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  • THE VALUE OF HIGHER EDUCATION 1. Read the text and answer the questions

  • 2. Render the article into English

  • 3. Read a part of a review of the film “Educating Rita”. Think what is the main problem touched upon in it.

  • 4b. Read the text about the Bologna process

  • 4c. Say if the following statements are true or false

  • 4d. Read the text once more and write out the traits that differ from traditional Russian higher education.

  • Russian Move towards Bologna Process A.

  • 5b. Translate the words and expressions in italics into Russian. Use them in sentences of your own.

  • 8. Read about the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and its levels. Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

  • Level Description A1

  • 8a. The Level test on

  • 11. Check your knowledge of teaching technology. The following link will help you to find free sample papers

  • 13. Read about the aspects that you should bear in mind when planning a gap year

  • 13a. Answer the questions

  • Образовательное учреждение высшего профессионального образования глазовский государственный педагогический институт



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    МИНИСТЕРСТВО ОБРАЗОВАНИЯ И НАУКИ РОССИЙСКОЙ ФЕДЕРАЦИИ
    ФЕДЕРАЛЬНОЕ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННОЕ БЮДЖЕТНОЕ

    ОБРАЗОВАТЕЛЬНОЕ УЧРЕЖДЕНИЕ

    ВЫСШЕГО ПРОФЕССИОНАЛЬНОГО ОБРАЗОВАНИЯ

    «ГЛАЗОВСКИЙ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННЫЙ ПЕДАГОГИЧЕСКИЙ ИНСТИТУТ

    им. В.Г. Короленко»


    M.V. Maksimova

    PROBLEMS OF EDUCATION IN RUSSIA AND ABROAD

    Глазов 2012

    Аннотация
    Данное пособие предназначено для студентов специальности 050303 – «Иностранный язык» и 050100 «Педагогическое образование» профиль подготовки «Иностранный язык». В пособие вошли современные аутентичные материалы, используемые в ходе изучения темы «Education». В пособии освещаются актуальные проблемы современного образования: востребованность и практическая ценность высшего образования, переход на двухуровневую систему высшего образования, международные экзамены и др. Тексты сопровождаются разнообразными заданиями.

    Пояснительная записка

    Данное пособие предназначено для студентов специальности 050303 – «Иностранный язык» и 050100 «Педагогическое образование» профиль подготовки «Иностранный язык». В пособие вошли современные аутентичные материалы, используемые в ходе изучения темы «Education». В пособии освещаются такие актуальные проблемы образования, как востребованность и практическая ценность высшего образования, интеграция России в единое Европейское образовательное пространство (Болонский процесс), международные экзамены по английскому языку и методике его преподавания, новые тенденции в зарубежном образовании, послевузовское образование и др. Кроме того, в пособие вошли упражнения, направленные на усвоение и закрепление тематического вокабуляра. Тексты и статьи сопровождаются заданиями, направленными на развитие речевых навыков студентов, а также стимулирующие их к анализу современного состояния образовательной системы России. В пособии также содержатся ссылки на сайты, позволяющие студентам самостоятельно повышать уровень владения языком. Пособие может быть использовано как в ходе аудиторных занятий, так и при организации самостоятельной работы по курсу «Практика устной и письменной речи».

    CONTENTS
    THE VALUE OF HIGHER EDUCATION………………………………..…………4

    RUSSIAN EDUCATION IN THE FRAMEWORK OF

    THE BOLOGNA PROCESS………………………………………………………….9

    INTERNATIONAL EXAMS………………………………………………………..15

    GAP YEAR…………………………………………………………...……………..21

    POSAGRADUATE EDUCATION…………………………………………………30

    ARTICLES TO READ AND DISCUSS…………………………………….……....39

    THE STRUCTURE OF EDUCATION…………………………………..………….51

    VOCABULARY EXERCISES………………………………...……………………55

    KEYS…………………………………………………………..……………………58

    BIBLIOGRAPHY……………………………………………...……………………59

    THE VALUE OF HIGHER EDUCATION
    1. Read the text and answer the questions:

    - Why do employers value applicants with degrees?

    - Will a university diploma guarantee getting a well-paid job?

    - What are the two important skills in the employment market?

    - What are financial benefits of having a higher education?

    - Do employers seek for some skills and competences that are not developed academically? If so, what are they?

    - In general, what factors can make a university graduate employable?

    Employability means developing a range of skills and competencies to meet the requirements of the working world. Employers value applicants with degrees because they ‘add value’ to their organisation. This is a favourite business catchphrase by which, employers mean the time you’ve spent researching, reflecting on, writing and applying the evidence of your studies, all of which demonstrate your ability to question and solve business problems. It is this ‘added value’ that means you will be rewarded with higher pay. Obtaining an education beyond school will help you find a job in the graduate job market, but it will not guarantee that you get the job, as you will still have to prove yourself to these employers.

    There is a direct correlation between having a degree and earning more money. It seems that the saying ‘the more you learn, the more you earn’ is true. The fact that you have studied for an education beyond school indicates a willingness to continue learning while you are in employment. This demonstrates how flexible you are and that you can multiskill - two very important traits in the employment market.

    Not only are graduates likely to earn more, but they are also less likely to experience unemployment. In fact, only about 6% of graduates are unemployed six months after graduation, and despite the growth in the number of graduates, unemployment levels have generally been reducing, with further drops as graduates settle into a career.

    Despite the benefits of having a higher education qualification, it should not be seen as a guarantee for obtaining a good job. Employers look at many other factors. It is up to you to assemble the various skills and competencies and convince an employer that you have the knowledge, skills and experience that they need. Taking advantage of HE is not all about acquiring knowledge and passing exams. It is about equipping yourself with life skills, about developing a critical mind and about having the time and space to find and develop yourself in all sorts of ways. There is no doubt that employers value those who have higher education qualifications. However, a degree is NOT on its own, your ticket to the high-earning job market. An employer will ask you what you really learned during your time in HE, what you did and why your skills, attributes and experiences make you more employable than the next person [19].
    1a. Look at the list of skills that can help you to find a good job. Which of them are necessary to make a good teacher? In pairs, complement the list and describe a well-equipped and competitive teacher of foreign languages.

    You are more likely to get a good job if you can demonstrate a range of skills and experiences. What are they?

    Brainpower: a suitable level of intellectual capability.

    Ability to communicate: writing for and presenting to a wide range of audiences is vital. It is not much use having the brainpower if you can’t convey your ideas.

    Problem solving and analytical skills: the ability to gather and interpret data in an accurate, logical, clear and concise manner.

    Teamwork: businesses operate by solving problems in teams.Working with others, showing personal organisation and time management, imagination and open-mindedness are vital. Teamwork also includes networking: making contacts and using your interpersonal skills.

    Technical ability: some jobs need this more than others. It ranges from understanding computer packages to familiarity with modern laboratory equipment and techniques.

    Self-awareness: this involves an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses as well as a belief in your ability to go on learning. It covers being able to focus and reflect and encompasses motivation.

    Business awareness: you should have some awareness of how companies work and their expectations in terms of the changing nature of the industry and the posts you apply for.

    Flexibility: this involves a positive reaction to change, versatility and the ability to be multi-skilled and adaptable. Your job could change many times to reflect customer demands and as technology, products and processes advance.

    This is not a complete list, but reflects the type of competencies an employer is likely to look for.
    2. Render the article into English:

    Образование и карьера, оказывается, не являются взаимосвязанными: такой вывод можно сделать, изучив результаты опроса, проведенного исследовательским холдингом «Ромир». Граждане России потеряли веру в эффективность отечественной системы образования: 88,4% респондентов считают, что получить желаемую работу после окончания вуза невозможно, т. к. для этого необходимы опыт и усовершенствованные профессиональные навыки. Лишь 7,8% опрошенных оптимистичны и надеются запросто трудоустроиться.

    Те же почти 90% респондентов полагают, что полученных в вузе знаний явно недостаточно для работы в реальной жизни. Стоит напомнить, что российскую систему образования уже не первый год упрекают в оторванности от жизни, излишней теоретичности, но, как видим, воз и ныне там. «Это подтверждает мнение, что программы отечественных вузов отличаются большим академизмом и существенно оторваны от профильной практики», – делают такой же вывод эксперты «Ромир». Только 7,6% участников опроса искренне полагают, что необходимый багаж знаний возможно приобрести по итогам обучения в вузе.

    Неудивительно, что 93,7% респондентов намерены продолжать образование, причем 51,3% из них будут это делать в целях карьерного роста. А 2,7% опрошенных собираются расширять и совершенствовать свои знания лишь за рубежом. Исследование показало, что в желании получить еще одно высшее образование наиболее активна возрастная группа 36-40 лет – 62%. Видимо, к этому возрасту граждане России либо хотят перемен в жизни (хотя маловероятно, что сложившийся в профессиональном плане человек пожелает начать все с нуля), либо перспективы дальнейшего карьерного роста требуют очередной «корочки». Также можно предположить, что стремятся к переквалификации и те, кто получал первое высшее неосознанно, «за компанию», и потом, после метаний на «не своем» месте, вновь делают выбор и получают статус студента.

    В целом, если отойти от предположений, почему респонденты ответили так, а не иначе, вывод по результатам опроса весьма неутешителен: российские граждане, понимая бесперспективность и неэффективность отечественных образовательных стандартов и программ, но за неимением лучшего (на заграничное образование нужны средства, и немалые), получают диплом как необходимость, однако не дающую гарантий дальнейшего карьерного роста. В связи с этим они готовы и собираются вновь учиться, повышать свой образовательный уровень. Хотя зачем еще один документ об образовании, который станет лишь способом шагнуть по карьерной лестнице? Получается своеобразное коллекционирование дипломов, которые лишь при возможности можно разложить веером перед новым работодателем или использовать как самоутверждение [3].

    3. Read a part of a review of the film “Educating Rita”. Think what is the main problem touched upon in it.

    - Frank Bryant is a professor of literature and Rita is his newest student.She’s a hairdresser who thinks Peer Gynt is a new type of perm lotion.

    He’s a failed writer who has given up on his life. She’s determined to change hers by getting an education.

    Rita embarks on a course of evening classes with Frank as her English tutor. His disillusioned outlook on life has driven him to the bottle.

    The effects are both amusing and dramatic as her fresh, intuitive approach becomes clouded and stifled as she grapples with the problem of a formal education, while Frank also learns something - to believe in himself again.

    But who ends up teaching who in this comedy about love, learning and finding a better song to sing?

    - Willy Russell's classic two-hander gets a straightforward and engaging reading, with the necessary laughs and emotion - The Advertiser

    - Educating Rita is as fresh today as when British playwright Willy Russell first unveiled it back in 1983 - Sunday Mail

    - Dave Simms, as Frank, is fantastic.Nicole Rutty, as Rita, shows exactly the right mix of bravado and vulnerability - Adelaide Theatre Guide [18].

    3a. Write your own review after watching the film at: http://vk.com/video_ext.php?oid=1602428&id=137997120&hash=49d9556fbf197e4f.
    RUSSIAN EDUCATION IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE BOLOGNA PROCESS
    4. What do you know about the Bologna process?

    4a. Explain the meaning of the following words and expressions: the European higher education area, the Bologna declaration, a Bachelor's degree a Master's degree, Doctoral degree, credits, vocational and academic higher education.

    4b. Read the text about the Bologna process:

    The purpose of the Bologna process is to create the European higher education area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe. It is named after the place it was proposed, the University of Bologna in the Italian city of Bologna, with the signing in 1999 of the Bologna declaration by Ministers of Education from 29 European countries.

    Framework

    The basic framework adopted is of three cycles of higher education qualification. The cycles are defined in terms of qualifications and European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits:

    • 1st cycle: typically 180-240 ECTS credits, usually awarding a Bachelor's degree.

    • 2nd cycle: typically 90-120 ECTS credits (a minimum of 60 on 2nd-cycle level). Usually awarding a Master's degree.

    • 3rd cycle: Doctoral degree. No ECTS range given.

    In most cases, these will take 3, 2, and 3 years respectively to complete. The actual naming of the degrees may vary from country to country.

    One academic year corresponds to 60 ECTS-credits that are equivalent to 1,500-1,800 hours of study. The new model gives greater weight to practical training and to intensive research projects. The way credits are measured reflects how hard a student has worked. The new evaluation methods reflect not only a student's performance on exams, but also his or her lab experiments, presentations, hours spent on study, innovation capacities, and so forth.

    Goals

    With the Bologna process implementation, higher education systems in European countries are to be organized in such a way that:

    • it is easy to move from one country to the other (within the European Higher Education Area) - for the purpose of further study or employment;

    • the attractiveness of European higher education has increased, so that many people from non-European countries also come to study and/or work in Europe;

    • the European Higher Education Area provides Europe with a broad, high-quality advanced knowledge base, and ensures the further development of Europe as a stable, peaceful and tolerant community benefiting from a cutting-edge European Research Area;

    • there will also be a greater convergence between the U.S. and Europe as European higher education adopts aspects of the American system.

    Criticism

    The new changes were closer to the UK and Ireland's models than those used in most of Continental Europe. In many countries the process was not implemented without criticism.

    In much of continental Europe, the previous higher education system was modelled after the German system, in which there is a clear difference of vocational and academic higher education. This mostly has an impact on the old engineer's degrees. The conflation of the two types of degrees can be counterproductive in the following cases:

    • The vocational three-year degrees are not intended for further study, so those students who also want to advance to a master's degree will be at a disadvantage.

    • The master's degree effectively becomes the minimum qualification for a professional engineer, rather than the bachelor's degree.

    • The academic three-year degrees prepare only for continuing towards master's, so students who enter the workforce at that point will not be properly prepared. Yet they would have the same academic title as the fully trained vocationally educated engineers (see: Fachhochschule).

    The end-result of the change is that the agreements between professional bodies will require reevaluation in some cases as qualifications change.

    The requirement of 60 ECTS per year assumes that 1,500-1,800 hours are available per year. However, the Bologna process does not standardize semesters, which means that if the summer break at the university is long, the same material has to be crammed into a shorter study year. Also, there have been accusations that the same courses have been simply redefined e.g. 1.5 times shorter when the local credits were converted to ECTS, with no change in course content or requirements. This effectively increases demands with nothing to compensate [5].
    4c. Say if the following statements are true or false:

    - The purpose of the Bologna process is to work out a universal system of testing throughout the European Higher Education Area.

    - The process implies transition from two-cycles to three-cycles framework of getting higher education qualification.

    - The new model gives greater weight to intensive scientific research.

    - The way credits are measured reflects continuous assessment of a students work.

    - The new system is modeled on the basis of the US tradition.

    - The Bologna process implies a clear division between vocational and academic higher education.

    - The Bologna process introduces universal standards of the semester length and the number of credits within a semester throughout Europe.
    4d. Read the text once more and write out the traits that differ from traditional Russian higher education.

    5. Divide into two groups. Students A will read the first text, while students B – the second. Get ready to tell your partner if the author of the text is positive/negative about the transition to two-level system of higher education. Write out the arguments in favour of and against the implementation the Bologna process in Russia.

    Russian Move towards Bologna Process

    A. Russia is in the process of migrating from its traditional tertiary education model, incompatible with existing Western academic degrees, to a modernized degree structure in line with Bologna Process model. (Russia co-signed the Bologna Declaration in 2003.)

    The move has been criticized for its merely formal approach: instead of reshaping their curriculum, universities would simply insert a BSc/BA accreditation in the middle of their standard five or six-year programs. The job market is generally unaware of the change and critics predict that a stand-alone BSc/BA diplomas will not be recognized as "real" university education in the foreseeable future, rendering the degree unnecessary and undesirable without further specialization. Institutions like MFTI or MIFI have practiced two-tier breakdown of their specialist programs for decades and switched to Bologna process designations well in advance of the 2007 law, but an absolute majority of their students complete all six years of MSc/MA (formerly specialist) curriculum, regarding BSc/BA stage as useless in real life.

    Student mobility among universities has been traditionally discouraged and thus kept at very low level; there are no signs that formal acceptance of Bologna process will help students seeking better education. Finally, while the five-year specialist training was previously free to all students, the new MSc/MA stage is not. The shift forces students to pay for what was free to the previous class; the cost is unavoidable because the BSc/BA degree alone is considered useless. Defenders of Bologna process argue that the final years of the specialist program were formal and useless: academic schedules were relaxed and undemanding, allowing students to work elsewhere. Cutting the five-year specialist program to a four-year BSc/BA will not decrease the actual academic content of most of these programs [1:45-46].
    B. If we admit that Russia is a European country, it would be strange during the period when the new system of higher education is being formed in Europe, to stay away from this process.

    Not only the country as a whole has serious reasons for joining the Bologna process; each higher education establishment will be able shortly to test the advantages of the participation in it. If we approach the question pragmatically, competitiveness of such higher education establishment will increase, it will become much more attractive, in the first place, for the Russian students. The Bologna process in a gentle way will push higher education establishments towards modernisation of education, benchmarking of the curricula and programmes against the leading single-profile European higher education establishments, and real use in educational process of latest European achievements, especially in the field of humanities, social science and economics.

    The academic mobility of the faculty becomes the most effective form of improvement of professional skill of the teaching corps of our higher education establishments.

    Finally, the boom of studying foreign languages will start in the Russian higher schools, which will affect not only the ones with a humanitarian or socio-economic, but also natural-science and engineering profile. The tacit Europe-wide rule is that an educated person has a fluent command of two foreign languages will promptly begin to take root in Russia.

    Certainly, the student is expected to gain from a Bologna process more than anyone else. His study at higher education establishment will become more democratic, previously unknown opportunities will open before him. In the course study on each of level of higher education (Bachelor degree, Magistracy, Doctoral studies) he (she) would be able to designate his own educational development path (for example, through planning study abroad at the universities that are most interesting for him from the professional point of view), while upon graduation from each of the two first cycles (Bachelor and Master degrees) the student would be able to change the chosen specialisation if he (she) finds that the wrong choice had been made at some point.

    The students will start to receive the uniform European appendix to the diploma, many of them becoming the holders of double diplomas (base higher education establishment and the foreign partner). It will open before them wider cross-border opportunities for postgraduate employments, which will even further advance the democracy in the Russian society and will lead to increased salaries also in Russia as national employers will be compelled to struggle for graduates of our higher education establishments with the European competitors [1:62-63].
    5b. Translate the words and expressions in italics into Russian. Use them in sentences of your own.
    6. Write an essay “Transition to two-level higher education on the basis of the Bologna Process: pros and cons”.
    INTERNATIONAL EXAMS
    7. Read the text. Answer the questions:

    - Why are international exams in English gaining more and more popularity?

    - What is the basis for international recognition of language qualifications?

    - Can you name an exam with universal acceptance?

    - What is the difference between “achievement” and “assessment” examinations?

    - What materials does one need to prepare for taking an international exam?
    International Exams

    Qualifications are a form of currency. And in a global environment for business, education, the media and professions such as law and finance, certificates with international value and recognition are a gold standard. All the exams are linked to the highest international standards through alignment with the Council of European Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). The Framework was developed through a process of scientific research and wide consultation, and provides the basis for the international recognition of language qualifications.

    As a result, Cambridge ESOL certificates are recognised as a crucial entry requirement by thousands of universities and colleges worldwide. Major international employers such as Cable & Wireless, GlaxoSmithKline, KPMG, Nestle, Sony and Siemens regard Cambridge ESOL examinations as the standard for assessing the English language skills of recruits. Different courses are offering the range of Cambridge ESOL exams from KET (Key English Test) at the A2 level of the CEFR, to the intermediate level certificates PET (Preliminary English Test) at Bl, and FCE (First Certificate in English) at B2 level.

    It should come as no surprise to anyone that few international examinations, if any, actually enjoy universal acceptance. East is east, and west is west, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the domain of examination preparation. At the heart of this conflict, standing at opposite poles, are the United States and Britain, and though Britain seemingly outpaces the US in sheer numbers of English foreign language exams, fielding among others the Cambridge and Trinity College London Exams, IELTS, Pitman and LCCIEB English for Business Exams, The US holds its own with the TOEFL. It should be noted that, though attempts are seriously underway by both countries to obtain recognition for their own exams in each other countries, universal recognition has yet to be obtained. Therefore, students are well advised to first determine whether or not the exam for which they are seeking preparation is recognized in the host country for which the exam results are to be destined.

    The second consideration, though of no less importance than the first, is an understanding of the terms «achievement» and «assessment». With regard to the testing of English language skills, «achievement» refers to one's ability to pass an exam at a given level of language proficiency, and just as one is capable of passing such an exam, so too, is one capable of failing it. Cambridge and Pitman Exams are examples of achievement exams. «Assessment», on the other hand, refers to the overall measurement of one's current language proficiency. Unlike a pass-fail exam, an assessment exam only measures your present level of knowledge. The TOEFL and IELTS are defined as assessment examinations. The fact, however, that these two examinations are 'related' by type should not confuse the student into thinking that they have been designed with similar formats. Different test formats indicate different methods of test preparation.

    American English is accepted in just the same way as British English by examiners, and exam development involves writers from English-speaking countries around the world, including the US. No specific preparation or classroom activities are needed to include a Cambridge exam, just the usual good standards of teaching and classroom interaction provided by schools. Having said that, there are large amounts of support materials and ready-made activities directly linked to the exams which are available to teachers at the Teaching Resources web site www.cambridgeesol.org/teach) [25].

    8. Read about the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and its levels.
    Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
    The CEFR is a guideline compiled on the initiative of the Council of Europe with the aim of setting the criteria for comparison and commensurability of language competences of a person through a scale common across Europe. The CEFR is used for easy assessment of a person’s level of language proficiency in all four basic language skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Each of these four skills is subdivided into six clearly defined levels of language competence: from A1 (Basic User) to C2 (almost native speaker).

    The Common European Framework divides learners into three broad divisions which can be divided into six levels:

    A Basic Speaker

    A1 Breakthrough or beginner

    A2 Waystage or elementary

    B Independent Speaker

    B1 Threshold or intermediate

    B2 Vantage or upper intermediate

    C Proficient Speaker

    C1 Effective Operational Proficiency or advanced

    C2 Mastery or proficiency

    The CEFR describes what a learner is supposed to be able to do in reading, listening, speaking and writing at each level [8].

    Level

    Description

    A1

    Can understand and use familiar everyday expressions and very basic phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows and things he/she has. Can interact in a simple way provided the other person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

    A2

    Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.

    B1

    Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal with most situations likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes & ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.

    B2

    Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages and disadvantages of various options.

    C1

    Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes. Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects, showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and cohesive devices.

    C2

    Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can summarise information from different spoken and written sources, reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation. Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely, differentiating finer shades of meaning even in the most complex situations.


    8a. The Level test on http://www.examenglish.com/ will help you to define your level of English.
    9. Search in the Internet for some information about one of the most popular international exams and tell about it. The following links will be useful for you: http://www.examenglish.com/ and http://www.cambridgeesol.org
    10. Read some information about exams for teachers of English. In what way can these exams motivate teachers’ creativity and help in their work?

    TKT – a test of professional knowledge for English language teachers. TKT tests knowledge about the teaching of English to speakers of other languages. This knowledge includes concepts related to language, language use and the background to and practice of language teaching and learning and is assessed by means of objective format tests. TKT does not include a compulsory course component or compulsory teaching practice. It should be noted that TKT tests teaching knowledge rather than teaching ability. TKT offers candidates a step in their professional development as teachers and enables them to move onto higher-level teaching qualifications and access professional support materials, such as journals about English language teaching (ELT). TKT candidates are encouraged to keep a portfolio, a record of their professional development and reflections on their teaching. Through their portfolio candidates should become reflective practitioners, analysing their teaching and how this impacts on their students’ learning. However, the portfolio does not form part of the assessment for TKT. TKT can be taken at any stage in a teacher’s career. It is suitable for pre-service or practising teachers and forms part of a framework of teaching awards offered by Cambridge ESOL. This includes CELTA (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults); CELTYL (Certificate in English Language Teaching to Young Learners); ICELT (In-service Certificate in English Language Teaching); and DELTA (Diploma in English Language Teaching to Adults). These are based on the following content areas: subject knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge and knowledge of context. TKT covers the first three of these areas of knowledge, but unlike the other teaching awards, TKT does not assess knowledge of teaching context. This area is most appropriately assessed through teaching practice, which does not form part of the assessment of TKT [25].

    11. Check your knowledge of teaching technology. The following link will help you to find free sample papers: http://www.cambridgeesol.org/exams/tkt/index.html
    GAP YEAR

    12. Read about a “gap year ” which is a popular way to pass from one stage of life to another for young people in some countries.
    This is an expression or phrase associated with taking time out to travel between life stages. It refers to a period of time (not necessarily 12 months) in which students disengage from curricular education and undertake non curricular activities, such as travel or work. They are most frequent among individuals who have ceased secondary education and intend to commence tertiary education.

    The practice of taking a deferred year developed in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. During this time, a student might travel, engage in volunteer work overseas or undertake a working holiday abroad.

    A year out has grown very popular among students in the UK, AustraliaNew Zealand and Canada. A trend for year out is to participate in international education programs that combine language studyhomestayscultural immersioncommunity service, and independent study.

    In 2010, year out travel increased among school, college and university leavers, as this is seen as an attractive option for future career development. Converseley, 2011 saw a decline in the number of prospective students from the UK taking gap years due to the competetivity of courses and the imminent rise in university fees [13].

    12a. With your partner, discuss what ways to spend a gap year you would choose if you had such a chance. Share your ideas with the rest of the group. Range them according to: 1) possibility of actualizing; 2) extravagance; 3) usefulness for further career.
    13. Read about the aspects that you should bear in mind when planning a gap year:

    Taking a gap year can be both an exciting and daunting prospect for students as well as people taking a career break. There are so many gap year opportunities available today for the independent or budget traveller from travelling the world with a backpack to working abroad. This is the basic information as a starting point for planning your gap year that covers a variety of subjects including:

    • Making the decision to take a gap year.

    • Reassuring parents about taking a gap year.

    • Planning flights, visas, accommodation and countries to visit.

    • Deciding on what to pack and on whether to travel light.

    • Health issues such as vaccinations, malaria, first aid, safe water/food and emergencies.

    • How to stay safe in another country.

    • Deciding on travelling with friends or going solo.

    • Credit cards, debit cards and travelling on a budget.

    • Brief information on a variety of countries.

    • Organisations to contact for opportunities on working abroad.

    • Coming back home at the end of your gap year [22].

    13a. Answer the questions:

    • Which of these seem the most important for you? Why?

    • What would be your first steps when getting ready for a gap year?

    • What arguments would you put forward to make your parents believe in benefits of a gap year&
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