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Best Best Times Times 26 26

Magazine of Learner s’ Writings

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: This & that

1

Travelling

2&3

Seasonal

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Commentary

5

Exam models

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Kid’s Corner

9-14

From the Editor This Summer Fun 2013 issue contains a variety of pieces covering the range of levels. In this period of exams there’s lots to choose from in the Exam Models from Proficiency to YLEs. Keep your writing & comments coming. Melissa Wing, Melissa.Wing@British-fvg.net

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Life and Glory

Home

London then and now

A survey sponsored by the BBC and aimed at determining the 100 greatest Britons of all times ranked him 9th; in 2010 The Daily Telegraph stated that, without him, the English might now speak French. However apologetic this may sound, Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, Vice Admiral in the RN, is indeed recognised as one of the most outstanding military geniuses of British history. Born in 1758 to a moderately wealthy Norfolk family, he enlisted in the Navy at the age of twelve and was assigned to his uncle’s ship, where he is reported to have suffered from terrible seasickness. Two years

I live in an old terraced house in a small town. My house is in the middle of town near the dome. The façade of the building is painted very simply in white. It’s without balconies, terraces or stairs. My mother loves adorning the four windows framed by grey stone at the front with white geraniums. In the back of the house there is a very little garden, that’s shared with our neighbors and that’s divided from the parsonage by a stone wall. Despite of the front wall that’s beaten by the sun, the back is refreshed by a pretty garden with some tall trees, which belong to the parsonage, and that maintain the delightful temper-

London is on the River Thames. In 871-899 the Danes sacked and burnt the city. Then in 1066 the Norman conquered one of today’s most famous landmarks – the Tower of London. In 1348 the Black death killed half its population. While in 1666 the Great Fire destroyed nearly all the old city. During the Second World War bombs destroyed the docklands. Today the capital has some of the world’s best department stores. In 1500 it had a population of about 50,000. Nowadays it has around 8,000,000 inhabitants. London is most famous as the home of the British Monarchy. The city offers beautiful parks. A visit to London should always include a trip on the

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Travelling

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London then and now

Thames and a visit to the Tower of London to see the crown jewels. London is a wonderful city and its theatres offer excellent entertainment.

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Maps I have recently lived an experience which has made me reflect and come to the conclusion that as well as laws, computers and cars, another fundamental discovery consists in maps. Last month I was driving through the green hills of southern Germany, where an old aunt of mine lives. Several years had gone by since I had last visited her and I no longer remembered the way to her small, silent village. But this was not at all a problem because I could rely on my ‘SATNAV’. I drove on for a couple of hours in a carefree way, until the device broke. I was doomed. Stuck in a foreign country whose language I couldn’t understand a single word of; stuck in the middle of nowhere at sunset. My uncharged mobile phone was the icing on the cake. I spent the following hour and a half (until a local farmer managed to help me out of the situation.) evaluating how lost I was, and how lost humanity would be, without maps. In this globalized world where we are

connected and we travel more, their use is even more evident. Could an airplane possibly reach Japan by its pilot’s instinct? Could a cruise ship reach Cape Town knowing only approximately the region where the city lies? It has to be admitted that journeys have been made without a drawing of the area the travelers went through. Vikings, for example, never left anything written down. A ship might have reached a new land, the might have conquered it, but never bothered to leave notes. This led to various problems, such as making other Vikings reach the new colony. Columbus as well reached an unknown country without consulting maps but he immediately drew some that were sent to the Spanish geographers! His drawings rendered him the first who discovered America, whereas the Vikings, who have been proved to have reached the same continent 1000 years earlier, are not considered so purely because they didn’t feel the need to communicate what they saw. (Continued on page 14)


The spring Since ancient times men have always been fascinated by Spring and the other three seasons, and they have tried to explain why they happen. A famous myth about it I like is the myth of Persephone who was captured and brought to hell by Ades. Then Zeus told Ades he had to give her back to her mother, but Ades made Persephone eat some infernal fruit so she was forced to return to hell for six months after she spent the other six months with her mother, who was the goddess of the harvest. So the time Persephone spent with her mother corresponded with Spring and Summer, and the time in hell corresponded to Autumn and Winter. Because in this period Persephone's mother cried and from her tears snow came. So Spring can be considered as the period in which every flower, tree and living being comes to life again. A lot of animals come out of their lethargy having taken cover from a winter which could have killed them with the cold and lack of food. When the sun rises a lot of trees fill with and are illuminated by new leaves. All the rivers that had become frozen thaw allowing ducks and other birds to swim in them. Francesco Michelli, B2 Page 4

Spring is the greatest season! It’s beautiful! There are flowers everywhere: in the garden, on the walls, on the balcony. It’s magnificent! Everything is super, but the weather is crazy. Birds make the atmosphere cheerful with their relaxing songs. The sun illuminates everything. It isn’t very hot like in summer.

Spring is lovely! Beatrice Gessi, A2

I love spring. It’s my favourite season. The weather is crazy and you must take your umbrella. The sun illuminates my room. Easter is in this season. We can go to the beach and we can eat ice cream. It isn’t the hottest season but I think it is the period of the year. I feel happy but I’m always tired. The sun sets later and the days are longer so you can stay out all day. Ludovico Posti, A2

I love spring. Spring is my favourite season. The flowers bloom everywhere. Its flowers and green grass invades the world. I hate the winter and when the spring arrives, I’m very happy. In spring to celebrate Easter my grandmother and me cook a lot of fritole. In spring I eat lots of chocolate and eggs. Linda Leonzini, A2

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Commentary The computer game debate

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Computer games are a complete waste of time and money

later, he volunteered to join an expedition to the Arctic in search of the North-West Passage. His famous action of chasing a polar bear and trying to attack it with the butt of his gun after his shot had misfired, has become legendary and undoubtedly reflects his extremely daring but also reckless personality, a trait that would characterise him throughout his whole life. After serving as a junior officer during the late 1770s, he was given his first command in 1781 and he soon had the chance of demonstrating his leadership skills when he managed to return to port after his ship had been badly damaged by a storm in the Straits of Dover. The 1780s, however, did not give him a chance to show his valour any further: with England at peace, he suffered deeply from the lack of action, being kept at half pay with the constant possibility of dismissal and the effects of an unhappy marriage. War with Revolutionary France in 1793 came almost as a relief for Nelson, who was soon dispatched to Corsica in order to enforce the blockade of Bastia. During an engagement, he was struck in his right eye by a piece of shrapnel and eventually lost the sight from it permanently. Whether or not he wore an eye patch after this incident is disputed, but historians generally suggest that he did not, as the damage had been mostly internal and had left only little scarring. He further distinguished during the Battle of Cape St. Vincent when, disobeying orders, he engaged three major Spanish ships at once and spearheaded the boarding of one of them reportedly crying: “Westminster Abbey or a glorious victory!”.

Some people say that computer games are a waste of time and money, but others hold the opposite point of view. There are clearly factors that can be sited on both sides, and they need to be balanced in order to assess the true position. I wouldn’t say that computer games are a complete waste of time and money, it is too categorical. In fact it depends principally on two factors: the kind of game being considered and the manner of playing. About the first point, all games can be classified differently, the useful ones (when instructive of just for fun) and the dangerous ones. For example, games concerning war and fighting could inspire violent behaviours. In this case, I wholeheartedly agree with the statement. Considering the second point, the way of playing, it can be normal or addicted. In the latter case, when someone gets too involved in the virtual world, loosing contact with reality and renouncing lots of other better things to do, this can be read as a harmful waste of time and money. Now balancing the general features of computer games: On the one hand they cause isolation, where it would be better to spend one’s leisure time in a more social and constructive way. On the other hand, they can represent a valid, quick and mobile way of relaxing or having fun. So, although there are different opinions about this topic, I think one should always refer to the specific game, person and situation. Personally, it is not very open-minded to generalize, even though in lots of occasions computer games could effectively represent a waste of both time and money. Elena Talarico, C1

Life and Glory

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Model Exam Texts Trinity GESE Intermediate Topic Phase The candidate initiates and maintains a discussion for five minutes on a topic of his or her own choice. The presentation may be supported by technological aids (e.g. OHP/Powerpoint).

Below is an example of such a topic presentation. The text and images were used for a100-second PowerPoint presentation (10 seconds/slide) which was followed by a class discussion.

OPERATION OKAN February 2011 - August 2012 Investigation into the facilitation of illegal immigration of Turkish nationals (ethnic Kurds) via the so-called Balkan Route towards Italy and the other EU Member States 1) Operation OKAN began in February 2011 in order to fight facilitated illegal immigration from Turkey towards Italy and the other EU Member States. 2) The State Border Police Office of Trieste gathered intelligence and evidence against an international Turkey-based criminal organisation which facilitated illegal immigration of ethnic Kurds using the socalled Balkan Route. The investigations were coordinated by the Public Prosecutor of the Antimafia District Directorate of Trieste, and carried out in close cooperation with the police forces of Austria, Croatia, Germany, Slovenia, and EULEX Kosovo. 3) The entire illegal immigrants' journey between Turkey and the arrival points in the EU was planned by the criminal organisation. The cost per person for the whole journey ranged from 6,000 to 7,000 euros. 4) The facilitators used the so -called Balkan Route, which started in Turkey and continued through Kosovo, Montenegro, Macedonia (FYROM), Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia to the EU (mainly Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom). 5) The migrants travelled Page 6

mainly by land (cars, taxis, buses/coaches, trains) and by air. However, they always entered the Schengen area on foot through the green border. On two occasions, border police officers detected some Turkish illegal migrants who had travelled by sea route, arriving at the seaports of Trieste and Ravenna respectively. 6) The migrants were smuggled from Turkey to the EU through two main channels by two organised crime groups. The first channel was run by A.O: called OKAN, Turkish national, resident in Kosovo. This group organised the transport for illegal migrants from Turkey to Italy via Montenegro, Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Slovenia. 7) The second channel was run by the brothers K., all resident in Turkey. The K. brothers organised the transport for illegal migrants from Turkey to Croatia (Zagreb) either by land through Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, or by air directly to Zagreb from Istanbul. 8) The Italian judicial authority has issued pretrial supervision measures against K. O., C. and E., since they are suspected of criminal association for the purposes of facilitating illegal immigration. 9) Online research done by this office has shown that the K. brothers were reported to have been arrested in Turkey last June. 10) Summary Manuela De Giorgi, B2

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CPE Writing Paper Part 2: an article In Part 2 there is one text of no more than 70 words. The texts will be based on a variety of authentic, contemporary sources. A choice of four questions, candidates may have to write an article, a letter, a proposal, a report or a review. Task: A health magazine has invited readers to write an article about significant changes to diet in their own country. Write your article (280-320 words) giving details of changes and your opinion on the positive and the negative impacts of these changes.

I live with my grandmother and she’s told me a lot of stories about her infancy and the way her family used to eat. First of all, now, the allfamily lunches have become a Sunday exclusive: during the week, in fact, everyone is always so busy that we usually eat fast, stressed and more than enough. Our lives are much more frenetic, full of activities, and this means that the mealtimes aren’t respected anymore. These are all negative aspects, but still I couldn’t have lived fifty years ago. Because the fact that we eat irregularly has brought me to eat that kind of diet meals which consist in protein bars (easy to keep in the bag and to eat also at the University) and which certainly didn’t exist. Of course fifty years ago I think that junk food didn’t exist, or maybe it was considered bad for

a parent just to leave their children to eat a lot of ice-cream. This is the big change of our generation: there are a lot of works done by machine, so men’s work is becoming sedentary; moreover we don’t have time to have lunch at home, so we eat some cold and gummy precooked meals (which make us prefer a hot fast food meal). In my opinion in Italy we are lucky, because fast food restaurants aren’t everywhere and when someone has to eat out there are also good places to eat. The problem is that a fast food is always the cheapest, so it appeals especially to young people who, afterwards, refuse to eat vegetables at home because they’ve tried that kind of food (which is anything but tasty). Marzia Palmas, C2

CAE Writing Paper Part 2: Information sheet Part 2 is a situationally based writing task specified in no more than 80 words. In Part 2, candidates have a choice of tasks, an article, essay, information sheet, letter, proposal, report and review, which focuses on comparing, giving advice, giving opinions, justifying and persuading. Task: Write an article about a city you know for a travel magazine. (200—260 words)

Trieste Awaits Trieste is an Italian city located in the northeast of the country. It is a beautiful seaside town famous all over the world for its sailing race called, “Barcolana”, that takes place every year in October. If you are looking for a nice place to spend a few days, come to Trieste! Things to see Here’s a short list of the beautiful attractions Trieste offers:  Unity Square (Piazza Unità d’Italia) is one of the biggest squares overlooking the sea in Europe. Enjoy it’s beautiful buildings and take a look at the famous old fountain, “The four continents” (I quattro continenti).  Miramare castle (Castello Miramare) was built in 1860 and is surrounded by a big park. This castle was the residence of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, the Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian.  The Karst (Carso) has a lot of paths for mountain biking and walking in the beautiful countryside a few kilometers from the city centre.  Lighthouse of Victory (Faro della Vittoria) built in 1923 is a beautiful white 68-metre-high lighthouse overlooking the Gulf of Trieste. Every day you can visit it, go up to the top and enjoy the incredible panorama.  St. Justin’s castle and cathedral (Castello e Chiesa di San Giusto) and the Roman theatre Shopping facilities, eating and drinking In Trieste you’ll find whatever you may need from souvenir shops to famous brand shops. Trieste is well known for its Illy coffee. Come and drink a hot “capo in b”, the best cappuccino you will ever taste. Typical dishes are “jota”, a soup made of beans, cabbage and potatoes, goulash and “civapcici” (ground beef). Spend a few hours in one of the many “osmize” on the Karst, where you can eat and drink good food and wine while enjoying a breathtaking view of the Gulf. What are you waiting for? Come and visit Trieste. We are waiting for you! Arianna Cadore, C1


FCE Writing Paper Part 2: Story In Part 2, they are required to deal with a situationally based writing task specified in no more than 70 words. They have a choice of tasks, ne task to be selected from a choice of five: article, essay, letter, report, review and story. Varying focuses according to the task, including: advising, comparing, describing, explaining, expressing opinions, justifying and recommending. 120-180 words Task: Start or finish a story of 150-180 words, with the following sentence: �It had always been my dream...�

It had always been my dream to meet Totoro, the strange bear of a Japanese cartoon, and one day I had the chance to make my wish come true. All started on a sunny summer day while my parents were out and I was in the house alone. I took my dog and went in the little creepy wood near my home. It wasn't really big but you could get lost very easily if you didn't look carefully where you go. I think I went to far away from the entry of the wood because the trees were real-

ly dense and it was dark since the light couldn't get through the leaves. I was wondering where I was and looking from the right to the left to try to discover something that could help me to return back home. Suddenly I felt the leash of my dog pull me: my dog had fallen into a hole in the grass and I feel with him. Fortunately we didn't get hurt since we landed on the big, soft, hairy belly of Totoro, just like in the cartoon. Archia Gashem Pour, B2

Young Learners Flyers: Part 3 Story telling Candidates tell a story based on 5 pictures. They must describe each picture in turn. After demonstrating that they understand the beginning of the story stated by the examiner and then continue it based on the series of pictures.

Clara Rosini, A2

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Gabriele Cazzador, A2

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Kids

Corner In my city there is one castle and next to a swimming pool. Go down a lane and there are a park and old church. Near a church there is a school with a garden. When finish school I go to my house. My favourite cinema, National, is big and red. Every day I go to school with the bus. Najwa Badaro, A1

Dream town There isn’t a castle but there are a lot of beaches. There are three cinemas and there are two parks. There isn’t a railway station, but there is a ferry boat and a river. There are some shops and there are toy shops. There are some swimming pools and there are a lot of nice houses. Stefania Cocchiane, A1

In my dream town there is an amusement park. There’s an ice cream shop. There isn’t any supermarkets. There is a park and a volleyball playground. There isn’t a stadium but there is a beach. There isn’t a news agent but there’s a bicycle center. Tina Hussu, A1


My house is in the outskirts, in front of a bus stop. In my city there are a lot of shops and along the street there is a restaurant, cafĂŠ and bar. There are three cinemas, and next to them there is a church, near there is a pool and in front an old castle. Oh, I forgot, in the city there is a beautiful sea. Yasmineh Badaro, A1

When you go out of the school, you must turn right to arrive at the tram stop. Turn right again and go straight on. Turn right and go straight on. Then you must cross the zebra crossing and turn right. Alice Bettini, A2

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A picnic

A1

Margherita Griselli, A1

My bedroom

A1

A1

A1

A1


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A dolphin is more beautiful than a cat but a turtle is the most beautiful. A horse is more beautiful than a fox but snakes are the most beautiful of all.

Balletelli is nicer than Cassamo, but Messi is the best of all. A crocodile is more dangerous than a bat, but the shark is the most dangerous of all. Lorenzo Meroi, A2

Nike is nicer than Puma but Adidas is the nicest of all. Mt Cervino is higher than Mt. Rosa but Mt Bianco is the highest of all.


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Life and Glory

Udine 4, Vicolo Pulesi Phone: 0432-50-71-71 Fax: 0432-50-75-46 Email: udine@british-fvg.net Gorizia 17, Corsa Italia Phone: 0481-33-300 Fax: 0481-53-15-18 Email: Gorizia@british-fvg.net Monfalcone 16, Via Duca d'Aosta Phone: 0481-411-868 Fax: 0481-41-22-28 Email: monfalcone@british-fvg.net

Trieste Phone: 040-369-369 Fax: 040-76-000-75 Email: treiste@british-fvg.net T HE B RI T IS H S C HO O L O F F R I ULI V E N E ZIA G I ULI A A T O R R EBI A N CA , 1 8 T R I E S TE

Ti porta nel mondo che conta (Continued from page 1)

Home ature during the summer. The most spacious room of the house is the living room; it’s very bright and comfortable. It includes a dining area, detached from the kitchen, and an area to relax with two sofas, a little study, a cat basket and the TV. Sara Bearzatto, B1

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Maps

Thanks to the recordings of the planet, we live on planet we can feel more confident when driving, avoiding my recent experience, in which I felt doom and gloom at being lost in such an enormous world.

After suffering a serious wound to his right arm, which had to be amputated, he spent a long period of convalescence in England, fearing he might be dismissed from the service for his physical handicap. He was, however, deemed fit for duty and returned to the fleet, which he soon led to a major victory in the Battle of the Nile, thus foiling Napoleon’s plans to harm England by cutting its trade routes with the East Indies. On his way back to Britain, Nelson made port in Naples, where he became acquainted with Lady Emma Hamilton, the wife of a British diplomat, who would soon become his mistress; their relationship sparked widespread gossip all over England, especially after the birth of their illegitimate daughter, Horatia. In 1805, Napoleon started making plans for a fullforce invasion of the British Isles; to do so, however, he would need to merge his Mediterranean fleet with his Atlantic fleet, both of which were under close British blockade. Thanks to a foggy night, Admiral Pierre de Villeneuve managed to evade the British blockade of Toulon and set sail for the Atlantic, with Nelson’s flotilla in hot pursuit. Despite his orders to avoid contact with the British fleet at all costs, the French Admiral could not prevent a major engagement off Cape Trafalgar on the 21st October 1805.

Just before the battle, Admiral Nelson ordered a signal to be displayed on his flagship: “England expects that every man will do his duty”; he also chose to keep his uniform with all of his decorations on. To those who objected that he might be an easy target, he replied: “I have gained them in battle, I shall wear them in battle”. The reasons for this decision have never been cleared: was it for vanity? Or defiance? Possibly. It has also been suggested that he may not have had the time to go below deck and change into his battle uniform, or that he have wanted to be a visible point of reference for his men. In any case, as his officers had feared, the Admiral was spotted by a French sniper and shot fatally. He died four hours later, soon after learning of the decisive victory his fleet had just secured. His body was taken to England and lay in state in Greenwich for three days; his funeral took place in London on the 9th January 1806 and the procession was attended by tens of thousands of people, including the defeated Admiral de Villeneuve, who had been captured after the battle. Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, is still a commissioned ship of the RN; it’s been in a drydock in Portsmouth since 1922 and is visited by 300,000 people every year. The anniversary of the battle is solemnly commemorated every year. Marco Sinbaldi, C2+


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