¿Qué es el Brexit?

Seguro que has oído la palabra Brexit alguna vez pero, ¿todavía no estás seguro de qué es? Lee este artículo de la BBC y descúbrelo.

Tipo de texto: artículo (adaptado)

Nivel: Upper-Intermediate / Advanced

Fuente: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-46318565

Brexit: Your simple guide to the UK leaving the EU

Feeling a little lost on Brexit? Never really got your head around it in the first place? Let us walk you through it.

What is Brexit?

Brexit is short for «British exit» – and is the word people use to talk about the United Kingdom’s decision to leave the European Union (EU).

What is the EU?         

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 countries which trade with each other and allow citizens to move easily between the countries to live and work.

The UK joined the EU, then known as the EEC (European Economic Community), in 1973.

Why is the UK leaving?

A public vote – called a referendum- was held on Thursday 23 June 2016 when voters were asked just one question – whether the UK should leave or remain in the European Union.

The Leave side won by nearly 52% to 48% – 17.4m votes to 16.1m – but the exit didn’t happen straight away.

It was due to take place on 29 March 2019 – but the departure date has been delayed.

What has happened so far?

The 2016 vote was just the start. Since then, negotiations have been taking place between the UK and the other EU countries.

The discussions have been mainly over the «divorce» deal, which sets out exactly how the UK leaves – not what will happen afterwards. This deal is known as the Withdrawal Agreement.

What does the withdrawal agreement say?

The withdrawal agreement covers some of these key points:

  • How much money the UK will have to pay the EU in order to break the partnership – that’s about £39bn
  • What will happen to UK citizens living elsewhere in the EU, and equally, what will happen to EU citizens living in the UK
  • How to avoid the return of a physical border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland when it becomes the frontier between the UK and the EU

A length of time, called the transition period, has been agreed to allow the UK and EU to agree a trade deal and to give businesses the time to adjust. That means that if the withdrawal agreement gets the green light, there will be no huge changes between the date of Brexit and 31 December 2020.

Another, much shorter, document has also been drawn up that gives an overview of what the UK and EU’s future relationship will be in the longer term. This is the political declaration. However, neither side has to stick exactly to what it says – it is a set of ambitions for future talks.

The deal was agreed by the UK and the EU in November 2018, but it also has to be approved by British MPs.

Have MPs backed the Withdrawal Agreement?

Well, no. They have voted against it three times. On 15 January they rejected the deal by 432 votes to 202 – a record defeat. Then on 12 March, after Theresa May had gone back to the EU to secure further legal assurances, they rejected it again.

And on 29 March – the original day that the UK was due to leave the EU –MPs rejected it for a third time (this vote was slightly different as it did not include the political declaration).

Is that why the UK didn’t leave on 29 March as planned?

Yes. As MPs did not approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal, the prime minister was forced to ask other EU leaders to delay Brexit.

The new deadline is 31 October. However, the UK can leave before then if the prime minister can somehow get her deal approved by Parliament.

Why do people oppose the deal?

There are a broad range of complaints, many of which claim the deal fails to give back to the UK control of its own affairs from the EU.

One of the biggest sticking points has been over what happens at the Irish border.

Both the EU and UK want to avoid the return of guard posts and checks, so something called the backstop- a sort of safety net – was included in the deal.

What is the backstop?

The backstop is meant to be a last resort to keep an open border on the island of Ireland – whatever happens in the Brexit negotiations.

It would mean that Northern Ireland, but not the rest of the UK, would still follow some EU rules on things such as food products.

Could Brexit actually not happen at all?

It is still written into law that the UK will be leaving, even though the deadline has shifted.

The European Court of Justice has said the UK could cancel Brexit altogether without the agreement of other nations, but politically, that’s not likely to happen.

What happens if the UK leaves without a deal?

«No deal» means the UK would have failed to agree a withdrawal agreement.

That would mean there would be no transition period after the UK leaves, and EU laws would stop applying to the UK immediately.

Cómo aprobar el First Certificate – Listening Part 2

En el artículo de hoy os traemos unos consejos para superar la segunda parte del examen del First Certificate, Listening.

Datos útiles sobre esta parte del examen                  

  • En la parte 2 del examen First Certificate—Listening escucharás una presentación o discurso, en el que una persona hablará sobre su trabajo, hobby u otra actividad en la que participa.
  • En la hoja para esta parte, habrá 10 frases con 10 espacios (numeradas de 9 a 18). Cada espacio corresponde a una palabra o serie de palabras que tendrás que escuchar para completar cada una de las frases. Nunca serán más de tres palabras en cada espacio. En la mayoría de los casos, la respuesta será de una sola palabra.
  • No se penalizan pequeños errores de ortografía. Eso sí, cuando el examinador lee la palabra que has escrito, debe entender claramente la palabra, a pesar del pequeño error ortográfico.
  • Esta parte del examen pone a prueba tu capacidad de escuchar, entender y localizar datos concretos en una presentación grabada que durará unos 4 minutos.
  • Cada respuesta vale un punto, con una máxima puntuación para esta parte del examen de 10 puntos.

Consejos útiles para aprobar el examen

  1. Primero, tendrás unos 45 segundos para analizar las frases en la hoja, antes de que comience la presentación grabada. Aprovecha esos segundos para familiarizarte con las frases y los espacios.
  2. Procura averiguar qué tipo de palabra va en cada espacio. ¿Es un sustantivo, adjetivo, verbo, número, o una fecha?
  3. Si crees que la palabra en el espacio corresponde a un sustantivo, pregúntate: ¿Qué tipo de sustantivo? ¿Se trata de una persona, un oficio, un lugar, un objeto, una comida, etc.? Anota tus ideas con lápiz por encima del espacio.
  4. Si crees que la palabra en el espacio corresponde a un verbo o a un adjetivo, pregúntate: ¿Qué clase de acción es? ¿Se trata un una cualidad o emoción positiva o negativa? De nuevo, anota tus ideas con lápiz por encima del espacio.
  5. Repite este análisis con todos los espacios, hasta donde te permiten esos 45 segundos.
  6. Cuando empiece la presentación grabada, ve paso a paso, empezando con el primer espacio. Las frases están en orden. Es decir, la persona dirá la(s) palabra(s) que buscas en el orden que aparecen las frases escritas. No hay que modificar la(s) palabra(s) de ninguna manera. Simplemente escribe lo que la persona ha dicho.
  7. A veces, la persona dará información adicional que podría despistarte. Por ejemplo, si sabes que en el espacio hay que anotar un número, es muy probable que la persona diga tres números distintos durante su presentación. Es sumamente importante, por tanto, que no anotes el primer número que escuches. Espera hasta que haya acabado, y anota solo el número que encaja con la información que viene antes y después del espacio.

Recuerda

Escucharás la presentación grabada dos veces. Aprovecha el primer turno para ir anotando tus ideas en lápiz. La segunda vez que escuches la presentación servirá para asegurarte de que tus respuestas sean las correctas.

Aquí tienes un ejemplo de esta parte del examen.

The Grass is Singing

By Alicia Martínez (English and German Teacher at AIT)

En el artículo de esta semana os traemos una recomendación literaria que no os podéis perder: «The Grass is Singing» de Doris Lessing.

Reading an interesting book has always been a pleasure for bookworms.

On one hand it is a way to see the world through the eyes of another person, to live in another reality just for the moment you want or to be another person for some time.

Reading can be done anywhere and it prevents boredom and promotes relaxation.

On the other hand, it encompasses a wide range of genres and includes both fiction and non-fiction.

  • Fiction: Novels, short stories, jokes, comics, poetry, lyrics, plays and scripts
  • Non-fiction: Reference books, newsletters, letters, emails, biographies, memoirs, newspapers, magazines, websites

Today I would like to talk about a novel called “The grass is singing”. This novel was written by British Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing. It was her first novel, published in 1950.

The novel begins with a newspaper clipping about the death of Mary Turner, a white woman, killed off by her black servant Moses for money. The news actually acts like an omen for other white people living in that African setting. After looking at the article, people behave as if the murder was very much expected. The bulk of the novel is a flashback of Mary Turner’s life up to her murder at the hand of Moses in the last chapter.

When you usually read a murder mystery novel you expect to know the name of the murder at the very end after going through the whole novel. But not in this novel as you know it from the very beginning and the author leads you through the protagonist´s miserable life on her husband´s unsuccessful farm.

If you prefer watching the film click on the following link and enjoy it: https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3dohon

Once you start one cannot stop reading!

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