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									NO.                                                     1
TITLE                                                   Taxman wrongly pays out £80m in rebates
SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                                    Staff and agencies
                                                        The Guardian November 8, 2002
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                                  Various, IT
SKILL / LANGUAGE AREA OF EXERCISE(S)                    inferring
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                             Training exercise

TOPIC AREA                                              Finance

                         TAXMAN WRONGLY PAYS OUT £80M IN REBATES
                                     Staff and agencies

The Inland Revenue was today reviewing its internal procedures after a computer error led to it wrongly
paying out more than £80m to thousands of pension scheme members.
Up to 175,000 customers are now facing the prospect of being ordered to pay back the cash, which has
accumulated in their accounts over the last four years.
The Inland Revenue apologised for the error and last night said it was deep in negotiations with the
Association of British Insurers to work out a solution which "may result in financial loss, either for the
customer or for the insurer".
The mistake arose after the Inland Revenue's computer system failed to register that a number of companies
were submitting duplicate annual returns, thus "triggering duplicate payments of rebates".
New checks have now been put in place to prevent the same from happening again and the Inland Revenue is
also looking at the possibility of "financial redress" to those customers affected by the mistake.
"We are currently in the process of letting all the individuals affected know what has happened," said an
Inland Revenue spokeswoman who emphasised the importance of "softening the blow" by informing
customers of the progress of the investigation.
"The main thing is that we deal with the association related to the pensions funds first. The next process will
then take its course."
But she claimed that the money involved - "in the region of £82 million" - when considered in its true
context, was a "small drop in the ocean" and that the number of people affected was relatively small.
In a statement the ABI said: "We are currently working with the Inland Revenue to protect both members
and customers from any losses that may result from the Revenue recovering duplicate payments of
contracted out rebates. "Due to stock market performance the recovery of the overpaid amount may result in
a financial loss, either for the customer or for the insurer.
"We are currently establishing the how many people have been affected and what the losses are likely to be.
We will then broker a solution."
And in a letter to Mary Francis, director general of the ABI, Bridget Woodley, the head of the task force
assigned the job of investigating the error, said procedures were currently in the process of being altered.
She wrote: "We are committed to making sure that individuals do not lose out as a result of this problem and
we want to continue to work with you to resolve this as quickly as possible.
"The majority of the over-payments arose as a result of employers submitting their annual returns to us more
than once, which triggered duplicate payments of rebates.
"We do have a legal obligation to recover the over-payments but we also have the ability to make good
losses which are incurred as a result of departmental error or unreasonable delay."
She said that the amount that could be made good would depend on the details of each case.
"I would also like to say that we don't normally pay compensation to schemes administrators for the cost of
dealing with error or delay but I can confirm that given the unusual circumstances of this case we will give
serious consideration to this."
                                                                  The Guardian (Financial pages) Friday November 8, 2002
     Domande MCQ a riposta A, B o C

     Rispondere A (vero) o B (falso) a secondo le informazioni contenute nel brano.
1.         Si tratta di un errore dalla parte del fisco.
2.         Gli ispettori pensano di risolvere il problema senza coinvolgere i contribuenti.
3.         L‘ammontare del problema è basso rispetto al fatturato totale.

     Scegliere la traduzione più adatta al contesto.

     1. reviewing                                          7. prevent
     rivedendo                                             impedire
     ripetendo                                             avvisare
     riformando                                            fornire

     2. wrongly                                            8. spokeswoman
     correttamente                                         portavoce
     scorrettamente                                        altoparlante

     3. pension scheme members                             9. currently
     pensionati                                            attualmente
     programmi                                             frequentemente

     4. up to                                              10. in the region of
     più di                                                approssimativamente
     fino a                                                al di sopra di
     meno di                                               al di sotto di

     5. work out                                           11. stock market performance
     lavorare                                              il mercato
     muoversi                                              l‘andamento
                                                           12. broker
     6. triggering                                         intermediario
     attivando                                             intermediare
                                                           13. do have
                                                           abbiamo sicuramente
                                                           avremo forse
NO.                                                 2
TITLE                                               Hi-Tech Booms in Russia
SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                       February 6, 2003
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                              Various, IT
SKILL / LANGUAGE AREA OF EXERCISE(S)                INFERRING, global comprehension
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                         Training exercisew
TOPIC AREA                                          FINANCE, INVESTMENT

                                  HI-TECH BOOMS IN RUSSIA
               IFC is helping to bring foreign direct investment to Russia‘s IT sector

February 6, 2003—IT companies in Russia have seen rapid growth and expansion over the last
year or so, while the tech sector in the United States and Europe has been languishing.
The International Finance Corporation, the private sector investment arm of the World Bank Group,
is widely recognized as the leading investor in information technology in Russia today.
Over the last year, IFC has made a number of investments in the Russian IT market, including a
US$12 million investment in "Information Business Systems," Russia‘s largest IT company, and a
$1.5 million investment in "Egar Technology," an early-stage financial services software company.
IFC recently received approval for a $6 million investment in "Ru-Net Holdings," a leading Russian
IT services company, and the IFC IT team is planning to make further investments over the next 12
"There are a number of reasons why IFC is investing in the Russian IT sector," said Adam Portnoy,
a senior IFC investment officer. "Russia has an enormous amount of scientific talent inherited from
the Soviet Union; and there is a lack of capital available for Russian companies in this sector.
With the end of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia inherited nearly all of the Soviet Union‘s
scientific resources. Because the Soviet Union was focused on advancing the country‘s space and
military-industrial sectors, the scientific establishment was one of the largest in the world, with one-
third more scientists than in the United States.
Since the Russian education system continues to be heavily weighted toward math and science,
Russian scientists are often considered the best in the world. Consequently, Russian IT companies
present an attractive investment opportunity because these businesses can draw upon Russia‘s large
"intellectual resource" of world-class scientists and engineers.
Over the last 12 years, Russian spending on scientific research and development has diminished
from more than 2 percent of GDP in 1991 to less than one-third of one percent of GDP today.
Today there are only about 426,000 scientists practicing in Russia, compared to over 800,000 12
years ago.
Scientists‘ salaries currently rank 10th out of the 11 employment categories in Russia, ranking
above only those working in arts and culture. In real terms, scientific professors often earn less than
$100 a month.
IFC is stepping into the breach in the aftermath of the collapse of the ‗Internet bubble‘ in 2001 (e.g.
Sun Capital, Orion Capital, NetBridge, LV Finance and Sputnik Funds). There are only two small
funds operating in Russia that are focused on making investments in IT companies—Mint Capital,
which has a $21 million fund operating in Moscow and The Russian Technology Fund, which has a
$5 million fund operating in St. Petersburg.
Apart from providing capital to an industry that is currently not receiving much financing, IFC‘s
investments also serve as a catalyst for further investment by the private sector in Russian tech
companies. For example, both Intel Capital and Draper Fisher Jurvetson (large Silicon Valley based
technology venture capital groups) have recently expressed interest in investing in Russian IT
companies. IFC has started to introduce these groups to the Russian hi-tech market through co-
investment opportunities.
"IFC believes that Russian IT companies will benefit from the continued growth of the Russian
economy, resulting in profits for investors," said Portnoy.
Since the Russian economic crisis of 1998, the Russian economy has grown at a healthy rate with
GDP growth last year of 5 percent and an expected GDP growth of 4 percent in 2002. This
economic growth has been supported by the relative political stability of President Vladimir Putin‘s
administration. In addition, Russia has been somewhat insulated from the global economic
slowdown because its oil exports have generated strong revenues.
As the economy continues to grow, the market for IT products and services increases as public and
private enterprises begin looking for ways to increase efficiencies in order to better compete in the
global marketplace.

Rispondere A (vero) o B (falso) a secondo le informazioni contenute nel brano.
   1. La banca Mondiale svolge un ruolo minore nel settore informatico in Russia.
   2. La Russia ha ereditato poche delle conoscenze scientifiche dal ex-Unione sovietica.
   3. Gli scienziati russi guadagnano poco.
   4. IFC is working alone in investing in this area.
   5. The Russian economy is declining due to its dependence on oil imports.

Scegliere la traduzione più adatta al contesto.

1. over the last year or so                           7. to be heavily weighted
da un anno esattamente                                dare molta importanza a
da circa un anno                                      dare poca importanza a
fra circa un anno                                     dare più importanza a

2. has been languishing                               8. can draw upon
è in rallento                                         possono trascurare
è in espansione                                       possono sfruttare
è in competizione                                     possono sfoggiare

3. IFC                                                9. one-third of one percent
un investimento                                       0.333
un organo interno della Banca Mondiale                0.033
il settore privato                                    32.00%

4. Information Business Systems                       10. healthy
un sistema informatico russo                          malsano
una società informatica russa                         sano
una società informatica piccola                       in declino

                                                      11. somewhat
5. Egar Technology                                    completamente
una società di software russa                         fin‘ora
una società di software americana                     fino ad un certo punto
una società di software ben consolidata
                                                      12. in order to
6. a lack of capital                                  per ordinare
un‘assenza di capitale                                in ordine
un‘abbondanza di capitale                             in modo di
una diminuzione di capitale
NO.                                                     3
TITLE                                                   Women earn up to £1 million less than men
SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                                    The Independent Marie Woolf 26 February 2006
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                                  MCQ
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                             SIMILAR

TOPIC AREA                                              COMPANY MANAGEMENT

A Read the newspaper article about differences in men’s and women’s earnings and match the first
halves of the sentences with the second halves in order to summarise the text.

                         WOMEN EARN UP TO £1 MILLION LESS THAN MEN
                           The Independent 26 February 2006. Marie Woolf

Elizabeth Pullen was a successful company director, managing an annual £20m turnover and a workforce of
300. She was earning £42,000 a year and happy in her job. But when her employer, Onyx Environmental
Group, started a series of redundancies, she discovered how comparatively unrewarding her job had been.
Ms Pullen learned that two other regional directors, both male, had been offered a year's severance pay as
compensation while she had been offered only six months'. In addition, they had been paid up to £15,000
more a year than she had all along.
"It came as a real shock. I was the only woman working at that level but we were doing the same jobs," she
said. "I was very disillusioned to find that the culture of secrecy had allowed me to receive less favourable
treatment." Ms Pullen's case was a classic example of pay discrimination, and a tribunal awarded her
£75,000 in compensation.
The case was acclaimed by the Equal Opportunities Commission as excellent evidence of the pay gap, but it
is not unusual. Across Britain, women are being paid thousands of pounds less than men for doing the same
or equivalent jobs. But because pay scales in most firms are secret, these discrepancies rarely come to light.
A new report by the Women and Work Commission "Shaping a Fairer Future" exposes the extent of the gap.
The commission, set up by Tony Blair in the autumn of 2004 to look into sexism at work, finds that while
girls outperform boys at school, their advantage rapidly disappears when they get a job. Not only is there still
a glass ceiling, but young women are routinely directed towards low-paid jobs, such as childcare.
The difference between men's and women's pay can cost a woman thousands of pounds over a lifetime, and
it is in highly paid professions such as banking that the discrepancies are often most striking.
In the world of finance, for example, the pay gap between men and women can be as high as 41 per cent. In
manufacturing, women earn on average 19 per cent less than men.
The report finds that women who work part-time earn 41 per cent less per hour than men. Women who work
full-time earn 13 per cent less per hour on average. The pay gap is less acute in the public sector, and
government departments now publish pay scales. Women's groups and the trade unions lobbied the
commission to recommend that private firms be forced to implement annual pay audits revealing how much
women and men doing equivalent jobs earn. But businesses argued successfully against it. The report
identifies "occupational segregation" as a reason for the pay gap. Sectors of the economy regarded as
"women's work" are paid less than male occupations which require similar levels of skill and qualifications.
Boys are encouraged into construction, engineering and plumbing, while girls are urged to become
hairdressers, nannies and beauticians. Women still dominate the lowest-paid sectors, including cleaning,
catering, caring and clerical work, and even those women who work side by side with men may find they
have less in their pay packets.
Stuart Lambert, 26, has worked in marketing and public relations for four years. He works in London,
earning £35,000.
"My partner also works in public relations and she's at the same level as me - in fact she's been doing it for a
year longer - but she earns £5,000 less," said Mr Lambert. "All the women that I know are paid less than
their male colleagues."
Jane Howard, 29, has been working in marketing and promotions for the past five years since graduating.
She works in central London, earning £30,000. Miss Howard said that her male friends all tend to earn more
than her female ones.
"Men are definitely more competitive in regard to getting better deals," said Miss Howard. "They talk about
money more, it's more of a macho thing, especially in the city."

Exercise will focus on:                                   occupation
Linkers – contrast - addition                             deal
Vocabulary                                                Pay discrimination
Pay gap                                                   Unrewarding
Outperform                                                severance pay
pay packet

   1.  Differences in men‘s and women‘s pay                A. was made redundant
   2.  Elizabeth Pullen                                    B. are greater in higher paid sectors
   3.  Jane Howard                                         C. earned less than men in the same company
   4.  Stuart Lambert                                         doing the same job.
   5.  The difference between men and women in             D. thinks business culture permits men to earn
       part time and full time work                           more
    6. Trade unions                                        E. works in PR and marketing
    7. Women                                               F. is greater
                                                           G. wanted to introduce transparency into
                                                              salaries paid by private companies
                                                           H. tend to work in particular sector of the
NO.                                                      4
TITLE                                                    RETAIL TRAINING

SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                                     The Guardian, Amy McLellan, 2 June 2005

EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                                   MATCHING
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                              SIMILAR

TOPIC AREA                                               RETAIL MANAGEMENT

                           RETAIL COMPANY TRAINING SCHEMES
Read the article about retail company training schemes offered in the UK.
Match the people to what they do.

                                A.   works in the fashion trade
    1.   Caroline Greer         B.   is responsible for a training scheme
    2.   Jo Pettit              C.   started working for a company during a holiday period
    3.   Dan Weintrob           D.   is finding her job very hard work and very enjoyable
    4.   Beth Newland           E.   enjoyed his / her early career in the company where s/he works now
                                F.   says it is important for managers to understand the business they work in
                                G.   says school leavers are ideal to train as managers

Recent headlines give the impression that schools are producing a generation of hoodie-wearing, binge-
drinking illiterates. But some of the biggest employers in the country have a quite different opinion of today's
school leavers. For the retail sector, which generated sales of £246bn in 2004 and employs one in nine of the
UK workforce, those who go into jobs post A-level are the managers of tomorrow.
Caroline Greer, central HR manager at HMV record stores, runs a Fast Track Academy to move 200 young
recruits a year up the management ladder. "This scheme has been running for three or four years and we keep
doing it because we keep finding all our future managers through it," says Greer.
Jo Pettit, 25, has worked her way up HMV Fast Track Academy. After finishing her A-levels, Jo worked
briefly for Tesco supermarkets before joining HMV as for temporary work over the Christmas holidays.
"They noticed that I was putting in a lot of effort and I got the backing of my manager to go into the Fast
Track Academy to be trained up as a team leader," she says.
Three years on and Jo is now an assistant store manager. "I hope to become a manager quite soon," she says.
"They really try to keep you motivated and give you opportunities to build your career within the company."
"We feel it's important that the people who work in head office have a good understanding of how things
work in the stores because if they are not pulling in the money then none of us have a job," says Greer. "A lot
of people in head office worked up from the stores. It's a good platform for launching your career."
Tesco, the supermarket chain, runs the scheme ―Options‖ which last year provided management training to
5,000 people. It is open to all Tesco employees who show the right aptitude and skills. Tesco, which is the
leading retailer in the UK and now wants to expand worldwide, is trying to recruit post A-level school
―In terms of our expansion plans, it's key for us to have this pool of people," says Dan Weintrob, scheme
manager. "Often those who join us straight from school are really keen, driven and full of bright ideas."
Weintrob speaks from personal experience. "I started at 16 and was a manager by the time I was 18. It was
quite daunting but I absolutely loved it," he says. "I flourished on the responsibility."
Arcadia, a group which dominates high street fashion, also runs a fast-track management scheme to develop
its post A-level recruits.
Beth Newland joined Arcadia in September 2004 and is now working as a retail management
trainee at Dorothy Perkins in Ipswich. ―I had a gap year after A-levels and worked part-time in
retail and loved it. Then I found out about the Arcadia training programme, which looked really
interesting. I feel like I've made a head start in gaining real industry experience and I don't regret
not having gone to university at all. I do everything a manager would do - I recruit, I train, I do
appraisals, all the visual merchandising and windows for the store. I liaise with distribution, run
account card events, do stocktakes, everything. I've learned lots of new skills such as networking,
planning and prioritising, and increased my confidence and people skills.
 It's very hard work and you really have to commit yourself 100 per cent. The highs are immense. At 20
years old I run a store, which is such a buzz, and you get so much satisfaction from working with and leading
a team of motivated staff."

Exercises will focus on:

UK culture                                                -levels

Over Christmas                                            Numbers

Tesco                                                     Proportions
NO.                                              5
TITLE                                            MSc Development Economics course at SOAS
SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                             WWW.SOAS.AC.UK
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                           MCQ

TOPIC AREA                                       ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT


Look at the titles of modules in the MSc Development Economics course at SOAS , University of
London. Which module (A- F) does each title belong to?

   1.   Applied Economics Of The Middle East
   2.   Economic Development Of South Asia
   3.   Financial Systems And Economic Development
   4.   International Economics
   5.   Macroeconomics
   6.   Political Economy Of Institutions

Module A
The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of closed and open economy theory with
coverage of important theoretical issues and techniques. A critical assessment is made of the
analytical underpinnings of the policies for stabilisation and structural adjustment.
On completion of the course, students will have as a minimum a knowledge of:
    how the economy has developed from the Keynesian revolution onwards especially how
        theoretical principles have been applied to the closed economy;
    the application of these principles to developing countries especially in the context of
        poverty reduction.
    the consequences of the increasing dependence upon general equilibrium modelling;
    the relationship between short and long run performance;
    the relationship between microeconomics and macroeconomics;
    the consequences of assuming different types of expectations in models;

Module B
The objective in this course is to provide an advanced understanding of the working of the
economies of the area and of relevant contemporary economic issues, giving a broad analytical and
chronological outline of the economic development from Independence of main countries up to the
current period . This course disaggregates to the level of individual sectors and considers the
relationships with the international economy. Topics covered include:
     debates on the impact of colonialism on the area;
     the role of the state in post-colonial economic development and the contemporary concern
        with good governance and the investment climate;
     agriculture and the agrarian question, including land reform and technical change;
     industrialisation;
     issues of distribution and poverty.
Module C
This module is about the economic structures, institutions and policy challenges in the countries in
this area. The module starts with a broad economic history of the region since the mid 19th Century
and goes on to address selected aspects of economic policy in the contemporary period in areas
related to natural and human resources. Among the topics covered are: the oil sector, labour
migration and capital flows, problems of industrialization in resource based economies, and
population transition.

Module D
The course has the following two aims:
The first is critically to discuss theoretical models explaining the special role of domestic finance in
a capitalist economy. The focus of analysis will be on financial intermediation. Mainstream
neoclassical views based on information-theoretic analysis will be contrasted with political
economy views stressing the particular character of industrial, merchant, money-dealing, and
interest-bearing capital.
The second, is to analyse the two-way relationship between the domestic financial system and the
‗real economy‘. To achieve this aim we will focus on the political economy of credit and examine
the layering of the financial system. We will then examine the importance of broader social
relations (trust, confidence, power) in the operations of financial institutions and markets. We will
also discuss microfinance and its role in economic development.
Finally, we will briefly consider international finance, partly through historical analysis of
international financial flows in the twentieth century.

Module E
The course consists of two modules. The first module covers issues related to international trade
and investment. It includes topics such as pure theories of international trade (classical, neo-
classical, new theories of trade); political economy of protection; welfare analysis of trade policies;
trade, growth and development; economics of regional integration and multilateral arrangements
(GATT and WTO); international migration and labour markets; multinational corporations and
foreign direct investments; the characteristics and effects of globalisation, including the
globalisation-growth-income inequality – poverty nexus. The second module deals with
international finance and monetary issues. It covers topics such as foreign aid, economic
development and the gap model; theories of international capital flows; growth-cum-debt model and
debt sustainability; foreign exchange markets and exchange rate policies; macroeconomic models
with capital flows; currency crisis models; theory of optimal currency area and monetary union;
management of capital flows; dynamics of global financial crisis, issues of international governance
and cooperation in managing financial flows.

Module F
This course focuses on institutional performance in developing countries. It covers the growing
interest and literature on governance, on the role of corruption and rent-seeking, the transition to
capitalism and the institutions appropriate to that transition, the role of property rights and property
right stability during this transition, the role of the state and of different strategies of catching up,
the role of democracy and of authoritarianism in economic transitions.
The course will deal with both the ―new institutional‖ approaches to these questions and the
mainstream policy agenda, as well as introducing students to alternative approaches based on a
comparative historical analysis and the policy implications of these ―political economy‖ approaches
to the capitalist transition.
NO.                                                        6A
TITLE                                                      Solar future brightens as oil soars

SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                                       The Guardian, Ashley Seager, June 16 2008
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                                     MCQ CLOZE
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                                YES, SIMILAR

TOPIC AREA                                                 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

                                              SOLAR PANELS

                                       Solar future brightens as oil soars

Soaring oil prices have led to such a boom for solar power that the industry could operate without subsidies
in just a few years, according to industry leaders. At a recent solar industry trade fair, Intersolar, in Munich,
there was growing confidence that "grid parity" - whereby electricity from the sun can be produced as
cheaply as it can be bought from the grid - is now just a few years away.
Solar photovoltaics (PV), which convert sunlight into electrical power, have long been dismissed as too
expensive to make a meaningful contribution to the battle against climate change. But costs are falling as PV
production booms, and with electricity prices rising rapidly in line with soaring oil and gas prices, demand
for solar panels is increasing sharply.
Germany, the world leader in PV thanks to its "feed-in tariff" support, installed 1.1 gigawatts of capacity last
year - the equivalent of a large power station. (1) __________ . The feed-in tariff pays people with solar
panels above-market rates for selling power back to the grid.
"High oil prices have boosted demand even more. The market will probably expand another 40% this year,"
said Carsten Körnig, of the German solar industry association, referring to both PV and solar thermal
systems, which produce hot water. He said his previous assumption - that grid parity would be reached in
Germany in five to seven years - now looked very conservative since it allowed for only a 3% rise in
electricity prices each year. (2) __________ .
All the companies at the Intersolar fair are planning large increases in production of solar panels. The China-
based Suntech, the world's biggest maker of PV panels, plans to double production from 540MW this year to
1GW in 2009.
Jerry Stokes, head of Suntech Europe, thinks grid parity in Germany can be reached within five years. In
California and Italy, where there is lots of sun and high electricity prices, he said grid parity for PV systems
had already been achieved.
"The great thing about solar power is that although you have an upfront cost, the fuel is free and is not
controlled by another country," he said. PV costs were falling rapidly and would continue to do so as the
efficiency of panels improved and installation costs dropped, Stokes said. Moreover, the price of silicon -
which can be 70% of panel costs - (3) __________ .
But rising demand could mean panel prices remain high even as costs fall. "It all depends on demand and
that could remain high for a long, long time," Lökke said. Suntech's Stokes agrees: (4) __________ .
Demand is particularly high in Spain, Germany and Greece, but Britain's PV market remains non-existent in
the absence of a feed-in tariff. The industry has very high hopes for the American market, though, as fears of
energy dependence grow. Suntech's marketing director, Jeffrey Schubert, said: "Things will get much better
after the US election. Oil prices have accelerated the change and our intention is to no longer rely on
government subsidies as an industry."
                                                  Ashley Seager in Munich, The Guardian, Monday June 16 2008
Ex. 1
    1. What do you learn about solar photovoltaics?
         A. It is expanding all over Europe.
         B. It will probably become less important in the USA.
         C. It is particularly important in one country.
         D. It is important in replacing hydro-electric power stations

    2.   Developments in PV are mainly being made in
    A.   the public sector
    B.   the private sector
    C.   the Far East
    D.   Munich

Complete the gaps in the article with the correct alternative.
1. A. A large power station was built on the banks of the Rhine.
B. It now has nearly half a million houses fitted with PV panels.
C. We have to reduce our dependence on oil and gas.

2. A. Production is due to come onstream.
B. Energy prices in Germany are not rising.
C. In many countries increases of 20% a year are becoming the norm.

3. A. is also likely to fall as new production comes onstream
B. is set to increase as world supplies are almost exhausted
C. will probably be used as a trade weapon

4. A. ―Demand is going to fall as we reach grid parity.‖
B. "When we reach grid parity the demand could well be infinite."
C. ―Supply has increased thanks to long-term price guarantees from the state, and lack of planning delays.‖
NO.                                                  6B
TITLE                                                Harnessing the power of the sun is more than just a bright ide

SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                       
                                                     Wednesday, 9th July 2008
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                               CLOZE
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                          SIMILAR
                                                     USE VOCABULARY FORM TEXT 6A
TOPIC AREA                                           ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT


Complete each space with a suitable word.

In just one hour, the energy transmitted by the (1) __________ to the earth's surface is more energy
than the world's population uses in a year. The potential for providing much of mankind's energy
needs by tapping into the sun's powerful energy is immense. It is a constantly renewable resource
and can be used without the carbon emissions that add to the greenhouse effect and therefore
climate change.
At the present time, there are (2) __________ forms of renewable solar energy. One is solar thermal
power which is used to heat things such as water for central heating systems but it does not create
electricity. The second form is photovoltaic (PV) solar energy. It uses PV solar panels to capture the
sun's energy and (3) __________ it into electricity to run electrical appliances such as televisions,
kettles, computers and light bulbs. The term photovoltaic is derived from 'photo' meaning light and
'voltaic' meaning energy.
But why are we discussing solar energy in the UK when so many days are overcast without direct
sunlight? The reason, contrary to popular belief, is it is daylight rather than direct sunlight which
charges the PV cells on the solar panels. When people talk about how good it is to harness solar
power in hotter countries, it is because there are more hours of (4) __________ in those places and
the amount of electricity generated is proportional to the intensity of the light. Even though the light
may not be as intense in Britain as in Africa, solar (5) __________ is possible here and indeed it is
already a reality. Around the world, PV solar panels collect energy not only on the roofs and sides
of buildings but also in fields, on car park roofs, yachts and even on the backs of camels to power
telephones and refrigeration systems. Their placement and use is really only limited by the
imagination and once the panels have been (6) __________ for, the electricity generated is free.
Techniques to capture the energy from the sun and turn it into electricity have been evolving with
new technology for many decades.
Deriving electricity from solar power using photovoltaic panels means no greenhouse gases are
emitted, there is a low carbon footprint and there is no (7) __________. The system is very reliable,
low maintenance, silent and more panels can easily be added. It has no moving parts or batteries
and the solar panels are guaranteed for 25 years. With PV solar panels, energy is constantly being
put into the electricity grid while there is daylight. By using PV solar panels to create electricity, the
school, householder or business will get an income from the generation of (8) __________ .
Why are we looking at nuclear power with its various potential hazards, not to mention cost, when
we can utilise the sun's energy without any serious side effects? The sun offers a limitless (9)
__________ of green energy. Could solar power be a little on the back-burner in the UK because
once the equipment is purchased, the electricity it (10) __________ is free, so no companies would
be profiting from usage?
NO.                                                 7A
TITLE                                               VIETNAM – FACTSHEET
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                              MCQ
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                         SIMILAR

TOPIC AREA                                          ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

                                     VIETNAM – FACTSHEET

Choose the best subtitle for each of the five paragraphs.

   1. A Renovation                   B Background:          C A colonial country D A Communist
   2. A Institutional architecture   B Political parties          C Political structure D The
   3. A Policy issues                B Implementing policy        C Decision makers     D
   4. A Tax reform                   B Taxation                   C Starting up new businesses D
      Policy issues
   5. A Trading agreements           B Foreign start-ups    C New exports       D Foreign trade

1. For much of its history Vietnam has fought off domination by outside powers. In 1945 Ho Chi
Minh declared independence from France after nearly 60 years of colonial rule. Vietnam was
divided between the communist north and the US-backed south in 1954. The country's war of
independence finally ended in 1975 with victory for the north. The Vietnamese invasion of
Cambodia in 1978-79 led to more than a decade of isolation from the West and to dependence on
the Soviet Union. This state of affairs ended with the Cambodian settlement of October 1991, which
allowed Vietnam to implement more fully the government's policy of economic renovation (doi
2. _____ Vietnam is one of the few surviving communist countries organised along traditional
Leninist lines. The overlap between the Communist Party of Vietnam and the government is
extensive at all levels. Efforts are under way to make local government more accountable and
transparent and to restructure government ministries to reduce overlap, but broader political change
is not on the agenda.
3. _____ The government has made progress in reducing poverty and maintaining strong rates of
economic growth, but tough policy challenges lie ahead, most notably in terms of improving
monetary policy, strengthening the legal framework and reforming state-owned enterprises.
Economic reforms will improve the operating environment for local and foreign investors, and
Vietnam's membership of the World Trade Organisation is forecast to do the same.
4. _____ Vietnamese and foreign employees are taxed differently. Personal income tax for
Vietnamese starts at 10% on monthly earnings after the first D4m (four million Vietnamese dong)
(US$312) and rises to a rate of 40% on earnings of more than D40m. Expatriate earnings are taxed
at between 10% and 40%, with the latter rate applying to monthly earnings of more than D80m. A
corporate tax rate of 28% applies to both domestic and foreign-invested enterprises. Certain
preferential rates still apply. Value-added tax (VAT) was simplified in 2004, and rates range from
zero to 10%.
5. ______ Based on estimated balance-of-payments data from the General Statistics Office (the
national statistical office), in 2007 exports reached an estimated US$48.7bn, up by 25% year on a
year, while the import bill increased by around 32.2% to US$58.6bn. As a result, the merchandise
trade deficit reached an estimated US$9.9bn in 2007.
Text 7B

Complete this information about Vietnam‘s economic data. You may use words from text 7A.

The ruling Communist (1) __________ of Vietnam will continue to dictate the political agenda and will maintain power
in 2008-12. The government will focus on economic (2)__________ , but will need to manage people's expectations in
this regard.
Vietnam will seek to maintain close ties with both the US and China. There will be occasional diplomatic disagreements
with the US, mainly as a result of differences over human rights, but (3) __________ and investment links will deepen.
Vietnam's membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will help to improve the business operating
(4)__________ . The government will also push ahead with its plans to reform (5) __________ enterprises, and there
will be progress in fulfilling its WTO commitment to liberalise trade.
Real GDP growth is (6)__________ to be strong in 2008-12, at an average of around 8% a year, driven mainly by
industrial expansion, consumer spending and fixed investment. Business sentiment and consumer confidence will
remain resilient, boosting (7)__________ and consumption.
(8) __________ membership will support continued strong growth in merchandise (9)__________ . However, Vietnam
will be designated a "non-market economy" for up to 12 years from accession, making it easier for other WTO members
to bring anti-dumping cases against it in an attempt to limit its exports.
Buoyant import demand, boosted by falling tariff barriers and strong consumer confidence, will ensure that the
merchandise trade account and the current account remain in (10) __________ in 2008-12.

Answers        2.growth        4.environment                       5.state-owned             6.forecast
        7.investment 8. WTO        9.exports     10.deficit

Reading skills – inferring the meaning of vocabulary using:

1. your knowledge of the world and economics
Around – very precise figures are not usually quoted in this type of article
Tough – challenges involving monetary policy, legal framework and reform of state-owned
enterprises are probably hard
Dong – in contrast with US currency quoted in article
2. your knowledge of the English language
settlement – -ment is usually a noun, Exception implement v
overlap – the preposition ‗over‘
membership - -ship is usually an abstract noun, a state or quality .e.g. leadership
strengthening - -en is usually a verb formed from an adjective
growth – similar to grow
3. the text
exports – followed by the verb ‗reached‘ – must be a noun
change – subject of ‗is not on the agenda‘ - must be a noun


Look at paragraph 5.
What preposition is used with the verb ‗reach‘?

Irregular past forms

combattere                   fight                         fought                        fought

portare (a)                  lead                          led                           led
NO.                                                     8A
TITLE                                                   MSc Chinese Business and Management –
                                                        Course structure
SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                          
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                                  MCQ
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                             SIMILAR


1. __________
    A. Business Environment and Strategy in China
    B. MNCs in China
    C. The New Private sector in China
This unit provides an overview of China’s business environment by contemplating its political, economic,
technological and environmental environment. It analyses the role of the state in shaping organisational
practices and competition strategy. The unit explores the development of Chinese businesses as a result of
the growing strength of the private sector, the entry of multinational corporations (MNCs)in China, and the
global competition that the Chinese industries are increasingly facing. It outlines major sources of
competition, changes and types of business strategies, using a selection of Chinese industries and firms as
examples. This unit aims to raise students’ awareness of the likely impact of elements of business strategy
on China’s environment and sustainability of long term development – economically, socially as well as

2. __________
    A. Financing Personnel Development
    B. Organisations and Human Resource Management in China
    C. Recruitment of Personnel in China
You are introduced to key themes and debates in organisational analysis and human resource management
(HRM). The course unit covers topics of HRM in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, including
Chinese-owned businesses and western MNCs in the Chinese region. It also examines HRM implications for
Chinese owned MNCs in developed and developing countries.

3. __________
     A. Research Methods for Organisations
     B. ITC in China
     C. Business Environment and Research in China
This course shows you how to conduct research that is valid, reliable and ethically sensitive. The distinction
is made between qualitative and quantitative methods, and practical skills in project management, data
collection and analysis, including computer analysis packages, are also developed. The course will provide
additional training in relevant skills, such as the use of relevant software packages, as well as in research
techniques necessary for conducting independent research.

4. __________
     A. China in East Asia
     B. China in Today’s World
     C. Business Environment and Strategy in China
This course unit examines Chinese and East Asian studies from multidisciplinary perspectives. It traces the
origins and evolution of Asian Studies since the end of World War II until today and examines the on-going
debates between area studies and disciplines. It also looks at China in the context of East Asia and its
formation as a historical entity from the regional perspective.

5. __________
    A. MNCs in China
    B. Marketing for China
    C. The Marketing Mix
This course unit introduces the key concepts of marketing and its importance from the stakeholders’
perspective. It provides an overview of the marketing process and the international marketing environment
under which marketing in China is explored. Models of consumer characteristics and buying behaviour, as
well as factors influencing buying behaviour and decision process are analysed. The course unit also
investigates issues related to marketing segmentation, targeting and positioning, e.g. how to identify the right
customers, how to position a company’s product/service to achieve competitive advantage through the
marketing mix and added value to customers. The course unit then explores issues related to international
advertising, marketing communications and business communications and how they can be applied in

6. __________
     A. Managing Global Supply Chains
     B. Supply Chain Management
     C. Logistics and Supply Chains
This unit provides an overview of global sourcing approaches, with a focus on the strategic issues of
managing global supply networks, including network structuring, logistics, organisational structure and risk
management. The unit takes a strategic perspective using case studies and research data to demonstrate
how sourcing practices have transformed over the past 20 years and indeed how they will need to continue
to transform with the movement to outsourcing and more specifically ‘off shoring’. The unit has a focus on
sourcing in China.

7. __________
    A. Mid-Term Evaluation
    B. Performance Assessment and Decision Support
    C. Case Studies of Performance in modern China
This course unit uses real world applications to illustrate the concepts, principles and methodologies on how
to measure performances, structure performance assessment frameworks, conduct performance
assessments and generate aggregated outcomes. The module also covers the latest developments in the
decision support field, including how to handle different types of uncertainties in performance assessment.
You are expected to apply the concepts, principles, methodologies and tools to case studies.

8. __________
     A. Chinese Language
     B. Mandarin and Cantonese
     C. Advanced Chinese
This module introduces you to the modern Chinese language, Mandarin, from the beginner’s level to the pre-
intermediate level. Lessons will include four language skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing.

NO.                                                      8B
TITLE                                                    MSc Chinese Business and Management –
                                                         Course structure
SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                           
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                                   CLOZE
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                              YES

                                                         USE VOCABULARY FROM TEXT 9A
TOPIC AREA                                               International Business


The MSc in Chinese Business and Management is a one-year, full-time course. It is a multidisciplinary taught
course with a (1) __________ on business and management in the Chinese context. These include, for
example, Chinese-owned and foreign-owned (2) __________ operating in China, as well as Chinese
multinational firms operating outside China.
The course examines in depth a wide range of issues related to Chinese business and (3) __________ and
its cultural and institutional (4) __________. It draws on disciplinary knowledge from economics,
organisational behaviour, human resource management, marketing, supply chain management, politics and
cultural studies.
Students also receive a thorough grounding in social science research issues and (5) __________, including
techniques of quantitative and qualitative data collection, analysis and interpretation.
The course consists of eight subject-specific course units and a final (6) __________ on a Chinese business
and management related (7) __________. It takes a comparative and international approach to the study of
Chinese business and management issues. In other words, China is not studied in isolation but in the global
(8) __________ and from political and legal, economic, cultural, technological and environmental angles.
The course is (9) __________ by academic members of staff who have internationally renowned (10)
__________ on Chinese business and management, politics and cultural studies. Whilst located in and
managed by Manchester Business School, the course draws expertise and other (11) __________ from a
number of schools across the Humanities Faculty of the University, including that from the Faculty’s Centre
for Chinese Studies and Manchester Business School’s Centre for Chinese Business and Management
Studies. The (12) __________ offers an enriching and interesting experience for students.

NO.                                                   9
TITLE                                                 The Facts About MicroLoans
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                                VARIOUS
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                           NO

TOPIC AREA                                            FINANCE AND BANKING

                            THE FACTS ABOUT MICROLOANS
1 U.S. Small Business Administration and the MicroLoan Program.
The MicroLoan Demonstration Program combines the resources and experience of the U.S. Small
Business Administration with that of locally based nonprofit organizations to provide small loans
and technical assistance to small businesses. Under the Micro-Loan Program, the SBA makes funds
available to qualified non-profit organizations, which act as intermediary lenders. The
intermediaries use the funds provided by the SBA to make loans to new and existing small
Under the MicroLoan Program, a small business can borrow up to $25,000 from an intermediary
lender, which also provides management and technical assistance designed to help ensure success.

2 Eligibility Requirements
Virtually any type of for-profit small business is eligible for the MicroLoan Program. The form of
the business, (A .... ), is not a determining factor. It must, however, meet the SBA's size standards at
the time of application. (Generally, borrowers applying for this type of loan will fall well within
these standards).

3 Use of Loan Funds
MicroLoan funds may be used for working capital or to purchase inventory, supplies, furniture,
fixtures, machinery and /or equipment. These funds may not be used to purchase real estate, to
provide a down payment on a project in excess of $25,000 in value, or, with limited exceptions, to
refinance existing debts.

4 Loan Terms
Under the MicroLoan Program, the maximum loan amount is $25,000. The average is around
$10,000. The maximum term allowed for a loan is six years. However, loan terms vary according
to the size of the loan, the planned use of funds, the requirements of the intermediary lender and
 (B ...). Interest rates vary, depending upon the intermediary lender. Rates are generally
5 Credit Requirements
MicroLoan applicants must meet the credit requirements of their local intermediary lender.
Generally, however, applicants will be expected to demonstrate good character, a strong
commitment to their business idea, and a credit history that demonstrates a reasonable assurance
that the loan will be repaid. In addition, applicants should have some management expertise or be
willing to participate in training designed to strengthen management skills.

6 Collateral Requirements
As with credit standards, collateral requirements for the Micro- Loan Program are set by the local
intermediary lender. In most cases, loans are at least partially collateralized by equipment,
contracts, inventory or other property. Lenders may also require personal guaranties.

7 Applying for a MicroLoan
The first step in applying for a microloan is to contact your local intermediary lender. The
intermediary will provide the details on applying for a loan or (C ...).
The MicroLoan Program is a pilot program and not available everywhere. Contact your nearest
SBA office to find out if an intermediary lender operates in your area.

Exercise One. True or false? Give the number(s) of the SECTION(s) where you find the
Example answers: True - Section 1 False Sections 4 & 5

1.   MicroLoans can only be used to finance certain types of expenditure.
2.   MicroLoans are mainly intended for people starting up a new business for the first time.
3.   Under the scheme, the SBA lends the money to small businesses through other organizations.
4.   Loan terms and collateral requirements are fixed by savings banks.
5.   The scheme is particularly intended to help voluntary organisations.
6.   The Micro-Loan Program is available in all cities in the U.S.A.
7.   The personal qualities of applicants are not important.

Exercise Two. Three of following phrases have been extracted from the text in spaces (A), (B) and
(C). Insert them into the right space. Write 'NOT FROM THE TEXT' for one of the answers.
1. ..... the needs of the small business borrower ...
2. ...... receiving technical assistance ...
3. ...... SBA District Offices ...
4. ...... whether a proprietorship, partnership or corporation ...

Exercise Three. Choose the alternative which is nearest in meaning to the word or words underlined
in the text.
1. purchase         A. disinvest                   B. lend                      C. buy
2. commitment to    A. involvement in              B. acquisition of            C. exception for
3. be willing       A. be unable                   B. be ready                  C. be unlikely

Exercise Four. Choose the correct alternative to interpret these noun groups in italics in the text.

1. working capital            A. a type of capital                  B. a type of work
2. loan terms                 A. conditions for loans               B. loans for periods of time

Exercise Five. Complete the following table. Some of the words you need are in the text.
VERB             NOUN              PERSON OR AGENT
1 ......         loan              2 .......
3 ........       4 .......         provider
5 .......        fund              XXX
to apply         6 .......         7 .......

Now use words from the table to complete the following sentences. Grammatical modifications
may be necessary.

8. The ... was made by the bank at preferential interest rates.
9. There were about fifty ... for the job when it was advertised.
10. Congress cut back ... for the program.
NO.                                                     10
TITLE                                                   CANADIAN BANKS - CONSUMER PROTECTION
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                                  T / F / DOESN‘T SAY
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                             NO

TOPIC AREA                                              BANKING

                                           CANADIAN BANKS
READING. Read this information from the website of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada.
Are the sentences ‗Right‘ or ‗Wrong‘? If there is not enough information to answer ‗Right‘ or
‗Wrong‘, choose ‗Doesn‘t Say‘.

This section contains specific consumer protection measures that apply to you if you want to open an account
at a bank or trust and loan company that operates under federal laws. When you have decided on the services
you need, you are ready to open your account. At that time, it is the bank's responsibility to provide you with
specific information in writing.
The Government of Canada regulates all banks and some trust and loan companies. Under the laws of
Canada, the bank must provide you in writing with:
      an account agreement which describes the bank's responsibilities to you, and your responsibilities to
         the bank; and
      specific information about your account, including:
             1. the interest rate that applies if you can earn interest on the money you deposit in your
             2. the charges and fees you may have to pay;
             3. the policy of the bank related to hold on funds deposited by cheque; and
             4. the bank's complaint handling process.

                                             INTEREST RATES
When you have an account that earns interest, the bank will pay you a percentage of the
amount of money you have in your account as interest. That percentage is called the "interest
rate". The interest rate that your bank pays is based on a number of factors, including the
rate set by the Bank of Canada. That rate may change from time to time.
If the money in your deposit account earns interest, the bank must give you specific information:
             what interest rate will apply to the money in your account;
             how the bank will calculate the interest you will receive;
             how the interest will be paid to you (for example, it may be deposited into your account);
             how often the interest will be paid to you (for example, it may be paid once a month, every
                three months or once a year); and
             if the amount of money that you have in your account can affect the rate of interest you may

1. Canadian banks must inform their customers about mutual responsibilities in writing.
        Right                 Wrong                   Doesn‘t say
2. Canadian banks must inform their customers about interest rates on deposit accounts.
        Right                 Wrong                   Doesn‘t say
3. Canadian bank customers always pay charges and fees.
        Right                 Wrong                   Doesn‘t say
4. Customers must always inform the bank of any complaint they have.
        Right                     Wrong                   Doesn‘t say
5. The interest rate depends on various factors.
        Right                     Wrong                   Doesn‘t say
6. Other bank interest rates are usually lower than the rate set by the Bank of Canada
        Right                     Wrong                   Doesn‘t say
NO.                                    11
TITLE                                  New Zealand couple go on run after £3.8m bank error

SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                   The Guardian James Meikle 21 May 2009
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                 MCQ
SKILL / LANGUAGE AREA OF               Scanning, banking vocabulary

TOPIC AREA                             Private banking

Read the article below.
For each question choose one letter (A, B or C) for your answer.

              Manhunt launched after pair disappear with cash deposited by mistake

There used to be a British bank that liked to say "yes" – but a bank in New Zealand has gone a step
further in responding to a couple's plea for an overdraft.
It mistakenly deposited NZ$10m (£3.85m) – 1,000 times the requested amount – into their account.
And the temptation seems to have been too much. After withdrawing some of the money the couple
disappeared from a service station they ran in Rotorua, about 150 miles south of Auckland.
Media in the country suggested they may have fled to Korea or China, and police have asked
Interpol for help.
The bank, Westpac, which has reportedly recovered NZ$4m, said it was "pursuing vigorous
criminal and civil action to recover the sum of money stolen". It refused to confirm the exact
amount involved.
The New Zealand Herald reported a bank spokesman as saying human error was responsible for the
mistake and that the bank was reviewing its procedures. The paper named the couple as Leo Gao
and his girlfriend Cara Young.
A neighbour said the service station was open on 7 May, but the next day it was closed and a notice
said it was in receivership.
New Zealand's banking ombudsman told the Daily Post in Rotorua that it was a criminal offence to
spend money mistakenly put into bank accounts if the holders knew it was not their own.
Claire Matthews, a lecturer in banking at Massey University, told Newstalk ZB in Auckland:
"They've taken funds they're not entitled to, that are not theirs. They've effectively, I guess, become

1. How much did the couple ask to borrow?
A 10 000 NZ$        B 1 000 NZ$                      C £ 1 000

2. The couple were
A bank employees.                     B gas station managers.                 C railway employees.

3. Their destination is
A not known to the police.            B a desert island.                      C known to the police.

4. The bank has so far received
A none of the money.                  B under half of the money.              C over half of the money.

5. The payment was probably made
A because of a mistake by a bank employee.
B because of a computer error.
C through dishonesty.

6. The couple
A are technically criminals.
B have the support of the bank manager.
C are unaware of the bank‘s mistake.

Match each definition with a term from the article.
          1. Amount
          2. Bankrupt and controlled by officials
          3. Extra amount a bank makes available for customers.
          4. Owner of account
          5. Pay into an account
          6. Take out of an account

          a)   deposit
          b)   holder
          c)   overdraft
          d)   receivership
          e)   sum
          f)   withdraw
NO.                                               12
TITLE                                             Green-inspired innovation

SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                              Jacquelyn A. Ottman, President, J. Ottman Consulting,
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                            MCQ
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                       YES


Read the article below about product life cycles and the questions.
For each question choose one letter (A, B, C or D) for your answer.

                              GREEN-INSPIRED INNOVATION
                The real news about green marketing—yesterday, today, tomorrow

Green-inspired innovation
Old news: ―Green‖ products don‘t work and consumers won‘t buy them. New news:
Environmentally sustainable products can lead to a potent new source of innovation and
competitive advantage.

The environment is hot right now; and I don‘t mean, in all due respect, global warming. Time,
Newsweek, Vanity Fair and Elle are running cover stories to fill the mainstream consumer‘s need
for information on all things green. Companies like Wal-Mart, GE, BP, Toyota, Whole Foods,
Estee Lauder and Colgate-Palmolive are all looking for a piece of the action.
A new market has emerged
What are they after? A piece of the ―LOHAS‖ (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) market, a
market led by 50 million consumers willing to spend an estimated $228 billion on organic foods,
renewable energy, hybrid cars, eco-tourism and socially screened investments.
Need a light bulb?
Reach for the Marathon brand from Philips. Pay more for this compact fluorescent bulb over an
incandescent but save $26—and don‘t worry about changing the bulb over the next six years. It‘s
such an enticing consumer proposition, GE and Wal- Mart have teamed up for a launch of their
Want cleaner clothes?
Try some of the frontloading Energy-Star qualified washers that are now on the market these days
thanks to Department of Energy regulations requiring greater levels of energy and water
efficiency. Chances are the one you buy will not only have the same or greater capacity as your top
loader, it will leave your clothes just as clean.
Drive fewer than 7500 miles per year?
Look forward to saving thousands of dollars annually by joining one of the car sharing services
that have sprang up in 25 cities around the U.S. A time-sharing concept for cars, imported from the
Netherlands, such services let you ―lease‖ any type of vehicle to suit the particular need of your
driving occasion—perhaps a van for moving or a sporty small car for running errands around town
without the hassle of finding a parking space or maintaining the car. This innovation represents
only one of the possible new business models that green-inspired innovation can bring.
Speaking of Europe, there‘s a lot on the horizon that product developers and marketers need to be
cognizant of. In Europe (as well as in Japan) companies are now gearing up to respond to
government directives and policies that have serious impacts for how many types of products will
be designed and conceived of. In Europe, examples include the End of Life Vehicles Policy and the
WEEE Directive (Waste Electronics and Electrical Equipment) that require manufacturers to
assume responsibility for their products from birth through the end of their lives.
Such initiatives spur foreign competitors to push the outside of the environmental innovation
envelope. American companies can‘t risk being caught off guard, lest they fall into the same trap as
Ford and GM in a U.S. auto market swiftly veering toward smaller, fuel efficient models.
Now‘s the time to act upon this news. Clean out whatever cobwebs exist about consumers not
paying a premium or green products not working as well. While some of this is still true, the real
news is that given a brand they trust and armed with the extra knowledge that it happens also to be
green, a large and growing number of consumers will grab the eco-friendly option. Moreover,
many green products and technologies have improved significantly since 1970s, and many are so
improved they are now superior to their conventional ―brown‖ counterparts.
               By Jacquelyn A. Ottman, President, J. Ottman Consulting, Inc., (,

   1. According to the article
         A. The market is increasingly unfavourable to green products.
         B. The market is increasingly favourable to green products.
         C. Eco-friendly products are becoming cheaper.
         D. Consumers do not trust what they read about eco-friendly products.

2.According to the text, consumers
   A. look for information on green products in large stores.
   B. are reading an increasing amount of mainstream publications
   C. are willing to spend billions of dollars on the LOHAS market.
   D. are often discouraged from buying eco-friendly products by lack of information.

3. What does the writer say about mainstream publications?
    A. They are publishing pieces about environmental issues.
    B. They are uninterested in environmental questions.
    C. They carry many advertisements for eco-friendly products.
    D. They are available in eco-friendly stores.

4. What does the writer say about light bulbs?
    A. The new type are more expensive.
    B. The old type lasted longer.
    C. Consumers are uninterested in the new brands.
    D. They are mainly bought in hypermarkets.

5. What does the writer say about car-sharing schemes?
    A. They are being imitated in Europe.
    B. There is little variety in the car models available.
    C. They are flexible and useful.
    D. Driving licenses are a major consideration.

6. The article says that
    A. The US is ahead of other parts of the world in waste recycling.
    B. Americans car makers are now manufacturing smaller cars
   C. Environmental legislation is stronger in Japan than in Europe
   D. European legislation will have far-reaching effects on consumption

Here are some phrases taken from the online article on Green-inspired innovation.
Check you understand them.
an enticing consumer proposition
organic foods, renewable energy, hybrid cars, eco-tourism and socially screened investments
performance, money savings, health, and convenience

Make noun groups using the table.

a large and growing number      of      consumers
greater levels                          energy and water efficiency
thousands                               dollars annually
a piece                                 the action
NO.                                                13
TITLE                                              Loyalty Cards: Reward or Threat?
SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                               Martin H. Bosworth July
                                                   11, 2005
EXERCISE TYPE ENG, IT,                             MCQ
EXERCISE TYPE (BEC VANTAGE)                        YES

TOPIC AREA                                         MARKETING

                        LOYALTY CARDS: REWARD OR THREAT?
                  By Martin H. Bosworth July 11, 2005

According to a 2004 poll conducted by Boston University's College of Communication, 86 percent
of American shoppers use some form of store card or discount card, "and the majority of them say
the benefits of the card are worth giving up some privacy." A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
(CBC) article in 2004 stated that 76 percent of Canadian consumers belong to at least one loyalty
program. A British advertising column boasted that loyalty card programs had achieved "85%
consumer penetration" in the U.K. circa March 2005.
Loyalty card users enjoy discounted prices, special coupon offers, and rebates or "points" towards
airline tickets or shopping sprees, much like credit cards. In addition, many loyalty card programs
offer tangible benefits such as the CVS (Consumer Value Stores, a US Pharmacy chain) plan to
designate pharmaceuticals purchased with their card as qualifying for medical Flexible Spending
Accounts (FSA's), or the Upromise plan, which allocates portions of money spent using
participating stores' loyalty cards to your children's 529 college savings account.
Many users consider the idea of targeted marketing a boon -- if they like one kind of product, why
wouldn't they want to get offers for similar products?
Most shoppers approach loyalty cards with a mixture of weariness, indifference, and amusement.
Technology writer Declan McCullagh succinctly stated that "nobody's forcing shoppers to sign up
for such cards. If you don't like stores that offer them, take your business elsewhere." Or as blogger
Jane Hauntanen put it, "Now people will know I bought a roll of dental floss at 7:49 PM at CVS and
paid two dollars for it. That is an invasion of my privacy. Of course if it bothered me that much, I
could just pay cash and forget about the savings."
However, many shoppers are increasingly aware that loyalty cards are being used to compile
profiles of their shopping habits for later use, and that this data can be farmed out to business
partners, telemarketers, and direct-mail solicitors. What isn't public knowledge, however, is how
often discount card programs themselves are outsourced to other companies.
Outsourcing for Discounts
Running a loyalty card program is big business, and often incurs heavy administrative costs. CVS'
ExtraCare program netted it an extra 30 million shoppers and $12 billion a year in revenue across
its 4,000 stores, but the extensive hardware and software implementation necessary to run such a
program has kept other major drug store chains from introducing similar programs.
Many retailers turn to third-party merchants and marketers like Arthur Blank and Alpha Cards to
design and develop their discount card programs. Alpha Cards' customer loyalty program boasts of
using magnetic strip and "smart card" technology to "offer your customers product discounts and
points toward merchandise, and record valuable data about their buying preferences at the same
time." The CardWerk company advocates using smart card technology at point-of-sale transactions
to reduce fraud, improve usability, and "maintain customer loyalty."
It's not an unreasonable concern that customers' buying profiles will be as vulnerable to fraud and
misuse as their credit card numbers, particularly if the third-party companies practice lax security
measures. Technology newspaper Information Week reported in May of 2004 that "Unisys chief
security adviser Sunil Misra [discussed a] case where a member of the senior IT staff at a large
supermarket chain created a secret back door so he could access and sell protected information."
Valuetec, a leading provider of gift and loyalty cards to businesses and retail store chains, recently
partnered with credit card payment processor CardSystems to provide "comprehensive gift card and
loyalty card products", as well as implementing "stored value systems", where a customer gets a set
point balance on their card, which replenishes when they make purchases at the sponsoring store.
CardSystems was the vendor responsible for 40 million Visa and MasterCard users' data being
exposed to potential theft in June 2005.

1. According to the text, loyalty card users
    A. are increasing in number fastest in the USA.
    B. receive most benefits in Canada.
    C. exist on both sides of the Atlantic.
    D. exist in higher numbers where there are fewer supermarkets.

2. According to the text, most loyalty card users
    A. save points towards children‘s health schemes.
    B. are forced to participate in points schemes which they do not appreciate.
    C. do not use their cards to the full potential.
    D. can save money on shelf prices as well as gain other benefits.

3. According to the text,
      A. security for credit cards is at the same level as security for loyalty cards.
      B. there is growing concern about the security aspect of loyalty cards.
      C. many firms outsource loyalty programmes in order to raise security levels.
      D. security levels of loyalty programmes are improving.

4. What do you learn about Jane Hauntanen?
    A. She is extremely concerned about online security.
    B. She is a loyalty card user.
    C. She refuses to use a loyalty card.
    D. She often buys dental floss for her teeth.

5. What does the writer say about loyalty card schemes?
    A. They can be very expensive for retailers to set up.
    B. They are becoming increasingly standardised.
    C. The cost of the schemes are born by the consumer.
    D. Consumers have a favourable attitude to them.

6. What does the writer say about security?
    A. Most supermarkets are taking action to safeguard customer security.
    B. There is growing concern about the security aspect of loyalty cards.
    C. Many firms outsource loyalty programmes in order to raise security levels.
    D. Security levels of loyalty programmes are rising.
NO.                                              14
TITLE                                            The aid workers who really help
SOURCE, AUTHOR, DATE                             The Economist
                                        Oct 8th 2009
SKILL / LANGUAGE AREA OF EXERCISE(S)             Numbers, acronyms, prepostions

TOPIC AREA                                       Migration and development

                       The aid workers who really help
How much do migrants, by sending remittances and other means, act as catalysts for
               development in the countries they leave behind?

AS THE dust settled after the attacks of September 11th 2001, officials in America and elsewhere started
tracking cross-border flows of money from migrants, in the hope of nabbing terrorists. Remittance agencies
were regulated more heavily; cash transfers from foreign workers were monitored. Not much was discovered
about terrorism, but lots of new data emerged on the economics of migration.
It was a happy side-effect. Over the past few years migration experts have gained a clearer view of how
some 200m people working abroad affect the lives of compatriots who stay home. The impact, it turns out, is
huge and benign.
Obviously, migrants help their homelands by remitting cash on a vast scale. Armies of itinerant nannies,
dishwashers, meatpackers and plumbers shift more capital to poorer countries than do Western aid efforts.
(This may long have been true, but without the data who knew?) The World Bank says foreign workers sent
$328 billion from richer to poorer countries last year, more than double the $120 billion in official aid flows
from OECD members. India got $52 billion from its diaspora, more than it took in foreign direct investment.
Impressive as these figures are, measuring the real impact is hard. Not all the cash goes to the most needy.
Middle-income places like Poland and Mexico are big recipients; poor and isolated ones, notably in Africa,
are less likely to export many migrants (though, as Africa grows richer, its small emigrant population will
probably soar). Nor do remittances, even when they land in poor countries, always reach the poorest. Most
migrants need some funds and education to get away, so their families are often slightly richer than average.
Yet remittances are an efficient, market-driven means of pushing money towards people who are hard-
pressed. Crucially cash is not channelled through NGOs or civil servants, who absorb (and waste) a big
chunk of aid. Nor can corrupt officials easily steal the funds. Technology, notably mobile phones and online
banking, and competition between remittance agencies, make exchanging money between individuals ever
easier, safer and cheaper.
Even if some remittance money is ―wasted‖ (in development terms) on consumer goods, the flow of cash
boosts demand in recipient economies and supplies precious hard currency. And some remittances are spent
on developmentally useful things like education and health. As migrants‘ funds cut poverty in a household,
girls stay longer in schools, nutrition improves and healthier babies are born.
In emergencies—like last month‘s Pacific tsunami—relatives abroad can respond with material aid and cash.
Similarly Zimbabwean exiles, many of them in South Africa, have kept starving relatives alive. They send
maize flour and cooking oil, as well as cash, often carried by bus drivers acting as remittance men.
Beyond cash remittances, do migrants boost human welfare in other ways? The UN‘s latest ―Human
Development Report‖, published on October 5th, makes a refreshing attempt to say yes. Rather than calling
migration a problem to be solved, it offers the development case in favour of the freer movement of labour.
Most obviously, note the authors, by crossing a border most migrants find a richer, longer, healthier and
better-educated life than they would otherwise have had: over three-quarters go to a country with a higher
rank on the human development index. The report (and others) also makes the case that migrants send home
useful values as well as cash. Demetrios Papademetriou, head of the Migration Policy Institute in
Washington, DC, argues that such ―knowledge transfers, the social and political remittances‖ are very
important. He and other migration watchers are turning their attention from the flow of money to the flow of
ideas. It is hard to prove anything, but there are cases where large-scale return migration has coincided with
(and perhaps boosted) political and economic change. Many Turks, Greeks and Portuguese who worked in
northern Europe in the 1960s and 1970s returned as their homelands were becoming freer.
Today, many ―people of Indian origin‖ in America and elsewhere are pushing for transparency and simpler
regulations for foreign investors who want to start businesses in India. As India‘s officials have responded,
remittances and investment have soared. Other governments, increasingly aware of the funds available from
their diaspora, may follow. Countries in west Africa want to tap their emigrants in Europe and America as a
source of capital, by offering investment guarantees and a more welcome business environment. In other
cases, notably in Central America, governments (city or national) and local bodies are starting to offer
matching funds if emigrants send remittances to pay for small projects like school repairs and road building.
Known as ―4-4-1‖ schemes, the idea is to multiply the benefits to a local community from migrants‘ funds.
Some donors, like Canada and Sweden, wonder whether aid should be bundled together with remittances.
Of course, migration also has its difficulties for development. Skilled workers leaving poor countries are an
evident brain drain, though in some places doctors and other graduates might in any case be driven away by
bad working conditions.
Nor is it clear that the effect of migrants on their home countries will continue to grow. About 3% of the
world‘s population lives abroad: a share that has hardly grown in recent years, despite a jump in absolute
numbers. The World Bank says cash remittances, which seem to have surged in the past decade (in part
because of better data), may have peaked in 2008.
It is clear that in some regions, notably Latin America, remittances have declined this year, although funds
from migrants in the Gulf have probably remained steady.
A study in June by the OECD, a rich-country think-tank, found that migrants are suffering a lot from the
downturn in prosperous economies. All over the rich world there are signs that new flows of migrants have
sagged (though not the total number abroad). And many migrants are struggling. In Spain the jobless rate for
the foreign-born reached 28% in the second quarter, against a national rate of 18%. And in Ireland and
Britain it seems that some migrants, for example from Poland, have gone home rather than await better days.
For all migration‘s excellent effects, it is now—says Jean-Christophe Dumont of the OECD—―less than
clear what potential migration has for poverty relief‖ in future.

1What does the article say about migrant workers?
  A. They are mainly useful to their host country.
  B. Increasing numbers are travelling to work in the west because of the recession.
  C. Their remittances are a big source of income for their home countries

2 What does the article say about remittances?
   A. They are less efficient than donations made by charities.
   B. They are more efficient than donations made by charities.
   C. They play an important role in tax-exemptions in host countries.


Speaking Reading / saying figures ,dates
Speaking Reading Acronyms 4-4-1 cp 1-2-1 B2B

Informal expressions typical of Economist – metaphorical etc. Dust settled, nab, sag

Vocabulary – derivations
Migrate – migration , immigration, migrant, emigrant, immigrant
Remit remittance
Movement development investment government environment

Grammar / Vocabulary Noun groups
Bus driver
Remittance agency
Poverty relief
Knowledge transfer

By – from
India got $52 billion from its diaspora,
They send maize flour and cooking oil, as well as cash, often carried by bus drivers
Obviously, migrants help their homelands by remitting cash

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