Happy New Year!

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Happy New Year to you all! I wish you success in all your projects and for those sitting their BAC this year I hope you pass with flying colours!!

To start the year off let’s look at a topic that is very much in the news at the moment: climate change, particularly after the COP 21 – the United Nations conference on climate change in Paris.

This topic can be linked to the notion of idea of progress : how is our world changing, what effect does increasing pollution have on our environment? How can we predict the sort of weather we are going to have and the impact the extreme weather conditions can have on our planet? It can also be linked to the notion of spaces and exchanges as well as places and forms of power: how can developed countries help developing countries to cope with climate change? How can the different countries work together to reduce the impact that pollution has on our environment?

Here are a few articles and videos about it:

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  • A BBC article about the impact El Nino is having on the world’s weather
  • A BBC article about the current flooding in the UK
  • An article from the Guardian on the floods in the UK and extreme global  weather

 

Reactions after the Paris Attacks

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It is not an easy subject to talk about but we all are affected by the terrorist attacks that took place on Friday 13th November in Paris.

Please feel free to comment on how you feel after these attacks in Paris and post any links or pictures you think are relevant.

(all comments and posts have to be approved before being posted)

Here are a few links on the subject:

How do Parisians feel after the attacks? BBC news

Social media response BBC News

World support for France following the attacks

Barack Obama « An attack on all of humanity »

Madonna’s speech about the attacks during her concert in Stockholm

The crisis in Calais – why do migrants want to reach the UK?

Copyright:Kerry Davies/Daily Mail 2/08/2015 Immigrants last night made another attempt to rush the Channel Tunnel but were beaten back by police with tear gas. They then staged a sit-in on the main lorry route to the tunnel blocking vehicles for the entire night until they were dispersed by riot police. picture shows: Immigrants staging the sit-in blocking lorries.
Copyright:Kerry Davies/Daily Mail 2/08/2015
Immigrants made another attempt to rush the Channel Tunnel but were beaten back by police with tear gas.
They then staged a sit-in on the main lorry route to the tunnel blocking vehicles for the entire night until they were dispersed by riot police.
picture shows: Immigrants staging the sit-in blocking lorries.

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One of the topics that is very much in the news at the moment is the problem of migrants fleeing their country and trying to reach the UK. An excellent topic to illustrate the notion of spaces and exchanges!

What are the reasons behind this problem?

Why are they so desperate to cross the Channel?

Here are a few articles and videos on the subject

Why is there a crisis in Calais? – BBC news website

Would Calais immigrants really be better off in the UK? – BBC News Website

The migrant crisis in Calais

The truth about immigration in the UK (BBC tv programme)

The impact of immigration in UK

America’s Gun Problem

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Here is an excellent article about gun violence in the USA – a topic which is very much in the news at that the moment and that can be used to illustrate the notion « Places and forms of power ».

The article includes a video of Obama’s speech after the Umpqau Community College shooting, tables and explanations about the problem and a video showing how some American politicians go to extreme lengths to show their support for gun rights: Senator Ted Cruz (republican) cooking bacon with a machine gun (!)

Finally there is a section on how other developed countries have had huge successes with gun control (Idea of progress/places and forms of power)

Back to school soon?

The holidays are coming to an end and it’s the best time to start reading and listening to videos and interviews in English. Just 15 minutes every day!

Here are a few links to help you

The British Council website has a video zone where you will find videos on lots of different topics and also listening skills practice (choose B1 or B2)

The BBC website has a « 6 minute English » series with extremely varied topics that will help you learn lots of new vocabulary

Film English is a website with short films in English

Enjoy the rest of your holidays! :-)