Sunday, 18 December 2011

Objective Proficiency p 79. Education. Speaking

1. MONOLOGUE. Prepare a talk of AT LEAST 5 minutes on the subject. You may use the pictures above and the contents below if you wish:

“It takes a village to raise a child”.  
-African proverb-
Do you agree with this African proverb?  To what extent are we all responsible for the actions and behaviour of our children? Have discipline problems worsened in schools in recent times?  Compare what you know of these issues with your own school days. Are teachers trained to tackle problems like bullying or other serious problems which might arise in schools? Were you ever given a detention at school? Were you ever grounded as a consequence?  Did these punishments successfully act as a deterrent? When do you think a student should be suspended from school? and expelled? Were any of your classmates defiant or obnoxious at school? How did the teachers deal with them? 

You may make some notes for your talk to take into the exam. These should not exceed five lines.


In this part of the test, the examiner will ask you some questions about issues related to the TOPIC. Remember that you are expected to have a conversation as natural as possible and give full answers. This part of the examination will last AT LEAST 5 minutes. You will not see the questions below.



  1. Are standardized tests actually helping or hurting student learning? What are the benefits and drawbacks of teaching to the test? Can areas like creativity, imagination, and collaboration be compromised
  2. Do universities prepare people for the real world?  Why?  Why not?
  3. “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education” (Albert Einstein). Do you agree?  Would you say that knowledge is the result of curiosity? Discuss.
  4. Do you know anybody who started a degree but dropped out after only a year? Why do you think this happens?
  5. Did you ever play truant and did you ever write your own absence notes? Did any of the kids at your school ever do that? Were they ever caught red-handed? 
  6. Do you know students who cheat in exams even at the university level? How would you feel if you found out that your doctor cheated at medical school
  7. What should be done about plagiarism in this day and age of the internet? 
  8. What will the classroom of the future look like? 
  9.  "Knowledge is power" (Francis Bacon). Do you agree? Discuss 
  10. How might university education be improved? 
  11. What kind of subjects / topics do you read widely and voraciously? 
  12. "The dumbest people I know are those who know it all" (Malcolm Forbes). Do you agree? Discuss. 
  13. Should university students study away from home in order to get a degree? Do you think studying in a foreign country on an Erasmus grant is something positive or not? 
  14. What role do the new technologies play in education nowadays? Have traditional teaching methods outlived their usefulness? How do children learn best? Can children learn almost anything through video games?

1. Monologue questions

tackle something to make a determined effort to deal with a difficult problem or situation. E.g. The government is determined to tackle inflation. I think I'll tackle the repairs next weekend. Firefighters tackled a blaze in a garage last night.  

detention: the punishment of being kept at school for a time after other students have gone home. E.g. They can't give me (a) detention for this. 

ground somebody to punish a child or young person by not allowing them to go out with their friends for a period of time. E.g. You're grounded for a week! 

deterrent (to somebody/something) a thing that makes somebody less likely to do something (= that deters them). E.g. Hopefully his punishment will act as a deterrent to others. The country's nuclear deterrents (= nuclear weapons that are intended to stop an enemy from attacking)

be suspended from to officially prevent somebody from going to school for a time. E.g. She was suspended from school for a week.

expel somebody (from something) to officially make somebody leave a school or an organization. E.g. She was expelled from school at 15.




Defiant: /dɪˈfaɪənt/ openly refusing to obey somebody/ something, sometimes in an aggressive way. Sp. desafiante, rebelde. E.g. a defiant teenager. The terrorists sent a defiant message to the government.




Obnoxious: /əbˈnɒkʃəs/ extremely unpleasant, especially in a way that offends people. Offensive. E.g. obnoxious behaviour. A thoroughly obnoxious little man. He found her son somewhat obnoxious.

2. Interaction questions

drop out (of something) to leave school, college, etc. without finishing your studies. E.g. She started a degree but dropped out after only a year. 


play truant: to stay away from school without permission: e.g. he often played truant and he usually wrote his own absence notes  

catch somebody red-handed: to catch somebody in the act of doing something wrong or committing a crime. E.g. I caught him red-handed, stealing a wallet.

medical school: a college where students study to obtain a degree in medicine.




Plagiarism: /ˈpleɪdʒərɪzəm / the practice of taking someone else’s work or ideas and passing them off as one’s own. E.g. he was expelled for plagiarism. There were accusations of plagiarism. A text full of plagiarisms. 




Plagiarist: /ˈpleɪdʒərɪst/  




in this day and age now, in the modern world. E.g. you can’t be too careful in this day and age.




outlive: outlive something to continue to exist after something else has ended or disappeared. E.g. The machine had outlived its usefulness(= was no longer useful).

More useful vocabulary  related to the topic of education

Mind-numbingly: /ˈnʌmɪŋli/ very boring. E.g. The lecture was mind-numbingly tedious.



Settle in/ settle into something: to move into a new home, job, etc. and start to feel comfortable there. Sp. instalarse, adaptarse. E.g. How are the kids settling into their new school?




School failure/ academic failure




He stayed after school to do extra work




Throw someone out: expel someone unceremoniously from a place, organization, or activity. E.g. You'll be thrown out if you don't pay the rent. His wife had thrown him out. At least four kids have been thrown out of school for cheating on exams.  




Kick somebody out (of something): (informal) to make somebody leave or go away (from somewhere).




Dismiss somebody to send somebody away or allow them to leave. E.g. At 12 o'clock the class was dismissed.  




Skip something to not do something that you usually do or should do. E.g. She decided to skip class that afternoon.




Truant: /ˈtruːənt/ a child who stays away from school without permission. E.g. He is a truant and his parents have received truancy letters. 




Play truant: (also truant or play hooky, play hookey) to stay away from school without permission. E.g. he often played truant and he usually wrote his own absence notes. A number of pupils have been truanting regularly. If my daughter had been truanting from school I would have been informed. He played hookey from school to go out hunting.




Truancy: /ˈtruːənsi/ the action of staying away from school without good reason; absenteeism. E.g. fines to tackle truancy. Truancy rates at the school are very high.




Bunk off/ bunk off school/work (British English, informal) to stay away from school or work when you should be there; to leave school or work early. E.g. I'm going to bunk off this afternoon. She had bunked off work all week. He bunked off school all week.




Skive: /skaɪv/ to avoid work or school by staying away or leaving early. E.g. ‘Where's Tom?’ ‘Skiving as usual.’ I skived off school. She used to skive lessons.




Unexcused absence: E.g.  this student has three or more unexcused absences




Acquire something /əˈkwaɪə(r)/ to gain something by your own efforts, ability or behaviour. E.g. She has acquired a good knowledge of English. How long will it take to acquire the necessary skills? Acquire (an) education/ training/ (British English) (some) qualifications.




Lack something to have none or not enough of something. E.g. lack (an) education/ training/ (British English) (some) qualifications.




Training (in something/in doing something): the process of learning the skills that you need to do a job. Sp. formación. E.g.  receive/ provide somebody with training. Few candidates had received any training in management. A teacher training course.




Tuition (in something): /tjuˈɪʃn/ 1. the act of teaching something, especially to one person or to people in small groups. Sp. instrucción, clases. E.g. provide somebody with tuition. She received private tuition in French. The course involves six hours of individual tuition per week. I studied dance for two years under her expert tuition. 2. (also tuition fees [plural]) the money that you pay to be taught, especially in a college or university. E.g. I’m not paying next year’s tuition. College tuition.




Develop/design/plan a curriculum/(especially British English) course/(North American English) program/syllabus.




Curriculum: /kəˈrɪkjələm/ plural curricula /kəˈrɪkjələ/ or curriculums the subjects that are included in a course of study or taught in a school, college, etc. Sp. plan de estudios. The school curriculum. (British English) Spanish is on the curriculum. (North American English) Spanish is in the curriculum.




Curricular:  /kəˈrɪkjələ(r)/ (adj) connected with the curriculum of a school, etc. relating to the subjects that students study at a particular school or college  Curricular changes have been introduced gradually. The 14 curricular topics of C2.




Program: (AmE) /ˈprəʊɡræm/ a course of study. E.g. an intense training program. The university's graduate programs. A school programme. 




Syllabus: /ˈsɪləbəs/ plural syllabuses or syllabi  /ˈsɪləbaɪ/ a list of the topics, books, etc. that students should study in a particular subject at school or college. Sp. programa, temario. E.g. there isn’t time to cover the syllabus.




Insubordinate: /ˌɪnsəˈbɔːdɪnət/ defiant of authority. Disobedient to orders. E.g. an insubordinate attitude.




Disorderly: /dɪsˈɔːdəli/ (of people or behaviour) showing lack of control; publicly violent or noisy. E.g. disorderly conduct. They were arrested for being drunk and disorderly.




acquire/get/lack (an) education/training/(British English) (some) qualifications




receive/provide somebody with training/tuition 




develop/design/plan a curriculum/(especially British English) course/(North American English) program/syllabus




give/go to/attend a class/lesson/lecture/seminar




hold/run/conduct a class/seminar/workshop 




sign up for/take a course/classes/lessons 





 go to/start preschool/kindergarten/nursery school 




be in the first, second, etc. (North American English) grade/(especially British English) year (at school)




study/take/drop history/chemistry/German, etc.




(British English) leave/finish/drop out of/(North American English) quit school




(North American English) graduate high school/college 


Problems at school



be the victim/target of bullying




(British English) play truant from/(both British English, informal) bunk off/skive off school (= not go to school when you should)


(both especially North American English) skip/cut class/school




(British English) cheat in/(North American English) cheat on an exam/a test




get/be given a detention (for doing something) 




be expelled from/be suspended from school 


Work and exams



do your homework/(British English) revision/a project on something




work on/write/do/submit an essay/a dissertation/a thesis/an assignment/(North American English) a paper 




finish/complete your dissertation/thesis/studies/coursework




hand in/(North American English) turn in your homework/essay/assignment/paper




study/prepare/(British English) revise/(North American English) review/(North American English, informal) cram for a test/an exam




take/(both British English) do/sit a test/an exam 




(especially British English) mark/(especially North American English) grade homework/a test




(British English) do well in/(North American English) do well on/(informal, especially North American English) ace a test/an exam 




pass/fail/(informal, especially North American English) flunk a test/an exam/a class/a course/a subject 





apply to/get into/go to/start college/(British English) university




leave/graduate from law school/college/(British English) university (with a degree in computer science) 




study for/take/(British English) do/complete a law degree/a degree in physics



(both North American English) major/minor in biology/philosophy




earn/receive/be awarded/get/have/hold a master's degree/a bachelor's degree/a PhD in economics. 

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