The climate is changing. There’re no two ways about it.

glacial
When will the next ice age be?

Scientists believe the next ice age will be delayed by global warming and CO2 emission. Ice Ages appear on the Earth periodically and due to small changes in the earth’s orbit. The last Ice Age ended over 11 thousand years ago. According to authors of an article in Nature Magazine the next ice age should theoretically take place in 1,5 thousand years. But since the climate is warming up, it won’t.

“The cause of this is huge CO2 emissions” – according to the co-author of the article, Dr Luke Skinner from Cambridge University – “Our research shows that the climate is very sensitive and vulnerable to changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration, especially at the levels it changed in the last 200 years.”

Moreover, other research groups have shown that even if we shut down emissions instantly, the concentration would be too high for the glaciation to begin for another 1000 years.

What is your opinion? Is there anything that could be done to prevent global warming? Are you worried about our climate? What “green” actions do you take?

Recommended books

Books
Hard-boiled detective

I’m a great lover of reading, and I like all kinds of books. One of my favorite genres, though, is the detective story. To me, a good detective story really draws you into not only the mystery, but also the lives and thoughts of the characters and the atmosphere of the setting.

‘The Big Sleep’ is one such book. Written by the American Raymond Chandler in 1939 and set in Los Angeles, it tells a complicated story involving murder, a rich family, a double-crossing gangster and the hard-boiled detective Philip Marlowe in the middle of it all. If you’re at all interested in a story that’s good both at building suspense and has a sharp eye for people and their weaknesses, then I highly recommend ‘The Big Sleep’.

How about you? This blog is the place to let us know what book you would recommend, and why.

Protesting

Right Here All Over (Occupy Wall St.) from Alex Mallis on Vimeo.

Would you protest?

Occupy Wall Street has been in the news a lot since it started in September 2011. Occupy Wall Street is a movement that began in New York City with the aim of protesting against economic problems such as unemployment and income inequality in the United States. If you’re interested, you might want to read the Wikipedia article on Occupy Wall Street here.

Watch the video above and answer these questions:

What do you think about the people you’ve just seen and heard in the video? Do they make a good impression on you? Do you disagree with anything they say?

Do you sympathize with the protesters? Why or why not?

Have you ever taken part or would you ever take part in a similar protest in your city? For what reason, if any, would you participate in a protest?

E-learning is more than the lesson

E-learning is about more than convenience
More than convenience

There are a number of reasons people decide to learn English in an online course. The most obvious is convenience. Being able to save the time it takes to commute from your home or office to a language school is definitely an attractive reason to learn online. And it’s also true that more and more people are learning English online as technology becomes more integrated into their lives. After all, you probably use voice or video chat to talk with your family and friends, and use videoconferencing at work. It’s only natural, then, to connect with your teacher using the same tools.

It’s the time between the lessons

You can make a personal connection with your teacher online in the same way you can connect with your family, friends and colleagues. And with GoEnglishGo you get an online speaking lesson with your teacher every week. That’s the same as what you’ll get when you travel to an English lesson. But the real value of an e-learning course with GoEnglishGo, and what makes it a better option than a face-to-face course, is that you don’t have wait another whole week before connecting with your teacher and practicing your English.

A range of practice activities

GoEnglishGo’s online learning platform gives you an exciting way to keep practicing your English 24/7, between weekly lessons with your teacher. After your online lesson, you’ll have several activities to do before your next lesson. These include our interactive Grammar and Vocabulary Builder as well as our Soundboard – an online presentation tool that’s an exciting way for you to practice your speaking by taking part in a discussion involving a teacher and other students. GoEnglishGo also offers discussion forums for you to practice communicating in English, giving you realistic writing practice in online environment. Considering that so much of your day-to-day communication takes place in an online environment anyway, it’s only natural that you would practice your English on an e-learning platform.

Comparing E-Learning with Face-to-Face Learning

If you’ve taken a face-to-face course, you know that practicing English once a week is simply not enough to improve as much as you can. So considering that your speaking lessons online are equal to the speaking lessons you would get in a face-to-face course, it’s what you do between lessons that really makes online learning the better choice. Instead of filling in a coursebook, or collecting a stack of photocopies in your face-to-face course, in an e-learning course at GoEnglishGo you’ll get a range of exciting interactive activities to make sure you get the most out of your English learning. The fact that you don’t waste your time travelling to a face-to-face lesson is just an added bonus.

Taking the first step

If learning online sounds like the best option for you, then contact us at info@goenglishgo.com to arrange a demonstration lesson.

Should PEDs be allowed in sports?

DrugsAthletes and drugs

It’s no secret that the sports business is a huge business, that the aim of the business is winning and that athletes go to great lengths to get a competitive edge in order to win.

It’s also no secret that some athletes have been caught using PEDs (performance-enhancing drugs) such as steroids and human-growth hormone. There’s been a huge push in recent years to get rid of drugs in cycling, the Olympics and other sports. The reasons seem obvious enough – the drugs have sometimes very harmful side effects and they provide an unfair advantage to users over their competitors.

But is that the only way to look at the issue? Some people have argued that athletes should be allowed to take drugs. They have the freedom of choice as adults, and anyway, can it really be called unfair if everyone does it? Drugs are just one of many ways for athletes to improve their performance. Here’s a link to an article, from ABC News, that argues this point. Have a look at the article and let us know what you think. Do you agree with the writer that PEDs should be allowed in sports?

Allow Drugs in Sports (ABC News)

Where our food comes from



Food, Inc.

The video above is a trailer for the documentary ‘Food, Inc’. We all know that there has been a huge increase in the number of fast food restaurants and supermarkets in the last two generations in the USA. This film investigates how large companies, especially McDonald’s, have become so powerful that they are able to change the way that their suppliers operate.

One example of this effect is that McDonald’s wants their meat to be cheap and standardized – to taste the same everywhere. The result is that producers of meat have changed their product to suit the large purchasers, which has a knock-on effect on the food available to us even if we don’t eat fast food. Similarly, in order to supply supermarkets with large amounts of inexpensive foods, farms have become more like factories, producing the largest amount as efficiently as possible. According to the film, companies that own farms don’t want you to see the way they are run nowadays. In fact, modern food is commonly advertised using images of the traditional family farm, even though such farms are almost non-existent in the US today.

Our question to you is: Do you think the same thing will happen in your country? And secondly, do you think this is just progress? That in order for us as consumers to have a wide selection of inexpensive food, it’s necessary for farms and food producers to operate as portrayed in the film? Or do you feel, as the makers of the film do, that ordinary people and governments should do something more to control farms and how food is produced?

Global English

globeGetting around

Any traveler who’s been around the world picks up habits from the places they visit, and the English language is no different. English has mixed with other languages for centuries, and there’s a lot of evidence of that influence in the English vocabulary.

English has adopted lots of words from other languages. One example is ‘mosquito’, which comes from Spanish and Portuguese words meaning ‘little fly’. The same is true for ‘vodka’ -meaning ‘little water’ in Polish and Russian. There are countless others. Below is a list of five English words, and the languages they were borrowed from. Post your answer as a comment, telling us where you think each word comes from.

Words: coffee, shampoo, penguin, stove, ski,

Language of origin: Dutch, Welsh, Arabic, Norwegian, Hindi

What are you after?

Brain Logo
Answer to last week’s post

First of all, we’ll follow up on last week’s blog post. One of the most prominent experts on English, David Crystal, writes in his book ‘The Stories of English’ that three-fourths of the people who use English are non-natives. So Marta, you were close, but it looks like Asia had the right answer this time.

You’re the expert

This week, we’re going to let you be the expert on English usage. Here’s a sentence I heard from a university student recently. It was in the evening and we met while we were walking home after working and studying all day:

        ”I’m after my lessons, so now I can relax.”

Well, I think we know what the student meant – that now it’s the evening, and there are no more lessons for him to attend. But this is not really the best way to say this. The phrase “To be after…” actually means something different. In the sentence,

        ”The police are after the robbers.”

the police are trying to catch or get the robbers. That’s something completely different from being finished with something.

So the question is, what would be the best way for the university student to rephrase his sentence? Write your answer as a comment to this blog. Show us that you’re the expert!

The non-natives have it…

globeWhere do the majority of English speakers come from?

It’s no secret that a lot of people in the world speak English. One estimate is that 1.5 billion people do, either as their mother tongue or as a second or foreign language.

But where do they come from? Most speakers of English today don’t come from Britain, the USA, Australia, Canada or other countries where English is the first language. Counting everyone who has a basic command of English, there are now more non-native speakers than native speakers.

But can you guess what the percentage is? How many of the people who speak English learned it as a second or foreign language? Leave your answer as a comment below, and we’ll give the answer in our next blog post.

What proportion of English speakers today are non-native speakers?

+++a. Slightly more than half
+++b. About two-thirds
+++c. About three-fourths
+++d. About 90%

Top 5 Places to Visit Sometime in Your Life

For today’s post we’ve picked 5 places we believe everyone should visit at least once in their lives. Can you tick any off your “to do” list already? Or maybe you want to share your top places with us?
Feel free to add to this list!

5. Machu Picchu, Peru

Machu_Picchu

Our number five is this high mountain Inca settlement, also called “The Lost City of the Incas”, Machu Picchu is situated 2430 m above sea level and is mostly reconstructed. Fancy a hike?

4. Kilimanjaro,  Tanzania

Kilimanjaro

Kilimangaro is Africa’s highest point, and the highest free-standing point in the world. And number four in our ranking.

3. Iceland

Iceland

Number three goes to Iceland for its natural wonders and fascinating, unpredictable nature.

2. The Great Wall, China

GreatWallTower

We decided to give The Great Wall of China second place. Apart from being a masterpiece of a fortification, it is the only man-made creation visible from space. But if you’re not planning to go that far – visit it in China.

1. Taj Mahal, India

Taj_Mahal

It’s hard to believe this amazing building has never served any practical purpose other than to look impressive. And it does.

So, now we want to hear from you. What are your top five places you haven’t been to yet, but would like to visit? Post a comment below!