Archive for March, 2010




Glee is an American musical comedy-drama television series produced by Fox. It’s one of my fave tv program. Try watching it. In one of the episodes Kurt Hummel (Chris Colfer) and Rachel Berry (Lea Michele) disputed who was going to be the lead vocal to sing “Defying Gravity”, which is the main song from the musical Wicked. It is mostly a solo sung by the main character of the show, Elphaba (the Wicked Witch of the West), with two small duets at the beginning and in the middle of the song between Elphaba and her friend Glinda, and a chorus part in the end in which the citizens of Oz sing. It’s not necessary to say that it was an amazing performance. However, much more than only a beautiful song, it also has a deep lyric that I want you to analise and figure out what kind of lessons can you extract from it. Below we have the video and the lyric. Watch and feel it.




Defying Gravity

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I’m through with playing by the rules
Of someone else’s game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It’s time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It’s time to try
Defying gravity
I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I’m defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down!

I’m through accepting limits
‘Cuz someone says they’re so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try, I’ll never know!
Too long I’ve been afraid of
Losing love I guess I’ve lost
Well, if that’s love
It comes at much too high a cost!

I’d sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I’m defying gravity
I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down

I’d sooner buy
Defying gravity
Kiss me goodbye
I’m defying gravity
I think I’ll try
Defying gravity
And you won’t bring me down
Bring me down

Categories: 11. TOEFL



Some people believe that family is a very strong influence on the early adulthood. Considering that young adults always think the coolest stuff comes from the rising generation, young adults like them suppose that friends are the most important influence for them in this specific stage of life.

We know that family is the center of all human beings, because all of us come from there. Despite all the love originated from this relationship, due to the difference of generations, not always the offspring understands all the norms, values, customs, traditions and expectations created by them. Then, the friends show up, evidencing that in their houses they live the same way, creating bonds due to the immediate identification with the situation.

The habits of reading, studying hard or the determination for achieving the goals that are born on the young ones come from the parents’ example, of course. But, once they grow up and meet different people – the friends – they see how different people and their objectives for life can be, over thinking about what they are going to do with their lives, what’s the best way to spend their time, how to deal with the problems and how to face the challenges of being an adult soon.

The life style of families create on their children an idea of how they should face their existence when it comes to financial issues. But, when they start realizing that the world would be, can be and is going to be bigger that the parents’ house, everything can change. The house, school, hobbies, clothes, holidays and possessions of their friends can be better than what they have in their own house because “the grass is always greener on the other side”, as it’s said.

Being said that, though family has a strong influence on a young person, providing then a powerful background; I believe that having people around that think, understand and come face to face with similar life situations as a child can be inescapable: Friends, at least in this stage of life, are the ones that are going to be heard by the young adults.



Being a teenager is very hard. It’s a phase when you do not know exactly who you are, your personality is always changing, nobody agrees with you, your parents are the main enemies of your life and only your friends can understand you. That phase is not the same for everybody, but the characteristics usually are.

Youth changes their ideas easily and, before they notice, their opinions and attitudes start to be different. That happens because teenagers are building their ways of thinking to have their own individuality in the future.

I think we can compare young adults to children. Children always follow their parents and talk, act and try to have the same opinions of them. The only difference to teenagers is the influence. Instead of parents, they follow the examples of the television, Internet, friends and family. Television and Internet show everything which is bad and good for everybody, but it must be well used. Chats, videos, series, soap operas and publicity can be an inspiration for the most of modern young people.

Friends are almost the most important influence in teenagers’ lives. The groups of friends are usually similar. We can notice that paying attention on the way they talk, the clothes they wear, the music they listen, places to go out and a lot of more.

So, teenager can be affected by his or her friends. Of course that is just a probability. Sometimes the conscience and education can be stronger than the temptations to do something wrong for their lives.

Then we go to the main influence on a youngster life: the parents. I think they are the responsible, with an indirectly way, of their son’s attitudes. Because they provide the education, habitation, clothes, hobbies which are important facts to make a type of lifestyle that can point the right road for a good and healthy youth.



All human beings are naturally social animals: we need to create relational ties with other people and live in society. Once we are related to other people, we can be influenced by them. Normally teenagers and young adults are most easily influenced, due to their flexible personality. Most of the time, however, only the closest ones to them – which usually means family and friends – can have a powerful influence them. But who has the strongest influence?

Friends can be very persuasive when the subject is something more superfluous, like which music they should listen to, what kind of clothes they should wear or which places they should go for fun. However, when the subject is something really significant, important and decisive to their lives – like what career they should follow or if they should get married to a certain person – the parent’s influence and advice are indispensable to their decision.

In conclusion, both parents and friends can have a lot of influence over young adults, but friend’s opinion only matters when the theme is something really easy to deal with, something that doesn’t require, necessarily, a lot of trust, once their lives would never depend on that simple decision. Their parent’s influences, on the other hand, are essential for important choices in young adults’ lives.



We are not able to provide the last word on who can cause more influence on young people because they will always be influenced in all their lives, but if we think, we can suppose that our family has a limited control or influence.

Young people spend their time with friends and find out they have the same ideas and they walk together because of this common point.

When we talk about family we think about education and good manners, however what is the influence they cause on us? It can be measured in two different ways: how do they like us to do our things and what kind of food and life style they want us to have.

In conclusion, the influence parents have upon young people depend on their background.



Every day, people from any age, suffer some kind of influence and most of time they don’t even notice that. Someone said once that the man is influenced by the situation he lives in, while another one said: birds of a feather flock together.

Babies are influenced by the parents. They build up who you are going to be. The way to talk, walk, every move the baby try to imitate, in this phase the parents form your personality. Some people believe that if you adopt a child, over the years this child will start looking like his or her parents.

As you grow up, your friends star to have a strong influence on your life. These happen mainly in the adolescence, when you are not a kid anymore but you aren’t an adult too. And your body change to, as if that wasn’t enough. It’s a really confused and complicated period, and your friends have the same feelings so they understand you.

Family is really important in that part of life, because it is when they show you how to be responsible, how to behave, how to deal with situations a little more complicated. Family is like “the light in the end of the tunnel” for some problems that you may have in this period.

Both, family and friends, play an important role in life’s play, on its decisions. Like it’s said friends are the family that you can choose. When the family isn’t there to help you or the family is the problem, you can always count on them. Friends influence in the way you dress, the kind of music you will listen, the way you talk and sometimes the way you act. Family is the balance, they bring the originality, creating a unique person, however, this is how both of them work: friends and family. Family comes up with education, responsibility. There is always a contradiction, in rare cases, in which friends are closer than family.

So the influence really depends on who you live with, how the atmosphere around you look like, how economically well or not you are, what or whoever is close to you. Everything can influence the way you are.

Categories: 11. TOEFL




Joey went to his house and had lunch; some minutes after her phone rang. It was Pacey saying he wanted to talk seriously with her, but the first thing he asked Joey was:

Pacey : – Do you want to go out with me?
Joey : – That’s a good idea, but why don’t we call Dawson to go with us.Pacey didn’t like at first, but he agreed. They decided to go to a restaurant. When they arrived Dawson pretended he had a stomachache and left, letting them alone. Pacey and Joey talked a long time until they found they were in love. Joey agreed to go out with Pacey and they kissed a lot and were very happy. They enjoyed the very silence of a local park where it only could be heard sound of birds singing and the wind.



Pacey went home. He wasn’t happy; in fact he was sad when he went to his room… later that night his dad entered his room. He said that was a friend asking for him. He went downstairs to check who the person was and it was Dawson asking if he wanted to go to a party. He said that he would decide it later. So, Dawson said that Joey would be there just to convince him of going. Pacey spent all the afternoon thinking about the party then he decided to go.

At the party, he met some friends; a group started to play truth or dare and when it came to Joey, they dared her to kiss Pacey, who told Dawson what had happened. His life was never the same.



Joey travelled to Italy; Dawson gave the trip as a gift to her, because it was her birthday. In Italy she stayed in Rome visiting many beautiful places. She ate many pizzas and pastas. She visited the Pizza Tower and The Coliseum; she also went to Venice. In the last night of her trip she went to a disco. She drank, danced and met many cool people. At the end of the night she found out Pacey was there, they started to talk. When she was leaving he kissed her. Joey loved the kiss and said “I love you”.



While Pacey was at home his phone rang. It was Dawson, asking him if he wanted to go to the beach with a couple of friends. It was a very hot day, and he said: “Yes, I will go”. So, Dawson and her friend, Joey went to Pacey’s house. After spending 1 hour at the beach, Dawson said the sun was too strong for him and left them both alone. When he went back to his house, Pacey and Joey got into an open-minded talk. Joey realized that how nice and good looking Pacey were then she kissed him.



Pacey was very weird lately with all his friends and family, and all them were concerned about what had happened. The next day, he and Joey went to school together. Pacey said Joey he needed to talk to her during the break. When it was noon Pacey tried to talk to Joey. He said he was in love with her, and without reaction, Joey ran to the bathroom. Pacey was very sad for what had happened. So, Joey decided to go there to talk to him, they talked a lot, until they began to kiss and realize they were in love.



Pacey liked Joey, but he was afraid he had hurt her, since he was her first boyfriend. She was afraid of her mother discovering that they were in love, that’s why she said she was hanging around with some “friends”, when, actually, she was at the movie with him and Dawson. The movie was awesome, but after Pacey left Joey at home he had argued with Dawson, because both of them were in love with her. The next day, when they were at school Pacey told Joey what had happened.

Pacey: Hi, Joey are you okay?
Joey: Hi, I’m great.
Pacey: Did you know that Dawson and I quarreled yesterday?
Joey: No, what a shame. Why did you do this?
Pacey: Because he said he loved you since he met you, I do not want to pretend I didn’t feel anything, but I didn’t like.



Dawson made a surprise to Joey, he bought the tickets to Disney, it was a birthday present. When they arrived there, they saw all the wonderful toys in the park. Joey met Mickey, Goofy and others. When they were going to the roller coaster, he found Pacey. Joey and Pacey were together on a roller coaster; they talked and had a great time. When the cart had reached the end of the roller coaster Joey kissed Pacey.



Joey was sleeping when her phone rang, it was Dawson:
“Hey Joey, do you have a minute?”
“So, I wanted to talk to you about my about my behavior. I know you are shy, I just wanted to let all the drama over and finally have a kiss scene”.
“It’s all right, and you really know me very well. You’re right I’m too shy to kiss him, but I’ll do something about It”
“That’s it. Bye, I just want to talk this. See you latter and good night”
“Good night for you too, see you”

The next day Dawson saw Joey and Pacey kissing in the dark of the cinema room.



Joey was in her house watching TV and surfing the internet, she was on Facebook, when Pacey star talking to her.

Pacey says: hi Joey
Joey says: hi

They talked about 30 minutes and Pacey invited her to a party, Joey didn’t accept the invitation. Pacey was sad cause Joey didn’t want to go with him to the party, then he called Dawson.

Dawson: Hey Pacey what’s up?

Pacey: Hi… Joey didn’t accept the invitation… I’m sad

Dawson: Oh man… I’m so sorry dude. Why don’t you go to her house? Take a chocolate… she loves chocolate, talk to her and show her that you a nice guy.

Pacey: Good Idea, thanks Dawson. Bye Guy, see you at party.

Pacey went to the Joey’s house and talked to her, she accepted the invitation to go to the party with him. At the party they kissed in front of the pool and Pacey said he loved her.

Categories: 4. INTERMEDIATE 2




As social beings, we are naturally influenced by those we meet in the course of our lives. This is particularly true for young people, whose character and personality are still malleable. Although friends play a central role in the lives of teenagers, in my opinion, it is the family which has a greater impact on young people. My view is based on psychological, intellectual and financial reasons.

Psychologically, the family is the central grounding factor for a young person, because the parents, brothers and sisters are the ones who actually love him or her. It is through thousands of life situations and family discussions that norms, values, customs, traditions and expectations are passed on to the youngster. The depth of relationship, developed over the years through shared joys and sorrows, place family members in an incomparably close bond which cannot easily be replicated by friends or anyone else.

Intellectually, the family impacts the young person’s ability to think. Parents create the intellectual climate in the home. Whether children develop the habit of reading, studying hard or striving to achieve their goals depends largely on the parents’ example. Whether youngsters agree or disagree with their parents’ political or religious views, the family remains a reference point against which young people develop their individuality. In Asian cultures, where respect for elders is an important value, the family plays an even more central role in shaping the young person’s world view.

Financially, the family influences the youngster by providing a certain type of lifestyle. Home, school, friends, hobbies, clothes, holidays and material possessions – all of these are impacted by the family’s prosperity. The same holds true for the youngster growing up in a poor family- a totally different reality will surround that young person. No friend could have this powerful or tangible an influence on the teenager.

In conclusion, though friends can have a strong influence on a young person, it is finally the family which provides the more powerful backdrop in a young person’s life. The family’s influence is permanent, unforgettable and inescapable.


Some people think that family is the most important influence on young adults. Other people think that friends are the most important influence in young adults. Which view do you agree with? Write a 300 words essay about this topic. Use the text above as a model, however, avoid plagiarism.

Categories: 11. TOEFL



Section Description Testing Time Questions Score Scale
Reading 3-5 passages from academic texts; approximately 700 words long; 12-14 questions per passage. 60-100 minutes 36-70 questions 0-30
Listening 4-6 lectures, some with classroom discussion; each 3-5 minutes long; 6 questions each. 2-3 conversations; each 3 minutes long; 5 questions each. 60-90 minutes 34-51 questions 0-30
Break 10 minutes
Speaking 2 tasks to express an opinion on a familiar topic; 4 tasks to speak based on what is read and listened to. 20 minutes 6 tasks 0-4 points converted to 0-30 score scale
Writing 1 task to write based on what is read and listened to; 1 task to support an opinion on a topic. 50 minutes 2 tasks 0-5 points converted to 0-30 score scale
Total score 0-120


Categories: 11. TOEFL