Why you should choose a university education

Preparation material


· Discussion of the topic

· Text 1a: Play like a girl

· Text 1b: Mana Wahine (the power, authority, and strength of women)

· Text 2a: Why you should choose a university education

· Text 2b: The benefits of vocational education 

· Text 3: Extract from The Hate U Give 

· Text 4: Opposing views on cultural and social issues in English-speaking countries

· Text 5a: Greta Thunberg’s speech at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019

· Text 5b: Responses to Greta Thunberg’s speech 

· Text 6: “The Last Bee” – A poem by Brian Bilston

· Text 7: The importance of using a sock; getting a message across when the law forbids it 

· Text 8: Getting your message across

Discussion of the topic

The preparation material for Engelsk fellesfag vår 2020 begins with a presentation of the topic “Getting your message across”. It explains that getting your message across can be challenging, and that those who succeed in communicating effectively use vocabulary and persuasive techniques that appeal to their audience. Getting your message across is important in day-to-day life, and young people especially might be criticized both for what they say and for how they say it. 

While the texts in the preparation material provide you with different examples connected to the topic of getting your message across, the presentation also encourages you to do your own research and learn more about perspectives that might interest you. The presentation also states that the preparation material includes different types of texts and encourages you to consider how these texts relate to your work during the English course. 

Text 1a: Play like a girl

Text 1a is a speech made by Billie Jean King, a famous tennis player and women’s sports advocate, at the opening of the Women’s National Basketball Allstar game. 

King addresses the little girls in her audience, telling them to look to female athletes to find inspiration and persevere against society’s limitations. King also suggests that, in today’s world, little girls can become whatever they want and inspire the next generation. She explains that all that they have to do is play like a girl. 

The text also includes a link where you can listen to King delivering her speech.

Text 1b: Mana Wahine (the power, authority, and strength of women)

Text 1b presents another version of the speech in Text 1a, this time delivered by Portia Woodman, a member of the New Zealand women’s rugby team the Black Ferns. Woodman’s most notable change in the speech can be found at the end, where she uses Maori words to remind little girls about the power, authority, and strength of being a woman. 

Text 1b also includes a picture of Portia Woodman playing rugby, and a link where you can listen to her delivering her speech. 

Text 2a: Why you should choose a university education

Text 2a explains that some people look down upon vocational education programs. It includes a text that encourages readers to apply for a university education program, claiming that vocational professions are dirty, dangerous, less economically secure, less stylish, and give people a lower social status than professions that require a university education. 

Text 2b: The benefits of vocational education 

The text states that many parents in Australia want their children to go to university because they believe a university education will give them a better future. The text is combined with infographics with data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research and Graduate Careers Australia. The infographics show that people with vocational training have a bigger starting and median salary than those who received a university degree. 

The text also includes an estimation of the type of education that future jobs need, showing that 90% of them will need vocational rather than  university education. Finally, the text includes statistics that show the percentage of advertised jobs filled by qualified candidates in construction trades, automotive trades, food trades, and building. It also encourages readers to take up vocational training by showing them that jobs in vocational fields are available. 

Text 3: Extract from The Hate U Give 

The text is an extract from a novel by Angie Thomas. Starr, a black teenage girl who witnessed her friend, Khalil, being killed by a police officer, gives a TV interview about Khalil’s shooting. Starr’s dialogue with the interviewer is mixed with her reflections. 

Starr first speaks about Khalil and her relationship to him. She also speaks about Khalil’s personality, pointing out that he was just a kid. Starr then gives the interviewer her opinion on the people who focus on the fact that Khalil might have sold drugs. She states that Khalil would sell drugs to protect his mother, who was a drug addict, and that he was not a gang member. She also suggests that the media made it seem like Khalil deserved to die if he was a drug dealer and gang member. 

Starr then describes how Khalil was killed, and how the police officer pointed his gun at her until the other officers arrived. When speaking about her feelings towards police officers, Starr mentions that her uncle is a police officer, and adds that she is tired of police officers assuming things about black people. The interviewer then asks Starr what she would say to the police officer who killed Khalil. Starr says she would ask him whether he wished he had killed her as well. 

The text also includes a link for the trailer of the film based on the novel. 

Text 4: Opposing views on cultural and social issues in English-speaking countries

Text 4 is a selection of brief texts showing opposing views on several topics. 

A1) March for our lives

The text is an adapted fragment from a speech given by Emma Gonzalez, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on 17th of February, 2018. She presents several arguments made by politicians who are against stricter gun control laws, and who criticized her and other young people who advocate for this issue. After each of these arguments, Gonzalez repeats the phrase, “We call BS”, as an expression of disagreement. Gonzalez’s statement ends with a call to action to the audience to register to vote, contact their local politicians, and make their opinions heard.

A2) Protecting our children 

The text is a speech given by Wayne LaPierre, the executive director of the National Rifle Association, in December 2012, a week after the shooting at Sandy Hook School. LaPierre argues that the NRA must speak for the safety of children in the US. He mentions that the NRA was the target of anger, but that no one has answered the question of how children can be protected from now on. He then argues against Gun-Free School Zones legislation, suggesting that it tells killers they can do maximum damage in schools. 

B1) Go vegan

The text features two quotes. The first one is by researcher Joseph Poore, who states that a vegan diet is the biggest way to reduce greenhouse gases, global acidification, land use, and water use. The text also informs readers that Poore became vegan after his first year of research. 

The second quote is by Isabella Hood, a 15-year-old from New Zealand. Writing to The Guardian newspaper in support of veganism as the only sustainable choice, she mentions that animal agriculture is the leading cause of CO2 emissions, deforestation, and pollution of waters, and that world hunger could be solved if everyone went vegan. 

The text also includes an infographic showing that meat production is responsible with the levelling of 80% of Amazonian rain forest, wasting 15 trillion gallons of water per year, producing 130 times as much waste as that of the entire US population, and the killing of 59 billion animals every year. 

B2) Eat local food

The text is by Emma Henderson for The Independent (UK). Henderson states that the number of vegans has increased over the past 10 years, but that people need to ask where their food comes from. She then gives a few examples of imported fruits and where they come from. Henderson argues that eating locally produced meat is better for the environment than eating imported fruit. The text is accompanied by an infographic describing 10 reasons to buy locally grown food. 

C1) The “Vote Leave” campaign bus

The text discusses the  Brexit  “Vote Leave” campaign’s claim that the UK is sending the EU £350 million a week. A photograph is included to show that this claim was written on a red bus, alongside the proposition that the money could be instead used to fund the UK’s National Health Service. The bus also shows the slogans “Vote Leave” and “Let’s take back control”. The claim about the £350 million a week given to the EU was criticized by journalists and others as incorrect. The head of UK Statistics Authority said the claim was misleading and undermined trust in official statistics. 

C2) The “Is It Worth It?” bus

In 2018, a group called “Brexit: Is it worth it?” organized their own bus to raise awareness that leaving the EU will cost the UK £2,000 million a week. However, Channel 4 Fact Checker said that this figure is an estimate of the potential future loss. The text concludes that it is unclear whether this statistic is correct or not. The text includes a picture the group’s red bus with writing that informs viewers that Brexit will cost the UK £2,000 million a week according to a governmental report, the rhetorical question “Is it worth it?’, and a link to the organization’s website. 

D1) Electric cars saving the planet

The text speaks about cars as the cause of air pollution in cities such as Los Angeles, London, and Sydney. It argues that electric cars can make a difference in air quality and help reduce health problems caused by polluted air. The text also argues that electric cars allow people to have freedom and independence without being responsible for pollution. It also includes a 2019 statistic according to which 10% of new cars sold in the UK in October 2019 were electric or hybrid. The text also includes a photograph of a man leaning on a modern car. 

D2) The problems with electric cars

The text informs us that electric car batteries are produced with non-renewable materials which are mined in conditions that negatively affect the environment and the local population, and often involves the exploitation of children. 

The batteries in electric cars also need to be disposed responsibly. The text includes a statistic that shows there will be eleven million tons of lithium-ion batteries that need to be recycled by 2030. The text also states that electric cars are good for the environment only if the electricity they use is from a renewable source. In China, which is the biggest market for electric vehicles, most electric cars are likely using dirty energy. The text also shows a photograph of very young children doing manual labor.

Text 5a: Greta Thunberg’s speech at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019

The text includes an extract from a speech by Greta Thunberg, a young activist from Sweden who started the global youth protest for climate called “school strike for climate” or #FridaysForFuture. The text also states that Thunberg has been both praised and ridiculed for her message. Furthermore, the text provides a link to a video recording of the speech. 

Greta Thunberg states that she should be at school rather than addressing world leaders on climate breakdown, and accuses leaders of ignoring the science on global warming and its devastating effects. Thunberg then speaks about the plan to cut global emissions in half in 10 years, arguing that this only gives humanity a 50% chance to avoid a temperature increase and irreversible chain reactions. She explains that the 50% does not take into consideration other aspects, and that reaching this point relies on hergeneration using undeveloped technologies. Thunberg also declares that the 50% risk is not acceptable to her generation, because they have to live with the consequences. 

Thunberg then quotes statistics about the chances of staying below a 1.5 degrees global temperature rise, pointing out that the world has a limited amount of CO2 left to emit to avoid the rise. At the end, Thunberg tells world leaders that they are failing her generation, but that they will not let them get away with ignoring climate change. She also states that a change is coming. 

Text 5b: Responses to Greta Thunberg’s speech 

These two texts discuss Greta Thunberg’s speech in Text 5a. The first text informs us about a Fox News guest, Michael Knowles, who called Greta Thunberg mentally ill. It also states that the network later apologized for the comment. The text quotes Knowles, who also denies that climate change is an issue, and claims that Thunberg is being manipulated by her parents and by politicians with left-wing views. 

The second text included in Text 5b is a tweet that suggests that Thunberg’s speech was not authentic, and that she is too young to be taken seriously. The tweet was shared by the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, who congratulates the author for their words. 

Text 6: “The Last Bee” – A poem by Brian Bilston

Brian Bilston’s poem speaks about the important impact that the disappearance of bees will have on the planet. The author chooses to take the letter “b” out of all the words in the poem since the letter sounds just like the word “bee”. The text includes an illustration of a bee with the slogan “Save the bee”. 

Text 7: The importance of using a sock; getting a message across when the law forbids it 

The text includes a link to a video and the transcript of the video featuring Sandford Johnson, a Mississippi teacher. He is quoted saying that Mississippi’s sex education law prevents teachers from showing teens how to use condoms, but that teachers can still show teenagers how to use socks to protect their feet. 

Sandford Johnson introduces himself and tells his audience that he is there as a SexEd trainer. He explains that, since he cannot do condom demonstrations, he has decided to teach teenagers how to put on a sock. Throughout the rest of the transcript, Johnson draws parallels between wearing a sock and wearing a condom. He ends his speech by telling his audience to make sure they use a sock every time. 

Text 8: Getting your message across

The text consists of text bubbles placed around a square with the text “Getting your message across”. Each of the text bubbles contains a piece of advice on how to get your message across: be catchy, use language appropriate for your audience, be concise and clear, include your audience by telling them how to get involved and by using pronouns such as “you” and we”. You can also appeal to your audience’s emotions, consider the listener’s feelings and give constructive feedback, and use different literary devices.



Task 1

Short answer

Answer either 1A or 1B.


Read the conversations below. Thomas and Betty are unhappy with the work done by Angela and Jim. After the conversation, Thomas and Betty have asked you for advice about how to give better feedback to their friends.

Write a short text to either Thomas or Betty giving him/her some advice. Use examples from the conversation in your text. Text 8 in the preparation material may be useful for this task.


Study the two job advertisements for Dental Technicians below. Consider how they get their message across and which of the two would appeal more to you if you were looking for a job as a dental technician.

Write a text about which of the two advertisements gets its message across to you. Give reasons for your choice using examples from the texts. Text 8 in the preparation material may be useful for this task.

Task 2

Long answer

The following tasks are based on your preparation topic “Getting your message across”.

Answer either 2A, 2B, 2C, or 2D.


During your course you have discussed current social and cultural issues in English-speaking countries. Many of these issues are controversial and lead to disagreements between individuals and groups when they try to get their messages across and convince others.

Choose a current social or cultural issue and create a text discussing this issue and the competing messages about it. In your text:

· Introduce the issue you have chosen

· Explain and discuss the opposing views on the issue

· Explain how the opposing sides get their message across 

All of the texts in the preparation material may be useful for this task. Give your text a suitable title.


Texts 2a and 2b in the preparation material both try to get their message across about the benefits of either vocational or academic education programs.

Create a text to convince young people in Australia to choose the vocational education program that you are taking. To get your message across:

· Introduce your vocational education program

· Inform the reader about what you are learning and why it is important

· Use some of the information in text 2a and/or 2b to convince young people that your vocational education program is a good choice for them 

Text 8 in the preparation material may also be useful for this task. Give your text a suitable title.


Create a literary text about someone who is desperate to get his/her message across. Your text must:

· Include a character who wants to get his/her message across to others

· Explore the thoughts and emotions the character has regarding this message

· Explore the challenges the character experiences in getting this message across 

Some examples of literary texts could be: a story, poem, song text, play or sketch. Give your text a suitable title.


Texts are written to communicate a message.

Choose one or two texts from the preparation material and create a text discussing how the message of the text/s is communicated. In your text:

· Introduce the text/s you have chosen

· Explain the message that is being put across in the text/s

· Discuss how the message is communicated in the text/s and if it is effective. Give examples. 

Texts 1-7 in the preparation material are relevant choices for this task. Text 8 may also be useful for this task. Give your text a suitable title.

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