Category Archives: English-Chinese culture and education

Tianjin Lesson 8; Personal time zones, ways to live a healthy long life

Nimen Hao,

today we will finish our discussion about time. Let’s play Professor Pan’s video and have a discussion.

Professor Pan’s video: personal time zones

Let’s play Laoshi Pan’s video and have a discussion

  • What do you think about the idea that people live in their own time zones? Does this idea apply to your life, the lives of people you know?

Childishness: discussion

Let’s talk about the idea that you are only as old as you feel and can retain some of your childish feeling for the world.

How (in what ways) can or do you/we keep our inner child alive?

Next we will begin the reading on good health in old age, and pause for discussions throughout. (This is a condensed version of the article).

Reading: 25 ways to live well into old age

Illustration of woman meditating
Illustration: Guardian Design

Susan’s mother had dementia and she became her mother’s carer. Her friend Annabel watched her mother care for her grandmother, who lived with dementia for nearly 30 years.

Susan and Annabel decided to do everything she could to increase their own chances of ageing well. They started researching the latest science on how to have a healthier, happier old age. Both of them are in their 50s, and say they have never been in better health.

What did they learn?

Mind and emotions

Cultivate optimism

Studies have found that older people with a positive attitude to ageing have better functional health, faster walking speeds and higher thinking abilities than those with a more negative attitude.

Negativity puts stress on the body, which can impact heart health, sleep quality, weight and thinking billity. You really are as old as you feel.

Cultivate friendships

Loneliness is linked to dementia, heart disease, stroke, depression and a 29% greater risk of dying.

Researchers found having a large social network is linked living longer. The quality of friendships also helps keep us alive.

Helping and caring for others also helps longevity.

Read books

Although reading is sedentary and solitary, frequent reading has been linked to longer, healthier life. A Yale study of 3,600 over-50s found that reading increased longevity by almost two years; readers of books outlived readers of newspapers and magazines. While those who read for more than 3.5 hours a week lived longest, the researchers said “30 minutes a day was still beneficial”.

Also, every expert seems to recommend reading as a means of getting to sleep.

Keep learning

Brains knowledge ability works equally well in both young and old age.

What matters for the brain, in not youth or age, but learning new things.

The brain loves novelty: crafts, games, even cooking from a new recipe, all trigger the creation of neuron.

The more complex and more difficult the new activity is, the greater the rewards. Choose something that also involves social interaction and a bit of movement, such as singing. Best of all, try learning complex new dance moves.

Take a nap

Several studies have found that nappers have better attention and focus, better memory and better non-verbal reasoning. Oddly, nappers also appear to sleep better at night. But the key is to keep the nap short (about 30 minutes).

Meditate

Meditation reduces stress and promote empathy, and regular practitioners seem not to lose grey matter, or suffer reduced concentration, as they age. Just 15 minutes a day is enough to help. Can’t spare 15 minutes? Take a few moments to focus on your breath or your surroundings to promote a feeling of calm.

Four legs good … having a dog has health benefits.
Four legs good … having a dog has health benefits. Photograph: Getty Images/Maskot

Walk a dog

The routine of walking and caring for dogs help us age better. A study of 3 million Swedes+ aged 40 to 80 found that dog owners had a lower risk of death due to all causes. Pet owners have lower blood pressure, cholesterol and lower levels of stress. Dogs bring bacteria into the home, which in turns boosts gut health.

Walk faster

Walking is good, but faster is better than slower. Brisk walking has been linked to better memory, better health and a longer life. Increase your pace until you are slightly out of breath or sweaty and aim for 30 minutes a day, ideally outdoors to get the additional benefits of vitamin D and light. New research suggests that those walking first thing in the morning make better decisions during the day,.

Exercise in green space

Trees produce substances which help to lower blood pressure, reduce stress and boost immunity. Tiny substances in forest soil have been found to reduce depression and may contribute to immunity from disease .

Why weights? They build muscle.
Why weights? They build muscle. Photograph: dragana991/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Build muscle

Experts believe weight training is as important for ageing as aerobic exercise, eating vegetables and sleeping well. Recent research found that older adults who did twice-weekly strength training lived longer and with less illness than those who did none. We like rowing and weight-training and keep weights near the kettle and the TV and lift them if we have a few minutes to spare.

Build bone density

Bones strength weakens with age, unless we exercise.

Jumping, running or skipping increase bone density.

Lifting weights also strengthens bones.

Dancing improves balance and coordination, resulting in fewer falls and fractures.

Avoid pollution

Research links pollution to lung cancer, heart disease, dementia, hypertension and diabetes. Avoid congested roads, switch to an anti-inflammatory diet, invest in a good quality air purifier and rotate it round your house, and fill your apartment with plants.

It is vital that we protest for cleaner air and reduce our own personal pollution.

Liquid gold … olive oil. Photograph: Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images

Eating and fasting

Fast every day

Fasting is a proven method for increasing longevity. It also reduces Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes and weight gain. It is important to find the type of fasting that suits you. Susan and Annabel like the overnight fast of 14-16 hours, which improves gut health. This fast was practiced by our ancestors who ate supper at sundown, rarely snacked, and then ate mid-morning the following day.

Use olive oil

Olive oil is best used with multicoloured vegetables.

Studies show it improves heart health. It reduces heart attacks and strokes, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and helps give better blood glucose (sugar) control.

Olive oil may also slow of the progression of breast cancer, and reduce bone mass loss.

Enjoy coffee

Researchers think coffee may help fend off Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Drinking coffee has also been linked to reduced risks for several cancers, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Drink your coffee without sugar or sweet syrups, and don’t make it too milky: the health benefits appears to drop when milk is added.

Only spend money on vitamin D and zinc

Study after study has found that supplements have very little benefit; we invest in good food instead. However, when it comes to vitamin D and zinc, the data is robust: vitamin D can help us age well while zinc has been shown to reduce the severity of coughs and colds. Those of us who aren’t able to get the sunlight necessary for the body to make vitamin D need a supplement.

Support immunity by eating leafy greens, and …

Research indicates that the immune system overreacts as we get older, and speeds up the ageing process. Support your immune system with a diet high in dark leafy greens, cabbage and broccoli), garlic, leeks, onions, and mushrooms (Shiitake mushrooms are best).

shiitake-mushrooms-benefits

Eat more fibre

An Australian study found the healthiest agers (those most free of disease) were the ones with the highest fibre intake – usually from fruit, wholegrain bread and oats. Fibre also helps reduce cholesterol levels, which in turn supports heart health, and lowers some cancer risks.

The Age Well Project: Easy Ways to a Longer, Healthier, Happier Life by Annabel Streets and Susan Saunders (Piatkus, £14.99).

Article shared privately for Tianjin Laoren Daxue discussion

End of semester discussions

After we have talked about the health ideas, we will discuss our holiday plans, including travel, and learning and time with family.

Think about the following questions, and we will use them for discussion.

  1. Are you going away.? Where are you going? Have you been there before? What can you tell us about it? How long will you go for. Do you have any photos to show us?
  2. Are you going to visit someone/some people. Tell us about them, and about who they are to you. How do you feel about seeing them? Do you have any photos to show us?
  3. What kind of learning will you do in the summer holidays? What will you study or learn, how will you do it?
  4. what other things do you plan to do in the holidays? Tell us about them.

How shall we learn together next semester?

A few weeks ago you wrote me a letter about how we could make the classes more simple. Let’s discuss how to do what we will do in class next semester. And we can also talk a little about when (Class times).

#KuToo: Japanese women submit anti-high heels petition

 

Campaigners urge government to ban employers from forcing footwear on female staff

 

Yumi Ishikawa, the founder of the KuToo movement
Yumi Ishikawa, the founder of the KuToo movement. Photograph: Charly Triballeau/AFP/Getty Images

A group of Japanese women have submitted a petition to the government to protest against what they say is a de facto requirement for female staff to wear high heels at work.

The KuToo campaign – a play on words from the Japanese kutsu, meaning shoes, and kutsuu, meaning pain – was launched by the actor and freelance writer Yumi Ishikawa and quickly won support online.

Campaigners said wearing high heels was considered to be near-obligatory when job hunting or working at many Japanese companies.

Ishikawa told reporters after meeting labour ministry officials: “Today we submitted a petition calling for the introduction of laws banning employers from forcing women to wear heels as sexual discrimination or harassment.”

The actor explained how a government official had told her she “was a woman and sympathetic to our petition … and told us that this is the first time voices of this kind had reached the ministry”.

“It’s the first step forward,” Ishikawa added.

Ministry officials were not immediately available for comment.

The case underlines what some experts say is a deep-seated problem with misogyny in Japan. Last year, an MP from Japan’s governing party said women should have multiple children. Women who preferred to remain single would become a burden on the state later in life, added Kanji Kato.

A tweet by Ishikawa earlier this year, complaining about the requirement to wear high heels for a hotel job, went viral, prompting her to launch the campaign.

She said in response to the global anti-sexual-harassment #MeToo movement: “As I realised that so many people face the same problem, I decided to launch the campaign.”

Campaigners said the shoes were akin to modern foot-binding. Others also urged that dress codes such as the near-ubiquitous business suits for men be loosened in the Japanese workplace.

A similar petition against high heels at work was signed by more than 150,000 people in the UK in support of the receptionist Nicola Thorp, who was sent home from work for wearing flat shoes. She was told to go home by the City accountancy firm PwC on her first day as a temporary receptionist in May 2016 for refusing to wear 2-4in heels.

The case prompted an inquiry on workplace dress codes by a committee of MPs, which highlighted other cases in the UK where women were required to wear heels, even for jobs that included climbing ladders, carrying heavy luggage, carrying food and drink up and down stairs and walking long distances.

However, the government refused to change the law, claiming scope for redress already existed under the Equality Act 2010.

In 2015 the director of the Cannes film festival apologised over women being denied access to the red carpet for not wearing high heels. Cannes kept the dress code, despite a protest by the actor Julia Roberts, who went barefoot the next year.

In 2017, Canada’s British Columbia province banned companies from forcing female employees to wear high heels, saying the practice was dangerous and discriminatory.

Earlier this year, Norwegian Air was widely criticised for requiring female cabin crew to carry a doctor’s note if they wanted to wear flat shoes. Ingrid Hodnebo, a women’s spokesperson for the country’s Socialist Left party, accused the airline of being stuck in the “Mad Men universe from the 1950s and 60s”.

Article shared privately for educational purposes, with BUPT undergraduates. Please go to the Guardian website for information about subscriptions.

Fresh(wo)men lesson aid: appropriate vocabulary; answering strange questions

Nimen Hao,

please look at the items below as we use them in today’s class. Our aim is to use rich and appropriate vocabulary.

mona-lisa
1. Mona Lisa Da Vinci 1503-06
-ian-somerhalder
2. Ian Somerhalder
ah
3. Audrey Hepburn
donald-trump
4. The President (Donald Trump)
smile_chinese_man
5. Man on the street
weibosmile
6. Weibo Youth
china_yue3
7. Yue Minjun

Discussion 1. Compare the smiles in the images above. See if you can find some appropriate vocabulary (words, phrases).

nightriver
Starry Night Over the Rhone, 1888
ANATOLE-KRASNYANSKY-FRANCE-RIVER-RHONE
Anatole Krasnyansky, France on the River Rhone, late 20th century
581
Castle on the Rhone, William Marlow, 1765-80

Discussion 2. Paintings of the Rhone

Describe and compare the three paintings of the Rhone.

Listening and comprehension: a disagreement

Let’s listen to a recording (I’ll play it twice).

Note, sometimes in spoken words tests (for example, IELTS), you will be asked to talk about things that are unfamiliar (for example, they might be common in America or England but not here).

And sometimes the questions will just seem strange (they might be something you wouldn’t normally think about or seem to show an unusual way of thinking).

But you will still need to talk about them (for assessment.) The following exercise might seem a bit like that (it is from an advanced level IELTS style book).

de

ed

 

se1

Look at the 6 statements above and discuss

Talking about food and food places.

Use the following categories to describe three different food places and the food served there.

Weather     People     

Taste       Smell    Flavour    Texture

Cost   Apperance      Atmosphere

 

 

 

Migration in China

Nimen Hao,

please read the summary below on migration, education and social mobility in China.

Chinese internal rural-to-urban migration and the rise of Chinese wealth and power

The wealth and power of Western states like the US, Canada and the UK were built, in part, on the labour of rural to urban migrants in Europe, and on colonial migrant labour during the 17th to 20th centuries. Contemporary Chinese wealth and power are built on the rural to urban migration of the era of Chairman Mao and then the Reform Era, in what is sometimes called the third (digital) and fourth (cyber-physical) industrial revolutions.

industrial revolutions

Those revolutions led to great increase in wealth and urbanisation:

 

urbanization migration

cm

Shenzhen is a good example of the rapid urbanisation. In the pre-Reform Era Shenzhen was a fishing village area. It had a population of approximately 30,000 people (1979). Now Shenzhen is a city with a population of 18-20 million people. 90 percent of  Shenzhen-dwellers are internal immigrants. The population grew so rapidly because Shenzhen became very successful as a Special Economic Zone under the Reform strategy.

shenzhen
The rural and urban sides of Shenzhen. Thirty years ago it all looked like the farms on the left side of this photo

Many choose to migrate from the farms to the cities and sojourn (move back and forth), or try to settle there.

Researcher Min Liu explains that much of the rural-to-urban migration of Chinese women relates to gender inequality, as the rural employment, education and lifestyle choices for women are highly restrictive.

In her interviews with rural migrant women in Beijing, researcher Tamara Jacka found their motivations (for migration included not just money, but also travel, escape, “changing one’s fate” and self-development.

The rural/urban residence divide

Historically, once assigned a residential location, individuals could not elect to change it. In the Maoist era holding an urban hukou gave a access to food, housing, public health, education, pensions and other basic life necessities provided by the state, and many types of urban jobs. In contrast, the rural population was basically outside the state welfare system.

merge_from_ofoct

These days Chinese citizens still generally required live in the place where their “hukou” is kept, but can apply to change it.

  • Citizens can only buy housing in the place of official residence
  • Chinese state committed to granting urban hukou to migrant workers in small towns and cities (by 2020), but not megacities like Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen.
  • Migrant workers in some cities can apply for temporary residence permits which give them some welfare rights for limited periods

Migrant workers were known as the ‘floating population’ because of their temporary and precarious status even if they have lived in cities for a long time.

merge_from_ofoct
Migrant workers often stay in ‘urban villages’ or factory compounds.

In the cities, they often experience inequalities of income, health and education because they lack urban household registration (under the hùkou system).

Even when rural migrants do well in the cities, their rural migrant status may still prevent them from competing successfully with city residents.

Geographical movement, social mobility, existential mobility

People often move throughout China to make more money, sometimes by doing business, sometimes by gaining better employment, sometimes by investing in property. These days they also move for education, with the hope that education will lead to better jobs and therefore more money.

More money enables social mobility, raising your position in life by purchasing more or better things, and by being able to use your money for filial support (for example, supporting parents and other family members, raising your own family).

Migration also involves existential mobility, for example the feeling of joy many migrants experience when they feel they are on an upward journey, and conversely escaping the feeling of being stuck (or abject) and not being able “to move on” with (progress) your life, to self-develop.

For many young Chinese people, getting a job that pays enough to support family is not just successful social mobility but existential mobility, a rite of passage into successful adulthood.

For some people, geographical migration is not necessary for social success (or social mobility towards success), nor for existential mobility. For many others it has seemed necessary even if the actual results of migration have been disappointing.

Ant people = Mangliu?

People’s ability to pursue social and existential mobility are limited by rural/urban (hukou), suzhi, guanxi and other forms of status inequality.

We can see how this structures life chances if we consider the different but comparable situations of migrant workers and migrant students/graduates during the rapid growth, urbanization and inequality of the reform (and post reform) eras.

Uneducated migrants working in construction and services in China’s cities are obviously not the same as migrant university students (students who migrated to another city to study). But both groups suffer from comparable desires for upward social and existential mobility, and pressure/stress (yali).

Migrant workers’ predicament:

  • Migrant workers are barred from the benefits of household residence rights, or suffer restricted rights under temporary residence permits. If they migrate to the cities without permits they are regarded as an illegal floating population (liudong renkou).
  • The hukou system helps to ensure that business has a constant cheap and flexible supply of surplus labour (it is cheap, in part, because the state does not have to provide the welfare benefits it provides to urban residents).
  • In the past rural migrants were stigmatized as mangliu (blind flow), regarded as backwards, non-modern, uneducated and overly-conservative (incl. sexist). If suzhi means “quality” (in English), then rural migrants are regarded a low not high, non-educated rather than educated, backwards rather than modern.
  • Migrants often had to abandon children to the care of grandparents in order to support family by working and making more money in cities than they could in the rural areas

Many university graduates share the predicament of migrant workers:

  • They are disadvantaged by the migration laws of the household registration system (hukou).
  • They can be stigmatized by the discourse on population quality (suzhi)
  • They can suffer precarious employment/low level employment (incl. manual labour, casual service work), as college graduates are outnumbering the available white collar jobs. Rising unemployment among college graduates has seen many of them sharing the fate of migrant workers, living in poor conditions in the cities’ suburbs, with low income or no jobs, yet reluctant to return home ’empty-handed’.
  • Lian Si calls them an “ant army”, writing “bees, as they fly, give the impression of upward mobility, while ants always seem down on earth, stuck to the ground”.
  • They challenged by economic & moral dilemmas in living up to their xiao (filial responsibility) as members of the one child generation. Parents have invested in their child’s care and education (yang), and the child is expected to care for her/his parents as they age.

Historically, education has been the path to upwards social mobility. Parents, the state and students all invest in this education-desire. There is an idea that the national college education exams, (gao kao) provides some degree of fairness, wherein rural students can achieve high grades and climb the social ladder. But the idea that social mobility can be obtained through higher education is often a fantasy reserved, in actuality, for elite families. In practice, as everyone knows, it takes money and connections to have access to the best high-schools which give the better chances of gaining entry to a good (elite) university.

For example, Researchers observe that many rural graduates (bìyè sheng) from Beijing universities work in low-pay jobs because they are not regarded as having good “quality” (suzhi) by professional employers, and lack good connections (Guanxì).maildeliveryworkersrental

Freshwomen Lesson Eleven: Talking About Art; IELTS; Planning your Podcasts

Nimen Hao,

welcome to lesson nine

Class quiz prize

Tai pianyi prize from the English Department for last week’s quiz winners

Talking about Arts

What kind of art do you like?

Can you describe it, and tell us about any of its artists or artworks?

How, where, and when was it made?

Why do you like it?

Field Trip planning: trip to 789 Arts Zone

798-art-zone

Purpose: to visit the arts area and learn about contemporary Chinese and international arts, as well as the 789 Arts District itself (an important modern site for Beijing’s cultural heritage).

Aims:

  • to view the Art Space, Red Gate 798 and the UCCU multi-artist exhibitions, listening to the audio guides
  • to explore the built area (post-industrial architecture, public artworks);
  • English language discussion with the tutor and tour guide

Contribution to course studies and assessment

  • Fits with the upper intermediate level (IELTS-measure) of student’s spoken word skills
  • Enrich student’s descriptive and conceptual vocabulary and self-expression, developing the spoken word reviewing and reporting and exchange of point of view skills
  • builds upon class using online contemporary Chinese art resources to stimulate and develop students spoken word reviewing skills (tying in with the literature courses developing students’ written English reviewing skills)
  • further develops team work skills (exchanging a point of view, developing agreements, cooperating on an agreed aim) required for this semester’s spoken word assessment. Students will attend in the groups they use for their assessed teamwork.

route798

Logistics

  • Each class will attend the Arts District in groups of 12 students or less (size limited by gallery requirements).
  • The tour time is 2.5 hours, 2 hours of which is supported by the guide.
  • The two tables overleaf give the options for the schedule. Schedule option 1 gives the schedule on the weekend, where the time replaces that week’s class.
  • Schedule option 2 gives the schedule at the student’s normal class times.

Option 1 is the preferred option because it has less potential for disrupting any other student/class schedules, and also gives them the greatest flexibility.

Transport will be provided by the university’s bus service from Sha He campus to the North Gate[1] of the 798 Arts District and back.

[1] North Gate is on  Jiuxiaoqiao North road, which intersects with Caihong rd., where the tour buses park while waiting.

Staff/supervision

  • Matt Merefield is the course leader, and he will take responsibility for the field trip, including student’s tours, liaison with the tour guide/gallery managers, student safety and welfare, and transport.
  • Sabrina from Art Space studio will accompany the tour giving information on the art exhibitions and their works (schedule permitting). Sabrina brings her contemporary arts expertise as well as great spoken English communication skills and a youth perspective which will greatly enhance student engagement.
  • Additionally, the class monitors will be asked to assist with arrangements as required.

Costs accruing to the university

  • Bus transport. Six return journeys between BUPT Sha He campus and 798 Arts Zone (approx. 50 mins duration)
  • Tour guidance for six groups

Costs accruing to the students

  • UCCU exhibition tickets (at student discounted prices). Note, other exhibitions to be visited are free.
  • Students can bring lunch to eat on the bus or at the Arts district. For the weekend schedule tour, students may purchase lunch at their own cost. There are many cafés, several of which are adjacent to the UCCU building.

Exhibitions to be viewed

Art Space

Dong Hao, traditional Chinese ink paintings

UCCA

Civilization, the way we live Now; Society Guidance

http://ucca.org.cn/en/exhibition/civilization-way-live-now/

http://ucca.org.cn/en/exhibition/society-guidance-part-1/

Red Gate 798

New contemporary oil paintings

Listening and comprehension: a disagreement

Let’s listen to a recording (I’ll play it twice).

Note, sometimes in spoken words tests (for example, IELTS), you will be asked to talk about things that are unfamiliar (for example, they might be common in America or England but not here).

And sometimes the questions will just seem strange (they might be something you wouldn’t normally think about or seem to show an unusual way of thinking).

But you will still need to talk about them (for assessment.) The following exercise might seem a bit like that (it is from an advanced level IELTS style book).

de

ed

po

Look at the 6 statements above and discuss

  Podcasts due on or before June 14

Aim: to produce a podcast report or review in your teams

Assessment basis: the podcast should be interesting, demonstrate strong critical thinking and be information

English expression: It should be well-expressed. with an appropriately rich vocabulary (it doesn’t have to be grammatically perfect, but if there are so many errors that it distracts from your communication then you will lose marks)

Style/tone: it may be serious, lighthearted or even funny. Any style or tone is fine, but you will be judged on how well the the style works.

Individual contributions to the team: Each team member will be judge on her/his contribution. Each person should speak between 3-6 minutes (over the whole of the podcast)

Formats and submitting:

MP4 or similar audio files will be fine for audio. Any common video format should be fine too (I will ask for your help if there are any playback/recording issues)

  • Submit to me via wechat by or before June8
  • include the transcript (as a word doc) with the speakers’ names/initials at the beginning of their sentences, like

MM: Blah de blah blah, de blah de blah blah

LJ: What?

MM: Because blah equals blah therefore blah times blah is blah de blah blah.

Don’t forget to put a note showing who the initials belong to: like mm = matt merefield and LJ = Lu Jian

Work on your podcast planning

OK, please work on your planning for your podcasts.

You should have your topics and now plan how you are going to do the podcast.

  • Work on a draft script, or notes for a script
  • Plan how and when you will do you the field work (if you have any)
  • plan how you will gather or begin gathering your resources if they are online resources.
  • Work out which of you will do which parts of your tasks including the speaking
  • practice your dialogues together (today you might like to work on a particular section, like an introduction).

 

 

Sophomore class 5 (Autumn semester) Talking about Weather, Climate Change and Recycling.

Nimen Hao,

welcome to today’s class.

We are going to work through some exercises and readings on weather, global warming, climate change and recycling. Most are taken from Chapter 8b titled “Recycle your Rubbish” (pages 62-63) in your Face2Face intermediate book.

For homework, you can begin preparation work for our speed debates by beginning to choose the topics.

Exercise 1. Explaining Weather terms

See if you can tell us what the following words mean.

A storm (adj. stormy)             A hurricane (or typhoon)                        

Thunder                   Lightning         A gale              A tornado   (U.S) A twister      

A heatwave                 A Blizzard           A flood          A tsunami       

An earthquake           A drought                A landslide

A shower    Humid        Fog (adj. foggy) Smog (adj. smoggy)

Exercise 2. Working in your small groups, discuss the following (in English).

  1. Have there been any stories about bad weather or natural disasters in the news recently? If so, where? What happened?
  2. Have you ever experienced extremely bad weather? If so, tell the group what happened.
  3. Do you think the weather where you live has changed since you were a young child? If so, how?

Exercise 3. Your weather words.

Take five minutes to write five weather words that are connected to you. Tell us why you chose them.

Reading 1. “FAQs:Global warming and climate change”

Let’s do the reading below. First, make sure you understand these words

(we’ll use the Cambridge University dictionary, https://dictionary.cambridge.org)

Atmosphere           Greenhouse gasses          Gas       Oil       Coal   Climate      Ice-cap

Gas: a substance in a form like air, that is neither liquid nor solid; it can increase in size to fill any container      

Oil: a thick, liquid substance that burns and is used as fuel or as a lubricant (a substance that is used to make parts move easily)     

Coal: a hard, black substance that is dug from the earth in lumps and used as a fuel

Atmosphere:   gases surrounding a planet, held in place by the gravity of that planet.       

Climate: the general weather conditions usually found in a particular place     

 Greenhouse gasses:   A greenhouse gas is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiant (heat/light) energy. This causes climate change (“global warming”, heating the planet).     

Ice-cap: a thick layer of ice that permanently covers an area of land (for example, polar ice caps)

“FAQs: Global warming and climate change”

Pollution over Mexico City

1. Heat from the sun is held in the earth’s atmosphere by natural greenhouse gasses. These keep the planet warm and without them the average temperature would be -18celcius instead of 14celcius. However, more and more heat is being kept in the atmosphere because of man-made greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (Co2), which is produced by burning oil, gas and coal. This global warming is already causing changes in the weather all over the world.

china-and-climate-change-getting-real-about-renewable-energy-25-638

2. Since the 1970s, average global temperatures have risen by about 0.6celcius and many scientists believe that more extreme weather conditions have been caused by climate change in recent years.

506x316_whenleveesbroke03.0For example, New Orleans was hit by a huge hurricane in 2005. Many people were killed and thousands were made homeless.

3. Experts believe that more and more places are going to be affected by climate change in the future. And as the ice caps at the North and South Poles melt and sea levels rise further, many towns and villages near the coast will be flooded. This is a frightening thought because more than half the world’s population lives near the coast.

floods south china

4. A lot has been written about what governments and businesses should do to slow down global warming. However, there’s also a lot we can do to save energy at home. For example, always turn off tvs, dvd players and computers. Machines use 70% as much electricity on standby as when they’re being used.

Exercise 4. Let’s fill in the gaps in the following sentences with one word.

1 Without natural greenhouse gases, the earth would be 32C …. than it is.

2 Because the earth is getting hotter, the …. is changing.

4 Sea levels are …. because the polar ice caps are disappearing.

5 We can save …. by turning off machines instead of leaving them on standby.

Listening and comprehension: the rate of change

Watch and listen to the following short clips from the BBC documentary, Climate Change: the Facts.

Clip. 1. The rate of change so far 3.30-4.30

Clip. 2. How much worse? The predictions 33.50-37.00

Clip. 3 What has to be done? Energy. 42.00-4315

Exercise 5. Let’s discuss the following questions.

  1. Did any of the information in the documentary clips surprise you? If so, what was it?
  2. What things could China do to help save the planet from climate change? Who is responsible for the changes needed?

Exercise 6.  Active or Passive expressions?

i) First, put the verbs in brackets in their correct active or passive forms.

a) Do you think global warming …. (take) seriously enough by the governments around the world?

b) What ……….(done) in your country in the last few years to deal with climate change?

c) Which parts of the country …. (damage) because of climate change?

d) Do you think governments should … (do) more to stop people using their cars so much?

e) Do you think the problem of climate change can only …………….. (solve) by governments and multinational companies?

ii) Now discuss the questions in your small groups (questions a-e).

Reading 2. A talk about recycling

Let’s read the following discussion from Face2Face about recycling . There are three characters, Val, James and Pete (they’re English characters).

Val: Hi James.

James: Hello Val. Hi Pete. Come in.

Val: Ready to go?

James: Not quite. Do you want some coffee? I’ve just put the kettle on.

Val: Yes, sure. You get ready, we’ll make it.

James: OK. Oh, there’s a bit of pasta there too if you’re hungry.

Val: Er, no thanks, we’ve just eaten … Well, I’ve found some coffee, but there’s no sugar.

Pete: There’s some in that jar by the toaster.

Val: Oh yes.

Pete: Hmm. There’s enough milk for two cups, but not enough for three.

Val: It’s OK, I’ll have it black.

James: Can someone feed the cat? There are plenty of tins of cat food in the cupboard.

Val: Sure. Here you go kitty. James, where’s your recycling box?

James: Haven’t got one. Why?

Val: Oh, everyone should have a recycling box. Too much rubbish is just thrown away when a lot of it could be recycled.

James: Oh dear, you’re probably right. I never recycle anything, I’m sorry to say.

Pete: Well, you’re not the only one. Hardly any stuff is recycled in this country. Did you know that Germany recycles over 50% of its rubbish, but in the UK it’s about 15%.

James: Hmm, that’s not much is it.

Val: No, and there aren’t enough recycling bins in the country. With stuff like … er, glass, for example, we only recycle 25%, but in Switzerland they recycle about 90%!

James: Yes, I see what you mean. I hadn’t really thought about it.

Val: Well, it’s never too late to start. And there’s a lot of stuff in the bin tha could be recycled. Look, there’s loads of paper and several plastic bottles. The bottles can be made into supermarket bags and the paper can be made into toilet paper — and, oh, those empty cat food tins can be recycled and the metal could be used for making fridge parts.

James: Wow, you know a lot about this.

Pete: Yes, well, there’s plenty of information on it these days isn’t there? But it’s hard changing people’s habits in this country. People are naturally lazy, I think.

Val: Yes, too many people just don’t bother. But the government should do more too. In Germany people have to recycle their rubbish … its the law. They should do that here too, I think.

James: Yes, I suppose you’r right. I’ve only got a few friends who recycle things. But in the future, I’ll try to recycle what I can.

Pete: Come on, we’re late.

James: Let me get my coat. Won’t be a second.

Val: We made a little progress there.

Exercise 7. Choose the correct answers for the following questions

1 Val and Pete have something/don’t have anything to eat.

2 James recycles some/doesn’t recycle any of his rubbish.

3 The UK recycles 50/15% of its rubbish.

4 25/90% of glass in Switzerland is recycled.

5 Parts for fridges can be made from plastic bottles/tins.

6 James is/isn’t going to recycle his rubbish in the future.

Exercise 8. Look at the sentences below and choose the correct words or phrases.

1.There are no/any recycling bins in my street.

2. I probably drink too much/too many coffee.

3. I got too many/hardly any sleep last night.

4. I know a few/a little words in other languages.

5. I watched a bit of/much tv last night.

6. I always have many/plenty of time to do my homework.

7. I haven’t got enough/several money to go on holiday.

8. I’ve been to some/any interesting places.

9. I probably eat too much/too many sweets.

Exercise 9. Tianjin: Hao bu Hao?

Work in your small groups again. Using the words/phrases below, tell each other three good and four bad things about Tianjin. After you have worked in your groups we will have a class discussion.

recycling bins   rubbish    traffic     pollution   cycle lanes     public transport  

places to park       parks  shops   cinemas       art galleries

places to go at night    noise at night

Homework: Individual Debate preparation.

  1.  Choose or make up some topics to debate.
  2. Read my guidance on preparing your debate, including issues of unity, coherence and evidence, as well as grammar.

You can choose your own topic. Some possible topics we’ve discussed so far include

A. Women work harder than men, for less reward.

B. My home town is a better city than Tianjin.

C. Chinese people are much healthier than American people.

D. Our youthful generation is much healthier than the older generation.

E. It’s much better to stay and live in China than to migrate overseas.

F. The national government should fix the problems of global warming, not individuals and communities.

***Just a reminder. Each speaker will speak for up to three minutes.

 

 

 

 

Freshwomen Lesson Eight: interviewing each other; working on your group podcasts

Group discussion one

You are going to interview group partner (please write it down). First you need to ask them some questions about

  • Work aspirations (what do they want to do when they grow up?)
  • Family
  • How they spend their free time
  • What they like to do for their holidays, did for their last holiday
  • How they would describe themselves (use adjectives for characteristics)

Class quiz

I will gather you profiles of each other and we can use them for a quiz

Field Trip planning (waiting for possible permission)

Trip to 789 Arts Zone

Purpose: to visit the arts area and learn about contemporary Chinese and international arts, as well as the 789 Arts District itself (an important modern site for Beijing’s cultural heritage).

798-art-zone

Aims:

  • to view the Art Space, Red Gate 798 and the UCCU multi-artist exhibitions, listening to the audio guides
  • to explore the built area (post-industrial architecture, public artworks);
  • English language discussion with the tutor and tour guide

Contribution to course studies and assessment

  • Fits with the upper intermediate level (IELTS-measure) of student’s spoken word skills
  • Enrich student’s descriptive and conceptual vocabulary and self-expression, developing the spoken word reviewing and reporting and exchange of point of view skills
  • builds upon class using online contemporary Chinese art resources to stimulate and develop students spoken word reviewing skills (tying in with the literature courses developing students’ written English reviewing skills)
  • further develops team work skills (exchanging a point of view, developing agreements, cooperating on an agreed aim) required for this semester’s spoken word assessment. Students will attend in the groups they use for their assessed team work.

Logistics

  • Each class will attend the Arts District in groups of 12 students or less (size limited by gallery requirements).
  • The tour time is 2.5 hours, 2 hours of which is supported by the guide.
  • The two tables overleaf give the options for the schedule. Schedule option 1 gives the schedule on the weekend, where the time replaces that week’s class.
  • Schedule option 2 gives the schedule at the student’s normal class times.

Option 1 is the preferred option because it has less potential for disrupting any other student/class schedules, and also gives them the greatest flexibility.

k

Schedule Option 1: tour at weekend dates/times
Tour group Date (05/19) Depart Sha He Arrive 798 Begin

tour

Meal

time

End tour Depart 798 Arrive

Sha He

Class One

Group A

Sat

11 or 18

 

08.55 09.45 10.00 Lunch

12.30

 

13.00 13.15 14.05
 Class One

Group B

Sat

11 or 18

08.55 09.45 10.00 Lunch

12.30

 

13.00 13.15 14.05
 Class Three

Group A

Sat

11 or 18

12.25 13.15 13.30 Lunch on bus 16.00 16.15 17.05
 Class Three

Group B

Sat

11 or 18

12.25 13.15 13.30 Lunch on bus 16.00 16.15 17.05
 Class Two

Group A

Sun

12 or 19

 

08.55 09.45 10.00 Lunch

12.30

13.00 13.15 14.05
Class Two

Group B

Sun

12 or 19

12.25

 

13.15 13.30 Lunch

On

bus

16.00 16.15 17.05

l

Schedule Option 2: tour at normal class dates/times
Tour group Date (05/19) Depart Sha He Arrive 798 Begin

tour

Meal

time

End tour Depart 798 Arrive

Sha He

Class One

Group A

Thurs

16

 

12.25 13.15 13.30 Lunch

On

bus

16.00 16.15 17.05
Class One

Group B

Thurs

23

12.25 13.15 13.30 Lunch

On bus

16.00 16.15 17.05
Class Three

Group A

Thurs

16

15.30 16.20 16.35 19.00-

19.30

19.00 19.45 20.35
Class Three

Group B

Thurs

23

15.30 16.20 16.35 19.00-19.30 19.00 19.45 20.35
Class Two

Group A

Friday

17

 

15.30 16.20 16.35 19.00-

19.30

19.00 19.45 20.35
Class Two

Group B

Friday

24

15.30

 

16.20 16.35 19.00-

19.30

19.00 19.45 20.35

route798

  • The transport will be provided by the university’s bus service from Sha He campus to the North Gate[1] of the 798 Arts District and back.

[1] North Gate is on  Jiuxiaoqiao North road, which intersects with Caihong rd., where the tour buses park while waiting.

Staff/supervision

  • Matt Merefield is the course leader, and he will take responsibility for the field trip, including student’s tours, liaison with the tour guide/gallery managers, student safety and welfare, and transport.
  • Sabrina from Art Space studio will accompany the tour giving information on the art exhibitions and their works. Sabrina brings her contemporary arts expertise as well as great spoken English communication skills and a youth perspective which will greatly enhance student engagement.
  • Additionally, the class monitors will be asked to assist with arrangements as required.

Costs

Accruing to the university

  • Bus transport. Six return journeys between BUPT Sha He campus and 798 Arts Zone (approx. 50 mins duration)
  • Tour guidance for six groups. 6 x 2 hours @ 250 per hour = 3,000

Accruing to the students

  • UCCU exhibition tickets (at student discounted prices). Note, other exhibitions to be visited are free.
  • Students can bring lunch to eat on the bus or at the Arts district. For the weekend schedule tour, students may purchase lunch at their own cost. There are many cafés, several of which are adjacent to the UCCU building.

Exhibitions to be viewed

Art Space

Dong Hao, traditional Chinese ink paintings

UCCA

Civilization, the way we live Now; Society Guidance

http://ucca.org.cn/en/exhibition/civilization-way-live-now/

http://ucca.org.cn/en/exhibition/society-guidance-part-1/

Red Gate 798

New contemporary oil paintings

Listening and comprehension: a disagreement

Let’s listen to a recording (I’ll play it twice).

Note, sometimes in spoken words tests (for example, IELTS), you will be asked to talk about things that are unfamiliar (for example, they might be common in America or England but not here). And sometimes the questions will just seem strange (they might be something you wouldn’t normally think about or seem to show an unusual way of thinking). But you will still need to talk about them (for assessment.) The following exercise might seem a bit like that (it is from an advanced level IELTS style book).

de

ed

po

Look at the 6 statements

and discuss

Extra group Exercise: Heroes

Tell us about your hero (if you have one).

Who is s/he (or, who are they)? What did/do they do that is heroic?

Why did you choose that person/those people?

How does their heroism influence you (if it does)?

If you don’t have a hero, maybe tell us what you think the qualities of a hero are.

Work on your podcasts

OK, please work on your planning for your podcasts.

You should have your topics and now plan how you are going to do the podcast.

  • Work on a draft script, or notes for a script
  • Plan how and when you will do you the field work (if you have any)
  • plan how you will gather, or begin gathering your resources if they are online resources.
  • practice your dialogues together (today you might like to work on a particular section, like an introduction).