viernes, 21 de enero de 2011

The Future

When I say "the future," I mean from the point of view of both grammar and time, you´ll soon see what I mean.
We have been revising the different ways of speaking about the future in our English class in 1ºBAC and one of them, the future perfect, is not that much used in everyday life but in this video you can find quite a few sentences which are very good examples of its use.

This is one of the NASA videos; it is called "The Frontier is Everywhere" and the voice you´ll hear is Carl Sagan´s, who is basically saying that, if we, human beings, are careful and don't kill each other, we are capable of great discoveries and advances in the future, for example, finding other lives.
The video is really nice: the images, the music, the beautiful voice of the narrator... but, when I think of NASA, and  their massive spending on investigating the boundaries of space - knowing that  we have not yet been able to break the racial, geographical and ideological barriers that separate all of us here on earth - I can´t help thinking of all the things that could be done with their budget.

This is a good point for a discussion: Do you think NASA space missions and aviation should be supported, regardless of the cost, or should that money be spent on the earth? Any thoughts you would like to share?

And now my advice on how to use this video to practise English:
  • listening and reading activity: listen to the video while you read the subtitles
  • listening and pronunciation practice: play the video but read the text below at the same time. You should imitate the pronunciation and intonation. Do it several times to make sure you eventually pronounce all the words correctly
  • vocabulary learning: click on the highlighted words and expressions to make sure you understand what they mean
  • grammar (future) practice: focus on the underlined sentences to make sure you fully comprehend the use of the present perfect.

We were hunters and foragers,
The frontier was everywhere,
We were bounded only by the Earth, and the ocean, and the sky.
The open road still softly calls.
Our little terraqueous globe is the madhouse of those hundred, thousand, millions of worlds.
We, who cannot even put our own planetary home in order riven with rivalries and hatreds, are we to venture out into space?
By the time we're ready to settle even the nearest other planetary systems, we will have changed.
The simple passage of so many generations will have changed us,
Necessity will have changed us.
We're an adaptable species.
It will not be we who reach Alpha Centauri and the other nearby stars.
It will be a species very like us but with more of our strengths and fewer of our weaknesses: more confident, far seeing, capable, and prudent.
For all our failings, despite our limitations and fallibilities, we humans are capable of greatness.
What new wonders undreamt of in our time will we have wrought in another generation? and another?
How far will our nomadic species have wandered by the end of the next century? And the next millennium?.
Our remote descendants, safely arrayed on many worlds through the solar system and beyond will be unified by their common heritage, by their regard for their home planet and by the knowledge that, whatever other life may be, the only humans in all the universe come from Earth.
They will gaze up and strain to find the blue dot in their skies.
They will marvel at how vulnerable the repository of all our potential once was, how perilous our infancy, how humble our beginnings, how many rivers we had to cross before we found our way.


2 comentarios:

  1. The space race has achieved something very important: to teach us that we live on a planet.
    A planet is a place a little larger than an island, but basically is just an island ... and we have no other place to go .... and our children either.
    There are many needs here on earth, but looking long term all that we spent in space will be a good investment.

  2. Enrique, thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.
    By the way, your English is really good - and I can see you know a lot of vocabulary. Keep up the good work!


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