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:
A BBC article about the impact El Nino is having on the world’s weather
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!
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)
On Friday 13th March 2015 it’s Red Nose Day in the UK! But what exactly is Red Nose Day and why does it take place?
The first Red Nose Day (RND) was held on 5 February 1988, when it was launched as a National Day of Comedy, and since then they have been on the second or third Friday in March. Red Nose Day is often treated as a semi-holiday for example, many schools have red-themed non-uniform days. The day culminates in a live telethon event on BBC One, starting in the evening and going through into the early hours of the morning, but other money-raising events take place. As the name suggests, the day involves the wearing of red noses which are available, in exchange for a donation, from supermarkets and charity shops.
Here are a few articles and links about this fun day!
A reading comprehension on the British Council website
The Ebola outbreak is currently in the news and even more so now that several cases have been detected in the USA.
What exactly is Ebola? Is there a cure to this deadly disease? How can countries work together to reduce the risk of the disease spreading?
Ebola – or Ebola haemorrhagic fever (EHF) – is a really deadly virus: 50% to 90% of people who catch it die from it. But there are a few forms of the virus which have been identified by scientists and given the right medical care and treatment, you can recover. Ebola was first spotted in the African countries of Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976. In the space of five months in that year, 284 people in Sudan caught the virus. It killed 117 of them.
You can catch it through direct contact with the body fluids of an infected person such as blood and saliva. It is not airborne like the flu so is more difficult to catch but is very infectious: so infected people have to be kept separate to reduce the risk of it spreading. Healthcare workers who have looked after sick patients have also been infected.
For the moment there is no known cure however a new experimental drug, ZMapp, has been used in the US on health workers and a UK nurse who caught the disease in Africa. They recovered from the virus.
The World Health Organization warns greater global efforts are needed to combat the Ebola virus, which is spreading ever faster in West Africa despite efforts to contain it. Barack Obama and EU leaders took part in a videoconference on Wednesday 15th October to discuss the growing Ebola crisis following warnings that the outbreak could grow to 10,000 new cases a week within two months. They discussed what further action can be taken to help stop the spread of the virus in west Africa and how passengers arriving from Africa can be screened to prevent the disease spreading further.
Here are a few videos that explain more about this outbreak.