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Reading skills: Not so clever

country?

Skimming
A) in a newspaper
B) opinion ( check the top right corner)
C) Government funding of education
D) against
E) It can help the reader anticipate some of the ideas or arguments the writer
might use and why. It should also signal to the reader to read critically.

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Reading the article


As you read:
Focus on the vocabulary you do know rather than the vocab that you dont
know! Why?
What you dont know cant help you!
Circle content words that are repeated. These will lead you to main
ideas and comprehension.
Leave unknown vocabulary until later.

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Part 1 Vocabulary Building


not considering the possible effects in the future of something that seems
good now - used to show disapproval (adj) paragraph 1
short-sighted

the most recent or the newest (adj) paragraph 2


latest

show that a particular situation exists, or that something is likely to be true


(reporting verb) paragraph 3

Indicate
Unusually good and special/ the only one of its kind (adj) paragraph 4
unique

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serious and worrying (of a situation) (adj) paragraph 5


critical

connected in some way (verb + preposition) paragraph 6


related to

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Part 2 - Short answer questions


The government collects taxes which can be spent on what?
National public infrastructure projects (such as schools, hospitals and
roads)

The University of Houston has created how many jobs?


24,000

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What types of skills do employers value highly?

Well-developed thinking skills

What is one consequence of a shortage of doctors?

Long hospital waiting lists

What lifestyle habits contribute to a longer life expectancy?

More exercise and healthier diets

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Part 3 Read to identify arguments in a text


Fewer high school graduates will continue their education if tuition fees are
not subsidised.
True - Cutting funds for universities leads to higher fees and, therefore, fewer
students.
At university, students learn how to look after themselves and develop skills
for healthy living.
Not given Graduates are usually healthier but there is nothing in the text
about why. Jacobs is probably referring to a correlation between health and
education level which is more to do with socioeconomic status than a direct
result of gaining a degree.
The government should increase their subsidies for students studying
medicine, education and engineering.
False the government should (continue to) subsidise the cost of all degrees
nothing in the text about increasing subsidies, only that cuts should be
avoided.

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Every university graduate earns more than every high school leaver.
False on average graduates earn more

Gaining a tertiary level education is one of the best ways to develop analytical
skills.
True unique thinking skills are developed through academic study the
higher the level of study, the more development of skills

Having a large student population brings many benefits to a university town,


such as improving the local environment and the infrastructure.
Not given There is no reference to many benefits.any city would
welcome such a university with open arms, simply because of the economic
benefits. Perhaps economic benefits would lead to improvements in
infrastructure and even the local environment, but this is not stated in the text

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In the past, thinking skills were less important than they are now.
True The world we live in today is more complex than ever before and
thinking skills are now essential for all areas of life.

University education should be free.


True Our government should make university education free for everyone.
Paragraph 1
False Making a university education affordable encourages every high
school leaver to continue into academic studies. Paragraph 7
These answers obviously contradict. The tone of the article seems to be that
education should be subsidised rather than entirely free. Jacobs seems to be
arguing for maintaining the status quo, i.e. the government should not cut
funding, rather than the govt should actually increase funding. It is left to the
reader to infer that the article is addressing the Australian funding system
where university education is not entirely free.
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Argument 1
There are broad economic reasons to question the wisdom of the
governments decision. It seems that the government has forgotten that
university graduates earn more money than high school leavers and,
therefore, pay higher taxes. According to the latest Gibbons report, an
average high school graduate will pay $6,700 a year in tax while someone
with a degree will provide the government with $11,900, on average. Doctors,
teachers and engineers can expect to pay a whopping $26,700 annually.
Thats a lot of money for the government. This revenue can be used to pay for
national public infrastructure projects, such as schools, hospitals and roads.
The more graduates there are, the more revenue for the government. There
is no doubt, therefore, that we have to subsidise the education of university
students.

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Argument 1
There are broad economic reasons to question the wisdom of the
governments decision. It seems that the government has forgotten that
university graduates earn more money than high school leavers and,
therefore, pay higher taxes. According to the latest Gibbons report, an
average high school graduate will pay $6,700 a year in tax while someone
with a degree will provide the government with $11,900, on average. Doctors,
teachers and engineers can expect to pay a whopping $26,700 annually.
Thats a lot of money for the government. This revenue can be used to pay for
national public infrastructure projects, such as schools, hospitals and roads.
The more graduates there are, the more revenue for the government. There
is no doubt, therefore, that we have to subsidise the education of university
students.

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Argument 2
We also need to consider the important effect universities have at a local
level. Make no mistake, towns and cities up and down the country are more
than happy when new universities open or when existing ones expand. Take,
for instance, the University of Houston in the US, which has an annual
enrolment of around 37,000 students. Research indicates that such a large
student body generates an additional $1.1 billion per year for the Houston
economy. Furthermore, some 24,000 jobs are directly related to the university
and its students. In short, any city would welcome such a university with open
arms, simply because of the economic benefits.

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Argument 2
We also need to consider the important effect universities have at a local
level. Make no mistake, towns and cities up and down the country are more
than happy when new universities open or when existing ones expand. Take,
for instance, the University of Houston in the US, which has an annual
enrolment of around 37,000 students. Research indicates that such a large
student body generates an additional $1.1 billion per year for the Houston
economy. Furthermore, some 24,000 jobs are directly related to the university
and its students. In short, any city would welcome such a university with open
arms, simply because of the economic benefits.

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Argument 3
University graduates benefit society in many ways. The unique thinking skills
that are developed through academic study bring great benefits to the
individual and to society as a whole. The world we live in today is more
complex than ever before and thinking skills are now essential for all areas of
life. Graduates are able to analyse situations, think logically, evaluate and
solve problems. They are thus better equipped to deal with life. In the
employment market, companies constantly need workers with well-developed
thinking abilities. Society needs graduates to provide leadership as we face
the challenges of the future.

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Argument 3
University graduates benefit society in many ways. The unique thinking skills
that are developed through academic study bring great benefits to the
individual and to society as a whole. The world we live in today is more
complex than ever before and thinking skills are now essential for all areas of
life. Graduates are able to analyse situations, think logically, evaluate and
solve problems. They are thus better equipped to deal with life. In the
employment market, companies constantly need workers with well-developed
thinking abilities. Society needs graduates to provide leadership as we face
the challenges of the future.

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Argument 4
Society benefits from the special skills that many of our graduates have.
Think of all the doctors and teachers and how much they contribute to society.
However, everyone knows that we have a critical shortage of high-quality
professionals in the medical, education and engineering fields. Hospital
waiting lists are out of control because we dont have enough doctors. The
quality of our childrens education is falling because there are too few
teachers. Would you want your childs education to be negatively affected
because class sizes are too large? Engineering companies have to recruit
people from overseas. If the government is unwilling to subsidise university
education, we will never have enough graduates to meet the needs of our
society.

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Argument 4
Society benefits from the special skills that many of our graduates have.
Think of all the doctors and teachers and how much they contribute to society.
However, everyone knows that we have a critical shortage of high-quality
professionals in the medical, education and engineering fields. Hospital
waiting lists are out of control because we dont have enough doctors. The
quality of our childrens education is falling because there are too few
teachers. Would you want your childs education to be negatively affected
because class sizes are too large? Engineering companies have to recruit
people from overseas. If the government is unwilling to subsidise university
education, we will never have enough graduates to meet the needs of our
society.

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Argument 5
Degree holders also bring benefits to society in ways that might surprise you.
Research indicates that university graduates are healthier than the rest of the
population. They exercise more, their diets are healthier and, as a result, they
live longer. The benefits to society are obvious. Degree holders visit their
doctor far less often than other people. They spend less time in hospital and
need less care as they get older. Another social benefit of higher education is
related to crime. Research all over the world shows that if you dont have a
degree, you are four times more likely to go to prison. The causes of crime
are complex, but it is clear that if you have a degree, you are less likely go to
prison.

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Argument 5
Degree holders also bring benefits to society in ways that might surprise you.
Research indicates that university graduates are healthier than the rest of the
population. They exercise more, their diets are healthier and, as a result, they
live longer. The benefits to society are obvious. Degree holders visit their
doctor far less often than other people. They spend less time in hospital and
need less care as they get older. Another social benefit of higher education is
related to crime. Research all over the world shows that if you dont have a
degree, you are four times more likely to go to prison. The causes of crime
are complex, but it is clear that if you have a degree, you are less likely go to
prison.

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Main Idea: Governments should fund uni. ed. because


graduates bring benefits to society and economy
1) uni. grads. earn more and pay more taxes
2) unis stimulate the local economy by bringing demand
for local goods and services and creating jobs
3) Grads develop unique thinking skills that benefit society
4) Many grads directly contribute to society in professions
like teaching and medicine
5) uni grads bring unexpected social benefits by living
longer, being healthier, and committing less crime which
reduce cost and burden on society

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Critical thinking: What kind of questions do we need to


ask ourselves?
L________
Logic
F____ and O______
Fact and Opinion
E_________
Evidence
P_____________
Perspectives
C______________
Consequences

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In your group:
Use critical thinking questions to analyze the argument
What are the strengths and weaknesses of your argument?
There may or may not be both strengths and weaknesses. Ask as many
questions as you can.
Put your ideas on the butchers paper.
You will present your ideas to the class.

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