Task 2 (Day 2)

Task instructions:
Read the text. Then in your own words:
 define briefly what the main issue/problem is;
2. say what you think about the issue raised in the text;
3. provide arguments and examples to support your opinion;
4. come to a conclusion;
5. answer one additional question which the examiner will ask you at the end of your monologue.

You have 2 minutes to prepare.
Speaking time: 5 minutes.
Some people claim that climate change is just a natural cycle. Historically, Earth’s climate has regularly encountered changes in temperatures and levels of greenhouse gases have gone up and down over the Earth’s history. However, others argue that the rapid rise in greenhouse gases is a problem because it is changing the climate faster than some living things can adapt to. This new and more unpredictable climate poses unique challenges to all life including humans. Therefore, people need to find ways how to slow down climate change before it is too late.
From: http://www.nationalgeographic.com
Additional questions:
• Can your everyday life be affected by climate change? How/Why not?
• What do we need to do to slow down climate change?
With the storage capacity of our devices increasing with every upgrade, it might not seem like a problem to hold on to thousands of emails, photos, documents and various other digital belongings. The reasons people give for hanging on to their digital possessions vary – including pure laziness, thinking something might come in handy, anxiety over the idea of deleting anything and even wanting to have something against someone. Emerging research on digital hoarding – a reluctance to get rid of the digital clutter we accumulate through our work and personal lives – suggests that it can make us feel just as stressed and overwhelmed as physical clutter.
From: http://www.bbc.com
Additional questions:
• What kind of data do we value most? Why?
• How can we keep our digital data safe?
A war on cars is under way in a growing number of cities. Oslo’s city centre is now almost entirely car-free. Madrid is aiming to reach the same milestone next year. Central zones in Fez, Morocco and Fazilka, India are already car-free. The anti-car argument is convincing: cars, plus all the infrastructure that accompanies them, congest roads, take up valuable space and contribute to air pollution. They also divert investment and interest from public transport. However, there may need to be exceptions for emergency vehicles, as well as for drivers or passengers with disabilities.
From: http://www.bbc.com
Additional questions:
• How can technologies help solve traffic problems in cities?
• What local environmental problems have you noticed?
Former US president Gerald Ford was asked the question, "President Ford – if you could do your career all over again, what would you change?" His answer was quick and candid. He simply said, “I’d go back to school and learn to communicate more effectively. So much of any career depends on the effective communication of ideas and vision.” Communication, however, is an increasing challenge. Our current culture, full of technology, speed and convenience, makes effective communication even more challenging. Good communication today does not involve changing the content of our message, but the way it is presented. 
From: http://www.psychologytoday.com
Additional questions:
• Are public speakers born or made?
• How will people communicate in the future?
Over the last 10 years, 94 percent of new jobs have appeared outside of traditional employment. A considerable number of workers, both experienced and novice, participate in this alternative world of work. Being self-employed is becoming more and more widespread with the development of Internet technologies. Yet, not everyone is happy with this trend since job insecurity in traditional employment has become unavoidable. Therefore, opponents of the trend believe that new norms need to be created to protect the more traditional jobs.
From: www.nytimes.com
Additional questions:
• Is it better to be a boss or an employee? Why?
• What kind of careers will be important in Latvia in the 21st century? Why?
In the middle of busy semester, students' stress runs high. This is the perfect reason to review class notes with music playing, since it is proven to help reduce stress! The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends that students should listen to music, which is an effective stress reducer. Their research reveals the powerful effect songs alone can have on the human body. Nevertheless, music does not improve performance in everybody, since some see it as a distraction.
From: www.fnu.edu
Additional questions:
• Are song lyrics as important as the melody?
• What is the role of music in today’s society?