Postsecondary Education


(w> A. Discussion

Discuss the following questions with your classmates:

• Do you think that this is an important examination that the students are taking?

• What will happen if they fail this exam?

• Do students in your country take a lot of exams? What are the most important exams they take?

В. Vocabulary and Key Concepts

Read through the sentences, trying to imagine which words would fit in the blanks. Then listen to a dictation of the full sentences, and write the missing words in the blanks.

1. _______________________ education in the United States

includes_________________________ as well as four-year

colleges, most of which are__________________________

2. To be________________________ , a college must meet certain

________________________ set by institutional and professional associations.

3. The more________________________ private schools are more

________________________ —that is, they have stiffer admissions requirements.

4. All college applicants must submit a________________________

of high school grades and often_________________________ test


5. A student’s________________________ activities and possibly

_________________________________________________ are often factors in his or her admission.

6. Among the 2.8 million high school graduates in 2002, 65.2 percent in

college the following October.

7. If we_________________________________________________

the statistics racially, we find that white students enrolled in

college in greater_________________________ than black or

Hispanic students.

8. They may be people who attend part-time to

________________________ their__________________________ ,

people who are changing careers, or retired people who still have a desire to learn.

9. Because most young American students have not traveled in other

countries, they are not very_________________________ in inter­

national matters, and foreign students often find them friendly but not very about their countries

or cultures.

10. Some students begin college at a community college with more

admissions requirements and later_________________________

________________________ to a four-year college.

Follow-up: Check the spelling of the dictated words with your teacher. Discuss the meanings of these words and any other unfamiliar words in the sentences.

C. Predictions

Using the photograph and the vocabulary exercise as a starting point, write three questions that you think will be answered in the lecture.

Example: • How many colleges and universities are there in the

United States?

1. __________________________________________________



Follow-up: After you have written your questions, share them with your teacher and your classmates.


1. Structuring: Listening

In the previous lesson we talked about structuring notes by using letters and numbers to make the notes clearer and easier to use. Practice struc­turing your notes as you listen to a portion of this lecture. Remember to move from left to right as you take down more specific information. The main idea, the most general one, is written for you.

ST3 Community colleges differ from four-year colls.










Follow-up: Compare your notes with another student’s. Do you have the same information under A, B, and C?

2. Acronyms

Acronyms are abbreviations in which the first letters of the words in a phrase are used as a shortcut way to speak or write about the phrase. For example, ESL is an acronym for "English as a Second Language." It is often used in both spoken and written language.

In this lecture the following tests and degrees will be referred to in abbreviated form. As you now write the first-letter abbreviations, say them to yourself. When you take notes, use the abbreviations.

Graduate Record Examination GRE_______

Graduate Management Admissions Test _________________

Law School Admissions Test __________

Medical College Admissions Test __________

Scholastic Aptitude Test __________

Associate of Arts degree A. A. degree

Bachelor of Science degree __________

Bachelor of Arts degree __________

II. LISTENING______________________________________________

Q A. First Listening

The lecturer appears to be in a hurry today to get into her topic. Her introduction is very brief and basically consists of an announcement of her major subtopics. You will not need to take notes on the introduc­tion itself. However, notice as you listen that the conclusion, which begins with "in brief," contains important logical conclusions about the four subtopics that you will want to include in your notes. As you take notes, take down details you have time for, but make sure that you take down the subtopics. Again, practice structuring your notes by using letters and numbers.






Follow-up: Check your major subtopics with your teacher. Which subtopic would you look under to answer the following questions?

• What are two factors that a college or university might use to decide whether to admit a student?

• What is the range (from low to high) of the total cost of attending a college or university?

• Where can you receive an Associate of Arts degree?

Q B. Further Listening

While continuing to structure your notes, write down remaining rele­vant information.

Follow-up: Check your notes. If you missed important information or have doubts about your notes, (1) verify them by asking a classmate questions to fill the gaps in your notes or (2) listen to the lecture a third time. When verifying your notes with a classmate, do not show each other your notes; ask specific questions to get the information you need.

Examples: • What does SAT stand for? Do all high school students

have to take this exam before they can graduate?

• What percentage of university students actually graduate?

• What do you have in your notes about the differences between community colleges and four-year colleges and universities? I’m not sure I got everything the lecturer said.

This is also a good time to check to see if the lecturer answered your Predictions questions about the lecture.

III. POSTLISTEIMIIMG________________________________________

Q A. Accuracy Check

Listen to the following questions, and write short answers. You will hear each question one time only.









10. _________________________________________

Follow-up: Check your answers with your teacher. If your score is less than 70 percent, you may need to listen to the lecture again or rewrite your notes so that you can understand and use them later.


B. Oral Activities


In small groups, review your notes section by section to be sure that all members have a complete set of notes for each subsection. At the end of this activity, your teacher will ask various class members to reproduce sections of the lecture for the whole class to listen to. At that time, check what you hear against your notes. If you don’t understand or you disagree with what you hear, wait until the speaker finishes. Then bring your notes into agreement by seeking clarification, as follows:

• Did you say that some schools have up to 15,000 students or 50,000 students?

• In my notes I have that it’s expensive to attend a community college. What do you have?

• I’m not sure what it means to "drop out" of school.

2. Transfer

If you and your classmates come from different countries, discuss these questions with a partner or in small groups. If not, discuss them with the whole class.

• How many colleges and universities are there in your country?

• What kinds of colleges and universities do you have?

• Where are these schools located—in major cities or in small towns?

• Approximately how many students are there at these schools?

• What percentage of high school graduates go on to a university?

Some countries take a more elitist approach to education than does the United States. That is, some countries limit the number of students who can go on to college by means of a highly competitive examination system. Discuss the following two questions in pairs, in small groups, or as a class:

• What might be some of the social, political, and economic reasons for an elitist educational system?

• What are the advantages and disadvantages of the two different approaches to education—elitist and nonelitist?

C. Collaboration: Writing Answers to Essay Questions

To help you prepare for the essay questions in the Unit Quiz at the end of this unit, plan and write essay answers to the following questions on U. S. postsecondary education in groups of three or four. Appoint one member of the group to do the actual writing; all members of the group should participate in planning and helping with the answers. At this point, you should refer to the guidelines in Unit 1, Chapter 2, p. 18. Review the guidelines before you begin to write essay answers.


1. Discuss the wide variety of sizes, kinds, and locations of American universities and colleges.

2. Compare and contrast junior colleges and four-year universities.

Follow-up: Share your answers with at least one other group that has written on the same question(s). Or share your answers orally as a class, and discuss the strengths in each answer.

D. Pursuing the Topic

The following are recommended for a closer look at university admis­sions issues in the United States:


www. collegeboard. com

This Web site gives reliable information on more than 1,500 colleges and universities to help students select a school. The site allows students to compare different colleges by listing tuition and fees, admissions requirements, and the range of students’

SAT scores to let applicants knowhow competitive the school is.

It also gives information about SAT administration, hints about applying to colleges, and information on loans and scholarships.

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