JetCracker

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Category Archives: Writing

Table description: Leisure time in Someland

Task: Write a report for a university lecturer describing the information in the table below.

Hours of leisure time per year in Someland

Possible model of answer.

The table shows the average amount of leisure time among different age groups per year in Someland. Seven age groups are covered from teens to 70+ and 6 different activities are mentioned, specifically: watching TV, socializing with 4 or fewer people, socializing with more than 4 people, individual exercise, group exercise, cinema.

The highest amount of spare time people of all ages spend watching TV and videos, with the maximum being equal to 1,200 hours in teens. The vast majority of elderly people aged 70 watch TV 1,100 hours per year. The least popular activity is cinema. People spend their leisure time in cinema about 50 hours per year, with the highest number being 100 in teens. The table shows that teens and people in their 20s tend to socialize with 4 or more people, while other age groups usually socialize with less number of people. The same pattern can be observed for individual and group exercises. The latter is more popular among the youth: teens spend 450 hours per year being involved in group sports, which is 3 times as many as the number of hours of individual exercises.

On the whole, the table shows that a quarter of their leisure time watching TV and videos and only about 1/6 of time corresponds to physical activity. The youth spend more time socializing with many people and doing some group sport activities. But the numbers are gradually decreasing with the age.

Presentation: Academic Grading

Again, we have another presentation here. The topic for today is Education. Let’s see what presentation I created.

Education: Academic Grading

[Greeting] Good morning, everyone. My name is Anton Danshin. I’m a student of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.

In my today’s presentation I’m going to tell you about the academic Grading in different countries.

[Why?] The topic is very interesting and the information I’ll give you might be useful for those students who want to continue their education abroad.

[What?] There is an infinite variety of academic grading systems in different counties and there is no way to cover all these systems. And I will cover only common ones.

First of all, I’ll tell you what an academic grading is. Secondly, I’d like to tell a few words about the system that is used in Europe. Thirdly, I’ll familiarize you with the american grading system. Then I’ll tell a little bit about Russian system and systems used in the countries of CIS. And finally, I’ll highlight the main points of my presentation and make a conclusion.

[How?] The presentation won’t take long – just about 10 minutes. You may ask your questions at the end.

Lets get started!

What is an academic grading? The answer is quite obvious. The academic grading is the way of measurement of student’s knowledge and skills in a certain subject which he or she acquired during study at educational institution.

A perfect academic grading system should provide an objective assessment of the quality of student’s knowledge, rather than the quantity. Let’s see what functions a perfect grading system should fulfil.

  • Firstly, it should help to compare stated aims with results achieved by a student.
  • Secondly, it should reveal the main difficulties which students have.
  • Thirdly, it should determine the quality of teachers work.
  • And finally, a perfect grading system should motivate student to study.

Now that we know what academic grading is all about and what it stands for, we can move on to the next point of my presentation.

European Grading System: ECTS

In Europe the most common grading is so called ECTS – European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System. It is a standard for comparing the study attainment and performance of students of higher education across the European Union and other collaborating European countries.

For successfully completed studies, ECTS credits are awarded. One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1500–1800 hours of study in all countries irrespective of standard or qualification type. To get bachelors degree it is necessary to have at least 180 – 240 ECTS-credits, and 300 credits for masters.  ECTS also includes a standard ECTS grading scale, intended to be shown in addition to local (i.e. national) standard grades. The ECTS grading scale is shown on the slide.

That’s all I wanted to say about European grading system. Now let’s pass over to the American academic grading system.

American academic grading

In the Unated States of America they also have letter grades scale but it is very different from European one. They use 4-points scale. In addition, there is not any rating system, the Grade Point Average (GPA) is calculated instead.

Most graduate schools require a 3.0 (B) average to take a degree, with C or C- being the lowest grade for course credit. Most undergraduate schools require a 2.0, or C average to obtain a degree with a minimum of D or D− to pass a course. But this all depends on laws of a certain state.

Russia

That’s all about the USA. Let’s move on to the next point and see what we have in Russia and some neighbouring countries. As we can see from the table, some countries from Eastern Europe tend to have 10-point scale. Our country still has 5 point scale, but is it enough to represent the knowledge of students? Or there is no difference? These (actually difficult) questions bring me to the end of my presentation.

Conclusion

Let’s go over the main points I covered.

  • Academic grading is a way to assess the quality of students’ knowledge and skills.
  • A perfect grading system has to fulfil a lot of functions and there is obviously no the perfect one.
  • There are a lot of different grading systems.
    • Europe: ECTS
    • the USA: 4-point scale + GPA
    • Russia: 5-point scale

It’s quite difficult to decide which one is the best. But I think that the main problem is not in the grading scale at all! The main problem is in student’s ability and desire to study.

As the proverb says: ‘You can bring a horse to the water. But you can’t make it drink’. In other words, you can design any kind of grading scale but the final choice to study or not is up to students.

Thank you very much for your attention. Now you can ask your questions.

Download

You can easily download my presentation from Google Docs:

Let me know if you find a mistake. Good luck with your English!

Anton Danshin

Report: Comparison of Nikon Coolpix 4600 and Coolpix L1

Howdy!

My today’s post is my English homework. I was given a task to write a report on the Nikon digital cameras Coolpix 4600 and Coolpix L1. All necessary information and technical features of these cameras were given in my course book. I had to use appropriate linking words and active vocabulary. Here is my report.

Nikon Coolpix 4600 vs. Nikon Coolpix L1

We were asked to compare the above mentioned models of digital cameras.

The 4600 model is cheaper than L1. However, the picture quality is better and battery life is excellent. It’s quite quick at starting up: it takes only 3.5 seconds to be ready for taking pictures after power turns on. In addition, you have to wait just under 2 seconds before taking shots. The camera can record video, but sound is not supported. It has a very short shutter delay. Consequently, it is very good for action shots.

The Coolpix L1 has a very stylish classic design. Although it is more expensive, it has a quite powerful zoom lens (38mm-190mm) and a large LCD screen. Therefore, it is good for composing and reviewing photos. The shutter delay is rather long – 0.9 seconds. As a result, it cannot be used for taking action shots.

Our opinion. We were a little disappointed in the Nikon Coolpix L1 test results. We found that its picture quality was below the average. Also, it is rather slow. In contrast, the Coolpix 4600 appeared to be very quick and with better picture quality. Moreover, it is good for shots in bad light. So, considering its relatively low price, we can conclude that the Nikon Coolpix 4600 is a very good buy.

All linking words and expressions are underlined. If you find any mistake, please, let me know.

Anton Danshin

Translation: Use modal verbs

Hello. This is my new English homework 🙂

1. Вам не нужно делать презентацию этого изобретения сегодня. Вы сможете сделать ее через неделю.

You don’t have to make a presentation of this invention. You will be able to make it next week (in a week).

2. Они, должно быть, знают много о нашем инновационном проекте, но я не уверен.

They might know a lot about our innovative project but I’m not sure.

3. Я не думаю, что вам следует расспрашивать незнакомого художника о его планах на будущее. Вы бы лучше пришли на его выставку.

I don’t think you should ask unfamiliar artist about his future plans. You had better visit his exhibition.

4. Возможно, они сейчас как раз обсуждают вопрос о начале производства инженерного оборудования. Они должны были подписать все документы вчера.

They might be discussing a question about start of production of engineering equipment. They must have signed all of the documents yesterday.

5. Не может быть, что ему сорок лет. Он выглядит гораздо моложе. Должно быть, он следит за своим здоровьем.

No way he is 40. (He can’t be 40 years old) He looks much younger. He must be taking care of his health.

6. Современный покупатель выбирает долговечные удобные для пользователя приборы, выпускаемые в различных вариациях цвета и формы.

Modern consumer chooses durable and usable appliances produced in different varieties of colour and shape.

7. Необходимо, чтобы достижения современной науки имели положительное влияние на жизнь людей. Кроме того, новые технологии должны быть экологически чистыми.

Advances of modern science must have a positive impact on people’s lives. More than that,  new technologies must be environmentally friendly (eco-friendly).

8. Основной причиной успеха этой продукции является то, что она оправдывает свою стоимость и ее производство хорошо отлажено.

The main reason for success of the product is that it is a value for money and its production is streamlined (well established).

Active Vocabulary

  • invention – [count noun] something, typically process or device, which was designed or created;
  • innovative – [adjective] featuring new methods; advanced and original;
  • durable – [adjective] able to last for very long; able to stand wear, pressure and damage;
  • usable – [adjective] easy, comfortable to use;
  • advance – [count noun] achievement, development or improvement; forward movement;
  • streamlined – [adjective] smooth, with very little resistance to flow of water or air, increasing speed and ease of movement; efficient and effective (well established);
  • value for money – something that is worth its price; practical;
  • would rather / had better
  • environmentally friendly – not damaging or polluting environment.

Anton Danshin

P.S. I’ll probably add some explanation grammar soon.

Last modified: 23 Feb 2012

What is Design?

Hello, dear readers!

It’s been very long time since I last wrote here. Sorry about that, I was busy a little bit. Meanwhile a new semester started and we already have plenty of boring academic stuff to do in all subjects. Our English classes are not an exception: we have a lot of tasks for our homework, and this semester is going to be full of reports, essays and presentations. So, I thought it would be a good idea to publish my homework right here. Any objections? 😉 Then, let’s get started!

The first task that our English teacher, Victoria Vladimirovna, gave us, is to prepare an article on the topic “What is design?”. I’ve done a little research on the net. Take a look at what I found.

Report: What is Design?

What is Design?

Design is everywhere – and that’s why looking for a definition may not help you grasp what it is. The word design means different things to different people. There are broad definitions and specific ones – both have drawbacks. Either they are too general to be meaningful or they exclude too much.

Wikipedia gives the following definitions:

  • (noun) a specification of an object, manifested by an agent, intended to accomplish goals, in a particular environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to constraints;
  • (verb, transitive) to create a design, in an environment (where the designer operates).

One definition given by designer Richard Seymour is ‘making things better for people‘. It emphasises that design activity is focused first on human behaviour and quality of life, not factors like distributor preferences. But nurses or road sweepers could say they, too, ‘make things better for people‘. There may be no absolute definitions of design that will please everyone.

Scientists can invent technologies, manufacturers can make products, engineers can make them function and marketers can sell them, but only designers can combine insight into all these things and turn a concept into something that is desirable, practical, commercially successful and adds value to people’s lives.

There are many misconceptions about design. Magazines often use the word design when they mean style or fashion. For example, when they show a toaster or bottle opener which is well designed, the result is that people think that design is all about how things look. Design is also about how things work. In reality, the way how a product looks is something that (usually) happens at the end of development process.

Designers, unlike artists, can’t simply follow their creative feelings. They work in a commercial environment, which  means there are many points to consider. Designers have to ask themselves questions such as: ‘Is the product really wanted?‘, ‘How is it different from everything else on the market?‘, ‘Does it fulfil a need?‘, ‘Will it cost too much to manufacture?‘ and ‘Is it safe?

Design is fundamental. People often need reminding that everything around us is designed and that design decisions impact on nearly every part of our lives, be it the environments we work in, the way we book holidays, or the way we go about getting the lid off the jam jar. When those things work, it’s taken for granted, but, as Bill Moggridge, founder of international consultancy IDEO, says: ‘A lot of trial and error goes into making things look effortless‘. And I completely agree.

List of words

  1. drawback – problem or disadvantage;
  2. to accomplish – to achieve or complete successfully;
  3. misconception – a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding;
  4. to fulfil – carry through: put in effect; “carry out a task”; “execute the decision of the people”;
  5. creative – relating to or involving the imagination or original ideas, esp. in the production of an artistic work;
  6. insight – an understanding of this kind;
  7. to get the lid off a jar – to open a jar;
  8. emphasise – underline, strengthen in the meaning.

Links

Thanks for visiting. Goog luck with you English!
Anton Danshin
P.S. Can you give any example of the best or the worst design? Each answer is appreciated.

Paraprosdokian Sentences

Hi!

I’ve been surfing the net when I accidently encountered an article on Paraprosdokian Sentences. Here is the reposted article. Broaden your horizons!


This is from Dan, who offers us a new word and an idea that is worth understanding and enjoying. He suggests looking at Wikipedia’s link for more paraprosdokians: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraprosdokian

A paraprosdokian is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists. I hope you enjoy these!

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.

Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.

The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.

Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

If I agreed with you, we’d both be wrong.

We never really grow up; we only learn how to act in public.

War does not determine who is right – only who is left.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.

Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’ and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.

A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?

Some people are like Slinkies … not really good for anything, but you can’t help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.

Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

I didn’t say it was your fault; I said I was blaming you.

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ?

Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.

The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!

Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.

A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.

Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.

Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.

When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.

You’re never too old to learn something stupid.

To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.

If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child?

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

Original: Paraprosdokian Sentences – Grammar & Punctuation | The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation.


It was English Tek. Good luck and take care.