Foreign Medical Students Face Difficulties in the U.S.

[Education ★★★★]

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(P1) International students seeking a medical degree in the United States face serious stumbling blocks. First, there is often a language barrier. Students from non-English speaking countries could have a hard time understanding their work or communicating with professors.

(P2) Also, a medical education is very costly. First, students must complete an undergraduate degree. Then, most medical schools require at least four years of study. After medical school, students do at least three more years of training in their specific medical fields. They do receive some pay for this work. In addition, many medical programs at public universities in the U.S. do not accept international students. And private universities have fewer openings, creating a great deal of competition.

(P3) However, receiving a medical education in the U.S. is not impossible. Fatima Ismail is proof. The 32-year-old from Dubai says she knew she wanted to be a doctor at a very early age. “I was always fascinated by the brain and how it functions, and I love working with children. There is a huge population of children with developmental disabilities that are not taken care of very well in the Middle East in general and my home country, in particular.”

(P4) So, Ismail completed medical school in her home country. Then, she applied to a residency program at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. Ismail spent time as an exchange student at Johns Hopkins during her time in medical school.

(P5) She says many of her fellow students applied to more than 10 or even 20 different programs. “It’s a very competitive process. Being an international medical school graduate, we have fewer chances to be accepted because the priority would be for the U.S. graduates. Having said that, it’s not impossible. All that you need to do is, basically, early planning.”

(P6) Planning is highly important for foreign students seeking admission to U.S. medical schools. Paul White is the director of medical school admissions at Johns Hopkins. He says some schools do accept students with undergraduate degrees from their home countries. But most, he says, require U.S. study. “So we say we want to see at least one year of additional coursework in any area in the U.S. just so we can see the kinds of courses they are capable of taking and how well they may perform in those courses. And there’s no question that if they do well in the U.S., and they do well on the medical college’s admissions test, then they’ll be eligible for admission.”

(P7) India native, Karum Arora, is in his fourth year of medical school at Johns Hopkins. He studies eye diseases. He also completed his undergraduate studies at Johns Hopkins, as well as a two-year research program in his field. Arora says the professors he knew in his earlier studies helped him gain acceptance to the medical school. “I can’t even express in words how great my mentors were during those two years. And they were at Hopkins as well, and they both supported me when I applied for med school, guided me through medical school, worked on projects, and are supporting me now as I apply for residency as well.”

(P8) School administrators suggest international students should apply to residency programs in the U.S. after completing medical school at home. Or they should begin their American medical education at the undergraduate level. But, officials say, even candidates with the strongest history of study will face fierce competition.

WORDS: 565

SOURCE: http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/foreign-medical-students-face-difficulties-in-us/3628784.html

VOCABULARY: stumbling blocks, applied, fellow, eligible, mentors, fierce

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Why do you think students want to study medicine in the USA instead of in their own country?
  3. Do you think it’s important to have mentors in life?
  4. Is there competition between students in your country to be admitted to universities? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. According to the article, language obstacles occasionally occur with foreign students studying in the USA. (T or F)
  2. According to the article, a lot of public medical colleges accept international students and private colleges accept a handful of med students. (T or F)
  3. Fatima Ismail was an _____________ student at a university in Baltimore, Maryland.
  4. _____________ is extremely important for international students who want to be admitted into a medical university in the USA.
  5. Executives at medical universities in the USA recommend that international students complete _________________ in their home country before applying for residency programs in the US.

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • face serious difficulties (P1)
  • a great deal of competition (P2)
  • in his field (P7)
  • med school (P7)

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Image source: by Lynn Sladky AP  http://learningenglish.voanews.com/a/foreign-medical-students-face-difficulties-in-us/3628784.html

Educators recommend more outdoor learning

[Education ★]

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(P1) Researchers say children should learn more outdoors. Children spend too much time in classrooms. Outdoor learning helps with social skills and health. It also gives a better quality of life. There is less outdoor learning today. The researchers want all schools to do outdoor learning more.

(P2) There are many good things about outdoor learning for children. It builds their confidence. They do things like climb trees. It teaches children about the environment and nature. There are also health benefits because children exercise instead of sitting in classrooms. It also helps with the problem of ‘stranger danger‘.

WORDS: 96

SOURCE: http://www.breakingnewsenglish.com/1607/160718-outdoor-learning-0.html

VOCABULARY: spend, social skills, confidence, climb, nature, instead, stranger danger

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you think schools in your country should do more outdoor learning? Why or why not?
  3. What types of outdoor learning can schools do for the students?
  4. Do you like outdoor activities? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. Wellness and being social are two benefits of learning outdoors. (T or F)
  2. Nowadays there’s the same amount of outdoor learning as 10 years ago. (T or F)
  3. Researchers want 100% of the schools to have more outdoor learning. (T or F)
  4. What can children do outside to keep them healthy?
  5. Knowing how to deal with strangers is not a benefit. (T or F)

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • too much time in classrooms (P1)
  • less outdoor learning today (P1)
  • to do (P1)
  • do things (P2)
  • health benefits (P2)

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Image source: by “unknown” http://www.pbk.com/assets/eav/image/2016/02/11/1033-medium.jpg

Be humble, open, tycoon tells grads

[Education ]

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(P1) Business tycoon Li Ka-shing, Hong Kong’s richest man, attended commencement ceremonies at Shantou University on Thursday, and the speech he delivered has gone viral on social media.

(P2) Sound bites from commencement speeches are usually a hot topic online during graduation season for Chinese universities every summer.

(P3) Li’s speech, in the title of “The Future is Right Ahead”, is the latest click magnet.

(P4) The 88-year-old told 2,161 graduates that to stand out in an era when technology empowers machines with the ability to make observations and think logically, humans need to keep on learning with a humble attitude, to be open to new ideas and to be compassionate.

(P5) “We have to be on high alert to the tendency of closing up” one’s eyes and ears to new, unfamiliar ideas, said the honorary president of Shantou University Council.

(P6) “False judgments made through inertia in thinking will hold us back,” he said. “Technology is the foundation for high economic growth, and talent and innovation are the engines. But a tolerant society is the important fuel.”

(P7) “It is an age of sharp transformations, but at the same time an age of force of character,” Li said. “Never forget that it is a blessing to be capable of helping someone.”

(P8) The Li Ka Shing Foundation has been sponsoring Shantou University since the school’s founding in 1981. Financial support from the foundation will add up to HK$8 billion ($1.03 billion) by 2018.

(P9) Li has been attending commencement at Shantou University and delivering a speech for 15 consecutive years, since 2002.

(P10) The foundation also invited Yao Ming, former NBA star, and creator of the Yao Foundation, to give a speech at commencement this year.

(P11) Using his NBA experience as vivid examples, Yao advised graduates on setting goals, facing failure and shouldering responsibility as a team player.

(P12) “Life has no rehearsals. No one can ensure you a happy ending, even if you go all-out. But we can choose the attitude to face failures,” Yao said.

(P13) Yao said that he missed 3,046 field goals and had 1,304 turnovers throughout his NBA career. “All the mistakes and successes made up my complete NBA career,” he said.

(P14) Zhong Hui, one of the graduates, described the commencement ceremonies this year as “stunning”. She called that Li’s and Yao’s speeches were “inspirational”.

WORDS: 380

SOURCE: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2016-07/01/content_25928210.htm

VOCABULARY: commencement, empowers, humble, inertia, shouldering

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Do you agree or disagree with what Li Ka-shing spoke about? Why?
  3. Why do people make false judgments?
  4. Is failure accepted in your culture? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What is the name of the college where Mr. Li Ka-shing spoke at?
  2. According to Li, what should people always remember?
  3. How many years in a row has Li been going to commencement at the university?
  4. Who else spoke at the ceremony?
  5. What’s the name of the student who gave a personal observation of the speeches?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • sound bites (P2)
  • a hot topic (p2)
  • click magnet (P3)
  • but a tolerant society is the important fuel (P6)
  • even if you go all out (P6)
  • made up my complete NBA career (P13)

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Image source: by ZHONG RUIJUN/CHINA DAILY

Russia and China to establish joint university

[Education ★★★]

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(P1) China will open the first Russian-Chinese university jointly with Moscow State University (MSU) in Shenzhen in 2016. All the costs of construction, equipment and management fee of the university will be covered by China.

(P2) MSU Rector Viktor Sadovnichii said that courses in the new university will be conducted in three languages: Russian, Chinese and English, and graduates will receive two diplomas.

(P3) “The contribution of MSU is intellectual property, educational programs, and the brand”, said Sadovnichii.

(P4) According to the Vice Rector of MSU Sergei Shakhrai, the Shenzhen campus covers 30 hectares of land and construction is already underway. On September 1, 2016, students of the Russian-Chinese university will be able to study in their new buildings.

(P5) Students from Russia and China will study in the new university. They will be able to practice in the largest corporations in both countries. The major courses of the Russian-Chinese university will be Russian language and literature, culture and arts, information technology and applied mathematics, economics, international trade, law, finance. Later the list will include chemistry, physics, health, space exploration, engineering, transport systems, and logistics.

(P6) It is expected that such an ambitious project will promote and popularize Russian language and culture, as well as cooperation in the humanitarian sphere. One of the purposes of setting up the new university is training staff to participate in Russian-Chinese joint projects and support the Far East, where skilled specialists with modern technology and knowledge of foreign languages are needed. Another object of the Russian-Chinese university is to strengthen the position of Moscow State University in international rankings.

WORDS: 256

SOURCE: http://thechinatimes.com/online/2014/07/6974.html

VOCABULARY: intellectual property, hectares, underway, applied mathematics, popularize, humanitarian

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. If you had the opportunity, would you study at this university? Why or why not?
  3. In your opinion, do you think the university will be successful? Why or why not?
  4. Would you like to learn Russian or Chinese? Why or why not?

READING COMPREHENSION QUESTIONS:

  1. When and where will the joint university open?
  2. Classes will be given in Chinese, Russian, and German. (T or F)
  3. Initially, which programs will be offered?
  4. Logistics will not be an option at the university. (T or F)
  5. How will the joint university help Moscow State University?

EXPRESSIONS or PHRASES:

What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • Covered by China (P1)
  • The brand (P3)
  • Strengthen the position (P6)

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Image source: © Sputnik. Ramil Sitdikov https://cdnfr2.img.sputniknews.com/images/101588/52/1015885281.jpg

INDIA ARMY CANDIDATES FORCED TO STRIP FOR TEST

[EDUCATION ★]

INDIA ARMY CANDIDATES FORCED TO STRIP FOR TEST

India Test

(P1) Hundreds of young men in India’s Bihar state have been made to strip down to their UNDERWEAR while taking an army RECRUITMENT test in an attempt to prevent CHEATING.

(P2) Photographs showed candidates sitting CROSS-LEGGED in a field in Muzaffarpur town wearing only their underpants.

(P3) The army said it was done to “save time on checking so many students for cheating materials”.

(P4) A candidate told The Indian Express newspaper that he felt “it was not DIGNIFIED“.

(P5) Officials said 1,159 candidates participated in Sunday’s hour-long written examination to join the Indian army.

(P6) “As we entered Chakkar Maidan, the test VENUE, we were asked to remove all of our clothing except for our underwear. We had no option but to COMPLY with the instructions even though it felt odd. The gap between candidates was about eight feet in all directions,” The Indian Express quoted a candidate as saying.

(P7) The paper quoted a senior army official as saying that the candidates being asked to strip was an “administrative LAPSE“.

(P8) Bihar and many other parts of northern India are NOTORIOUS for cheating during examinations – last year, the state government was EMBARRASSED after parents and friends were photographed climbing school walls to pass on answers to school students.

(P9) In January, the state announced tough measures such as fines and jail terms to stop cheating in exams.

WORDS: 229

SOURCE: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35693987

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Cheating on university entrance exams and other tests has been a problem in many countries recently. Has this happened a lot in your country?
  3. What are some of the different ways that test-takers cheat?
  4. What are the most effective ways of preventing cheating?
  5. Was it fair for the Indian test-takers to be asked to strip down to their underwear?

EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:

What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Cross-legged

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OBAMA ANNOUNCES NEW PUSH FOR COMPUTER EDUCATION

[EDUCATION ★]

OBAMA ANNOUNCES NEW PUSH FOR COMPUTER EDUCATION

Coding Education

(P1) U.S. President Barack Obama has announced his new Computer Science for All INITIATIVE. The $4 billion plan aims to fulfill Obama’s commitment to “offer every student the HANDS-ON computer science and math classes they need.”

(P2) The CS for All initiative is intended to provide every student between kindergarten and 12th grade with computer science education. The $4 billion would be distributed to states over three years, with $100 million going directly to school districts, to train teachers and purchase high-quality instructional materials.

(P3) “In the new economy, computer science isn’t an OPTIONAL skill, it’s a basic skill,” Obama said.

(P4) While more than 90% of parents say they want their children to have computer science courses, only about 25% of schools in the United States offer quality coding and programming classes. In 22 states, computer science classes are not allowed to COUNT TOWARDS high school graduation. At the same time, a growing number of jobs require computer science skills, and there is a shortage of people who are qualified for the jobs. Last year, more than 600,000 high-paying tech jobs in the U.S. went unfilled. Experts predict that in the next two years, more than half of all Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) jobs will involve computer science.

(P5) The initiative is also designed to promote diversity in the tech industry. In 2015, only 22% of students who took the Advanced Placement Computer Science test were female. Only 13% of students who took the test were either African American or Latino. These percentages were similar in large technology companies. MANDATORY computer science classes should encourage more students from all different BACKGROUNDS to confidently pursue technology careers.

WORDS: 280

SOURCE: http://www.timeforkids.com/news/commitment-coding/349606

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Is technology education in your country good, or could it be improved?
  3. Do you feel that your own computer skills are good?
  4. Is it important for everyone to be able to code and program, or only for a few people?
  5. Not everyone would agree that studying computer science helps people find jobs; some computer science graduates have a difficult time finding work. Is it easy to find technology jobs in your country, or difficult?

EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:

What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Hands-on
  • Count towards

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BILL GATES ON WHAT MAKES A TEACHER GREAT

[EDUCATION ★]

BILL GATES ON WHAT MAKES A TEACHER GREAT

Bill Gates

(P1) The best teachers leave a lasting IMPRESSION on students.

(P2) Bill Gates (above) talks about the moment he saw a film of a PHYSICS LECTURE by the late scientist and professor Richard Feynman (below). Although he never actually had Feynman as a teacher, he admires his teaching style.

Richard-feynman

(P3) To CELEBRATE the 50th ANNIVERSARY of Feynman’s NOBEL PRIZE win, Gates shared his thoughts on what made the professor so special. Here are those qualities, which can be applied to any classroom.

(P4) Great teachers are excited about the material.

(P5) Gates says he loves the way Feynman’s face LIGHTS UP when he explains how fire works. He shows an obvious love of knowledge, and it made his students excited about science too.

(P6) “Feynman has a lot IN COMMON WITH with all the amazing teachers I’ve met in schools across the country,” Gates writes. “You walk into their classroom and immediately feel the energy — the way they ENGAGE their students — and their PASSION for whatever subject they’re teaching.”

(P7) Great teachers make difficult subjects easy to understand.

(P8) Physics can seem complicated and ABSTRACT, but Gates says the best teachers make difficult subjects understandable.

(P9) Feynman once did a series of lectures at California schools for people who didn’t specialize in physics, and made the topic understandable for everyone.

(P10) “He takes something that’s a little mysterious to most people and uses very simple concepts to explain how it works,” Gates says.

(P11) Great teachers engage their students.

(P12) Like all great teachers, Feynman engaged his students and made physics fun.

(P13) “Feynman made science so interesting,” Gates says. “He reminded us how much fun it is.”

(P14) Great teachers have a wide range of interests.

(P15) Feynman wasn’t just a great teacher and RENOWNED scientist. He was also quite a character. He knew a lot about many different DISCIPLINES, and he brought that energy for learning into the classroom.

WORDS: 313

SOURCE: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-bill-gates-thinks-about-great-teachers-2016-1

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Who is the best teacher you ever had?
  3. What is the most difficult subject that you ever studied?
  4. What helps you to learn a difficult subject?
  5. Have you ever taught? Did you enjoy the experience?

EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:

What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.

  • Light up
  • In common with

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