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10/06/24: Units 3 – 4

The boiling river of the Amazon

Andrés Ruzo – TEDGlobal 2014

The Amazon Rainforest

When Andrés Ruzo was a young boy in Peru, his grandfather told him a story with an odd detail: There is a river, deep in the Amazon, which boils as if a fire burns below it. Twelve years later, after training as a geoscientist, he set out on a journey deep into the jungle of South America in search of this boiling river. At a time when everything seems mapped and measured, join Ruzo as he explores a river that forces us to question the line between known and unknown … and reminds us that there are great wonders yet to be discovered.

Please watch the video and answer the questions below.


  1. What do you know about the Amazon?
  2. Have you had the chance of visiting the jungle? Share your experience.
  3. How surprised were you by the information Andrés has presented?


Taken from

05/06/24: Proposals

How to Write a Proposal Letter [A Step-by-Step Guide] Fiverr

6 Tips to Improve Your Proposal Writing

No matter how many times you’ve done it, writing a proposal is always a little nerve-wracking. Whether you’re applying for grant funding or pursuing professional services contracts, pressure to distinguish your organization from the competition and show your expertise is high.
While you can’t make other applicants disappear, you can write a proposal that stands out from the pack—without relying on fancy formatting and impressive graphics or putting in hours of overtime.
Keep It Simple
How often have you had to read something so dense and dry, you couldn’t retain any of the content? So full of jargon that you’d need a professional codebreaker to make sense of it?
For proposal writing, simple is best. Direct language keeps your reader engaged—no mean feat when you consider a reviewer may have to read dozens of similar proposals. Cutting unnecessary words, avoiding jargon, and using plain language makes your writing more accessible, both logically and linguistically. It makes your ideas easier to understand and remember. More importantly, it makes it easier for reviewers to see your value proposition and to share it with others. It also promotes clarity and transparency, which increases the reader’s trust. For agencies that might not be familiar with your organization, establishing your integrity is key.
2.  Keep It Brief
Whether you’re bound by a page limit or a reviewer’s attention span, responding to an RFP is an exercise in maximizing the impact of your writing. The best proposals strategically use limited space, providing as much valuable information in as few words possible. They also make the information easy to digest by breaking it up into smaller pieces. Whether you use short paragraphs, bullet points, or an outline structure, the important part is that your proposal is easy to read. Long blocks of text are great if you’re writing Russian literature; not so much if you want to keep a reviewer’s eyes from glazing over.
One important caveat: brief doesn’t mean devoid of detail. Often, RFPs ask for specific information about everything from an applicant’s past performance to the proposed project plan covering the RFP’s scope of work. You can and should respond to these prompts; just try to be as concise as possible.
3.  Take Breaks
There’s nothing more frustrating than pouring your blood, sweat, and tears into a proposal only to catch a spelling mistake, grammatical error, misplaced punctuation mark, or formatting error after you’ve submitted it. Depending on your reviewer, this can be a death sentence: if your proposal is full of careless errors, how can they trust your work won’t be too?
One of the easiest ways to avoid this pitfall is to walk away. If you can, take an hour, an afternoon, or a day off from writing and come back to it later with fresh eyes. Getting some distance and giving yourself time to recharge makes it easier to spot mistakes when you come back.
4.  Use the RFP as an Outline and a Checklist
Every RFP is different. Every proposal should be too.
Taking a one-size-fits-all approach to proposal writing is a quick way to disqualify yourself from consideration. It tells the reviewer that you didn’t take the time to understand what they were asking for, and that you aren’t invested in solving their problem. This is where the RFP itself can be helpful.
Identifying key questions and priorities gives you a ready-made checklist you can use when writing, reviewing, and editing your proposal. Structuring your proposal so it follows the flow of the RFP likewise provides an easy way for reviewers to evaluate whether you’ve met the requested criteria. It also allows you to identify any details that might be missing from the RFP or questions you may have. Bonus: contacting the agency for clarification shows an eye for detail and a commitment to quality. It also helps keep your organization top of mind when it comes time to review proposal submissions.
5.  Save Key Text for Future Proposals
As the saying goes, “don’t reinvent the wheel.” While proposals should be tailored to individual programs, grants, and grant-making organizations, there’s nothing wrong with reusing text if it’s universally applicable (for example, a company bio or examples of past work) or compelling and well-written. In addition to saving time, it establishes a consistent tone for your proposals. This helps agencies get familiar with your organization and shows reliability—particularly important if you’re responding to multiple RFPs.
6.  Get an Outside Perspective
Familiarity breeds contempt—or, as discussed earlier, an inability to spot mistakes and recognize gaps. One of the most useful things you can do during the editing process is to hand your work to someone who isn’t involved with the proposal (though it’s best to ask someone who understands the proposal process). Having a second set of eyes not only helps prevent careless mistakes, it’s also an opportunity to receive feedback from someone looking at your proposal for the first time—just like your reviewer will be.
Ideally, a reader should be able to walk away from your proposal with a clear understanding of what the RFP is asking for (without having to consult it), how your organization can meet those needs, and why you’re the best candidate for the job. Having a proofreader who can tell you where something might be confusing, vague, or missing gives you the chance to fill those gaps and ensure your proposal is strong.
Please answer the questions.
  • In your opinion, why is writing a proposal important? Do you find it useful in your life? In what way?
  • Have you ever written a proposal? What would you recommend from your experience?
  • From the tips mentioned on this article…which would you use and why?
Taken from

29/05/24: Unit 2: How to prevent phone hacking and protect your cell phone

Traditionally a headache reserved for celebrities, smartphone-hacking concerns have crossed the VIP vs. everyone else blood-brain barrier and are now a legitimate concern for anyone who owns a cell phone.

But is this really a serious problem for us regular folks? Are our voicemail messages so interesting that someone would invade our privacy to listen in? Before we go barking up the narcissism tree, it’s best to examine what phone hacking is and whether you really need to worry about it.

The Security Risks of Phone Hacking

There are many types of phone hacking methods, ranging from hacking into a live conversation or into someone’s voicemail, and to hacking into data stored on one’s smartphone. While the fear of the unknown can keep anyone on edge, the person most likely to hack into your live conversation or voicemail will be someone that you already know, and in today’s mobile world, phone hacking continually grows as a security issue. As people increasingly store sensitive data on their mobile devices, the opportunity to exploit privacy weaknesses becomes more tempting to unscrupulous frenemies, exes or the occasional stranger.

There is a cottage industry of phone hacking software, ostensibly developed for legal uses, but that can be easily abused by anyone (password crackers aptly named John the Ripper and Cain and Abel are two examples). Opportunistic hackers can wreak havoc with data deletion or install malicious software that gathers bank account logins and confidential business emails. So, how can you make things tougher for hackers?

How to Secure Your Phone From Hackers

If you want to be proactive, there are several measures you can take to protect yourself against phone hacking, most of which involve common sense. In addition, there are advanced methods to ensure that your phone is as secure as possible (without losing its full functionality). For example:

Basic Phone Security Tips

For casual phone users, adhering to the basics is a great place to start when it comes to blocking simple hacking efforts:


  • Never leave your phone unattended. Keeping your phone with you at all times while in a public place is the first, best rule to follow.
  • Change your phone’s default passcode. Your phone likely comes with a simple, predictable default password, and those who know can use this to their advantage. Change your code to something more complex, and resist the usual “1234,” “0000” and “2580” codes that are commonly used.
  • Protect your PIN and Credit Card data. Use a protected app to store PIN numbers and credit cards, or better yet, don’t store them in your phone at all.


Advanced Ways to Prevent Phone Hacking


  • If you’re still worried about hacking, there are further steps you can take to protect yourself. However, taking things too far will defeat the purpose of having a smartphone at all.
  • Avoid unsecured public WiFi. Hackers often target important locations such as bank accounts via public WiFi that can often be unsecured due to relaxed safety standards or even none at all.
  • Turn off your autocomplete feature. By doing this, you can prevent stored critical personal data from being accessed.
  • Regularly delete your browsing history, cookies, and cache. Removing your virtual footprint is important in minimizing the amount of data that can be harvested by prying eyes.
  • Have an iPhone? Enable Find My iPhone. By turning the feature on in your settings, you’ll be able to locate your phone if you misplace it before the hackers can lay their paws on it.


Remember—if the thought of hacking has you tossing and turning at night, you can just turn the phone off, remove the battery and hide it under your pillow for some sweet lithium-ion induced dreams. Or, you can double down on securing your mobile devices with mobile security solutions offering secure web browsing and real-time defense against phishing attacks.

Please answer the questions.

  1. Have you ever been hacked? What happened?
  2. Which are some of the ways hackers can be dangerous to society?
  3. Which are some of the ways that they can be useful to society?

Taken from

21/05/24: Abstracts

An abstract is a short summary of a longer work (such as a thesis, dissertation or research paper). The abstract concisely reports the aims and outcomes of your research, so that readers know exactly what your paper is about.

Watch the video and answer:
Have you ever written an abstract? Do you think they’re useful? Why?
Which of the tips given is the most useful in your opinion?
Which recommendation would you give someone writing an abstract?

16/05/24: Unit 1: World of Work

Work-life balance, says Nigel Marsh, is too important to be left in the hands of your employer.

Marsh lays out an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time and productivity — and offers some stirring encouragement to make it happen.

Please watch the video and answer the questions below.

How important is it to find balance between work and life?
Think about yourself. How easy or difficult is it to deal with work and family?
Which ideas did you like the most? Why?

Taken from:

30/10/13: Welcome!

Welcome to the blog that has been specifically designed for Comprensión Lectora en Inglés – Course CLECV Plus 1 – administered by Idiomas Católica.

This blog aims at providing opportunities for participants to exchange information related to the course. Although our reading course is not meant to develop oral or written communication skills, we have noticed that many of you can and wish to “have your say” in English about issues that we look at in the course. Your participation in this blog can award you up to 5 points in the assessment area labelled Tareas de Evaluación Continua.

Ready to begin? It is easy. The questions on the next message are waiting to be answered! You may want to participate twice. The first time, just write your answers to the questions. The second time, you are supposed to reply somebody else’s answer.

Enjoy the experience!


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