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 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
(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
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
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
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 email@example.com 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.
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
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
IV. TO THE LAND OF SNOW:
A Walk to the Milam Glacier on the edge of Tibet.
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
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
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
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
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
: 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
(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
ii) Every traveller who takes a route through Suraj Kund is
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
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
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
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?
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.
•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
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.