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Saturday, May 31, 2014


1. In formal language the sentence “Mind if I come in?” is
a) Had you minded if I came in?
b) Would you mind if I come in?
c) Should you mind if I come in?
d) Shouldn’t you mind if I came in?
2. According to the advertisement
a) one can learn English without cost.
b) one can learn English on-line.
c) one can learn English easily.
d) one can learn English at home.

Mooresville’s Shining Example (It’s Not Just About the Laptops)
MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Sixty educators from across the nation roamed the halls and ringed the rooms of East Mooresville Intermediate School, searching for the secret formula. They found it in Erin Holsinger’s fifth-grade math class.
There, a boy peering into his school-issued MacBook blitzed through fractions by himself, determined to reach sixth-grade work by winter. Three desks away, a girl was struggling with basic multiplication — only 29 percent right, her screen said — and Ms. Holsinger knelt beside her to assist.
Curiosity was fed and embarrassment avoided, as teacher connected with student through emotion far more than Wi-Fi.
As debate continues over whether schools invest wisely in technology — and whether it measurably improves student achievement — Mooresville, a modest community about 20 miles north of Charlotte best known as home to several Nascar teams and drivers, has quietly emerged as the de facto national model of the digital school.
The district’s graduation rate was 91 percent in 2011, up from 80 percent in 2008. On state tests in reading, math and science, an average of 88 percent of students across grades and subjects met proficiency standards, compared with 73 percent three years ago. Attendance is up, dropouts are down. Mooresville ranks 100th out of 115 districts in North Carolina in terms of dollars spent per student — $7,415.89 a year — but it is now third in test scores and second in graduation rates.
“Other districts are doing things, but what we see in Mooresville is the whole package: using the budget, innovating, using data, involvement with the community and leadership,” said Karen Cator, a former Apple executive who is director of educational technology for the United States Department of Education. “There are lessons to be learned.”
Start with math lessons: each student’s MacBook Air is leased from Apple for $215 a year, including warranty, for a total of $1 million; an additional $100,000 a year goes for software. Terry Haas, the district’s chief financial officer, said the money was freed up through “incredibly tough decisions.”
Sixty-five jobs were eliminated, including 37 teachers, which resulted in larger class sizes — in middle schools, it is 30 instead of 18 — but district officials say they can be more efficiently managed because of the technology. Some costly items had become obsolete (like computer labs), though getting rid of others tested the willingness of teachers to embrace the new day: who needs globes in the age of Google Earth?
Families pay $50 a year to subsidize computer repairs, though the fee is waived for those who cannot afford it, about 18 percent of them. Similarly, the district has negotiated a deal so that those without broadband Internet access can buy it for $9.99 a month. Mr. Edwards said the technology had helped close racial performance gaps in a district where 27 percent of the students are minorities and 40 percent are poor enough to receive free or reduced-price lunches.
                                                                            (The New York Times. February 13, 2012/adapted)

3. Mooresville educational success is due to the
a) amount of dollars spent with students a year.
b) investments from several private companies.
c) deep wish of minorities to show their potential.
d) set of financial, pedagogic and community actions.

4. In the text, one of the “incredibly tough decisions” referred to
a) fire teachers.
b) spend 1 million.
c) buy new globes.
d) control attendance.

5. The underlined word in the text refers to
a) formulas.
b) educators.
c) rooms.
d) halls.

“The kitchen table is more than a place for ____________, it’s a place where families meet. But was the ____________ it is made from harvested sustainably? Used to be hard to tell. Now ____________ can look for the Forest Stewardship Council ____________ to make sure wooden furniture is forest friendly.
We should ____________ that the world’s forests are ____________ responsibly so that people and wildlife can continue to exist in the future.”

6. Choose the sequence that completes the text.
a) meals / wood / shoppers / label / ensure / managed
b) fun / seed / buyers / license / prevent / cut
c) talk / peel / sellers / tag / avoid / made
d) argument / tree / representatives / plate / defend / sprayed

Introducing the perfect chemistry between a Green technology and a blue world
There is a formula for a healthy new world. That’s why Braskem invested millions in research to become the first company in the world to use Brazilian sugar cane as a natural plastic source, collaborating with the reduction of the GHG emissions. Its commitment to a sustainable development resulted in a benchmark eco-efficient process that stimulates the markets in which Braskem operates and generates new opportunities.
The world dreamed. Braskem made it happen.
New ways to look at the world
                                                                                     (Newsweek, Special Edition – Issues. February, 2012)
7. Braskem is
a) a Brazilian company using green technology.
b) an energy generator in emerging markets.
c) a former natural plastic source inventor.
d) helping the environment become cleaner.

8. The relative pronoun in “... benchmark eco-efficient process that stimulates the markets” substitutes
a) plastics.
b) markets.
c) process.
d) benchmark.
9. Choose the item to complete the answer:
a) They will go to
b) They have gone
c) They went to
d) They would go to

                                                                                                     The future looks bright
Balamurati Krishna Ambati
At age three, Balamurati Krishna Ambati was badly burned and spent several months in hospital. He decided then that he wanted to be a doctor. A few years later, he read in the Guinness Book of Records that the youngest doctor in the world was 18 years old. So he decided to become a doctor by the age of 17. Many people thought this was impossible, but at 11, Ambati was in college. He graduated from college at 14 and from medical school at 17. Now that he is a doctor, Ambati plans to go for advanced training in Boston.
Catherine Charlton
Catherine Charlton is studying engineering at Cornell University, but she has already achieved an important goal: She has worked for NASA (the National Aeronautics and Space Administration). Charlton’s achievements aren’t only in engineering, however. She is also a successful pianist and composer. Charlton hopes to combine her talents for engineering and music someday. For example, she would like to design concert halls or manufacture pianos.
Jasmin Sethi
The Scholastic Aptitude Test is the test American students take to enter college; each year, only a few students get a perfect score. One of those students was Jasmin Sethi. Her achievement was especially remarkable because she is blind. To take the test, someone read the test questions to her, and she gave the answers. She even solved difficult math problems in her head. Sethi has been the editor of her school newspaper and has organized food collections. She wants to go to a top university next year. Sethi
would like to be a lawyer.
                                                                                    (New Interchange. Cambridge University Press, 1997)
10. Which fact do these texts have in common?
a) Three young people mastered university graduation courses.
b) Three young people have outstanding school performances.
c) Three young people will follow very unusual careers.
d) Three young people have some kind of physical disability.

Saturday, May 17, 2014


During the first two months of 2014 a group of Brazilian English teachers (I was one of them) had the opportunity of taking a course at St. John´s University in Manhattan, NYC. It was a great, spectacular, unforgettable experience for all of us because besides learning new teaching strategies and technologies we could interact a lot with native and foreign teachers, people on the streets and classmates, changing experiences and learning new things as well.

The university:
St. John´s is a private Roman Catholic University founded in 1870 with campuses in Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island (New York City), a graduate center in Oakdale (New York) and also abroad, one in Rome and another in Paris.
The building where we studied in Manhattan was sold for $223 million to a partnership between Fisher Brothers and The Whitkoff Group;
The transaction represents the largest sale in Lower Manhattan, a record price for the area, according to Cushman & Wakefield, which represented St. John’s.
Located on the northeast corner of Murray and West streets, the campus has a 31,028 square-foot footprint and allows for the development of a residential building totaling 310,028 square feet.
Fisher Brothers and Witkoff Group said they plan to demolish the property at 101 Murray Street and replace it with a new mixed-use building incorporating residential and commercial spaces.
"Lower Manhattan continues to evolve at a record-setting pace and we are proud to be a part of it, along with The Witkoff Group,”Winston Fisher, partner at Fisher Brothers, said in a statement. 
The university will continue to occupy the Manhattan campus until mid-2014 and plans to find another centrally located space in Manhattan before the start of the 2015 academic year.
“The university takes great pride in our presence in New York City, and the overwhelming success of this transaction allows us to ensure the strength of that presence for generations of St. John’s students to come,” Martha Hirst, executive vice president, chief operating officer and treasurer at St. John’s University, said.
Queens Campus:

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Here is a selection of funny signs in English for your enjoyment. 
Milton França

Milton França
whatsapp: +559881698919

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Read the following text and answer questions 1 to 3.

Actress and humanitarian Angelina Jolie Voight was born in Los Angeles, California, on June 4, 1975. She starred in the HBO biopic Gia before earning an Academy Award for best supporting actress for Girl, Interrupted. Jolie has become one of Hollywood’s top marquee names, having starred in movies like Wanted, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Salt and Changeling. She’s also directed the film In the Land of Blood and Honey. In October 2008, Jolie appeared in the Clint Eastwood-directed thriller Changeling, for which she received an Oscar nomination for best actress.
She is coupled with actor Brad Pitt and has a big family. Jolie first adopted Maddox, her first son. Three years later, Jolie adopted a daughter, Zahara. The couple’s first biological daughter, Shiloh, was born in 2006. In March 2007, Jolie added a new member to her family, she adopted another boy. In 2008, she gave birth to twins.
A devoted humanitarian, Angelina Jolie was made a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency in 2001. She has made headlines for her work to obtain aid for refugees in Cambodia, Darfur and Jordan, to name just a few. In 2005, Jolie received the Global Humanitarian Action Award from the United Nations Association of the USA for her activism on behalf of refugee rights.
In May 2013, 37-year-old Jolie announced in a New York Times op-ed article titled My Medical Choice that she underwent a double mastectomy in an effort to prevent breast cancer in the future. The actress said she decided to undergo the surgery after learning that she carries a gene known as BRCA1, which increases the risk of both breast and ovarian cancer. The news made headlines all over the world.
(Adapted from: Angelina Jolie’s Biography. Source: . Accessed on: 14 jul. 2013.)

1. According to the text, Angelina Jolie has received an
a) Academy Award for best actress.
b) Academy Award for best director.
c) Oscar for best supporting actress.
d) Oscar Nomination for best director.
e) MTV Movie Award for best performance.

2.  How many children does Angelina Jolie have, both adopted and biological?
a) 2                 
b) 3                 
c) 4                             
d) 5                 
e) 6

Based on the text about Angelina Jolie, assign T (true) or F (false) to the following statements.
(  ) She has made headlines because of her involvement in sex scandals.
(  ) She has more adopted children than biological ones.
(  ) She has recently made public she has undergone surgery to prevent a disease.
(  ) She has won an award in recognition of her humanitarian activism.
(  ) She is known for both her acting career and humanitarian activism.

3. Choose the alternative that shows, top-down, the correct sequence.
a) T, T, F, T, F.
b) T, F, T, F, T.
c) F, T, T, F, F.
d) F, T, F, F, T.
e) F, F, T, T, T.

Read the following book review and answer questions 4 and 5.
The Great Gatsby is probably F. Scott Fitzgerald’s greatest novel, a book that offers damning and insightful views of the American nouveau riche in the 1920s. The Great Gatsby is an American classic and a wonderfully evocative work.

Like much of Fitzgerald’s prose, it is neat and well crafted. Fitzgerald seems to have had a brilliant understanding of lives that are corrupted by greed and incredibly sad and unfulfilled. The novel is a product of its generation with one of American literature’s most powerful characters in the figure of Jay Gatsby, who is urbane and world-weary. Gatsby is really nothing more than a man desperate for love.
(Adapted from: The Great Gatsby Review. Source: .
Accessed on: 14 jul. 2013.)

4. Based on the review, it is correct to assert that
a) The Great Gatsby is one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s minor works of prose.
b) The Great Gatsby is unlike most of Scott Fitzgerald’s prose.
c) the book depicts the lifestyle of newly wealthy Americans in the 1920s.
d) the novel is poorly written and shows the lack of writing skills of its author.
e) the novel portrays a number of powerful characters, except for Jay Gatsby.
According to what is stated in the review, consider the following statements.
I. Fitzgerald shows in his novel an understanding of the corruption greed can cause.
II. The Great Gatsby portrays lives fulfilled by love and professional satisfaction.
III. The novel reflects the lifestyle of a generation of American literature writers.
IV. The main character, Gatsby, represents someone who is in despair for love.

5. Choose the correct alternative.
a) Only the statements I and II are correct.
b) Only the statements I and IV are correct.
c) Only the statements III and IV are correct.
d) Only the statements I, II and III are correct.
e) Only the statements II, III and IV are correct.

Read the following text and answer questions 6 to 8.
São Paulo, Brazil – Protesters showed up by the thousands in Brazil’s largest cities on Monday night in a remarkable display of strength for an agitation that had begun with small protests against bus-fare increases, then evolved into a broader movement by groups and individuals irate over a range of issues including the country’s high cost of living and lavish new stadium project costs.
The growing protests rank among the largest and most resonant since the nation’s military dictatorship ended in 1985, with demonstrators numbering into the tens of thousands gathered here in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, and other large protests unfolding in cities like Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Curitiba, Belem and Brasília, the capital, where marchers made their way to the roof of Congress.
Sharing a parallel with the antigovernment protests in Turkey, the demonstrations in Brazil intensified after a harsh police crackdown last week stunned many citizens. In images shared widely on social media, the police here were seen beating unarmed protesters with batons and dispersing crowds by firing rubber bullets and tear gas into their midst.    
“The largest protests are happening in cities which will host World Cup Games,” said Mr. Malini, a scholar who analyzes data patterns in social media at the Federal University of Espírito Santo. “Brazilians are mixing soccer and politics in a way that is new, and minority voices are making themselves heard.”
(ROMERO, S. Thousands Gather for Protests in Brazil’s Largest Cities. The New York Times. Source:
2013/06/18/world/americas/thousands-gather-for-protests-in-brazils-largest-cities.html>. Accessed on: 9 jul. 2013.)
6. Among the motivations for the protests held in Brazil mentioned in the text are
a) claims for changes in election rules and regulations.
b) crisis in the elementary educational system.
c) fight against a law that reduces criminal responsibility age.
d) indignation over the impressive expenses of sports stadiums.
e) the enormous salaries and gratifications of politicians.
7. According to the text, it is correct to say that
a) protest became more intense because of police severe repression.
b) protests started as an objection to the World Cup Game being held in Brazil.
c) social media was left out as a means to help release news related to protests.
d) the protests are believed to be ineffective due to small number of participants.
e) there was little, if any, space for varied topics during the manifestations.

About the protests in Brazil, according to the text, consider the following statements.
I. It can be compared to protests against government in Turkey.
II. With the protests minorities are having their claims heard.
III. The manifestations happened without any violent incident.
IV. Protesters kept a distance from government buildings.

8. Choose the correct alternative.
a) Only the statements I and II are correct.
b) Only the statements I and IV are correct.
c) Only the statements III and IV are correct.
d) Only the statements I, II and III are correct.
e) Only the statements II, III and IV are correct.

Observe the following editorial cartoon and answer questions 9 and 10.

9. According to what the man says, we can infer that he believes
a) parents should join their kids in their activities.
b) playing football daily prevents one from putting on weight.
c) it is wise for parents to support their children’s sports practice.
d) kids need to be engaged in intellectual activities as well as sports.
e) kids need to play sports for a certain amount of hours daily.

10. The editorial cartoon addresses a common issue parents deal with, which is
a) children refuse to help with chores around the house when asked.
b) kids nowadays are less obedient and cause their parents trouble.
c) kids refuse to do their homework and as a consequence go bad at school.
d) many kids are choosing electronic games over sports or outdoors activities.
e) parents are often called at schools to discuss their kids learning problems.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


The police in Spain say that they have arrested the spectator who threw the banana at Barcelona defender Daniel Alves on April 27.
The racist incident happened when the player was going to take a corner in a match against Villarreal. He responded by peeling the fruit and eating it and this act received praise and campaigns against racism on the web all over the world.
The man who was detained has been identified as a 26-year-old Villarreal supporter named as David Campaya Lleo.
The club said the man involved had had his season ticket withdrawn and been given a lifetime ban.
Daniel Alves said that it was "not an isolated incident", and that he had been denouncing racist insults for over six years.
"I hope that this (campaign) can be an alert to ban this kind of attitude from football altogether. I hope the debate about racial prejudice will not fade away, but stays on permanently and not be restricted only to football," he added.
He criticized Spain saying that they sell the country as being first world but in certain things they are very backward.
Alves also said that he wanted the opposition fan who threw the banana to be publicly shamed.

Villarreal said the club deeply regrets and condemns the incident.

The hashtag "we are all monkeys" took Twitter by storm after the Brazilian player Neymar tweeted a photo of himself smiling on Instagram with a banana, side by side with his toddler son.
Professional players, celebrities and ordinary people have posted photos of themselves, banana in hand, on social media. I am one of them: see above.