Archive for the ‘11. TOEFL’ Category


Hello Toefl students, here is your homework assignment. Salary increases and promotions to new positions are not the ways to reward employees for good work. What other rewards for good work can be effective in encouraging further good work? Use specific examples to support your response. Write down 400 words about it. Your deadline is September 17th.

Categories: 11. TOEFL


Hello Toefl 1 students, follow the instructions below. Try to do it on time. Enjoy it! 

See the following reading passage for six minutes:
In many organizations, perhaps the best way to approach certain new projects is to assemble a group of people into a team. Having a team of people attack a project offers several advantages. First of all, a group of people has a wider range of knowledge, expertise, and skills than any single individual is likely to possess. Also, because of the numbers of people involved and the greater resources they possess, a group can work more quickly in response to the task assigned to it and can come up with highly creative solutions to problems and issues. Sometimes these creative solutions come about because a group is more likely to make risky decisions that an individual might not undertake. This is because the group spreads responsibility for a decision to all the members and thus no single individual can be held accountable if the decision turns out to be wrong.
Taking part in a group process can be very rewarding for members of the team. Team members who have a voice in making a decision will no doubt feel better about carrying out the work that is entailed by that decision than they might doing work that is imposed on them by others. Also, the individual team member has a much better chance to “shine,” to get his or her contributions and ideas not only recognized but recognized as highly significant, because a team’s overall results can be more far-reaching and have greater impact than what might have otherwise been possible for the person to accomplish or contribute working alone.


(Professor) Now I want to tell you about what one company found when it decided that it would turn over some of its new projects to teams of people, and make the team responsible for planning the projects and getting the work done. After about six months, the company took a look at how well the teams performed.
On virtually every team, some members got almost a “free ride” … they didn’t contribute much at all, but if their team did a good job, they nevertheless benefited from the recognition the team got. And what about group members who worked especially well and who provided a lot of insight on problems and issues? Well…the recognition for a job well done went to the group as a whole, no names were named. So it won’t surprise you to learn that when the real contributors were asked how they felt about the group process, their attitude was just the opposite of what the reading predicts.
Another finding was that some projects just didn’t move very quickly. Why? Because it took so long to reach consensus…it took many, many meetings to build the agreement among group members about how they would move the project along. On the other hand, there were other instances where one or two people managed to become very influential over what their group did. Sometimes when those influencers said “That will never work” about an idea the group was developing, the idea was quickly dropped instead of being further discussed. And then there was another occasion when a couple influencers convinced the group that a plan of theirs was “highly creative.” And even though some members tried to warn the rest of the group that the project was moving in directions that might not work, they were basically ignored by other group members. Can you guess the ending to *this* story? When the project failed, the blame was placed on all the members of the group.
You have 20 minutes to plan and write your response. Your response will be judged on the basis of the quality of your writing and on how well your response presents the points in the lecture and their relationship to the reading passage. Typically, an effective response will be 150 to 225 words. 
Summarize the points made in the lecture you just read, explaining how they cast doubt on points made in the reading.


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Categories: 11. TOEFL


Hello amazing students, you will find below a useful website in which you can practice your academic English.

Categories: 11. TOEFL


Hello, dear students… as I told youin the previous class, you will find below the link to a documentary website, in which you have to choose one video and report to the class on Thursday.

Categories: 11. TOEFL


As all of you have requested we have now three movie options, so you can choose one and write down a text talking about any moral issue that you have found out in one of them. Check below the three option. Guys, as I did not find the movie suggested by Anthony, I substituted it for Inception.

Categories: 11. TOEFL




To analyze this matter, we have to divide it into two distinct parts: the moral and the legal point of view. What is project 8? It’s a law voted by the representatives of the people of the State of California, stating that homosexual marriage was illegal in the state. We need than to remember that this voting was done, and the law is effective, now why all the uproar on this subject? The fact that Judge Walker decided that the law was unconstitutional is the reason behind all the confusion.

Ever since homosexual relationship became accepted as normal by the society, that minority started to claim the same rights as regular heterosexual couples. Now taking in consideration the moral grounds in which United States of America country was created, it is only right that a growing community such as the homosexual has its right to reach equality. The project 8 is another proof of American hypocrisy. Therefore taking the moral point of view, it is than obvious that the decision of Judge Walker is correct and homosexual marriage should be allowed.

The problemrise with the pertinent statement of the project 8 supporters, in which they state that such decision, is going against the will of the majority of Californian voters. Should a decision of a judge disregard the laws? The answer should be no. The whole legal system is based on laws, but the Anglican law system allows judges the liberty to judge on new subjects not yet defined by law. Therefore the previous decision in which allowed the homosexual marriage was valid, because there was no legislation on the matter, while the new decision made by Judge Walker is not valid, as there is the approved legislation of project 8. In the point of view of the Law, the decision should be called invalid, and until a new legislation on the matter is approved.

Putting all this under a serious analysis of the fact, I would say that project 8 should be kept and homosexual marriage should not be legal at the present moment. Not because I disagree with fact stated, but because if we allow a judge to defy the law, even a morally wrong law, we open a precedent to give judges the power to throw all the codes of law away. The correct course of action is to bring the issue back on the voting platform and readjust the current law or create a new one.



Proposition 8 is a constitutional amendment, proposed in November, 2008, to forbid same-sex people from getting married in California. This prop states that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”. This proposition ends with any possibility of homosexual people to get married or any tentative of opening a judicial issue. A huge part of the state is supporting it and they won’t cancel the previous marriage.

The supporters of Prop 8 attest that gay union is against the holiness of the marriage institution. According to them its abusive schools teach students that being gay or marry with people from the same sex is normal. Let’s face it, this is not what our society shows. We’re not discussing how it affects the community because gay couples are real and now or later everyone will not need to accept, but face and understand it. The traditional family structure constituted by a father, a mother and their children is no longer the standard. In this century full of war, fights and disagreements, why deny two people the right of being happy or demonstrate love? This is so rare, so difficult to find, why should we condemn it?

There’s the “equal protection clause” that gives to every individual the right of being not more, not less than anyone else. Yes, you have the right of not agreeing or accept. How will gay marriage change your life? You, straight guy, still have you right of getting married, divorcing and everything else. Banning this right show how selfish the society is just because it’s not normal, or natural to get involved with someone from the same sex. The freedom of choice is fundamental. It’s an emotional appeal, they are the minority, the majority thinks that they can rule other people’s lives and this is not true. Everyone has the right to choose, to love and it’s not on our business how they’re going to lead their life. If it’s not affecting your life, don’t be against it, the evolution of society is also up to you.




The marriage of gay couples is already accept by many cities and countries around the world, but why are there plenty of people that disagree? Homophobia is something really common and it is really hard not to show some aversion to some over extravagant gay couples. However, ours feelings toward them do not interfere in the way they live. Who am I to say that you are wrong if you aren’t disturbing my way of living? As an individual, you don’t have anything to do with this. Another problem is the religion. People stay too much focused on the idea that God only approve heterosexual marriage, but we must remember that God’s teachings are about happiness and love, and this is what they are looking for.

In my opinion proposition 8 should never have existed, the state should have taken the decision not to use this alternative because people will only approve proposition 8 to calm down their fears. To conclude, Americans are so proud about their history of liberty, civil rights and their patriotic icons that Abraham Lincoln must be squirming in his grave with the idea of voting prop 8. I would vote “no” on Proposition 8.



Proposition 8, a constitutional amendment created in 2008 state elections, came up with a new provision in which only marriage between people of the same sex would be recognized as “legal” in the state of California. Not only homosexual couples were furious with the decision but also by approving so, proposition 8 subverted the constitutional right to marry once set by Supreme Court. Fact is that proposition 8 was found to be unconstitutional opening doors to the homosexual part of California population to get married.

It isn’t any surprise that in a world full of prejudice a constitutional law would be created in order to take away the rights of a growing part of society: gays, Afro descendant and Latin people and go on ‘n so forth. But the problem isn’t only that. Approving such amendment would be the same as saying that unless you are in an opposite-sex marriage you are not capable of having a loving relationship or even raising a family just because you don’t fit to the standard “American way of living”.

Equality among people has always been a global issue. But who get the benefit of judging? Certainly, it is not Judge Vaughn Walker, who pronounced to the New York Times after his decision saying that “there is no reason to restrict equality to straight couples” and even “there was a time when genders had a different role in society and marriage”. He ends his interview by claiming: “those times are gone” and I’ll end my point of view by agreeing with so.

Categories: 11. TOEFL



Jim Wilson/The New York Times


Mayor Gavin Newsom of San Francisco with a crowd of Prop 8 opponents as he entered city hall prior to the announcement of the court’s ruling on Thursday.
By Jesse Mckinley
Published: August 12, 2010


SAN FRANCISCO —  Same-sex marriage is legal again in California. Sort of.

Eight days after ruling that Proposition 8 — a 2008 voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage — was unconstitutional, a federal judge on Thursday denied a motion to stay his decision, opening the door for untold numbers of gay and lesbian couples to wed in the nation’s most populous state. But the judge delayed the effective date of his order until Wednesday.

Vaughn R. Walker,  the chief judge of Federal District Court in San Francisco, issued a temporary stay last week when he invalidated Proposition 8, in order to allow arguments for and against same-sex ceremonies being performed while supporters of the ban appealed.

On Thursday, Judge Walker declined to extend that stay, but built in the delay to allow the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, where the case has been appealed by proponents of Proposition 8, time to consider the matter.

In the ruling, the judge wrote, “The evidence presented at trial and the position of representatives of the state of California show that an injunction against enforcement of Proposition 8 is in the public’s interest.”

News of the ruling set off a joyous eruption at San Francisco City Hall, where several dozen gay couples had lined up outside the county clerk’s office in hopes of getting marriage licenses and a large crowd of supporters had slowly built on the City Hall steps during the morning. Several ministers had arrived to perform ceremonies and rainbow flags were being waved. But that mood soon turned to disappointment as couples realized that same-sex ceremonies would still be delayed.

One couple — Adrian Molina, an artist for Pixar, and Ryan Dooley, a Latin teacher, both 24 — were among those feeling mixed emotions.

“We’re excited, but we’re also sad,” said Mr. Dooley, who said he wanted to marry as soon as possible. “At least we’ll have a little more time to prepare and dress up.”

Supporters of Proposition 8 were confident, arguing that they would win in the long run, which is likely to be before the United States Supreme Court. Jim Campbell, a lawyer for the Alliance Defense Fund, which had helped defend Proposition 8, said that “the right of Americans to protect marriage in their state constitutions will ultimately be upheld.”

“It makes no sense to impose a radical change in marriage on the people of California before all appeals on their behalf are heard,” Mr. Campbell said in a statement. “If the trial court’s decision is eventually reversed, refusing to stay the decision will senselessly create legal uncertainty surrounding any same-sex unions entered while the appeal is pending.”

Opponents of Proposition 8 expressed hope that gay men and lesbians would soon have the same marriage rights as opposite-sex couples.

“It would be delightful to have marriages resuming this afternoon, but it is understandable why Judge Walker would want the Ninth Circuit to have an opportunity to review,” said Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. “We look forward to the resumption of marriages next week, not only based on principles of equality and fairness, but as affirmations of love and basic humanity.”

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Republican, who had asked the court to lift the stay, said that he was pleased with the decision. “Today’s ruling continues to place California at the forefront in providing freedom and equality for all people,” he said in a statement. Any decision from the appellate court would come from a three-judge panel.

If it holds, Thursday’s ruling will make California the sixth state to allow same-sex marriage, joining Iowa, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and the District of Columbia. California briefly allowed such ceremonies in 2008 after a decision by the State Supreme Court struck down two laws that had limited marriage to opposite-sex partners. Over the next five months, some 18,000 gay couples wed.

In November 2008, however, California voters passed Proposition 8 by 52 percent, amending the State Constitution to establish marriage as only between a man and a woman. The ballot measure was challenged in state court, but in May 2009 it was upheld, though the State Supreme Court allowed the 18,000 same-sex marriages to stand.

Shortly after that, two gay couples filed a federal challenge — the case settled by Judge Walker, who agreed with their argument that Proposition 8 violated their constitutional rights to equal protection and due process. “Proposition 8 fails to advance any rational basis in singling out gay men and lesbians for denial of a marriage license,” Judge Walker wrote in his opinion, issued Aug. 4.

Supporters of Proposition 8 denounced Judge Walker’s reasoning, saying that it defied the will of the voters of California.

For many gay couples, the possibility of marriage, even while delayed, seemed tantalizingly close. Roger Hunt, 52, and Rod Wood, 56, were the first in line outside the clerk’s office at City Hall here on Thursday.

A couple for the last seven and a half years, the two men said the time had come to tie the knot, buying a pair of inexpensive stainless steel wedding rings until they can get something fancier.

“I’ve wanted to get married for a while now,” said Mr. Wood, who works for a publishing company. “There was a window, and we missed it. I did not want that to happen again.”



Here is your task… after reading and listening about Proposition 8 what is your opinion, are you yes or no on Prop 8? It will be voted on November 4th. Give you opinion and justify it.

Categories: 11. TOEFL