1 Look at the list of people below. Which do you associate with long or short hair? Write L or S next to the name.
prophets e.g. Jesus,
2 The reading claims that the length of our hair represents our religious, political and cultural beliefs. Write three ideas you think the writer will say about hair. Read the text quickly. Are your ideas mentioned?
1 I once saw a short film about a young man being shaved. He sat very close to the camera and stared, he hardly blinked at all even though the person shaving his hair was a little rough at times. I could just see an orange cloth around his neck and there was smoke drifting up in front of him from an invisible source. The young man was
obviously going to become a monk and his head was being shaved in preparation. By the orange robe I assumed he was a Buddhist rather than a Christian monk, and the smoke was coming from incense sticks - I could almost smell them! His blank stare seemed to suggest some holy trance or meditation.
2 When he was completely shaved the barber brushed the fallen hair away and then removed the cloth - I was a little surprised because I thought the monk was wearing a robe rather than having a protective cloth draped over his shoulders. The camera drew back and I was surprised even more. He wore a tight, white t-shirt tucked into jeans that were held up by a pair of braces. He also wore large, black boots. He wasn’t a monk at all - he was a skinhead. He was still staring as he leaned forward and picked up the smoking item - not incense sticks at all but a cigarette. He put the cigarette into the corner of his mouth and took a drag. His non-stop staring became menacing. The shaven head no longer meant a peaceful existence, but an aggressive one.
3 The film cleverly showed the strong, but opposing, symbolism associated with shaved heads. Why do both monks and skinheads shave their heads when their attitude to life is so different? For monks a shaved head is a sign of renunciation, giving up worldly things and putting aside vanity. Early Christian monks had their heads shaved in order to make them appear less sexual, so the act of shaving the head symbolizes chastity. And not just for monks - it is the custom for ultra-Orthodox Hasidic Jewish women to have their heads shaved before marriage. This comes from the traditional idea that they will then be attractive only to their husbands. However, it is also now usual for married women to wear a wig or a head-covering rather than having their heads shaved. In many cultures, long hair is considered feminine and sexy so that women who chose to have their heads shaved, or have very short hair, often have their sexuality questioned.
4 But skinheads have a different motive to monks. They recognize that a shaved head can send out a negative message. Hair, and what you do with it, can make you more attractive so by removing it the skinhead is saying: I don’t care. It’s a rejection of society and its traditional values rather than the monk’s rejection of vanity (skinheads do, after all, care what they look like). So, the act of shaving the head symbolizes rebellion. It is linked to extreme right-wing politics, male aggression and football hooliganism.
5 There is a big difference though between choosing to have your head shaved, and having it done against your will. Shaving all over the world is a sign of renunciation but enforced shaving can be shaming and humiliating. Criminals are usually shaved in prison, and women who were thought to have collaborated with the enemy during the Second World War in Europe were marched shaven-headed through the streets. People who are controlled are shaved: soldiers, not necessarily completely shaved, are made to have extremely short hair - they are expected to take commands unquestioningly.
6 Long hair also has strong symbolism. Ironically, in the West, hippies in the 1960s grew their hair long as a rejection of traditional values - especially contemporary views concerning war and the use of atomic bombs, and sex. Hippies led an alternative lifestyle and their hair was grown long to express new social, political and moral values - so the act of not cutting hair symbolizes rebellion, too!
7 In contrast, just as the monks shave their heads as a spiritual gesture, Sikhs do not cut their hair for the same reason. In Sikhism, hair is considered sacred and so removal from any part of the body is forbidden. Uncut hair is called Kesh and is one of the five holy Ks. For Sikhs this signifies the acceptance of the natural form given by God and they point out that the prophets from the past all had long hair. Especially for orthodox men who wear turbans, it is a way of marking them out from other people.
8 So what is it about hair that can make it so symbolic? Why does its length represent our religious, political and cultural beliefs? Perhaps this is because hair has some strange properties. Firstly, it’s the only part of the body that does not register pain, except at the roots - we can do all sorts of things to our hair and it doesn’t feel anything. Secondly, it outlives us - a locket of hair can be kept as a remembrance long after someone has died. Thirdly, it’s not alive but, as it can remain in the same state forever, it doesn’t seem to be dead either - it’s immortal. So the next time you go to the hairdresser for a haircut consider the significance of what you are having done and what your chosen hairstyle says about you!
3 Read the text a second time and answer the following questions. The number in brackets refers to the paragraph.
a) Underline the words/phrases that show that the writer is guessing who the person is. (1)
b) The writer was mistaken about 4 things - what are they? (2)
c) What is the first symbolism associated with shaving the writer refers to? (3)
d) What is the second symbolism associated with shaving the writer refers to? (4)
e) What other symbolisms associated with shaving does the writer refer to? (5)
f) Why is the word ironically used? (6)
g) In what way is the seventh paragraph ironic too? (7)
h) Do you think the last paragraph explains why hair is so symbolic? (8)
4 Answer the following questions:
a) The writer made the wrong assumption about the man in the film. Have you ever formed an opinion about someone you first met based on their hairstyle, and then later changed your mind about them?
b) Would you ever consider drastically changing the length of your hair, and if you did, what would be the reaction of friends and family?
c) Are there any other groups of people who are not mentioned in the text who have symbolically long or short hair? What about in your culture?
d) Does having or not having a beard have similar religious, political or cultural significance in your culture? A moustache?
5 Read a magazine article about bodyclocks. Choose from the sentences (A-H) the one which fits each gap (1-6). There is one extra sentence which you do not need to use. There is an example at the beginning (0).
Rhythm of Life
Scientists have discovered that our bodies operate on a 25- hour day. So tuning into your bodyclock can make things really tick, says Jenny Hope, Daily Mail Medical Correspondent.
Choosing the right time to sleep, the correct moment to make decisions, the best hour to eat – and even go into hospital – could be your key to perfect health.
Centuries after man discovered the rhythms of the planets and the cycles of crops, scientists have learned that we two live by precise rhythms that govern the ebb and flow of everything from our basic bodily functions to mental skills.
But it’s not just the experts who are switching on the way our bodies work.
Prince Charles consults a chart which tells him when he will be at his peak on a physical, emotional and intellectual level. Boxer Frank Bruno is another who charts his bio-rhythms to plan for big flights.
Sleep, blood pressure, hormone levels and heartbeat all follow their own clocks, which may bear only slight relation to our man-made 24-hour cycle.
Research shows that in laboratory experiments when social signals and, most crucially, light indicators such as dawn are taken away, people lose touch with the 24-hour clock and sleeping patterns change.
In the real world, light and dark keep adjusting internal clocks to the 24-hour day.
As it falls from a 10 p.m. high of 37.2C to a pre-dawn low of 36.1 C, mental functions fall to. This is a key reason why shift work can cause so many problems – both for workers and their organizations.
The three operators in the control room worked alternating weeks of day, evening and night shifts – a dangerous combination which never gave their bodies’ natural rhythms a chance to settle down. Investigators believe this caused the workers to overlook a warning light and fail to close an open valve.
Finding the secret of what makes us tick has long fascinated scientists and work done over the last decade has yielded important clues.
For example, the time we eat may be important if we want to maximize intellectual or sporting performance. There is already evidence suggesting that the time when medicine is given to patients affects how well it works.
A Temperature and heartbreak cycles lengthen and settle into ‘days’ lasting about 25 hours.
B The most famous example is the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island in the US.
C But the best indicator of performance is body temperature.
D Leading experts say every aspect of human biology is influenced by daily rhythms.
E Dr Michael Strout is one of the few people alive who can genuinely claim to have tested their bodyclocks to the limit.
F The aim is to help us to become more afficient.
G An increasing number of people study the state of their bio-rhythms before making their daily plans.
H Man is a prisoner of time
6 You will hear part of a radio discussion about graphology, the analysis of handwriting. For questions 1-6, complete the sentences with a word or a phrase.
1 Large handwriting generally means the writer is serious, .
2 Large handwriting in some cases can also mean the writer is .
3 Handwriting that slopes to the right suggests the writer is an .
4 Unconnected writing means the writer is spontaneous, .
5 Connected writing means the writer follows .
6 The absemce of loops suggests someone who is about the future.
7 You will hear a radio interview with Professor Finney, who gives advice on how to be liked by other people.
For questions 1-7, complete the sentences with a word or a phrase.
1 Professor Finney is a .
2 She has been studying the way friends and family can affect a child’s
3 Finney believes that it is important to feel .
4 People should try not to be all the time.
5 If someone has had , you should say something nice about it.
6 When you’re feeling , a good strategy is to listen to other people.
7 When you talk to people, you should always .
VOCABULARY & GRAMMAR
8Read the following information.
Idioms are used in both spoken and written English, and frequently appear in newspaper articles. Some are more popular than others and it is worth checking in a dictionary to find out which idioms are in current use.
Do not attempt to change any of the vocabulary in an English idiom. Similar idioms in your own language may use a different word- for example, in one Swedish idiom, you say you have a chicken in your throat, whereas in the English one, it’s a frog!
Be careful when you use idioms in your own writing. They are effective if used sparingly, but the writing becomes unnatural if too many are included.
Many common idioms contain a part of the body. It’s usually quite easy to work out the meaning of these idioms. Start by thinking of the literal meaning of the words, even forming a picture in your head.
9 Match idioms 1-20 to meanings a-t.
1. see eye to eye with someone a) ignore
2. raise eyebrows b) agree
3. cast your eye over something c) surprise
4. turn a blind eye to something d) check
5. turn something on its head e) panic
6. get your head round something f) survive
7. keep your head above water g) change
8. lose your head h) understand
9. have a hand in something i) be in control
10. be given a free hand j) refuse responsibility
11. have the upper hand k) make the decisions
12. wash your hands of something l) help create
13. find your feet m) reject
14. have your feet on the ground n) become anxious
15. get cold feet o) gain confidence
16. vote with your feet p) be sensible
17. put your finger on something q) be unsuccessful
18. get your fingers burned r) accuse
19. keep your fingers crossed s) identify
20. point the fingers at someone t) hope for good news
10 Find Russian equivalents of the idioms from exercise 9. Characterize the people you know using these idioms and explain why you think so.
11 Make sentences illustrating the following characteristics:
Claudia Schiffer is a very successful German super-model. She has appeared on the covers and fashion pages of all the major fashion magazines and is one of the faces of Chanel.
Claudia, now in her mid-twenties, is a very, beautiful woman. She has a 1)_________ figure and is 2) _________ with very long legs.
Her most stunning feature, though, is her attractive 3).................. face
with her 4)................ eyes and 5) .................. nose. At the moment she has 6).................. - blond hair but its style and colour are often changed to suit each modelling assignment.
Not only is Claudia a professional model, but she is also a very 7) .................businesswoman. She has her own fitness video and is a partner in the new chain of "Fashion Cafes”. She is also very 8).............., spending a lot of her time working with various charity organizations helping children in need. Claudia is 9).................. too, and like being with famous people.
When Claudia is not modeling or doing charity work, she likes reading and watching old films. She also enjoys going to parties, but she rarely stays out late.
Although Claudia’s popularity as a model rises and falls with the season ( as it does for all super-models), Claudia is so beautiful, talented and most of all 10)..................that she will be famous for a long time to come
13 Rewrite the following sentences using the correct passive form of the verbs in italics.
1 They’re making a film about Indian tigers.
A film about Indian tigers__________________________.
2 No one has painted this house for ten years.
3 They provide over one hundred scholarships for students every year.
Over one hundred scholarships for students_______________________ .
4 I realized someone had stolen my wallet.
I realized my wallet_______________________________________.
5 Someone has to guard this prisoner day and night.
6 Water might affect the Joker badly.
7 The police were interviewing people in the neighbourhood last night
People in the neighbourhood_________________________
8 A police roadblock finally forced Mr Howarth to stop.
14 Complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first sentence, using the word given. You must use between two and five words, including the word given. There is an example at the beginning.
0I last saw him at my 21st birthday party.
I haven’t seen him since my 21st birthday party.
1There is no point in asking George to help.
It___________________________________ George to help.
2Harry couldn’t get his parents’ permission to buy a motorbike.
Harry’s parents____________________________ a motorbike.
3‘Where have I left my sunglasses,David?’ asked Susan.
Susan asked David_______________________ sunglasses.
4John’s behaviour at the party annoyed me.
I was annoyed by the ________________________at the party.
5It’s a good thing you lent me the money or I would have had to go to the bank.
I would have had to go to the bank___________________me the money.
6Mathew didn’t listen to what his doctor told him.
7Sheila had to finish the accounts and write several letters as well.
Sheila had to finish the accounts_____________ several letters.
8When he was a child in Australia, Mark went swimming almost every day.
Mark went swimming almost every day___________ in Australia.
9Let’s visit the museum this afternoon.
Why_________________________the museum this afternoon?
10Valerie find it hard to concentrate on her book because of her noise.
Valerie____________________ her book because of her noise.
15 For questions 1-15, read the text below and look carefully at each line. Some of the lines are correct, and some have a word which should not be there. If a line is correct, put a tick. If a line has a word which should not be there, write the word.
My mother was very interested for in my hair. She would watch it
growing very carefully until it had got to a length which she thought
was scandalous. Then she would start hinting that it was time to must get it cut. In those days( I was a teenager then) I was very fond
of my many hair. You might say I was very attached to it and I hated
to be parted from it. The longer it grew, the better I felt it. My hair was
thick and curly and I was afraid I would look ridiculous without it.
When I was a little, women in the local corner shop used to admire
it and wish they hah hair like mine one; instead they had to go and
have had their hair curled at the hairdresser’s. I was therefore proud
of my mop of black, curly hair. When I ignored about my mother’s
hints she would ask, tongue-in-cheek, whether I intended to
become a pop singer or a priest. (Orthodox priests let their hair to
grow long.) When her little jokes became threats and were combined
with my father’s commands to go and get off my hair cut without
further delay, I gave them in. I would then spend a few months feeling
miserable until my hair had grown. Then, once again, my mother would start complaining…
16 Choose the correct variant A, B, C, or D.
1 Sandra works_________ a computer programmer for IBM.
A) like B) as C) as if D) for
2 He has a nap every day,______________?
A) hasn’t he B) isn’t he C) didn’t he D) doesn’t he
3 Do cockroaches ……… you?
A) afraid B) fear C) fright D) frighten
4 I find watching insects absolutely ………
A) fascinated B) fascinating C) fascinates D) fascination
5 When I get ………with the lesson I just look out of the window.
A) boring B) boredom C) bored D) bore
6 Don’t eat with your hands – it’s ………
A) disgusting B) intriguing C) depressing D) amusing
7 If you ______ into the queue, people will get very angry with you.
A) pass B) wait C) push D) stand
8 It’s a really good offer so you shouldn’t _________
A) turn it up B) turn it off C) turn it down D) turn it away
9 Woody Allen is _____________ an actor and a writer.
A) both B) and C) also D)together
10 Who’s that stranger _________ outside the supermarket?
A) holding up B) carrying on C) holding on D) hanging around
11 My grandparents are _________ on a bit and need a lot of help.
A) having B) getting C) going D) putting
12 It was such a shock to receive a letter like that…….
A) in the red B) in the pink C) out of the blue D) over the moon
17 Write any of the following compositions using 120-180 words.
ü A youth magazine is running "The Best Mum of the Year" competition and has asked its readers to submit their compositions describing their mothers. Write your composition for the competition.
ü Your teacher has asked you to write a composition describing the person who has influenced your life the most. Write your composition.
ü Your teacher has asked you to write a composition describing a famous person from history whom you admire. Write your composition.
ü A TV channel has asked its young viewers to submit a description of their favourite film star. The prize is two tickets to MGM Studios. Write your composition for the competition.
Points to remember
Ø Each paragraph starts a new topic. Paragraphs should be well developed and linked together with a variety of linking words.
Ø When describing physical appearance you should give details in the following order (moving from the most general adjectives to the most specific ones):
height/build/age ® facial features ® hair ® clothes
Example: Ann is a tall, thin woman. She has got a long face, blue eyes and an upturned nose. She wears her long blond hair loose. She is often casually dressed in a T-shirt and jeans.
Ø When describing character and behaviour, support your description with examples,
Example: Tom is very reserved. He never talks about his feelings.
Ø If you want to describe negative qualities it is advisable to use mild language,
Example: “He can be aggressive at times’ is better than saying “He is aggressive”.
set the scene (name of the person time/place you met/saw him/her)
activities he/she takes part in; hobbies, interests
comments/feelings about the person
Tips for the exam
Make your composition more interesting by using a wide range of adjectives (fabulous, superb, etc.) instead of a limited one (good, big, nice, etc).
Be careful with the use of tenses. You can use present tenses when you describe someone in the present, and past tenses when you describe someone related to the past. e.g. someone you had met before you moved to this city, someone who is no longer alive, etc.
Avoid writing simple short sentences. More complex sentences joined with connectors make your composition more eye-catching, e.g. Instead of saying: John is thin. He has large blue eyes. He has long curly hair. He has full lips. He wears his hair loose, you can say: John is a tall thin man with large blue eyes and full lips. He wears his long curly hair loose.
When you describe someone for official purposes e.g. a police report, you emphasize the physical features and try to give the most accurate description possible. When you write a letter to recommend someone for a job you write only about his/her personality characteristics.