Monday, April 03, 2006

Languages

Language and other factors such as gender, ethnicities, and social status have an important influence in the formation of someone’s identity.
Nowadays, however, especially, with the influence of globalization, we are able to observe human exchange in many countries throughout the world. People who are looking for better life conditions and/or jobs and they travel abroad much more often. As a consequence, they find themselves interacting with cultures which are very different from their own and to which they have to adjust.

Now, at a more personal level, I interact with different languages in my “day to day” life. First, Portuguese, which is the Brazilian official language (inherited through the Portuguese colonization) and also my mother tongue as I was born here. It is the language I speak most of the time with my colleagues at school or with my family at home. Besides, I’m sometimes faced with some Arabic in my grandparents’ house, since they come from Lebanon. Therefore, I can pronounce some words but they are essentially food names or swear words (which mean a lot). Finally, by studying the Torah, which is the Jewish bible, I have learned some prophetical, profound and inspiring expressions which are very good to be aggregated to my general knowledge.
Although there are some languages with which I feel more empathy (like the ones I have just exposed), I am particularly averse to German as it sounds very harsh and I have the impression people are always insulting us saying those words that are difficut to pronounce.

Language learning is essential to all societies. Besides being a cultural instrument, language learning helps a lot in communication. Therefore, all governments around the world should invest in education with the intention of promoting the diffusion of languages to the population, so as to enable them to be regarded as more brilliant, and “high level” citizens.

At secondary school, we have this opportunity of learning other languages, which I’m sure will be very useful for us in the future, especially, when looking for a job or even doing tourism around the world. These languages are French, Portuguese, Spanish and English. I feel really thankful to this high school for providing us with so many different languages to learn, thus making us smarter students.

In Brazil, people feel the importance of learning other languages besides Portuguese. That’s why we can find so many extra- curricular courses for learning English, which is seen as the key for success in the work market. In fact, learning other languages is essential in order to find a job and get a better social-economic status. The more educated the person is, the more he or she will succeed. It is an added value to your diploma.

As for challenges and discoveries when trying to adapt to a new language, I guess that the most difficult part is to understand what the natives are saying as they talk too fast and also use national slang and expressions. Therefore, it’s essential to be patient and hope that time will help you to adapt to this new language more easily. However, I guess that my studies have prepared me very well to be ready to face a new culture.

The idea of creating an identity in a foreign language is complex. From my point of view, there will always be some extroverted people that will react the same way no matter where they are living or what language they are speaking. On the other hand, there are those who take more time to adjust to a new culture and language and therefore would take some time to show who they really are.

Monday, November 07, 2005

43places.com

On the last English classes, we have been working in a really interesting site where we can visit any place in the world in a few 'clicks'.

First of all, I went to Guaruja, a place where I go whenever it's possible on vacations but just to give an advice to the visitants about the violence which is omnipresent on this city. For more information go to http://www.43places.com/places/view/106999.

Then I went to Australia, the country of my dreams. In fact, I have always been crazy about this place, and intend to go there soon and take a look in the amazing things we can find there (as we can see in the photos). I have made a question which is my biggest fear about the 'Kangaroo Land", go to http://www.43places.com/entries/view/322394#comments and take a look.

I really enjoyed the site 43places.com as we can know a bit more of any place in the world without taking any airplane, but just traveling on the computer and imagination (if you have not understood this sentence, is just because that's pure philosophy) which is much cheaper.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A little poem by Berti Cohen

When I see your face
I feel like flying on the surface
But when i'm not with you
I sit down and eat a babaloo

Monday, October 17, 2005

Referendum

Today, six days before the referendum to ban guns' trade, Elie and I will analyze three articles about this controversial topic. Thanks.
First, we read the objective article "Tough clash ahead in Brazil referendum to ban guns" by Andrei Khalip from washingtonpost.com.
Than we examined "Historic Decision: Disarmament Statute Passed In Congress" from iansa.org, a biased article for the prohibition of guns' trade.
And finally, "Rare drop in gun deaths in Brazil" by Steve Kingstone, which is an objective article from bbc.co.uk, showing both sides of the corner.

Here are the arguments exposed by the articles and their authors:

Arguments in favor the prohibition:

  • Brazil has the highest number of gun deaths in the world, with 36,091 people shot and killed last year, according to government figures.
  • Human rights groups endorse the government-proposed ban.
  • It will spark a national debate, promoting awareness that will help implement and enforce the new law.
  • The minimum age to purchase firearms will go up from 21 to 25, in a country where young males are killed by firearms at a rate four times higher than that of the general population.
  • In Rio de Janeiro, the gun death rate among young people reaches 239 per 100,000 residents, twenty times higher than the rate in the United States or 2,000 times higher than in Japan.
  • The combination of popular demonstrations, an intense and spontaneous campaign against armed violence by the main media outlets, and the shocking 40,000 people were killed by guns last year alone – led 82% of Brazilians, to support the Disarmament Statute according to a recent poll by Instituto Sensus
  • Last year 36,000 people were killed by guns.
  • There are more gun deaths in Brazil than in any other country, and since the early 1990s the annual number of fatalities has risen grimly.
  • That is until last year when 36,000 people were killed with firearms. That is still a shocking 99 deaths per day.

Arguments against the prohibition:

  • Brazil could be made defenseless against any Nazi-like tyranny.
  • This event really reminds us the Nazi Germany's decision to ban guns for civilians in 1938.
  • The vice president and defense minister, Jose Alencar, says the ban would encourage criminals and he claims it would be a threat to democracy if the "SIM" wins.
  • Some groups acknowledge the prohibition of legal gun sales would not reduce the arsenals held by dreaded drug gangs and other criminals.
  • Almost 60 percent of an estimated 17 million guns in Brazil were obtained illegally, said human and social rights group Viva Rio.
  • Police, judges, firefighters and security firms will be able to buy guns for private and official use.
  • Brazil's gun control laws, which were tightened in December 2003, are already very strict. They require psychological and gun-handling tests, a clean criminal record and high registration fees that are too costly for many Brazilians.
  • Last year 36,000 people were killed by guns - a drop of 8% from 2003, according to the health ministry.

To conclude, we may say that these articles show the two sides of this interesting question of ban gun's trade. As well as the mobilization of the Brazilian citizens to defend their opinion, which they think would be the better choice for the future of the country.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Reflective post

This will be a really different post from all others I have done till now. In fact, this won't be any document description or a text resume. This will be a reflective post about all the work we have done using computer machines and Internet, or social instruments. I will try to explain myself about it.

In the beginning of the year we have started doing a pattern work based on blogging document descriptions such as the painting named "George and The Dragon", making people's biography (Duane Hanson, Nelson Mandela), or giving our point of view about social questions like Stereotypes. This work even being made with a blog, was still with a direct contact to school environment.

However, as time went by, we have progressively runned away of this method of working. In fact, using sites and organizations like dekita.org, or Flickr we have kept a contact more intensive with people of all over the world. Asking questions about their culture or personal information we have augment, and increase our general knowledge.
For instance, we have known a high-quality photographer named Joseph, who answered us some questions about him and his hobby which gave me another vision of this world making me feel keener on admiring landscapes or nature.

Based on all this information, I may say that what our teacher is doing with us nowadays is a way of working that will be more and more used from now on thanks to the development of technology and cybernetic world. In fact, it's a really efficient method in the way that we really practice our English using it for communications with others. Internet helped us to work in a fine way since the beginning of the year as it is a tool of entertainment, but most of all sociality.

Monday, August 29, 2005

" The way we work"

In an article, Sue Bowness shows us that her generation expects their work to be a big part of their lives but are also concerned about having a fuller life, doing what they like, taking time to travel and becoming more integrated people.


In the part intituled “Disappearing jobs”, Logger Clint Fiske exposes that he hardest part of the deal is to keep his sanity and not worry hiself to death.

And that's it folks!

Monday, August 22, 2005

Work - Answering Comments

Hello people of 1e L, I really appreciated your attention and will try to answer your comments one by one.

First of all, Kate, I saw that you didn’t really agree with the word “pens”. But I just wrote it because in school, these are the objects or instruments that may reflect our work in a paper.

Dahlia, I see that you deeply hate school and I see that you are a real polyglot, congartulations. Concerning torture, I agree with you when you say that Physics or chemestry are extremely boring and used to torture us everytime we enterred in those classes. However, I tend to say that Philosophy (even not having many courses yet) may torment us even more.

Karo, I really appreciate that you concur with me in 100% of my words and opinions.

Maiteta, I think I associate work to suitcase because of the Avenida Paulista where we can see plenty of men going to the enterprises holding their “bags”.

I guess that’s it people, I hope I’ve answered your doubts and complaints.

See u girls…