Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi İngilizce Muafiyet Sınavı özel ders
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Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi İngilizce Hazırlık Programı, Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi öğrencilerini, yüksek öğrenimde başarı için gerekli olan İngilizce dil beceri ve yöntemlerini geliştirerek akademik yaşama hazırlamayı hedefler. Fakültelerin ihtiyaçları, öğrencinin motivasyonu ve gelişimini ciddi bir şekilde göz önünde bulunduran modüler sistem uygulanır. Lisans Hazırlık öğrencileri için modüler sistem (kur sistemi) uygulanmaktadır. Akademik Yıl, 16 haftadan oluşan birleşik modül, 8’er haftadan oluşan 2 (iki) modül olmak üzere toplam 3 (üç) modülden oluşmaktadır. Birinci dönem (Güz Dönemi) 16 haftalık birleşik modülü, 2.dönem (Bahar Dönemi) 8’er haftadan oluşan 2 modülü kapsar. Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi Hazırlık Programının hedeflerini gerçekleştirebilmek için konu tabanli ve çok kollu bir müfredat uygulanır.
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BİLGİLER BAHÇEŞEHİR ÜNİVERSİTESİ WEB SİTESİNDEN BİLGİ AMACIYLA ALINMIŞTIR
Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi İngilizce Yeterlik Sınavı İçeriği:
Bahçeşehir Üniversitesi İngilizce Muafiyet Sınavı
BİRİNCİ BÖLÜM: YAZILI SINAV
Soru sayısı : 60 çoktan seçmeli +1 kompozisyon yazma
Süre : 160 dakika
Ağırlık : %80
Tanımı : Bu sınavdaki sorular öğrencinin kelime bilgisi, okuma, yazma
ve dinleme becerilerini ölçmeyi hedefler.
|ÖLÇÜLEN BECERİ||SÜRE||SORU TİPLERİ||SORU SAYISI|
|KELİME BİLGİSİ||55 dakika||GENEL VE AKADEMİK KELİME BİLGİSİ||10 SORU|
|OKUMA||1. OKUDUĞUNU ANLAMA – ANA FİKİR BULMA– ÇIKARIMDA BULUNMA– REFERANSLARI BULMA– KELİMEYİ TAHMİN ETME2. YETERLİK ÖLÇEN SORULAR – CÜMLE TAMAMLAMA– EŞ ANLAMLI CÜMLEYİ BULMA – PARAGRAF TAMAMLAMA– ANLAMI BOZAN CÜMLEYI BULMA||19 SORU16 SORU|
|DİNLEME||45 dakika||1. DİNLERKEN CEVAPLAMA 2. NOT ALMA||15 SORU|
|TOPLAM 60 SORU|
|YAZMA||60 dakika||KOMPOZİSYON YAZMA (250 – 300 KELİME)||1 Kompozisyon|
İKİNCİ BÖLÜM: SÖZLÜ SINAV
Süre : 6 – 8 dakika (her öğrenci için)
Tanımı: Sınavın bu bölümü iki aşamadan oluşur:
- Genel konuşma becerileri (kendini tanıtma, kişisel bilgi alışverişi, günlük yaşamı ilgilendiren durumlar hakkında konuşma
- Öğrencinin yönlendirdiği belli bir konu üzerine karşılıklı konuşma. (kendi fikrini ifade etme, fikrini savunma, örneklendirme ve soruları cevaplandırma)
Prosedür: Genel konuşma bölümünden sonra sınavı yapan okutman, öğrenciye bir konu ile ilgili sorular sorar ve tartışmayı başlatır. Konuşmanın geri kalan kısmının öğrenci tarafından yönlendirilmesi beklenir. Okutman konuyu geliştirmek amaçlı yönlendirici sorular sorabilir.
Konular: Öğrencinin aşağıda belirtilen konulardan herhangi biri hakkında fikrini belirtmesi
- İş ve Çalışma Dünyası
- Güncel Konular (nüfus, savaş, felaketler, ekonomi, vs.)
- Çeşitli Örgütleri (UNICEF, Greenpeace, vs.)
Bahçeşehir University English Proficiency Exam Components:
PART 1: WRITTEN EXAM
Number of questions: 60 (multiple-choice) +1 writing task
Duration : 160 minutes
Weighting : 80%
Description : The questions on the test have been designed to assess the following major aspects of integrated language skills, mainly reading, listening and writing.
|SKILLS TO BE TESTED||DURATION||QUESTION TYPES||NUMBER OF QUESTIONS|
|VOCABULARY||55 minutes||GENERAL AND ACADEMIC VOCABULARY||10 QUESTIONS|
|READING||1. READING COMPREHENSION– MAIN IDEA– INFERENCE– REFERENCE– GUESSING THE MEANING FROM THE CONTEXT2. PROFICIENCY TYPE QUESTIONS– SENTENCE COMPLETION– RESTATEMENT– PARAGRAPH COMPLETION– FINDING THE IRRELEVANT SENTENCE||19 QUESTIONS16 QUESTIONS|
|LISTENING||45 minutes||1. WHILE LISTENING2. NOTE-TAKING||15 QUESTIONS|
|TOTAL: 60 QUESTIONS|
|WRITING||60 minutes||ESSAY WRITING (250 – 300 words)||1 Essay|
PART 2: SPEAKING EXAM
Duration: 6 – 8 minutes (per student)
Description: The speaking part of the exam consists of two assessed phases
- General Introduction (introducing oneself, exchanging personal information, responding to daily life questions)
- Candidate-led discussion of a theme based topic (expressing point of view,
supporting your view, giving examples, responding to the questions)
Procedure: After the introduction phase, the examiner brings the topic by asking a question to the student. The discussion is led by the student who provides most of the input. The examiner may ask guiding questions to reinforce the discussion.
THEMES: Students will be asked to express their opinion about the following topics:
- Work and Business
- Global Affairs (Population, wars, world economics, disasters, etc.)
- Global Organizations (UNICEF, Greenpeace, etc.)
SAMPLE PROFICIENCY EXAM
SECTION 1- VOCABULARY
Questions 1-10: Choose the best answer to make meaningful sentences.
1. Because of the ______ gravitational pull of the Moon, the shape of the Earth actually changes as the largest oceans are pulled toward the Moon.
a) successful b) redundant c) dogmatic d) enormous
2. Deciding on which school to go to was a(n) ______ decision for me so I consulted anybody who could be of help.
a) honest b) selective c) crucial d) irregular
3. The production and ______ of goods and services are the ultimate aim of all economic endeavour.
a) conscience b) consumption c) broadcast d) disappearance
4. It is a well-known fact that the ______ of a large house requires a great deal of work.
a) purification b) solidarity c) consequence d) maintenance
5. A law that ______ tobacco advertising in newspapers and magazines has just been made public.
a) prohibits b) recycles c) surrenders d) overcomes
6. Towards the end of the summer, all airlines are forced to ______ fares heavily in order to spur demand.
a) discount b) satisfy c) spread d) reform
7. Although the literacy rate has increased ______ in the last fifty years, the overall quality of education in the secondary schools has markedly deteriorated.
a) emotionally b) physically c) dramatically d) economically
8. Even though it was his first public concert, my brother performed ______ well the other night.
a) outstandingly b) ambiguously c) impatiently d) previously
9. Before going to bed, you must ______ the camp-fire very carefully so as not to cause a forest fire.
a) make up b) hold on c) bring up d) put out
10. Archaeologists had never before ______ such findings as those in the area around Çatalhöyük.
a) gone ahead b) come across c) seen off d) handed out
SECTION 2- READING
Questions 11-30: Choose the best answer according to the passage below.
(1) From 1950 to 1980, the so-called “Green Revolution” swept the world. World food production doubled with the introduction of a new approach to agriculture. It involved the large-scale cultivation of new types of grain (wheat, corn, and rice), and the extensive use of chemicals and farm machinery.
(2) These features were the cause of the early, enormous success of this “revolution.” However, the “Green Revolution” methods no longer appear to be so successful. Though the population continues to grow, food production has failed to keep up with it.
(3) There are a number of reasons for this. One reason lies in the expense of the new farming methods. The new kinds of grain produce much more than traditional grains, but only under certain conditions. In order to get maximum production, farmers must use large amounts of expensive chemical fertilizers. They also need to use expensive chemical insecticides since the new grains are more easily damaged by insects. Expensive watering systems are also necessary for these grains, especially in drier areas. Many farmers cannot afford to buy all the chemicals and equipment.
(4) Erosion is another reason for the lower grain production. The large-scale farming of a single crop creates the perfect conditions for erosion. In dry areas, especially, the loss of top soil has lowered the productivity of the land. In these areas, also, grain production has been limited by the lack of water. The new types of grain, in fact, require much more water than the grains people used to grow.
(5) Yet another reason for lower production lies in the nature of the chemicals that farmers have used. Though these fertilizers and pesticides raise production levels at first, they must be used in increasing amounts in the following years. Many farmers cannot afford to buy more, and so production decreases. These chemicals have other effects that are expensive in the long run. They flow into the ground water, causing pollution and health problems. As people learn about these problems, they put pressure on farmers to further limit their use of chemicals.
(6) Finally, the Green Revolution has brought about social and political conflict that has interfered with food production. The problem lies in the cost of the new agricultural methods. Only the larger landowners can afford to make the necessary investments for maximum production of the new grains. With their profits, the large landowners then buy land from the smaller farmers. This way, the large landowners become ever richer and the number of landless poor people increases. Social tensions naturally increase under these circumstances. Clearly, it is time to question the methods of the Green Revolution. Governments and farmers need to look at the overall picture and long-term effects. They need to find new methods that will better meet the needs of the world’s hungry people and will also be less destructive.
11. This passage is about ______.
a) how the Green Revolution increased grain production
b) the environmental effects of the Green Revolution
c some negative aspects of the Green Revolution
d. the success of the Green Revolution
12. The production of grain worldwide has ______.
a) not kept up with the world population
b) increased faster than the population has increased
c) more than doubled in recent years
d) decreased by half in recent years
13. The new types of grain are ______.
a) easier to cultivate than the traditional kinds
b) more expensive to cultivate than the traditional kinds
c) cheaper to cultivate than the traditional kinds
d) better tasting than the traditional kinds
14. Erosion is often the result of ______.
a) traditional methods of farming
b) the costliness of farm equipment
c) the use of too much water in farming
d) single crop farming on a large scale
15. Chemical fertilizers and insecticides ______.
a) rarely have any effect on people
b) can cause large-scale erosion
c) are both expensive and damaging
d) are not always necessary with the new types of grain
16. In some regions, the new farming methods have ______.
a) increased the differences between rich and poor
b) increased the size of the middle class
c) encouraged small farmers to produce more
d) increased the profits of both rich and poor
17. We can infer from this passage that traditional farming methods were probably ______.
a) more expensive
b) less damaging to people and the environment
c) preferred by the large landowners
d) the cause of many social problems
18. The Green Revolution methods can be ______.
a) the most productive that we know
b) damaging only to farmers
c) often unproductive and destructive
d) the only way to solve the problem of world hunger
19. The word “it” in paragraph 2 refers to ______.
a) food production
b) success of revolution
c) large-scale cultivation
d) population growth
20. The word “they” in paragraph 5 refers to ______.
b) production levels
c) fertilizers and pesticides
d) reasons for lower production
(1) Social life is essential to human existence. We remain in the company of other people from the day we are born to the time of our death. People teach us to speak. They show us how to relate to our surroundings. They give us the help and the support we need to achieve personal security and mental well-being. Alone, we are relatively frail, defenceless primates; in groups we are astonishingly adaptive and powerful. Yet, despite these advantages, well-organized human societies are difficult to achieve. Some species manage to produce social organization genetically. But people are not like bees or ants. We lack the genetically coded directions for behaviour that make these insects successful social animals. Although we seem to inherit a general need for social approval, we also harbour individual interests and ambitions that can block or destroy close social ties. To overcome these divisive tendencies, human groups organize around several principles designed to foster cooperation and group loyalty. Kinship is among the strongest of these.
(2) Whether large or small, kinship systems always include families. Usually these consist of at least an adult couple and their children. This nuclear family, as it is called, is characteristic of American society, and it lasts only as long as its members continue to remain at home. In great many societies, the ideal family size is much larger than this. The Chinese family often consists of a couple, their sons and their sons’ wives, and their grandchildren and any other unattached children. Extended families of this sort provide a very different style of life than do our small families.
21. What would be the best title for this passage?
a) American and Chinese Family Structures b) Learning to Speak
c) Kinship Systems d) Human and Insect Societies
22. How does the author illustrate some of his or her points?
a) By analogy b) With recent theories
c) Through contrast d) With historical examples
23. What does the author mainly intend to do in this passage?
a) To define human social order b) To argue for larger families
c) To encourage social organization d) To propose a new kinship system
24. What does the word “it” in paragraph 2 refer to?
a) nuclear family b) adult couple c) ideal family size d) American society
25. The word “harbour” in paragraph 1 means ______.
a) protect b) shelter c) convey d) hide
Settlement and agricultural development proceeded rapidly in the Columbia River Basin, but dry farming was unstable when below average rainfall occurred. Plans for irrigation prior to the 1920s were either too costly or full of technical difficulties. State and federal organizations recommended that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dam the Columbia River and use the energy thus produced to pump the river’s own water up into a dry former river bed of the Columbia known as the Grand Coulee. President Franklin D. Roosevelt included the project in a massive public works program designed to mitigate the effects of the Great Depression, and construction on it began in the mid-1930s. The Grand Coulee Dam, completed in 1941, now houses three power plants rated at nine million kilowatts, holds back the Columbia waters to form a 151-mile lake, and functions to regulate navigation and prevent flooding downstream. The Grand Coulee itself is now a huge reservoir irrigating 6,000 farms which cover over half a million acres and grow everything from alfalfa to wine grapes. The dam is three times the size of the Great Pyramid in Egypt and contains enough concrete to build a two-lane highway from Miami, Florida, to Fairbanks, Alaska.
26. The word “it” refers to ______.
a) The Great Depression b) The Columbia River
c) The Grand Coulee Dam d) A huge reservoir
27. The purpose of the passage is to ______.
a) arouse emotions b) argue theories c) relate facts d) initiate actions
28. The Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River is primarily used for ______.
a) providing electric power b) regulating navigation
c) making a recreational area d) providing irrigation
29. President Roosevelt’s massive public works program was ______.
a) designed to counter the effects of the Depression
b) meant to increase the number of energy sources
c) projected as a means of preventing flooding
d) designed to irrigate the land
30. The average Columbia Basin farm ______.
a) covers nearly fifty acres b) grows a variety of products
c) depends largely on irrigation d) suffers from frequent flooding
Questions 31-34: Choose the best option to make meaningful sentences.
31. Working hard might have been good for the new recruit, ______.
a) so he has decided to resign the moment he finds a new job
b) until it is more valuable to have winning ideas than it is to work hard
c) for it was a really demanding and challenging task
d) but it tired him out so much that he collapsed
32. When the contest was over and the results were posted, ______.
a) the team members were so exhausted they couldn’t even read them
b) it is evident that everyone has had a good time
c) there is really no time or place for discussion
d) the judges have announced another name for the fifth place winner
33. Since unemployment is a major social concern, ______.
a) people enjoy the benefits of living in a rich country
b) the new government has been making tremendous efforts to reduce it
c) unemployment compensation scheme had been abolished
d) the economic prospect seemed discouraging
34. ______ and they are not replaced like other body cells.
a) As we don’t know how many brain cells we have
b) A person can react to different situations in different ways
c) The common misconceptions of the 20th century were that brain cells couldn’t renew
d) Brain cells die at the rate of 100,000 per day by age 60
Questions 35-38: Choose the option which best rewrites each sentence.
35. I have been abroad for nearly two years, so I am out of touch with everything here.
a) I feel quite like a stranger now that I am back after almost two years abroad.
b) Two years or so out of the country will make you feel differently about your own country.
c) On my return after almost two years, I was touched to find a few changes here.
d) Two years abroad has estranged me, so I don’t want to go back to my country.
36. International conventions have long been prohibiting the use of chemical weapons during war, but how effective is this likely to be?
a) Can such international bodies be relied upon to ban effectively in the long-term use of chemical weapons in time of war?
b) For many years now, chemical warfare has been banned by international agreement, but can the ban be enforced?
c) How effectively might the prohibition of chemical warfare be if it had the backing of so many international bodies?
d) For many years, various international agreements have been drawn up to prohibit the use of chemical weapons in wartime, but they have hardly been effective, have they?
37. Unless a country can establish the fact that its economy is sound, the world’s public and private lenders
refuse to extend loans.
a) As long as a country has a reliable economy, investors from all over the world will refrain from granting loans.
b) Only when a country builds up stable economy, do public and private investors of the world agree to lend loans.
c) If a country fails to formulate a static economy, public and private investors will be intent on making investments there.
d) Until a country proves the fact that it has a stable economy, investors from all over the world will queue up to make investments in that country.
38. When there was a sudden drop in gold prices, even those who knew the market very well were astonished.
a) The remarkable decrease in gold prices took even the experts by surprise.
b) The experts who knew the market very well have been prepared for the unexpected drop in gold prices.
c) Everyone got surprised at the sudden drop in gold prices except for the experts who knew the market very well.
d) The significant decrease in gold prices was something unexpected.
Questions 39-42: Choose the alternative which best completes each paragraph.
39. Mount Everest, 29,002 feethigh, is situated on the border of Tibet and Nepal. Since the end of the nineteenth century, climbers have been ambitious to conquer it and stand on the highest point of land in the world. However, it was on 29th May, 1953 that Everest was conquered for the first time; two British climbers were able to reach the top. ______. In fact, before this successful climb, there had been ten other attempts and they had all ended in failure.
a) The first climbing expeditions to the Everest were organized by the Royal Geographical Society in
b) One should remember that snow and ice are not the climber’s greatest enemy on Everest
c) On the other hand, after the Second World War, Everest expeditions had to start not from Tibet but
d) Thus, they were the first men known to have done so
40. Japanese culture places a strong emphasis on mutual help among blood relatives. As a result, the proportion of elderly people living with their children is very high when compared with European countries. ______. This is partly due to migration but also to rising numbers of unmarried older people and childless couples.
a) All efforts, therefore, should be directed to meeting their needs
b) In fact, in Japan the rate of divorce was increasing rapidly
c) In some families, grandmothers take over the child care roles of their daughters
d) This proportion was even higher, but has declined since 1960’s
41. The president is the Head of State and represents the unity of the Turkish Nation. ______. His duties also include calling the parliament to session, publishing laws, returning laws to parliament for reconsideration, deciding upon renewal of parliamentary elections, appointing the Prime Minister or accepting his resignation.
a) He is to come from a very educated family educated in modern and credited schools
b) The president should use his authority to decide upon renewal of parliamentary elections
c) He oversees the workings of the Constitution and ensures that the departments of the state function harmoniously
d) The Prime Minister must be personally in line with the Presidential tendencies
42. Iceland is an island country which has been seen by millions of airplane passengers through their cabin windows. However, only a few have actually landed in Reykjavik, and have had the opportunity to explore the island. ______. Attractions such as volcanoes, lakes and hot springs can make a visit to this country and unforgettable experience.
a) The first inhabitants of Iceland were a group of Norwegian families who settled on the island in AD 874
b) In contrast to what many people believe, there is a lot to discover in Iceland apart from ice and snow
c) Iceland is the most sparsely populated country in Europe with only 260,000 inhabitants
d) Unlike neighbouring Greenland, Iceland is a part of Europe, not of North America though geologically the island is part of both continental plates
Questions 43-45: Choose the irrelevant sentence in the paragraph.
43. (I) At the turn of the previous century, literacy levels in Europe were understandably low. (II) Extreme poverty and lack of free educational facilities meant that only those born into families who were sufficiently wealthy received education. (III) Education, today, is a private matter between the person and the world of knowledge and experience. (IV) Fortunately, there were those who believed that getting rid of illiteracy was the only effective way to fight against poverty and they campaigned to change attitudes.
a) I b) II c) III d) IV
44. (I) Aerobic dancing was created by Jacki Sorensen in America in 1969 and has been in Australia since 1981. (II) Based on dance instead of repetitive exercise, aerobic is never boring, always fun, and you’ll be motivated to keep coming. (III) Whether you’re new to this exercise or already fit, you’ll burn fat and at the same time strengthen your heart and lungs. (IV) The history of dancing is hard to pinpoint because it has been a valuable part of almost every culture.
a) I b) II c) III d) IV
45. (I) Stress affects almost everyone from the highly pressured executive to the busy homemaker or student. (II) It can cause a variety of physical disorders ranging from headaches to stomach ulcers and even alcoholism. (III) It is believed that stress can be helpful in many ways. (IV) Stress, like the common cold, is a problem that can’t be cured; however, it can be controlled.
a) I b) II c) III d) IV
SECTION 3- LISTENING
PART A: WHILE LISTENING
You are going to listen to two people talking about taking classes over the Internet. You have THREE minutes to read the questions, and then choose the correct answer for each question. You will hear the audio TWICE.
46. James is trying to ______.
a) register for an online course
b) decide what subject to major in
c) be friends with Rick
d) register for classes at a community college
47. James finds it difficult to complete his
education at the community college because ______.
a) many of the classes are held while he is at work
b) he cannot afford tuition
c) it is very expensive
d) it does not offer the courses he needs
48. James wants a degree so that he can ______.
a) learn another language
b) find a job at a different company
c) move ahead in the company where he works
d) go to graduate school
49. According to Rick, one advantage of taking online classes is ______.
c) forming relationships with classmates
50. According to Rick, in an online course ______.
a) it is easy to form relationships with other students
b) it is difficult to catch up if you fall behind
c) students are not taught by qualified professors
d) it is clear that everyone gets easily bored
51. Rick finds reading classes ______.
a) easy to follow
52. According to Rick, online classes are ______.
a) the same as traditional classes
b) more convenient than traditional classes
c) easier than traditional classes
d) more challenging than traditional classes
PART B: NOTE–TAKING
You are going to listen to a lecture about slang in language. Listen to the lecture and take notes.
PART B: NOTE–TAKING
Now answer the following questions using your notes.
53. The speaker defines slang as informal language used by ______.
a) a particular group of people
b) most people
c) young people
54. Which of the following does slang NOT reflect?
55. Which one of the following is NOT the reason
why slang is cool?
a) It shows that the speaker is knowledgeable.
b) It is a way of reinforcing relationships.
c) It is fun, entertaining and stylish.
d) It is widely used by youngsters.
56. College students avoid using slang in the
classroom because ______.
a) slang could make them look bad
b) directors ban the use of it in classes
c) parents get angry when it is used
d) they can be teased by their classmates
57. It is interesting that students use ______ colloquial vocabulary.
a) less slang than
b) more slang than
c) the same amount of slang as
d) only slang but not
58. Historically, slang has been associated with
a) the media
59. Today, slang is ______ it was in the past.
a) more acceptable than
b) less acceptable than
c) about as acceptable as
d) not acceptable like
60. Which one of these statements is false?
a) All cultures contain subcultures.
b) Slang is rarely humorous.
c) Men and women use same slang expressions.
d) Gimme five is a slang expression that disappeared quickly.
SECTION 4- WRITING
Discuss ONE of the following topics. (250 – 300 words)
- Discuss the negative/positive effects of TV on children.
- Discuss whether there should be capital punishment or not.
- Discuss whether the government’s decision to ban smoking in public places is right or not.
WHILE LISTENING TRANSCRIPT
A: Hey, James… what are you reading?
B: Oh… it’s the course catalogue for the community college.
A: Are you signing up for classes?
B: I’m trying to sign up. It’s really difficult trying to work full-time here and complete my degree. I find it really frustrating. Most of the classes necessary to complete my B.A. meet during the day – during work hours. Or, if they meet in the evening, I end up missing too many classes because of last minute sales trips or something keeps me late at work. I mean, I need this degree to get ahead here at the company, but it seems nearly impossible!
A: Why not take the classes over the Internet? I’ve started taking classes online, and I completed six hours over the past couple of months. So far, I’ve taken Beginning Accounting, Business Law, and Economics.
B: Online? I’ve thought about that, but… I don’t know… don’t you miss the real relationships and contacts with your professor and other students?
A: I’ll admit, it’s not quite the same as sitting next to other people who share the same interests… but there are many advantages. The scheduling, for example.
B: How does it work? I mean, how do you attend class?
A: It is pretty simple, really. Have you ever used an online discussion board?
B: Sure, who hasn’t?
A: Well, attending class is basically like that. You are required to post four messages a day to a message board which is monitored by your professor.
B: What about lectures? Does the professor give lectures?
A: Those are posted online, too. Then you need to post your comments. I participate – share my opinions – much more than I ever did in a traditional class.
A: Yes… and the best part is that I can do it any time. In fact, I usually participate in a discussion during my morning coffee break… and then again at lunch. That fulfils my required participation for one day. You could say I’ve attended class that day.
B: Do you do this for a full semester?
A: Each three unit class I’ve taken so far lasts for a single month.
B: That’s great! Can you really finish a class in only thirty days?
A: Yes. But it can get pretty intense… you really have to keep up with the work. You can’t fall behind because there is no time to catch up.
B: What about the assignments? Are they similar to traditional class assignments? Do you write reviews and papers and turn them in over the Internet? Do you take tests online?
A: Yes, all that is done online… or completed at home and then sent to the professor over the Internet.
B: What about the reading. You don’t read entire textbooks on the computer, do you? I don’t think I’d like that.
A: Reading is a little different. Some materials, like journal articles and class lectures, are available online. The university has an online library.
B: What about the textbook. There is a textbook, isn’t there?
A: Yes, it’s a traditional text – you have to get it ahead of time. A buddy told me to get in advance and start reading, because after the class begins, it is really hard to keep up on the reading. I found that to be true.
B: Is it rigorous? I don’t want to offend you, but I’ve heard that these classes aren’t as serious as real… I mean traditional classes. A friend told me that the online university tells students that their classes are as thorough, but it isn’t true.
A: I think there probably are some online universities that don’t really provide serious classes… but I have to say, the classes I’ve taken have been real challenges, and I feel I did all the work any student does in any classroom.
B: But a classroom is more than just lectures and texts and assignments… Do you remember how we met?
A: How could I forget? In our Introduction to Statistics class at the community college.
B: We had to work on that group project with that guy who basically did nothing but complain… what was his name?
B: Ethan. Anyway, the best part was working together, learning from each other, and getting to know one another. I really valued that. I wouldn’t have this job if we hadn’t become friends.
A: I’ll admit… there is nothing quite like that in my online class. I never see my classmates, and besides, they live thousands of miles away.
B: Hey look at the time. We need to get back to work!
A: and I need to get back to class!
B: I’d like to talk to you more about this later.
A: Of course, but right now…
TEACHER: OK, let’s get started… Today we’re going to be looking at a really interesting phenomenon, slang. We’ll be looking at where slang comes from, who uses it and why. We all use it more often than you might think – every day of our lives, in fact. And we use it for a reason.
You know, most of us are fascinated with slang. We continually hear new words and phrases enter the language and replace the old, and we see familiar words take on new meanings. We feel a need to keep in touch with these changes to be aware of the latest street talk. The fact is, we love slang. But what is it exactly? What is slang? Anyone like to suggest a definition?
STUDENT 1: Isn’t it basically kind of casual talk?
TEACHER: Can you say a bit more?
STUDENT 1: You know, the sort of words we use with friends… in relaxed situations.
TEACHER: Good. You are pretty much there with your idea of casual language. We can say that slang is language that’s found only in the very informal speech of particular groups of people. It can help to identify the communities, the groups of people who use it. And this brings me to the first important point of the lecture – why people use slang.
A lot of slang comes from not wanting to be understood by outsiders, people outside of your circle. In other words, people exploit slang to give their group an identity, by making their language exclusive, or at least private. Through this private language, they can tease one another, enjoy shared experiences, and keep everyone else at a distance. All cultures contain groups or subcultures with different interests and priorities, and each group tries to establish a separate identity. They want people to know who they are, what they stand for – and slang helps to construct and cement that identity. We can say, then, that slang reflects the experiences, beliefs, and values of its speaker.
Now let’s look more closely at this relationship between slang and community, slang and identity. A nice example of this is, uh, student language, sometimes called “youth speak.” Young people use a lot of slang, and many of the words they use are used by both sexes, often metaphorically rather than literally. That is to say, the conventional meaning of the words change. For example, words that have traditionally had strong negative literal meanings that are used as insults have taken on, uh, gentler, and in many cases even positive meanings in conversation. We’ll look at some examples later.
Now, if you ask college students why they use slang, they’ll tell you it’s cool, and that’s true in several different ways. First, it’s cool because it’s in style, in fashion. Using current slang shows that the speaker is in tune with the times… you know, that he or she knows what’s in fashion and is part of that fashion.
Second, slang is cool in the sense of showing that the speaker is knowledgeable… the speaker is “in the know,” the speaker knows when slang is acceptable. People don’t use slang all the time, only in situations and with people who accept the use of slang – a point I’ll return to later. Research tells us that although young people often deny that they use slang intentionally, in fact they clearly choose whether or not to use it depending on the situation they are in. As we’ve already said, slang’s typically used in informal rather than formal settings, and this is certainly true among college students: they usually avoid using it in the classroom or a work environment, for example. Anyone like to suggest why?
STUDENT 1: People won’t understand them.
STUDENT 2: Yeah, so it’s like a waste of time.
TEACHER: Well, that may be true, but it’s not the main reason. They don’t use it simply because it could make them look bad. And everyone hates looking bad, right?
So, to review, we’ve said that students use slang only in certain situations. But they also use it with certain people, usually friends. When they use slang, they are showing that they share social and emotional experiences – so slang reinforces their relationships. But… it also gives special meaning to what they say. For instance, to say “That party was the bomb” is more than merely saying it was a very good party. It shares an emotional experience that might otherwise take several sentences to explain. In other words, it’s a kind of … shorthand.
The third and final way slang’s cool is that it’s fun; it’s very creative in the same way that poetry is, and it’s often humorous. In other words, it’s a form of play, a way of entertaining.
So… uh, let me repeat: I’ve said that slang’s cool for three reasons: One, it shows the user’s fashionable and in tune with the times; two, it’s a way of reinforcing relationships and communication efficiently; and three, it’s fun and entertaining. Got that?
All right then, let’s now take a look at different kinds of slang, in particular three types of slang words: those that are currently most used, those that linger year after year, and those that have become unfashionable.
So… now what is the most used slang? Well, research tells us that over the past few years, in the number one position is “dope” which basically means very good, great, excellent, attractive, or nice. So somebody might say, for example, that his friend’s new motorbike is really dope; in other words, it’s very good. Other words that feature in the top twenty include “chill out” (to calm down or relax), “the bomb” (meaning the best or most excellent), 1”whack” (which means bad, unfair, crazy or foolish), and “dude” (meaning person – usually a man, actually). Any other examples? Yes?
STUDENT 1: Hella.
STUDENT 1: Very, a lot.
TEACHER: OK, yep, Luis?
STUDENT 3: “Kick it,” which means, like, to hang out, uh relax, you know, sit around doing nothing.
TEACHER: Right. And it’s interesting, isn’t it, how most slang terms indicate approval or disapproval; they show what we feel positive or negative about. So, like “dope” and “the bomb”, we have “sweet,” “phat” – spelled P-H-A-T, not F-A-T – “cool”, and “tight” – all meaning good, excellent, nice, or attractive.
And then you have words like “bad” which really mean good; so “That new CD is bad” actually means it’s good! So you see, slang does strange things with language. Like I said earlier, it’s certainly creative. As a matter of fact, some slang words have many different meaning, sometimes as many as nine or ten. For instance, the word “trip” or “tripping” has various meanings, but they all reflect the idea of unusual, strange, or extreme. When a word’s used a lot or has a number of different meanings like this, we sometimes say it “works hard.” The word “trip” then, is a word that works hard.
Uh… now, the second type of slang consists of words that linger from decade to decade and never seem to go out of fashion – and these words also work hard, that is, they have a lot of meanings. A great example is the word cool – forever popular it seems! Other terms in this category are “nerd”, “cheesy”, “chick”, “the man”, “toasted”, “wasted”, “what’s up”, “blow away”, and “gross”. And once again most of these show approval or disapproval.
And… now, finally, there are slang terms that come and go; they disappear almost as quickly as they appear. Examples include “gimme five”, “how’s it hanging”, and “core”. Words like these often disappear because they are closely associated with famous personalities who similarly come and go – they are popular, in the spotlight for a while, and then seem almost to disappear. And when they disappear, the slang associated with them tends to disappear as well.
Now, today, public tolerance of slang is at an all-time high – just look at how widely it’s used in newspapers. But how do college teachers and academics view slang? Well, some persist with the idea that its use will degrade… uh, you might even say “pollute” academic discourse. However, among themselves students tolerate words their teachers might consider taboo. Students are actually very good at code-switching; that is, they are very good at using different styles or codes of communication in different situations. Do you agree? Do you use slang in your essays or when you speak with a teacher?
STUDENT 3: Personally I never use slang in essays. It just doesn’t feel right. It’s true, you know, most students know when to use slang, and when not to.
STUDENT 2: I agree. I sometimes use it with teachers, though; it just depends on who the teacher is.
TEACHER: Why, I imagine most people do the same. Here’s something you may find surprising: A recent study on student conversation suggests that students don’t in fact use slang that often but instead they choose more ordinary colloquial vocabulary.
OK, to finish up, now let me say something about the history of slang. Many years ago, slang was closely associated with underground, criminal organizations, groups that deviate from mainstream society… uh… with notions of outcasts and socially unacceptable behaviours. A look back in time shows, for example, that in the seventeenth century more than twenty words were used to refer to vagrants, that is, to someone who has no home or job. Today, of course, these associations are much weaker and slang’s used much more widely. As underground culture has become more mainstream, there is not the same need for the kind of secret code that slang offered. Today, most of us use slang and aren’t ashamed of using it. It may still have negative connotations, but like it or not it’s here to stay, and increasingly it’s become the subject of serious academic study. And why not? As I’ve tried to show, it’s a fascinating social as well as linguistic phenomenon. So, any questions?…
SAMPLE ENGLISH PROFICIENCY EXAM ANSWER KEY