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Education and Work

VOCABULARY

A         Choose the correct definition for the words below

a   An applicant 1  Teachers give these to students after assessing their work. They are usually a percentage, or a grade like A,B or C.
b   A candidate 2   A person who enters an exam
c   Marks 3   Organisations like Greenpeace, The Red Cross or Oxfam.
d   An NGO 4   The kind of education which is geared towards the world of work.
e   A CV 5  A document which gives personal information about a person to give to a prospective employer.
f   Training 6    A course that you follow at university to obtain a graduate qualification.
g   A degree 7    A person who applies for a job or a place on a course.

 

READING

B         Match the words in column A with the words in column B to form logical collocations. Then read through the text and find these collocations

            COLUMN A                                                             COLUMN B

            school                                                                        deficit

            degree                                                                       market

            A-level                                                                       leavers  

            huge                                                                           work

            public                                                                         grades

            economic                                                                   spending

           work                                                                            course

           voluntary                                                                     course

           distance                                                                      climate

           job                                                                               experience

       Now read through the following text and find these collocations.


SCHOOL LEAVERS

This year more than 150,000 school leavers in the UK failed to find a place on a degree course at university. By the end of August, 184,488 applicants were still without a place, chasing approximately 18,000 remaining places. Some of these applicants have top A-level grades and expected to get onto their preferred degree course easily. So what has caused this huge deficit in university places?

There are two main factors which have led to the lack of places. Firstly, there has been a record number of university applicants after record-breaking national A-level results. 2010 saw 97.6% of exam candidates obtain a pass mark (A-E), and 27% got A grades. 8% of the candidates got the A* grade, which requires marks of 90% or more in second year exams.

The second reason is the recession and cuts in public spending. The government has funded 9,000 more places in Science and Maths this year, but this increase has been cancelled out by the reduction of places on other courses. Universities are anxious not to over-recruit in the present economic climate.

For those school-leavers who have ended up without a place, there has been no shortage of suggestions: unpaid work experience, NGO work, a gap-year travelling around the world, training, etc. Aaron Porter, president of the National Union of Students, had comforting words for students failing to find a place on a course: “Don’t panic. There are still lots of training, volunteering and work opportunities out there.” The Universities Minister, David Willets, has urged students without a place to take up voluntary work to enhance their CVs. He described the present economic climate as “intensely competitive for young people” and urged school-leavers to “look at the extras you can put on your CV”.

Another option for school-leavers determined to get a degree is to do a distance course at the Open University, perhaps working part-time too. Yet another option – for those with the money – is to pay for a private degree course.

But, whatever the options are, with more university applicants every year, the prospect of a long recession and the consequent pressure on the job market, expectations will only get higher and competition for university places fiercer. It’s going to be a difficult time for school-leavers in the next few years.

C         In your own words and based on the ideas of the text, answer the following questions.

1          What are the two main reasons for the lack of university places in the UK this year?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 2         What sort of things can unsuccessful university applicants do?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

D         Find the words in the text that mean:

  • Favourite: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • A year between school and university: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • Choices: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

 

E    Write a synonym, a definition or a sentence for the meaning of these words:

  • Record-breaking: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • Over-recruit: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  • Enhance: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

GRAMMAR

 

F          Circle at least 10 verbs in the text above. What tense are they?

 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

 

G         Complete the second sentence so that it has a similar meaning to the first one:

 

1 The government has funded 9000 extra places in Maths and Science.

   9,000 extra places . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

2 The increase in places for Maths and Science has been cancelled out by the              

  reduction of places on other courses.

  The reduction in places on other courses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3 There are two main factors which have caused the lack of places.

   The lack of places. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4 You won’t get a place unless you get very good A-level results.

   If you don’t . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5 More than 97% of candidates obtained a pass mark.

   A pass mark . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

H         Choose the correct verb

1 More students passed / have passed their A-levels in 2010 than in 2009.

2 George studied / has studied at this university since 2008

3 My brother usually studies in London, but at the moment he studies / is studying abroad.

4 Jane worked / was working for an NGO when she met her boyfriend.

5 By the time I applied for the course, all the places have been taken / had been taken.

 

 

I           Rewrite the sentences correctly:

1 I study on this degree course since 2008.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2 I have finished my degree in 2004.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

3 The teacher can’t give class today – she’s been breaking her leg in a skiing accident.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

4 At the moment John does a distance course with the Open University. 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

5 I’ve read that book you gave me this morning, but I haven’t finished it yet.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 WRITING

 

J          Write about 100 to 150 words on the following topic:

 

What can you do to enhance your CV as the Universities Minister suggests in the text?

Plan your composition

1    Make a list of the things you can do to make your CV more impressive:

  • Learn a language
  • Learn to drive
  • Work experience

 

2       Divide these ideas into 2 paragraphs

Write your composition

  • An introductory paragraph about the importance of having a varied, interesting CV.(no more than 30 words).
  • Two paragraphs with your ideas (approx 30 words per paragraph).
  • A concluding  paragraph summarizing what you have said.

 

 

Linking words

 

First of all,…

As well as that…

…because…

…so that…

In short,…

In conclusion,…

 

 

 

 

Useful phrases  

It is important to…

One of the best ways to…

Another thing you can do is…

As I mentioned before…

It’s a good idea to…

 


SPEAKING

K         Talk about these questions with a partner:

  • What do you want to do when you finish school?
  • Is it important to get good qualifications?
  • What kind of things can you do in your country if you don’t go to university?
  • What are the most popular subjects to study at university?
  • Is it easy for school-leavers to find jobs or courses in your country?

 

L          Look at this list of criteria for choosing a university. Put them in order of importance. Then talk to your partner and see if you can come to an agreement.

¨    Proximity to home

¨    Good sports facilities

¨    Opportunities for socializing

¨    A good academic reputation

¨    Located in a nice city

¨    Good residential facilities (Halls of residence)

¨    Good, cheap catering facilities (canteens, snack bars, etc.)

¨    Friends going to the same place

¨    Specializes in a particular academic area

¨    Offers extracurricular courses (languages, IT skills, etc.)

¨    Childcare facilities

¨    Parking space

 

 

 

LISTENING

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/newsenglish/britain/081028_freshers_week.shtml *

M           Listen and tick the words you hear in the text:

overwhelming                  overcoming

settle into                         settle down

nervous                            nerve-racking

on the same boat              in the same boat

blend on                             blend in

give you a head start          give the go ahead

N             Listen again and write T for true and F for false

. . . . . . . . 1 The British higher education system is easy to understand, even if you’re    new to it.

. . . . . . . . 2 October is a very busy month for university students

. . . . . . . . 3 Freshers’ week is a chance to meet new people

. . . . . . . . 4 All your friends will be at Freshers’ week

. . . . . . . . 5 Everyone has a similar experience in Fresher’s week

. . . . . . . . 6 Food and drink are important when it comes to making friends

. . . . . . . . 7 It’s not a good idea to leave your door open

. . . . . . . . 8 You will be able to help next year’s Freshers

*OUP is not responsible for the contents of external websites.

ANSWER KEY

 

VOCABULARY

 

A

1a 2b 3d 4f 5e 6g 7a

 

 

READING 

 

B

school leavers, degree course, A level grades, huge deficit, public spending, economic climate, work experience, voluntary work, distance course, job market,  distance course, job market.

C

Students’ own answers.

D

preferred, gap year, options

E

Students’ own answers.

 

 

GRAMMAR

 

F

The tense of each verb

G

1 … in maths and science have been funded by the government.

2 … has been cancelled out by the increase in places for maths and science.

3 … has been caused by two main factors.

4 … get very good A-level results, you won’t get a place on this course.

5 … was obtained by more than 97% of candidates.

H

1 passed 2 has studied 3 is studying 4 was working 5 had been taken

I

1 I’ve been studying on this degree course since 2008.

2 I finished my degree in 2004.

3 The teacher can’t give class today – she’s (she has) broken her leg in a skiing accident.

4 At the moment John is doing a distance course with the Open University.  

5 I’ve been reading that book you gave me this morning, but I haven’t finished it yet.

 

WRITING

 

J

Students’ own answers.

SPEAKING

 

K

Students’ own answers.

 

L

Students’ own answers.

 

M

Students’ own answers.

 

LISTENING

 

N

overwhelming                

settle into                                            

nerve-racking

in the same boat

blend in

give you a head start      

 

O

1F, 2T, 3T, 4F, 5T, 6T, 7F, 8T

 

 


TAPESCRIPT

Freshers’ week 

The UK has a well-respected higher education system and some of the top universities and research institutions in the world. But to those who are new to it all, it can be overwhelming and sometimes confusing.

October is usually the busiest month in the academic calendar. Universities have something called Freshers’ Week for their newcomers. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends, join lots of clubs and settle into university life.

However, having just left the comfort of home and all your friends behind, the prospect of meeting lots of strangers in big halls can be nerve-wracking. Where do you start? Who should you make friends with? Which clubs should you join?

Luckily, there will be thousands of others in the same boat as you worrying about starting their university social life on the right foot. So just take it all in slowly. Don’t rush into anything that you’ll regret for the next three years.

Here are some top tips from past students on how to survive Freshers’ Week:

  • blend in. Make sure you are aware of British social etiquette. Have a few wine glasses and snacks handy for your housemates and friends.
  • be hospitable. Sometimes cups of tea or even slices of toast can give you a head start in making friends.
  • be sociable. The more active you are, the more likely you’ll be to meet new people than if you’re someone who never leaves their room.
  • bring a doorstop. Keep your door open when you’re in and that sends positive messages to your neighbours that you’re friendly.

So with a bit of clever planning and motivation, Freshers’ Week can give you a great start to your university life and soon you’ll be passing on your wisdom to next year’s new recruits

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