CARMEN P.

Proficiency article.

All too often, I wonder whether an under-thirty aged, first-world living citizen would ever consider walking a 20-minute distance on a daily basis. If anything, wouldn’t it be seen as an eccentricity? Actually, it doesn’t take great skill to be that observant to realise of the many non-friendly, sedentary effects our contemporary lifestyle has had.

Those born less than three decades ago have grown in a society whose routine assumes the availability of any means of transport. Many readers would even consider the mere idea of accessing their home without an elevator unthinkable. Nonetheless, this dependency is just part of the story. As a millennial, I belong to a generation whose imagination has been utterly captivated by the fantasy offered by either TV series, videogames or social networks. Playing in the neighborhood outdoors is not as appealing as it used to be. But along with this technologic boom, we have all witnessed the shift family values have undergone. Some enthusiastically argue that, while in the past children were pushed to take on responsibilities quite early on, nowadays parents could be jailed for doing exactly so. Therefore, youth is provided with neither the opportunity, nor the confidence to stand in action.

Too frequently have we heard of the need of a closer parental care. However true, it lacks realism; many can barely afford seeing their children after long working hours. Undoubtedly, the problem is educational and should be treated observative. Talking from experience, state schools should dare to think out of the box and stop limiting themselves to academic subjects. Leaving volunteering or sports competition on a secondary place, when not ignored, is like chopping a part of one’s personality off.

The truth is, these are changing times we live in, and institutions should evolve with them. In the end, youth inactivity has become so blended in our reality we have hardly realised its consequences. Good news is, measures can be taken. Only let’s hope we react on time!

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ÁNGELES Q.

CAE film review.

You are the arts review writer for a magazine. Your editor has asked you to review a film. Choose a film that you have seen. Describe the plot and the characters involved. Say who the film is suitable for and why. Mention any special effects or aspects of the film that stood out in some way. Would you recommend the film? Why, why not?

Write your review.

The popularity of ‘Fifty First Dates’ is not hard to fathom. Nor is the almost hysterical reaction of critics, who have hailed this comedy as one of the funniest productions as of late.

Set in Hawaii, ‘Fifty First Dates’ delves into the romance between Henry, a womanizing veterinarian, and Lucy, a girl with short-term memory loss. After knowing Lucy’s illness, Henry makes up bizarre situations to trigger Lucy’s falling in love. No way will I forget the hilarious scene in which Henry and his friend Ula perform a fight in order to catch Lucy’s attention and she reacts hitting Ula with a baseball bat.

I bet young women reading this will fall head over heels with the movie. Not only will they laugh until their belly hurts, but there will also be some tears rolling down their cheeks. For sure, this compelling story won’t disappoint you!

Plus, from my point of view, it’s vital the moving soundtrack be pointed out as the icing on the cake. The film features the well-known song Over the Rainbow, which is able to make my hair stand on end every time I listen to it.

In short, I hands down recommend you youngsters give this film a try and, of course, families and lovebirds who want to pleasantly surprise your significant others!

CARMEN P.

Proficiency article about an adventurous experience.                   

 

THREE WEEKS FIGHTING THE JUNGLE

Spending a few weeks in the wilds of an African country is an experience many would die for. Through the daily programmed documentaries, some might have over-romanticized. Some may have even pictured themselves venturing into the tangled vegetation, explorer hat included. Well, as always, reality exceeds fiction.

When I first stepped foot on jungle soil in Cameroon, I shamefully ignored the overwhelming tropical beauty surrounding me. A harrowingly dangerous, never-ending jeep drive of three hours on the only dirt road crossing the rainforest had just finished. Little did I know that I should only be grateful. In days of heavy rain, paths are left simply impassable, and its consequences endure for long periods of time. No mean of transport is freed from mishaps: tyres either get stick in the mud or end up falling in the verge. On foot, pathways are too flooded to encourage a sensible enough mortal to continue. Needless to say, both electricity and water supply grids are simply non-existent. At this point, one can easily imagine how creative washing, cooking or even working customs can get in the wilderness of Africa.

However, it is equally true that never before had I caught sight of an entirely unspoiled environment; and could not get enough of passing by a broad variety of exotic fruit trees or watching the sunset in the company of a camouflaged salamander. Surprisingly enough, one learns to live the moment without obsessively making future plans. Indeed, you couldn’t even master to know tomorrow day’s weather!

Long story short, while living in the jungle, you are often driven to extreme situations. Undoubtedly, your patience along with physical and psychological resistance are seriously tested, only to end up amazed by human’s capacity of survival and adaptability and wondering, why a like-no-other peace of mind was found in the middle of that simplicity and impotence. Willing to take the risk?

LUCÍA D.

Proficiency review about English learning.

Learning English in school or outside school? I bet some of us will opt for the latter. Not only does it give you the opportunity to learn more varied language skills, but also new cultures and ways of thinking.

Obvious though as it may seem, there are many ways in which students can establish relationships with English-language speakers. Not only can students study abroad in an English-speaking country for a year or two, but they can also spend their holidays in a summer English camp. Living with international students from all over the world for a certain period of time can be a truly fruitful experience. On those occasions, students can easily become friends with English speakers and indeed, greatly and rapidly improve their language skills.

Learning a language has never been something easy, has it? English lessons at school can sometimes be deemed boring as the level is not high enough. Therefore, English lessons –be they private or not– can also be taken outside school. These can be utterly beneficial and truly contribute to the language skills’ improvement. Nevertheless, this contribution is quite limited as language skills such as speaking and listening are not taught in depth. Hence my considering that going to study abroad and making English friends as a much more complete and fulfilling way of studying another language. Not only can your accent and pronunciation become better, but you can also learn about many people who differ from you in a myriad of ways.

All in all, I am sure most readers will agree with me that learning a language is something that requires time and a big effort. Moreover, as I personally experienced, being motivated with the language and having good relationships with English speakers can enormously benefit any language improvement.

LUCÍA D.

Proficiency essay about the influence of the cinema.

 

It is universally acknowledged fact that the cinema has a clear influence in our society these days. While the first passage argues how powerful and magical cinema can be, the second text focuses on the fact that the cinema is not as outstanding as it used to be anymore.

The first passage asserts that watching a movie is one of the best ways to easily evade from someone’s daily, stressful routine. Not only does the cinema provide the opportunity to transport yourself somewhere else, but it can also unavoidably influence your way of acting or thinking. In using it such an innovative technology, this type of art possesses a superb magical power. Personally, I love watching movies every Sunday night with my family and could not certainly describe the cinema with better words.

The second text focuses on the fact that the cinema’s quality has enormously been deteriorated in the last days. According to the author of this text, surprising though as it may seem, a wide variety of movies are not worthwhile anymore. Indeed, today´s film producers would rather have an important economic benefit than make a good movie. For my part, even though I am convinced that profit plays a crucial role here, superb films are still played on the cinemas.

Be as it may, it goes without saying that the cinema plays a significant role currently upon it being an effective manner of evading from work or university. However, it is undeniable that cinema work can sometimes be deemed quite a poor art piece.

JAIME B.

Email to a friend in which you review and recommend a TV show.

 

Hi James,

It’s been ages since we last wrote to each other! I hope things are going great. Since you’re asking me about Modern Family, I thought I’d drop you a line to recommend the show and say what the best thing about it is.

Firstly, I want to explain how this show works. Modern Family is a completly new TV format because it has two “faces,” so to speak: the first is like all the series’, but the other one is that the characters speak to the camera like in a confession.

You should see the episode when Phil tries to gain Access to a golf club where Jay is the “king.” In this club, it is difficult to be a member because you need the invitation of one other member and your membership has to be approved by the executive committee. In this case, Phil manages to be a member, and Jay is tense because he thinks his friends won’t find Phil funny.

Anyway, don’t let me run my mouth. I highly recommend this episode, and urge you to watch all of them because I’m really sure that you’ll like the show.

If you need more information, call me.

Best wishes,

Jaime