criticise herself for things she did / didn’t do in the past using “really should have” and “possibly should have”. Does she
soundMORE critical when she uses “really should have” than when she uses “probably should have”
pronounce “have” as “ev” and fully join it to “should” or “shouldn’t” to produce “SHOULDev” or “SHOULDN’tev” (or is “ev” pronounced separately?)
After criticising yourself or someone else about the past, you can imagine the alternative situation. This helps emphasise your point to the listener /reader of HOW BAD THIS SITUATION WAS / IS!!! The structure for imagining about the past = if + subject + had(n’t) + III, subject + would (n’t) + have + III
e.g. Compare the three situations below. All are fine, but which shows the worst / saddest result…
I really should have studied for the exam! I had studied more intensively, I would not have failed my exam.
I really should have studied for the exam! I had studied more intensively, I would not have failed my exam.and my parents wouldn’t have taken away my car.
I really should have studied for the exam! I had studied more intensively, I would not have failed my exam and I would not have lost my wife and house and wouldn’t be living on the streets now.
It’s probably 3.
in exams, some students use 3rd conditional mechanically. If you want to sound more natural…..
a – avoid repeating the same thing
I should have studied more for the exam. If I had studied more for the exam…. = repeating / saying the same thing= mechanical
I should have studied more for the exam. If I had been more studious …………. = not repeating = more natural
you can use “If I had(n’t) done so, ……” if you can’t think of how to say the same thing a different way
I should have studied more for the exam. If I had done so, I would have passed and I ……
b – use the “really” or “probably” with good intonation to show feeling, and make “have” “ev” and join to “should”
“I REEEEAAAALLLY should-ev studied” with annoyed intonation
“I proooooobably” should-ev studied” with “maybe” intonation
c – if the result of the imagined situation is now, then use the “would” half of the conditional in the 2nd conditional form.
I would not have failed my exam (before) and I would still be able to drive my car (now).
FINALLY, MAKE A VIDEO YOURSELF! If you want, put a link to your video in the comments and I’ll ive you feedback