Self or others?

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 June, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 June, 2007, 12:00am

Paper 3

Part A In this part you will have five minutes after you have been given the question to prepare your ideas and jot down some notes to help you remember what you want to say. Be careful not to write down too much as then you will not seem to be reading out something you have prepared. This is not allowed. The discussion must be as natural as possible. After the five minutes is up, you will hold a discussion with two or three other candidates. The discussion will last six minutes.

A good performance involves correct pronunciation, suitable intonation, sensible body movement, clear ideas, attention to what other candidates are saying, contributions of a reasonable length (not one or two words only, nor long speeches), well-chosen vocabulary, good grammar, and appropriate use of conventional phrases, such as 'Excuse me, can you please repeat that?', 'Let's move on', 'I agree' and so on.

Today is the last day before an important examination for Rose. She plans to spend the time revising and doing some practice papers. Her friend Frances telephones and

says she is having great difficulty understanding some of the material and concepts. She asks for Rose's help.

Discuss with your group what you think Rose should do

You may want to talk about

what the impact of helping Frances will be on Rose

what the impact of helping Frances will be on Frances

friendship v self-help

anything else you think important

Thoughts on the situation

Rose may find it difficult to revise what is important for her if she helps Frances and may waste a lot of time explaining things she already understands herself. Rose will have less time to do practice papers.

Rose may gain from explaining concepts to Frances and talking about the material.

It may be too late to help Frances. She should have looked for help far earlier.

The help may make all the difference and ensure that Frances passes or even does well.

Frances is being selfish in asking. This is not a sign of good friendship.

Friends have a right to ask for special favours. It is a test of friendship.

When is it right to act in our self-interest and ignore the needs of others?

Possible outcomes

Rose refuses, does well and Frances fails.

Rose helps. Her mark is not as good as it could have been and Frances still fails.

Rose helps, does well and Frances passes.

Possible compromise

Rose gives Frances the morning, but follows her own plan for the rest of the day.

Language point 1

Polite contradiction

That's very true ... That's all right .... That seems reasonable ....

but, however, on the other hand, yet ..............

Language point 2

Depends on

The situations are created for you to have something to talk about and there is a lack of the sort of detail you would have in real life. You can comment on this by using the phrase it depends on.

Well, it depends on how deep their friendship is.

It really depends on whether Rose thinks Frances has a chance to pass or not.

I think it should depend on if Frances has ever helped Rose. If so Rose owes it to Frances.

Part B In this part the examiner will ask each candidate a question connected to the discussion

Sample questions

What would you say to Frances if you were Rose?

How do you think you should spend the last day before an examination?

Should we make sacrifices for our friends?

Answer the question with some comments

I would say: Rose, I am sorry, but you have left it far too late to ask. You know I have a revision plan of my own and it could get me into trouble if I try to change it now. I need time to organise myself. If you need help, please find someone like a form 6 student who knows the material but is not so busy today.

I think Rose is right- go over your notes, check the key concepts and do some practice papers. Then you should make sure you have all the pens, pencils, correction fluid, calculators or whatever ready for the exam. And lastly you should have some time for relaxation. Then a good meal and go to bed early.

Yes. But we must make sure our sacrifices do not hurt other people. We can only sacrifice when no one else is involved. If Rose worked so well with Frances that Frances passed, but Rose did poorly, Rose has sacrificed not only herself, but her parents who, I am sure, are really hoping she will do well. She has no right to sacrifice all her parents hard work and money just for Frances.