EPISODE 28
LEVEL B2

 

READING COMPREHENSION

 

STUDIES

 

‚Kate, what are you going to do when you leave school?’
‚I don’t know. I’ve had quite a few ideas.’
‚What do you mean?’
‚Well, first I thought of taking a year off and traveling to the USA. Such a gap year would help me gain more experience, learn the language and take a break from studying.’
‚That’s true, but don’t you think it may be hard to be admitted to university after a year’s break? I mean all those entrance exams, which I’m sure are a lot easier to handle when you take them straight after high school.’
‚I know. That’s why on second thoughts, I decided to stay here and try to get a place at university.’
‚What faculty (= direction) have you chosen?’
‚I want to study law.’
‚Good choice! Are these going to be day or evening studies?
‚My parents don’t want me to work yet, so I can afford to choose day studies, but I’m afraid that will be quite costly, especially that my Mum thinks it ‚s better for me to rent a flat with a friend or two than live in a hall of residence (= Am. a dorm).’
‚You can try and apply for a grant from the state.’
‚Yes, but very few people are given the money. I thought of taking out a student loan – you can pay it off when you graduate (= finish university). If neither of these ideas works, I’ll have to find a part-time job to earn some money.’
‚I hope that won’t be necessary, at least at the beginning. Anyway, good luck with your exams!’

 

More contexts for the new words:

  • If we are granted permission, we’ll open the restaurant next month.
    (= be officially allowed to do/have what you want)
  • There was a big age gap between him and his wife.
    (= a large difference between things or groups)
  • It’s hard to admit that you are wrong.
    (= to agree that something is true, especially when you are unhappy or sorry about it)

 

EXERCISE 1

Match the expression halves.

  1. evening                                       a) loan
  2. a hall of                                       b) year
  3. entrance                                     c) from studying
  4. to be admitted                          d) to university
  5. to take a break                          e) exams
  6. a gap                                           f) residence
  7. a student                                    g) studies

 

 

 

EXERCISE 2

Add the missing vowels, then answer the questions.

 

  1. Would you prefer to live in a ……………………. HLL F RSDNC or a student flat? Why?
  2. Is it better to study on ……………………. DY STDS or ……………………. VNNG STDS? Why?
  3. If you could take a ……………………. GP YR, what would you do during that time?

 

ENGLISH IN USE 

 

Let’s take a look at one sentence from today’s lesson which is seemingly easy, yet students often come up with other ideas how to say it.

My parents don’t want me to work yet.

Most of the students try to build this sentence as if translating directly from Polish, so this is how they would begin:  My parents don’t want that I …

But it’s not the right way. The correct version is given above. Of course, you can use the verb ‚want’ without the direct object, e.g. I don’t want to go home.

There are other verbs which follow the same pattern, e.g. expect and would like, so you may use them without a direct object:

We expect to win the match.
He would like to go out tonight.
as well as with one:

We expect you to win the match.
He would like her to go out with him tonight.

 

 

IDIOM CLOSE-UP

 

 

A/ How did you know that Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system?

B/ Come on, IT’S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! They teach it in primary school!

 

When you say that something is not rocket science, you mean that it’s simple, not anything complicated.

 

 

 

PHRASAL VERBS CLOSE-UP

 

 

  1. When you SKIVE OFF (school), you leave the classes earlier than you are allowed to, and do something nicer instead.

In Polish schools kids often skive off school on the first day of spring.
When I started studies, I realized that skiving off is not a good idea.

 

  1. When you CRIB OFF, you cheat by copying homework or test answers from your classmates.

I’ve forgotten to do my homework. Can I crib off yours?
Most universities severely punish students who try to crib off.

 

 

EXERCISE 3

Complete each gap with one word.

 

  1. I was expelled from university for trying to crib …………………… at an exam. I was such an idiot!
  2. Kids love to skive …………………… school and go for ice cream instead.
  3. Come on, it’s not rocket …………………… . Everyone knows that men prefer blondes!

 

 

NEWS

 

STUDENT LOANS

Most banks have officially released the figures related to the number of student loans issued this year. The results are alarming, as the number of loans taken out is much smaller than it was projected a few months ago. Bank analysts are wondering about the reasons of this downward trend. Some pin the blame on the strict demands that students have to meet in order to qualify for a loan – such as a high GPA, or all the necessary paperwork. However, students themselves state that they are simply afraid of the loans, since they have no idea what their life situation will be like  in a few years’ time, and whether they will be able to pay off the loan. They would rather scrimp and save than get in debt.

 

GLOSSARY

release – make public

figures – numbers

taken out – taken

projected – predicted

GPA – Grade Point Average – all of your grades added together and then divided by the number of subjects

scrimp and save – spend very little and try to save as much as possible

 

 

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>>Answers

KEY TO EXERCISES 

 

Ex.1

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

 

Ex.2

  1. hall of residence
  2. day studies, evening studies
  3. gap year

 

Ex.3

  1. off
  2. off
  3. science

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