Magazine topic: 
Science and technology
Total votes: 131

Has technology taken over?

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by : 
TeresaC

In E. M. Forster’s short story, ‘The Machine Stops’, he talks about ‘The Machine’, which is worshipped by the majority of people in the world of the book. In the story, the world's population is encased in a machine, and each person has an object similar to an iPad, with a Skype-like function - ‘there were buttons and switches everywhere […] there was the button that produced literature. And there were of course the buttons by which she communicated with her friends’.

Recently, I accidentally spilt a glass of water over my beloved 2-year-old laptop. Almost immediately, the screen went blank and it hasn’t worked since. I phoned my mum in tears, telling her what had happened. It felt like I had lost a limb! I began to panic, knowing that, for a few weeks (until I can get a replacement) I will have to live without easy, quick access to Facebook, email, Skype, YouTube…

And then it hit me; technology is taking over my life! Not a day goes by without me using the internet for at least two hours a day, be it for work, or fun, or online shopping, studying, or contacting my friends and family. In Forster’s story, people become obsessed with their ‘Book of the Machine’. When I first read the story six months ago, I found it a little scary because it does reflect our lives today, to some extent. We are all attached to a ‘machine’, be it a mobile phone, a computer or laptop, an ipad, or an iPod or an MP3 player… When I realised that Forster had written his story in 1909, I was frightened – how did he manage to predict the future so accurately? Although we are not yet as obsessed as the characters in the story, it is believable that one day we may be!

Something else that has surprised me recently is using a pen and paper for writing – I’ve become so used to typing that writing has become a little strange! I used to love writing, particularly letters, but also schoolwork - anything really! But in the last couple of years, I have become used to typing quick messages to my friends and family, and I have word processed all of my university work. My handwriting, once lovely and easy to read, has become a rushed scribble. Surely technology is supposed to make our lives easier, not rushed?!

Realising this, I’ve decided that a few weeks without a laptop will be good for me! I am now using my mobile phone less, and instead I’ve written letters to my family and friends, taking time to really think about what I am saying to them.

I’m sure that once I have a replacement computer, I will fall back into my bad habits – but for now, it is a refreshing change!!

Discussion

Do you think technology is taking over? Do you use your laptop or mobile phone a lot? How much time do you spend online?

Comments

sararosita's picture
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sararosita 15 August, 2014 - 23:44

I use my phone a lot ;i spend most of the time connecting with fiends and familly this is a bad thing i think that we misuse technology ;because we spend most of the time alone and we forget about people who are living with us in the same house i notice that the time that i spend with friends is more than the time that i spend with my familly; actually i do not talk a lot with my sister and my mother everyone is busy doing something else so the relationship between members of the familly deteriorate

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38 users have voted.
AterTAurus's picture
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AterTAurus 29 April, 2014 - 16:29

my mobile is 12h a day and in a month i spend more o less 5 gb of internet connection (this is quite much for a mobile) mostly for videos, for music and to keep in touch with my friends. i think if you use too much something, it will be hard to get rid of that thing.

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33 users have voted.
WhiteRabbit's picture
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WhiteRabbit 22 April, 2014 - 13:27

I have the same problem!
I've used computer a lot because it's much more beautiful and I can change the colors and the size much easier. I think it OK because it's quite nice for the environment, because we don't use paper any more.
But sometimes I depend on my computer too much, I can't contact with my friends without it and I can't finish my work. The little thing has changed my life a lot in good ways and bad ways. It is no good for my eyes. I don't want to be almost blind without glasses^^

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37 users have voted.
Rei's picture
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Rei 22 January, 2014 - 15:52

i HAVE A NOKIA asha 240 mobile phone .. Not a speciale phone but Good :P .. My sister have Iphone 5 :) I feel Lose :P :P :P It's only for laugh

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37 users have voted.
Rei's picture
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Rei 22 January, 2014 - 15:50

Hi all .. I'm Rei . I'm 13 year old .. I'm new here .. In my country Albania Techonolgyis not strong .. yeah now all are with iphone facebook twiter chat and all other..IN future techonolgy will be bad for we .. we can feel feet :P :) Your new friend REI

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32 users have voted.
A3BALE11's picture
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A3BALE11 9 January, 2014 - 19:03

I agree with this article about the fact that without technology we would be out of place, I think we should try to use the technology within limits because otherwise we would be under the control of it

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34 users have voted.
Woody96's picture
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Woody96 30 December, 2013 - 11:08

Yes, I agree. Nowadays the technology is very important for young people as a result of technological progress. It should detoxify technology objects.

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40 users have voted.
Niluh's picture
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Niluh 3 December, 2013 - 06:45

Hi Teresa :) Yes, of course. I have a mobile phone, i use my phone to listen to music while i am playing computer. Sometimes, i forget to turn the music off and it turn on in many hours that's the reason why i charge my phone very often that others :D

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41 users have voted.
Niluh's picture
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Niluh 2 December, 2013 - 15:09

I can't count how many hours i spend my time in front of computer, but i can say that i spend lots of time just for online and reading articles,i learn English with my computer as well.

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37 users have voted.
TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 2 December, 2013 - 18:19

Hi Niluh! I agree - it is hard to count how many hours we spend online because we can find so much information on the internet! Do you have a mobile phone too? Do you like to listen to music or watch movies online? 

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35 users have voted.
domozauras's picture
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domozauras 2 December, 2013 - 12:42

TeresaC, i agree with you 100%. Most of people lives are taken by technologies. I think I am little bit taken too. But not too much, becouse i have very hard and full routine. So I don't have enough time for things like that.

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32 users have voted.
TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 2 December, 2013 - 14:53

Hi Domozauras, I'm glad we agree! Do you have a mobile phone? What do you like to do when you're on the internet? What do you do in your busy days? 

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33 users have voted.
ellen's picture
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ellen 1 December, 2013 - 18:46

hello Teresac.
How are you?
So do I.
Yes, I used the internet to watch movies, listen to music, or chat with my friends.
How old are you?
Where are you living in England?
your Azerbaijanian friend Ellen/

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39 users have voted.
TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 2 December, 2013 - 12:02

Hi Ellen! I'm 20 years old. I come from Bristol, in the south-west of England, but my university is just outside London. I'm living in France at the moment for 1 year to teach English and to learn French! How old are you? Whereabouts in Azerbaijan do you come from? Have you been learning English for a long time? 

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30 users have voted.
ellen's picture
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ellen 4 December, 2013 - 18:43

hello teresac.Oh, i am very sorry for late answering questions.
oh you are young and you are read univercity in the France.
I am 15.I prepare to Univercity.
Yes, I been learning English for a long time, as well as, Since I was 6 age. Personally, I like English very, And at the school English my favorite subject.

Azerbaijan has many historic places.For example:
1.The Maidens Tower
2. The Shirvanshahs palace.

Do you like talking to people?
What is your hobby? Have you got sister and brother? Which you singers like?
Please answer.......................................................................... -

your buddy :D

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30 users have voted.
TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 5 December, 2013 - 16:54

Hi Ellen! It's nice to see that English is your favourite subject at school! Those historic places sound interesting - I've never been to Azerbaijan! Yes, I love talking to people. My friends and family call me a 'chatterbox' because I never stop talking! I've got one older sister, but no brothers. I like lots of singers - I listen to a lot of pop music. I like to go running - in April next year I will run the London marathon! How about you - what are your hobbies? Do you have any brothers or sisters? What kind of music do you like?

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ellen's picture
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ellen 6 December, 2013 - 15:19

Hello Teresac.
How are you my friend?(I think everythink ok/)
I like sport. I go in for sport every day.Do you like sport?What kind of sport do you like?
I like tennis and basketball. it is enjoying sport.
My hobbies are I like to collect information about countries

I have got one brother. i don`t have any sister.
my favourite singers are Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Rihanna, Avril Lavnige and s.on. I like pop music.
Yes, I like you profile photo.

Which you singers like?
You are dark hair or blonde hair ? You are tall, or undersized? Have you got some animal?
Please answer.......................................................................... -

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36 users have voted.
TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 9 December, 2013 - 16:22

Hi Ellen! I'm very well thank you! How are you? 
My favourite sport is running, which is why I'm going to run the London marathon in April! 
I've got long brown hair and I'm quite short. Thank you - my profile photo was taken when I was teaching English in China in the summer. I learnt to play a little bit of guitar, which you can see in the photo! Can you play any musical instruments?
I have no pets, which is a shame because I love dogs! But as a student, I can't keep any pets in my accommodation. Do you have any pets? 

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36 users have voted.
ellen's picture
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ellen 10 December, 2013 - 14:47

Hİ, Teresac.
I am fine, thank.
what do you do?
I am playing only the piano. But, i want playing the guitar, the violin and s. on/
I think that would be something that people want to do something.
I have got two pets.
Dog and cat. It s very amazing and lovely.
How do you want to spend your summer holidays?
What are your name Teresac. if it isn't secret.
Have you been any countries?

And what about your favourite food??
Have you ever try Azerbaijan food?

Do you think english is a difficult language ?
which language do you manage to talk?
Thank you.C.U

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46 users have voted.
TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 10 December, 2013 - 18:57

Hi Ellen! I'm an English university student. I'm studying English literature and French. My real name is Teresa. Is your real name Ellen? I've been to America, China, Germany, Italy, Portugal and I'm living in France at the moment - I love to travel. Have you travelled anywhere? My favourite food is Italian - I love pizza and pasta! I love chocolate too! What's your favourite food? No, I've never tried Azerbaijan food - what is a typical dish from your country? I think English can be very difficult to learn, but practise makes it much easier! I'm learning French at the moment. 

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ellen's picture
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ellen 13 December, 2013 - 13:33

Hi Teresa!
Oh you are student in the univercity as well as, is France.
The most experienced gourmets coming to Azerbaijan have become connoisseurs of its cuisine.The dishes of Azerbaijani cuisine are original and unique.It is not surprising that purely Azerbaijani dolma, bozbash, bozartma, chykhyrtma, khashil, shashlyk, piti, pilau, govurma are included in national menus of neighboring Caucasian nations.

The majority of national food is cooked from mutton, beef and poultry.Azerbaijanis as well as other Moslems do not eat pork.Dishes from chopped meat and, certainly, fishes are widely spread there.He preferred fishes are stellate sturgeon and sturgeon.Azerbaijani cuisine is famous for abundance of vegetables, first of all greens, eggplants, sweet peppers, cabbage, spinach, sorrel, beet, radishes, onions, cucumbers, green string bean, etc.

Ellen is my nickname.Couse, my favorite actress and programmest Ellen Degeneres name.
Do you know Ellen Degeneres ?
Are you watching hers show?
I have been Iran islam respublic, Turkey, russia and s,on
I know, English can be very difficult to learn, but practise makes it much easier.
English food - what is a typical dish from your country?
C.U

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33 users have voted.
ellen's picture
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ellen 29 November, 2013 - 17:05

İ have got phone telephone.
I use computer or mobile phone a lot.
I'm mostly used to learn English.
I also like used Twitter.

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38 users have voted.
TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 1 December, 2013 - 08:26

Hi Ellen - it's great to see that you use technology mostly to learn English! I think that's one of the benefits of technology - it can bring us closer to people and also help us learn! I'm not always so studious - sometimes I use the internet to watch movies, listen to music, or chat with my friends. Do you like to do anything like this online? 

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36 users have voted.
bloomsophie's picture
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bloomsophie 28 November, 2013 - 18:51

it is great theme i'm bignner english but i can understand this theme. we have to use books it so useful than laptop.phone ipad.... this tehcnlology teach our the laziness

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36 users have voted.
TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 29 November, 2013 - 07:49

Hi bloomsophie! I'm glad you like the theme - and your English is very good! I like books too - I prefer to read real books than online. It's true that technology teaches us laziness. Do you use a computer often? Do you like to surf the internet? 

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bloomsophie's picture
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bloomsophie 30 November, 2013 - 08:45

thanx teresa i use very much a computer in my studies and to connect with my friends in facebook i prefer real books too!!!

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42 users have voted.
TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 1 December, 2013 - 08:29

Hi bloomsophie! I use my laptop a lot for my studies too, but I also talk to my friends and family online. It's so useful because I'm living abroad this year. Being able to chat online helps me miss them less! I also use the internet to watch movies, listen to music, and catch up with TV shows I've missed. Do you like to use the internet for these things too? 

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31 users have voted.
JoEditor's picture
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JoEditor 2 December, 2013 - 11:49

Hi bloomsophie,
At the moment all the writers in our Magazine section are British university students who are working with the British Council as language assistants. This means they are helping in the English department of schools around the world. 
In the future we would like to invite our users to write for our site, but at the moment we can't do this. If this changes, we will let you know. 
Best wishes and thanks for your interest in writing for us. 
Jo (LearnEnglish Teens Team) 

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Jonathan - Coordinator's picture
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Jonathan - Coor... 1 December, 2013 - 03:01

Hi bloomsophie. I have deleted part of your message because we don't allow users to share personal details on the site, including their facebook or Skype details. This is because it's not safe to publish your personal details on the internet. Anybody could find them and contact you, including people you don't want to contact you, so make sure you stay safe online. You're welcome to write as much as you like on this site and reply to other users. Thanks :)
Jonathan (LearnEnglish Teens Team)

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SandraB's picture
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SandraB 28 November, 2013 - 17:42

I think it does,I do spend a lot of time on computer,but I think that I really am doing something productive.I barely use my phone,only for listening to music or calling my mom from time to time,I doo all I need to do face to face.

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31 users have voted.
TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 29 November, 2013 - 07:47

Hi Sandra! I'm the same as you - when I'm spending time on my computer I am always working! What kind of music do you like to listen to on your phone? What do you like to do when surfing the internet? 

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WildChild's picture
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WildChild 27 November, 2013 - 18:30

Yes I do. I use my computer. I'm not online that much, maybe I'm online 1 hour. I hate to see people chatting all the time, even when they're at parties... My friends are sending messages to each other even when they're sitting next to each other. That bothers me a lot... That's why I have just one really close friend.

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TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 29 November, 2013 - 07:45

Hi WildChild! I find that vry annoying too - I don't understand why some people have to be constantly on their phone. I use my phone a lot, but I'm careful to make sure I talk to people in real life more than sending messages! What do you like to do when you're online? 

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34 users have voted.
Harabeli Supersweet's picture
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Harabeli Supersweet 26 November, 2013 - 16:25

Yes, I think that technology is taking over. It's supossed to be controled by people, but in fact people let it control their lives. I use my laptop a lot, because it helps me with the school projects and some homework. Of course that surfing the NET is a great way to spend your free time and practice English. I use my mobile phone just to give a ring to my parents when I finish my school day. I have a simple one, since I've been in sixth grade.

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38 users have voted.
TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 29 November, 2013 - 07:43

Hi Harabeli! You're right, it is supposed to be controlled by people, but often we forget! I use my laptop a lot for my university work too, and for other work, but when I have lots of work I worry that I sepnd too much time on it. What do you like to do when you surf the net? 

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learningenglish282's picture
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learningenglish282 26 November, 2013 - 00:56

Technology has taken many people 's lives. But everything has 2 sides. If we dont over-use it, I think it can not take over our lives. Thanks to technology, I have been able to keep in touch my relatives in my home country, find my way back home when im lost and give me lots of knowledge that I dont learn from school. I dont know why other people like using technology to entertain too much and forget our real world. Don't waste our time and spend more time for the ones around us :))

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TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 26 November, 2013 - 08:54

Hi there! That's a very good point - everything has two sides. Technology can be useful but only in moderation! 

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RehinaParker's picture
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RehinaParker 25 November, 2013 - 20:55

Technology has taken over most people's lives....... I use laptop and mobile phone but not to much...

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TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 29 November, 2013 - 07:50

Hi Rehina! I agree, we need to spend less time with technology! What do you like to do on your laptop and mobile phone? 

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Ash94's picture
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Ash94 25 November, 2013 - 13:49

Hi TeresaC! Thank you for your article too. And yes. Sometimes handwriting is quicker than typing if you have a good speed. But when typing you don't have to worry about your spelling!. So, I think its an advantage of technology. And yes, when I was too young I used to read books very much. But now I hardly find time. Do you also enjoy reading?

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TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 25 November, 2013 - 22:10

Hi Ash! You're right - you don't have to worry about spelling when you're typing!! Yes, I love reading - I study English literature as part of my university degree! I like funny books, but also romances and old-fashioned novels like Jane Austen. It's difficult to find time to read though. What do you like to do in your spare time? 

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Ash94's picture
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Ash94 26 November, 2013 - 03:27

Hi Teresa! I also have studied English literature at my school. I've read a lot of English novels including Jane Eyre, Wuthering Hills and Village by the sea. I like to read books, watch movies and TV shows in my spare time. What about you?

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TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 26 November, 2013 - 08:41

Hi Ash! Did you enjoy reading the English novels? I like watching movies too! I also go running a lot, and in April I will run the London marathon! Have you seen any English movies or tv shows? 

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Ash94's picture
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Ash94 26 November, 2013 - 12:19

Hi Teresa! Yes. I enjoyed it very much! Its nice to see that you're going to run the London marathon! So all the best with that!. And yes. I've seen many English TV shows such as Merlin, Swiss family Robinson, William Tell etc. as well as the movies. Have you watched any of these?

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TeresaC's picture
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TeresaC 1 December, 2013 - 08:32

Hi Ash! I've never seen any of those TV shows, but I have heard that Merlin is very good! I watch a lot of American TV shows such as Gossip Girl and How I Met Your Mother. What kind of movies do you like? 

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35 users have voted.

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