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Topic 4: Activity book

2. Economic problems: speaking

2.16. Farmer protests in India

A) Read this report about farmers' protests in India in January 2021 and answer the questions according to what is said in it:

Violent clashes as Indian farmers storm Delhi's Red Fort
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NFvYZfN961JK3Cft3jgYIUREelzWiGQt/view

Violent clashes as Indian farmers storm Delhi's Red Fort
Farmers protesting against new agriculture laws enter grounds of historic fort
as violence breaks out

Hannah Ellis-Petersen and Aakash Hassan in Delhi
Tue 26 Jan 2021 08.44 EST

Farmers protesting against new agriculture laws in India broke through police barricades around
the capital and entered the grounds of Delhi’s historic Red Fort on Tuesday, in chaotic and violent
scenes that overshadowed the country’s Republic Day celebrations.

Police hit protesters with batons and fired teargas to try to disperse the crowds after hundreds of
thousands of farmers, many on tractors or horses, marched on the capital. One protester was
confirmed to have died in the clashes and dozens of police and protesters were injured
.
Mobile internet services were suspended in parts of Delhi and some metro stations closed. As the
clashes continued into the afternoon, home minister Amit Shah met Delhi police to discuss how to
get the protests under control.

Standing on the ramparts of the Red Fort was Diljender Singh, a farmer from Punjab, who held
aloft the Nishan Sahib, the flag of Sikhism.

“We have been protesting for the last six months but government didn’t bother to listen to us,”
Singh said. “Our ancestors have charged this fort several times in history. This was a message to
government that we can do it again and more than this if our demands are not met.”

Tens of thousands of farmers have camped on the outskirts of the capital since November,
protesting against new laws that deregulate produce markets, which they say will destroy their
livelihoods, offer no protection for crop prices and leave them at greater risk of losing their land.

Authorities had agreed to let the farmers stage a tractor rally as long as they waited for the official
Republic Day parade to finish. But flag-waving protesters on at least four major arteries climbed
over or just pushed aside the barricades and concrete blocks and pressed on into the city.

Some protesters reached a junction about two miles from where the prime minister, Narendra
Modi, and other government leaders watched tanks and troops parade past and fighter jets fly
overhead. Modi waved to crowds and was driven back to his residence before any personal
confrontation with the farmers, the biggest challenge his Hindu nationalist government has faced in
its six years in power.

Jaspal Singh, 50, a farmer from Gurdaspur district in Punjab, said nothing would break the resolve
of the protesting farmers. “No matter how much force the Modi government uses we are not going
to succumb,” he said. “The government is trying to give a bad name to farmers by planting their
men among the protesters to do violence. But we are going to take this agitation ahead peacefully.”

Singh was among those who have been camped out at the Delhi border. “I have promised my
family and my villagers that I will not return home till the laws are repealed,” he said while walking
on Delhi-Karnal highway.

Agriculture employs more than 40% of India’s population but it is a sector plagued by poverty and
inefficiency, with farmers often selling their crops at less than cost. Rates of farmer suicides in
India are among the highest in the world.

Farmers say their plight has been ignored for decades and that the changes, aiming at bringing
private investment into agriculture, will only put farmers at the mercy of large corporations.

Malkeet Singh, 60, from the Mansa area of Punjab, said it was “now or never” as he walked
alongside thousands of fellow protesting farmers.

“If we do not protest right now against these black laws, our children will die of hunger. We will not
go back until the laws are reversed,” said Singh, who had walked 22 miles (35km) to reach the
protests.

The farmers say the new laws were introduced with no consultation and have demanded their
complete repeal. Nine rounds of negotiations with the government have failed to reach an
agreement.

The issue has now been raised with the supreme court, which suspended the laws and established
a special committee to attempt to sort the deadlock. However, farmers’ leaders said they would not
cooperate with the committee, accusing the panel of being too pro-Modi.

Last week, farmers rejected an offer by the government to suspend the laws for 18 months, saying
they would settle for nothing other than a complete repeal.

The government had attempted to get the supreme court to halt the tractor protest, saying it would
be “an embarrassment to the nation”.

The storming of the Red Fort prompted outrage from politicians who had been supportive of the
farmers’ cause. Amarinder Singh, chief minister of Punjab, urged farmers to vacate Delhi.
“Shocking scenes in Delhi,” he said in a tweet. “The violence by some elements is unacceptable. It
will negate goodwill generated by peacefully protesting farmers.”

Samyukta Kisan Morcha, an umbrella organisation representing more than 40 farmers’ unions,
condemned those who had taken part in the clashes and said that “anti-social elements had
infiltrated the otherwise peaceful movement”.

“We condemn and regret the undesirable and unacceptable events that have taken place today
and dissociate ourselves from those indulging in such acts,” said the group in a statement.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/26/violent-clashes-as-indian-farmers-storm-delhis-red-fort


Questions
https://drive.google.com/file/d/19iyBYuqXK05wFexfnkzr7kgyfdYEJgnH/view
Violent clashes as Indian farmers storm Delhi's Red Fort
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/26/violent-clashes-as-indian-farmers-storm-del
his-red-fort

1. Why are farmers protesting?
2. What political consequence of the protests is mentioned?
3. How do some farmers explain the violence in the protests?
4. What are the problems of the agricultural sector in India?
5. How will the new laws benefit large corporations according to farmers?
6. How have farmers reacted to new laws being suspended?


B)  Watch the video below and summarize its content in a text of maximum 200 words. This is NOT a writing assignment to hand it to your teacher, but you will read out your text to other students and compare it with their summaries.




C) Read the last two sections of this document ("Narratives" and "Victory") and answer these questions:

How India’s Farmers Launched a Movement Against Modi’s Farm Bills—and Won
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1x2gJkrY4WgyFswbD3v9KXJPy6wnfP6WR/view

How India’s Farmers Launched a Movement Against Modi’s Farm Bills—and Won

Hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers spent a year
relentlessly protesting the Modi government’s push to
corporatize Indian agriculture. Their fight offers a model for
social movements worldwide.


Toward the end of 2021, Indian farmers achieved the impossible:
a win against the right-wing government of Narendra Modi by
forcing a repeal of three draconian farm laws. This is the remarkable
story of how the farmers persevered through chilly winters, blistering
summers, monsoon floods, the pandemic’s second wave, and a
relentless, ruthless propaganda war unleashed by the government
through its lapdog corporate media.

Why Farmers Opposed Modi’s Farm Laws

When India gained independence in 1947, about 75% of its
population was engaged in agriculture, and yet the country faced the
specter of famine. By the early 1960s, on the basis of imported dwarf
Mexican wheat and genetically modified rice varieties, as well as
pesticides and fertilizers, India ushered in the Green Revolution in
North Indian states.

While India overcame its food security crises, no government in the
last half-century has effectively addressed the negative impacts of the
Green Revolution—soil depletion, water scarcity, illnesses such as
cancer, growing debt on farmers, and about 400,000 suicides among
farmers and other agricultural workers. At present, about 53% of the
population is still dependent—directly or indirectly—on the agrarian
economy, and about 86% of these farmers are small and marginal,
with only a few acres of land.

Given this growing penury, starting in the early 1990s as part of their
neoliberal approach, the World Trade Organization and International
Monetary Fund have pushed the country to adopt aggressive policies
to “depeasantize” the agrarian sector while pushing farmers and
labor into the migrant workforce in cities. In many ways, the plight of
the American farmer, pushed to the brink by neoliberal forms of
privatization, is a grim harbinger for Indian agricultural workers.

It was in 2020, while the COVID-19 pandemic raged worldwide and
people were confined to their homes under curfews and lockdowns,
that the government under the leadership of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata
Party decided to implement three draconian laws related to farming.
The first law allowed for private food-grain procurement; the second
allowed corporations to lease farmland to corporations; the third was
an amendment to the Essential Commodities Act, which now allowed
unlimited hoarding of food grains. The farmers sensed this was a
direct attack on their livelihood.

Mobilization

In summer 2020, when Parliament was not in session, the Modi
government published the farm laws as “ordinances” promulgated by
the president of India on the recommendation of the Union Cabinet.
Think of these as similar to “executive orders” by U.S. standards,
except that Indian ordinances require ratification by Parliament
within six months.

The government’s haste and the content of the laws drew the
attention of farmers in the northern state of Punjab. While armchair
economists praised the laws, farmers started spreading word of the
adverse intent of these laws among villages and towns in the state.
Along with the three original laws, two other laws provoked farmers’
censure: the criminalization of paddy stubble burning with huge fines
and imprisonment, and a proposal to privatize the power sector. The
farmers advocated that a minimum support price for their crops,
rather than a selling off, was the best way to infuse money into the
rural economy and save them from poverty and suicides.
In the northern Green Revolution states, farm unions are stronger
than in the rest of the country, where they have eroded over time. By
the time the government passed the laws in September, the farm
unions in Punjab were ready to protest. Union members blocked all
the railroads in the state and stopped collection of toll taxes on the
highways. Since they knew the laws would favor big businesses, the
unions blocked the corporate-owned gas stations, shopping malls,
and warehouses in the state. When the government did not budge, by
early November 2020, the Punjab farm unions united into a coalition
named Samyukt Kisan Morcha and made the announcement that on
Constitution Day, Nov. 26, they would march to Delhi, the capital of
India.
Solidarities
On Nov. 26, as the farmers from Punjab started their march, police in
the neighboring state of Haryana set up barricades on the roads in the
form of cement blocks and shipping containers, dug trenches, and
used tear gas and water cannons on the marchers.

The Punjab farmers found an unlikely ally—Haryana farmers who
were also protesting the same laws. In spite of the fact that the two
states have a half-century-old river water dispute, the farmers rallied
together. The next day, Haryana farmers started dismantling the
barricades and paving the way. As Punjab farmers advanced, in
accordance with their Sikh religion, the farmers even held langars—
communal eating—for the police officers on duty. It was a remarkable
gesture of openness and inclusivity toward friends and even foes.
Finally, braving the physical assault from police, the farmers from
Punjab and Haryana dug in on the outskirts of Delhi—at Singhu and
Tikri. They set up camps in tractor trollies and tents for many miles
on the road. Soon, farmers from west Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand
set up their camps on the eastern outskirts of Delhi, at Gazipur.
Camps sprang up at Palwal and on the Haryana–Rajasthan border at
Shahjahanpur.
Through the duration of the protests, the numbers of farmers
camping out varied from 50,000 on average to up to 700,000 at its
peak. The northern states are feudal, and patriarchy is still rife.
Breaking tradition, women farmers formed a key pillar of the
protests. It was the same with organized labor groups, who, owing to
the exigencies of daily wage earning, could not participate for a
greater length of time, but who nonetheless supported the protests.
One of the main slogans of the protests was “Kisan Mazdoor Ekta
Zindabad,” or “Long Live Farmer-Worker Unity.” When young and
old Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh farmers, supported by urban folks,
came together, they negated the right-wing BJP ploy to divide society
along cleavages of religion, caste, and gender. Instead, the protests
united the farmers through their kirrt—work.
Narratives
The farmers’ protests took place at two levels—on the ground and in
the media. As farmers reached Delhi, mainstream media, most of
which is controlled by big corporations, attempted to gather sound
bites from farmers. The farmers blocked all access by the
corporate media. Instead, they started their own media: social

solo supporters. They started articulating their daily activities at the
campsites and began issuing point-by-point rebuttals of the farm
laws. The slogan “No Farmers, No Food, No Future” caught
everyone’s attention.
Meanwhile, mainstream media started promoting the government’s
agenda, calling farmers “anti-national”—India’s equivalent of
“unpatriotic”—and claiming they were supported by
separatist elements. The farmers’ media countered this partisan
narrative. Social and international media spread the farmers’
messages worldwide.
As talks between the government and SKM dragged into 11 rounds
until mid-January 2021, icy winter rains battered the farmers. After
the events of Republic Day on Jan. 26, when some farmers marched
toward the iconic Red Fort to hoist the farmers’ and Sikh flags, the
government once more tried to paint the farmers as anti-national.
Talks broke down, and the long wait began.
Over the next 10 months, the protest sites ran their own stages and
kitchens. They replenished stocks from their villages. Haryana
farmers even provided a ready supply of milk and fresh vegetables. By
spring 2021, the pandemic’s second wave hit the world. Civil society
urged farmers to withdraw their protest, but they did not. By
summertime, scorching heat and monsoon floods troubled the
farmers. But they remained firm, innovating their encampments into
reinforced tents, wooden huts equipped with coolers, refrigerators,
and even washing machines. Meanwhile, due to the exigencies of
weather and accidents, over 700 people died over the course of the
protests.
During these long months, even as the media moved on, farmers
conducted huge gatherings in their states, some with over 100,000
people, to spread their message against the laws and build larger
solidarities. They made various calls for general strikes, which
farmers from other Indian states responded to enthusiastically. They
conducted a Farmers Parliament coinciding with the Indian
Parliament’s Monsoon Session, which gave them visibility. But such
efforts were evanescent. The only option that remained was to try to

affect the electoral process in key states in February 2022, not as a
political party but a pressure group.
Victory
All of a sudden, on Nov. 19, 2021, the prime minister announced the
unconditional repeal of the draconian farm laws. Yet, the trust deficit
was such that even after Modi’s public announcement, the farmers
suspended their protests after 22 days. They called it a suspension
because the issue of minimum support price on 23 crops across the
country is still pending, and the government has only promised to
form a committee to look into the matter. Depending on how the
committee fares, the farmers might pick up the protest again.
The farmers demanded a written guarantee that while the Parliament
withdrew the laws, which it did, the government would also repeal
the pollution act that criminalizes farmers for burning paddy husk
and withdraw a proposed electricity bill that seeks to privatize power
in the country. The unilateral repeal shows the government sensed the
protests had galvanized more support than it could quell, and it was
fast losing its electoral base.
For now, this victory is a direct blow to WTO, IMF, and World Bank
policies, and to the BJP’s privatization agenda. The Indian farmers’
protest is a model for all struggling people worldwide. Their relentless
and sustained protest shows that a sure resolve, control of resources,
and perseverance is key to winning against neoliberal forces
worldwide and ushering in a world where working people are the
focus of national economic policies.




1. What factors contributed to the farmers' success according to the article?
2. Judging from the facts reported in the text, do you this a short-term victory or a long-term one?
3. Do you agree with the author's conclusions in the last paragraph?
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Mensaje por Intruder Miér 16 Feb 2022 - 0:52

Post for answers previous post

Topic 4: Activity book
2. Economic problems: speaking
2.16. Farmer protests in India

A) Read this report about farmers' protests in India in January 2021 and answer the questions according to what is said in it:

1. Why are farmers protesting?
They are protesting against new laws that deregulate produce markets, which they say will destroy their
livelihoods, offer no protection for crop prices and leave them at greater risk of losing their land.

2. What political consequence of the protests is mentioned?
The issue has now been raised with the supreme court, which suspended the laws and established
a special committee to attempt to sort the deadlock
.
3. How do some farmers explain the violence in the protests?
They condemned those who had taken part in the clashes and said that “anti-social elements had
infiltrated the otherwise peaceful movement"

4. What are the problems of the agricultural sector in India?
Agriculture employs more than 40% of India’s population but it is a sector plagued by poverty and
inefficiency, with farmers often selling their crops at less than cost. Rates of farmer suicides in
India are among the highest in the world.

5. How will the new laws benefit large corporations according to farmers?
By bringing private investment into agriculture, deregulating produce markets, which they say will destroy their
livelihoods, offer no protection for crop prices and leave them at greater risk of losing their land.

6. How have farmers reacted to new laws being suspended?
Last week, farmers rejected an offer by the government to suspend the laws for 18 months, saying
they would settle for nothing other than a complete repeal.


B)  Watch the video below and summarize its content in a text of maximum 200 words. This is NOT a writing assignment to hand it to your teacher, but you will read out your text to other students and compare it with their summaries.


C) Read the last two sections of this document ("Narratives" and "Victory") and answer these questions:

1. What factors contributed to the farmers' success according to the article?
2. Judging from the facts reported in the text, do you this a short-term victory or a long-term one?
3. Do you agree with the author's conclusions in the last paragraph?
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 22 Feb 2022 - 17:44

Hi, Jojo and Shanks..... if you have time, would you be so nice to check this draft I have written for an oral presentation coming soon?

Trillion thanks to my Red Angels!

HOUSING

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen

The topic of my presentation today is A SUSTAINABLE HOUSING SOLUTION FOR SPAIN

Since I was a teen I’ve been constantly listening to complains about how difficult it is to have affordable access to housing property in Spain.

And this makes me wonder, why are we still facing today the same issues we have experienced in the last 3 decades?

My main goal today is to share with you a succesful experience developed in another country.....half a century ago!

But first of all, let me take you back in time, to remind you of the infamous housing bubble that grew in Spain since the turn of this century, and finally burst in the summer of 2008, giving rise to a long and great recession.

It all started when local savings banks lose their heads and gave mortgages to all individuals regardless of their financial situation.
If financing the full  House price was not risky enough, banks even encouraged applicants to extend the loan to cover the cost of other commodities such as furniture, new cars or Caribbean Holidays.

Banks relied on the historically widespread belief that housing prices would never drop, no matter how high they eventually may rise. So they overfunded almost every application, confident that in the worst case, client default, they could recover their loan through a revaluated property.

We all know how it all ended: prices dropping sharply, client defaults,  bankrupcy, eviction, crisis  and unemployment.

What surprised me the most was the fact that our different administrations did absolutely nothing to prevent this bubble.

In my humble opinion, I think that the housing market in our country needs some Government rule. But not rules for rules’ sake, but a set of clever ones.

I will never get tired of emphazising how essential is for local politicians to learn from other countries’ experiences before trying to be, let’s say, creative.

And today I’m bringing the mexican experience to the table.

In mexican payrolls, besides the traditional social security contribution, there is another one, aimed to create a Housing Fund since its establishment in 1972. It is totally covered by employers who pay  5% on gross salaries.

To manage this housing fund, the mexican government created INFONAVIT, an agency which provides housing-related mortgage products, such as:
Mortgages to buy a new or existing home,
to remodel a home or
to build a new home
Or Cancel a mortgage previously given by a private bank

So, how does this System work? What do you need to get a mortgage from INFONAVIT?

First and obvious: only workers who are registered at the NHS can be applicants.

And second, you should have reached a mínimum of 1080 points according to nine criteria, such as your age, gross salary, cummulative balance in your account, permanent job or not, payment history of your employer, turnover rate...and so on...

It takes two to three years on average for a worker to reach this 1080 point thresold, and then you are eligible for a public mortgage. Again, the maximum amount you can take out depends on age and gross salary, being between 30 and 35 the best valued ages for obvious reasons.

I do really love this System because it has nothing but advantatges.

For exemple, you can join your credit with relatives or your couple and have a joint credit.

If you lose your job and therefore fall behind temporarily with your payments you´re not gonna be evicted. INFONAVIT will give you reasonable time to find another one.

If you have already paid an Infonavit mortgage (this means you’re around 50) you can apply for another one to remodel your house, or to buy a second home (for holidays?), or you can help partially a son or daughter increasing their credit amount.

And if you decide to do nothing else, all of the contributions made by your employers since the day you settled your first mortgage are kept till the day you retire, and then they’re immediately available for you.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

But, what I like the most about this system is that it regards housing as a basic need rather than a market product subject to speculation.

Of course you can always get a mortgage from a private bank if you don’t want to stick to the públic System rules. But the important thing is that specualators can  do their business without having negative effects on the public System.

Last, but not least, I am adamant that this public Systems is kind of a life guidance for citizens: There is no real need to buy during your early 20’s, then you have other priorities....

Let me finish my talk with a question: If there’s been a Labour Party ruling Spain for 25 years out of the last 40....why haven’t they ever planned to set up something like this?

If you have found my talk interesting please click on the heart button below, Thank You!
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 22 Feb 2022 - 19:43

Activities to do by February 23

The activities to do before the next class are the ones in chapters 1.2, 2 and 2.1 of the Topic 5 activity book.

You may also start on the assignments from Unit 7 of MyELT.

Have a good week.
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 22 Feb 2022 - 19:55

Topic 5: Activity book

1. Customs around the world: reading

1.1. Talking about customs

A) Click on the link and do the activities:

Talking about customs
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1PjZmQz20fpJnXyk4irNlo6hJnfg8FAfw/view


B) Watch this video about traditions to do with babies around the world, and share your answers to the following questions:



1. Do any of these traditions exist in your culture?

2. Which of these traditions wouldn't you mind adopting if you lived in a foreign country?

3. Which of them would you definitely not adopt? Why?

4. Do you know any other similar traditions?

4. Why do you think these odd customs related to childbirth and babies exist? Can you imagine how they originated?
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 22 Feb 2022 - 19:55

Post for answers previous post

1. Do any of these traditions exist in your culture?

2. Which of these traditions wouldn't you mind adopting if you lived in a foreign country?

3. Which of them would you definitely not adopt? Why?

4. Do you know any other similar traditions?

4. Why do you think these odd customs related to childbirth and babies exist? Can you imagine how they originated?
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 22 Feb 2022 - 21:49

Topic 5: Activity book

1. Customs around the world: reading

1.2. Faux pas: listening

Do the listening activity and prepare to discuss this question:

Have you ever made a faux pas while you were abroad, or dealing with a person from a different culture? What happened? How did you feel? How did the other person feel?

Alternatively, you can describe a faux pas you've witnessed, or one that someone has told you about, or a faux pas by a character in a work of fiction.

Faux pas listening task
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1TT-8VCJ0OW7wg86xzw7JfEWwr86tEXGJ/view

Audio
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CYXZJDlTHxSYydJkAK95efI8wAKazU02/view

Key
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UE8woGeuto496LdnNMouDebKYPHeXMl8/view
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 22 Feb 2022 - 21:53

Post for answers previous post:

Prepare to discuss this question:

Have you ever made a faux pas while you were abroad, or dealing with a person from a different culture? What happened? How did you feel? How did the other person feel?

Alternatively, you can describe a faux pas you've witnessed, or one that someone has told you about, or a faux pas by a character in a work of fiction.
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 22 Feb 2022 - 22:11

Topic 5: Activity book

2. The danger of a single story

A) Watch the video and do the activities.



B) Prepare to share your answers to these questions in class:

1. How would you sum up the speaker's message in the video?

2. Have you, or some you know, ever been judged according to a stereotype? What was the "single story" in your/their case?

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "The danger of a single story"

Activities
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Rks8JRqy280YZ6-8Kpyl_GzedY2Oanmq/view

Key
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1zpvGb57jnDQP5OKdCZMi9Sz0W_akvZLo/view


Última edición por Intruder el Miér 23 Feb 2022 - 13:09, editado 1 vez
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 22 Feb 2022 - 22:12

Prepare to share your answers to these questions in class:

1. How would you sum up the speaker's message in the video?

Excerpts from the video:

“So what the Discovery of african writers did for me was this: it saved me from having a single story”
Single story: Poverty was her single story of her servants, so  it had become impossible for her to see them as anything else as poor….

“My room mate had a single story of Africa, a single story of catastrophy” “In this single story there was no possibility of  africans being similar to her in any way, no possibility of feelings more complex than pity, no possibility of connection as human equals”

“The single story of Africa ultimately comes from western literature”

“I realised that I had been so inmerse in the media coverage of the mexicans that they hay become one thing in my mind: inmigrants. I had bought the single story of the mexicans and I couldn´t have been more ashamed of myself”

“How to create a single story: Show people as one thing, as only one thing , over and over again, and that is what they become.”

“Stories are defined by the principle of power”

“Power is not just the ability of telling the story of another person but to make it the definitive story of that person”

“The single story creates stereotypes and the problem with stereotypes is not that they’re untrue but that they’re incomplete. They make one’s story became the only story.”

“I have always felt that it is impossible  to engage properly with a place or a person without engaging with all the stories of that place or that person.”

“The consequence of the single story is, it robs people of dignity, it makes recognition of our human equalty difficult, it emphasizes how we are different rather how we are similar”

“Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to disposses, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of the people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity.”

My summary:
In her TED Talk Adichie introduces the idea of single story to describe how stereotypes about people and countries have been created throught the years by the dominant cultures, and how difficult do they make our understanding of the different ones.




2. Have you, or some you know, ever been judged according to a stereotype? What was the "single story" in your/their case?

I can only remember many years ago when living abroad. According to many locals I was supposed to be a flamenco lover and enjoy traditional spanish music  and bullfights just becase I came from Spain.


Última edición por Intruder el Miér 23 Feb 2022 - 15:07, editado 1 vez
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 22 Feb 2022 - 22:30

Topic 5: Activity book

2. The danger of a single story

2.1. "How diverse societies can do better": reading

Read this text and do the activities in the worksheet:

"How diverse societies can do better than passive tolerance"
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1w7H0vfOtGF9LN8_jMIX8VVvAhvKd3ZqN/view

Interculturalism: how diverse societies can do better than
passive tolerance


Western liberal democracies are again embroiled in debates about the value of
multicultural policies. In Australia, the federal government has just released its own
statement on multiculturalism. The current debates are unfolding in the context of the
election of Donald Trump, the Brexit vote and the rise of far-right parties like One Nation.

In Australia, such debates have historically conflated multiculturalism – a term that
describes the policy framework established in the 1970s and 1980s – with the idea of racial
or ethnic diversity.

Four decades after the end of “White Australia”, however, diversity is simply an
established – and irreversible – social fact. When the debate on immigration is added to
the mix, the result is a tangled mess of issues that can be difficult to tease apart.

One result of this conceptual confusion is that policy debates about immigration,
citizenship and multiculturalism often escalate into toxic arguments. At their most
trenchant, they have turned into arguments for cultural supremacy – including the idea
that certain groups of Australians should not have access to rights enjoyed by other citizens.

Overcoming ‘us and them’ mindsets

In Australia, most common strategies for countering “us and them” sentiments consist of public
statements defending “multiculturalism” and immigration. But these strategies reinforce the
conflation of multicultural policy and cultural diversity. This leaves little room to challenge the
assumptions of multiculturalism without being seen as challenging diversity itself.

Yet, in the last ten years or so, an important new policy framework has
emerged in the northern hemisphere. It’s one that might help
Australians debate these issues without descending into rancour.

This approach attempts to steer policy debates past this difficult impasse
by drawing on decades of humanities and social research.

Known as “interculturalism”, it prioritises active and equitable
interaction between groups over passive tolerance.

Interculturalism has strong policy advocates in Canada and Britain. Its
strongest institutional base, however, is in continental Europe. The
Council of Europe has supported the Intercultural Cities Program for
more than a decade.

Bypassing the unproductive debates raging at the national level in many
member states, this program tackles issues of cultural diversity and
migrant settlement at the city level. More than 100 cities, mostly in
Europe but also in Canada and Mexico, are adopting its pioneering
approach.

Many of these cities operate in political environments that are even more obviously polarised than
Australia’s. Strategies they have adopted include anti-rumour campaigns, participatory campaigns
around urban cultural heritage, and promotions of intercultural interaction in segregated urban
spaces.

The Australian experience

In Australia, there has long been a disconnection between the national political discourse and the
implementation of multicultural policies on the ground.

Implementation has often been the responsibility of local government authorities. On one side,
support for the ideology of “multicultural Australia” in official versions of Australian identity has
waxed and waned. On the other, local governments must look for answers to new tensions in their
communities, such as growing protests against the building of mosques.

The Intercultural Cities model offers important ideas and resources for councils looking to respond to
these challenges in creative and positive ways. In December 2016, Ballarat became the first Australian
city to join the Intercultural Cities Network.

Joining the network has opened up many new opportunities for Ballarat’s work in this area. As a
member, the city has access to a wealth of best-practice intercultural programs and strategies. And
with more than 100 cities sharing their experience, the network’s evidence base for making policy
choices is growing.

At the same time, Australian cities can make an important contribution to continuing European
efforts to develop and spread intercultural principles. The Intercultural Cities Index – the program’s
monitoring and evaluation tool – shows Ballarat is already doing very well compared to its European
counterparts. The city ranks fourth among network members.

In an effort to further international cross-fertilisation around intercultural principles and practice, a
group of academics and practitioners have collaborated to create an Australian affiliate of the
Intercultural Cities Program. Intercultural Cities Australasia has worked with the Council of Europe
to reformulate its diagnostic index for the Australian context.

We have also authored a set of Australian intercultural standards and indicators to support local
governments seeking to adopt an intercultural approach to respond to increasing levels of cultural
diversity.

This approach could provide some practical means for responding to the federal government’s policy
statement on multiculturalism.

Reforming multicultural practices

Interculturalism builds on key principles already present in Australian multicultural policy. These
include public recognition of diversity and difference, protection from discrimination, and
consultation across perceived cultural divides. But it also signals a shift from the way these principles
have been institutionalised in Australia.

At the local level, interculturalism puts more emphasis on programs that bring minorities together
and into direct engagement with the majority culture and mainstream organisations and institutions.

It also asks members of the majority culture to question their own assumptions and open channels of
communication and interaction with minorities. It is therefore a “whole of society” framework, rather
than a device for managing minorities.

Our aim in fostering this shift is to encourage all Australians to recognise the importance of
intercultural competence. The aim is to re-orient our consultative structures so that we can engage
directly with each other – in our policy settings as much as in our daily lives.

We need to equip all of us – and our political system – to navigate cultural difference. This might help
to protect social cohesion as debates about immigration and multiculturalism pick up momentum. It
should also improve our capacity to relate to our Asia-Pacific neighbours.

Worksheet

"How diverse societies can do better than passive
tolerance” Worksheet
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Cad0_OGp0ESxnzcpG5ilrh4m6Yt7_qW4/view

Are these statements true according to the authors? Write T
(true), F (false) or NS (not said) next to each statement.

1. Australia’s debates have often confused multiculturalism with other concepts.
2. Cultural supremacy has contaminated public policy in Australia.
3. The best way to challenge the idea of a “White Australia” is to defend
multiculturalism and immigration.
4. The Intercultural Cities Program is deeply involved in national debates about
diversity.
5. The Australian government has unwaveringly defended multiculturalism.
6. The city of Ballarat is a successful example of interculturalism.
7. Intercultural Cities Australasia have produced a new index to measure
interculturalism.
8. Interculturalism is radically different from current federal policies in Australia.
9. Minorities are the true protagonists of interculturalism.
10. Intercultural competence can be a positive factor in Australia’s foreign policy.

Now read this page from the Britannica encyclopedia about
ethnic diversity in Australia. Did anything surprise you?
https://www.britannica.com/place/Australia/People


Última edición por Intruder el Miér 23 Feb 2022 - 11:45, editado 1 vez
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 22 Feb 2022 - 23:26

Post for answers previous post

Are these statements true according to the authors? Write T
(true), F (false) or NS (not said) next to each statement.

1. Australia’s debates have often confused multiculturalism with other concepts.
2. Cultural supremacy has contaminated public policy in Australia.
3. The best way to challenge the idea of a “White Australia” is to defend
multiculturalism and immigration.
4. The Intercultural Cities Program is deeply involved in national debates about
diversity.
5. The Australian government has unwaveringly defended multiculturalism.
6. The city of Ballarat is a successful example of interculturalism.
7. Intercultural Cities Australasia have produced a new index to measure
interculturalism.
8. Interculturalism is radically different from current federal policies in Australia.
9. Minorities are the true protagonists of interculturalism.
10. Intercultural competence can be a positive factor in Australia’s foreign policy.

Now read this page from the Britannica encyclopedia about
ethnic diversity in Australia. Did anything surprise you?
https://www.britannica.com/place/Australia/People


Última edición por Intruder el Miér 23 Feb 2022 - 11:50, editado 1 vez
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Mensaje por Shanks Miér 23 Feb 2022 - 10:30

Intruder escribió:Hi, Jojo and Shanks..... if you have time, would you be so nice to check this draft I have written for an oral presentation coming soon?

Trillion thanks to my Red Angels!

HOUSING

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen

The topic of my presentation today is A SUSTAINABLE HOUSING SOLUTION FOR SPAIN

Since I was a teen I’ve been constantly listening to complains about how difficult it is to have affordable access to housing property in Spain.

‘ to have access to affordable housing in Spain’

And this makes me wonder, why are we still facing today the same issues we have experienced in the last 3 decades?

My main goal today is to share with you a succesful experience developed in another country.....half a century ago!

But first of all, let me take you back in time, to remind you of the infamous housing bubble that grew in Spain since the turn of this century, and finally burst in the summer of 2008, giving rise to a long and great recession.

‘housing bubble that emerged in Spain at the turn of this century,’

It all started when local savings banks lose their heads and gave mortgages to all individuals regardless of their financial situation.
If financing the full  House price was not risky enough, banks even encouraged applicants to extend the loan to cover the cost of other commodities such as furniture, new cars or Caribbean Holidays.

Lose - lost

Banks relied on the historically widespread belief that housing prices would never drop, no matter how high they eventually may rise. So they overfunded almost every application, confident that in the worst case, client default, they could recover their loan through a revaluated property.

Confident that even in a worst case scenario, client default, they would recover ….

We all know how it all ended: prices dropping sharply, client defaults,  bankrupcy, eviction, crisis  and unemployment.

What surprised me the most was the fact that our different administrations did absolutely nothing to prevent this bubble.

In my humble opinion, I think that the housing market in our country needs some Government rule. But not rules for rules’ sake, but a set of clever ones.

… rules implemented by the Government. But

I will never get tired of emphazising how essential is for local politicians to learn from other countries’ experiences before trying to be, let’s say, creative.

And today I’m bringing the mexican experience to the table.

In mexican payrolls, besides the traditional social security contribution, there is another one, aimed to create a Housing Fund since its establishment in 1972. It is totally covered by employers who pay  5% on gross salaries.

To manage this housing fund, the mexican government created INFONAVIT, an agency which provides housing-related mortgage products, such as:
Mortgages to buy a new or existing home,
to remodel a home or
to build a new home
Or Cancel a mortgage previously given by a private bank

So, how does this System work? What do you need to get a mortgage from INFONAVIT?

First and obvious: only workers who are registered at the NHS can be applicants.

And second, you should have reached a mínimum of 1080 points according to nine criteria, such as your age, gross salary, cummulative balance in your account, permanent job or not, payment history of your employer, turnover rate...and so on...

It takes two to three years on average for a worker to reach this 1080 point thresold, and then you are eligible for a public mortgage. Again, the maximum amount you can take out depends on age and gross salary, being between 30 and 35 the best valued ages for obvious reasons.

I do really love this System because it has nothing but advantatges.

For exemple, you can join your credit with relatives or your couple and have a joint credit.

Couple = partner ??

If you lose your job and therefore fall behind temporarily with your payments you´re not gonna be evicted. INFONAVIT will give you reasonable time to find another one.

A reasonable amount of time

If you have already paid an Infonavit mortgage (this means you’re around 50) you can apply for another one to remodel your house, or to buy a second home (for holidays?), or you can help partially a son or daughter increasing their credit amount.

I’d use reform instead of remodel.
Partially help

And if you decide to do nothing else, all of the contributions made by your employers since the day you settled your first mortgage are kept till the day you retire, and then they’re immediately available for you.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

But, what I like the most about this system is that it regards housing as a basic need rather than a market product subject to speculation.

Of course you can always get a mortgage from a private bank if you don’t want to stick to the públic System rules. But the important thing is that specualators can  do their business without having negative effects on the public System.

Speculators

Last, but not least, I am adamant that this public Systems is kind of a life guidance for citizens: There is no real need to buy during your early 20’s, then you have other priorities....

Is a kind of life guidance
20’s, when you …

Let me finish my talk with a question: If there’s been a Labour Party ruling Spain for 25 years out of the last 40....why haven’t they ever planned to set up something like this?

If you have found my talk interesting please click on the heart button below, Thank You!

Shanks

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Mensaje por Intruder Miér 23 Feb 2022 - 11:27

Shanks escribió:
Intruder escribió:Hi, Jojo and Shanks..... if you have time, would you be so nice to check this draft I have written for an oral presentation coming soon?

Trillion thanks to my Red Angels!

HOUSING

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen

The topic of my presentation today is A SUSTAINABLE HOUSING SOLUTION FOR SPAIN

Since I was a teen I’ve been constantly listening to complains about how difficult it is to have affordable access to housing property in Spain.

‘ to have access to affordable housing in Spain’

And this makes me wonder, why are we still facing today the same issues we have experienced in the last 3 decades?

My main goal today is to share with you a succesful experience developed in another country.....half a century ago!

But first of all, let me take you back in time, to remind you of the infamous housing bubble that grew in Spain since the turn of this century, and finally burst in the summer of 2008, giving rise to a long and great recession.

‘housing bubble that emerged in Spain at the turn of this century,’

It all started when local savings banks lose their heads and gave mortgages to all individuals regardless of their financial situation.
If financing the full  House price was not risky enough, banks even encouraged applicants to extend the loan to cover the cost of other commodities such as furniture, new cars or Caribbean Holidays.

Lose - lost

Banks relied on the historically widespread belief that housing prices would never drop, no matter how high they eventually may rise. So they overfunded almost every application, confident that in the worst case, client default, they could recover their loan through a revaluated property.

Confident that even in a worst case scenario, client default, they would recover ….

We all know how it all ended: prices dropping sharply, client defaults,  bankrupcy, eviction, crisis  and unemployment.

What surprised me the most was the fact that our different administrations did absolutely nothing to prevent this bubble.

In my humble opinion, I think that the housing market in our country needs some Government rule. But not rules for rules’ sake, but a set of clever ones.

… rules implemented by the Government. But

I will never get tired of emphazising how essential is for local politicians to learn from other countries’ experiences before trying to be, let’s say, creative.

And today I’m bringing the mexican experience to the table.

In mexican payrolls, besides the traditional social security contribution, there is another one, aimed to create a Housing Fund since its establishment in 1972. It is totally covered by employers who pay  5% on gross salaries.

To manage this housing fund, the mexican government created INFONAVIT, an agency which provides housing-related mortgage products, such as:
Mortgages to buy a new or existing home,
to remodel a home or
to build a new home
Or Cancel a mortgage previously given by a private bank

So, how does this System work? What do you need to get a mortgage from INFONAVIT?

First and obvious: only workers who are registered at the NHS can be applicants.

And second, you should have reached a mínimum of 1080 points according to nine criteria, such as your age, gross salary, cummulative balance in your account, permanent job or not, payment history of your employer, turnover rate...and so on...

It takes two to three years on average for a worker to reach this 1080 point thresold, and then you are eligible for a public mortgage. Again, the maximum amount you can take out depends on age and gross salary, being between 30 and 35 the best valued ages for obvious reasons.

I do really love this System because it has nothing but advantatges.

For exemple, you can join your credit with relatives or your couple and have a joint credit.

Couple = partner ??

If you lose your job and therefore fall behind temporarily with your payments you´re not gonna be evicted. INFONAVIT will give you reasonable time to find another one.

A reasonable amount of time

If you have already paid an Infonavit mortgage (this means you’re around 50) you can apply for another one to remodel your house, or to buy a second home (for holidays?), or you can help partially a son or daughter increasing their credit amount.

I’d use reform instead of remodel.
Partially help

And if you decide to do nothing else, all of the contributions made by your employers since the day you settled your first mortgage are kept till the day you retire, and then they’re immediately available for you.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

But, what I like the most about this system is that it regards housing as a basic need rather than a market product subject to speculation.

Of course you can always get a mortgage from a private bank if you don’t want to stick to the públic System rules. But the important thing is that specualators can  do their business without having negative effects on the public System.

Speculators

Last, but not least, I am adamant that this public Systems is kind of a life guidance for citizens: There is no real need to buy during your early 20’s, then you have other priorities....

Is a kind of life guidance
20’s, when you …

Let me finish my talk with a question: If there’s been a Labour Party ruling Spain for 25 years out of the last 40....why haven’t they ever planned to set up something like this?

If you have found my talk interesting please click on the heart button below, Thank You!

Hi Shanks! No corrections at all?
Intruder
Intruder

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Mensaje por Shanks Miér 23 Feb 2022 - 13:21

Intruder escribió:
Shanks escribió:
Intruder escribió:Hi, Jojo and Shanks..... if you have time, would you be so nice to check this draft I have written for an oral presentation coming soon?

Trillion thanks to my Red Angels!

HOUSING

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen

The topic of my presentation today is A SUSTAINABLE HOUSING SOLUTION FOR SPAIN

Since I was a teen I’ve been constantly listening to complains about how difficult it is to have affordable access to housing property in Spain.

‘ to have access to affordable housing in Spain’

And this makes me wonder, why are we still facing today the same issues we have experienced in the last 3 decades?

My main goal today is to share with you a succesful experience developed in another country.....half a century ago!

But first of all, let me take you back in time, to remind you of the infamous housing bubble that grew in Spain since the turn of this century, and finally burst in the summer of 2008, giving rise to a long and great recession.

‘housing bubble that emerged in Spain at the turn of this century,’

It all started when local savings banks lose their heads and gave mortgages to all individuals regardless of their financial situation.
If financing the full  House price was not risky enough, banks even encouraged applicants to extend the loan to cover the cost of other commodities such as furniture, new cars or Caribbean Holidays.

Lose - lost

Banks relied on the historically widespread belief that housing prices would never drop, no matter how high they eventually may rise. So they overfunded almost every application, confident that in the worst case, client default, they could recover their loan through a revaluated property.

Confident that even in a worst case scenario, client default, they would recover ….

We all know how it all ended: prices dropping sharply, client defaults,  bankrupcy, eviction, crisis  and unemployment.

What surprised me the most was the fact that our different administrations did absolutely nothing to prevent this bubble.

In my humble opinion, I think that the housing market in our country needs some Government rule. But not rules for rules’ sake, but a set of clever ones.

… rules implemented by the Government. But

I will never get tired of emphazising how essential is for local politicians to learn from other countries’ experiences before trying to be, let’s say, creative.

And today I’m bringing the mexican experience to the table.

In mexican payrolls, besides the traditional social security contribution, there is another one, aimed to create a Housing Fund since its establishment in 1972. It is totally covered by employers who pay  5% on gross salaries.

To manage this housing fund, the mexican government created INFONAVIT, an agency which provides housing-related mortgage products, such as:
Mortgages to buy a new or existing home,
to remodel a home or
to build a new home
Or Cancel a mortgage previously given by a private bank

So, how does this System work? What do you need to get a mortgage from INFONAVIT?

First and obvious: only workers who are registered at the NHS can be applicants.

And second, you should have reached a mínimum of 1080 points according to nine criteria, such as your age, gross salary, cummulative balance in your account, permanent job or not, payment history of your employer, turnover rate...and so on...

It takes two to three years on average for a worker to reach this 1080 point thresold, and then you are eligible for a public mortgage. Again, the maximum amount you can take out depends on age and gross salary, being between 30 and 35 the best valued ages for obvious reasons.

I do really love this System because it has nothing but advantatges.

For exemple, you can join your credit with relatives or your couple and have a joint credit.

Couple = partner ??

If you lose your job and therefore fall behind temporarily with your payments you´re not gonna be evicted. INFONAVIT will give you reasonable time to find another one.

A reasonable amount of time

If you have already paid an Infonavit mortgage (this means you’re around 50) you can apply for another one to remodel your house, or to buy a second home (for holidays?), or you can help partially a son or daughter increasing their credit amount.

I’d use reform instead of remodel.
Partially help

And if you decide to do nothing else, all of the contributions made by your employers since the day you settled your first mortgage are kept till the day you retire, and then they’re immediately available for you.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

But, what I like the most about this system is that it regards housing as a basic need rather than a market product subject to speculation.

Of course you can always get a mortgage from a private bank if you don’t want to stick to the públic System rules. But the important thing is that specualators can  do their business without having negative effects on the public System.

Speculators

Last, but not least, I am adamant that this public Systems is kind of a life guidance for citizens: There is no real need to buy during your early 20’s, then you have other priorities....

Is a kind of life guidance
20’s, when you …

Let me finish my talk with a question: If there’s been a Labour Party ruling Spain for 25 years out of the last 40....why haven’t they ever planned to set up something like this?

If you have found my talk interesting please click on the heart button below, Thank You!

Hi Shanks! No corrections at all?

Yeah, la. I put the ‘corrections’ (how I would say things) after each paragraph. Basically what you’ve said is sound though. What level are you up to now?

Good luck with the presentation.

Shanks

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Mensaje por Intruder Miér 23 Feb 2022 - 22:46

Sorry Shanks, I didn't notice your notes because of the colours.....

I'm gonna introduce them immediately.....

I'm getting ready for C2 level......

Thank you Shanks, I'm very grateful for your help...

Intruder
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Mensaje por Intruder Dom 27 Feb 2022 - 20:14

After Shanks' corrections:

HOUSING

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen
The topic of my presentation today is A SUSTAINABLE HOUSING SOLUTION FOR SPAIN

Since I was a teen I’ve been constantly listening to complains about how difficult it is to have access to affordable housing in Spain.

And this makes me wonder, why are we still facing today the same issues we have experienced in the last 3 decades?

My main goal today is to share with you a succesful experience developed in another country.....half a century ago!

But first of all, let me take you back in time, to remind you of the infamous housing bubble that emerged in Spain at the turn of this century, and finally burst in the summer of 2008, giving rise to a long and great recession.

It all started when local savings banks lost their heads and gave mortgages to all individuals regardless of their financial situation. If financing the full House price was not risky enough, banks even encouraged applicants to extend the loan to cover the cost of other commodities such as furniture, new cars or Caribbean Holidays.

Banks relied on the historically widespread belief that housing prices would never drop, no matter how high they eventually may rise. So they overfunded almost every application, confident that even in a worst case scenario, client default, they would recover their loan through a revaluated property.

We all know how it all ended: prices dropping sharply, client defaults, bankrupcy, eviction, crisis and unemployment.

What surprised me the most was the fact that our different administrations did absolutely nothing to prevent this bubble.

In my humble opinion, I think that the housing market in our country needs some rules implemented by the Government. But not rules for rules’ sake, but a set of clever ones.

I will never get tired of emphazising how essential is for local politicians to learn from other countries’ experiences before trying to be, let’s say, creative.

And today I’m bringing the mexican experience to the table.

In mexican payrolls, besides the traditional social security contribution, there is another one, aimed to create a Housing Fund since its establishment in 1972. It is totally covered by employers who pay 5% on gross salaries.

To manage this housing fund, the mexican government created INFONAVIT, an agency which provides housing-related mortgage products, such as:

Mortgages to buy a new or existing home,
to remodel a home or
to build a new home
Or Cancel a mortgage previously given by a private bank

So, how does this System work? What do you need to get a mortgage from INFONAVIT?

First and obvious: only workers who are registered at the NHS can be applicants.

And second, you should have reached a mínimum of 1080 points according to nine criteria, such as your age, gross salary, cummulative balance in your account, permanent job or not, payment history of your employer, turnover rate...and so on...

It takes two to three years on average for a worker to reach this 1080 point thresold, and then you are eligible for a public mortgage. Again, the maximum amount you can take out depends on age and gross salary, being between 30 and 35 the best valued ages for obvious reasons.

I do really love this System because it has nothing but advantatges.

For exemple, you can join your credit with relatives or your couple and have a joint crèdit.

If you lose your job and therefore fall behind temporarily with your payments you´re not gonna be evicted. INFONAVIT will give you a reasonable amount of time to find another one.

If you have already paid an Infonavit mortgage (this means you’re around 50) you can apply for another one to reform your house, or to buy a second home (for holidays?), or you can partially help a son or daughter increasing their credit amount.

And if you decide to do nothing else, all of the contributions made by your employers since the day you settled your first mortgage are kept till the day you retire, and then they’re immediately available for you.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

But, what I like the most about this system is that it regards housing as a basic need rather than a market product subject to speculation.

Of course you can always get a mortgage from a private bank if you don’t want to stick to the públic System rules. But the important thing is that speculators can do their business without having negative effects on the public System.

Last, but not least, I am adamant that this public Systems is kind of a life guidance for citizens: There is no real need to buy during your early 20’s, then you have other priorities....

Let me finish my talk with a question: If there’s been a Labour Party ruling Spain for 25 years out of the last 40....why haven’t they ever planned to set up something like this?

If you have found my talk interesting please click on the heart shaped button below,

Thank You!
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Mensaje por Intruder Dom 27 Feb 2022 - 20:27

Write a persuasive article calling for action

Opened: Wednesday, 16 February 2022, 12:00 AM

Due: Wednesday, 2 March 2022, 11:59 PM

You have seen this report in a newspaper:

Fracking plans for Hickston Plain

The multinational fracking company Global Power announced yesterday that it had submitted a plan to the Environmental Protection Authority to drill six wells on its newly acquired land on Hickston Plain, five miles from the small farming town the region is named after.

The Government has announced that it is about to lift its moratorium on fracking, at the conclusion of a scientific inquiry which has allegedly found fracking poses a low risk to human health and the environment. Should the plan be approved, preliminary drilling would go ahead in the next few months.

The Hickston mayor, Mrs. Olive Philby, has declared her support for the plan, which is expected to revitalize the local economy. Environmental groups, however, have expressed concerns.

You live and work as a farmer in the Hickston area, and you are an active member of your community. Research fracking to decide if you are for or against it. These links may be useful:

What is fracking and why is it dividing Australia?
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/video/what-is-fracking-and-why-is-it-dividing-australia/tiuayfjq3

‘Carving up my country’: Land clearing reignites fracking debate in Western Australia
https://news.mongabay.com/2021/08/carving-up-my-country-land-clearing-reignites-fracking-debate-in-western-australia/





Then write an article on your blog, which has many local followers, in order to try to persuade your readers of the benefits or dangers of fracking (one or the other, depending on your point of view; make a clear choice) and call them to act.
You must do the following:

-Briefly refer to the fracking plan in your area and state your position.

-Present some relevant facts about fracking that back your point of view.

-Propose some plan of action for/against the plan and ask your readers to get involved.

You should write 300 words maximum.



Example 1 (I personally would have written longer paragraphs!)
https://www.stopwar.org.uk/article/yemen-cant-wait-why-a-global-protest-has-created-a-chance-for-change/

Example 2
https://www.earthday.org/campaign/act-on-climate-change/


Última edición por Intruder el Mar 1 Mar 2022 - 2:06, editado 1 vez
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Mensaje por Intruder Lun 28 Feb 2022 - 12:29

Draft for my post:

GET THE FRACK OUT OF HICKSTON PLAIN

I’ve heard on the news today that the fracking company Global Power has just submitted a plan to the EPA to drill six wells just five miles away from our town. To make things more unsettling, our mayor, Mrs. Olive Philby, has embraced this plan.

As is widely known, harmful chemicals are used for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Those chemicals can alter soil composition and lead to serious water pollution in nearby rivers and lakes, not only having negative effects on the local flora and fauna but also making water unsafe for drinking. The list of other potential downsides is almost endless, including noise pollution, reduced air quality, endargerment of species, and increasing risk of earthquakes.

Don’t forget that fracking is not profitable when price of oil  from conventional drilling is low, and it is not sustainable in the long run because of its enormous water consumption and its contribution to global greenhouse emissions.

“Health is wealth”. There’s no reason to sell our health for a temporary wealth. There were no fracking 20 years ago and nobody can say for certain it will exist in 20 years from now. But we humans needed to grow food from the beginning and so we will forever.

This is a matter of the utmost importance and therefore we have to move fast, no time to lose. As a leader of the YFA I have been invited to debate this issue with Mrs. Philby and other guests in the county TV station next week. It would be great if we all could meet together next Monday 6:00 pm at the Sports Arena to agree on next steps to take. I have also opened the account
@FrackOut on twitter in order to stay in touch and updated permanently.

#GetTheFrackOutofHickston!

Let’s Get Started!


Última edición por Intruder el Sáb 19 Mar 2022 - 19:44, editado 1 vez
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 1 Mar 2022 - 1:38

Activities to do by March 2

Here's what you should do this week:

From the Topic 5 activity book, do the tasks in chapter 3.

Also, check chapter 2.4 for the key to the activity "How diverse societies can do better than passive tolerance". I meant to check this in class, but it totally slipped my mind!

Keep on doing the assignments from Unit 7 of MyELT

Start reading part V (the last one) of 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, if you haven't done it yet. You'll have to hand in a written assignment related to this part of the book at the beginning of next term. We'll talk about it in the next class.

Post the assignment "Write a persuasive article calling for action" (from Topic 4), if you haven't done it yet.

The school will be closed next Monday, February 28th ("festa de lliure disposició"). Although you don't have class on that day, I thought I'd let you know just in case.

Have a good week.
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 1 Mar 2022 - 1:59

Topic 5: Activity book

3. The Windrush generation: reading and listening

A) Read the information about the "Windrush generation" on this BBC webpage and watch the videos there. Then answer the questions:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-43782241

1. Who does the term "Windrush generation" refer to?

2. How did they feel on arrival in the UK?

3. How did their legal status change over the years?

4. What was the Windrush Compensation Scheme?

5. Why has this scheme been criticised?

6. Do you know of similar immigration stories in your country or in other countries? What points do they have in common with the experiences of the Windrush generation?

B) In this video Colin Grant talks about his book Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush Generation. Watch the video once from beginning to end to get a general idea of the content, and then watch the parts that you need to in order to do the activity on the worksheet:



Worksheet
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1j-kt4q8R9K7TeGCMnL8vjlUHeMJQsOq_/view

Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush generation
video worksheet
Work out what these words and phrases from the video refer to in their context.
What/who is being talked about? The approximate timing is given in brackets.
If you use subtitles at some point, please note that they are automatic and therefore not always accurate.

1. “a tree without a root” (00:56)
2. “The rest is darkness.” (02:12)
3. “Bageye” (2.29)
4. “You’re Henglish!” (03:14)
5. “Look! Hattie Jacques!” (04:19)
6. “I am making history.” (04:58)
7. “the day long” (05:55)
8. “No dogs, no Irish, no blacks.” (06:35)
9. “The Empire struck back.” (08.10)
10. “The story of the Windrush generation I think sometimes has been skewed.” (08:22)
11. “We’re only passing through.” (10:08)
12. “She was drawing on all the colours on her palette.” (10.34)
13. “a metaphor for the Caribbean experience” (13:15)
14. “a producer on the antiques roadshow” (13:39)
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 1 Mar 2022 - 2:02

Post for answers previous post:
A) Read the information about the "Windrush generation" on this BBC webpage and watch the videos there. Then answer the questions:

1. Who does the term "Windrush generation" refer to?
It refers to the thousands of people from caribbean countries who were brought to the UK to help fill the labour shortage after WW2.
“Windrush generation” comes from the HMT Empire Windrush ship which transported the first wave of migrants in 1948.[color:c940=

2. How did they feel on arrival in the UK?
When they contrasted the standard of living even in wartime Britain with what they’d known previously many decided to return after the war and make their permanent homes here. Nevertheless, it took them time to get used to cold weather and british food. Many faced discrimination as the jobs they often were offered were those that white workers weren’t too keen on taking. Some of the generation became disillusioned with life in the UK
3. How did their legal status change over the years?
The 1971 Inmigration Act put an end to mass migration from former British colonies. It meant that the new migrants from the Commonwealth no longer had an automatic right to remain in the UK. But the Home Office didn´t keep a record of Commonwealth citizens who were already in the UK. Today, it’s difficult for some members of the Windrush generation to prove they are in the UK legally.
4. What was the Windrush Compensation Scheme?
For example, an individual would receive £10,000 for being deported, or £500 for denial of access to higher education. Individuals would receive £250 for every month of homelessness.The Windrush Compensation Scheme was established in April 2019. About 15,000 people were thought to be eligible.
5. Why has this scheme been criticised?
According to the Home Affairs Commitee , by the end of September 2021, only a fifth of these applications had come forward, and only a quarter had received compensation .
Members of Parliament report highlights excessive burdens on claimants, inadequate staffing and long delays - and says many of those affected "are still too fearful of the Home Office to apply."
Campaigners have also criticised the size of the payments being handed out.

6. Do you know of similar immigration stories in your country or in other countries? What points do they have in common with the experiences of the Windrush generation?
50 years ago there was a call for workers from southern Europe to move to countries like Germany or Switzerland.

Work out what these words and phrases from the video refer to in their context.
What/who is being talked about? The approximate timing is given in brackets.
If you use subtitles at some point, please note that they are automatic and therefore not always accurate.

1. “a tree without a root” (00:56)
People without knowledge of their history
2. “The rest is darkness.” (02:12)
The rest means his oldest qancestors  
3. “Bageye” (2.29)
It refers to the skin bags under his father’s eyesqqq
4. “You’re Henglish!” (03:14)

5. “Look! Hattie Jacques!” (04:19)
In Jamaica, understanding of british culture sometimes came through films. The first person his ucle saw while going to Luton after landing in the UK was someone dressed like Hattie Jacques, and he thought it was Hattie Jacques..
6. “I am making history.” (04:58)
They wanted to show their relatives back home that they have succeeded in settling down in the UK
7. “the day long” (05:55)
This was what her mother said to those just arriving from the caribbean, with a meaning of “relax and sip at the moment of your arrival at the UK”
8. “No dogs, no Irish, no blacks.” (06:35)
This was a phrase often heard when you seeked accommodation.
9. “The Empire struck back.” (08.10)
A lady writer said “First we were children of the empire, then we were citizens of the Commonwealth, and later we were foreigners and inmigrants”. She meant that they had come back to their initial status
10. “The story of the Windrush generation I think sometimes has been skewed.” (08:22)
It has been twisted or distorted These people don’t want to see themselves as parias or victims, they celébrate life.
11. “We’re only passing through.” (10:08)
His parents always dreamed of coming back to Jamaica
12. “She was drawing on all the colours on her palette.” (10.34)
She was way happier in Kingston because there were all the things that mede her feel good.
13. “a metaphor for the Caribbean experience” (13:15)
For so long the story of caribbean people like his father and mother had been eclipsed, they’ve been in the margins and therefore they were out of sight just like the gold negatives that only recently could have been restored.
14. “a producer on the antiques roadshow” (13:39)


Última edición por Intruder el Miér 9 Mar 2022 - 11:03, editado 2 veces
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Mensaje por Intruder Dom 6 Mar 2022 - 20:31

Hi jojo, Hi shanks

Wonder if you can help me checking this....

GET THE FRACK OUT OF HICKSTON PLAIN

I’ve heard on the news today that the fracking company Global Power has just submitted a plan to the EPA to drill six wells just five miles away from our town. To make things more unsettling, our mayor, Mrs. Olive Philby, has embraced this plan.

As is widely known, harmful chemicals are used for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Those chemicals can alter soil composition and lead to serious water pollution in nearby rivers and lakes, not only having negative effects on the local flora and fauna but also making water unsafe for drinking. The list of other potential downsides is almost endless, including noise pollution, reduced air quality, endargerment of species, and increasing risk of earthquakes.

Don’t forget that fracking is not profitable when price of oil  from conventional drilling is low, and it is not sustainable in the long run because of its enormous water consumption and its contribution to global greenhouse emissions.

“Health is wealth”. There’s no reason to sell our health for a temporary wealth. There were no fracking 20 years ago and nobody can say for certain it will exist in 20 years from now. But we humans needed to grow food from the beginning and so we will forever.

This is a matter of the utmost importance and therefore we have to move fast, no time to lose. As a leader of the YFA I have been invited to debate this issue with Mrs. Philby and other guests in the county TV station next week. It would be great if we all could meet together next Monday 6:00 pm at the Sports Arena to agree on next steps to take. I have also opened the account
@FrackOut on twitter in order to stay in touch and updated permanently.

#GetTheFrackOutofHickston!

Let’s Get Started!
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 8 Mar 2022 - 18:58

Activities to do by March 9

You should do the activities in chapters 3.1 and 4 of the Topic 5 activity book.

Don't forget to work on MyELT and carry on reading 21 Lessons. As I said in class, as soon as you finish reading you may do the assignment "Writing: commenting on a review", based on Part V (you'll find it in the section devoted to the book on Moodle).

Have a good week.
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 8 Mar 2022 - 19:16

3. The Windrush generation: reading and listening

3.1. "Back to My Own Country": reading

Read this long essay by a writer who is the daughter of Jamaican parents who migrated to Britain in 1948, and do the activities in the worksheet:

"Back to My Own Country", by Andrea Levy (This is a printable document, but the original webpage is worth looking at for the pictures.)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OtOrV8efFRLlqRJoECIbuHpR5owxuANG/view

Back to My Own Country: An essay by Andrea Levy

In this reflective essay, Andrea Levy delves deep into notions of racism and
pinpoints events which compelled her to use writing as a tool to explore and
understand her Caribbean heritage.


I remember a journey I took on a London bus when I was a young girl. It was in the early
1960s. The bus was full of people and one of them was a black man. That was not a
common sight in those days. I could tell from his accent that, like my parents, he was from
somewhere in the Caribbean. He was talkative, smiling politely at people and trying to
engage them in chat. But all the other people on the bus were white and they were looking at
him askance. Nobody would be drawn into conversation; they clearly wanted nothing to do
with him. But he carried on trying anyway.

I was embarrassed by him, but also overcome with pity for his hopeless attempt to be
friendly on a London bus. I was sure that he was a nice man and that if those people on the
bus could just get to know him then they would like him. My family also came from the
Caribbean. I identified with him. He somehow became my mum and dad, my sisters, me. But
to the other people on the bus he was more than a stranger, he was an alien. I felt a longing
to make some introductions. I could sense the misunderstandings that were taking place, but
I didn't know why, or what I could do. The man was different. He looked different and he
sounded different. But how come people in England did not know him? Why was he, and
why were all black people from Britain's old empire, so completely alien to them? This
encounter is something I will never forget.

The same thing would not happen today in quite that way. Everyone is used to a mix of
cultures and London buses are full of Londoners from all over the world. But still there are
silences and gaps in our knowledge and understanding. What are the links that made Britain
a natural destination for that Caribbean man on the bus, 50 years ago? How and why did
Britain forge those links in the first place? These are questions that have come to fascinate
me, because they reveal what amounts to a lost history for many of us. It was certainly lost
to me for much of my early life, and it was a loss that caused me some problems.
At the time of my bus ride I lived on a council estate in north London. I went to a local school.
Spoke like a good cockney. I played outside with all the white kids who lived around my way
– rounders, skipping and hide and seek. I ate a lot of sweets. Watched a lot of television:
Coronation Street, Emergency Ward 10. Loved the Arsenal. Hated Tottenham Hotspur. I
lived the life of an ordinary London working-class girl.

But my parents had come to this country from Jamaica. And in the area of London where we
lived, that made my family very odd. We were immigrants. Outsiders. My dad had been a
passenger on the Empire Windrush ship when it famously sailed into Tilbury in June 1948
and, according to many, changed the face of Britain for ever. My mum came to England on a
Jamaica Banana Producer's boat. It sailed into West India dock on Guy Fawkes Night in the
same year, under a shower of fireworks that my mum believed were to welcome her.
My dad was an accounting clerk in Jamaica for, among other companies, Tate & Lyle. My
mum was a teacher. They were middle class. They grew up in large houses. They even had
servants. They came to Britain on British Empire passports in order to find more
opportunities for work and advancement. But once here they struggled to find good housing.
They had to live in one room for many years. They had a period of being homeless and then
living in half-way housing where my dad was not allowed to stay with his wife and his three
children. Eventually they were housed in the council flat in Highbury where I was born, and
where I grew up.

My dad did not have trouble finding work. He was employed by the Post Office. But my mum
was not allowed to use her Jamaican teaching qualification to teach in England. She needed
to re-train. So she took in sewing throughout my childhood. But she still nursed her dream of
becoming a teacher again.

In England, the fabled Mother Country that they had learned so much about at school in
Jamaica, my parents were poor and working class.

They believed that in order to get on in this country they should live quietly and not make a
fuss. They should assimilate and be as respectable as they possibly could. Clean the front
step every week. Go to church on Sundays. Keep their children well dressed and scrubbed
behind the ears.

On one occasion my mum did not have money to buy food for our dinner. None at all. She
worried that she might be forced into the humiliation of asking someone, a neighbour
perhaps, for a loan. She walked out into the street praying for a solution, and found a one-
pound note lying on the pavement. In my mum's eyes that was not a stroke of luck, that was
a strategy.

My parents believed that, with no real entitlement to anything, they must accept what this
country was willing to give. They were, after all, immigrants. As long as they didn't do
anything too unusual that might upset the people of England, then they could get on. My
mum was desperate for my dad to lose his accent and stop saying ‘nah man' and ‘cha' in
every sentence. They never discussed Jamaica with anyone. My mum would get
embarrassed if she saw a black person drawing attention to themselves. It drew attention to
her as well, and she hated that.

My family is fair-skinned. In Jamaica this had had a big effect on my parents' upbringing,
because of the class system, inherited from British colonial times, people took the colour of
your skin very seriously. My parents had grown up to believe themselves to be of a higher
class than any darker-skinned person. This isolated them from other black Caribbeans who
came to live here – they wanted nothing to do with them.

My mum once told me how, back in Jamaica, her father would not let her play with children
darker than her. She said wistfully, ‘But I had to, or I would have had no one to play with'. So
when she came to England she was pleased to be bringing her children up amongst white
children. We would always have lighter-skinned children to play with. I was expected to
isolate myself from darker-skinned people too, and it seemed perfectly normal to me that the
colour of your skin was one of the most important things about you. White people of course
never had to think about it. But if you were not white, well then, how black were you? I
accepted all of this as logical. That was how I would be judged.

Light-skinned or not, still we were asked, 'When are you going back to your own country?',
'Why are you here?', 'Why is your food so funny?', 'Why does your hair stick up?', 'Why do
you smell?' The clear message was that our family was foreign and had no right to be here.
When a member of the far-right group the National Front waved one of their leaflets in my
face and started laughing, I felt I owed them some sort of apology. I wanted them to like me.
It would be years before I realised I could be angry with them.

The racism I encountered was rarely violent, or extreme, but it was insidious and ever
present and it had a profound effect on me. I hated myself. I was ashamed of my family, and
embarrassed that they came from the Caribbean.

In my efforts to be as British as I could be, I was completely indifferent to Jamaica. None of
my friends knew anything about the Caribbean. They didn't know where it was, or who lived
there, or why. And they had no curiosity about it beyond asking why black people were in
this country. It was too foreign and therefore not worth knowing.

As I got older my feeling of outsiderness became more marked, as did the feeling that
nothing in my background – my class or my ethnicity – was really worth having. At art
college I encountered middle-class people for the first time. Proper middle class –
debutantes with ponies, that sort of thing. Keeping those origins of mine a secret became
paramount. Few people at my college knew I lived on a council estate. Once, when given a
lift home, I got my friends to drop me at the gate of a proper house. I walked up the path
waving them off. Then as soon as they were out of view I walked back to my flat.
I got a degree in textile design and worked as a designer for about ten minutes before I
realised it was not for me. After that I worked for a brief while as a shop assistant, a dresser
at the BBC and the Royal Opera House, and a receptionist at a family-planning clinic.
Then something happened. I was working part-time for a sex-education project for young
people in Islington. One day the staff had to take part in a racism awareness course. We
were asked to split into two groups, black and white. I walked over to the white side of the
room. It was, ironically, where I felt most at home – all my friends, my boyfriend, my
flatmates, were white. But my fellow workers had other ideas and I found myself being
beckoned over by people on the black side. With some hesitation I crossed the floor. It was a
rude awakening. It sent me to bed for a week.

By this time I was scared to call myself a black person. I didn't feel I had the right
qualifications. Didn't you have to have grown up in a 'black community'? Didn't you need to
go to the Caribbean a lot? Didn't your parents need to be proud of being black? Didn’t my
friends need to be black? My upbringing was so far removed from all of that, I felt sure I
would be found out as an imposter. I was not part of the black experience, surely?

It was a life-changing moment.

Fortunately I had recently enrolled on an afternoon-a-week writing course at the City Lit in
London, just as a hobby. Writing came to my rescue. The course had an emphasis on writing
about what you know. So, nervously I began to explore what I knew – my family upbringing
and background, and my complicated relationship with colour. Thinking about what I knew,
and exploring my background with words, began to open it up for me as never before. I soon
came to realise that my experience of growing up in this country was part of what it meant to
be black. All those agonies over skin shade. Those silences about where we had come from.
The shame. The denial. In fact I came to see that every black person's life, no matter what it
is, is part of the black experience. Because being black in a majority white country comes
with a myriad of complications and contradictions. It was writing that helped me to
understand that.

A few months into the course I had the urge to visit Jamaica for the very first time and stay
with the family I had never met. I went for Christmas. It was an amazing experience. I
discovered a family I had never really known I had. I realised that I meant something to
people who lived on the other side of the world. I met my aunt and cousins and saw where
my mum grew up. I realised for the first time that I had a background and an ancestry that
was fascinating and worth exploring. Not only that, but I had the means to do it – through
writing.

I am now happy to be called a black British writer, and the fiction I have written has all been
about my Caribbean heritage in some way or another. It is a very rich seam for a writer and it
is, quite simply, the reason that I write. Toni Morrison was once asked if she felt constrained
by her being seen as a black writer. She replied: ‘being a black woman writer is not a
shallow place but a rich place to write from. It doesn't limit my imagination; it expands it.’
That is how I feel.

The more I began to delve into my Caribbean heritage the more interesting Britain's
Caribbean story became for me. The story of the Caribbean is a white story too and one that
goes back a long way. The region was right at the very heart of Europe's early experiments
in colonising the world. In the 1500s it was the Spanish who first exploited those newly found
islands, displacing the indigenous people. The Dutch, the French and the British came soon
after. The island claimed earliest for Britain was Barbados, in 1625. But soon Britain was a
major coloniser in the region. A whole string of islands became 'British’. Islands that for a
long time were seen as our most lucrative overseas possessions. Sugar was the main crop,
as important to Britain then as oil is today. It was planted, harvested and processed by the
slave labour of black Africans. That slave trade from West Africa to the Caribbean and the
Americas was the largest forced migration in human history. Those islands soon became
brutal island-factories helping to fuel and to fund the Industrial Revolution in Britain. Huge
family fortunes were made. Major cities like Bristol, Liverpool and London grew wealthy on
the proceeds. The money that slavery in the Caribbean generated was reinvested in Britain's
industry and infrastructure. Britain's empire grew as a result.

When British slavery finally ended in 1833, compensation was paid by the British
government. It amounted to 20 million pounds (many billions in today's money). It was paid
to the slave owners for the loss of their property. They were seen as the injured party.
But there is more to those Caribbean islands than just the history of slavery. Many white
people went, if not in chains, then under duress: indentured servants and poor people from
all corners of Britain who were trying to escape hardship at home or to build a new life. Many
were press-ganged sailors, or convict labour. There were Sephardic Jews from Iberia,
merchants from the Middle East and, later, indentured labourers from India and China. A
social mix was created like in no other place on earth. Creole cultures developed with a wide
range of skin colours that were elaborately classified (mulatto, quadroon, octoroon and so
on) as a divide-and-rule tactic by the British plantocracy. Racial difference and racial value
developed into a 'science'. After the end of slavery in the Caribbean the British continued to
rule their islands through a policy of racial apartheid right up until they finally left in the
1960s.

But all this happened 3,000 miles away from Britain, and as a result it has been possible for
it to quietly disappear from British mainstream history. This is the absence, the gap in
knowledge, the amnesia of the British that made the black man on the bus such an alien. It
is unthinkable that a book on American history could leave out plantation slavery in the
southern states. But in British history books the equivalent is the case, or at least the
importance of those centuries of British slavery in the Caribbean is underplayed. That British
plantation slavery has no lasting legacy for this country is absurd, but it is a claim that is
made implicitly by this silence. It was so very long ago, it seems to say, we don't need to
dredge it up.

I remember what I was taught at school about Britain in the Caribbean. I had one lesson on
the transatlantic slave trade. We looked at illustrations of slaves in ships. But that was all. I
learned much more about William Wilberforce and the campaign for the abolition of slavery
than anything about the life of a slave. We know more about slavery in the American South
than in the British Caribbean. We are familiar with the struggles of African Americans from
the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement. But American slavery was different from
Caribbean slavery. In the Caribbean, slaves far outnumbered the white owners, and that mix
of isolation, fear and dependency produced very different societies from those of the
American South. America's story will not do for us. Our legacy of slavery is unique, and we
need to understand what it is.

I wrote a novel, The Long Song, set in the time of slavery in the Caribbean, and when I was
promoting the book I had numerous media interviews. On two separate occasions the
interviewers – bright, university-educated people in each case – admitted to me that they
had not known that Britain had used slaves in the Caribbean. Slavery they thought had only
been in America. Going around the country doing readings I was surprised at the ignorance
of people about where the islands were, or of how many of them there were. Many people I
met believed all people from the Caribbean came from Jamaica.

And what of the period after slavery? What about the century of ‘racial apartheid' that grew
up in the colonial era, the time when my mum and dad learned to know their racial place and
to keep themselves separate? The history of the black people of the Caribbean is missing.
Apart from being an exotic holiday destination the islands have now become an irrelevance
here. They are no longer wealthy. They are not rich with natural resources. They no longer
have the power they enjoyed when some of the most famous families in Britain were there. It
is too easy to forget what happened and how it has affected our lives today. But it is as much
a part of British history as the Norman Conquest, or the Tudors.

No one would claim that out of Britain's many stories of empire the Caribbean is the most
important. But it is one of the earliest, one of the longest in duration, and certainly one of the
most unusual in terms of population mix and the creation of unique societies. In other parts
of Britain's old empire, such as India or Africa, we can debate what fading legacy the British
have left, whether it is railways, bureaucracies or parliamentary systems. In the Caribbean
the legacy is, in one sense, everything. Not just the towns, the cities and the landscape, but
the very people themselves; their origins, their ethnic mix, their hybrid cultures, all result from
what the British did on those islands before they finally left them. And conversely, Britain
growing to become a world power, its attitudes to race, and even how it sees itself today,
these things are in no small part the legacy that the British Caribbean has left for modern
Britain. ‘The very notion of Great Britain's “greatness” is bound up with Empire’, the cultural
theorist, Stuart Hall, once wrote: 'Euro-scepticism and little Englander nationalism could
hardly survive if people understood whose sugar flowed through English blood, and rotted
English teeth’.

What this means of course is that I, and my family, are products of Britain just as much as
the white kids I grew up with in Highbury. Given Britain’s history in the Caribbean it was
almost inevitable that people like my dad and his fellow passengers on the Windrush would
end up here. They belonged, whether Britain realised it or not. One of the consequences of
having an empire, of being a cultural hub, is that the world ultimately comes to you. That's
how hubs work.

Britons of Caribbean heritage have been in this country in significant numbers for 65 years
now. We are three or four generations on from the man on the London bus. Immigration to
Britain since the end of the Second World War has been a final, unexpected gift to Britain
from its old empire. The benefits that the labour and the enterprise of immigrants, like those
from the Caribbean, have brought to Britain are incalculable. Their ideas, their creativity and
their ways of life have helped turn this country into a sophisticated multi-culture. This windfall
of talent and variety is one of the great unforeseen benefits to Britain.

But there are still countless young Britons today of Afro-Caribbean descent who have as little
understanding of their ancestry and have as little evidence of their worth as I did when I was
growing up. And there are countless white Britons who are unaware of the histories that bind
us together. Britain made the Caribbean that my parents came from. It provided the people –
black and white – who make up my ancestry. In return my ancestors, through their forced
labour and their enterprise, contributed greatly to the development of modern Britain. My
heritage is Britain’s story too. It is time to put the Caribbean back where it belongs – in the
main narrative of British history.

Copyright © Andrea Levy
First published in Great Britain in 2014 by Tinder Press
https://www.bl.uk/windrush/articles/back-to-my-own-country-an-essay-by-andrea-levy

Worksheet
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h8qKYjNCwqwYJgFvZlRFtcUewxrgQ30v/view

Back to My Own Country: An essay by Andrea Levy
WORKSHEET

A) Read up to line 139 and point out the similarities and differences between Andrea
Levy’s personal history and experience, and those recounted by Colin Grant in the
video about his book “Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush generation” (Topic 5
activity book, chapter 3)

B) From line 140 to the end of the essay, the author deals with the connection between
British and Caribbean history. What are the main points she makes?

C) Discuss:
Andrea Levy refers to the Britain of today as “a sophisticated multi-culture” (line 234).
According to your experience and/or knowledge of the UK, do you think this is true?
And do you think this term could be applied to describe your own country?
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Post for answers previous post

WORKSHEET

A) Read up to line 139 and point out the similarities and differences between Andrea Levy’s personal history and experience, and those recounted by Colin Grant in the video about his book “Homecoming: Voices of the Windrush generation” (Topic 5 activity book, chapter 3)
Similarities:
Caribbens came to Britain on British Empire passports in order to find more opportunities for work and advancement
All caribbeans were treated as aliens in the UK, regardless of their previous social status or level of qualification in their home countries. For instance, both writings refer to their struggle to find good housing.
Differences:
Andrea Levy describes how caribbeans ranked themselves according to the darkness of their skins, which could be regarded as a sort of racism. On the contrary, I don’t remember any comment  like this in the Homecoming video.


B) From line 140 to the end of the essay, the author deals with the connection between British and Caribbean history. What are the main points she makes?

The history of the black people of the Caribbean is missing. But it is as much a part of British history as the Norman Conquest, or the Tudors.
No one would claim that out of Britain's many stories of empire the Caribbean is the most important. But it is one of the earliest, one of the longest in duration, and certainly one of the most unusual in terms of population mix and the creation of unique societies.
In other parts of Britain's old empire, such as India or Africa, we can debate what fading legacy the British have left, whether it is railways, bureaucracies or parliamentary systems. In the Caribbean the legacy is, in one sense, everything. Not just the towns, the cities and the landscape, but the very people themselves; their origins, their ethnic mix, their hybrid cultures, all result from what the British did on those islands before they finally left them. And conversely, Britain growing to become a world power, its attitudes to race, and even how it sees itself today, these things are in no small part the legacy that the British Caribbean has left for modern Britain.
Britain made the Caribbean that my parents came from. It provided the people – black and white – who make up my ancestry. In return my ancestors, through their forced labour and their enterprise, contributed greatly to the development of modern Britain. My heritage is Britain’s story too. It is time to put the Caribbean back where it belongs – in the main narrative of British history.
The more I began to delve into my Caribbean heritage the more interesting Britain's Caribbean story became for me.
A whole string of islands became 'British’. Islands that for a long time were seen as our most lucrative overseas possessions. Sugar was the main crop, as important to Britain then as oil is today. It was planted, harvested and processed by the slave labour of black Africans.
Those islands soon became brutal island-factories helping to fuel and to fund the Industrial Revolution in Britain.
The money that slavery in the Caribbean generated was reinvested in Britain's industry and infrastructure. Britain's empire grew as a result.
When British slavery finally ended in 1833, compensation was paid by the British government.
Many white people went, if not in chains, then under duress:
A social mix was created like in no other place on earth.
After the end of slavery in the Caribbean the British continued to rule their islands through a policy of racial apartheid right up until they finally left in the 60’s.
But all this happened 3,000 miles away from Britain, and as a result it has been possible for it to quietly disappear from British mainstream history.
We know more about slavery in the American South than in the British Caribbean. We are familiar with the struggles of African Americans from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement. But American slavery was different from Caribbean slavery. In the Caribbean, slaves far outnumbered the white owners, and that mix of isolation, fear and dependency produced very different societies from those of the American South.
Going around the country doing readings I was surprised at the ignorance of people about where the islands were, or of how many of them there were. Many people I met believed all people from the Caribbean came from Jamaica.

C) Discuss:
Andrea Levy refers to the Britain of today as “a sophisticated multi-culture” (line 234).
According to your experience and/or knowledge of the UK, do you think this is true?
Their ideas, their creativity and their ways of life have helped turn this country into a sophisticated multi-culture. This windfall of talent and variety is one of the great unforeseen benefits to Britain.
I haven’t been there for many years, but since my first time there I noticed a strong presence of other cultures besides the traditional british.
In order to have a window at the present time, I thought it could be a good idea to watch this year’s Brit Awards Ceremony and it really gave me a strong feeling  of multiculturalism when I look at the different winners. For instance, best english group was a multiethnical girl trio called “Little Mix”.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9SqX5Hp44Do

And do you think this term could be applied to describe your own country?
Not yet, but Spain is on the same track. We have to consider that mass immigration to Spain started 40 years later compared to other european countries


Última edición por Intruder el Miér 9 Mar 2022 - 14:17, editado 1 vez
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 8 Mar 2022 - 20:05

Topic 5: Activity book

4. Diversity according to kids: listening and speaking

Watch these two videos where some children and teenagers express their views. Make notes about the main ideas in each video.

Video 1



Video 2



B) Prepare to discuss these questions in class:

If kids from your country had been interviewed for these videos, would they have expressed similar views?

Do you think the attitudes of the children and teenagers in the videos are representative of today's society?

How much of a generation gap is there between the kids of today and their parents in terms of accepting gender diversity?

If boys instead of girls had been interviewed for the second video, do you think their answers would have been different?

Have perceptions of gender identity and body image changed significantly since you were a child?

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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 8 Mar 2022 - 20:05

Post for answers previous post:

B) Prepare to discuss these questions in class:

If kids from your country had been interviewed for these videos, would they have expressed similar views?

Do you think the attitudes of the children and teenagers in the videos are representative of today's society?

How much of a generation gap is there between the kids of today and their parents in terms of accepting gender diversity?

If boys instead of girls had been interviewed for the second video, do you think their answers would have been different?

Have perceptions of gender identity and body image changed significantly since you were a child?
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 15 Mar 2022 - 18:45

Activities to do by March 16

This week you should do the tasks in chapter 5 of the Topic 5 activity book.

If you want, you can also start reading the story "Checking Out" by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. You'll find it, as well as a worksheet with questions, in chapter 2.6. We'll check the answers together in class on April 20, just after the Easter holiday.

This is not homework, but since yesterday we talked about women's rights, gender and body image, I recommend this thought-provoking video that a student shared with me:



Have a good week!
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 15 Mar 2022 - 19:46

Topic 5: Activity book

5. Ageism: listening and reading

A) Watch this video and answer the questions:



Questions
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EwDCRTrQ8HDZd6PoMR76fsDohl31UavC/view

Answer the questions:

1. What is "the U-curve of happiness"?
2. How is age denial like a hamster wheel?
3. What's the purpose of the joke about the speaker's knee?
4. The speaker says that "shame and fear create markets". How does she explain this?
5. What does she mean when she says "there is no line in the sand between old and young"?
6. What does "double whammy" mean (minute 08:33 approximately)?

Prepare to discuss these questions with your partners:
1. How do you think the elderly are treated in your society? Should anything change?
2. How would you describe your relationship with older people in your family? And in other contexts, e.g. at work or in public places.
3. Can you imagine yourself as an elderly person? Do you have any plans for your old age? How would you like to live the last phase of your life?


B) Read this article and do the activities in the worksheet:

The ugly truth about ageism
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1U51Fs-tMik8MmjoWJkXE66z9Zssik60AAfozocjA910/edit#

The ugly truth about ageism: it's a prejudice targeting our future selves
We love the elders in our lives and we all hope to grow old, so why does this personal interest not translate to public policy?

by Caroline Baum
Fri 14 Sep 2018 21.00 BST

You see them in most aged-care facilities, seated on pastel-coloured lounges, being babysat by a TV they are mostly not watching. Some are asleep, some are sedated, some are cognitively impaired. Seeing them like this, it’s hard to remember they were once young, vital and independent. What’s harder is thinking that it might one day be you.

“The staff call them the Os and the Qs,” says a seasoned nursing home visitor, describing residents with their mouths hanging open and those with their tongues hanging out.

The staff mean no disrespect, but reducing someone to a letter of the alphabet is just one example of the unconscious dehumanising that happens often in the treatment of the elderly.

Some older people take extreme measures to avoid this kind of lingering scenario: joining Exit International or taking steps to enable them to end their lives at a time of their choosing.

Guilt, shame and despair – often tempered with unspoken relief – colour many children’s lives when their parents go into aged care. Contrary to popular perception, it is an option chosen by a relatively small percentage of the population: there are around 200,000 residential aged-care places in Australia – although this is likely to grow as we all live longer.

So why have we failed to do better by our elderly needing care? Why do we settle for conditions that leave many of them bored, lonely and poorly fed in a way we would never tolerate for ourselves?

One underlying cause could be deeply entrenched ageism. It often begins with the language we use. According to writer Ashton Applewhite, if we diminish our regard for the senior members of our society verbally, we are likely to do the same when it comes to the way we frame policy – removing their dignity and sense of agency in condescending generalisations that assume vulnerability and dependence instead of resilience and independence.

Arguably the most prominent anti-ageism activist today, Applewhite is the author of This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism. Her TED talk on the subject has been viewed more than 1.3m times.


Even the term “the elderly” is problematic for Applewhite. “The implies a homogenous group, when nothing could be further from the case. I prefer the terms ‘olders’ and ‘youngers’ which are value neutral and emphasise that age is a spectrum,” she says on the phone from her home in Brooklyn.

“I don’t feel I can use ‘elders’ as that is not part of my culture and besides, I don’t like the way it implies that age confers value or authority. We have to give up on the bogus young /old binary view of the world.”

Unlike other prejudices such as racism and sexism, which are manifestations of fear of the other, ageism is unique in targeting our future selves.

“No prejudice is rational,” says Applewhite. “But with ageism, we have internalised it. We have been complicit in our own marginalisation and it will require active consciousness-raising to correct that, just as the women’s movement did.

“When you recognise it in yourself and then realise you can come together with others to effect social change, it radicalises you. Stanford University sociologist Doug McAdam calls it cognitive liberation. The next step is collective action. The rewards are real. I hear regularly from people who have begun to reject age shame that they feel instantly relieved and empowered.”

One of the reasons ageism is so embedded in our culture and hard to eradicate may be that it expresses decades of accumulated and deep-seated fear.

Consumerism urges us all to “fight” ageing as if it were a battle we could win, even though we know in our hearts that’s a lie. Mantras like “70 is the new 50” emphasise the need to be vigorous and vital for as long as possible, yet offer no alternative scenarios for those with degenerative diseases, loss of cognition or suffering from loneliness.

For those who can afford it, the latter phase of life is marketed as a “lifestyle” promising coastal, gated communities where well-groomed residents play bridge and endless rounds of golf with new chums. But we want those who cannot afford it parked out of sight.

We try not to think too long or hard about how they spend their days, robbed of purpose
We further disassociate ourselves from their needs, delegating their fate to poorly paid workers. When the former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said that those employed in aged care should aspire to better jobs, was he echoing a widely held sentiment? Is the ugly truth that prejudice underpins our complicity in accepting the low status of aged-care staff as one of those inevitable inequities of 21st century capitalism in a country more concerned with tax cuts than social justice? If we held the elderly in higher esteem, would we fight harder for their rights and those of their carers?

Those of us with parents living in nursing homes (rebranded as residential care facilities to sound more upbeat) reset our expectations of what constitutes meaningful living, comforting ourselves with the thought that their basic needs for safety and personal hygiene are being met. We try not to think too long or hard about how they spend their days.

When headlines about neglect, mistreatment or elder abuse appear in the media with increasing frequency, our inner alarm bells ring and we wonder what will be different by the time it’s our turn.

Applewhite is encouraged by increased interest in initiatives such as intergenerational housing and friendship networks in the UK, Europe and the US. She is optimistic “because younger people have grown up in a more mixed world and they know diversity is here to stay and that this is a good thing. It’s a much smaller ask for them to include age in the quest for social justice for all. And the #MeToo movement has also helped. It’s been a catalyst for universal equality. In that sense, activism feeds activism”.

“Even Hollywood is getting better; we are seeing more active, positive and sexual portrayals of olders,” she says, conceding that a comedy like The Intern, starring Robert De Niro as a 70-year-old widower returning to work at an online fashion company, addressed important issues.

“The workplace is where ageism awareness is definitely on the rise. And while there are genuine challenges to mixed-age workforces to do with retraining and seniority, all the research shows that they are the most effective, especially in the creative industries.”

Applewhite rejects the notion of intergenerational conflict and says there is no evidence for it. “The fact is baby boomers like myself were born at an incredibly lucky moment; millennials were born at a less fortunate time. But we did not pull up the drawbridge behind us. We are all increasingly hostage to the macro-economic and social forces of unfettered capitalism and a heartless gig economy.”

It’s a view shared by the late Hal Kendig, professor of ageing and public policy at the Centre for Research on Ageing, Health and Wellbeing at the Australian National University.

In a report written for the journal Ageing and Society on Australian attitudes to intergenerational equity, Kendig rejected the notion of intergenerational conflict as a political ploy used to support cuts in expenditure. However his research found that millennials do feel some resentment that they will not enjoy the same degree of security in terms of home ownership and superannuation as their parents.

What is more significant, according to Kendig, is “the paradox that our sympathetic view of our grandparents, based on real human attachment, does not translate to public policy”.

In the final interview before his death in June, Kendig said he blamed the Howard government for attributing the accumulation of the budget deficit to “providing too many benefits for the elderly. Fortunately the public fought back and resisted taking money away from pensioners, so there is a limit to our tolerance of such policies, especially among women and groups who are vulnerable in terms of their health and social resources”.

“As far as governments are concerned, aged care has always been a minor issue, but it will come to matter more as more of us need to access it and live longer. To date, government has been unwilling to raise taxes to address this. Meanwhile the media has portrayed baby boomers as greedy geezers but, while there is no doubt that they have enjoyed tremendous economic advantages, there are inequalities even amongst that cohort.

“Those with a comfortable standard of living tend to own their own homes and have relatively modest expectations. There are lot of well-off people who benefit from the old-age pension. I would want to moderate that.”

Anticipating his own death from an incurable degenerative disease gave Kendig the freedom to be outspoken: “I would go further. Unlike the UK, we pay no death duties here. The fairest way to guarantee adequate aged income support is to fund it through that kind of tax. Where is the equity in inheritance? But it is certain political death to raise that.”

Like Applewhite, Kendig believed that ageism is a contributing factor in determining social treatment of the elderly. “We see them as less capable. The attitude in northern European countries is more enlightened, but even there, welfare states are retracting due to pressure on budgets. In developing countries, seniors stay in work longer which means that, on the one hand, they remain integrated and actively contributing members of society but, on the other hand, they are often exploited.”

He warned against idealisation of Asian and Indigenous societies as having a greater respect for older people. “We tend to romanticise other cultures as valuing the elderly more than we do, but if we look closely at the evidence, it presents us with scenarios we find confronting. For example, the Inuits value older people highly. So much so that they put them out to die in the snow – at their own request.

“Ageism has been found to be all-pervasive across eastern as well as western cultures, including Confucian-based Asian cultures where respect for elders and filial piety are social norms. It is possible that ageism is one of the main features of global ageing among modern, capitalist nations in which individual social views predominate over traditional collectivist views.”

British writer Anne Karpf says we all need to change the way we think about ageing. In her lucid and far-reaching book How to Age, she points out that most people over 75 spend more time looking after someone than younger people do and that much of the research on ageing has, until recently, been conducted in nursing homes where bodies and minds are often lacking stimulation, giving a distorted picture of reality.

Karpf has observed a backlash against the elderly in the UK, who are being blamed by some of the younger generation for Brexit. To counter this and more long-term unconscious bias, she says it’s time for “a major gestalt switch”. She says: “Each time we see an older person, we need to imagine them as our future self, and rather than recoil from their wrinkles or infirmities, applaud their resilience. We need to re-humanise older people.”

This is what the Benevolent Society hope to achieve with the launch of a 10-year campaign. The campaign called Every Age Counts launches in October with a multifaceted strategy to “shift norms, expectations, policies and outcomes for all older people”. Among their aims: a national agenda for older Australians, including a federal minister with a dedicated portfolio preferably at cabinet level.

Like Applewhite, the Benevolent Society identifies language and attitudes which characterise the issues of an ageing population “as a problem, a burden and a cost”, as reinforcing and perpetuating negative stereotypes.

The lengthy 10-year term of the campaign, says age discrimination commissioner Kay Patterson, is crucial to the long-term goal of deep change in the sector, as is the support from younger people.

“We need to enlist young people in this battle too ... they’re the ones who are going to create the culture of the future.”

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2018/sep/14/the-ugly-truth-about-ageism-its-a-prejudice-targeting-our-future-selves

Worksheet
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cYRqrjnVf0zKUxf1OEhPEekrocNzHC_w/view

The ugly truth about ageism WORKSHEET

Are these statements true or false? Say why.
1. According to the author of the article, some elderly people choose to die rather than
face a dehumanised old age.
2. She argues that we are rather too tolerant of the way the elderly live in nursing
homes.
3. Applewhite claims old age means greater wisdom.
4. Applewhite argues that the women’s movement is fighting for the elderly.
5. According to McAdam, “70 is the new 50”.
6. The author of the article argues that the low status of care workers is inevitable.
7. She accuses the children of people in nursing homes of turning a blind eye to the
conditions there.
8. Applewhite implies young people are more open-minded about age.
9. She claims that ageism is less common in the creative industries.
10. She acknowledges the fact that her generation has ruined millennials.
11. Kendig blamed the Howard government for cutting benefits for the elderly.
12. Kendig supported cutting the old-age pensions of richer people.
13. Kenig presented the Inuit as a model of fair treatment of the elderly.
14. Kendig said ageism was a predominantly Western phenomenon.
15. Karpf criticises the way research about old age was conducted in the past.

Vocabulary: find definitions or synonyms for the words highlighted in the text.
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Post for answers previous post

A) Watch this video and answer the questions:

Questions
Answer the questions:
1. What is "the U-curve of happiness"? A graphic borne out by dozens of studies around the world that shows that people are happiest at the beginnings and the end  of their lives
2. How is age denial like a hamster wheel? However hard people try to look younger they are never happy with the result, making it a ceaseless activity.
3. What's the purpose of the joke about the speaker's knee? She wants to debunk the association between body pains and ageing.
4. The speaker says that "shame and fear create markets". How does she explain this? She says “You can’t make money off satisfaction” and she argues that some industries play on people’s fears and prejudices about age in order to sell them their products or services.
5. What does she mean when she says "there is no line in the sand between old and young"? She means ageing is a spectrum, a process without a definite time milestone.
6. What does "double whammy" mean (minute 08:33 approximately)? While elder men experience ageism, women experience sexism as well.

Prepare to discuss these questions with your partners:
1. How do you think the elderly are treated in your society? Should anything change? Overall, they are well treated because family ties in latin countries are stronger than in other latitudes. We can’t forget the role they played when they supported financially their children when the crisis hit our country hard. We also have to remember that elders are increasing year after year their share in total population so their influence in politics is growing.
2. How would you describe your relationship with older people in your family? And in other contexts, e.g. at work or in public places. I got on much better with my grand parents than with my parents. I can’t say why. It’s not just because they devoted much time to me but also because they were much more gentle. The first time I was appointed to manage a group of people I found out that they all doubled my age. They were kind to me but very reluctant to change as I was introducing a new ERP (Enterprise Resource System).
3. Can you imagine yourself as an elderly person? Do you have any plans for your old age? How would you like to live the last phase of your life? I woulld like to depend on no one else, this means I would have all my needs covered, housing, food and health care. I would like to volunteer if being fit enough.

B) Read this article and do the activities in the worksheet:

Are these statements true or false? Say why.
1. According to the author of the article, some elderly people choose to die rather than face a dehumanised old age. TRUE “Some older people take extreme measures to avoid this kind of lingering scenario: joining Exit International or taking steps to enable them to end their lives at a time of their choosing.”
2. She argues that we are rather too tolerant of the way the elderly live in nursing homes. TRUE “So why have we failed to do better by our elderly needing care? Why do we settle for conditions that leave many of them bored, lonely and poorly fed in a way we would never tolerate for ourselves? “
3. Applewhite claims old age means greater wisdom. FALSE
4. Applewhite argues that the women’s movement is fighting for the elderly. FALSE
5. According to McAdam, “70 is the new 50”. FALSE as she says “Mantras like “70 is the new 50” “
6. The author of the article argues that the low status of care workers is inevitable. FALSE “If we held the elderly in higher esteem, would we fight harder for their rights and those of their carers? “
7. She accuses the children of people in nursing homes of turning a blind eye to the conditions there. TRUE “We try not to think too long or hard about how they spend their days.”
8. Applewhite implies young people are more open-minded about age. TRUE “She is optimistic “because younger people have grown up in a more mixed world and they know diversity is here to stay and that this is a good thing “”
9. She claims that ageism is less common in the creative industries. NOT SAID  “And while there are genuine challenges to mixed-age workforces to do with retraining and seniority, all the research shows that they are the most effective, especially in the creative industries.”
10. She acknowledges the fact that her generation has ruined millennials. FALSE – “we did not pull up the drawbridge behind us”
11. Kendig blamed the Howard government for cutting benefits for the elderly. FALSE “Kendig said he blamed the Howard government for attributing the accumulation of the budget deficit to “providing too many benefits for the elderly”. Fortunately the public fought back and resisted taking money away from pensioners “
12. Kendig supported cutting the old-age pensions of richer people. [color=#0000FF]FALSE What he said was “The fairest way to guarantee adequate aged income support is to fund it through that kind of tax (death duty)” instead of cutting some people’s pensions. [color]
13. Kenig presented the Inuit as a model of fair treatment of the elderly. [color=#0000FF]FALSE He says “.the Inuits value older people highly. So much so that they put them out to die in the snow – at their own request.” [color]
14. Kendig said ageism was a predominantly Western phenomenon. [color=#0000FF]TRUE  [color] “It is possible that ageism is one of the main features of global ageing among modern, capitalist nations in which individual social views predominate over traditional collectivist views.”
15. Karpf criticises the way research about old age was conducted in the past. [color=#0000FF] [color] TRUE “much of the research on ageing has, until recently, been conducted in nursing homes where bodies and minds are often lacking stimulation, giving a distorted picture of reality”

Vocabulary: find definitions or synonyms for the words highlighted in the text.

often tempered with unspoken relief  =  smooth, cooled

One underlying cause could be deeply entrenched ageism.= fixed, unchanging (in a negative way, mainly disaproving)

removing their dignity and sense of agency  = the ability to take action or to choose what action to take:

We have to give up on the bogus young /old binary view of the world.” = fake, false, not real, or not legal

it will require active consciousness-raising to correct that, just as the women’s movement did. = increase our awareness of the problem.

One of the reasons ageism is so embedded in our culture and hard to eradicate = attached, fixed

But we did not pull up the drawbridge behind us. = we did not cut your chances.

We are all increasingly hostage to the macro-economic and social forces of unfettered capitalism and a heartless gig economy.” = Society where workers make their living doing odd jobs whenever they can.

Kendig rejected the notion of intergenerational conflict as a political ploy used to support cuts in expenditure.= tricky argument

However his research found that millennials do feel some resentment that they will not enjoy the same degree of security in terms of home ownership and superannuation as their parents.= revenues at retirement from deductions in their payrolls

Meanwhile the media has portrayed baby boomers as greedy geezers  = mean old people, not wanting to share their wealth with future generations

but, while there is no doubt that they have enjoyed tremendous economic advantages, there are inequalities even amongst that cohort. = group of people with same features.

Karpf has observed a backlash against the elderly in the UK = a negative reaction.

To counter this and more long-term unconscious bias, she says it’s time for “a major gestalt switch”.= a change of frame.


Última edición por Intruder el Sáb 19 Mar 2022 - 22:13, editado 3 veces
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Mensaje por Intruder Sáb 19 Mar 2022 - 19:56

Intruder escribió:Hi jojo, Hi shanks

Wonder if you can help me checking this....

GET THE FRACK OUT OF HICKSTON PLAIN

I’ve heard on the news today that the fracking company Global Power has just submitted a plan to the EPA to drill six wells just five miles away from our town. To make things more unsettling, our mayor, Mrs. Olive Philby, has embraced this plan.

As is widely known, harmful chemicals are used for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Those chemicals can alter soil composition and lead to serious water pollution in nearby rivers and lakes, not only having negative effects on the local flora and fauna but also making water unsafe for drinking. The list of other potential downsides is almost endless, including noise pollution, reduced air quality, endargerment of species, and increasing risk of earthquakes.

Don’t forget that fracking is not profitable when price of oil  from conventional drilling is low, and it is not sustainable in the long run because of its enormous water consumption and its contribution to global greenhouse emissions.

“Health is wealth”. There’s no reason to sell our health for a temporary wealth. There were no fracking 20 years ago and nobody can say for certain it will exist in 20 years from now. But we humans needed to grow food from the beginning and so we will forever.

This is a matter of the utmost importance and therefore we have to move fast, no time to lose. As a leader of the YFA I have been invited to debate this issue with Mrs. Philby and other guests in the county TV station next week. It would be great if we all could meet together next Monday 6:00 pm at the Sports Arena to agree on next steps to take. I have also opened the account
@FrackOut on twitter in order to stay in touch and updated permanently.

#GetTheFrackOutofHickston!

Let’s Get Started!

Comments and corrections made by teacher...

You have used the right register and a wide range of appropriate vocabulary and expressions, and you have organized your text effectively. The language is mostly accurate, with just a few mistakes to correct.

Text:

I’ve heard on the news today that the fracking company Global Power has just submitted a plan to the EPA to drill six wells just five miles away from our town. To make things more unsettling, our mayor, Mrs. Olive Philby, has embraced this plan.

As is widely known, harmful chemicals are used for hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Those chemicals can alter soil composition and lead to serious water pollution in nearby rivers and lakes, not only having negative effects on the local flora and fauna but also making water unsafe for drinking. The list of other potential downsides is almost endless, including noise pollution, reduced air quality, endargerment V of species, and increasing risk of earthquakes.

Don’t forget that fracking is not profitable when  the price of oil  from conventional drilling is low, and besides it is not sustainable in the long run because of its enormous water consumption/the enormous levels of water consumption it involves and its contribution to global greenhouse emissions.

“Health is wealth”. There’s no reason to sell our health for a temporary wealth. There was were G no fracking 20 years ago and nobody can say for certain it will exist in 20 years from now. But we humans needed to grow food from the beginning and so we will WO forever.

This is a matter of the utmost importance and therefore we have to move fast, no time to lose. As a leader of the YFA I have been invited to debate this issue with Mrs. Philby and other guests in the county TV station next week. It would be great if we all could get together/meet together next Monday 6:00 pm at the Sports Arena to agree on next steps to take. I have also opened the account @FrackOut on twitter in order to stay in touch and updated permanently.

#GetTheFrackOutofHickston!

Let’s Get Started!
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Mensaje por Intruder Lun 21 Mar 2022 - 20:16

Activities to do by March 23

The last activities to do from Topic 5 are the ones in chapters 4.4 and 5.2. You should also do the multiple choice reading activity "Reading test Topic 5" (this is outside the activity book).

From Topic 6, you should do the task in chapter 1.1. and start working on unit 9 in MyELT.

Also, please look at the information about the online talk scheduled on Thursday, March 31st at 19:00. The information is in the General section on Moodle. There is also an activity which we will check in class on March 30th.

Have a good week.
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Mensaje por Intruder Lun 21 Mar 2022 - 20:37

Topic 5: Activity book

4. Diversity according to kids: listening and speaking

4.4. "What does my headscarf mean to you?": listening

Watch the video and do the activities on the worksheet:



Worksheet
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hZhK2yc9TgIpLwOCo9yBxndiPqJOZlbD/view

“What does my headscarf mean to you?”
Worksheet

https://www.ted.com/talks/yassmin_abdel_magied_what_does_my_headscarf_mean_to_you?language=ca

Watch the video and answer the questions:

1. How does the speaker define unconscious bias? What is it different from?
2. What experiment was done in 1950? What were the results?
3. What's the meaning of the story about the car crash and the surgeon?
4. What is the merit paradox?
5. What three corny jokes was she told when she wanted to learn how to surf?
6. What does "it doesn't trickle up" mean?
7. What is the importance of mentors?
8. What is the meaning of "not in a tokenistic way"?
9. What colloquial words does the speaker use at various points in her speech
meaning "man" and "woman"?


Prepare to discuss these questions in class:

1. What was your reaction when you saw the speaker in different kinds of clothing and head gear? Were you surprised? Why?
2. When the speaker told the story of the car crash, did you imagine the parent was male or female? Why do you think you reacted that way?
3. Can you think of other ways of fighting unconscious bias than the ones proposed in the video
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Mensaje por Intruder Lun 21 Mar 2022 - 20:38

Post for answers previous post:

Watch the video and answer the questions:

1. How does the speaker define unconscious bias? Implicit prejudices. What is it different from? Unconscious bias is not the same as conscious discrimination. We all have our biases. They’re our filters through which we see the world around us. A bias is not an accusation. Rather, it’s something that has to be identified, acknowledged and mitigated against. Bias can be about race, gender, class, education, disability. We all have bias against what’s different, what’s different from our social norms.

2. What experiment was done in 1950? Orchestras,  back in the day, were made mostly of dudes, up to only five per cent were female. Apparently that was because men played it differently, presumably better. But in 1952 the Boston Symphony Orchestra started an experiment , they started blind auditions. Rather than face-to-face auditions, you would have to play behind the screen. What were the results? No inmediate change was registered until they asked the auditioners to take their shoes off before they entered the room because the sound of their heels was enough to give the ladies away. The results of the audition showed that there was a 50% increased chance a  women would progress past the preliminary stage and it almost tripled their chances of getting in.What does that tell us? Man actually didn’t play differently, but there was the perception that they did. And it was that bias that was determining their outcome.

3. What's the meaning of the story about the car crash and the surgeon? Nobody had expected the surgeon could be his mother, a woman, and this is evidence that unconscious bias exists.

4. What is the merit paradox? In organisations that talk about merit being their primary value-driver in terms of who they hire, they were more likely to hire dudes and more likeky to pay the guys more, because apparently merit is a masculine quality.

5. What three corny jokes was she told when she wanted to learn how to surf? “I don’t know how you could surf with all that gear you’ve got on” “and I don’t know any women-only beaches”
“You run an organization called Youth Without Borders, right? Why don’t you start a clothing line for Muslim chicks in beaches?. You can call it Youth without Boardshorts.”
“I should eat all the yogurt I could because that was the only culture I was going to get around there.”


6. What does "it doesn't trickle up" mean? It means that real diversity can only be found in the lower levels of organizations. A research shows that over half of the 100 most important companies don’t have a nonwhite white leader at their board level, executive or non-executive. And two out of every three don’t have an executive who’s from a minority.

7. What is the importance of mentors? They open doors for people who couldn’t even get to the hallway.

8. What is the meaning of "not in a tokenistic way"? the practice of doing something (such as hiring a person who belongs to a minority group) only to prevent criticism and give the appearance that people are being treated fairly.

9. What colloquial words does the speaker use at various points in her speech meaning "man" and "woman"? Man =  dude, guy, bloke, John.  Woman= female, chick, Jennifer

Prepare to discuss these questions in class:

1. What was your reaction when you saw the speaker in different kinds of clothing and head gear? Were you surprised? Why? I was pleasantly surprised by the changes in her outfit because they were used to introduce and illustrate different parts of her talk, making it easier to be remembered.

2. When the speaker told the story of the car crash, did you imagine the parent was male or female? Why do you think you reacted that way? I first imagined the surgeon was male but when she said the boy was her son I realised it could only be a woman. I guess I first thought of a man because of unconscious bias as most surgeons I’ve met were male.

3. Can you think of other ways of fighting unconscious bias than the ones proposed in the video? We have to look past our unconscious bias. If I could I would obligue all TV channels to broadcast a mínimum share of films from different parts of the world, instead of the tradicional mix between american and local.


Última edición por Intruder el Miér 23 Mar 2022 - 14:06, editado 2 veces
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Mensaje por Intruder Miér 23 Mar 2022 - 3:11

Topic 5: Activity book

5. Ageism: listening and reading

5.2. Differences between generations: reading

Read the text and do the tasks

Success across generations text
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vr8epuGJRx46EcGpG_A3PLewX63C1e8C/view

This is a more easily printable version of the text, but with no line numbers:

Text
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Zd7iqsnJB4OvjlqdeCwAGrsF3rHCEZ7Y/view


Success across generations

Success at work – and in life more generally – is something that every generation strives for. But what we mean by success and how we measure it can vary greatly. Over time societal norms and expectations change and evolve. People working in human resource management take a keen interest in these changes as they attempt to manage and motivate the workforce of the present and prepare the ground for the workforce of the future. One approach they have adopted is building profiles of different generations that help them to analyse their attitudes and motivations. Although there is some debate about where each generation starts and ends, the main three categories are broadly defined as follows.

Baby boomers, born roughly between 1946 and 1963
This group came typically from stable family backgrounds with stay-at-home mums. Although their parents on the whole had conservative attitudes, they were brought up in a time of great social and economic change (the 1960s), a period when youth was celebrated and traditional ways of doing things were being challenged. As a result, they tended to grow up questioning authority. They are an optimistic generation and with some justification – economic opportunities were good for them and for those with a university education, financial success, or at least comfort, was more or less guaranteed. At work they put in long hours and strove to be experts in their fields, because they measure success by how good they are at what they do. In a similar way, outside work they aspired to self-exploration and personal growth.

Generation X, born roughly between 1964 and 1983
This generation, much smaller in number than that which preceded or succeeded it, is also known as the ‘lost generation’. Perhaps this is because the world of their childhood was rather less clearly defined and more uncertain: global problems like AIDS and the energy crisis came to the fore; families were smaller, but children spent less time with their parents; people also seemed more cynical about progress. Accordingly, Generation X felt they had to rely on themselves to succeed and so a more pragmatic approach to life emerged, with an emphasis on a career education. It is fair to say this group were less happy-go-lucky than the baby boomers, more focussed on hard work and its traditional reward – money. In turn, this (monetary) definition of success gave rise to greater peer pressure to conform and ‘grow up’ more quickly.

Generation Y or Millennials, born roughly between 1984 and 2003
Generation Y are as numerous as baby boomers. The age they were born into is characterized firstly by its strong and sustained economic growth and secondly by the development of the Internet and digital technologies, an age where everything is available on demand. It’s also important to note the attitude of their parents, the baby boomers. They adopted a much more consultative approach to parenting than the previous generation, allowing their children to negotiate their own educational options and encouraging them to discuss issues in and outside the home. The result is a more outward-looking generation and one which believes in negotiation and collaboration. The downside, perhaps, is that they have high expectations and often demand instant gratification. Seeing their parents work long hours, they want a more balanced life and put a premium on free time rather than money or their rank in an organization’s hierarchy. They are keen to develop in creative areas and the increased connectivity of the Internet world affords them ready access to a like-minded and appreciative audience. In this context, success can be measured on a smaller scale – something as simple as someone liking a post on your social network page. Millennials also tend to view success in terms of their contribution to the community – they expect the companies they work for and the projects they work on to be ethical, socially inclusive and to answer real needs in society.

Task

Key
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Mensaje por Intruder Miér 23 Mar 2022 - 14:32

Topic 6: Activity book

1. The impact of the internet: speaking

1.1. Why videos go viral: listening

Watch the video and do the activities:



Activities
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hmd3Z3aJFTuKHMO9nLU7UOzpI-dM9N9w/view

Key
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HGgk4g__1spRgEaOKDdUPSoTBFtDE-7G/view
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 29 Mar 2022 - 2:54

Activities to do by March 30

You should do the tasks in chapters 1.3, 2.2 and 2.3 of the Topic 6 activity book.

There's a new speaking assignment in Topic 6: "Debate: digital learning". Please read the instructions there. The deadline is April 27th.

Remember that in the next class we're going to check the questions about the interview with Abdulrazak Gurnah (in the "General" section on Moodle), in preparation for the online talk on March 31.

Have a good week.
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 29 Mar 2022 - 3:22

Topic 6: Activity book

1. The impact of the internet: speaking

1.3. How to go viral on TikTok: reading

Read the text and do the activities on the worksheet:

"How to Go Viral on Tiktok"
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L9rmPuqpEBXIbapXcnye3LZ6aWA2bNAh/view

How to Go Viral on Tik Tok

So you’re wondering how to go viral on TikTok, huh? Well, I don’t blame you! It’s the social media platform everyone can’t stop talking about, and the app has experienced tremendous growth since quarantine started. It’s no longer a place where pre-teens do silly dances and lipsync, but a community where people of all ages share a variety of content on anything from goofy dog vids, to life as an astronaut, to how to trade a bobby pin for a house. Any type of content can succeed on the platform, which is part of what makes it so fun.

The first thing you need to know is that in its current state, TikTok is a meritocracy that gives every video a chance by showing it to a small audience on the For You Page (FYP). Yes, even if you have 0 followers. If your video performs well with this small group, TikTok will continue to push it out to more people that they think will like it. Because of this, typically you can tell in the first hour or two if you have a viral video on your hands.

While I just joined TikTok 3 months ago, I’ve personally had over 14 Million video views in the past 30 days, which is why I’m here to help you learn how to go viral on TikTok. I’ve spent the past 4 years geeking out over social media analytics and organic growth trends. Alright, so how do you go viral on TikTok? Here are my best tips:  

1. Kick your video off with a bang
Tiktok is a fast paced app where you have to grab people’s attention quickly before they swipe past your video to watch other content. If there’s no action till the end, most people won’t watch. Set the tone and topic of the video within the first few seconds so that people understand what they’re watching.

2. When deciding on video length, keep it as short as possible
Unless you’re telling a lengthy story that actually requires a full minute of video, I’d suggest keeping your clips short and to the point. Tiktok looks at the average length of watch time compared to the length of the video as a method of evaluating quality. You’re more likely to have people watch 8 seconds of a 10 second video than 48 seconds of a minute-long one.

3. Record your own audio
Listen, we all know that our phones and apps have the power to hear what we’re saying, and make decisions (ie show us ads) based on that audio. TikTok wants to show your content to the right audience, and will use all the tools you give it to learn what your video is about, and show it to the proper people. You can do this in your caption or hashtags, which I’ll address later, but by using a voiceover on your video, you’re giving them significantly more keywords and information on what your video is about for them to be able to show your content to the right audience.

4. Use trending music or sounds
Whether you decide to do a voiceover or not, it’s worth always including trending music in your videos. You can certainly choose your own songs, but TikTok is a social platform where people feed off the trends, so it’s just substantially more likely that you’ll do well if you use current trending songs. Always layer a song quietly in the background with a voiceover too. *Pro-Tip* If you do want to use your own song, and TikTok won’t allow it, you can just upload with your own audio, select a song, and set that second song to 0 volume.

5. Tell a story
Yes, dances can go viral, but stories are more likely to. Let’s be real, unless you’re a wonderfully talented or hilariously bad dancer, your dance videos aren’t likely to go viral on TikTok. For us regular folks that weren’t blessed by the gods of rhythm, we’re more likely to go viral by telling an interesting and compelling story. The story can be anything. It can be something interesting that happened in your life, something random that happened duringyour day, a project you did, anything. Just tell a story, and keep the plot flowing quickly.

6. Share tips, advice, favorite things
People also love learning on TikTok, so if you have expertise in a certain subject, create informational videos to help people learn more about it. Quick bullet point videos work great for these, with text over the screen guiding the user through the mini-lesson. Likewise, people love shopping on TikTok, so sharing favorite products is also a surprisingly easy way to gain traction (and monetize).

7. Always have a strong call to action
I think this is probably one of the most important things that will not only help make a video go viral but also help you grow your following. What good are 5 Million views on a video if you only get 2000 followers from it? First of all, when TikTok sees lots of people commenting, liking, or following a video, they will naturally push it out to more people. Because of this, it’s great to have a call to action in your caption and/or at the end of your video such as “like for part 2”, “follow for more”, or “don’t let this flop”. You obviously have to have a compelling video to make this work, but adding a strong CTA on a video can be the difference between 2M views with 2K new followers and 9M views with 40k new followers. I’d suggest having your CTA be at least a few seconds long so that people have time to follow you before moving onto the next video.

8. Include random details for people to comment on
If I learned anything from my biggest viral video, it’s that people love commenting on random things in the video. The video is about crossing the US/Canadian border, but I randomly mentioned bagels at one point and got so many comments on cream cheese and the quality of my bagels and where my bagels were from. People love spotting little details, that aren’t the main focus of the video, and commenting on them. Like I mentioned earlier, the more comments you can get, the more likely you are to go viral. So the more random details you can give people to comment on, the more likely you are to get comments. An easy one is to wear something cool/weird in your video and everyone will ask where it’s from, but you could do this in so many different ways.

9. Leave some questions unanswered
This is key to get comments, which will in turn help you go viral on TikTok. If you’re posting a video and you can think of an obvious question people will have – DO NOT EXPLAIN IT. This will lead to a ton of comments and help your video perform well.

10. Do something slightly controversial
Again, commenting drives virality, so if you can have anything controversial, this will help. People honestly love to give their two cents on things on the internet. You don’t need to be doing anything wrong, but if there is a topic that people are particularly divided on, like how much cream cheese is appropriate on a bagel, is ketchup on eggs acceptable (literally small silly things!) they will jump in and comment their opinion on it. At the end of the day – EMBRACE YOUR HATERS & love them – they will make you go viral on TikTok.

11. Be relatable, aspirational, or hateable?
If your video is one of these three things, you will inevitably get people commenting on it.

12. Make it so that some parts of the video need to be rewatched
While this might seem counterintuitive, there are benefits to having a video where some parts are too fast for someone to read, watch, or understand on the first viewing. For example, if the text is too fast to read, someone will likely rewatch the video to re-read the text, and maybe pause at that point. When they do this, they’re spending more time on your video and signaling to the algorithm that it’s a better video, which will in turn get TikTok to show it to more people.

13. Have text on the opening video frame
By starting your video with text over the first slide, viewers in the FYP will likely spend a few seconds reading this and therefore naturally and stay on the video for a few seconds longer than a video without text. Not only is this good for average watch time in the algorithm, but you also will more likely retain some of these viewers if you have a compelling story.

14. Don’t use #FYP, #foryou, or other generic hashtags
I’m not convinced that hashtags are always beneficial or not, but what I am positive about is that #FYP, #foryou, and other wildly generic hashtags will do nothing. Use niche tags, or don’t use any at all. If you have a super niche video, niche hashtags can sometimes help TikTok serve your video to the right crowd. However, if you’re posting something that would appeal to a variety of people across the platform, it’s best to not pigeonhole it with hashtags and let the algorithm serve and decide who it should be shown to.

15. Reply to all your comments
The more comments on a video, the more likely it is to go viral. This works especially well if you can engage with commenters and get them to continue commenting on your video. However, if you have a video that is going viral on TikTok and you are replying to comments, don’t go too fast or you’ll get blocked. I was blocked from commenting on any videos for more than 24 hours when I replied to comments too quickly and this became very frustrating since I love my haters and wanted to reply to them ?

16. Post frequently
At the end of the day, going viral on TikTok is a numbers game. The more often you post, the more likely you are to have a video go viral. Don’t skimp on quality, but if you push yourself to consistently push out videos, not only will your videos probably get better, but you’ll be more likely to have one of them go viral on TikTok.

17. Don’t stick to a niche right away
On TikTok, anything can go viral (even a video of cutting an avocado) and if you niche down too early, you’re pigeonholing yourself into one audience on TikTok. I’d suggest making a variety of content when you start out, playing around with different formats and topics. When you figure out what people like to see, and what you like to make, then double down on that! Even after that, you can continue to try new types of content, and see what works.

18. If you’re talking about a specific product, don’t link it right away
If you’re doing a product review and trying to monetize your video via affiliate links, I know it’s especially tempting to drop the product link in the comments right away. However, by not dropping the link, you’re more likely to get people commenting asking where it’s from, or asking for the link, which will in turn help you video gain traction and go viral on TikTok.

19. Spend at least 15-30 mins a day watching videos on the FYP
While it might be tempting to be efficient and only come into TikTok to post your video before dipping out to do other things, I think it’s important to spend a little each day watching videos on the FYP. This will help you get new ideas and keep up with the current trends, which are very relevant to stay on top of to create top-performing content.

20. KEEP AT IT!!
I think it takes most people at least a month to figure out their style on TikTok, and how to make videos work well, so if you don’t go viral right away, don’t give up and keep trying!

Alright – those are all my tips for how to go viral on TikTok for now! Thank you for coming to my TedTalk lol. I’ll share updates here as I figure out new things that work 🙂 Let me know if you agree or have other ideas in the comments!
Follow me on TikTok!

https://www.voyageandventure.com/how-to-go-viral-on-tiktok/

Worksheet
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1a1Nfp0zmrBXBAU8c9_w4lZAyXsknJWjd/view

True or false? Correct the false statements.

The author argues that...
1. TikTok only favours publishers who have a lot of followers.
2. Digital devices spy on us.
3. It’s not possible to use one’s own song on TikTok.
4. It’s necessary to dance on TikTok to go viral.
5. Clothes can help a video get viral.
6. A viral video should be easy to understand.
7. It’s counterproductive to answer comments very fast.
8. It’s easier to go viral if one publishes fewer videos but higher quality.

Vocabulary: Look up any new words/acronyms you find in the text in a monolingual dictionary and prepare to share the definitions with your classmates. Which of the words you looked up are recent? Colloquial?
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Post for answers previous post:

True or false? Correct the false statements.

The author argues that...
1. TikTok only favours publishers who have a lot of followers. FALSE “TikTok gives every video a chance by showing it to a small audience . Yes, even if you have 0 followers.”
2. Digital devices spy on us. TRUE “we all know that our phones and apps have the power to hear what we’re saying, and make decisions (ie show us ads) based on that audio.”
3. It’s not possible to use one’s own song on TikTok. FALSE “If you do want to use your own song, and TikTok won’t allow it, you can just upload with your own audio, select a song, and set that second song to 0 volume. “
4. It’s necessary to dance on TikTok to go viral. FALSE “dances can go viral, but stories are more likely to.”
5. Clothes can help a video get viral. TRUE  “the more comments you can get, the more likely you are to go viral. ………An easy one is to wear something cool/weird in your video and everyone will ask where it’s from, but you could do this in so many different ways.“
6. A viral video should be easy to understand.
7. It’s counterproductive to answer comments very fast. TRUE “if you have a video that is going viral on TikTok and you are replying to comments, don’t go too fast or you’ll get blocked. I was blocked from commenting on any videos for more than 24 hours when I replied to comments too quickly “
8. It’s easier to go viral if one publishes fewer videos but higher quality. FALSE “The more often you post, the more likely you are to have a video go viral.”

Vocabulary: Look up any new words/acronyms you find in the text in a monolingual dictionary and prepare to share the definitions with your classmates. Which of the words you looked up are recent? Colloquial?
lipsync  = Performers who lip-sync songs pretend to be singing them when in fact they are just moving their lips
bobby pin = a U-shaped metal pin that is tightly bent and slides into the hair in order to keep it back off the face or to keep part of the hair in position
to geek out =to behave in a very enthusiastic way about something that you are interested in and know a lot about but that other people might find boring:
to kick off = to begin
bang = a sudden very loud noise:
voice-over =on a television programme, film, or advertisement, the spoken words of a person that you cannot see:
to feed off sth =to increase because of something, or to use something to succeed or get advantages:
CTA = call to action
to skimp = to not spend enough time or money on something, or to not use enough of something in order to do a job or activity as it should be done:.
pigeonhole = classify
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Mensaje por Intruder Miér 30 Mar 2022 - 0:54

Topic 6: Activity book
2. Social media bubbles: listening and speaking
2.2. Social media bubbles: listening
Do these listening activities. You'll find the audios below:

Activities
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1H7wWK9jVa8P7BKo7_wBJlQRgeNsePYtA/view

Audio 4.4
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nKoInOBPXZTaOVsfZztFlB3M7-V5XCcx/view

Audio 4.5
https://drive.google.com/file/d/12CXpPkJ4WAEPNoTZ0ZuFZkpIxTSLBco1/view

You can check the key here:

Key
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1gBa4PSW7-zw51onmWpm72n4OYCalAhmn/view
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Mensaje por Intruder Miér 30 Mar 2022 - 1:38

Topic 6: Activity book

2. Social media bubbles: listening and speaking

2.3. Echo chambers: listening

Watch the video and do the activities on the worksheet:

Video:


Worksheet
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mlMPHeXP9NFElGqJAefpFvIkfU35Pc94/view

“In A Divided Country, Echo Chambers Can Reinforce Polarized Opinions” Worksheet

A)Watch the video and explain what these extracts from the
video refer to (they are listed in order of appearance):
1. “Back then there were three.”
2. “We’re not speaking the same language.”
3. “Most reporting these days would fail journalism 101.”
4. “...anti-Trump stories on its sports page.”
5. “The self-described Twitter addict now runs on the right.”
6. “Morning Joe”
7. “...it would drive me insane.”
8. “it’s like ‘pick your own adventure’.”
9. “...curated by Facebook and Twitter.”
10. “That’s something both sides agree on.”
11. “I go where the stink is.”
12. “We’re just talking past each other.”
13. “For some leaving us red all over; for others, giving us the blues.”

B) Prepare to discuss these questions in class:
1. Do echo chambers work in the same way in your country?
2. How do you think polarization in thel media affects society?
3. What advice would you give to someone who wants to be well informed?
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Mensaje por Intruder Miér 30 Mar 2022 - 1:39

Post for answers previous post:

“In A Divided Country, Echo Chambers Can Reinforce Polarized Opinions” Worksheet

A)Watch the video and explain what these extracts from the
video refer to (they are listed in order of appearance):
1. “Back then there were three.”
2. “We’re not speaking the same language.”
3. “Most reporting these days would fail journalism 101.”
4. “...anti-Trump stories on its sports page.”
5. “The self-described Twitter addict now runs on the right.”
6. “Morning Joe”
7. “...it would drive me insane.”
8. “it’s like ‘pick your own adventure’.”
9. “...curated by Facebook and Twitter.”
10. “That’s something both sides agree on.”
11. “I go where the stink is.”
12. “We’re just talking past each other.”
13. “For some leaving us red all over; for others, giving us the blues.”

B) Prepare to discuss these questions in class:
1. Do echo chambers work in the same way in your country?
2. How do you think polarization in thel media affects society?
3. What advice would you give to someone who wants to be well informed?
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Mensaje por Intruder Miér 30 Mar 2022 - 13:15

Online talk about  Abdulrazak Gurnah,
winner of the 2021 Nobel Prize for Literature,
by Dr. Esther Pujolràs from Universitat de Lleida
Thursday, March 31, 19:30 p.m.
for C2.1 and C2.2 students

Students are encouraged to attend. One part of the session will be devoted to students' questions. Here is some background to the author and his work:

https://www.wwb-campus.org/blog/2021/first-black-african-writer-to-win-nobel-in-35-years-read-him-here

ACTIVITY TO PREPARE FOR THE TALK
Please read the interview
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dTpvIvezeru6BUpwqLuhnsXmujILTw8y/view

and answer the questions
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ZoaI-_z7N88PFmTCAi0X1LBOMmgPeQ_BxmLMF4AV2jI/edit

Questions about an interview with Abdulrazak Gurnah (courtesy of Birgit Ferran)

Read the interview with Abdulrazak Gurnah and answer the following questions.

1- Gurnah says, "For those of you who don't know about Zanzibar - I hope most of you do know..." What did you know about Zanzibar before reading the interview? Why do you think Europeans in general know so little about Africa?

2- What shocked Gurnah most when he first arrived in Britain? How can you explain the mixed feelings he developed about his adoptive country?

3 - What contradictions did the British people Gurnah befriended have in their attitudes towards race? What changes has Gurnah witnessed in racist behaviors over the years?

4- How did Gurnah's loneliness and estrangement contribute to his desire to become a writer? How might it be easier to write about a situation when you are somewhat removed from it?

5- Gurnah says that his "first novel was titled Memories of Departure (1987) because even though it was published many years after the time I am speaking about, I was still leaving." What do you think he means by this? How has his sense of longing and belonging fuelled his writing?

6- The interviewer says that Toni Morrison "knew from the start she wanted to call herself an African-American writer." How does Gurnah feel about labels? What does he say about the publishing industry with regard to labels?

7- How are the themes Gurnah deals with in his novels (exile, displacement, belonging, colonialism) "both particular and universal"?

8- Gurnah mentions V.S. Naipaul, the Trinidadian Nobel Laureate of Indian descent known for his novels set in developing countries. What does Gurnah criticize about him?

9- How does Gurnah feel about the writer's role in society? Why did one reviewer refer to him as an "imperialist stooge"?


We'll discuss the answers in class on March 30.
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Mensaje por Intruder Miér 30 Mar 2022 - 13:17

Answers to previous post:

Questions about an interview with Abdulrazak Gurnah (courtesy of Birgit Ferran)

Read the interview with Abdulrazak Gurnah and answer the following questions.

1- Gurnah says, "For those of you who don't know about Zanzibar - I hope most of you do know..." What did you know about Zanzibar before reading the interview? Why do you think Europeans in general know so little about Africa?

2- What shocked Gurnah most when he first arrived in Britain? How can you explain the mixed feelings he developed about his adoptive country?

3 - What contradictions did the British people Gurnah befriended have in their attitudes towards race? What changes has Gurnah witnessed in racist behaviors over the years?

4- How did Gurnah's loneliness and estrangement contribute to his desire to become a writer? How might it be easier to write about a situation when you are somewhat removed from it?

5- Gurnah says that his "first novel was titled Memories of Departure (1987) because even though it was published many years after the time I am speaking about, I was still leaving." What do you think he means by this? How has his sense of longing and belonging fuelled his writing?

6- The interviewer says that Toni Morrison "knew from the start she wanted to call herself an African-American writer." How does Gurnah feel about labels? What does he say about the publishing industry with regard to labels?

7- How are the themes Gurnah deals with in his novels (exile, displacement, belonging, colonialism) "both particular and universal"?

8- Gurnah mentions V.S. Naipaul, the Trinidadian Nobel Laureate of Indian descent known for his novels set in developing countries. What does Gurnah criticize about him?

9- How does Gurnah feel about the writer's role in society? Why did one reviewer refer to him as an "imperialist stooge"?
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 5 Abr 2022 - 13:46

Activities to do by April 6

You should do the activities in chapters 2.4 and 3 of the Topic 6 activity book, and also carry on working on the assignments on MyELT.

I hope to see at least some of you at the online talk tomorrow (the information to join is on Moodle). If you attend, please fill in this anonymous survey about it afterwards:

https://forms.gle/kwvTNKLa7yRU8DnD6

Have a good week.
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 5 Abr 2022 - 17:32

Topic 6: Activity book

2. Social media bubbles: listening and speaking

2.4. Kidfluencers: listening

Watch a 23-minute-long documentary about kidfluencers (=kid influencers)

Video:



and do the activities on the worksheet:
"Kid influencers: Few rules, big money" worksheet
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NYk1auwZ6ZPrJ-YD0H89DUBxpbGP9OOq/view

“Kidfluencers: Few rules, big money” WORKSHEET
A) In the video differing opinions are given about the potential positive aspects and the dangers of being a kidfluencer. Make notes to fill in the chart according to what you hear:

Benefits of being a kidfluencer:






Dangers kidfluencers are exposed to:







B) Prepare to discuss these questions in class:
1. How sincere did the children in the video seem to you? And their families?
2. How do you react to the amounts of money earned by kidfluencers’ parents that are mentioned in the video?
3. According to the video, what legal protection do kidfluencers have? Is it enough in your view?
4. What is the difference between a child actor and a kidfluencer according to Karen North, PhD? Do you agree?
5. What’s your opinion of the statements by Youtube and Instagram at the end of the video?
6. Why do you think brands have turned to social media influencers to advertise their products?
7. Would you allow (or even encourage) your under-age child to become an influencer? Why?
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Mensaje por Intruder Mar 5 Abr 2022 - 17:46

Post for answers previous post:

“Kidfluencers: Few rules, big money” WORKSHEET

A) In the video differing opinions are given about the potential positive aspects and the dangers of being a kidfluencer. Make notes to fill in the chart according to what you hear:

Benefits of being a kidfluencer:

They get clothes, accesories, toys , jewelry…..for free. The’ve got a lot of different outfits to choose.

According to a mother, it’s not really a job because kids are having fun. And kids seem to think the same.They seem to be happy with what they do.

It gives them a lot of opportunities to relate with adults, and experience things that they can’t ever imagined.

As this is a lucrative business, parents can start a college savings fund , or a saving plan, for the kids.

Some have their own bank accounts which remain untouched until kids are 18.


Dangers kidfluencers are exposed to:

Josh Golin is concerned about the rising of unboxing culture and is worried about how some kid s have become powerful infuences in other children’s lives.

These kids and also the adults who became influencers are under ridiculous amounts of pressure to create entertaining content, to shock or surprise the audience.

Child exploitation by their parents. There are families out there who use their kids to make money to cover their expenses.

The potential harm to expose your kids’ lives to huge audiences so that your kid can be screwed and criticized is one of the things people don’t necesarily think of when building an audience or building a brand.


B) Prepare to discuss these questions in class:

1. How sincere did the children in the video seem to you? I think that they are heavily influenced by their parents. For instance, there’s a couple of  black twins around minute 4:35 and they both are asked if they know a certain brand. They both say no, and the interwiever replies that they are just wearing  it. Then the interwiever asks then what their favouurite  brand is , and one of them replies pointing at the label she’s wearing, the label she never had heard of before.But the blond twins at 18:40 sound sincere when they say their paretns don’t forcé them to do it, they do it because they want to, because it’s fun.  And their families? The twin’s mother says “she sincerely believes they’re doing the best they think they can do for them”

2. How do you react to the amounts of money earned by kidfluencers’ parents that are mentioned in the video? Kyler and Madison say that they got 150.000 last  month. The McClures say they average 11.000 a month on YouTube.

3. According to the video, what legal protection do kidfluencers have? Both YouTube and Instagram prohibit accounts by individuals younger than 13. Since 1939 Coogan’s Law has protected the earnings of child performers, but this law doesn’t apply to kid influencers online Is it enough in your view? No, it’s not because Coogan’s law should also cover kid influencers online..

4. What is the difference between a child actor and a kidfluencer according to Karen North, PhD? “A kidfluencer is not a kid pretending to be somebody for a show, instead, the show is the kid” Do you agree? I think this is a very smart definition.

5. What’s your opinion of the statements by Youtube and Instagram at the end of the video? It looks like they don’t really care about anything but to follow the bare regulations.

6. Why do you think brands have turned to social media influencers to advertise their products? I really believe it’s been a smart move since we carry smartphones and tablets all day long wherever we go, and these media are on the crest of the wave, while the traditional media have been decaying in recent times.

7. Would you allow (or even encourage) your under-age child to become an influencer? I would Why? Because I think that the benefits for him/her would clearly exceed the potential damages.
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Mensaje por Intruder Miér 6 Abr 2022 - 12:16

Topic 6: Activity book

3. "Doomscrolling": reading

Read this text and do the activities on the worksheet:

The darkly soothing compulsion of "doomscrolling" text
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LnXTgSAprJmzGdNQ5_EKxWlXBme0lOlf/view

The darkly soothing compulsion of doomscrolling
By Jessica Klein
3rd March 2021

Why does endlessly looking for bad news feel so strangely gratifying – and can we break the habit?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Emily Bernstein, 29, has been scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. As a Los Angeles-based comedy writer, Bernstein needs to read through Twitter and news sites for material. But it’s not just her job that keeps her reading: it’s the compulsion of ‘doomscrolling’ – trawling through feeds without pause, no matter how bad the news is or how many trolls’ comments she reads.

“I found myself in bed at night scrolling news sites and knowing this is not healthy for me...so why am I doing this?” says Bernstein.

It’s a question many doomscrollers have been asking themselves. There are multiple reasons why the urge to read may be so strong: the feeling of safety in knowledge, especially during difficult times; the design of social-media platforms that constantly refresh and boost the loudest voices; and, of course, the human fascination aspect. “It’s like not being able to look away when you see a car accident,” says Bernstein.

Beyond knowing intuitively that doomscrolling makes us feel awful, studies conducted during the pandemic have corroborated this, linking both anxiety and depression to the consumption of Covid-19 related media and increased time spent on smartphones. So, why do we keep endlessly scrolling – and why can the practice feel oddly soothing? And could there actually be surprising upsides to keeping our eyes locked on our feeds?

The ‘pleasure’ of doomscrolling

Most of us spent some portion of 2020 doomscrolling – so much so that the Oxford English Dictionary named it a word of the year, and even added it to the dictionary.

But doomscrolling isn’t really a new human behaviour. Though the term seems to have entered the public lexicon in early 2020 around the start of Covid-19-related lockdowns, the public has long held the can’t-look-away-from-a-car-crash mentality Bernstein mentions when it comes to consuming news.

“The precursor to going online was that people would watch the 11 o’clock news, [which] was terrifying,” says Dean McKay, a Fordham University psychology professor who specialises in compulsive behaviour and anxiety disorders. That terror, when witnessed from the comfort of the viewer’s home, however, had a potentially calming effect. McKay describes the attitude as people acknowledging “things are pretty horrible, [but] I’m comfortable, so I'm going to be able to sleep well tonight knowing that [I can feel good about] my station in life”.

McKay suggests doomscrolling could be a “modern equivalent”. But, unlike the 23:00 news, it doesn’t stop at a fixed hour. During the uniquely uncertain and scary times of 2020, it’s no surprise that people like Bernstein scrolled well into the night. They needed information – at first because little was available about the virus, and then because they got sucked into the never-ending news cycle about it.

As Pamela Rutledge, director of the California-based Media Psychology Research Center, puts it, doomscrolling “really just describes the compulsive need to try and get answers when we’re afraid”. After all, we do have to assess whether new information constitutes a threat. “We are biologically driven to attend to that,” says Rutledge.

“Unfortunately, journalism to some degree plays to that tendency,” she adds. Provocative headlines and stories draw in readers because they elicit fear and urgency – as Bernstein says, “There’s a sense of, if I know all the latest news, I can better protect myself and my family.”

This feels reasonable – but most people scroll well past the point of ascertaining any valuable information. Bernstein, for instance, starts doomscrolling sessions by reading the news, but she regularly winds up scrolling through comment sections beneath the articles. “I know it's just going to be a bunch of psychopaths insulting other psychopaths,” she says. “I truly don't know why I do it.” She’s drawn, in a way, to the negativity.

McKay sees a possible evolutionary explanation for this. All human emotional states emerged because they were somehow adaptive. So, wanting to vicariously feel a certain emotion from reading news or comments, like anger or despair, may be a way for us to “practice evolved coping mechanisms” we’ve developed for managing negative life events. Being scared, for example, puts us on high alert, which is useful in dangerous situations. In that sense, says McKay, “[doomscrolling] is almost like an information and strategy gathering approach”.

So, yes, the pandemic has compounded this perceived need for information and news-induced emotions. But people who’ve been unable to socialise or work outside the home during the pandemic have also had more time to scroll. A German survey from late March and early April of 2020 showed a connection between “frequency, duration, and diversity of media exposure” to increased depression symptoms and both general and pandemic-related anxiety. Researchers from Dartmouth College also found increased phone usage linked with more anxiety, depression and sedentary behaviors among college students as Covid-19 concerns increased in March.

The feed in your head

For Rebecca Linton, 28, who works as a shoe prototyper in Denver, Colorado, doomscrolling during the pandemic has been about “trying to figure out what was going to happen next”, she says.

After the “novelty of being stuck inside and being able to craft all the time” during early lockdowns wore off, Linton found herself “consuming every possible news source about Covid, quarantine and the future that I possibly could”, she says. She often found herself getting sucked into the doomscrolling rabbit hole because she was trying to answer a specific question about what was going on – and that would just lead her to read different angles of the same story. It would also bring up entirely new questions she felt the need to answer, further lengthening her doomscrolling session and creating a self-perpetuating feed of bad news.

This behaviour of dwelling in a kind of endless feed can look a lot like Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), says psychologist Jade Wu: “GAD is basically a Twitter feed of worries in your head.” Since GAD is associated with problems like muscle tensions, fatigue and depression, Wu says she imagines “similar effects” could happen to habitual doomscrollers.

“Doomscrolling is kind of like practicing having GAD,” she says. “If you run everyday, that's going to impact your muscles. If you doomscroll every day, that’s going to impact your psychology and your brain.”

Doomscrolling also mimics gambling behaviours, because we don’t only scroll for bad news, but also anything uplifting. “We are hooked by the possibility of good news on the horizon,” Wu says (or even just finding a cute puppy video for some temporary relief). She compares doomscrolling, in that sense, to playing the slots. A gambler keeps pressing the lever in hope of winning, though it’s more likely they lose. Losing, for doomscrollers, means exposure to the same bad news, and the negative psychological and physical effects that come with it.

This “variable reinforcement schedule”, says Wu, “is the most addictive pattern of reward”. It’s why slot machines are designed the way they are – and social media feeds, too.

‘The real world outside is not all trolls’

If doomscrolling is slots-level addicting, and probably not the best for our mental health, how do we stop?

Rutledge stresses that awareness of our doomscrolling habits is the best way to quit them. For people on diets, for instance, keeping “food logs”, she says, is “one of the biggest predictors of success” for losing weight because it makes people aware of their current habits. The same could go for doomscrolling. Keep track of how much time you spend doing it to “identify the negative tendency”, Rutledge continues, “then you take steps to change it”.

Rutledge suggests setting a timer to stay alert to how long you’re spending on your phone, establishing a time at night when you put your phone down for the day, or having your partner remind you to turn it off.

That last suggestion works for Linton. Her partner has also got into doomscrolling in the past year, so they “actively support” each other’s efforts to stop, she says. “I find the most helpful thing is to get physical distance,” says Bernstein. “I’ll get off the internet, go on a walk and realise that the real world outside is not all trolls.”

A future of... hopescrolling?

McKay says he saw a report not long ago that we were entering into the darkest days of the pandemic, “but juxtaposed right next to it is [news] like, ‘here’s how many vaccines are getting rolled out’,” he says. “And suddenly, you have potentially less of a bleak picture.”

That slot machine analogy looks more favourable in this light. Maybe doomscrollers aren’t scrolling to seek out more doom and gloom – they’re doing what McKay tentatively calls “hopescrolling”.

Bernstein even heard the term “joyscrolling” used in recent months, “like on certain days that were particularly great... people were like, ‘I can’t stop joyscrolling!’”.

A day of scrolling through positive news can’t necessarily erase or counteract the habits we’ve formed from months of doomscrolling and their negative effects on our mental wellbeing. However, understanding that scrolling through good news brings us joy could help make us more aware of how our online behaviour affects our emotional state, which Rutledge says is the key to changing our behaviours. Linton, for one, has blocked people who she’s realised are “not bringing valuable information” to her social feeds and has tried to curate her Instagram so it’s full of accounts with more positive content – the kind she can feel good scrolling through.

“I think it's unrealistic to say one day Covid will be over, and I'm never going to [doomscroll] again,” says Bernstein. “I do think it'll decrease, but that's also a thing I realised – I have to put in the work to do that.”

https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20210226-the-darkly-soothing compulsion-of-doomscrolling

Worksheet
https://drive.google.com/file/d/17mZRD9lIAiOu1WCNTv_bNsPyREsjTvPV/view

“The darkly soothing compulsion of doomscrolling” Worksheet
A) Answer these questions according to the views expressed in the article:
1. What are the similarities and differences between watching the 23:00 news and doomscrolling according to Dean McKay?
2. What biological and evolutionary reasons are given in the article for this type of behaviour?
3. What’s the connection between GAD, gambling and doomscrolling, according to Jade Wu?
4. What advice does Rutledge give to stop doomscrolling?
5. Does McKay think doomscrolling may end soon?
6. What strategy has Emily Bernstein adopted to control her obsession with bad news?

B) Find synonyms or definitions for the highlighted words, and write an example sentence for each one.
C) Prepare to discuss this statement in class:
One of the wisest decisions we can make to improve our mental health is to stay away from the news, no matter the source.
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“The darkly soothing compulsion of doomscrolling” Worksheet

A) Answer these questions according to the views expressed in the article:
1. What are the similarities and differences between watching the 23:00 news and doomscrolling according to Dean McKay?
McKay suggests doomscrolling could be a “modern equivalent” to the 23:00 news. But, unlike the 23:00 news, it doesn’t stop at a fixed hour. People  need information and then they got sucked into the never-ending news cycle.
2. What biological and evolutionary reasons are given in the article for this type of behaviour?  Doomscrolling would work as a defence mechanism. McKay says that “wanting to vicariously  feel a certain emotion from reading news or comments…… may be a way for us to…managing negative life events”.
3. What’s the connection between GAD, gambling and doomscrolling, according to Jade Wu? Because all their negative effects come from introducing these activities into our daily routines, and that they all share “a variable reinforcement schedule, to be hooked by the possiblility of good news for the scroller or a reward for the gambler, which is the most addictive pattern”.
4. What advice does Rutledge give to stop doomscrolling? Rutledge suggests setting a timer to stay alert to how long you’re spending on your phone, establishing a time at night when you put your phone down for the day, or having your partner remind you to turn it off.
5. Does McKay think doomscrolling may end soon? He wonders if doomscrollers aren’t scrolling to seek out more doom and gloom – and they’re now doing what McKay tentatively calls “hopescrolling”.
6. What strategy has Emily Bernstein adopted to control her obsession with bad news?

B) Find synonyms or definitions for the highlighted words, and write an example sentence for each one.
trawling =  searching among a large number or many different places in order to find people or information you want (The software is used to trawl for information on the internet.)
boost = to improve or increase something (The theatre managed to boost its audiences by cutting ticket prices.)
soothing = making you feel calm (I put on some nice soothing music.)
sucked = I tried sucking (on) a mint to stop myself coughing.
play to= move in this direction
ascertain = to discover something , to make certain of something (The police have so far been unable to ascertain the cause of the explosión)
vicariously = in a vicarious way (= experienced through the activities of other people, rather than by doing something yourself)
compound = to make a problem or difficult situation worse (His financial problems were compounded when he unexpectedly lost his job.)
stuck = unable to move, or set in a particular position, place, or way of thinking /  not able to continue reading, answering questions, etc. because something is too difficult (Seven of us were stuck in the lift for over an hour.)
dwell = to live in a place or in a particular way (She dwelt in remote parts of Asia for many years.)
uplifting = making someone feel better (For me it was a marvellously uplifting performance)
curate = to select things such as documents, music, products, or internet content to be included as part of a list or collection, or on a website (a curated library of short movies available online)

C) Prepare to discuss this statement in class:
One of the wisest decisions we can make to improve our mental health is to stay away from the news, no matter the source
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