Exams. 12.03.2012
TOEFL Cafe

TOEFL cafe: FOCUS ON WRITING

Автор: Таня Пекарчук

READING: BEING BILINGUAL IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH

Хелло, мои дорогие :)
Сегодня поговорим о bilingual people.
Ты считаешь себя bilingual? A trilingual? A polyglot?
Надеюсь, что когда you are checking out этот пост, ты или уже двуязычный человек, или тебе до того уже совсем недалеко. Сегодня подобранный мной Reading поднимет тебе самооценку, станет мотивацией для совершенствования английского или же вдохновит на изучение нового для тебя языка. Одолжила у the Guardian (full text of the on-line article is here ).

К тому же, сегодня мы будем делать все немного наоборот: vocabulary list твоему вниманию перед прочтением статьи.

VOCABULARY

cognitive: in psychology, a cognitive science or process is one that is connected with recognizing and understanding things

onset: the beginning of something, especially something bad

the onset of the disease
 

dementia: a serious illness affecting someone’s brain and memory in which they gradually stop being able to think or behave in a normal way.

Most forms of dementia usually affect only old people.
 

to hold/ keep something at bay (for): to prevent something serious, dangerous, or unpleasant from affecting you

be better at something/ at doing something

to boost: to help something to increase, improve, or become more successful

Their share price climbed again today, boosted by rising sales.
 

to deteriorate: to become worse

The weather deteriorated rapidly so the game was abandoned.
 

to switch between: to change from one thing to another

Once you have learned the basics of word processing, switching between different programs is quite easy.
 

seem to do something:

She seemed to take very good care of herself.
 

to build up: [intransitive/transitive] to increase, or to make something increase

The food industry needs to build up consumer confidence again.
 

to run out of something: to use all of something and not have any left

Many hospitals are running out of money.

 
The article
Learning a second language and speaking it regularly can improve your cognitive skills and delay the onset of dementia, according to researchers who compared bilingual individuals with people who spoke only one language.

Their study suggests that bilingual speakers hold Alzheimer's disease at bay for an extra four years on average compared with monoglots. School-level language skills that you use on holiday may even improve brain function to some extent.

In addition, bilingual children who use their second language regularly are better at prioritising tasks and multitasking compared with monolingual children, said Ellen Bialystok, a psychologist at York University in Toronto.

"Being bilingual has certain cognitive benefits and boosts the performance of the brain, especially one of the most important areas known as the executive control system," said Bialystok on Friday at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC.

"We know that this system deteriorates with age but we have found that at every stage of life it functions better in bilinguals. They perform at a higher level. It won't stop them getting Alzheimer's disease, but they can cope with the disease for longer."

She said switching between different languages seems to stimulate the brain so that it builds up a cognitive reserve. "It is rather like a reserve tank in a car. When you run out of fuel, you can keep going for longer because there is a bit more in the safety tank."

A.The effect was greatest for people who had to use the language every day and choose between two sets of words all the time.B. "It works best for people who speak two languages every day, like immigrants moving to a new country who speak their own language at home. C. But every little bit helps." D.

Bialystock said her team was now researching whether using two or more languages resulted in any physical changes to the brain, in addition to improving cognition. Early results suggest that it may change brain size.


1. Which one of the following statements is correct:

  1. Learning a second language can lower your risk of getting Altzheimer's
  2. Learning a second language can delay the beginning of Altzheimer's.
  3. Learning a second language can lower your cognitive skills.
  4. Individuals who speak only one language have a higher risk of getting early dementia.


2. Insert the following phrase into the most suitable place, A, B, C or D:
 Nevertheless, learning a language at school and continuing to practise it was also useful, she said.


LISTENING: LISTEN to INTERESTING TALKS by INTERESTING PEOPLE

Я как-то сидела и размышляла над тем, что есть такого интересного, чтобы улучшить свои Listening skills. Все зависит от твоих предпочтений.

Когда ты планируешь учиться за границей, и именно поэтому готовишься к TOEFL, то тебе лучше просматривать/прослушивать различные лекции в сети. Если ты вовсе не студент и быть им снова не собираешься, ты уже взрослый и серьезный человек, то для тебя есть новости на euronews.net, на bbc.co.uk или же на cnn.com, это все up to you, ведь с активным развитием Internet, тебе уже не обязательно иметь телевизор, чтобы просматривать новости на разных языках из разных уголков мира. Но несмотря на все подкасты и новости, меня уж время от времени радует такая вещь, как TED.com. Мы не раз упоминали об этом ресурсе и еще не раз вспомним, ведь это источник коротких информационных и часто мотивирующих speaches на любую тему!
Сегодня предлагаю вашему вниманию один из самых мотивирующих роликов на TED(по классификации самого TED):

Elizabeth Gilbert: A new way to think about creativity


SPEAKING: express yourself!

Послушали других? Теперь время высказаться нам самим и поделиться своими мыслями по 45 секунд со мной на мою почту toefl.cafe@gmail.com:

 

What is your happiest childhood memory? Describe it and give reasons to explain why it is your happiest memory.
 

INDEPENDENT WRITING: EXPRESS CONTRAST IDEAS

В предыдущих постах ты можешь найти подборки выражений, которые помогут структурировать твой ответ, тем самым увеличив балл по Writing, да и по TOEFL в целом.

По многочисленным просьбам в этом посте я рассмотрю с вами еще одну стратегию написания Independent essay: Contrast and comparison. За словом «стратегия» скрывается простая организация произведения.

Contrast and comparison
Сделаем это на примере одной из возможных тем:
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television
has destroyed communication among friends and family. Use
specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
 
  • Сначала сформулируй свою мысль: 
One may say that television has destroyed communication among friends and family. I think that television has remarkably changed communication between friends and relatives. Whether it's a black box or a flat screen, once installed in your home it influences people around, their lives, their thoughts and therefore their communication. More importantly those changes follow them to their jobs or schools, or anywhere they go.
  • Далее объясни, почему ты так думаешь, предоставив пару примеров:
To begin with, television takes our time. So we may assume that there is less time left for communication. Then, our communication during that shortened period of time is greatly influenced by what we have seen on television: evening news, celebrities, TV shows' main characters and their lives. We discuss movies and current events, we start comparing our lives to those shown to us on the screens.

Furthermore, those changes in communication shape TV programs. People tend to look for advice on a talk-show than asking their friends, we tend to look for a role-models on TV, rather than  in our lives, from people we know. We become truly empathetic with heroes of reality shows trying not to miss a program, and neglecting beggars on the streets and missing calls of our friends.
  • Далее можно добавить contrast своим мыслям:
On the other hand, there are lonely people who have none to talk to, no relative and no friends. Due to their personal loss or physical disabilities, they are obliged to stay at home, and TV may allow them at least visually experience the world, learn something new about a different culture, or follow the news on ongoing events from the country they were forced to leave. For those people television is a means to stay in touch with the world and to communicate with it. And from this angle, television creates a new and maybe only way to communicate. 
  • Не забывай о conclusion! Даже если прибавить уже нечего, нужно просто подвести итоги.
To summarize, for aforementioned reasons television has a great influence on our lives. It can both destroy and create communication, everything depends on the person sitting in front of a TV set.

Вышеизложенное: это моя импровизация на тему :) Жду ваших импровизаций с выражением контраста на почтовый ящик блога toefl.cafe@gmail.com.
Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Television
has destroyed communication among friends and family. Use
specific reasons and examples to support your opinion.
 
И в завершение предлагаю вам небольшую подборку фраз для выражения Contrast:

However: used when you are saying something that seems surprising after your previous statement, or that makes your previous statement seem less true
The president was confident of success. However, his advisers were not so sure.
 
Nevertheless: despite a fact or idea that you have just mentioned: used as a way of showing how a sentence, phrase, or word is related to what has already been said
It’s a difficult race. Nevertheless, about 1,000 runners participate every year.
 
Nonetheless: despite what has just been said. The more usual word is nevertheless.

Although, Even though, though: used for introducing a statement that makes your main statement seem surprising
Although he’s got a good job now, he still complains.
She used to call me ‘Tiny’, although I was at least as tall as she was.

 
but

Despite , In spite of : used to say that something happens or is true even though something else might have prevented it

Never use of after despite.
✗ Recycling is a good way to manage waste despite of its cost.
✓ Recycling is a good way to manage waste despite its cost.
✗ Many people are successful in their jobs despite of the fact that they have no university diploma.
✓ Many people are successful in their jobs despite the fact that they have no university diploma.

You can also use the phrase in spite of in the same way:
Recycling is a good way to manage waste in spite of its cost.
Despite and in spite of mean exactly the same, but despite is much more frequent.
 
by/in contrast: used when you are comparing two things or people and saying that the second one is very different from the first
The technology sector is doing badly. Old economy stocks, by contrast, are performing well again.
In contrast to his predecessor, Bush has little appetite for foreign travel.
 
Whereas: used for comparing two things, people, situations etc and showing that there is an important difference between them
Doctors’ salaries have risen substantially, whereas nurses’ pay has actually fallen.
 
on the one hand...on the other hand: used for giving two different opinions about something
Many of these garden pests cause little real damage. On the other hand, aphids can infect raspberries with incurable diseases.
 
on the contrary: used for emphasizing that something is true, even though it is the opposite of something that has been said
The risk of infection hasn’t diminished – on the contrary, it has increased.

Thank you for your attention! and see you next week!
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