Para subir de nivel, en Salón de Idiomas estrenamos los cursos intensivos orientados a ganar fluidez y a subir de nivel.
Las clases de inglés son personalizadas, dinámicas y entretenidas.
✅ Personalizadas porque se centran en lo que necesitas mejorar y el material se adapta a ti y al perfil de tu clase. ✅ Dinámicas porque no pararás ni te dará tiempo de aburrirte pues estarás practicando en todo momento. ✅ Entretenidas porque la mayoría de las actividades están orientadas a interactuar (role-plays, conversaciones, presentaciones, etc.) y a practicar el inglés en todas las habilidades.
Pregunta 1 de 23
Task 1: Read the following story and look a the questions (1-6). Choose the correct option (a, b, c or d) according to what you have read.
The Middle Of Things
Chapter I – Faced With Reality
On that particular November evening, Viner, a young gentleman of means and leisure, who lived in a comfortable old house in Markendale Square, Bayswater, in company with his maiden aunt Miss Bethia Penkridge, had spent his after-dinner hours in a fashion which had become a habit. Miss Penkridge, a model housekeeper and an essentially worthy woman, whose whole day was given to supervising somebody or something, had an insatiable appetite for fiction, and loved nothing so much as that her nephew should read a novel to her after the two glasses of port which she allowed herself every night had been thoughtfully consumed and he and she had adjourned from the dining-room to the hearthrug in the library. Her tastes, however, in Viner’s opinion were somewhat, if not decidedly, limited.
Brought up in her youth on Miss Braddon, Wilkie Collins and Mrs. Henry Wood, Miss Penkridge had become a confirmed slave to the sensational. She had no taste for the psychological, and nothing but scorn for the erotic. What she loved was a story which began with crime and ended with a detection a story which kept you wondering who did it, how it was done, and when the doing was going to be laid bare to the light of day. Nothing pleased her better than to go to bed with a brain titivated with the mysteries of the last three chapters; nothing gave her such infinite delight as to find, when the final pages were turned, that all her own theories were wrong, and that the real criminal was somebody quite other than the person she had fancied. For a novelist who was so little master of his trade as to let you see when and how things were going, Miss Penkridge had little but good-natured pity; for one who led you by all sorts of devious tracks to a startling and surprising sensation she cherished a whole-souled love; but for the creator of a plot who could keep his secret burning to his last few sentences she felt the deepest thing that she could give to any human being respect. Such a master was entered permanently on her mental library list.
At precisely ten o’clock that evening Viner read the last page of a novel which had proved to be exactly suited to his aunt’s tastes. A dead silence fell on the room, broken only by the crackling of the logs in the grate. Miss Penkridge dropped her knitting on her silk-gowned knees and stared at the leaping flames; her nephew, with an odd glance at her, rose from his easy-chair, picked up a pipe and began to fill it from a tobacco-jar on the mantelpiece. The clock had ticked several times before Miss Penkridge spoke.
«Well!» she said, with the accompanying sigh which denotes complete content. «So he did it! Now, I should never have thought it! The last person of the whole lot! Clever, very clever! Richard, you’ll get all the books that that man has written!»
Viner lighted his pipe, thrust his hands in the pockets of his trousers and leaned back against the mantelpiece.
«My dear aunt!» he said half-teasingly, half-seriously. «You’re worse than a drug-taker. Whatever makes a highly-respectable, shrewd old lady like you cherish such an insensate fancy for this sort of stuff?»
«Stuff?» demanded Miss Penkridge, who had resumed her knitting. «Pooh! It’s not stuff, it’s life! Real life, in the form of fiction!»
Viner shook his head, pityingly. He never read fiction for his own amusement; his tastes in reading lay elsewhere, in solid directions. Moreover, in those directions he was a good deal of a student, and he knew more of his own library than of the world outside it. So he shook his head again.
«Life!» he said. «You don’t mean to say that you think those things» he pointed a half-scornful finger to a pile of novels which had come in from Mudie’s that day, «really represent life?»
«What else?» demanded Miss Penkridge.
«Oh, I don’t know,» replied Viner vaguely. «Fancy, I suppose, and imagination, and all that sort of thing, invention, you know, and so on. But, life! Do you really think such things happen in real life, as those we’ve been reading about?»
«I don’t think anything about it,» retorted Miss Penkridge sturdily. «I’m sure of it. I never had a novel yet, nor heard one read to me, that was half as strong as it might have been!»
«Queer thing, one never hears or sees of these things, then!» exclaimed Viner. «I never have! and I’ve been on this planet thirty years.»
«That sort of thing hasn’t come your way, Richard,» remarked Miss Penkridge sententiously. «And you don’t read the popular Sunday newspapers. I do! They’re full of crime of all sorts. So’s the world. And as to mysteries, well, I’ve known of two or three in my time that were much more extraordinary than any I’ve ever read of in novels. I should think so!»
Pregunta 2 de 23
1. What problem did Viner have with reading to his aunt?
Pregunta 3 de 23
2. What most drove Miss Penkridge’s taste in novels?
Pregunta 4 de 23
3. What is closest in meaning to «burning» in paragraph 2?
Pregunta 5 de 23
4. What was Miss Penkridge’s feelings towards the author of the most recent book that Viner read for her?
Pregunta 6 de 23
5. What is Viner’s fundamental objection to the fiction that his aunt likes?
Pregunta 7 de 23
6. What sense does the narrator want to give with the comments about Viner’s library and his reading?
Pregunta 8 de 23
Pregunta 9 de 23
Task 2: You are going to read an article entitled “The Do-gooders.” Seven paragraphs have been removed from the article. Choose from paragraphs A-G the one which best fits each gap (1-7).
The people who changed the morals of English society.
In the last decades of the 18th century, the losers seriously outnumbered the winners. Those who were fortunate enough to occupy the upper levels of society, celebrated their good fortune by living a hedonistic life of gambling, parties and alcohol. It was their moral right, they felt, to exploit the weak and the poor. Few of them thought their lives should change, even fewer believed it could.
Pregunta 10 de 23
But the decisive turning point for moral reform was the French revolution. John Bowlder, a popular moralist of the time, blamed the destruction of French society on a moral crisis. Edmund Burke, a Whig statesman agreed. ‘When your fountain is choked up and polluted,’ he wrote, ‘the stream will not run long or clear.’ If the English society did not reform, ruin would surely follow.
These prophecies roused a little agitation when first published in 1790. But it was the events in 1792-93 which shocked England into action. Over in France, insurrection had led to war and massacre. The King and Queen had been tried and executed. France was now regarded as completely immoral and uncivilized, a country where vice and irreligion reigned.
Pregunta 11 de 23
At first, moralists did not look for some tangible end to moral behaviour. They concerned themselves with the spiritual salvation of the rich and titled members of society, believing that the moral tone set by the higher ranks would influence the lower orders. For example, Samuel Parr, preaching at London’s St Paul’s Cathedral, said ‘If the rich man…abandons himself to sloth and all the vices which sloth generates, he corrupts by his example. He permits…his immediate attendants to be, like him, idle and profligate.’
Pregunta 12 de 23
In time, the fervour for improved morals strayed beyond personal behaviour and towards a new governance. People called for a tightening of existing laws which had formerly been enforced only laxly. Gambling, duelling, swearing, prostitution, pornography and adultery laws were more strictly upheld to the extent that several fashionable ladies were fined fifty pounds each for gambling in a private residence.
Pregunta 13 de 23
So far, however, circumspection in the upper classes had done little to improve the lives of those in the lower classes. But that was to change. Against a backdrop of the moral high ground, faults in the system started to stand out. One by one, people started to question the morality of those in authority.
Pregunta 14 de 23
Similar developments occurred in the Civil Service. Civil servants were generally employed as a result of nepotism or acquaintance, and more often than not took advantage of their power to provide for themselves at the expense of the public. Charles Trevelyan, an official at the London Treasury, realised the weaknesses in the system and proposed that all civil servants were employed as a result of entrance examinations, thus creating a system which was politically independent and consisted of people who were genuinely able to do the job.
Pregunta 15 de 23
But one woman, Octavia Hill, was willing to step up to the mark. Hill, despite serious opposition by the men who still dominated English society, succeeded in opening a number of housing facilities for the poor. But, recognising the weaknesses of a charity-dependent culture, Hill enforced high moral standards, strict measures in hygiene and cleanliness upon her tenants, and, in order to promote a culture of industry, made them work for any financial handouts.
Pregunta 16 de 23
Sobering though these messages were, the aristocracy of the time was open to such reforms, not least due to fear. France’s attempt to destroy their nobility did much to encourage the upper classes to examine and re-evaluate their own behaviour. Added to this was the arrival of French noble émigrés to British shores. As these people were dependant on the charity of the British aristocracy, it became paramount to amend morals and suppress all vices in order to uphold the state.
But a moral makeover was on the horizon, and one of the first people to promote it was William Wilberforce, better known for his efforts in abolishing the slave trade. Writing to a friend, Lord Muncaster, he stated that ‘the universal corruption and profligacy of the times…taking its rise amongst the rich and luxurious has now … spread its destructive poison through the whole body of the people.’
Whether the vices of the rich and titled stopped or were merely cloaked is open to question. But it is clear that by the turn of the century, a more circumspect society had emerged. Styles of dress became more moderate, and the former adornments of swords, buckles and powdered hair were no longer seen. There was a profusion of moral didactic literature available. Public hangings ceased and riots became much rarer.
Could local authorities impose such measures today? Probably not. Even so, the legacy of the moral reform of the late 1800s and 1900s lives on today. Because of it, the British have come to expect a system which is competent, fair to all and free from corruption. Nowadays everyone has a right to a home, access to education, and protection at work and in hospital. This is all down to the men and women who did not just observe society’s ills from a distance, but who dared to take steps to change it.
Englishmen were deeply afraid that the immorality of France would invade England. Taking advantage of this, Burke was able to gain considerable support by insisting that the French did not have the moral qualifications to be a civilised nation. He pronounced ‘Better this island should be sunk to the bottom of the sea that than… it should not be a country of religion and morals.’
How though did changes at the top affect the people at the bottom of the societal hierarchy? Not all reformers concerned themselves which changes at the authoritative and governmental levels. Others concentrated on improving the lives and morals of the poor. In the midst of the industrial revolution, the poorest in society were in dire straits. Many lived in slums and sanitation was poor. No-one wanted the responsibility of improvement.
One such person was Thomas Wackley who in 1823 founded a medical journal called ‘the Lancet’. At this time, Medicine was still a profession reserved for the rich, and access to knowledge was impossible for the common man. The Lancet shone a bright light on the questionable practices undertaken in medicine and particularly in surgery, and finally led to improved standards of care.
Pregunta 17 de 23
Task 3: You are going to read an article titled «Activist calls out on oil companies». I decide whether or not the statements are true or false.
Activist calls out on oil companies
It is not every day that a surfer and environmental campaigner addresses the annual general meeting of one of the world’s biggest oil companies.
But that is what happened when Australian Heath Joske spoke to shareholders of the Norwegian firm Equinor at its Annual General Meeting in the city of Stavanger. He implored them to back a resolution, brought by a small group of investors, to stop Equinor’s plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight – a stretch of coastline in South Australia said to be one of the most unspoiled marine environments in the world. Oil-and-gas extraction posed huge risks to local wildlife and the climate, says Mr Joske, who lives in the region. «We see your plans to drill in the Bightas a direct threat to our culture and identity,» he told the meeting.
It is just the latest example of how so-called shareholder activism is being used to put big energy firms under the gun, so as to adopt greener policies. Mr Joske was speaking on behalf of an alliance of environmental groups – led by Greenpeace Norway and the World Wildlife Fund – that had purchased enough shares in Equinor to be able to bring their resolution to the AGM. The motion called on the company to stop oil-and-gas exploration and production in «frontier» and «pristine» environments that would include the Bight.
While it did not secure enough shareholder votes to pass, it did generate publicity for the campaign, which aims to convince Australia’s regulator to reject Equinor’s proposals when it announces its decision. «Shareholder activism, and the dialogue that it produces between shareholders and a company’s board, is a critical element of good corporate governance,» says Brynn O’Brien, the head of the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility (ACCR). The ACCR backed the Equinor motion in May, and has filed others like it against firms such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto.
Ms O’Brien adds: «Even though resolutions that are not supported by boards rarely pass, they quite often produce change in terms of company commitments to increased action to reduce emissions.» They can also convince firms to stop lobbying that is «inconsistent» with the goals of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to reduce the risks and impacts of climate change globally. One of the most successful activist groups has been Climate Action 100+, a global network of institutional investors that targets the world’s 100 largest corporate greenhouse gas emitters. Its 370 members, which have $35tn (£27tn) of assets under management, include well-known names such as Aberdeen Standard, the Church of England Pensions Board and HSBC Global Asset Management. In March, the group, working with others, forced the oil giant Shell to make a legally binding commitment to use a broader definition of greenhouse gas emissions in its carbon-reduction targets.
Despite pressure from shareholders and campaigners, Equinor still hopes to start drilling in the Bight. It argues it has a safe drilling record and that the project would benefit both its shareholders and the people of South Australia. «Production from existing oil and gas fields is declining, and there is a need for new supply to meet the future demand for energy,» says spokesman Erik Haaland. «Even in recognised scenarios for the future that are aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement, there is considerable need for oil and gas over the next decades.»
However, Ms O’Brien believes that the company could end up facing legal action if its plans for the Bight go ahead. That’s because new drilling projects are highly expensive, while the oil market has been volatile recently. «The break-even point – how much a barrel of oil would have to be worth to justify the capital expenditure on the infrastructure that goes along with a frontier drilling operation – is rapidly rising,» she says. «If shareholders – including the Norwegian people [Equinor is 67% state-owned] private investors and other states – lose money, they may be able to sue for losses if these decisions are found in the circumstances to have been unreasonable.»
Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority will later announce its decision on Equinor’s plans for the Bight. It has rejected a similar application from BP in the past. From his home in South Australia, Mr Joske believes that the shareholder resolutions brought at Equinor’s AGM were worthwhile, even though the firm has not changed course. «Nothing’s changed here. We’re just waiting on the decision right now and if they tick it off things will escalate, opposition-wise, for sure.»
Pregunta 18 de 23
1) Joske met with Equinor’s staff in order to crack down on the current Great Australian Bight’s drilling.
Pregunta 19 de 23
2) The taken course of action was to convince investors into instigating Equinor in order to put forward greener policies.
Pregunta 20 de 23
3) a group of extremely wealthy and environmentally conscious investors proposed the Paris Agreement in order to control the assets of big companies.
Pregunta 21 de 23
4) Equinor is not turning back its plans as they are harmless.
Pregunta 22 de 23
5) Ms. O’Brian considers that appealing to the investor’s concerns due to economical drawbacks can prevent the drilling.
Pregunta 23 de 23
6) Mr. Joske doesn’t have any doubts that regarless of the outcome, Equinor won’t carry out its project with ease.
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