Categories
Speaking

3 – Studies & work

CD1 Track 15

My name’s Mubarak and I’m from the United Arab Emirates. My favourite subject at school was Maths. I really loved it, I think primarily because I liked being able to use logic to work out answers, rather than having to speculate and theorise, as you often do in arts subjects.

I went on to study for Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, both in Mechanical Engineering at Leeds University in England. I chose that subject because, although I was more keen on Maths, engineering
is more practical. My decision to study in Britain was motivated by the high prestige of British qualifications back in my home country. The tuition fees are very high for foreign students but my family paid them for me.

I found the course very challenging. English is, of course, not my mother tongue so I found some of the lectures and seminars hard to follow. As a result, I failed my first year exams. I had to retake them all, but then, thankfully, I passed. I always did well in my coursework because I could take time to research the topic and check my English.

My dream job would be to work as a mechanical engineer for the United Arab Emirates’ Army. The reasons are that such a job carries high prestige, it would be interesting, and there would be good job security – if I got such a job, I would probably have it for life.

CD1 Track 16

Do you work or are you a student?
Why did you choose that course or job?
What is the most difficult thing about your studies or job?

Do you work or are you a student?
I’ve just finished secondary school. I got the best results in my year so I’m hoping to get a scholarship to study English Literature.
Why did you choose that course?
Because I love literature. I love getting lost in a book; I mean, it’s a form of escapism for me. But I also enjoy learning about the historical and cultural contexts that influenced a work and I’ll have ample opportunity to learn about these things at university.
What was the most difficult thing about your studies?
At secondary school, the most difficult subject for me was Chemistry. I can’t stand Science, and I would dread every lesson! I struggled in Chemistry lessons, and I had to work really hard to pass my exam. For some reason, I just couldn’t remember all those chemical symbols and equations no matter how long I spent revising.

CD1 Track 17

My dream job would be to teach children to sail. I have some qualifications, in skippering ,for example, but it’s very likely I would need more, such as a teaching certificate from the Yachting Association. I have some of the right experience in that I’ve been sailing a long time – I’m confident in handling a yacht and I’ve dealt with many minor crises in my time, like getting trapped in storms and saving someone who’d fallen overboard. It’s true that I’ve never taught anyone but I don’t think that would be a problem, provided I was given adequate training – I’m quite good with people and can explain things clearly. I imagine the job would involve encouraging youngsters to try sailing for the first time; and also teaching them that by working together as a team they could discover they have hidden strengths. The most difficult thing would be having sufficient patience when the children didn’t do as they were told. I suspect it would be frustrating if they didn’t realise that the rules were there for their own safety, Why is it my dream job? It’s my dream job because I love sailing – it’s been my hobby for decades. And I’d like to work in a nice, warm climate where alll ‘d need to worry about was making sure I had suntan lotion on and enough to drink.

When did you learn to sail?

I learnt when I was a small boy. My dad taught me as he was a very skilled sailor. He taught my brothers and sister, too, and we’re all very pleased he did.

CD1 Track 18

Education
Do you think science subjects are more useful than arts subjects?
Are students mature enough to choose what to study themselves or should their parents decide for them?
In your country, does having a university education help you into a better career?
Motivation
Do you think older or younger workers are more motivated?
How can managers increase motivation among their workforce?
Are people more motivated if their job involves helping others?

Education

Do you think science subjects are more useful than arts subjects?
I think they are more useful because they are primarily concerned with practical matters. If you study science, you might, for example, go on to have some kind of technical role in the production of a device, like a computer or a car. However, all great leaders have studied more arty subjects, such as philosophy, history and economics. This makes them better leaders because they have an understanding of human nature.
Are young people mature enough to choose what to study themselves or should their parents decide for them?
I think success in studying comes from being highly motivated to study a specific subject area. Therefore the student should choose which subject they’re interested in. By way of an example, I had a friend who studied science A levels because his parents pushed him down that route, but he hated it and so didn’t get very good results. He still graduated and managed to get a place at university where he studied law, and he became a top student because law was what he was interested in.
In your country, does having a university education help you into a better career?
Yes, it does, as all top companies recruit graduates for their top positions. Therefore you get a better start. However, it’s fair to say that a university degree is not everything and it’s what you do with it that matters. You can have a degree yet still get overtaken by somebody who isn’t university educated but who gets promoted over you because they work harder.

Motivation

Do you think older or younger workers are more motivated?
Younger workers should be more motivated because everything in their job is new to them and therefore exciting and they have to build their career, which is all ahead of them. Older workers have a tendency to think they’ve seen it all and very often just wait for retirement.
I do know of at least one older person who’s made a point of retiring on a high and is therefore highly motivated to get a project delivered to a very high standard before he retires. But no matter how fascinating your job is, when you reach the end of your career, I suspect you mainly focus on your impending retirement.
How can managers increase motivation among their workforce?
Allocating the right tasks to the person with the right skills, but making every task slightly different so that they learn every time. That can lead to an increase in motivation. Irs about
making the job interesting, but without drowning staff in too much new information each time. If they see that they can progress steadily and meet the challenges set, then they’ll stay motivated. Are people more motivated if their job involves helping others?
Although my job doesn’t really involve helping people, just training them, I’d hazard a guess that youth workers, for example, find it very rewarding helping a young person to achieve their personal goals or overcome a personal challenge. I can imagine, too, that it gives a counsellor tremendous job satisfaction to know that if they weren’t there to listen to their patients’ problems, things would probably not turn out as well for them. So, yes, although it’s impossible for me to know for sure, I’d say people with those kinds of jobs take more pleasure from their work and are motivated by something more profound than just money.

CD1 Tracks 19-20

See pages 29-30 for text.

VOCABULARY

Direct link to the Game

Reference: Collins Speaking for IELTS

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