Here, we will present all the eight sources in the preparation booklet. We will provide an overview of genres, the content, and the most important points that can help you in a discussion about being a good worker and a good citizen.
Discussion of the topic
In the preparation booklet, you are asked to think about and discuss the topic of being a good worker and a good citizen in English-speaking countries. An overview of the topic is presented in the introductory page of the preparation booklet.
The meaning of being a good worker or a good citizen will depend on the context, such as national or religious culture or whether we are at work or at school. Being in different contexts – many of which are presented in the preparation material – also means that people will have different expectations of us. For example, teachers or employers will have different expectations regarding being a good worker or a good citizen compared to our friends or local community.
In what follows, we will help you discuss this topic by addressing the eight sources presented in your preparation booklet.
Text 1: “Ways of being a good citizen”
Text 1 contains six pictures accompanied by explanations regarding ways of being a good citizen.
Picture 1 depicts a young woman being granted the title “Employee of the month”, who most likely worked hard and paid her taxes.
Picture 2 presents a sketch of Bob Dylan, the songwriter who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016. In his case, being a good citizen is related to speaking out for a cause through lyrics and literature.
Picture 3 presents a group of people volunteering in an American soup kitchen. In their case, being a good citizen is connected to helping others out of good will and without a hidden purpose.
Picture 4 depicts two NFL athletes refusing to stand up and sing the national anthem. The focus of the picture is African-American athlete Colin Kaepernick, who refused to sing the US national anthem because of his belief that the US oppresses people of colour.
Picture 5 depicts actor Leonardo DiCaprio raising awareness on climate change during the second annual gala for his foundation, held in Saint Tropez. For DiCaprio, being a good citizen means being an activist on climate change and raising awareness on important issues, such as reducing carbon emissions.
Picture 6 presents singer Buffy Saint-Marie, for whom being a good citizen means speaking out through music. The folk singer’s music was banned from radios in the 1960s and the 1970s because of her political activism.
As you have seen, all the six pictures depicted in Text 1 present different ways in which people prove they are good citizens. The six pictures depict different categories of people from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds and the different ways in which they managed to become good citizens through their work or gestures. The images also suggest that what makes a good citizen is different in different contexts.
Text 2: “What makes a good worker?”
Text 2 is an article about the top ten qualities of a good employee. According to the article, a good worker should have initiative and good communication skills, proving that they are responsible and able to communicate in a variety of situations. Furthermore, a good worker should also be hard-working and a team player, skills which are sought after by many companies. Furthermore, a good worker should have effective learning skills and the willingness to help others. This means people should be willing to learn and also to establish connections with their co-workers. Finally, the text indicates that a good worker aims to be honest, ethical, polite and disciplined.
Note that the article is addressed to both experienced workers and beginners in the workplace. Also, the text suggests that the top ten skills a good worker should have are the qualities that most companies search for in an employee.
Text 3: “What makes good language learners?”
Text 3 is a list of the six most important aspects that define good language learners. According to the text, good language learners focus on the things they are learning about and they are not afraid to make mistakes, as mistakes can be constructive. Also, good language learners are realistic about the time and effort involved in learning, but also independent and aware that only being present in the classroom is not enough. Finally, good language learners are organised and understand the importance of communication both inside and outside the classroom, as well as striving for accuracy.
Overall, Text 3 suggests that these six theories about being good language learners should help people learn faster and more efficiently. An important analytical element you might want to focus on is the repetition of the same sequence of words at the beginning of each of the six points.
Text 4: “What does it mean to be a good citizen and live a good life?”
This source consists of a text written by a student in response to an exam task in which the student was asked to consider what it means to be a good citizen and live a good life.
The student’s text begins with a reflection on the complexity of the question, which has been analysed over the years by philosophers, politicians, or religious leaders. One fragment deals with the opinions of the ancient philosophers Epicurus and Socrates, who mainly believed that people can lead good lives if they give up their desires and carefully examines their lives. The following fragment deals with the opinions of the Pope, who believes that a good life is given by working and having dignity. The next fragment deals with the opinions of politicians Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. While the first believes that citizens should be treated equally, the latter believes that winning is what gives one a good life. The student’s text ends with the statement that being a good citizen and living a good life cannot be defined according to only one perspective, but that it should be assessed individually.
An important analytical element in the text is the extensive use of quotations from people belonging to different eras and backgrounds. Note that although most of the text consists of quotations, the student who wrote the text remains detached and objective, rather than offering a personal opinion.
Text 5: “Being a good citizen; an indigenous experience”
Text 5 is an article related to an Aboriginal man’s struggle with being a good citizen. The text focuses on painter Albert Namatjira, an Aboriginal man in Australia, who was a member of the Arrernte people. The man’s culture dictated that one should share everything with his family and community.
Although Albert Namatjira gained popularity among white Australians because of his painting skills – including the honour of meeting the Queen – his Aboriginal identity prevented him from buying a cattle station or even a property of his own. After he and his wife were finally granted Australian citizenship, their community still suffered because of laws that prevented Aboriginals from gaining citizenship or basic rights, such as being supplied with alcohol. Although Namatjira had the benefits of citizenship, he couldn’t share them with his people according to their customs because Australian law forbade it.
After a member of the Arrernte community killed his wife while drunk, Albert Namatjira was arrested and imprisoned because he had allowed the man access to alcohol. After a short time, he was released from prison but died because of a heart attack.
Text 5 also contains a poem about Namatjira written by Oodgeroo Noonuccal. The poem praises Namatjira’s talent and pride for his community and blames the white people for refusing to understand Namatjira’s culture and for breaking his spirit.
An important analytical element you might want to consider in Oodgeroo Noonucal’s poem is the direct address to Namatjira and the rhetorical question in the last stanza.
Text 6: “Sing Our Own Song” (2015)
Text 6 consists of the lyrics of the song “Sing Our Own Song”, sung by Buffy Saint-Marie.
The lyrics present the singer’s address to her fellow Native-Americans, whom she invites to take a stand against the white man’s supremacy and to gather the courage to sing about their culture and history. The lyrics invoke the Native-Americans’ forefathers, who died for their freedom, but also hint at the white man’s greed and need for war.
Important analytical elements you should pay attention to here are the repetition and the allusions to warfare and events that broke the Native-American spirit.
Text 7: “ Standing up for what you believe is right”
Text 7 consists of three short paragraphs related to different people who took a stand for their rights. All paragraphs are accompanied by relevant pictures.
Paragraph 1 deals with Edward Snowden, the whistle-blower who revealed secret NSA practices in the US. As a consequence, he is currently living in exile in Russia.
Paragraph 2 presents the situation of platinum miners in South Africa, who went on strike to demand higher payment. During the strike, many miners were killed or injured by police.
Paragraph 3 presents the situation of Native Americans in North Dakota, who protested for access to clean water and for their desire to preserve their sacred burial grounds from the “Dakota Access Pipeline”.
Text 8: “How to be good”
Text 8 consists of two extracts from Nick Hornby’s novel “How to be good”.
The first extract presents Katie, a mother of two, who addresses the reader and explains the challenges of being a good person. Katie says that she has always wanted to become a doctor because this job is a way of doing good. Katie also says that she is a good person, despite the fact that she is cheating on her husband with a man named Stephen.
The second extract presents a discussion around the dinner table. After Katie invites one of her mentally ill patients, Brian, for dinner, her daughter proposes that the man should move in with the family for ever. Brian agrees, as he is lonely and does not have anybody in the world, but Katie is reluctant to give a definitive answer. She knows that inviting Brian to move in for good is wrong, but she also thinks about doing good things for the people who do not have love, friends, family, or health. Eventually, Katie asks her daughter to postpone the conversation, but Brian says that he does not have anything better to do than wait for an answer.
When you read the text, we advise you to focus on analytical elements such as the theme of morality and the theme of helping others.
Answer either 1A or 1B.
The text below was posted on youthadvice.net by sixteen-year-old Alex, looking for advice. Write a brief response to Alex, offering advice. Use ideas from texts 2 and 3 in the preparation material in your response.
Text 4 on page 8 in the preparation material is a student response to the task, “Write a short text that looks at the question of what it means to be a good citizen and live a good life”. Below is another response to the same task. Comment briefly on these two responses by comparing language, structure, and content.
The following tasks are based on your preparation topic “Being a good worker and a good citizen in English-speaking countries”.
Answer either 2A, 2B, 2C, or 2D.
Create a text in which you discuss what being a good worker means in the profession you are aiming for.
Your text should include:
· A presentation of the profession you are aiming for
· A description of knowledge and skills needed to be a good worker
· A discussion of behaviour and the attitude needed to be a good worker
· An explanation of necessary equipment and/or procedures for doing a good job and creating a safe workplace
Give your text a suitable title.
In text 8 in your preparation material, Katie faces some challenges when she tries to be a good citizen.
Create a text in which you discuss the challenges Katie faces and compare them with the challenges faced by another character in an English-language novel, short story or film. Use examples from both to support your answer.
Give your text a suitable title.
Create a text in which you present and discuss how indigenous people experience and have experienced trying to be good citizens in English-speaking countries. Use examples from the preparation material and other texts or films by or about indigenous people in English-speaking countries to illustrate your points.
Give your text a suitable title.
The preparation material gives different examples of people who are standing up for what they believe is right.
Create a text in which you present and discuss ways in which people try to change society. Use the preparation material and other texts or films about issues in English speaking countries to illustrate your points.
Give your text a suitable title.