Has globalisation made us more catastrophe-prone?

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1 1 South Evaluation Africa sheet The 5 Rainbow Nation 1 After you have tested your skills in the mock exam on pages in your textbook, fill in the self-assessment evaluation sheet below. If you think you need further practice, have a look at the pages that follow. They will provide you with additional exercises for self-learning. Has globalisation made us more catastrophe-prone? A Understanding the text Writing a description of specified aspects/a specified aspect of a text I can apply the techniques of writing a description without any major problems. I included all the necessary points. I got the general gist of the text but it took me a long time to decide which points should be included in my description. My description included all the necessary information but I found it difficult to express myself in my own words. I missed some important points or I included unnecessary information in my description. I found it difficult to understand the text and therefore had a problem describing the specified aspect(s). B Text analysis Analysing the author s attitude I have no difficulty applying techniques of text analysis to determine attitudes put forward in a text including underlying stylistic devices employed by the author. I discovered lots of examples for my analysis but had difficulty presenting them meaningfully. It was difficult to find relevant aspects of the language to support my analysis of the author s attitude towards globalisation. Analysis is generally not my strong point and I struggled with the task at hand. C Writing 1. Writing a comment I have no difficulty writing a comment. I had enough arguments for the comment but I had a problem with the structure (e.g. organising the arguments sensibly and/or finding a good beginning and ending). I could hardly think of any arguments to support my opinion./i found it difficult to put forward my point of view. I generally find writing comments a real challenge. Writing a text of this length is somewhat problematic for me.

2 Evaluation sheet Writing a magazine article I have no difficulty writing an interesting and informative magazine article and collected enough material on this topic. I had lots of ideas for my article but I had a problem expressing them and organising them in a meaningful order. I don t generally have a problem writing articles but I found it difficult to collect enough information and relevant examples on the topic. I generally find writing magazine articles in any language a problem and need to practise this more.

3 Exam training 5 3 Has globalisation made us more catastrophe-prone? A Understanding the text a) Divide the article into introduction, main body and conclusion. b) What is the difference between crises in the past and those today? Why according to the author is this so? Give examples of different kinds of crises both in the past and today. c) Read the text and note down keywords relating to possible dangers today that can have global impact. d) Explain the butterfly effect. B Text analysis a) Consider the heading and source of the article. Is the title appropriate? Why or why not? b) Although the author doesn t directly give his/her own personal view on the topic, the reader gets a clear picture of the author s attitude towards globalisation. Consider how he/she achieves this: Think about the words and phrases used to describe globalisation, the use of contrast and the sources the author quotes from.

4 Exam training 5 4 c) Look back at your notes in b) and read the article again. Make a note of any positive arguments for globalisation. What is the proportion of positive predictions to negative scenarios?

5 Exam training 5 5 C Writing a) Writing a comment 1. List as many examples as possible of how globalisation affects people s lives all around the world. You can include those mentioned in the article. 2. Organise your material according to the point of view you wish to get across, starting with the weakest and ending with the strongest argument. Use relevant examples from 1. above to support your argument. TIP: As you write: Keep your introduction to a minimum. Remember, too, to always link your statements to the initial question/task (to avoid digressing) and conclude your comment with a brief summary of all your arguments. b) Writing an article for a school magazine 1. Before you start writing, make a mind map of all the dangers of globalisation that you can think of. In a different colour add your ideas about what we can do about each danger. dangers of globalisation

6 Exam training Choose four or five of the most dangerous effects of globalisation from your mind map and order your examples, numbering them from the weakest to the strongest points. 3. As you write: Make a statement in your introduction on what your article will be about. Consider the dangers first and then offer your solution as to what can be done about them. Take notes. 4. Write a brief summary to conclude your article. Take notes.

7 Solutions Exam training 5 7 A Understanding the text a) Introduction, lines: 1-6; main body, lines: 7 72; conclusion, lines: b) In the past, in Europe in the 14th century, for example, the system was relatively uncomplicated in terms of economy and social aspects and it could absorb such shocks. So, when the plague struck, it didn t destroy society of the time. However, crises in the past differ from those today in the size of the area they affect. This is the case with globalisation because today every country or city can be reached within few hours with the help of modern air travel and communication. In the past, months and years could go by until a crisis spread around the world, so it would most likely be over by the time it reached other countries which meant it rarely became a global crisis. c) Economic downturn/financial crisis, flu pandemic, terrorist attack, simultaneously pandemic and global liquidity crisis, atomic disasters. d) The term butterfly effect was introduced by Edward Lorenz and means that the tiniest change in some distant corner of the world can cause a catastrophe somewhere else in the world through a kind of chain reaction. B Text analysis a) The article was published online by The Independent, a quality newspaper. However, the heading Has globalization made us more catastrophe-prone? seems inappropriate because, to me, it sounds more like that of a popular newspaper. b) The article was published online in Britain s The Independent, a daily national newspaper. The author uses a question as a headline in order to catch the readers attention. It contains the keywords of the article globalisation and catastrophe-prone. You could even say that the author challenges globalisation and wants to make the readers aware of it. The introduction summarises the author s main points, claiming that the world is threatened by its own complexity. In the main part he or she quotes experts and analysts and refers to research studies to underline his or her own statements (l. 7 f., 27 f., 44 f.). Contrasts are frequently used to show how urgent the problem is: began as a turmoil morphed into a global meltdown (l. 7); in a matter of days. In the past it would have taken months or years. (l ); the more the faster (l ). In two sentences the positive aspects of a globally connected world are mentioned only to then be used as another negative starting point (l. 27 f.). The whole text is full of words which make the reader feel rather uncomfortable: pandemic (l. 3); vulnerable (l. 5); crisis (l. 7); turmoil (l. 8); global meltdown (l. 9); global risk (l. 13); catastrophic meltdown (l. 32); worry (l. 40); magnified impact (l. 41); etc. All this draws quite a dark picture of a global world. The author does not give a personal outlook or opinion in his or her concluding lines but just says that what happens in the near future, may indicate whether the experts were right, which sounds rather negative, too. c) The complexity of the world economy means risk can be more easily distributed, and often more easily mitigated. (l ) Also: Complex systems can also be adaptable if one part fails, other parts of the network can assume the burden. (l ) There are two positive points mentioned, whereby the second is limited, as it may create a greater [ ] probability of a catastrophic meltdown. All the other arguments, which are numerous, are clearly negative.

8 Solutions Exam training 5 8 C Writing a) Lösungsvorschlag 1. Asia: cheap labour market for Western world, other workers become jobless, pandemics the USA, Europe: financial crisis, pandemics the speed at which interconnection happens is frightening: hard for some people to keep up with or adjust to loss of jobs in the event of global crisis high risk of something going wrong: unpredictable consequences; possible butterfly effect little control about what happens, different dubious methods pop up multinational companies control everything, environmental issues often only dealt with when world already in crisis! large companies worldwide may require highly mobile employees too much information and how much is true?! 2. Positive effects of globalisation all kinds of societies are interconnected some people are offered a better standard of living supports the development of new ideas which can be discussed by many people of different backgrounds international trade offers great possibilities for every company communication has never been faster; citizens protests can link up on world issues as events unfold amount of information available has never been greater ability to buy fresh fruit the year around, to enjoy coffee or tea or buy cheap clothing b) Lösungsvorschlag 1. financial crisis increase of crime no protection dangers of globalisation exploitation Fashion, products less individual or unique; get the same items everywhere poverty unemployment spread of disease loss of individual freedom loss of individual s freedom; 2. poverty; 3. increase of crime; 4. financial crisis; 5. spread of disease 3. Globalisation brings a lot of dangers with it, but everyone can contribute to counteract them. Loss of individual s freedom: alertness, creativity Poverty: more jobs in own country, better payment Increase of crime: better control by police, better education, self-defence classes Financial crisis: better control of banks by the government, alertness regards own finances Spread of disease: faster production of remedies, quarantine, closing the borders as long as the pandemic exists 4. In conclusion can be said that although there are different dangers brought about by globalisation, the situation is not hopeless and can be saved. If everyone tries to get better information and be conscious of the dangers, then it will cause less harm. Help from the government is also very important and cannot be disregarded. The government should be more long-sighted and keep control of the situation and react quickly if something is unusual or threatening.

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