Sunday 19 August 2012

What's the point of university?

You are going to
  • listen to people comparing university education with work experience
  • do 2 listening comprehension exercises
  • discuss and write about education

1) Discuss
  • What is the value of a university education?
  • Is it a means to an economic goal, a route to a better job?
  • Is it an end in itself, learning for the sake of learning?
  • Does having a lot of qualifications mean you will be good at your job? 
  • Is it better to leave school and learn the skills needed for work a while working?
  • Does / should a university education prepare you for life?
  • Is going to university the best option for you? Why?

2) Listen - Why some18-year-olds are shunning university.
On this clip from Radio 4 Quentin Letts talks to A-level students about where they see their futures and if they see university as the best option.
  • What advantages do they give for going straight into work?
  • What advantages do they give for going to university?
Listen and find out.

A-levels =  A-level exam courses are studied over a two-year period and are recognised as the standard for assessing the suitability of applicants for academic courses in English, Welsh, and Northern Irish universities.
Shunning = avoiding, turning away from

Listen again and answer the questions below

3) Discuss
  • Is it possible to succeed in life with going to university or having academic qualifications?
  • Do you know anyone who has done so?

4) Listen - Jon Snow: There is life after A-levels
Jon Snow
You are going to listen to Jon Snow (born 28 September 1947). Jon is a British journalist and presenter, currently employed by ITN. He is best known for presenting Channel 4 News in the UK. 
He was not a very succesful student at school but says "there is life after "A" levels".
Listen and find out.
  • What does he think you have to do to be successful in life?

Listen again and fill in the gaps in this summary.
Graft = hard work

Read again
  • Do you agree with Jon when he says "people have different ways of achieving what they want to do"?
  • Do you think the advice he gives in the 3rd paragraph is good advice?

Printable worksheets here

5) Discuss / Write (IELTS)
Choose 1 of the questions below. 
  • Discuss how you will write it with a partner. 
  • Discuss the points you will make, you introduction and your conclusion.
  • Make a plan of the points you want to make and write your answer.

1) Some people believe that studying at university or college is the best route to a successful career, while others believe that it is better to get a job straight after school.
Discuss both views and give your opinion. 

2) Some people think that universities should provide graduates with the knowledge and skills needed in the workplace. Others think that the true function of a university should be to give access to knowledge for its own sake, regardless of whether the course is useful to an employer.
What, in your opinion, should be the function of a university?

Teaching and learning styles - What makes a good teacher? How do you like to learn?

The listenings contain several conditional forms. Can you find them?
Practise more conditionals here.

and here

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