Thursday, October 30, 2014

Dark Tides: Dangerous Occupations

I. Read the information taken from the awesome site Work with a partner and rank them from 1 to 8, being 1 the most dangerous.

Chauffeurs, Taxi Driver and Truck Drivers
taxi drivers
With the ever growing traffic on roads, comes the menace of road accidents. In this regard, the life of a taxi driver or a chauffeur is more miserable than anyone who is driving his/her personal vehicle. The number of people getting fatal injuries is very high in this job.

We all share a feeling of awe for actors and actresses seeing them perform dangerous stunts in a movie or advertisement. In reality these stunts are performed by stuntmen. Even after the advent of technology in this field, this job is still regarded among the top most dangerous jobs in the world.
Roofers and Linemen
electric worker
The risk factor involved in the job of a power line installer or repairer is the risk of electrocution from the high voltage lines. Moreover, they are also at a high risk of falling due to high location of the power lines.
Structural Iron and Steel Workers
iron and steel
People working in the structural Iron and Steel industry are always at a risk of falling from the very structures they build despite the fact that nowadays, the safety measures are in place. 
Flying Engineers and Aircraft Pilots
The job of a pilot is more dangerous than others because of the responsibility that they carry on their shoulders and the risk that are inherent in their job. Although the financial prospects are very high in this job but the risks involved are far more dangerous in nature than they are assessed. It is no news that repetitious engine failures have more often than not resulted in crashes. The risks involved in the job of a test pilot who are required to test aircraft are far more than an ordinary aircraft pilot. And those pilots who work in rescue operations are more prone to dangers as they are required to work for long hours in very tough weather conditions.
Timber and Logging Workers
The prime responsibility of a timber cutter is to cut and transport trees. And the risk involved in this job is the falling of the tree on the timber and logging worker. The timber and logging workers are more prone to hazards as they are required to work under tough weather and geographical conditions. 
Military and Police Personnel
To use the words of Jack Nicholson from the movie-’A few good men’, we live in a world that has walls and those walls need to be guarded by men with guns. Every state has defense as an essential component of its existence.
Ever thought why sea-food is so expensive? Yes, it is so because of the transportation costs but the more important reason is that deep-sea fishing is the most-dangerous job on this planet for the simple reason that the gravity hardships that a fisherman encounters cannot be over-stated. They are constantly at risk of drowning because of the unpredictable nature  of sea weather.
II. Do you agree with their list? What other dangerous occupations would you add to the list?
III. Watch the movie segment and answer the questions:

1. What is the main characters' occupation?
2. How dangerous is it?
3. Would you like to have such a job? Why not?
4. What are their major risks at work?
5. What are the advantages and disadvantages of this profession.
6. Would like to have a dangerous or extreme occupation? Why (not)?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Butler: The African American Civil Rights Movement

This is a worth-seeing film. I loved the way they portray the Civil Rights Movement in the USA. 

Work in pairs:

1. What do you know about Martin Luther King and his fight against discrimination in the USA?

2. How were African Americans viewed in the 50's and 60's? How are they seen nowadays?

3. Read the text below and then share what your read with a partner, using your own words.

The African-American Civil Rights Movement was an ongoing fight for racial equality that took place for over 100 years after the Civil War. 

The Civil Rights Movement has its background in the abolitionist movement before the Civil War.  After the war, slavery was made illegal with the thirteenth amendment to the US Constitution. After the Civil War, many southern states continued to treat African-Americans as second class citizens. They implemented laws that kept black people separate from white people. They required separate schools, restaurants, restrooms, and transportation based on the color of a person's skin. Other laws prevented many black people from voting. 

The 1950's and early 1960's brought about several major events in the fight for the civil rights of African-Americans. In 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested for not giving up her seat on the bus to a white passenger. This sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott which lasted for over a year and brought Martin Luther King, Jr. to the forefront of the movement. King led a number of non-violent protests. 

The Civil Rights Act was signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. This act outlawed segregation and the Jim Crow laws of the south. It also outlawed discrimination based on race, national background, and gender. Although there were still many issues, this law gave the NAACP and other organizations a strong base on which to fight discrimination in the courts. 

II. Watch the movie segment and discuss the questions:


1. Describe the scene.

2. According to the text above, when do you think this scene took place? Before the 2nd World War, in the 1950's or 1960's, in the 1980's, or nowadays?

3. How did the USA react to the assassination of Martin Luther King?

4. Do you think the African Americans situation nowadays is resolved? Explain it.

4. Did Brazil (your country) go over a similar movement as the Civil Rights Movement in the USA? Talk about it.


Friday, October 10, 2014

Mama: Feral Children

This is a scary movie, but this scene is great. It shows a child that was separated from society and spends several years alone in the jungle.

I. Discuss with a partner:

1) What is your earliest memory? How old were you?

2) Do you remember your first school? What do you remember?

3) How would you think someone's life would be if he/she were separated from society at his/her very early years? 

4) Could this person be reintegrated to society? What difficulties would they face?

5) Have you heard of the stories of Mowgli and Romulus & Reno*, who were raised by wolves? What do you know about them?

* In ancient mythology, Romulus and Remus were brothers who were raised by wolves and went on to become the founders of Rome. In Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Mowgli is a boy who lives in the wild and behaves like one of the animals. He is stronger and lives by a higher moral code than most human children.

II. Read the definition of Feral Children below and then discuss the questions:

feral child (also, colloquially, wild child) is a  child who has lived isolated from human contact from a very young age, and has no (or little) experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and crucially, of human language. Some feral children have been confined by people (usually their own parents); in some cases this abandonment was due to the parents’ rejection of a child’s severe intellectual or physical impairment. Feral children may have experienced severe  trauma before being abandoned or running away. Feral children are sometimes the subjects of folklore and legends, typically portrayed as having been brought up by animals.

Scientific Interest in Feral Children:
Feral children provide scientists an interesting view of humanity that no other person could provide. Feral children are devoid of acculturation, meaning they lack the basic social skills and communication skills that are naturally developed in a healthy child when they are surrounded by other people. More than anything else, however, feral children have changed the way scientists look at human language. Having never been exposed to human language, feral children do not speak. In fact, they have a severely impaired ability to learn language and inter human communication. This supports a hypothesis known as the Critical Period Theory. This hypothesis states that first language acquisition can only occur during a critical development period, when children are very young. 

Taken from the wonderful:

III. Share what you read, using your own words, and say whether you agree or disagree with the passage.

 IV. Watch the segment and discuss the questions that follow:

1. What happened to the children?

2. Which of the two girls are considered feral children?

3. Describe the younger sister's behavior.

4. Describe the older sister's behavior.

5. How different are they from each other? And what about  the rest of the girls of their own age?

6. Do you think they will ever be "normal" again? Explain it.

7. What should their caretakers do to make them behave more appropriately?

V. Web Search:

Visit the site below and choose one of the feral children's real stories and then report it to a partner. Explain why you chose that particular feral child.