Tuesday, July 26, 2011

PIE CHARTS 2

The pie charts refer to the cost of a particular UK school,the years 1981,1991 and 2001.
Teachers' salaries were the most considerable expenses of the scool from 1981 till 20010, amounting to 40% of the expences in 1981 to 45% in 2001 with a small fluctuation in 1991.The second higher cost was other workers' salaries which corresponded to a 28% in 1981 and a 22% in 1991,but in 2001 saw the decrease of 7%.
As for the resources,they reached 15% in 1981 and then rose to 20% in 1991.On the other hand,furniture and equipment had a downward trend from 15% in 1981 to 5% in 1991.In 2001,there was a steep increase to 23% in furniture and equipment.A 9% of total spending in the same year was due to resources.
Finally, in all three years insurance was the lowest cost the scool faced;in 1981 and 1991 it was slightly steady,but in 2001 it climbed to 8%.
Overall,the teachers' salaries and the money spent on insurance were the major and minor source of expenditure for that particular school respectively.

Monday, July 25, 2011

PIE CHARTS

The pie chart introduces the main cause of world wide land degradation in a percentage scale. Over-grazing is tha main reason of land degradation and accounts for 35% of it. A 30% and a 28% of degradation is due to deforestation and over-cultivation respectively. A final 7% corresponds to other reasons of degradation.
The causes of land degradation by region are represented on the table.Europe has the biggest percentage of total land degradation, which amounts to a 9.8% of it is because of deforestation, a 7.7% is owing to over-cultivation and a 5.5% is because of over-grazing.North America suffers the least from degraded land (about 5%).On the other hand, Oceania exhibits 13% of less productive total land. Deforestation affected the 1.7% of Oceania's land unlike the 0.2% of North America's. North America's over-cultivation impact was 3.3%.Finally over-grazing was the most important reason (11.3%) concerning Oceania,but in North America only 1.5% of the land wa degradated.
The region which has mostly suffered was Europe and the most decisive reasons were deforestation and over-cultivation.

Useful information for candidates

http://www.ielts.org/PDF/Information_for_Candidates_booklet.pdf

Pay attention to page 7 where the way to fill in the formal answer sheet is illustrated. 

A successful life is a happy life

Nowadays,society lays a great deal of emphasis on professional,and ,thus, financial success. Everybody appears to aim at surpassing others to climb the social ladder. However,as far as I am concerned,happiness does not necessarily lie in the aforementioned ways of living for a number of reasons.
It is obvious that the things offered by success make people more distant and promote materialistic values and trends. For instance, somebody can gain recognition, respect, money, material goods, expensive possessions (like cars and mansions) and convenience through success. Nevertheless, things not offered by success are more crucial for a happy life. Success demands hard work,which is why many people neglect personal relationships in order to be more productive , thus, they lose love from family, relatives and friends.
Additionally,success becomes an obsession. People want to succeed again and again,achive more and more. That is the reason they are not satisfied and do not experience an emotional well-being. In other words, they are being rewarded financially but not emotionally; therefore they do not have emotional stability. This is clearly illustrated by actors and businessmen who are unhappy even though they have reached the top. More specifically, they take drugs, commit crimes and suicide because they cannot bear the thought of failure.
Overall, as I see it, happiness comes from success in personal relationships and the love of your relatives. Success does not guarantee love and happiness.

Technology affects human relationships

In the 21st centurey,technology plays an imperative role in our ways of interaction.That is to say,technology offers convenience and development between our interactions,but it has also negative impacts on our lives.
Recent innovations and modern technologies,such as the Internet and mobile mobile pfones,have changed the way people communicate,work and live.Fisrt of all,contacts between people and colleagues have been faciliated by communication software,like emails.Additionally,social networks,such as twitter and facebook,have eliminated the distance between people and have led ever shy people to become more socially accepted in this virtual world.Moreover,thanks to the development of online trade,people can perform a variety of activities for example online booking for accommodation and flights or online shopping.
However,there are some hazards involved in using such advanced technology.Firstly,people tend to spend more time staying at home and sitting in front of a computer screen rather than going outside to visit friends.In other words,people end up to be distant.All this development will not strengthen family bonds if everyone sits in front of a computer.Finally fake relationships,deceptions and crimes manifest themselves which will affect social safety.This is clearly illustrated by people using online chatting to gain your trust and then trying to deceive you and especially to get your money or do you harm.
In conclusion,I believe that technology has changed our way of interaction in a positive way in terms of convenience.Nonetheless,taking negative effects into consideration,we must be more careful and keep a balance between online and real communication.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

In your opinion what are the two most important environmental problems?State your two options,give reasons and suggest solutions.

Today,the world faces many environmental problems.I am inclined to believe that Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect are the most significant ones.However,they can be managed by finding the appropriate solutions.
It is obvious by its name that Global Warming has various effects.For example,the temperature of the planet increases more and more lately.Health problems and especially cardiovascular problems are caused by increased temperature.Not only is the planet affected,but also the humans.Furthermore,the weather is influenced by Global Warming.A rise of the sea level has been observed the last few years.Animals and plants are no exception;animals are obligated to change the place where they live and plants are experiencing difficulties in growing.People should take measures in order to reduce Global Warming.In particular,people should reduce the use of appliances which emit CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) and other polluting gases.Recycling should be encouraged,while deforestation should be stopped.Besides,the use of renewableand sustainable sources of energy such as solar and wing power are vital.
In addition to this,the Greenhouse Effect induces a lot of problems.Most of its effects are the same as the ones caused by Global Warming,these two environmental problems are linked closely.Greenhouse Effect makes the sea level rise and causes climate changes.As the heat is trapped in the atmosphere,a huge amount of water evaporates causing drought in many places.Apart from that,it increases the frequency of forest fires,storms,hurricanes and tropical deseases.If we want to avoid all these harmful results we should reduse greenhouse gases,use energy efficient appliances and reduce the use of vehicles.This is clearly illustrated by the attempt to diminish the number of oil-based automobiles.What is more,industries should control the waste disposal and put filters on the chimneys of the factories.
To conclude,we live in a planet which suffers from highly important problems.We must change our mentality and our devastating way of living in order to act immediately before it is too late and the situation becomes irreversible.All of us want to live in a better place,don't we?

Great work Thanasi! The only problem is, as I have already told you, that global warming is the threat to our planet and the greenhouse effect is the cause of it, not exactly a distinct threat. It is obvious that in both paragraphs of the main body you write almost the same things, so why don't you choose another problem to elaborate on, say air pollution? Think about it! :-)

BLOGGING

First of all,the word Blog is a blend of the words web and log.Blog is a kind of webside.In other words we can say tha blog is an online personal diary.I have taken up blogging lately in order to improve my english skills.Moreover,I find it extremely interesting because blogging enables me to do a lot of things.On the blog I can exchange opinions on various topics,read on-line articles,post and collect usefull links;I write my compositions and essays and I am given feedback on them by visitors.Not only do I use it for studying but I also have the ability to post my favorite photos or music.So I spend my time pleasantly and creatively by blogging.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Listening to university lectures


Watch it on Academic Earth

Philosophy of Death, Yale University Introductory Lecture: Listen and write the missing words.

Professor Shelly Kagan: All right, so this is Philosophy 176. The class is on death. My name is Shelly Kagan. The very first thing I want to do is to invite you to call me Shelly. That is, if we meet on the street, you come talk to me during office hours, you ask some question; Shelly's the name that I respond to. I will, eventually, respond to Professor Kagan, but the synapses take a bit longer for that. It's not the name I immediately 1.__________________. I have found that over the years, fewer and fewer students feel comfortable calling me Shelly. When I was young, it seemed to work. Now I'm gray and august. But if you're comfortable with it, it's the name that I prefer to be called by.

Now, as I say, this is a class on death. But it's a philosophy class, and what that means is that the set of topics that we're going to be talking about in this class are not 2._________ to the topics that other classes on death might try to cover. So the first thing I want to do is say something about the things we won't be talking about that you might 3.____________ expect or hope that a class on death would talk about, so that if this is not the class you were looking for, you still have time to go check out some other class.

So here are some things that a class on death could cover that we won't talk about. What I primarily have in mind are sort of 4.________________and 5._____________ questions about the nature of death, or the phenomenon of death. So, a class on death might well have a discussion of the process of dying and coming to 6.____________ yourself with the fact that you're going to die. Some of you may know about Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross' discussion of the so-called five stages of dying. There's 7.__________, and then there's anger, and then there's bargaining. I actually don't remember the five stages. We're not going to talk about that.

Similarly, we're not going to talk about the funeral industry in America and how it rips off people, which it does, in their moments of grief and 8.______________ and overcharges them for the various things that it offers. We're not going to talk about that. We're not going to talk about the process of grieving or 9.___________________. We're not going to talk about sociological attitudes that we have towards the dying in our culture and how we tend to try to keep the dying hidden from the rest of us. These are all perfectly important topics, but they're not, as I say, topics that we're going to be talking about in this class.

So what will we talk about? Well, the things we'll talk about are philosophical questions that 10.___________ as we begin to think about the nature of death. Like this. In broad scope, the first half of the class is going to be metaphysics, for those of you who are familiar with the philosophical piece of 11.___________. And roughly, the second half of the class is going to be value theory.

So, the first half of the class is going to be concerned with questions about the nature of death. What happens when we die? Indeed, to get at that question, the first thing we're going to have to think about is what are we? What kind of an 12.__________ is a person? In particular, do we have souls, and for this class when I talk about a soul, what I'm going to mean is sort of a bit of philosophical jargon. I'm going to mean something 13.______________, something distinct from our bodies. Do we have immaterial souls, something that might survive the death of our body? And if not, what does that 14.______ about the nature of death?

What kind of an event is death? What is it for me to survive? What would it mean for me to survive my death? What does it mean for me to survive tonight? That is, you know, somebody's going to be here 15.___________ to the class on Thursday, 16.___________ that will be me. What is it for that person who's there on Thursday to be the same person as the person who's sitting here lecturing to you today? These are questions about the nature of personal 17._____________. Pretty clearly, to think about death and continued existence and survival, we have to get clear about the nature of personal identity. These sorts of questions will occupy us for 18.___________ the first half of the semester.

And then we'll turn to value questions. If death is the end, is death bad? Now, of course, most of us are immediately and strongly inclined to think that death is bad. But there are a set of philosophical puzzles about how death could be bad. To sort of give you a quick taste, if after my death I won't exist, how could anything be bad for me? How could anything be bad for something that doesn't exist? So how could death be bad?

So it's not that the result is going to be that I'm going to try to convince you that death isn't bad, but it takes actually a little bit of work to pin down precisely what is it about death that's bad and how can it be death? Is there more than one thing about death that makes it bad? We'll turn to questions like that. If death is bad, then one might wonder would 19. ___________ be a good thing? That's a question that we'll think about.

Or, more generally, we'll worry about how should the fact that I'm going to die affect the way I live? What should my attitude be towards my mortality? Should I be afraid of death, for example? Should I despair at the fact that I'm going to die?

Finally, we'll turn to questions about suicide. Many of us think that given the valuable and precious thing that life is, suicide makes no sense. You're throwing away the only life you're ever going to have. And so we'll end the semester by thinking about questions along the lines of the 20._______________ and morality of suicide. So roughly speaking, that's where we're going. First half of the class, metaphysics; second half of the class, value theory.

Find the answers here.

How to practise listening

Visit our wiki link list: http://eflinks.wikispaces.com/Listening or the Students' Page blog posts categorized under this label. Listening is a skill candidates need to work on a lot on their own to enhance their classroom as well as exam performance. Happy... listening!!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Clarifications

Thanasi, you have understood perfectly well what brain drain is! Here is the defintion we talked about (Wikipedia):

Human capital flight, more commonly referred to as "brain drain", is the large-scale emigration of a large group of individuals with technical skills or knowledge. The reasons usually include two aspects which respectively come from countries and individuals. In terms of countries, the reasons may be social environment (in source countries: lack of opportunities, political instability, economic depression, health risks; in host countries: rich opportunities, political stability and freedom, developed economy, better living conditions). In terms of individual reasons, there are family influence (overseas relatives, and personal preference: preference for exploring, ambition for an improved career, etc). Although the term originally referred to technology workers leaving a nation, the meaning has broadened into: "the departure of educated or professional people from one country, economic sector, or field for another, usually for better pay or living conditions".Brain drain is usually regarded as an economic cost, since emigrants usually take with them the fraction of value of their training sponsored by the government or other organizations. It is a parallel of capital flight, which refers to the same movement of financial capital. Brain drain is often associated with de-skilling of emigrants in their country of destination, while their country of emigration experiences the draining of skilled individuals.

Also, do you remember the words 'upstream' and 'downstream' mentioned in one of the texts of the book? They were connected to the computer science in the specific context, so here are two convincing explanations:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Downstream_(computer_science)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Upstream_(networking)

Friday, July 15, 2011

More useful links

Writing, part 2: Topic

Juvenile (= young) delinquents (=criminals)  should undertake such punishments as cleaning the streets rather than be imprisoned. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

(Think of words related to crime, who commits it and the punishment deserved. This is the next list we are going to compile!)

Great writing task (part 1)

http://www.aippg.com/ielts/downloads/ielts%20writing%20task%201%20July%2028.pdf

Hello Thanasis! If you finish the homework assigned (please don't panic- I said IF that happens!), you can attempt to describe the graphs on that webpage, either on the blog or on paper. Besides, it seems to be your favourite part of the exam! Have a nice weekend! :-)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Word lists

Two very pleasant and extremely ... small word lists!

This one is supposed to be complied for TOEFL candidates, but the vocabulary required in both certificates is almost the same. You can click on each word to get its definition:

http://supervoca.net/toefllist.cgi

And an IELTS list: http://www.scribd.com/doc/17623413/Wordlist-Ielts

Vocabulary tests

Quick vocabulary test to check your knowledge:

http://www.examenglish.com/IELTS/IELTS_vocabulary.htm


Some activities on different word groups (choose the one you want to practise):

http://www.knowyourenglish.com/ielts/ielts.php

Vocabulary for IELTS Essays

Vocabulary for IELTS Essays

Saturday, July 9, 2011

An Example of the IELTS Academic Task 2 Writing

Take from: http://www.ieltshelpnow.com/academic_writing_test_2.html

It's very difficult to visualize and understand all the things that I have said above. Here I will try and provide you with an example question and then go through the stages of thought to show you how to approach an IELTS Task 2 essay.

Here is a possible question that would be typical for a Task 2 essay question.

"Do you believe that societies ought to enforce capital punishment or Are there alternative forms of punishment that would be better used?"

First of all you need to consider the question. What does it ask? Straight away, you can see that it asks 2 things.

It wants to know if you believe that society should use capital punishment and it also wants to know if you can offer any alternatives to capital punishment. Your answer should give a balanced view of both parts of this question. What is important to realize is that there is no correct answer here. You can present any point of view as long as you can support it.

So, in your planning stage you should have a roadmap for the introduction, each paragraph and the conclusion. Here is my brief plan for the essay.

Intro
What cp is. Where it's used. (not my country). Differing opinions.
I don't believe in cp.
There are alternative punishments.
Body
Inhumane - we shouldn't sink to the level of criminals.
We can get convictions wrong; prisoners can be released if there's an error. Mentally ill. Examples.
Alternative punishments: life means life; hospitals for criminally insane. Costs more but society has a duty to care.
Many countries favour it and they say it works. Prisons too full. Killers deserve nothing less. Some crimes deserve it. Not my morals though.
Conclusion
I don't agree. We can do other things. Avoid mistakes and make modern society a humane one.

The above is a basic plan of how I want to write my essay. It's not rigid. I can change my ideas and format as I write if I feel I can do better.

I can also add things that I've forgotten as the essay goes on. It's normal of course for you to have new, good ideas as you write and the skill is to get them into your essay without upsetting the balance of the essay. How do you do this? It's practice again. You won't get good at writing essays and adapting your writing well without practice.

So, below is an example essay using the plan above as a basis.

Example Essay for the IELTS Academic Task 2 Writing
Capital punishment is the killing of a criminal for a crime that he has committed. Previously most countries employed this method of punishment but nowadays it is much less widely used. I personally do not believe that societies today should use capital punishment and I also believe that there are alternative punishments that can be used.

My main argument against capital punishment is that I believe we do not have the right to kill another human being regardless of the crime. I don't believe in the old religious maxim of "an eye for an eye." Modern societies shouldn't turn to such barbaric punishments.

Another argument against capital punishment is that people can be wrongly convicted and executed. If a man is in prison, he can be released if later proved not guilty. If he is dead, there is nothing that can be done. In the UK, a group of supposed terrorists were convicted of murder in Birmingham in the 1970s. They were proved innocent about 15 years later and released. If they had been executed, innocent people would have died.

There are alternative punishments available. For bad crimes prison life sentences can be given with criminals imprisoned for the rest of their lives. Also a lot of horrific crimes are committed by people who are mentally sick. These people are not responsible for their actions and can be kept safely and permanently in secure hospitals. Yes, this costs a lot more but I believe it is the duty of society to do this.

There are arguments for capital punishment. Many people feel its threat stops serious crime and that criminals deserve nothing less. It's cheaper and keeps the prisons manageable. I can understand this point of view but I cannot agree with it.

So, in conclusion, I don't believe in capital punishment, as there are less barbaric alternatives available. We can avoid horrific mistakes and make modern society a humane one.

Tips: Writing, part 1

Extracts from: http://www.ieltshelpnow.com/academic_writing_test_1.html

For the IELTS Academic Task 1 Writing, you should have a paragraph for your small introduction, a paragraph for each graph that you are describing and a paragraph for your ending. If there's only one graph to be described, then you should split your writing into 2 or maybe 3 paragraphs for the one graph.

You don't need much here. You only have 150 words to fully answer the question and this is not much. So, you need 1 or 2 sentences describing the following:

The type(s) of graph you are describing
The titles of the graph(s)
The date of the graph(s)
The scale*

*What I mean by the scale is whether the graphs are marked in hundreds, thousands, millions, pounds, dollars (US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, etc.), kilograms, tons, metres, kilometres, percent and so on. It's important for you to make clear what your numbers mean for an accurate report of the graph.

Describing graphs: Remember the function of many graphs is to describe a trend so be sure that you describe the trends. A trend is how values change generally over time and it is important to describe the changes along with some of the individual values.

If there is only 1 graph and it doesn't have much numerical data in it, then you will be expected to include all or nearly all of the numerical detail. If, however, you have 2 graphs, both of which are very complicated with lots of values, you will not be expected to include everything.

Describing bar charts: Basically, with a bar chart, you need to describe the bars and their values. When describing a bar chart you first have to decide in what order to describe the bars, highest value to lowest value or lowest value to highest value. It may be a mixture of this. If there are very many bars, you can sometimes group together for description 1 or 2 or 3 bars which have similar or the same values. If there are very many and you can't group them, then just describe the ones that are the most significant.

The same advice is useful when describing tables and pie charts.

Describing line graphs: The function of a line graph is to describe a TREND pictorially. You therefore should try and describe the trend in it. If there are many lines in the graph(s), then just generally describe the trend. If there is only one or two, then use more detail. So, describe the movement of the line(s) of the graph giving numerical detail at the important points of the line.

Find suitable expressions and words to be used in this case in the 'line graph' section of the webpage cited.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Role of parents and school in teaching children how to be good members of society.

The upbringing of a child is not easy as it is a challenging and difficult process.Not only do the parents contribute to this process,but the school also has a main role in order to teach the children the values of life.
Being a parent is a very responsible task.You have to prepere your children for a bright and successful future.Parents influence the lives of their childrenand leave an impression on them.They play a very vital role,since they must instil their values and the values of society in their children.Values like respect,politeness,tolerance,honesty and kindness are crucial in the behavior of a child as a member of society.The attitude of th parents must be the appropriate onle,because they are role models,in order to educate their children about how to behave and operate normally inside the society.The future of the child depends on the parents' teaching.
Additionally,shool is the other place,Where a child learns ethic values about how to behave and how to adapt in the society.A child spends almost 8 hours a day in school,so the teacher is a second parent to each one of the students.School is the place where youngster learn ans develop communicative and social skills.Children have to deal with a lot of different personalities at school and they are called to coexist and cooperate with them.Consequently,through this proccess,their social skills are developed.The school is a miniature of our society,thus the youngster is helped to complete the socialization proccess in order to enter the real world later.
To sum up,both parents and school are important during childrens' upbringing and socialization.They act together and complete each other.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of mobile phones?

In our days,technology is very importanta to us.We use technology in our life,when we work and almost everywhere all the time.A striking example of this,is the mobile phone.Its necessity has made the mobile phone the most common thing in our hands.It needs to be pointed out tha mobile phones offer both advantages and disadvantages.
To begin with the advantages,I think that its main utility,the ability to make phone calls,has rendered it very useful to the people.In other words,you can communicate immediatelly with everybody,everywhere and anytime.For example,if you have had an accident,you can call the police or an ambulance.Besides,this gadget provides a huge number of other functions.For instance it enables its users to listen to their favourite music or take photos.You can also use many software programmes that it includes in order to make notes,save and transfer data.It is obvious that the access to the internet through the mobile phone gives you the opportunity to check your e-mails,get information,like reading news and many more benefits.In addition to all these advantages,portability should not be forgotten,as it can fit in your pocket.All in all,cell phones makes our life more convenient.
However,there is the negative side of mobile phones.First af all cell phones reduces our privacy.For example,someone's position can be found by satellites or somebody can hear you phone calls.It is obvious that the radiation emitted from phones can be harmful to us.For instance,when you talk on the phone it can damage your ear and affect your brain.What is more,people tend to just contact each other through mobile phones and,thus,become more distant.
To conlcude,cell phones entail both advantages and disadvantages.We must use our cell phones carefully,since controlled usage is the best sollution to avoid having to deal with the harmful effects.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Hints for the IELTS Academic Task 1 &2 Writing

Taken from the online tutorial:
http://www.ieltshelpnow.com/academic_writing_test_1.html

DON'T copy any part of the question in your answer. This is not your own work and therefore will be disregarded by the examiner and deducted from the word count. You can use individual words but be careful of using long "chunks" of the question text.

Don't repeat yourself or the same ideas. This gives a bad impression and the examiner realises that it isn't adding to the content of your report.

If you are weak at English grammar, try to use short sentences. This allows you to control the grammar and the meaning of your writing much more easily and contributes to a better cohesion and coherence mark. It's much easier to make things clear in a foreign language if you keep your sentences short!

Think about the tenses of your verbs. If you're writing about something that happened in the past, your verbs will need to be in the past tenses. If you're describing the future, you will need to use the future tenses. If it's a habitual action, you'll need the present simple tense and so on. If you have time, a quick check of your verbs at the end of the exam can help you find errors. For describing graphs you will probably need past tenses whereas, for describing a process, you will probably need the present simple. Think about the verbs while practising and then it will become easier when you do the exam.

As I just said, if you have finished the exam with time to spare, DON'T just sit there!! Check what you have done. If you have time after the check, check again. And so on....

Don't be irrelevant. Although you can use your imagination to expand on your answer, if any part of your report is totally unrelated to the question and put in to just put up the word count, then the examiner will not take it into account and deduct it from the word count.

If you want to improve, there's no secret. Practice. Practice. Practice. You won't get better sitting and doing nothing. Even good English users need practice for the IELTS exam. It could make all the difference between your getting the band that you need, and getting half a band less than you need and having to do the exam again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Various Tips

Writing Part 1- sample texts

IELTS Writing Task 1 - Graph Part II

"The Internet has done more harm than good to teenagers." What are your views on this issue?

Nowadays,technological development and innovations render our life more comfortable and easier.The Internet is a remarkable example of this development.Its usage results in both comfort and dangers to teenagers' life.

Fisrt of all,the Internet has faciliated the communication among people,which is much more accessible than before.In particular,thousands of messages are delivered instantly to people anywhere in the world by using e-mail which is free and fast.Secondly a wide variety of information is available on the Net.There are various topics about which someone can be informed.What is more,an abundance of services is provided on web;such as e-banking,hotel reservations,job searching,online ticket buying,online shopping and legal software downloading.

On the other hand,a teenager will come across many threats when using the Web.In other words,there is the possibility of personal information theft,like name,address and banking details.Moreover many dangers are involved when teenagers log in social networks and meet on unknown persons,since they can be harmful and their intentions unknown.There are also communication problems due to the Internet misuse.Teenagers become passive,while obstancles are posed to the communication between the memebers of a family.Teenagers tend to decrease the number of their friends and acquaintances. Scientists believe that teenagers are trying to solve their problems in an online world which makes them distant,isolated and lonely.Finally,radiation is emitted by the computer's screen which is harmful to eyes.

In conclusion,it seems that there is no absolute answer to the question of whether the world wide web has done more harm than good to teenagers.In my opinion,a teenager should be permitted to use the Internet under terms in order to be offered only the benefits.Controlled and careful surfing promises a safer use.

What are your personal and professional ambitions?

I wish to finish my postgraduate studies and continue with a doctorate degree.Afterwards,I would like to work in the field I will have specialized in,in order to develop,manufacture and find out new materials as a researcher;otherwise I would like to go on as a Professor in the university and cooperate with various companies upon materials' patents.

Why do you study English?

First of all, not only am I able to communicate with other people,but I will also have an asset during job search or interviews. Besides that, I wish to continue my studies on the English language in order to get accepted by a British university as a postgraduate student.

How long have you been studying English?

I have been studying English for five years.I find taking lessons very interesting because we discuss a variety of topics and express ourselves in written speech, as well. Apart from that, English is the international language; therefore, knowing English is an asset when seeking for a job.

What are your interests?

In my interests football and swimming are included; in particular, I play football in a local team.Furthermore, I am keen on being informed about the updates and innovations of technology so I spend some time surfing on the Internet.Lately I have started blogging,which I find very interesting.Finally, I relish in travelling and visiting new places.For example, Kos was my last travel destination.

Do you work or study?

I have studied Materials Science and Technology at the university of Crete.I finished my studies in November 2010 and I am going to continue my studies by taking a postgraduate course in Britain.

Would you say it is a good place to live?

Yes,I would definitely agree that my hometown offers satisfactory living standarts to its residents.First of all,Heraklion is near the sea and has a sunny climate during all the year.Additionally,it is a peacful place and very clean too.Heraklion has a relatively low crime rate which is very important for someone who wants to lead a peaceful life.Finally,there are many places with natural beauty making you feel better and willing to explore your surroundings.

What kind of jobs do the people in your town do?

Most of the people occupy with the tourist industry which is developed on Crete.They mostly work in hotels,bars and restaurants.Other people own their own shops,such as souvenir shops,clothes shops and other kinds of shops.There are also entertainment facilities,like Talos Plaza and Technopolis in which many people can seek employment.

What is the most interesting part of your town?

Heraklion has many interesting places.A very picturesque place is the Venecian castle of Cule at the port of the city,with years of history and a tremendous architectural value.A lot of people visit this place every year.Knossos is an beautiful place,too,when it comes to archeological places.

HOMETOWN.What kind of place is it?

First of all my hometown is Heraklion.It is a picturesque city near the sea.It has 150000 citizens and it is the 4th biggest town in Greece.Heraklion is on the island of Crete.

Alternative forms of transport should be encouraged and international laws introduced to control car ownership and use.

In our days the use of cars has increased and spread rapidly.I am inclined to believe that we should all attempt to use other means of transport too,and this is ought to be encouraged by new state laws.

Using alternative transportation,such as public means of transport,solar powered cars,hybrid cars,bikes oreven walking,brings many advantages both to the people and to their surroundings as well.Firtsly,walking or cycling helps us to lose weight and to become active and healthier.What is more, the extreme use of cars results in the pollution of the atmosphere and the environment;by decreasing this use,we can avoid all kinds of pollution.Additionally,more expenses are generated when we use cars,because of fuel taxes or car damages.For example,commute to work by bus because it is cheap[er and I do not have to spent my time on searching for a parking lot.

Concerning legislature,I agree with the introduction of new laws.However,we must not suggest extreme solutions.For instance,the cars must used in moderation.Apart from that, I think that every family ought to have a specific number of cars; in other words, the number of the existing cars must be reduced.Thirdly,another feasible and effective solution is to limit the access to the towncentre by banningcar circulation in certain places or on certain days, as dictated by other European countries' policy.

Taking everything into concideration,We should promote alternative transportation and suggest new laws in order to stabilize the rate of car usage.Apart from that,if we manage to change our mentality,the world will become a better place to live in.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Favourite books

Thanasi, I have been wondering what your favourite book is and why.

Do you prefer a story full of action or thought-provoking messages?

This is how some other students have answered this question- you may get inspired!

Have a nice weekend!