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Unit 1

Active reading (1)

Looking for a job after university? First, get off the sofa

Background information

About the passage: This is an article by an Education Correspondent, Alexandra Blair, published in September 2008 in The Times, a long-established British quality newspaper. In Europe generally, and in Britain in particular, for a number of years there has been a rising number of students who go to university and therefore more new graduates seeking employment. However, for many graduates finding a job became harder in 2008–2009 because the economic downturn –then a recession – meant that many employers were reducing their workforce. After their final exams, some students rested in the summer before looking for jobs and then they found that it was difficult to find employment in their field or at the level they wanted. The article addresses the problems of such new graduates who might be stuck at home and advises their parents to be there for their children (ie to be available if their children want to talk about the problem or if they need help). The article recommends finding work in a bar or supermarket rather than sitting unemployed at home since this is more likely to lead to better employment later. The style is partly of a report, but also of a humorous comment for light entertainment (seen in the jokey language and problem-solving advice to parents).

Why finding a job in 2008 is so difficult for university graduates?

Universities in Europe, particularly in Britain, have expanded greatly in the last fifteen years (over 45% of young adults now go on to higher education), so there are more graduates looking for jobs. This competitive situation became a lot worse in 2008 onwards with the credit crunch and economic depression, which meant

that there were fewer jobs available and a rise in unemployment. Thus new graduates have to be active to seek a job, they need to fill in many application forms and try to get job interviews: they won‘t find employment by lying on the sofa at home.

Culture points

honours degree: Traditionally, in the British university system, BA and BSc honours degrees are awarded in different categories: a first class degree (written using Roman numbers as I), a second (divided into two subcategories, written as I Iii and IIii, which are called ―a two one‖ and ―a two two‖), a third (written III) and a pass degree. Most people get a second. There are also ordinary degrees with more general courses of study without these categories.

Generation Y and Grunt: The main idea here is that there is a succession of different generations or cohorts of adults who come into the workforce in North America which are given different informal names to characterize them. First, ―Baby boomers‖ were born in the great increase (the boom) of births after World War II (1946–1960), followed by ―Generation X‖ people (born

1960–1980) who were said to bring new attitudes of being independent, informal, entrepreneurial, and expected to get skills and have a career before them. ―GenerationY‖ or the ―Millenial Generation‖ (born 1980s and 1990s and becoming adult in the new millenium) are now making up an increasing percentage of the workforce; they are said to be spoilt by doting parents, to have structured lives, to be used to teamwork and diverse people in a multicultural society. In the passage, this generation is now becoming (morphing into) Generation Grunt, which is an ironic

name referring to repetitive, low status, routine or mindless work – this may be the only work available to some graduates, who may have to take very ordinary jobs to get experience before they find something more suitable. ―Grunt‖ also refers to coarse behaviour or bad manners and to the deep sound that is made by a pig; when people ―grunt‖ they express disgust but do not communicate with words – this may be how the parents of new graduates think their children communicate with them!

A comprehensive refers to a British type of secondary school which became popular in the1960s. Before that there were academic ―grammar schools‖ and more general ―secondary modern‖ schools for those who did not pass the grammar school entrance tests, but the comprehensive schools were designed for all students in a social philosophy of bringing diverse students together whether they were academic or not. Those students who went to a comprehensive school probably felt that had to study particularly hard (I worked my backside off) to get to university, compared to those who went to grammar schools where all students were academic –comprehensive students felt they had to struggle to get to university.

Chicken suit This refers to a large yellow costume that someone wears which makes the person look like a giant chicken. Before he became a famous actor, Brad Pitt once dressed in such a costume when he had a job advertising for a restaurant called El Pollo Loco (The Crazy Chicken‘ in Spanish) – the job meant that he had to walk around the streets like a chicken to attract customers to come to the restaurant.

Language points

1 Those memories of forking out thousands of pounds a year so that he could eat well and go to the odd party, began to fade. Until now. (Para 1)

The parents paid a lot of money for their son‘s university fees and living expenses (so that he could eat well) and for occasional social events – at graduation these memories of money were mostly forgotten because the parents were proud. But now the parents are thinking of money again because the son doesn‘t have a job and doesn‘t seem to be actively seeking one.

2 This former scion of Generation Y has morphed overnight into a member of Generation Grunt. (Para 2)

The distinguished son of Generation X (of the parents‘ generation who worked hard, got jobs, and had good careers and expected their son to do the same) has changed into a member of Generation Grunt – he doesn‘t seem to communicate much, lies around and doesn‘t get a job (or can only do a low status routing job).

3 I passed the exams, but at the interviews they accused me of being …too detached? and talking in language that was …too technocratic?, which I didn?t think possible, but obviously it is. (Para 5)

He passed the entrance exams for a government post, but he was criticized in the selection interviews: They said he was detached (not personally involved) and too technocratic (he used the language of a technical expert or high authority). As a new graduate he probably wanted to show his expertise in his language so he can‘t understand this criticism.

4 For the rest it is 9-to-

5 “chilling” before heading to the pub. (Para 6)

The others who do not have a routine low status job (like stacking goods on a supermarket shelf) chill out all day (they spend their time casually relaxing –they don‘t look for work) and go to pub for a drink in the evening.

5 I went to a comprehensive and I worke d my backside off to go to a good university …(Para


He went to a school for students of all abilities (not to a special school for academic students) and so he had to work very hard to enter a good university: Your backside means your bottom – the part of your body that you sit on – to work your backside off is informal and it means you work very hard indeed.

6 … but having worked full-time since leaving school herself, she and her husband find it tricky to advise him on how to proceed. (Para 7)

The mother has always had a full-time job (presumably the father is also working full-time), so she does not have relevant personal experience. For her, it is tricky to give advice (difficult to do).

7 Carry on life as normal and don?t allow them to abuse your ban k account or sap your reserve of emotional energy. (Para 11)

The advice from Gael Lindenfield here is that parents should live as usual. They should neither let theirchildren spend the parents‘ money unnecessarily, nor let the problem take away all their energy and emotions. Sap their reserve means use up their store of emotional energy.

8 After that the son or daughter needs to be nudged firmly back into the saddle. (Para 12) Then the parents should gently push their children firmly so that they get back into control of their lives.

Reading and understanding

2 Choose the best answer to the questions.

Teaching tips

Go over the correct answers with Ss and ask them to explain why the other answers are wrong (See below).

1 Why hasn‘t Jack Goodwin got a job yet?

(a) He doesn‘t have a very good degree.

(No, he has a 2:1 which is considered a good degree. )

(b) He refuses to apply for jobs with low salaries.

(He feels he should get a better job after studying at university.)

(c) It isn‘t easy to get a job in the cu rrent financial climate.

(This may be true but the passage does not mention this.)

(d) He prefers to stay at home and help his family.

(No, he doesn‘t seem to be helping his family: he watches TV and talks to friends.)

2 How does he spend a typical day?

(a) Doing a temporary job.

(No, some of his friends are working in temporary jobs but he doesn‘t want to do this.)

(b) Watching television.

(He watches TV a lot.)

(c) Queuing up in the university careers service.

(No, he went there once but he didn‘t want to queue so he walked away.)

(d) Preparing for the next job interview.

(No, he doesn‘t seem to be preparing for interviews.)

3 How do most of his friends spend the day?

(a) They do nothing all day and go to the pub in the evening.

(All except one of them do nothing except chill, then they go to the pub.)

(b) They do outdoor activities such as sailing.

(No, none of them seem to do outdoor activities; there is no mention of sailing.)

(c) They are forced to work by their parents.

(No, only one of them has been forced out to stack shelves by his parents; the others seem to be like Jack.)

(d) They do part-time jobs such as working in a bar.

(No, the text mentions bar work but none of Jack‘s friends seem to do this work.)

4 How are Jack‘s parents helping him?

(a) By looking for jobs for him.

(No, Jack has tried to get a job himself; there‘s nothing here about his parents helping him look for

a job.)

(b) By paying for a trip to South America.

(No, although he is going on a three-week trip to South America, the passage does not say that Jack‘s parents have paid for this.)

(c) By gradually making him more financially aware.

(The passage does not say so explicitly, but this is the implication about the cut-off point after the trip when he may be expected to pay rent and contribute to the household bills.)

(d) By threatening to throw him out of the house.

(No, they haven‘t threatened to do this, but they definitely want him to work after he gets back from

his trip.)

5 What does Gael Lindenfield say about Jack‘s parents?

(a) They have not really understood Jack‘s problems.

(No, she doesn‘t say this; she says they must balance being positive with not making life too comfortable. This doesn‘t mean they haven‘t understood Jack‘s problems.)

(b) They have made life too comfortable for Jack.

(No, she says they must balance comfort with being positive. This doesn‘t necessarily mean that they have already made life too comfortable for Jack.)

(c) The approach they have chosen is the right one.

(She says they have struck exactly the right note.)

(d) They need help from a psychologist.

(No, she doesn‘t say this.)

6 What do Whoopi Goldberg, Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt have in common?

(a) They all did bar work before going to university.

(No, we don‘t know from the passage if any of them did this.)

(b) They took part in protests against nuclear power plants.

(No, we don‘t know is any of them did this)

(c) They learnt to act by dressing up as giant chickens.

(No, only Brad Pitt did this.)

(d) They all did temporary jobs at one stage in their lives.

(This is right, although they all had completely different temporary jobs.)

Dealing with unfamiliar words

3 Match the words in the box with their definitions.

1 to make progress by moving to the next stage in a series of actions or events (proceed)

2 the process of changing from one situation, form or state to another (transition)

3 not feeling involved with someone or something in a close or emotional way (detached)

4 referring to something which will happen soon (upcoming)

5 to be sitting still in a position that is not upright (slump)

6 to return to a previous state or way of behaving (revert)

7 to say what happened (recount)

4 Complete the paragraph with the correct form of the words in Activity 3.

It isn‘t easy to make the (1) transition from a busy university student to an unemployed young adult (2) slumped on a bar stool or half watching a mindless television show, wondering if and how their career is going to (3) proceed. Many people who have experienced a long period of inactivity like this, when (4) recounting how they felt at the time, refer to the same strange psychological effect. As the days pass, they begin to feel (5) detached from any sense of pressure to go and look for a job, and tend to regard (6) upcoming interviews as if they were not very important. Typically, back at home after three or four years away, they (7) revert to old habits, start seeing old friends, and, in many cases, become dependent again on their parents.

5 Replace the underlined words with the correct form of the words in the box. You may need to make other changes.

1 I went to a mixed-ability secondary school just outside London. (comprehensive)

2 I got stopped by a policeman who asked to see my driving licence. (cop)

3 Have you seen this beautiful from the air view of Oxford? (aerial)

4 Isabel tightly her bag as she walked down the corridor towards the office. (clutched)

5 You should speak to Toby; he‘s an supporter of flexible working hours. (advocate)

6 I hurt my leg badly a couple of months ago, and it still hasn‘t got better completely. (healed)

6 Answer the questions about the words.

1 Is a dead-end job one with (a) exciting prospects, or (b) no future?

2 Is a tricky problem (a) difficult, or (b) easy to solve?

3 If an activity saps all your energy, do you feel (a) tired, or (b) more active than usual?

4 Does a pushy person try to (a) persuade you to do something you don‘t want to, or (b) help you by listening to what you have to say?

5 If you feel apathy, do you want to (a) change the world, or (b) stay at home and do nothing?

7 Answer the questions about the phrases.

1 Is fork out (a) a formal, or (b) an informal way of saying to pay for something?

2 If you are in the same boat as another person, are you (a) making the same journey together, or

(b) in the same difficult or unpleasant situation?

3 If you feel you have come full circle, do you (a) feel you are back where you started, or (b) feel a sense of satisfaction because you have completed something?

4 If someone takes a soft line, do they deal with a person (a) in a kind and sympathetic way, or (b) in a lazy way without making a decision?

5 If you strike the right note about something, are you expressing yourself (a) well, or (b) badly?

6 If you do something by all means, do you (a) try your best to do it, or (b) not care about it?

7 If you nudge someone back into the saddle, are you encouraging them to (a) take responsibility again, or (b) take it easy?

8 If you talk through a problem with someone, do you (a) examine it carefully and sensitively, or

(b) refer to it quickly and then change the subject?

Reading and interpreting

8 Answer the questions.

1 ―Will he ever get a job?‖ Who is asking this question? What mood does it express?

The parents are asking this because the paragraph is addressed to parents (ear lier it says ―your graduate son‖). The mood seems to express patience or resignation because the word ―ever‖ suggests that getting a job will take a long time.

2 Who describes Generation Y as ―rebels without a cause‖? Is it a fair description?

This is the writer‘s description to indicate that this generation is rebelling against parents or society, but they have nothing particular to rebel against. This doesn‘t seem very fair because the students are trying to find work –it is just that they don‘t like the ir parents nagging them. So they are a bit rebellious against their parents, but no more than that.

3 Jack ―walked into the university careers service and straight back out again‖. What does this suggest about Jack‘s character?

It suggests that Jack is not very determined. As soon as he saw the queue he left without waiting and without trying to ask about jobs or careers.

4 Jack spent the summer ―hiding‖. Hiding from what? Why are quotation marks used?

Probably this means he was hiding from the world of work, staying at home and not looking for a job. The quotation marks tell us that he wasn‘t literally hiding, he just spent a lot of time at home.

5 How is Mrs Goodwin‘s point of view affected by her own personal experience?

In one way her experience hasn‘t a ffected her attitude: She left school and went immediately to a job (without going to university) and has been working full-time since then and yet she is sympathetic and takes a soft line.

6 How is Lindenfield‘s point of view affected by her own personal experience?

Her personal experience was that she worked in a bar before finding her first proper job as an aerial photographic assistant. So she says such work is a great networking opportunity. If new graduates are good at such work and bright, cheerful and polite, they will soon be promoted. Her personal experience thus reflects – or perhaps has created – her point of view.

7 What would the first two paragraphs have focused on if they had been presented from the point of view of the students rather than the parents?

The first two paragraphs would have focused on the need for the new graduates to rest for a bit after their hard studies. It is OK for students to relax with the TV or to socialize with friends for a while, thenthey can start a serious search for employment after that.

Active reading (2)

If you ask me

Background information

This is an informal and personalized account of an economics graduate who gets a job in a pub for a year and then has an opportunity to be successful (a lucky break). She works in a London pub called ―The Salisbury‖or ―The Marquis Salisbury‖, named after someone who was the British Prime Minister three times between1885 and 1902 and whose family once owned the pub‘s land. The 100 year old pub is in Leadenhall Street, just off the Charing Cross Road and Leicester Square. Daytime customers can get a pub lunch and evening

customers include many office workers and theatre goers (the pub is near many West End

theatres). The interior of this pub is dazzling, with large mirrors, cut glass and a mahogany décor. British pubs are often named after famous people (Robin Hood, The Duke of Wellington) or royalty (The Queen’s Arms, the Prince of Wales) or historical symbols (The Rose and Crown to represent King Edward III, The Royal Oak to represent King Charles II who once hid in a large oak tree). Other names often include colours and animals (The Red Bull, The Black Horse, The Golden Lion, The Swan) or symbols of traditional trades (The Compasses for carpenters, The Three Hammers for blacksmiths, The Three Tuns for winemakers).

As the pub is a social place to meet as well as a place to get a drink, people often play games like dominoes or darts or join a quiz or competition. A common expression is to ―go down the pub‖ or ―go round to the l ocal‖ (both meaning to go to the local pub).

Culture points

pub in London: A pub is a place where people go for a drink and to meet friends and socialize. People can play games – such as darts, cards, dominoes – in a pub and pubs often have quiz nights, with prizes for the winners, and live music (See also Background information)

The Salisbury is a well-known pub in central London (See also Background information)

London School of Economics is a distinguished university in central London, famous for social sciences.

Language points

1 If you ask me, real life is not all it?s cracked up to be. (Para 1)

In my opinion (If you ask me introduces an opinion), real life is not everything that people say it is. If a thing is cracked up to be, people normally praise it but in the opinion of the speaker they are wrong.

2 … spending money when you don?t have any is dead easy. (Para 7)

Dead here means very. For example, we can say dead tired (exhausted), a dead loss (a complete loss or useless), a dead weight (very heavy, difficult to lift).

3 What were the odds on anyone being so nice? (Para 11)

What are the chances that someone would be so nice? The writer is emphasizing here that such kindness is very unusual.

4 … looking back after all these years, you only need one or two breaks in your life to succeed. (Para 13)

A break here means a chance to be successful. A lucky break is an unexpected opportunity. Reading and understanding

2 Choose the best answer to the questions.

1 What did the writer want to do after finishing her degree?

(a) To do an MA at the London School of Economics.

(b) To earn some money to pay off her loan.

(c) To start working as soon as possible.

(d) To return home and help her mother.

2 Why did she ask for a job in The Salisbury?

(a) She was hungry and thirsty.

(b) She thought it would lead to better things.

(c) She was a friend of the landlord.

(d) She had the idea when she saw the landlord working.

3 What did she buy with her first salary?

(a) A bunch of flowers.

(b) A CD and a plant for the flat she lived in.

(c) A ham sandwich and a glass of beer.

(d) She didn‘t have any money left after paying the bills.

4 Why did Tony give her £20,000?

(a) He found out it was her birthday and wanted to help.

(b) He trusted her and thought it would help her.

(c) He wanted her to leave the pub and work for him.

(d) He was secretly in love with her.

5 What did she do with the money?

(a) She used it to pay for her course at the LSE.

(b) She lost a lot of it in the 2008 stock market crash.

(c) She invested it and paid back Tony and other investors.

(d) She used it to start her own business.

6 Why was Tony pleased when she repaid the loan?

(a) He had had an accident and needed the money for a wheelchair.

(b) It meant that he would be able to see her again.

(c) It proved that he had been right to invest in her.

(d) She paid back the loan with a lot of interest.

3 Work in pairs and answer the questions.

What do we know about the writer‘s:

1 family background?

Her mother had worked hard for 15 years to support her education bu t couldn‘t afford any further support. Her father wasn‘t around most of the time. He didn‘t have any money because he spent it on gambling on dog racing or drinking in pubs.

2 career as a student?

She had a good degree in economics and wanted to study for a masters course at the London School of Economics.

3 ambition?

She wanted to get a job in finance or investments in London because then she would be able to use her degree.

4 appreciation of other people?

She appreciated Mike‘s friendliness with customers and his skill, and she appreciated Tony as a nice person; later she appreciated the trust of Tony and his friends

5 love life?

We don‘t know much about this, except that she doesn‘t like boys to hassle her. She thinks they are immature.

6 financial expertise?

It must be quite good: She invested the £20,000 and made enough profit to pay the money back with interest and set up her own company.

7 sense of responsibility?

She has a strong sense of responsibility because she paid back the money to the investors and paid them an annual interest for the loan.

8 philosophy of life?

She believes that you should work hard; you may need one or two breaks to succeed but you should know how to use the breaks. You should be honest and responsible with people who trust you.

Dealing with unfamiliar words

4 Match the words in the box with their definitions.

1 funny or entertaining (amusing)

2 used for emphasizing that something good has happened, especially because of good luck (fortunately)

3 an amount of money that a person, business or country borrows, usually from a bank (loan)

4 to take an amount or number from a total (deduct)

5 the most exciting, impressive, or interesting part of an event (highlight)

6 to show that you understand someone‘s problems (sympathize)

7 needing a lot of time, ability, and energy (demanding)

5 Complete the conversation with the correct form of the words in Activity 4.

Teaching tips

When Ss have completed the blanks with the correct form of the appropriate words, ask them to practice reading the dialogue, trying to make their reading sound as conversational as possible. Choose a pair to perform their reading to the class. The class listens and gives the performing pair a rating on a scale of 1-10 for fluency and naturalness.

A After three years at university, I‘m now quite heavily in debt.

B I (1) sympathize with you, I know what it‘s like to have financial problems. But (2) fortunately I didn‘t need to take out a student (3) loan when I was at university, because I had a part-time job.

A What did you do?

B I worked in a restaurant at weekends.

A That must have been very (4) demanding.

B Yes, it was. I had to get the right balance between work and study. But the other people who worked there were good fun to be with, so it was quite (5) amusing too. The (6) highlight of the weekend was always Saturday night when we worked overtime.

A But I don‘t expect you made a lot of money?

B No, there wasn‘t much after they‘d (7) deducted tax and pension contributions. But it was enough to keep me going.

6 Replace the underlined words with the correct form of the words in the box. You may need to make other changes.

1 When I was at college I kept all my personal things in an old cupboard.

2 A lot of people who leave university before getting a degree end up in good jobs.

3 I think she‘ll get a good degree, but I wouldn‘t risk my money on the exact result.

4 The money I spent at college was more than what I earned in my part-time job.

5 The chances of my being offered a job after that interview must be quite remote.

6 Our business has done very well since we changed our advertising.

7 I think telling the truth and not cheating is always the best policy.

Key: (1) belongings (2) dropouts (3) gamble (4) exceeded (5) odds

(6) has thrived (7) honesty

7 Answer the questions about the words and expressions.

1 If something is not all it’s cracked up to be, is it (a) valid and interesting, or (b) just a little bit disappointing?

2 If someone keeps banging on about something, are you likely to be (a) interested in, or (b) bored by what they say?

3 If there is a lot of hassle in your life, are you likely to feel (a) stressed, or (b) relaxed?

4 If something happens out of the blue, is it (a) unexpected, or (b) part of your plan?

5 If you say you ended up in a particular job, do you suggest that (a) you have fulfilled your ambition, or (b) it happened almost by chance?

6 Are the regulars in a pub (a) the customers who come very often, or (b) the food the pub offers most often?

7 If something is dead easy, is it (a) very easy, or (b) not easy at all?

8 If you treat someone to something, do you (a) buy something nice for them, or (b) behave badly to them?

9 If you cheer a place up, do you (a) make the place look brighter, or (b) make the people in the place happier?

Reading and interpreting

8 Look at the sentences from the passage and identify the style features.

1 Twelve years at school and three years at university, teachers banging on about opportunities in the big

wide world beyond our sheltered life as students, and what do I find?

This shows the informality of an incomplete sentence in the first part, the use of an informal expression (banging on) and a rhetorical question to the reader (What do I find?)

2 Try as I might to stay cheerful, all I ever get is hassle, sometimes with people (especially boys, god, when will they grow up?) …

This has the use of an informal word (hassle), an informal exclamation (god) and a question to the reader (When will they grow up?)

3 Actually, I had my eye on the course at the London School of Economics (LSE).

Here there is a discourse marker typical of speech (Actually) and an informal phrase (had my eye on).

4 I kind of understand it, and not just because my degree is in economics.

Here ―kind of‖ is a sort of discourse marker of informal speech (showing something is general, vague or not definite).

5 I wanted something in finance and investments, because you know, maybe with a job like that, I could use my degree.

This has a discourse marker of informal speech (you know).

6 ... it‘s true, he real ly did seem to have three hands.

Again here is a discourse marker of informal speech (it‘s true).

7 I talked to him about ... well, about pretty well everything …

This has another discourse marker of informal speech (well) and an informal phrase (pretty well).

9 Answer the questions.

1 What is the focus of each section of the story?

? The first part is the background before the story really begins. It focuses on the writer‘s financial problems after graduation and on her need to work since her family cannot support her.

? The second part focuses on nice people who help the writer, mainly on Mike who gives her a job

in a pub.

? In the third part, the focus is on the writer‘s sad feelings on her birthday and how she tells Tony her troubles. He talks to some friends and gets her a £20,000 loan to set up a business.

? In the fourth part, the writer is looking back some years later. She has her masters degree and has a job in an investment bank and has used the loan to set up her own company. The focus is on the twist in the story, where the situation is reversed: Tony is disabled after an accident and needs the repayment of the loan to adapt his house for his disability.

? The last two main sentences are also introduced by ―If you ask me,‖ This is a coda (a finish ing phrase or two) about investing in people.

2 How does the time context change from one section to the next?

The first section gives the background before the writer finds a job, in the past before the time of the story. The second section is in the past, showing how she ot a job. The third section, still in the past, shows the particular event of how she got a lucky break through Tony‘s help. In the fourth section, the time is in the present, with the writer looking back after some years. She tells us what happened and her success after she had received Tony‘s loan.

3 How much time do you think has elapsed between the third and the final section?

At least two years have passed because she worked in the pub for one year, then studied for her master‘s for another year, and then repaid the loan. If you allow time for her investment to make enough money to repay the loan with interest and for the writer to have enough money left to set up a firm, then it could be several further years, say between five and ten years altogether, but as she says ―it is still a thriving business‖, it is probably ten or fifteen years later or even more.

4 How is the relationship between the writer and Tony reversed at the end of the story?

When they first meet Tony is working successfully in banking, while the writer is in financial difficulty and in need of money. At the end of the story this situation is reversed: He is disabled and in need of money, while she has become financially successful. The successful one helps the other in both parts of the story.

5 What is the message presented at the end of the story?

The message is that Tony and the writer both say that investing in people gives the best return on an investment that you could hope for. This is their experience, but the writer asks for the readers‘ opinion about this. The final question leaves an open answer and we may disagree if this is not our experience

Language in use

word formation: compound nouns

1 Write the compound nouns which mean:

1 a degree which is awarded a first class (a first-class degree)

2 work in a hospital (hospital work)

3 a ticket for a plane journey (a plane ticket)

4 a discount for students (a student discount)

5 a pass which allows you to travel on buses (a bus pass)

6 a room where an interview is held (an interview room)

7 a period spent in training (a training period)

word formation: noun phrases

2 Write the noun phrases which mean:

1 a career which is rewarding from the financial point of view (a financially rewarding career)

2 legislation which has been introduced recently (recently introduced legislation)

3 instructions which are more complex than usual (unusually complex instructions)

4 an institution which is orientated towards academic (academically orientated work)

5 work which makes physical demands on you (physically demanding work)

6 information which has the potential to be important (potentially important information)

7 candidates who have been selected after a careful procedure (carefully selected candidates)

8 a coursebook in which everything has been planned beautifully (a beautifully planned textbook) try as … might

3 Rewrite the sentences using try as … might .

1 I‘m trying to fill this last page, but I just can‘t think of anything.

Try as I might to fill this last page, I just ca n‘t think of anything.

2 I try to be friendly with Marta, but she doesn‘t seem to respond.

Try as I might to be friendly with Marta, she doesn‘t seem to respond.

3 I try hard to get to sleep, but I can‘t help thinking about my family.

Try as I might to get to sleep, I can‘t help thinking about my family.

4 He just doesn‘t seem to get the promotion he deserves, even though he keeps trying.

Try as he might, he just doesn‘t seem to get the promotion he deserves. / Try as he might to get the promotion he deserv es, he just doesn‘t seem to get it.

5 I keep trying to remember her name, but my mind is a blank.

Try as I might to remember her name, my mind is a blank.

given that …

4 Rewrite the sentences using given that …

1 Since I know several languages, I thought I would look for work abroad.

Given that I know several languages, I thought I would look for work abroad.

2 Xiao Li has the best qualifications, so she should get the job.

Given that Xiao Li has the best qualifications, she should get the job.

3 Since we‘re all here, I think it would be a good idea to get down to some work.

Given that we‘re all here, I think it would be a good idea to get down to some work.

4 Since it‘s rather late, I think we should leave this last task until tomorrow.

Given that it‘s rat her late, I think we should leave this last task until tomorrow.

clauses introduced by than

5 Rewrite the sentences using clauses introduced by than .

1 She‘s experienced at giving advice. I‘m more experienced.

She‘s less experienced at giving advice than I am. / I‘m more experienced at giving advice than she is.

2 You eat too much chocolate. It isn‘t good for you.

You eat too much chocolate than is good for you.

3 She worked very hard. Most part-timers don‘t work so hard.

She worked harder than most part-timers do.

4 You have arrived late too many times. That isn‘t acceptable.

You have arrived late more times than is acceptable.

5 I don‘t think you should have given so much personal information. It isn‘t wise.

I think you have given more personal information than is wise.


6 Read the explanations of the words. Answer the questions.

1 highlight A highlight is the most exciting, impressive, or interesting part of an event.

(a) What would you like to be the highlight of your career?

I would like the highlight of my student career to be to receive a national award for the best student research project.

(b) How can you highlight an important sentence in a text?

You can underline it in pencil or pen or you can use coloured pens or highlighters.

(c) What are the edited highlights of a football match?

The highlights are when someone scores a goal or prevents one from being scored.

2 loan A loan is an amount of money someone borrows from someone else.

(a) Have you ever taken out a loan?

No, I haven‘t. But m y parents have taken out several loans to buy kitchen equipment.

(b) What is the best way to pay off a loan?

It is best to pay a loan off quickly, although you will still have to pay some interest.

(c) If you have a library book on loan, what do you have to do with it?

You have to return it before the date it is due, otherwise you may have to pay a fine.

3 thrive To thrive means to be very successful, happy or healthy.

(a) What sort of business thrives best in your part of the country?

In my part of the country, light industries and electronics companies thrive.

(b) Which sort of plants thrive in a hot climate?

In a hot climate you can see tropical fruit and vegetables thrive and also tropical plants and trees.

(c) Why do you think some couples thrive on conflict?

It is difficult to understand why some couples thrive on conflict. Maybe each one wants to compete with the other or maybe they enjoy ―kissing and making up‖ after the conflict.

7 Translate the paragraphs into Chinese.

If you ask me, real life is no t all it‘s cracked up to be. Twelve years at school and three years at university, teachers banging on about opportunities in the big wide world beyond our sheltered life as students, and what do I find?

Try as I might to stay cheerful, all I ever get is hassle, sometimes with people (especially boys, god, when will they grow up?), but mostly with money. It‘s just so expensive out here! Everyone wants a slice off you. The Inland Revenue wants to deduct income tax, the bank manager wants repayments on my student loan, the landlord wants the rent, gas, water, electricity and my mobile bills keep coming in, and all that‘s before I‘ve had anything to eat. And then some bright spark calls me out of the blue, asking if I‘m interested in buying a pension. At this r ate, I won‘t even last till the end of the year, let alone till I‘m 60.(?翻译时可以根据上下文增译,即增加原文暗含了但没有直接表达出来的意思。如最后一句译文加了―领养老金‖,点出了与上一句的关联。)




8 Translate the paragraphs into English.


第二学期,《英国文学》及《宏观经济学》两门课不及格给我敲响了警钟,这可是我一生中第一次考试不及格,这大大打击了我的自信心。虽然我不是一个容易向命运低头的人,在暑假结束的时候,我还是决定放弃经济学,以免两个专业都难以完成。当我只需修一个专业的时候,一切似乎又回到了正轨。(if you ask me; odds; try as … might; sap one‘s confidence; given that; bow to fate; come to a close; for fear that; now that)

If you ask me, taking a second major isn‘t good for every undergraduate. In my freshman year as an English major, I took economics as my minor. By all odds, I was the most hardworking student in my class. But try as I might to meet the requirements of the two different subjects, I still couldn‘t do well enough to pass all the exams. Given that the study of economics required a good command ofmathematics, I had to spend so much time on math that I neglected my English major.

Failing English Literature and Macroeconomics in the second semester sounded the alarm for me. This was the first time I did not pass a course in my life, which had greatly sapped my confidence. Although I was not a man who would easily bow to fate, as the summer break came to a close, I decided to give up economics for fear that I would fail in both subjects. Now that I had only one subject to attend to, everything seemed to be on the right track again.

Translation of the passages

Active reading (1)


今年夏天,超过65 万的大学生毕业离校,其中有许多人根本不知道怎么找工作。在当今金融危机的背景下,做父母的该如何激励他们?

七月,你看着21 岁英俊的儿子穿上学士袍,戴上四方帽,骄傲地握着优等学士学位证书,拍毕业照。这时,记忆中每年支付几千英镑,好让儿子吃好、能参加奇特聚会的印象开始消退。总算熬到头了。等到暑假快要结束,全国各地的学生正在为新学期做准备的时候,你发现大学毕业的儿子还歪躺在沙发上看电视。他只是偶尔走开去发短信,浏览社交网站Facebook,去酒吧喝酒。这位前―千禧一代‖的后裔一夜之间变成了哼哼一代的成员。他能找到工作吗?

这就是成千上万家庭所面临的景象:今年夏天,超过65 万大学生毕业,在当今金融危机的背景下他们中的大多数人不知道自己下一步该做什么。父母只会唠叨,而儿女们则毫无缘由地变成了叛逆者,他们知道自己该找份工作,但却不知道如何去找。


住的另外5 个男孩也都跟他一样,进去又出来了。找工作的压力不大,虽然他所认识的大多数女生都有更清晰的计划。

他说:―我申请政治学研究工作,但被拒了。他们给的年薪是1 万8 千镑,交完房租后所剩无几,也就够买一罐煮豆子,可他们还要有研究经历或硕士学位的人。然后我又申请了公务员速升计划,并通过了笔试。但在面试时,他们说我?太冷漠‘了,谈吐?太像专家治国国论者‘。我觉得自己不可能那样,但我显然就是那样的。‖

打那以后他整个夏天都在―躲‖。他能够轻松复述《交通警察》中的若干片段,他白天看电视的时间太多,已经到了影响健康的地步。跟朋友谈自己漫无目标的日子时,他才发现他们的处境和自己的并没有两样。其中一位朋友在父母的逼迫下去超市摆货,其余的都是白天9 点到5 点―无所事事‖,晚上去酒吧喝酒打发时间。要么,干脆就在酒吧工作?这样还可以挣些酒钱。―我不想在酒吧工作,我上的是综合性中学,我拼命读书才考上了一所好大学。到了大学,我又埋头苦读,才得到一个好学位。可现在我却跟那些没上过大学的朋友处在同一个水平线上,他们整天给客人倒酒,干无聊的活。我觉得自己好像兜了一圈,又回到了原来的起点。










不穿上宽大的鸡套装站在墨西哥快餐连锁店El Pollo Loco 的门口招揽生意。他们中没有一个人因为这些经历而变得越来越穷。

Active reading (2)


依我看,现实生活与人们想象的不一样。我们上了12 年的中、小学,又上了3 年的大学,这期间老师们一直在没完没了地谈论在安宁的学生生活之外那个广阔天地里的各种机会,可我遇到的又是什么呢?

无论我怎么想保持心情愉快,麻烦事总是接踵而来:有时是跟人争吵(尤其是跟男孩,天哪!他们什么时候才能长大?),但通常是为钱发愁。这个地方什么东西都很贵!人人都想从我身上拿点钱去:国税局要收个人所得税,银行经理要我偿清学生贷款,房东催我交房租、燃气费、水费、电费,手机账单也不断地寄来。所有这些还没算上吃饭的钱。更可气的是,不知从哪里冒出一个自作聪明的家伙冷不丁地给我打电话,问我要不要买养老金。照这样下去,我连今年都活不过去了,更别提活到60 岁领养老金了。

我那时还不想出去工作。我的意思是,我并不是个中途辍学者,但我知道自己以后可能不得不退学。许多人认为―生活不是野餐‖,―没有免费的午餐‖。但既然我拿到了优等生文凭,我想我应该继__续攻读硕士学位。实际上,我已经瞄上了伦敦经济学院的课程,这是一所顶尖的学校,能给我的履历表增添一段光彩的经历。但当我跟妈妈谈起这件事时,她说她没法继续供我上学了。我大概能理解她的心情,这不仅仅是因为我学的是经济学。15 年来,为了能让我上学,她含辛茹苦。这些年来,父亲大部分时间都不在家。就算在家,他也没钱。他把钱都拿去赌狗、喝酒了。我听了妈妈的话,向命运低下了头。





依我看,一个人没钱的时候花钱最容易。我开始琢磨怎么花第一个月的薪水了。我住的公寓房租很贵,我挣的钱刚够支付第一个月的大笔账单,但是我估计还能剩点钱好好犒劳一下自己。我想,何不买张CD 或买盆花草装点一下房间?


那周晚些时候,托尼像往常一样来了,在酒吧里坐下。―你怎么了?今天怎么不见你笑啦?‖我跟他聊了…… 嗯,差不多什么都跟他说了:钱、硕士学位、生日等等。他很同情我。

托尼离开搁脚凳和旁边几个人说话。记住:索尔兹伯里酒吧是在市中心,这里所有的顾客都在银行、保险或证券市场工作。第二天,他拿着几张价值共2 万英镑的支票来到酒吧,他对我说:―这是给你的创业贷款,你唯一的贷款担保是我对你的信任,相信有一天你赚了钱会把钱还给我们。如果你还不了钱,那就太糟了,金融生意就是这样。但是,我相信你还得了。‖




在索尔兹伯里酒吧干了一年之后,我去了伦敦经济学院深造。拿到硕士学位之后,我在一家投资银行找到了一份工作。我把那两万英镑投进了证券市场,在2008 年金融崩盘之前卖掉了所有的股票。

我把托尼和其他投资者的钱还了,付给他们10% 的年息,并成立了自己的公司。公司的生意好得超乎意料,至今还红红火火。托尼给我写了一封感谢信。他出了车祸,现在不能走路了。我还给他的钱正好可以用来改造房子,房子改造后他就可以坐着轮椅在家里自由活动了。下面是他信里写的话:―我从事银行业35 年来最好的投资就是给你的这笔贷款,你连本带利地偿还了贷款,我对你的信任和你的诚实都获得了百倍的回报。依我看,在人身上投资能带来你最希望看到的回报。‖


Unit 2

Active reading (1)

Danger! Books may change your life

Culture points

Lewis Carroll (1832–1898) is the pen-name of Charles Dodgson. He was a priest, a mathematician who

taught at Oxford University, a photog rapher, humorist and writer of children‘s literature. Alice’s Adventures

in Wonderland (1865) was immediately successful, a masterpiece which revolutionized children‘s literature,

giving coherence and logic through wit and humour to unlikely or impossible episodes in which imaginary

creatures embody recognizable human characteristics. He is also known for Through the Looking Glass and

what Alice found there (1871) and nonsense poems, such as The Hunting of the Snark (1876). William Cowper (1731–1800): a notable English poet, writer of hymns and letter-writer. He wrote gentle,

pious, direct poems about everyday rural life and scenes of the countryside which have been seen as

forerunners of the Romantic movement: Coleridge called Cowper ―the best modern poet‖. He translated

Homer‘s Greek epics. The Odyssey and The Iliad into English. Another example of his verses

which have

become common sayings is ―God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform…‖

John Steinbeck (1902–1968): American novelist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962.

The Grapes of Wrath (1939) is a well-known, long tragic novel about an American family of farmers who are

driven off their land in Oklahoma by soil erosion in the famous ―dust bowl‖ era. They flee to California to

what they hope will be a better life. The book won the Pulitzer Prize and was made into a film in 1940. Other

well-known novels include Of Mice and Men (1937), Cannery Row (1945), The Pearl (1947), East of Eden

(1952) and an account of a personal rediscovery of America, Travels with Charlie (1962).

John Irving (1942– ): American novelist and screenwriter who taught English at college and was a wrestling

coach. The Fourth Hand (2001) is a comic-satirical novel about a TV journalist, Wallington, whose hand is

seen by millions of viewers to be bitten off by a circus lion. A surgeon gives him a hand transplant (a third

hand) but the wife of the dead donor wants to visit her husband‘s hand and have a child by Wallington, who

feels where his original hand used to be (the fourth hand).

Audrey Niffenegger (1963– ): American college professor who teaches writing to visual artists and shows

students how to make books by hand. Her first novel, The Time Traveller’s Wife (2003) – filmed in 2009 – is a

science fiction and romance bestseller about a man who travels uncontrollably in time to his own history and

visits his wife in her childhood, youth and old age. His wife needs to cope with his absences and dangerous

life while he travels. The story is a metaphor for distance and miscommunication in failed relationships.

Paul Torday (1946–): a British businessman who worked for a company that repaired ship‘s engines for

many years. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2007) was his first novel. It is a political satire and comedy about

a dull civil servant who becomes involved in a plan to populate the desert with Scottish salmon. Politicians

manage the media to ―spin‖ this as a plan they support in order to divert attention from problems in the

Middle East. There are themes of cynicism and belief, and East-West culture clashes. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918–2008): a Russian writer who was imprisoned in Soviet labour camps in

1945; after eight years, he was exiled to Kazakhstan and not freed until 1956, when he became a


In 1970 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature but not receive it until 1974. He went to Germany,

Switzerland and the USA, returning to Russia in 1994. His best known novels were based on his experiences

as a prisoner and include: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1962), Cancer Ward (1968), The Gulag

Archipelago (1974–1978). His later works were about Russian history and identity.

Graham Greene (1904–1991): a British novelist, short-story writer, playwright, travel writer and essayist.

He wrote a nu mber of thrillers (he called them ?entertainments‘) which dramatize an ambiguous moral

dilemma, often revealing guilt, treachery, failure and a theme of pursuit. Greene was also a film critic and

all of these novels have been made into films: Brighton Rock (1938), The Power and the Glory (1940),

The Heart of the Matter (1948), The Third Man (1950), The Quiet American (1955), and Our Man in

Havana (1958).

E. M. Forster (1879–1970): a British novelist and writer of short stories and essays. He lived at different

periods in Italy, Egypt and India and taught at Cambridge University. His best known novels include A Room

with a View (1908), Howard’s End (1910), A Passage to India (1924) which have all been made into films.

His writing about reading and writing includes a book of lectures, Aspects of the Novel (1927). Thomas Merton (1915–1968): an American Catholic writer, who was a Trappist monk in Kentucky. He

wrote over 70 books, including many essays about Buddhism and a translation into English of the Chinese

classic, Chuang Tse. He had a great deal to say about the meeting of Eastern and Western cultures and wrote

many letters to writers, poets, scholars and thinkers. He read a lot in English, Latin, French and Spanish and

said he always had at least three books which he was reading at any one time.

William Blake (1757–1827): a British poet, artist and mystic, who read widely in English, French, Italian,

Latin, Greek and Hebrew. He made many engravings to illustrate the work of such writers as Virgil, Dante

and Chaucer, as well as his own poems. He stressed that imagination was more important than rationalism

and the materialism of the 18th century and criticized the effects of the industrial revolution in England, but

his work was largely disregarded by his peers. He is best known for his poetry in Songs of