Wednesday, December 13, 2006

IELTS Example Topics For Speaking Test

1. Most high level jobs are done by men. Should the government encourage a certain percentage of these jobs to be reserved for women?
2. Are famous people treated unfairly by the media ? Should they be given more privacy, or is the price of their fame an invasion into their private lives?
3. Should developing countries concentrate on Improving industrial skills or should they promote education first?
4. Safety standards are important when building people's homes. Who should be responsible for enforcing strict building codes - the government or the people who build the homes?
5. In your opinion what factors contribute to a good movie?
6. Does modern technology make life more convenient, or was life better when technology was simpler?
7. Does travel help to promote understanding and communication between countries?
8. If children behave badly ,should their parents accept responsibility and also be punished?
9. What should a government do for a country to become successful?
10. Should sports classes be sacrificed in High School so students can concentrate on Academic subjects?
11. Nowadays doctors can become very rich. Maybe they should not focus on profitable activities such as plastic surgery or looking after rich patients and concentrate more on patients health, no matter how rich they are?
12. Will modern technology, such as the internet ever replace the book or the written word as the main source of information?
13. Discuss the advantage and disadvantage of giving international Aid to poor countries.
14. Should criminals be punished with lengthy jail terms or re-educated and rehabituated, using community service programs for instance, before being reintroduced to society?
15. Computers can translate all kinds of languages well so our children don't need to learn more languages in the future? 

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Best Tech Videos On The Net

If you like to attend technical conferences, if you like to listen to smart people, if you like to study new technologies and, of course, if you like to learn English, I'd like to welcome you to my new site: "Best Tech Videos" which is dedicated to hi-quality media content about different technical topics like Web 2.0, AJAX, Web Services, Operation Systems, Databases, etc, etc.

So, welcome to my site and you’ll be impressed by amount of hi-quality tech videos on the Net.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Idioms and Expressions: "Politically Correctness"

“Politically correctness” is a term used for language that we use that is least likely to cause “offense,” or cause other people to be angry with you. We talk about being politically correct or “PC” most often when we are talking about racial or cultural groups in the U.S., but it can be used with any group. Most people see being PC as a way to give groups respect so that groups can get along with each other. Others believe that Americans try to be too PC and that they are too careful about giving offense. There has been some “backlash,” or strong negative reaction in the opposite direction. There is even a political talk show on American television called, “Politically Incorrect.”

Below are the politically correct or generally accepted terms for some of the major racial and cultural groups in the U.S. What is acceptable has changed over time. Terms acceptable 20 or 50 years ago are now no longer considered appropriate, and some of those are listed in the right-hand column below. We do not include “racial slurs,” or bad names used to insult a specific racial or cultural group. We also do not have the space to include smaller ethnic groups, such as Mexican American, Korean American, or Nigerian American.

Generally Acceptable:

  • Native American

  • American Indian

  • African American

  • Black

  • Latino (men) / Latina (women)

  • Hispanic

  • Asian American

  • White (American)

  • Caucasian (American)

  • European American

Less Acceptable or Not Acceptable:

  • Indian

  • Afro-American

  • Negro

  • Colored

  • Spanish (unless from Spain)

  • Oriental

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Idioms and Expressions: “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin is one of the most important people in American history. He was one of the “Founding Fathers,” or one of the men who signed the original documents to form the United States and who were leaders in making the U.S. independent of Britain. He was an important “diplomat,” who represented the U.S. in other countries, and shaped how people saw the U.S. through his political activities and writings.

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1706, and he became a newspaper editor and a “printer,” or someone whose job is to print books and papers. He wrote and published many books and articles, and is well known for the interesting and clever things he said and wrote. This quote, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes,” like many of his other quotes, is still well known and used today. The meaning of this quote is that people can never be sure about anything in life except that they will die and that they will have to pay taxes. He is, of course, making a joke and a statement that the government makes everyone pay taxes, no matter who they are. Many people have developed their own versions of the quote. For example: “There is nothing certain in life but uncertainty.” And, “In this world nothing is certain but change.”

Benjamin Franklin is also well known as a scientist and “inventor,” or someone who creates new things. He made many discoveries, but he is probably most well-known for his theories about “electricity,” a form of energy.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Idioms and Expressions: “Take my wife – please!”

This is a joke from a famous U.S. comedian from the 20th century, Henny Youngman. Youngman’s jokes were usually “one-liners.” A one-liner is a joke that is just one sentence, and often uses an expression that has more than one meaning. Youngman’s most famous one-liner is this one: “Take my wife – please!”

The expression “take my wife” can have two meanings. One meaning is “consider my wife” or “take my wife as an example of what I’m talking about.” We sometimes use this expression to give the person we’re talking to an example of the idea we are discussing. For example: “I think everybody is afraid of something. Take my wife. She’s afraid of the dark and still sleeps with the light on.”

The other meaning of “take my wife” is “take her away from me,” something we would say with something you don’t want anymore. Henny is saying, “I don’t want my wife anymore. Please take her from me!” The joke is funny because you don’t know which meaning Henny is using until the last word, “please.” You would only say “please” if you were using the second meaning (take my wife away from me), which of course is the funnier one.