WOMAN: I’ve been reading your personal statement, Paul. First, let’s talk about your work experience in South America. What took you there? Was it to gain more fluency in Spanish?
PAUL: Well, as I’m combining Spanish with Latin American studies, my main idea was to find out more about the way people lived there (Q21). My spoken Spanish was already pretty good in fact.
WOMAN: So you weren’t too worried about language barriers?
PAUL: No. In fact, I ended up teaching English there, although that wasn’t my original choice of work.
WOMAN: I see. How did you find out about all this?
PAUL: I found an agency that runs all kinds of voluntary projects in South America.
WOMAN: What kind of work?
PAUL: Well, there were several possibilities.
WOMAN: You mean construction? Engineering work?
PAUL: Yes, getting involved in building projects was an option. Then there was tourism –taking tourists for walks around the volcanoes – which I actually chose to do(Q22), and then there was work with local farmers.
WOMAN: But you didn’t continue with that project. Why not?
PAUL: Because I never really knew whether I’d be needed or not. I’d thought it might be difficult physically, but I was certainly fit enough…no, I wanted to do something that had more of a proper structure to it (Q23), I suppose, I get de-motivated otherwise.
WOMAN: What do you think you learned from your experience? It must have been a great opportunity to examine community life.
PAUL: Yes, but it was difficult at first to be accepted by the locals. It was a very remote village and some of them were reluctant to speak to me – although they were always interested in my clothes and how much I’d had to pay for them.
WOMAN: Well, that’s understandable.
PAUL: Yes, but things soon improved. What struck me was that when people became more comfortable with me and less suspicious (Q24) , we really connected with each other in a meaningful way.
WOMAN: You made good friends?
PAUL: Yes, with two of the families in particular.
WOMAN: Good. What about management. Did you have a project manager?
PAUL: Yes and he gave me lots of advice and guidance. (Q25)
WOMAN: And was he good at managing too?
PAUL: That’s wasn’t his strong point! I think he was often more interested in the academic side of things than filling reports. He was a bit of a dreamer.
WOMAN: And did you have a contract?
PAUL: I had to say for a minimum of three months. My parents were surprised when I asked to stay longer – six months in the end. I was so happy there.
WOMAN: And did anything on the administration side of things surprise you? What was the food and lodging like?
PAUL: Simple…but there was plenty to eat and I only paid seven dollars a day for that which was amazing really. And they gave me all the equipment I needed…even a laptop. (Q26)
WOMAN : You didn’t expect that then?(Q26)
PAUL: No. (Q26)
WOMAN : Well, I’ll look forward to hearing more.
WOMAN : But now let’s look at these modules. You’ll need to start thinking about which ones you’ll definitely want to study. The first one here is Gender Studies in Latin America.
WOMAN : It looks at how gender analysis is reconfiguring civil society in Latin America. Women are increasingly occupying positions is government and in other elected leadership positions in Latin America. I think you’d find it interesting.
PAUL: It is was to do with people in the villages rather than those in the public sphere, I would (Q27) .
WOMAN : Okay. What about Second Language Acquisition?
PAUL: Do you think I’d find that useful?
WOMAN : Well, you’ve had b some practical experience in the field, I think it would be.
PAUL: I hadn’t thought about that. I’ll put that down as a definite, then. (Q28)
WOMAN : Okay. What about indigenous Women’s Lives. That sounds appropriate.
PAUL: I thought so too, but I looked at last year’s exam questions and that changed my mind,
WOMAN : Don’t judge the value of the course on that. May be, talk to some other student first and we can talk about it again later. (Q29)
WOMAN : Yes, And lastly, will you sign up for Portuguese lessons?
PAUL: My Spanish is good, so would I find that module essay?
WOMAN : Not necessary. Some people find that Spanish interferes with learning Portuguese…getting the accent right too.It’s quite different in a lot of ways.
PAUL: Well, I’d much sooner do something else, then. (Q30)
WOMAN : Alright. Now, what we need to do is…
Choose the correct letter, A, B or C. Latin American studies
21. Paul decided to get work get work experience in South American because he wanted
A. to teach English there
B. to improve his Spanish
C. to learn about Latin American life
22. What project work Paul originally intend to get involved in?
23. Why did Paul change form one project to another?
A. His first job was not well organized.
B. He found doing the routine work very boring.
C. The work was too physically demanding.
24. In the village community, he leant how important it was to
A. respect family life.
B. develop trust
C. use money wisely.
25. What does the Paul say about his project manager?
A. He let Paul do most of the work
B. His plans were too ambitious.
C. He was very supportive of Paul.
26. Paul was surprised to be given
A. a computer to use
B. so little money to live on
C. an extension to his contract
What does Paul decide about each of the following modules?
Write the correct letter, A, B or C, next to questions 27-30.
A. He will do this.
B. He might do this.
C. He won’t do this.
27. Gender Studies in Latin America
28. Second Languages Acquisition
29.Indigenous Women’s Lives
30.Portuguese Language Studies