1. Do you agree or disagree with following statement?
When you make a presentation, which method do you think is better to help you find weaknesses and improve your presentation skills?
1) record the presentation and watch the video by yourself
2) ask others for advice
Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer.
Many people are sitting in front of the computer screens and creating the drafts for thousands of presentations every day. Some people are lucky enough to get it through after the first try, but most people may have to try it and retry it for several times before getting the intended results. During those trials, they need to review and improve their presentations. Some of them may prefer to record their presentations so that they could review the speeches by themselves without any distractions from others. However, from my perspective, getting feedback from classmates or coworkers will produce better advice for people to improve their presentations.
To begin with, classmates or coworkers may be better at pointing out people’s mistakes. If people choose to review the recording by themselves, though they could view it from the angle of audience, they may not be able to tell where they have made a mistake, due to their limited experiences. However, their classmates or coworkers may have had similar presentations before, which enables them to provide advice based on their past experiences. For example, the speaker may choose not to pause after asking a question in order to avoid the embarrassment of getting no response. When he/she reviews the recording himself/ herself, he/she will tend to reassure himself/herself of the correctness of their actions. However, more experienced coworkers may point out that he/she should have waited for a few minutes for others to think and answer. Otherwise, audience will feel they are not respected.
Moreover, watching recordings may probably only make presenters more satisfied with themselves instead of making improvement. For instance, a person has just made a presentation with very simple slides. After watching his own recording, he might feel that both his presentation and his slides were impeccable, since he only knew what he already knew. If he insisted on this way to improve his presentation, he might never make any progress. In contrast, his coworker who was expertise in the software office might suggest that he should enhance his slides by adding pictures and more colors to make the slides more eye-catching, using various kinds of fond to distinguish the importance of the content, etc. After making those changes, this person’s presentation would definitely be more interesting and attractive.
Furthermore, classmates or coworkers could offer more pieces of advice about how to improve. If people prefer to watch their own recordings and try to improve their presentations by themselves, they could ponder over their problems for a long while and only be able to find few solutions. However, with many classmates or coworkers around, the solutions may be many and it is easier for those presenters to improve themselves. For example, if speakers find it hard to touch their audience emotionally, they may just think they need some repeated speech practices. However, classmates may offer an idea that they could try to tell stories to others or they could act in a play which are better ways to teach the speakers how to use their emotions to enhance their speech.
Since classmates or coworkers are more able to find mistakes, discover where could be better and could offer more ways for making progress, it is definitely better to ask them to help to review presentations.
2. Do agree or disagree with the following statement? Competition among friends usually has a negative impact on friendship. Use details and examples to support your opinion.
Competition is thought to inhibit the development of a friendship. This idea is not unreasonable. There are cases where friends split up because one wins and the other loses. However, despite the many break-ups, I remain optimistic.
When a person believes that competition is favorable to a friendship, the immediate idea is that competition enables two individuals to better know each other. To win a contest, one must study the other—his or her character and personality. As a result, mutual understanding, which may be in-depth as the study goes on, will develop, laying a firm foundation for the friendship.
Without denying the aforementioned reason, we should find reasons that matter more. First, competition tests a friendship. In other words, whether a friendship is authentic is not certain unless the relationship goes through the competition between two people. It is only if a person, either winning or losing, respect rather than despising the other or being green with envy that the friendship is true. For example, a friend of mine always achieve higher academically than I do. However, never do I for this reason feel disgruntled, and he never looks down upon me. Instead, thanks to the numerous competitions during the years that challenge our relationship, we are aware of that our friendship is unbreakable.
In addition, a friendship is likely and sound only between two people who are able to compete with each other.
In conclusion, the competitive relationship does not diminish a friendship. As long as the two rivals do not resent but respect one another. The reasons, stated above, could not be clearer.
3. Some university teachers prefer to record their lectures before classes. In this way, students will be familiar with the lecture in advance and teachers help students practice in classes while they are watching or listening lectures. Do you think it is an effective way to learn?
What is an effective way to learn is a hotly debated issue in education? While some university teachers believe that it is helpful for students to listen to the lecture before class. Others think that class time should be devoted to active listening and note-taking. I believe that it is more beneficial to listen to the lecture in advance for students will have a better idea of which content areas they struggle with and can participate in more engaging activities in class, and have a widely accessible resource at hand.
To start off, if students are able to listen to the recorded lecture before class, they would have more in-depth knowledge of the lecture material. For one thing, a more comprehensive grasp means that students would have a greater understanding of areas they need clarification on, resulting in more useful questions for the teacher. If students go into a lecture without any background knowledge, they would be too busy absorbing new information to know specifically which areas they struggle with. For another, greater familiarity means that students can engage more productively with the content during class. Previewing the material beforehand allows students to form their own perspectives and opinions, making it easier to participate in classroom discussions. Combining these two factors together, recorded lectures are an excellent way to aid both student understanding and class participation.
What’s more, listening to the lecture before class enables class time to be given to activities that actively engage with the lecture content. While lectures provide the students with relevant knowledge, class discussions, along with practice in the form of problem-solving exercises or writing tasks help to solidify that understanding. When students are freed from the pressures of rigorous note-taking, they are able to redirect their attention to actually learning and practicing the course material. By doing so, students are more likely to stay focused, retain what they have learned and develop a deeper understanding of the material.
Lastly, recorded lectures serve as a valuable and highly accessible resource for students. For example, some students may be slow writers, so they may struggle to write down all the lecture notes in the given time. Others may have trouble determining the key information to record. Still others may not be native English speakers and find it difficult to keep up with everything the professor is saying. With these barriers removed, recorded lectures can widen accessibility to promote more in-class learning.
In conclusion, listening to recorded lectures before class is a very effective way to learn. Not only are the lectures a vital resource in themselves. Students who listen to them in advance can ask relevant questions and become more involved in class activities.
4. Which way do you think is the best for a student to make new friends?
1) Joining a sports team
2) Participating in community activities
It is commonly believed that making friends is an essential part of people's normal social life. This is especially true for students, whose personalities have not been fully developed, and friends will surely help mold their character and share their growing pains as well as happiness. So which way, among joining a sports team, participating in community activities and traveling is the best for students to make friends? My choice is joining a sports team.
In the first place, joining a sports team is definitely a great opportunity for students to meet their peers. Even though students spend most of their time at school and surrounded by their peers. Actually, in most cases, a student can only know a few classmates well. Joining a sports team, however, enables students to see many other students outside their classroom. Take me for an example, on the badminton team of my school, I met my partner whom I had barely talked to before. We often played together and enjoyed ourselves so much that we finally became good friends.
Further, on a sports team, students collaborate with each other, which can bring them a sense of unity and close friendship naturally develops. For example, boys on a basketball team will spend a lot of time practicing together. After many tough games, the boys on the team will be able to understand each other only by action. They share the same goal and same interests. They laugh and cry together. Their friendship is so strong that can last for the whole lifetime.
Admittedly, participating in community activities and traveling are quite good ways of making new friends as well. However, I believe that playing sports on a team is an even better way. When participating community activities or traveling, students meet with new people, too. Nevertheless, the people who they meet with are usually from a completely different background from them, so the chances are that it is hard for them to find common interests, let alone make friends with them.
Based on all these arguments, joining a sports team is arguably the best way for students to make friends. I hope that more and more students go out of their houses and a good time playing sports with their friends.
5. Some people have ambitious dreams and keep pursuing them, but other people always focus on realistic goals and try to achieve them. Which do you think is better and why?
Dream, a concept appreciated by numerous literary figures in every phase of history, is still sought-after in current society of relatively great affluence. What makes life dreary is a want of motive, most people may contend. But is it a universally accepted idea that we should always dream big? Or is a more approachable dream a better choice? In spite of the fact that some people maintain that high expectations are keys to everything. Personally, argue that a more realistic and achievable goal to be a desirable option.
First off, separate realistic goals lay a solid foundation for ambitious dreams in a long run. The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step, which implicitly reveals that any aspiring aim is composed of small realistic ones. Take myself as an example. As a 29-year-old female, my ultimate goal in my life is to become a writer, be it successful or less-acclaimed, since my foremost form of entertainment in my spare time is reading and I could not help imagining myself to become a writer like Alice Munro. A Canadian female Nobel prize winner, who can depict everyday detail to its essence, or be in the shoes of Nabokov, a Russia-born American writer, who put all literary tricks under his control. However, can Rome be built in a single day? Enterprising may it seem, the goal is no easy task; what is worse, it may even be a goal that cannot be accomplished within a lifetime, as a result of which, I set more facile tasks: I can write book reports, I can write movie reviews, or I can outline scripts. Not only are these small practices less exhausting and frustrating, but also they are best means to hone my authorship abilities. As time passes by, quantitative accumulation will reach to a point where fundamental changes take place. Who can know what will happen the next day? Thus, it is not because ambitious dreams are not good in themselves, but it is attainable aims that not merely amp up your spirits but also foster your full capability.
On top of that, misinterpretation of success results in a false impression that fulfilling ambitious dreams becomes unprecedentedly easy, exposing people under more unpredictable risks. Digital age indeed affords people to access and process information with ever increasing speed, but that nearly all of us enjoy this cutting-edge merits does not necessarily meant that we will all savor its ends, only a small portion will. For example, the publishing world is teeming with books teaching people the so-called “success science”, offering people a mirage in which they can gain success overnight. In order to draw people’s eyeballs, those “success science” books tell stories about how grassroots turn to be entrepreneurs with their iron-will and perseverance. Undeniably, strong will plays its role in the way towards accomplishment. Nevertheless, a cruel truth is automatically ignored: most people can never achieve ambitious dreams because they lack the necessary background, human resources, or even visionary perspectives. Although the former two are external factors and the latter is internal, all of them are of great importance, without which it will be difficult for anyone to be deemed successful. In addition, multiple examples of failures, omitted from this kind of books, which is a routine practice to report the good but not the bad, are under water, just like the iceberg theory. If that easy, why are there only one Steve Jobs in America and one Ma Yun in China within decades? Misunderstanding of success probabilities leads to unreasonable chase of ambitious goals; hence, people had better stick to realistic objectives if they do not want to involve in failures.
In a nutshell, goals with ambition may create impossibilities, but it makes more sense for ordinary people to pursue realistic dreams for approachable ones assist people in developing abilities needed to dream big and avoiding unnecessary setbacks.
6. If you need to take a course, which professor's course would you like to take?
1) A professor who was voted the most popular
2) A professor who has just won an award for outstanding research
The scenario asks me to choose between taking a course with the school’s most popular professor or with a professor who recently won an award for their research. I suspect most would say they’d prefer to study under the professor who just won the award. I understand why they might think that’s the better option, but they’re wrong. I’d prefer to study under the popular professor.
First off, the award-winning professor won that award for outstanding research. If the award were for outstanding teaching, then maybe I would consider taking that class. There’s a chance that the award-winning professor is one of those academics who is great at research but not great at helping others understand the subject. For example, I have a friend who always gets an “A” in every class, but he doesn’t have the communication skills to help others understand assignments. When he tries to help me, I end up more confused than when I started. Teaching is a skill, and I can’t be sure that the professor who is good at research has that skill.
Meanwhile, there must be a reason why students like the popular teacher more. Sure, we could be cynical and assume that students would favor a professor who gives them an easy workload. However, I like to give people more credit than that. Students are paying to learn, so they’re passionate about their subjects. From my experience, students want a professor who will make class interesting by inspiring their passion and preparing them for a career. Therefore, I think it’s a safe bet that the professor who won the “most popular” vote would be the teacher with the best teaching skills.
On top of that, the class with the popular teacher is likely to have the most motivated classmates. Popular classes fill up fast, and so the students who get into those classes are the students who dedicated time into researching the best professors and who made sure they were first in line to register for classes. Motivated classmates can take a good class and make it great. They make class discussions more valuable, group projects more productive, and they’re always up for study groups.
In short, the most important skills for a teacher is, of course, teaching. Award-winning research is great, but it doesn’t guarantee good teacher. The popular professor has proven to teach well and is more likely to have a class full of motivated students. That’s the class I’d choose.
7. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement that the only effective way for governments to encourage energy conservation is to increase the price of gasoline and electricity?
The effective only way for governments to encourage energy conservation is to increase the price of gasoline and electricity.
Energy shortage is an issue that plagues many governments and causes increasing concerns. The way of raising the price of gasoline and electricity to encourage energy conservation does have some merits. But I contend that there are more effective and feasible approaches to reach the same purpose.
Admittedly, by motivating energy users to reduce their consumption, the increased prices can take effect in energy conversation to some extent. For the purpose of saving money, people will restrain themselves, driving less and using electricity less. However, such solution only scratch the surface, just a temporary relief, not a permanent cure. The majority of people use gasoline and electricity out of necessity, especially those whose commutes to work are rather time-consuming, so they will not change their consumption habits just due to the raised prices.
A more efficient way is to improve the density and convenience of public transportation. When the places where people works can be reached by mass transit. Especially by metro which does not have the plight of traffic jam, most of people will choose not to drive their own cars because it takes more time and more money compared with metro, which can remarkably reduce energy consumed for transportation.
The second plausible solution is to stimulate the inventing of energy-efficient products and encourage consumers to use such products. A prominent example of this is the energy savings that can be made by replacing incandescent light bulbs with more modern alternatives, such as compact fluorescent and LED bulbs, which may have higher upfront cost but their long lifespan and low energy use can save consumers a considerable amount of money. Very similarly, fuel-efficient vehicles should be the trend of future, as well as new energy cars such as those powered by hydrogen-based fuel-cell or ethanol.
In conclusion, higher energy price is not the best solution to energy conservation, while the improvement of infrastructure and energy-efficient products are more effective and efficient.
8. Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Government is not doing enough work to educate people the importance of nutrition and healthy eating.
For most of human history, we’ve struggled to have enough food. Now most developed countries have an overabundance of food, and we have a new problem: people are eating too much or they’re choosing to eat unhealthy food. The government isn’t doing enough to help the situation. They need to work harder to educate the population on the value of eating healthy.
First off, it’s definitely the government’s role to educate people on healthy eating. Some might argue that teaching about nutrition isn’t the government’s job. However, it’s in the government’s best interest to make sure its citizens are healthy. Healthy citizens are productive citizens, and productive citizens produce a successful society. If the government invested more resources into nutrition education, the funds for that program would have to come from taxes. That would be tax money very well spent because it would improve our quality of life.
On the topic of nutrition education programs, the first step the government should take is to fund nutrition studies so that they can be sure they know what is and is not healthy. Along with the overabundance of food, we also have an overabundance of information and it becomes frustrating to try to find the truth. Every week, a new diet fad comes out, but most of these fads die off and we laugh about them a month later. I have one friend who is a vegetarian and can give me sources saying that meat is unhealthy. Then I have another friend that eats meat every meal and can give me sources saying that meat is necessary to a healthy diet. I have no idea where to begin searching for good information on nutrition because it seems that so many studies are funded by private companies with a profit as their end goal. We need publicly funded nutrition studies.
After the government is certain they have the right facts, they will need to implement nutrition education programs. A lot of this will probably come from obvious things like school classes and publicly funded commercials on TV, but they should also put practical programs into place. For example, they should entirely revamp public school lunch programs. At the moment, there’s so many unhealthy meals and unhealthy side choices so that kids pick up bad eating habits at school even if they come from families who typically eat healthy. The government should provide only healthy meals and choices at school so that kids develop a taste for healthy food.
Public health is failing, and so the government needs to step in. They currently try to do some nutrition education, but there is significantly more they could do, and significantly more they need to do.
9. Schools have always offered students three types of after-school activities. But due to recent limited budgets, they can only support one kind of activities. Which one would you choose? Why?
3) Volunteering (eg. for the community)
All three activities are beneficial for students, and will help them build various skills, as well as teach them important values; however, I am convinced that, in case of a budget cut, schools should only maintain volunteering as an after-school activity.
It has been proven that students that have been assigned to volunteer work finished their semester healthier and happier than their peers who did not volunteer. They became more altruistic and empathetic, and had less negative attitudes. Moreover, volunteer bring students into contact with individuals from all walks of life, which helps broaden their minds and challenge their vision of power and privileges. All and all, volunteer has all kinds of positive impact on students’ mind.
On a more practical note, volunteering experiences will boost a student’s resume. Employers like seeing that the student volunteered his or her time, it shows that he or she is able to manage time well enough to take on an unpaid position. Volunteerism also suggests that the candidate is a team player, a quality that many employers will look for in potential hires. Indeed, students may find in volunteering opportunities for a future career path. By volunteering students can try out different careers, and have first-hand experience of certain sectors.
Finally, volunteerism fosters personal growth. Volunteers feel good about themselves. The work they do will be rewarding and beneficial to segments of the population and areas of the community that need volunteers to thrive. In a volunteer situation, one person can make a real difference, and students will get that feeling once they start. Not to mention that the community itself will benefit incredibly from the volunteers’ work.
In conclusion, in case of limited budget, schools should focus their resources on promoting after-school volunteering programs. Volunteering experiences will help students feel more accomplished and become altruistic and empathetic. In addition, they will be advantageous for the students’ future careers.
10. It is often not a good idea to move to a new city or a new country because you will lose old friends.
In this day and age, globalization allows people from every corner of the world to travel around and even settle down easily at almost any place they favor. Is it a good thing for people to move to a new town or new country? Opinions vary about this issue. Some people oppose it by arguing that moving away means the loss of old friends. From my view, it is not true. Instead, moving to a new place might lead one to a new world.
To begin with, moving to a new place does not necessarily weaken the bond between friends. This is mostly because modern means of communication allows people to keep close contact with friends even hundreds of miles away. Therefore, it is not uncommon that friends who have not seen each other for years might know about one another’s life quite well and still have much in common. For example, a person moving from Shanghai to New York can easily get in touch with his friends at home through the simultaneous communication tools such as MSN, We chat and so on. It is incredible that these tools can make it possible to transmit not only voice and image but also real time video! Chatting with friends like this is of no difference from talking face to face. Besides, the popular online social network such as Facebook provides a platform for people to share important moments with friends by posting pictures and videos online anywhere and anytime. It is not exaggerated to say that technology has transcended space and time; distance, a traditional friendship killer, would beat a retreat in front of modern technology.
Secondly, even if old friends are not as close as before, it is not justified to say that moving to a new place is not advisable. People move to different places for a variety of reasons ranging from career development to a new start of life. In this case, old friendship should not become a hindrance to one’s development. On the other hand, old friends might be strong supporters of those who have decided to move. A new job opportunity in a larger market might exploit the greatest potentials of a sales person, whose talents would otherwise be stifled in a small retail store at home. A lady troubled by marriage issues might start a new family and open a new page of life in another country, where no one knows about her past. Thus, the possibility of losing old friends is not strong enough to judge whether moving to a new place is good or not.
In conclusion, even though moving to a new town or country might risk the loss of friends, modern technology has managed to minimize such risk. Besides, choosing where to live depends on a combination of factors, which are too complicated to be justified by the state of the old friendship.