Discussion club: A message for all humanity by Charlie Chaplin

An inspirational speech of Charlie Chaplin from «The Great Dictator» movie. We suggest doing some vocabulary work and discussing the questions that the speech poses.

Exercise 1: before you watch, study the words below:

Conquer [ˈkɒŋkə] — завоёвывать

The Spanish conquered the New World in the 16th century.

Despise [dɪˈspaɪz] — презирать

She despised him for the way he treated her sister.

Provide for [prəˈvaɪd fɔː] — обеспечивать средствами к существованию

He has a wife and two young children to provide for.

Greed [ɡriːd] — жадность, алчность

I don’t know why I’m eating more — it’s not hunger, it’s just greed!

Poison [ˈpɔɪzn̩] — отравлять

The long dispute has poisoned relations between the two countries.

Goose-step [ˈɡuːs step] — маршировать, высоко поднимая ноги

Hitler’s soldiers used to goose-step.

Misery [ˈmɪzəri] — страдание, горе

Ten years of marriage to him have made her life a misery.

Bloodshed [ˈblʌdʃed] — кровопролитие

The army was brought in to try to prevent further bloodshed.

Abundance [əˈbʌndəns] — изобилие

There was an abundance of food at the wedding.

In want [ɪn wɒnt] — в нужде

He appeared tired and in want of a shave.

Victim [ˈvɪktɪm] — жертва

The new drug might help save the lives of cancer victims.

Despairing [dɪˈspeərɪŋ] — в отчаянии, отчаявшийся

That is certainly the basis on which it was sold to despairing Liberal Democrats.  

Torture [ˈtɔːtʃə] — мучить

It is claimed that the officers tortured a man to death in a city police station.

Imprison [ɪmˈprɪzn̩] — заключать в тюрьму, лишить свободы

He was imprisoned in 1965 for attempted murder.

Perish [ˈperɪʃ] — погибать, пропадать

Three hundred people perished in the earthquake.

Violent [ˈvaɪələnt] — жестокий

He shouts a lot but I don’t think he’s ever been physically violent towards her.

Enslave [ɪnˈsleɪv] — обратить в рабство, поработить

The early settlers enslaved or killed much of the native population.

Regiment [ˈredʒɪmənt] — зд. распределять, регламентировать, вводить строгую дисциплину

We can’t be too spontaneous, it has to be regimented because of our schedules.  

Drill [drɪl] — зд. муштровать

He drilled the children in what they should say.

Treat like cattle [triːt ˈlaɪk ˈkætl̩] — относиться, как к скоту

They treat Hispanics like cattle, like less than human.

Cannon fodder [ˈkænən ˈfɒdə] — пушечное мясо

The team that came as cannon fodder had just detonated Italy’s World Cup hopes.

Brute [bruːt] — жестокий человек, дикарь

Take your hands off me, you brute!

Fulfill a promise [fʊlˈfɪl ə ˈprɒmɪs] — выполнить обещание

Thompson, 49, came back for his degree to fulfill a promise to his mother, Ida.

Do away with [də əˈweɪ wɪð] — покончить с

These ridiculous rules and regulations should have been done away with years ago.

Now write your own sentences with the words above.

Exercise 2: a bit more of vocabulary. Make nouns from these verbs and adjectives:

good —

happy —

busy —

clever —

know —

kind —

gentle —

invent —

unite —

bitter —

secure —

intolerate —

Now return to the words from exercise 1 and study them with our Quizlet set.

Exercise 3: now watch the video and answer the questions:

What does Charlie Chaplin’s hero encourage people to?

How does he describe the situation in the world?

Do you think it’s possible for the world to live accroding to the ideals from the speech?

What do you think the words «the kingdom of God is within man» mean?

Exercise 4: read the text of the speech, watch the video again and fill in the gaps:

I’m sorry but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or _______ anyone. I should like to help everyone if possible; Jew, Gentile, black men, white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each others’ happiness, not by each other’s misery. We don’t want to hate and _______ one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can _______ everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has _______ men’s souls; has barricaded the world with hate; has _______ us into _______ and _______. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives _______ has left us _______. Our knowledge has made us cynical; our cleverness — hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be _______ and all will be lost. The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in man; cries out for universal brotherhood; for the unity of us all.

Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women, and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. To those who can hear me, I say «Do not despair.» The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish.

Soldiers! Don’t give yourselves to _______, men who despise you and _______ you; who _______ your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel! Who _______ you, diet you, _______, use you as _______! Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men—machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have a love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate; the unloved and the unnatural.

Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty! In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, it’s written «the kingdom of God is within man», not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people, have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy, let us use that power.

Let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not _______. They never will! Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfill that promise! Let us fight to free the world! To _______ national barriers! To do away with greed, with hate and intolerance! Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness.

Soldiers, in the name of democracy, let us all unite!


Is teaching obsolete?

Another topic for discussion — this article from the Guardian on teaching, its role and its future.

At a recent British Council debate, Is teaching obsolete?, executive headteacher Pamela Wright, called for caution around technology inteaching. Here is a transcript of her argument.


I am a passionate believer in the teaching profession.

Teachers do not simply impart information and knowledge; teaching is not merely about systems, facts, figures and certainly does not exist to promote insularity and lack of social interaction.

If any of these elements were true, then my argument would fall down immediately. It is because the teaching profession is the complete antithesis to all of these ideas, that my argument is strong and compelling.

So where do I stand as an educator, as a leader in education? The centre point of my passion is a philosophy that I instil into my staff, into the school and into every school I support. It is the child – first and foremost.

The question I ask every day is what does the child need and what is the best way to ensure that every one of that child’s needs are met? After all, a young person only gets one chance at a good education.

Our goal as teachers fundamentally is to encourage independent thought, independent enquiry and ultimately independent learning. It has been argued that new means of learning will be the way to facilitate this in the future. I say resoundingly no.

Aristotle said «man is a political animal» – central to that idea was mankind’s innate desire to interact with one another and learn from one another, socialise with one another. Some may say that social media does this – but does it really?

Put at its simplest, if future models of learning means encouraging young people to spend prolonged periods in front of faceless computer screens, exposed to largely unregulated material in an inherently unsafe environment, then that is clearly not the way forward.

Education is much more complex than that. It is about the trust and bond between a teacher and young person (and parents) that creates the environment where learning can occur and grow. Virtual learning simply cannot do that. I would argue that in a world now where young people are retreating more and more into virtual unreality, the teaching profession is more important than it ever was. It is teaching that keeps it real – teaching that keeps young people alive. In short, teachers and the profession will never die.

In almost 40 years as an educator, I cannot think of one single occasion when someone has stopped me to recall fondly about an inspirational and influential piece of computer software. And yet I get letters from former students eulogising over a teacher who changed the direction of their lives and without whom they would not be in the position they are today. That is the result of trust, about a relationship between the teacher and the child.

Now if all these elements could be packaged into a new technology – a new learning model then I would hold my hands up now and concede the debate. It can’t. And that is the essence of my argument.

Teachers don’t simply teach concepts and skills. Any new technology can do that.

Good teachers inspire our young people to be lifelong learners, creating a culture of independent enquiry with their enthusiasm and passion. I know this because I see it every day. Good teachers have the skills to know exactly how to get the best out of each and every young person in their care:

No ‘new models of learning’ can ever compromise or threaten the essence of what a teacher is, always has been and always will be.

Teachers want the best for their young people and use new technologies in their lessons. But the delivery of this new technology and learning models is just as important – if not more important than the technology itself. I know it is.

That said, technology can only do so much. It can be transient and can become obsolete very quickly. What is a constant though, is the teacher in the classroom who across the world at this very moment and tomorrow morning will be putting the needs of their young people first, finding the best fit to ensure that everyone achieves more than they ever dreamed possible.

Transcript from the ‘Is teaching obsolete?’ debate at Salford University on 4 June. Organised by Going Global, the British Council’s conference for leaders of higher education and the Qatar Foundation’s World Innovation Summit for Education, as part of Qatar UK 2013 year of culture. The video of the speech and the whole debate is available here.

Pamela Wright, OBE, is executive headteacher at Wade Deacon High School.

Russia’s anti-internet piracy law faces backlash

It’s championed by some as a new weapon to defend content-makers, decried by others as a blunt tool that could extend censorship of the net.

One thing’s for sure — Russia’s new anti-piracy law is proving controversial.

«Access to online content should be free and global, because it is people’s right to freely receive and distribute information, as well as it is their right to consume art,» says Natalia Malysheva, of the Russian Pirate Party.

On Sunday, the party held a protest in central Moscow against the law, now active, which allows sites to be blocked if they do not tackle complaints that they are aiding copyright infringement within three days of being notified.

About 300 people, waving black pirate flags, attended the peaceful event.

«We respect the rights of those who produce films, music and books, but the rights of copyright holders should be secondary after the rights of society,» said Ms Malysheva.

‘Any film just a click away’

Online piracy is rampant in Russia.

In local internet cafes and at home, teenagers log onto VKontakte, Russia’s equivalent of Facebook, to copy and share music and videos despite the company’s protestation that it removes files if it receives «legitimate complaints from copyright holders».

As he comes home after a long day in the office, 41-year old Pavel tells the BBC that his favourite way to relax in the evening is to watch an action movie on his computer — and any film, he says, is just a click away.

VKontakteRussia’s VKontakte social network is used by some to share copyrighted media files

He says that he doesn’t support piracy but has no time to go and buy a DVD.

Russia’s legal online film services have either «ridiculously high prices per movie or very limited selection — or both», he says.

«I am willing to pay money to find good films easily and quickly, but at the moment in Russia it’s just not possible.»

Russia is high up on the US’s list of theworld’s worst copyright infringers. In May Washington raised concern that Russian police resources devoted to the problem had «sharply declined over the past two years».

However, it added that it was «encouraged» by the new legislative efforts to combat the problem — something both it and American media companies had long lobbied for.

‘Financial return’

The new law promises to protect movie and television rights holders facing online piracy by targeting websites that facilitate access to pirated video content.

Communications regulator Roskomnadzor will be responsible for making sure it is enforced.

«The law will help develop legal video online market, will help create new, legal ways of sharing quality video content, including free content with adverts,» Roskomnadzor’s spokesman told BBC News.

Russian e-readerA recent study suggested that most ebook downloads in Russia are pirated

«Moreover, film developers will finally start receiving satisfactory financial return on investment, which will have a positive effect on the amount and quality of films — something that is in the interest of millions of viewers.»

Copyright holders can go to Roskomnadzor and flag up websites that either host pirated content, or simply provide links to sites that do.

Once the agency has notified the site’s owner, the offending website has 72 hours to remove content and links — or risk having its entire domain blocked, pending a formal court ruling.

But it’s not just films and music that Russian internet users get for nothing.

Electronic books are also a problem. According to the Russian Association of Online Publishers, about 70% of all Russians who read books use ebooks. However, few pay.

One recent study suggested that 92% of Russian ebook readers had downloaded titles from the net without paying, and 36% had copied files from their friends.

If the new law works, the publishing industry is also expected to ask that books and music be covered as well.

Protected for 70 years

The move is unpopular with some and there are efforts to replicate US protesters’ success at killing the Stop Online Piracy Act (Sopa) of 2012.

«This law still needs more work,» says Ms Malysheva. «It reserves the copyright for 70 years after the rights holder’s death.

«Five, 10 or 15 years would be understandable and we would support it, but not 70.

«We think that this law is a political tool for controlling people. It is turning millions of Russians into potential criminals.»

Wikimedia Russia — the local manager of Wikipedia — has also raised concern the site could be blocked in the country if there are complaints about some of the links in its articles.

Pavel RassudovThe Russian Pirate Party’s leader, Pavel Rassudov, has organised protests against the new law

Yandex, Russia’s most popular search engine,says the measures are «directed not at fighting pirates, but at the internet itself — and it’s almost like permanently closing down a highway where one accident occurred.»

An online petition has also clocked up more than 141,000 signatures calling for the law’s repeal, while one local intellectual property lawyer has warned it could give rise to «commercial censorship» if big companiesabuse the complaints process to shut down smaller competitors.

Thousands of Russian websites have pledged to temporarily go offline as part of a nationwide «web strike», displaying the word «blackout» on their front page. Some web users have also replaced their avatars, the images they display on social networks, with a black square.

But the Russian Association of Film and Television Producers argues that action was needed.

«The adopted law will not answer all questions concerning copyright infringement, but it will, to a significant extent, protect copyright holders,» it said.

By Katia Moskvitch
Technology reporter, Moscow
for BBC

Английский для детей: текст «Барабанная установка Николы»

К предыдущему посту — текст для детей уровня elementary:

Nicole has a new set of drums. She likes playing the drums. She practices playing the drums all the time.

Her parents tell her, «Nicole, we are happy that you like the drums, but you can’t play the drums all the time. There are other people in the apartment. There are other people in the building. There are other people in the neighborhood. And they all want to sleep sometimes!

Nicole listens to them. She says she understands, but she doesn’t stop doing it. She practices playing the drums all the time! Her parents complain, her sister complains, the neighbors complain. Even the cat complains!»Ok, ok!» Nicole says, «I will be a good girl. I will do it more quietly.»But this doesn’t help much. No one can work, no one can rest, and no one can sleep.

One day Nicole comes home and sees her parents and her sister in the living room. She sees new things: a guitar, a trumpet, and a piano. Nicole is very surprised! «Wow!» she says, «What is this?» «Well,» her father answers, «we see that we can’t beat you, so we decide to join you!»

Business English. Text (Intermediate)

Small company vs large corporation Big-Vs-Small

When I worked for a large corporation I was convinced that it was the best way to get ahead in my professional career. Years later I worked for a much smaller business, and was then convinced that a smaller organization was definitely best for me. It is only now that I look back on both of those experiences and realize that there really is no definite answer.

I realized over time that there are many positives and negatives as well as many drawbacks to both. It all comes down to your personal preference and where you feel the most comfortable.

I loved the feeling of prestige when I worked for a large multinational company. It had a fantastic and respected name in the business world, and I imagined people would think to themselves, “Wow, he works for so and so… that’s amazing.” In reality, however, I found that I was just another number amongst the hundreds of people I worked with. Although the multinational offered large resources, growth opportunity, greater benefits and a chance to travel, I continuously felt like a small fish in a big pond. The opportunities were there to succeed, but how long was that going to take?

The small company on the other hand had a far friendlier feel to it. I found that my co-workers were not constantly competing with each other on a day to day basis by trying to get ahead. I enjoyed having several roles to fulfill and looked forward to the fact that each day was different than the next. Instead of feeling like the small fish in the big pond, I felt that I was the big fish in the small pond and that my contributions were greatly valued. With less hierarchy and fewer processes, I felt that less time was wasted during the day.  On the negative side, this small business was unable to offer the many perks and benefits that were available when working for a larger company.

Overall, you need to find the right niche for you. If you enjoy the smaller working environment where your co-workers are family-like and your schedule is much more flexible with less hierarchy, a smaller company could very well be the vehicle that serves you best. If you enjoy great benefits, opportunities to grow and a diverse culture, a larger organization could be right for you.

Good Luck!


Funny English: Never Judge By Appearance: A Salutary Chinese Tale

At the final dinner of an international conference, an American delegate turned to the Chinese delegate sitting next to him, pointed to the soup and asked somewhat condescendingly, ‘Likee soupee?’The Chinese gentlemen nodded eagerly. На ужине в честь окончания международной конференции делегат из США повернулся к китайскому делегату, сидевшему рядом с ним, указал на суп и несколько снисходительно спросил, — ‘Likee soupee?’ (Вам нравится суп?). Китаец  кивнул с самым серьезным видом.
A little later, it was ‘Likee fishee?’ and ‘Likee meatee?’ and ‘Likee fruitee?’ and always the response was an affable nod Чуть позже последовало ‘Likee fishee?’ (Вам нравится рыба?) и ‘Likee meatee?’ (Вам нравится мясо?) и ‘Likee fruitee?’ (Вам нравятся фрукты?), и всегда ответом был утверждающий кивок головы.
At the end of the dinner the chairman of the conference introduced the guest speaker of the evening: none other than the Chinese gentleman who delivered a penetrating, witty discourse in impeccable English, much to the astonishment of his American neighbour. В конце обеда председательствующий на конференции представил докладчика, приглашенного на конференцию в качестве гостя: им оказался никто иной, как китайский джентльмен, который, к великому удивлению своего американского соседа, сделал свое интересное сообщение, проникнутое юмором, на безупречном английском.
When the speech was over, the speaker turned to his neighbour and with a mischievous twinkle in his eye and asked, ‘Likee speechee?’ После выступления выступающий повернулся к своему соседу и с озорным огоньком в глазах спросил: ‘Likee speechee?’ (понравилась речь?).
Classic Political Blooper

«China is a big country, inhabited by many Chinese.»

Charles de Gaulle, ex-French President

Классическая оговорка на политическую тему

«Китай – это большая страна, населенная большим количеством китайцев»

Шарль де Голль, экс-президент Франции

The Coca-Cola story

Coca-ColaDo you know how old Coca Cola is? More than a hundred years! It was invented in 1886 by a chemist called John Pemberton, who lived in Atlanta, in the South of the USA. (Its name comes from two of its ingredients- coca leaves and kola nuts.) Pemberton tried to sell Coca Cola as a medicine. He told his customers that it was good for headaches. They didn’t believe him, and they didn’t buy it.

After John Pemberton died, in 1888, a man called Asa Candler bought the recipe for Pemberton’s medicine He decided to sell it, not as a medicine but as a drink. In 1892, he spent $ 12,000 on advertising it. The Coca Cola advertising campaign hasn’t stopped since then! And it has worked brilliantly. Coke has been the most popular drink in the USA for more than sixty years.

In 1941, when the USA entered World War II, American soldiers began to travel all over the world .The President of the Coca Cola Company promised to send their favourite drink wherever they went, Five billion bottles of Coke were sent around the world to the soldiers! And that’s why, since the War, Coke has been famous everywhere. if you look on a bottle of Coke you will find that one of the ingredients is called simply ‘natural flavourings’. What are those flavourings? No one will tell you! The recipe for Coke has been a secret for a century. The Coca Cola Company keeps it in a safe in Atlanta. In 1985, the company made a small change to its famous drink. Millions of people complained. The company had to go back to the recipe in the safe!