Let’s talk about studying.
Do you prefer to study in the morning or the evening?
Do you think you a quick Learner?
Do you do anything to help yourself concentrate when studying?
Is there anything new that you would like to learn in the future?
Let’s move on and talk about high school.
How many different high schools did you go to?
Did you have a favourite teacher?
Did you get on well with your classmates at high school?
Do you still meet or contact your old classmates from high school?
Now let’s talk about dictionaries
How often do you use a dictionary?
Do you prefer to use an electronic dictionary or a paper dictionary?
Do you think it is easy to use a dictionary?
If someone gave you a dictionary as a gift, how would you feel?
PART 2: Model Answer
DESCRIBE A SUBJECT YOU HAVE STUDIED THAT YOU LIKED.
Ok, the subject I studied at university that I excelled in as an undergraduate student was psychology. I decided to enrol in this course through the Faculty of Arts and major in it because it didn’t have any prerequisites in mathematics, which was not one of my best subjects in high school, and I also because I had a natural curiosity for it.
From the very first lecture, I attended in my first year to my final exam in my third year I loved it. In the three years I studied it I attended every lecture and every tutorial.
Apart from being naturally interested in psychology, I found my lecturers to be very interesting, intelligent and helpful people who all had a real passion for their speciality. This encouraged me to study harder and strive for high grades.
In order to achieve the highest grades I possibly could in this subject, I knew I had to put in long hours of hard study. I devoted every spare moment of my free time to studying this subject intensely. I even studied a lot of other material on psychology not related to my course because I loved it so much.
While most of my classmates were busy partying in their fraternity clubs in their free time I had my head buried in the books, but it was not a burden for me at all, rather, an insatiable curiosity.
I was in disbelief when I saw my final grade for psychology. I got a score of ninety-four percent. The hard work and persistence had paid off. The excellent grade spurred me on to maintain my discipline for not only this subject but for the rest of my subjects throughout my entire Arts course. After my graduation, the head professor of the faculty of psychology encouraged me to think about doing a master’s degree the following year but I decided to take a few years of instead as I was so burnt out.
PART 2: Vocabulary
Arts: an Arts faculty allows a broad category of subjects to be studied by a student at a university or college. These subjects range in areas of study from the many liberal arts courses on offer to many of the sciences.
bachelor’s degree: an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting from three to seven years.
burden: a load, a toll. Especially a heavy psychological one.
curiosity: a strong desire to want to know or learn something.
degree: a qualification or award upon successful completion of a course of study at a university or college.
faculty: the teaching staff at a university or college or one of its departments.
fraternity: a group of people sharing a common profession or interests. Friendship, brotherhood, sisterhood, kinship, fellowship.
graduation: A special ceremony that takes place after a student completes their college or university course, especially their undergraduate course.
lecture: an educational talk, speech or presentation to students at a university or college.
major: the main speciality area of study undertaken by a student in an undergraduate program. The other subjects studied that make up a degree course is called a ‘minor.
master’s degree: a degree awarded to someone after successfully completing an undergraduate degree.
persistence: the continuation of a habit or action. To continue a habit or action without giving up.
prerequisite: an essential requirement or condition that is needed before one can go on to the next step.
professor: an academic title given to a high-ranking teacher and scholar at a university or tertiary institution.
psychology: is the study of behaviour and mind including the study of conscious and unconscious experience as well as thought.
speciality: a subject that someone knows a lot about. An area, field or discipline.
tutorial: a small class of between 15 to 30 students conducted by a tutor after a lecture in front of a large group of students conducted by a lecturer.
undergraduate: a student at college or university who has not yet earned a bachelor’s or equivalent.
insatiable: having a strong desire for something that is impossible to satisfy.
postgraduate: relating to a course of study undertaken after completing a degree.
devote: to give a large part of one’s time, energy or resources to a particular activity or cause.
encourage: to give support confidence or hope to someone.
enrol: to register as a member of an institution or as a student in a course of study.
excel: to be exceptionally good or proficient in a particular activity or subject.
fail: to be unsuccessful in achieving one’s goals. To not pass a test or exam.
pay off: good results or success that has come about because of persistence and hard work.
put in: to dedicate a lot of time and effort into doing something.
strive: make great efforts to achieve or obtain something.
intensely: in an extreme way.
burnt out: to become completely exhausted through overwork.
head buried in the books: to become fully committed and absorbed in one’s studies.
spur (someone on): to strongly support and encourage someone to do something or be strongly encouraged yourself to do something.
PART 3: Questions and Ideas
Let’s talk about studying and job opportunities.
Do you think studying at university is necessary to get a good job?
– I believe that to some extent, but it really depends on the course you are studying.
– yes, many employers demand their employees have a university degree.
– no, there are many good careers you can pursue without going to university.
– no, the economy is so bad now it doesn’t matter whether you have a university degree or not.
What courses offer graduates the best job opportunities?
– I think courses like science, technology, engineering and mathematics offer the best opportunities for job seekers.
– graduating from university with any degree improves your chances in the job market.
– getting good grades is more important to employers than what course you studied.
– job opportunities change with time so you should just study what you love or are good at.
Why do you think some people who have studied at university still find it difficult to get a job?
– they may have graduated but got only average grades.
– they may have realized after graduating that they choose the wrong field.
– job opportunities in their chosen field may have dried up by the time they graduated.
– they may be lazy, unmotivated or sick.
Now let’s move on to talk about the big business of studying.
Universities these days are making a lot of money; do you think this is a good thing?
– yes, people can afford it these days as they are better off than in the past
– yes, the government needs to broaden its tax base by charging for education.
– no, it’s a bad thing as universities have become too greedy and governments too reliant on the revenue generated from it.
– no, all education should be free for everyone as it is a right.
What are some solutions to help graduates with large loans pay these off?
– offer them a discount if they pay their debts off early
– increase university funding so universities won’t have to charge students so much for courses
– make all university education means tested / free.
– cancel the debts of graduates who cannot find decent employment within ten years of graduating.
What are the advantages of a free education compared to paying for education?
– It allows people from low socio-economic backgrounds to go to university
– it stops people with money but no talent from buying an education.
– it stops graduates from being burdened with huge debts they can’t pay off.
– the money spent on paying off student debts would be better spent in other areas of the economy to help stimulate broader economic growth and hence increase taxable revenue and income for the government.