domingo, 26 de setembro de 2010





LEITURA: Opinion Essay: Facebook – Friend or Foe?


Facebook is undoubtedly the best-known social networking website at the moment. Millions of people worldwide regularly use it to meet their friends online. They send messages, upload private pictures and tell their friends what they feel like via mood messages. However, more and more journalists and media experts are warning of the dangers of Facebook. Does Facebook improve our lives or is it the new version of “Big Brother”?
Despite all the criticism, using Facebook certainly has many advantages. Firstly, it is a free website. That means that nobody has to pay for using it and everybody can join it. The terms of use guarantee this free service. Compared to other websites, Facebook is more trustable and safer, because it is one of the most famous social networking website. 
Secondly, Facebook enables you to stay in contact with other people. Users can quickly send messages, exchange an unlimited amount of pictures and can easily connect to people they have not seen for a long time. In addition to that, it does not matter if these people live far away or just around the corner. Everybody can be contacted within a few seconds.
Thirdly, everybody can decide individually how much he or she wants to tell about him or herself. By adjusting the privacy settings, users can decide who can read which details about themselves.
These are certainly highly positive sides about Facebook. However, using Facebook also has disadvantages. Firstly, its services are not as free as they seem to be. On the one hand, people don’t have to pay with money, as was stated above. But on the other hand, they pay with their personal data. All data are stored and used by Facebook for advertising. Every user gets to see the most suitable advertisements for him or her, when he or she opens the website. Furthermore, no one knows if the users’ data are really safe. It is not an Austrian or even European website. Consequently, there is no guarantee that personal data are not sold. No one knows who can actually see the information about him or herself.
Secondly, many people get lost in their virtual reality. Instead of meeting their friends in person, they sit in front of their computers. Using websites like Facebook is highly addictive. Thus many users are spending more and more time online and consequently lose their real life contacts. I think it is much better to meet up with your friends outside and talk with them than to chat via the Internet. 
Above all, there is no guarantee that someone is the person he or she pretends to be. Everybody can sign up and take up any identity he or she wants to have. Thus it can be a dangerous place especially for younger users who often forget that they should not trust everybody.   
All things considered, it has to be said that every Facebook user should be aware of its dangers. Although it has many advantages, such as easy and quick communication, it should be used with care and a certain amount of healthy suspicion. In my opinion it is not as safe as everybody says and unfortunately many people seem to forget that.
Task 1: Find the underlying structure of this essay. What is the idea of each paragraph? Why is structure in general important?
Task 2: Underline all words that are useful for structuring an essay and that link ideas.
Animals are no human beings. However, they have feelings.

I like websites such as Facebook.

Firstly, the Internet is a dangerous place. /Secondly,…  / Thirdly,…

Although many people buy it, it is not a good car.

On the one hand, you’re right. But on the other hand, …

Despite all problems, we should not forget that..      (despite + noun!)

It is a great city. In addition to that, it is a safe place.

Compared to London, Vienna is cheap. 

Everything is more expensive. Consequently, people buy less. 

It is not right to do it. Thus we cannot ignore it.

All in all, you are right. 

All things considered, I can recommend this book.

Above all, it is a crime to steal things.

Task 3: Try to guess the meaning of the following linking words in their contexts and write it down.

Task 4: Fill in the correct linking device.
despite – all things considered - compared to – above all – although –
however – consequently – thus – all in all – such as

  1. ……………………..…….. your ex-boyfriend Jim, Luke is a real gentleman.
  2. ……………………….…….. all the hard-work, I really love my job.
  3. I have to work a lot. …………………………., I really love my job, so I want to keep it.  
  4. Cigarettes are not healthy.   ………………………. we should stop smoking.  
  5. ………………………………….. I have to say that this computer improved my life.
  6. ………………………………….. I have to say that this computer improved my life. 
  7. This party didn’t talk about real problems.  …………………………… they didn’t get any votes.
  8. The country needs strong women ………………… Karen Winter.
  9. ………………..……. they have been together for 10 years, they don’t want to marry.

Task 5: Link these sentences using the new words you’ve just learned.
  1. This author only writes boring books. I don’t want to read his new novel. (thus)
  2. I love my wife. We sometimes have fights. (however)
  3. I don’t like reality TV. I don’t watch Big Brother.  (consequently)
  4. I have bad marks. I want to stay in this school. (despite + noun!)
  5. I like living in the city. I want to buy a house on the countryside. (although)    



Many people think Nokia, the largest maker of mobile phones in the world, is Japanese. But it is, in fact, a Finnish company.


Nokia’s history began in 1865, when engineer Fredirk Idestam established a paper mill by a riverbank in southern Finland, just over 100 miles north of Helsinki. The company, which was named Nokia, became successful in producing rubber boots, tyres and wood products. A large workforce came to the Nokia factory, and a town with the same name grew up around it.


Nokia didn’t begin the journey into telecommunications until the 1960s. During the 1980s, Nokia started to produce TVs. By 1988 it had already been the Europe’s third-largest television manufacturer. In May 1992 the company appointed Jorma Ollila to head of the Nokia Group. Nokia then made the strategic decision to focus on telecommunications. So they entered mobile market only in early 9os.


Today Nokia is a world leader which produces not only mobile phones but also computer and internet products. It has more than 100.000 employees worldwide, a lot of shops around the world. Nokia is a company which sells more than 1/3 of all mobile phones in the world and earns 55 billion Euros per year.


Nokia is a company with bright future. They continue working on new ideas, spending heavily on research and development. They promise to develop new internet ideas and provide the market with a new kind of game station.

1. Choose the correct heading for paragraphs A-D from the list of headings below. Write the correct number, 1-4, in the boxes in the text.

1. Nokia and the future
2. New business dimensions
3. Founding of Nokia
4. Statistics

2. Read the paragraphs again and answer the following questions in written form.
1.     Who started Nokia?
2.   When was the company started?
3.   Name three things that Nokia made.
4.   How did the Nokia enter the communication Market?
5.    When did Jorma Ollila become the head of the Nokia?
6.   What was changed in the company after his designation?
7.    When did Nokia start making mobile phones?
8.   How many employees has Nokia got now?
9.   What does it sell today?

3. Find at least 5 keywords* in each paragraph, which tell you about its main idea.

4. Underline sentences which, in your opinion, must be included in a short description of the company.

5. Write a paragraph of 120-150 words to describe Nokia.



quarta-feira, 22 de setembro de 2010



The main reason many teens want to talk about family finances is because they want to know if their parents are going to have enough cash on hand for them to be able to go to college.
To his great credit, my dad didn’t wait around for me to pop the questions about family finances when I was a teen. He sat me down when I was 14 and gave me the same speech he had given each of my three older sisters.
“Bill”, he said, “your mother and I know that you’ll want to go to college in a few years, and we want you to know that we are prepared to do for you just what we have promised to do for each of your three sisters. We will pay whatever it costs for you to attend the local state university and to live at home. Anything above and beyond that will be your responsibility. So, let me encourage you to start thinking about getting a part-time job and saving your money so that when the time comes, you will have the opportunity to go to the college of your choice”.
I took his advice to heart. Like my three sisters before me, I went to part-time when I was in high school and dutifully save my earnings so that one day I could go to the college of my choice.

1- Why do many teens want to talk to their parents about family finances?
2- What advice did Bill’s father give him?
3- Did Bill follow his father’s advice? Why?
4- Would you like to study in another country? Why?
5- If you were Bill, would you take the advice? Why?
6- Which course would you like to take at university?