Topics and vocabulary    


Education / occupation

(intermediate level)


(Are the two statements true or false? Choose from the box.)


  • British children usually start school at the age of five.
  • After primary school you choose between three types of secondary school.



  • A comprehensive school is a sort of pri-mary school for handicapped children.
  • A secondary modern school is for those who want to go on to university.



  • When you've passed your exams at grammarschool you'll be a university student.
  • You must pass some 'A' and 'O' level exams to get into university.



  • If you go to a grammar school you have no chance of going on to university.
  • You are sure to get into university if you've passed your 'O' level exams.



  • You can't become a skilled worker if you attend a comprehensive school.
  • No foreign languages are taught at a secondary modern school.



  • Secondary modern schools provide a good practical education.
  • If you want to go on to university you'dbe better off with a grammar school.



  • The 'A' /advanced/ and 'O' /ordinary/ level exams are set by universities.
  • You can't get admission to university unless you've got certain grades.



  • Jobs that need university training are called professions.
  • There are three school terms in Britain.



  • You must sit for an exam at the end of each term at primary school.
  • In England there are special schools for handicapped children.



  • A college is usually where students from the country are accommodated.
  • You mustn't spend the night in a school dormitory.



  • Secondary schools are called high schools in the United States.
  • You can't do arts subjects at a private school in Britain.



  • There are not only marks or grades in a British school report.
  • Teachers also write short comments on the student's work and progress.



  • School in Britain is compulsory until you are sixteen years old.
  • Education is available free in England.



  • Most of the English private schools are boarding schools.
  • You can't get your General Certificate of Education at secondary school.



  • You don't usually learn languages in a gymnasium.
  • Before the first lesson in an English school a roll is often taken.



  • 'Nursery school' means the same as 'kindergarten'.
  • You won't get admission to a top university unless you pass an entrance exam.



  • At school there are breaks between lessons and holidays between terms.
  • In order to get a job at school you must apply to the director.



  • The head of a school is called 'headmaster' or 'headmistress'.
  • The head of a firm or factory is called 'manager'.



  • You don't get a salary twice a month.
  • Wages are paid at the end of the month.



  • When you call a repairman or electrician you'll pay him a wage.
  • You must pay a fee if you go to a private dentist.



  • Factory hands are highly qualified skilled workers.
  • White collar workers do a sort of manual job.



  • A white collar worker is an employee working for a company.
  • White collar workers usually work in offices - they don't do manual work.



  • When you've applied for a job the manager might ask you for an interview.
  • English people usually have at least three weeks' holiday with pay a year.



  • You don't pay income tax in Britain if you are a factory hand.
  • Income tax can be paid to the government once a year in a single amount.



  • Workers do shift work where it wouldn't be economical to stop their machines.
  • You can't do overtime unless you clock in or work round the clock.



  • Factory workers often have to clock in before starting their daily work.
  • A secretary may be in charge of doing the correspondence of the boss.



  • Applicants called for an interview in England have got the job they want.
  • Men in England usually retire at the age of 55.



  • You are not paid bonuses if you've only got a part-time job.
  • 'Promotion' means getting a bonus - but not a rise in rank.



  • Clerks do all sorts of office work such as welding and embroidering.
  • Dustmen go in their dustcart collecting rubbish and emptying dustbins.



  • You must send for a vet when your dog or cat is ill.
  • A commercial traveller's work is less interesting than a librarian's.



  • Customs officers are responsible for checking the budget of companies.
  • Public servants are in charge of cleaning the streets in a town or village.



  • A conductor can work in a theatre or concert hall or in public transport.
  • The head of a theatre or music hall is called a director.



  • An explorer usually works in a mine or where they start building a house.
  • Cashiers receive and pay out money in department stores and banks.



  • A coach is in charge of looking after sportsmen who have got into hospital.
  • A mate is a fellow-workman or a ship's officer or a skilled worker's helper.



  • A shorthand-typist is supposed to type much faster than a regular typist.
  • An upholsterer provides furniture with padding and coverings.



  • A turner is usually a skilled worker who turns things on a lathe.
  • You must graduate from a university in order to be a dentist or a lawyer.



  • A tutor earns more then a senior lecturer or the dean of a university.
  • A judge has the authority to decide cases in a law court.



  • An advocate speaks on his client's behalf in a court of law.
  • A barrister is a lawyer who speaks as an advocate in higher law courts.



  • A solicitor speaks in favour of somebody in lower law courts.
  • A Queen's Counsel speaks on behalf of the crown in a court of law.



  • A babysitter usually works in a hospital but she isn't a nurse.
  • A chimney sweep usually does the cleaning of offices and chimneys.



  • Prompters are employed in theatres to help the actors during the performance.
  • An inn-keeper's work is quite similar to a welder's.



  • Handing in your notice means that you want to change jobs.
  • A chairman of a meeting needn't be a qualified lawyer.



  • Acrobats and jugglers may work in music halls or variety theatres.
  • A joiner doesn't usually deal with metalwork.



  • A furrier makes fur coats and gloves.
  • Slaters lay slates on the roof when the carpenters have finished their work.



  • A welder has nothing to do with needlework and materials.
  • Sailors must stop working when their sewing-machines go wrong.



  • The first mate of a ship is the boss of both the captain and the boatswain.
  • Doctors and lawyers are always men.



  • You must retire after a year's sick-leave in England.
  • A mayor is the managing director of a choir or symphony orchestra.



  • A veterinary surgeon is often called 'vet' in spoken English.
  • Veterinary surgeons don't need university training.



  • A reporter works for a newspaper - he doesn't usually make radio interviews.
  • Translators are employed to translate what people are saying at meetings.



  • It's an interviewer who makes live radio or television interviews.
  • A translator does written translations - an interpreter translates what you say.


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