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A LISTENING: Listening to a panel discussion

B SPEAKING: Participating in debates

C READING: Understanding text organisation

D VOCABULARY: Forming words using different prefixes / suffixes. Giving the expansion for abbreviations and acronyms. Using / identifying compound words (Phrase Compounds)

E STUDY SKILLS: Taking notes

F GRAMMAR: Using reported speech

Using passives with / without ‘by’

G WRITING: Writing a project report

H OCCUPATIONAL COMPETENCY: Transferring nonverbal information to verbal form

I STRATEGIC COMPETENCY: Assessing one’s language proficiency

J CREATIVE COMPETENCY: Writing a travelogue. Translating from English to the mother-tongue and vice-versa

A. Listening

Panel discussion:

A panel discussion is a method of communication where two

or more speakers discuss various aspects of a specific issue which

is topical, and present it to an audience. In such panel discussions,

audience do not interact with panelists.
Task 1: The teacher will read a panel discussion. Listen

carefully. As the teacher reads note down the names of

panelists and their job positions. Also identify the topic

of discussion.

(The teacher reads)
Name of the panelist Designation / Job position
Task 2: Listen again to the same panel discussion and write down

the views of each panelist.

Name of the panelist Views expressed

B. Speaking

Participating in debates:

Moderator : (The teacher plays the role of a moderator)

The following is a short debate on “Should commercial tourism

be encouraged?” By commercial tourism, we mean considering tourism

as a business, offering package tours, for a fixed price in which the

tourists are provided with transport, accommodation and food, and

thus attracting groups and groups of people to the tourist centres. The

question is, is it good to mobilise and bring large groups of people to

the tourist centres? What are the consequences of such over-crowding

at tourist centres?

Here is a short debate on this topic. Let me introduce the

participants - Preethi, Vidya, Ravi and Abishek. (The teacher

nominates four students from the class to play the roles of


Preethi: Hello! Good morning, everybody! First of all I thank our teacher for giving me this opportunity to participate in this debate. Recently, during the summer holidays I’d been to Agra to see the Taj Mahal. I was greatly struck by its sheer grandeur. I was

also equally impressed by the interest shown by the tourists, especially that of foreign tourists. They are just curious to know about our architectural heritage. Yes…. This made me think that we should encourage commercial tourism. All the temples and

monuments will become popular tourist attractions and will attract people from all over the world. Incidentally, we will also earn some revenue for the upkeep and maintenance of these places of historical and architectural importance.

Vidya: Hello everybody! I’m afraid I cannot agree with Preethi.

She said that the people visiting these tourist spots were impressed by

them, and the revenue earned would help us to maintain them. But tell

me, at what cost? When many people visit these places, cleanliness

becomes the first casualty and therefore their sanctity is lost. People

come to these places to offer worship and get spiritual inspiration. These

are places to be protected. Now please tell me, should we lose the

sanctity of these places in exchange for monetary considerations? I

strongly object to such mindless growth of commercial tourism.

Abishek: Good morning, friends! Even though Vidya has objected

to commercial tourism, she should not forget that our country earns a

lot of foreign exchange from the visits of foreigners. We should

understand that India, being a developing country, needs this income to

preserve the cultural and architectural heritage of India. Moreover, these

monuments proclaim to the world the secular and cosmopolitan outlook

of the rulers and the people. It should also be remembered that in the

absence of modern technology Indians were able to build monuments

which could stand the test of time. So, I am one with Preethi that

commercial tourism should be encouraged at all costs!

Ravi: Good morning! After listening to Preethi and Abishek, I

have a feeling that they have neither known the significance nor

the value of the mural paintings and sculptures found in the caves

of Ajanta and Ellora, the seashore sculptures at Mahabalipuram,

the imposing churches, not to mention the magnificent Taj Mahal

which stands testimony to immortal love. It is very unfortunate

that the walls of such monuments are used for rehearsing people’s

skill in graffiti. Sometimes these places are used us public

conveniences. How insensitive our people are! Our culture and

tradition are things to be valued and cherished and not to be taken

for granted.

Moderator: Having listened to both sides of the argument, I

would like to sum up.

1. Places like Mahabalipuram should be protected from

natural calamities as well as from vandalism.

2. Most important of all – each individual should realise his /

her responsibility in preserving the places of national heritage.

3. As a developing country, India does need foreign exchange

and the revenue generated by commercial tourism will

certainly be useful for renovating and preserving these

places of national importance.
Task 1: Practise the above debate, taking turns.

Task 2: Read the debate and note down the following

expressions. Work in pairs.
a) expressions used to introduce the participants

b) expressions used to agree with the views of another speaker

c) expressions used to disagree with another speaker

d) expressions used for convincing others

e) expressions used to conclude the discussion
Task 3: Read Vidya’s speech and refute her views to the class.

Task 4: In the above debate not many points are discussed.

Discuss in groups of four any other points relevant to

the topic. Write them down as a continuation of the

model provided. Take turns and present your views to

the class.

Note the use of some of the features of informal speech:

e.g. use of gap-fillers like ‘hmm’, ‘well…’, ‘Oh’, etc.

Use them while presenting your views.

fasttract provides a lot of information on

issues related to travel and tourism. You may explore other

websites as well and collect information on topics for debate

and discussion in the class. You may volunteer and

participate in debates and discussions in the class.

C. Reading

Pre-reading Tasks:

Task 1: Think of 5 activities which you normally engage in,

during your long holidays or vacation.

e.g. Visiting relatives

a) …………… b) ………….. c) ……………..

d) ……………… e) …………….
Task 2: Work with your partner and find out whether his/her

vacation activities are similar to yours.

Task 3: Work in pairs and make a list of five places where

snowfall is common. Your answers need not be confined

to India.
1) 2) 3) 4) 5)

Task 4: In your discussion you must have noticed that there are

varieties of holiday activities. Some of them, no doubt,

are related to travel. Now look at the different items

given in column ‘A’ and link them with the appropriate

description given in column ‘B’.


Trekking : a travel by bus, train or car

Pilgrimage : moving from one country to another

Picnic : a long and difficult walk usually over mountains or through forests

Voyage : a visit to sacred places like Badhrinath, Velankanni, Nagore or Golden Temple

Journey : an occasion when people take food and eat outdoors especially in the country-side

Migration : a travel by ship


Trekking - a long and difficult walk usually over mountains or through forests

Picnic - an occasion when people take food and eat outdoors especially in the country-side

Pilgrimage - a visit to sacred places like Badhrinath, Velankanni, Nagore or Golden Temple

Voyage -a travel by ship

Journey - a travel by bus, train or car

Migration -moving from one country to another


A Walk to the Milam Glacier on the edge of Tibet.

-Ahtushi Deshpande

A 24-hour journey in a UP Roadways bus is not the most

comfortable way to get to Munsiyari, I realise, as I count the

numerous bumps on my head the morning after. I had been rudely

awakened, several times during the journey - most notably around

midnight, when the bus followed in hot pursuit of a rabbit, the

passengers cheering on the driver. (The rabbit was eventually caught,

put in a sack and locked up in the glove compartment.)

But when I step off the bus in Munsiyari, all memories of the

bizarre journey vanish - the five mythological Pandavas stand proud


before my eyes, their legend forever ensconced in the five majestic

peaks of the Panchchuli range. Situated in a remote corner of

Kumaon bordering Tibet and Nepal, Munsiyari was once a bustling

entrepot of trade. On a trekking trail north-west of Munsiyari is the

Milam Glacier, one of the longest in the region. The four-day trek

to the village of Milam at the end of this old trade route to Tibet is

dotted with abandoned Bhutia villages. In the wake of the India-

China war of 1962, trade came to a halt and the hardy Bhutia traders

migrated to the towns and cities below.

I am eager to set off on the trek to the glacier. Mr. Rare, the

KMVN (Kumaon Mandal Vikas Nigam) manager, is helpful and

tells me that his father, Khem Nam, could act as guide on my trek.

Khem Nam turns out to be fully 65 years old, a veteran of these

valleys. We make a list of provisions and set off shopping at the

Munsiyari bazaar, a stronghold of the Bhutia traders. As I make

my purchases, the shop-owner proudly tells me that his daughter

and son-in-law hold important IAS posts in Delhi. The Bhutias,

who once ruled the trade routes, may have lost their business, but

they have retained their enterprise.

It is heartening to meet Laxmi, our porter, the following

morning. He is a sturdy young man and seems like just the support

frail Khem Nam and I need. Rucksacks loaded, we head straight

down to the Gori river.

For three days our path first takes us upstream along the

Goriganga, and then into the shrouded Milam valley where the

narrow gorges afford few views. Abandoned Bhutia villages dot

our path and I increasingly get the feeling that we are traversing a

long-forgotten route. On the fourth day we cross the ghost villages

of Burfu and Bilju before we reach Milam.


It is now our sixth day on the trek; it has rained the whole

night, and the morning brings even drearier weather. At over 4000m,

firewood is hard to come by. Keeping warm is tough, and distraction is

the best recourse. The sun plays truant for most of the day, raising

doubts about the feasibility of our venturing further up. Howling

winds, clouds, bright sunshine and hailstorms chase each other

through the skies, and I spend the day moseying in and out of our cave.

We are camped at Ragash Kund, a little pond with a shepherd’s

cave on a grassy meadow above the glacier, where we sit out the

bad weather for two days and nights. From Milam village it has

taken us a day to get to our current position, en route to Suraj

Kund which (as I am later told) takes a detour via heaven because

“you gotta be dead first” before you get there. The rains of 1997

caused a lot of damage to the terrain and we are told that no one

ventured beyond the snout of the glacier that year. But Khem Nam

is not to be deterred. “I know the glacier like the back of my hand,

I will find us a way”, he insists. His confidence is heartening - my

map does, after all, show a trekking trail, and I am fascinated with

the idea of seeing this sacred lake nestled in a far nook of the glacier.

On the slope opposite our camp is the fascinating summit of

Mandayo, which spirals up into the blue sky like a giant corkscrew.

Slapped with steep cliffs on all faces, it looks every inch an

insurmountable peak. To my immediate right the Nanda Pal glacier

slopes down sharply. It could easily have been built up as a very

challenging ski slope except, of course, for the fact that it ends in a

cold and menacing snout with icy waters flowing beneath.
I feel as if I have trespassed on some hidden and forbidden

world of beautiful peaks and ominous glaciers. For the locals the


glaciated region is one to be feared - a land of demons and spirits

waiting to devour the unholy, but for the avid trekker, a journey

into what is literally a no man’s land can be the experience of a

To see the cold snowy peaks coming to life with the first

rays of the sun is simply magical. Getting to Suraj Kund is now the

task at hand. Entire slopes have, well, slid down, taking with them

the centuries–old path. To my untrained eye, the glacier looks

impossible to walk on. Luckily, Khem Nam thinks otherwise - he

has done a recce the previous evening and is now sure of our route.

After a big breakfast, we set off on the final leg of our

pilgrimage to Suraj Kund. It is not an easy path - we hop over

stones on landslides and delicately tread on the glacier rubble. The

majestic mountains towering all around still look surreal, offering

distraction from the fretful path. In all, nine smaller glaciers feed

the Milam glacier system, each with its own set of peaks from which

they emerge.
Crevasses dot our route as Khem Nam lines it with dark

stone markers to help us return. As we walk dead centre of the

glacier, the 80m icefall starting from the base of the Hardeoli and

Trishuli peaks comes into fuller view. The last leg is up a landslide.

I turn a corner and there below, in a hidden nook sandwiched

between two glaciers, stand the twin ponds of Dudh and Suraj Kund

with the stunning icefall forming a magnificent backdrop. I greedily

bend down to drink some water from the holy pond - it is the

sweetest I have ever tasted.
It is a long haul back and we reached our camp at Ragash

Kund only after nightfall.

The following morning we return to Milam; by afternoon,

the skies are showering down snowflakes the size of my palm. It

snows continuously for the next three days and nights, leaving us

stranded in the ‘civilisation’ of Milam. Patience is an art well learnt

when one is at the mercy of nature. Just when mine is beginning to

wear thin, the skies clear. The autumn landscape is turning wintry.

I am out on the path by six¾there is something I am keen

to see. Three kilometres down from Milam lie the ruins of Bilju.

Icicles hang from abandoned roofs, and fields of creamy snow line

the tops. Facing the ghost village stand the twin peaks of Nanda

Devi main and Nanda Devi east. I am transfixed. It is like the view

you get from Binsar, but with an 800mm zoom lens attached to

your eyes!
I look deeply into its visage, trying to etch in my mind every

detail of the vast expanse of the valley and the forlorn abandoned

village, blessed by a goddess no less than Nanda Devi herself. I pay

my obeisance, Khem Nam and Laxmi arrive, and we head back

towards Munsiyari¾and traffic.

[Adapted from Outlook traveller special Issue February 2004]


pursuit /pE'sju :t/ : act of trying to achieve something

in a determined way

entrepot /'BntrepEO/ : warehouse, commercial centre

where goods are received for

distribution, transhipment or


trail /'treIl/ : rough path

mosey /'mEOzI/ : walk somewhere in a slow relaxed


gorge /'gC:dZ/ : a deep narrow valley with steep sides


recourse /rI ' kC:s/ : some thing that is used to help in a difficult situation

truant / ' tru:Ent/ : one who stays away from school

without permission / one who avoids

doing hard work

obeisance /EO'beIsns/ : an act of showing respect and


detour /'di:tOE/ : a roundabout course, different from

the direct or intended route

glacier /'glGsIE/ : a huge mass of ice

fissure /'fILE/ : deep crack

rubble /'rVbl/ : small pieces of stone

surreal /sE'rIEl/ : strange

transfix /trGns'fIks/ : impress or frighten or fascinate

menacing /'menEsIN/ : threatening

hearten /'hA:tn/ : to make someone feel happier or

more confident

icicle /'aIsIkl/ : a tapering mass of ice formed by

the freezing of dripping water

bizarre /bI'zA:/ : very unusual or strange

ensconce /In'skBns/ : put oneself in a comfortable and safe


intrepid /In'trepId/ : resolutely fearless

métier /'metIeI/ : a field of work, occupation, trade

or profession

crevasse /krE'vGs/ : deep open crack, in glacial ice,

earth’s surface, etc.



: reproduce a picture by engraving;

make a strong impression by using

a sharp object
: face

: harsh or unpleasant

A. Choose the synonyms of the italicised words from the options given:

i) I had been rudely awakened several times.

(a) slept (b) roused (c) made weak (d) disturbed

ii) Leaving us stranded in the civilisation of Milam…

(a) confused (b) embarrassed (c) delighted (d) rendered unable to move further

iii) We hop over stones on landslides and delicately tread on the

glacier rubble.
(a) quickly (b) carefully (c) loudly (d) roughly

iv) The summits of Hardeoli and Trishuli at the glacier’s head are

unreal in their consummate beauty.
(a) complete (b) partial (c) unnatural (d) concrete

v) ………….. but they have retained their enterprise

(a) continued to possess (b) gained (c) lost (d) obtained

B. Choose the appropriate antonyms of the italicised words

from the options given.

i) He is a sturdy young man.

(a) dynamic (b) strong (c) weak (d) ambitious

ii) ………….. then into the shrouded Milam valley

(a) uncovered (b) hidden (c) protected (d) secluded

iii) ……….. highest abandoned village in the world.

(a) adapted (b) unrestrained (c) deserted (d) inhabited

iv) The rabbit was eventually caught … ..

(a) incidentally (b) initially (c) uneventful (d) spectacularly

v) It snows continuously …..

(a) intermediate (b) alternately (c) intermittently (d) regularly

C. Read the statements given below. Then look at the passage

and say whether these statements are true or false.

i) The hardy Bhutia traders migrated to other towns and cities on

their own.
ii) Every traveller who takes a route through Suraj Kund is

invariably killed.

iii) One can see volcanoes in the Milam region.
iv) Nanda Pal glacier is used as a skiing ground.
v) The author patiently waited till the skies cleared in Milam.
vi) A ghost village is a place where ghosts live.
vii) In the year 1977, heavy snowfall caused a lot of damage to the



Level I:

1. What was the purpose of the author’s journey to the ‘Land of


2. Who are the five mythological Pandavas from the writer’s point

of view?

3. What are the remains of the deserted village of Milam?

4. Give reasons as to why it is difficult to keep warm in the Tibetan

mountain range.

5. What is meant by?

a. ‘The sun plays truant for most of the day’

b. ‘You gotta be dead first’

c. ‘His confidence is heartening’

6. Why does the writer feel that he has trespassed on some hidden

or forbidden world of beauty?

Level II:

1. ‘Patience is an art well learnt when one is at the mercy of

nature’. Why does the author make this observation?

2. Why does the author say Milam has the dubious distinction of

being the highest abandoned village in the world?

Write an essay on:
The trekking experience of the author.
Understanding text organisation:
A well-written text has a well-defined organisation. The

structure of a well-organised text or essay has three main divisions

namely, introduction, supporting and relevant information presented

in different paragraphs and conclusion.

Authors use a particular organisation to best present the

concepts about which they are writing. A good understanding of

the text structure will help you select the most important ideas and

recognise how those ideas relate to each other. Here are some of

the popular text organisations.

•Concept definition


•Sequential description

•Compare / Contrast

•Problem / Solution

For example, procedures are important in a mechanic’s hand

book. But a forest manager makes use of compare / contrast

organisation for presenting information about different kinds of


Text structure and the reader’s knowledge of the use of the

structure are crucial to the understanding of any reading text. For

example, an understanding of compare / contrast structure will make

the students:

a. focus on identifying the points being compared

b. understand how these points are similar

c. understand how they differ

d. think of the conclusion the author may give

Task 1: The following passage “The Tropical Paradise”, is about

Read the text carefully and observe how the information is

organised in it. Give an organisation - structure to the text.
1) Introduction

2) ……………

3) ……………

4) ……………

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