RECEPTIONIST: Sorry to keep you waiting. Well, firstly, let me give you this booklet. It tells you a bit more about the school, the courses and the social activities we offer. Now, on the first page, there’s an outline of this morning’s activities. There, you see? The programme starts at 10 o’clock. (Example)
Try not to be late as it’s a very full day. At 10 o’clock, all the new students will gather in the Main Hall to meet the Principal and the rest of the staff. In fact, you spend most of the morning in the Main Hall.
STUDENT: Where’s that?
RECEPTIONIST: I’ll show you in a minute. Just let me quickly run through this morning’s events first and then I’ll explain how to get there.
STUDENT: Yes, OK.
RECEPTIONIST: Right. Where were we? Yes, so, the Principal’s talk will last about fifteen minutes and then the Director of Studies will talk to you for half an hour about the courses and the different requirements for each. After that, the Student Adviser will tell you about the various services and activities we offer to students. Any questions?
STUDENT: SO, all of this is in the Main Hall?
RECEPTIONIST: That’s right. And then you’ll go next door to Classroom 5 at 11 o’clock.
STUDENT: What happens there?
RECEPTIONIST: You’ll have a test.
STUDENT: Test? I don’t like the sound of that. What sort of test?
RECEPTIONIST: Oh, it’s nothing to worry about. It’s just a placement test to help us find your level of English so that we can put you in the right class. It won’t last long.
STUDENT: But how do I find the Main Hall?
RECEPTIONIST: Right; if you look on the back of the booklet I gave you, you’ll see a map of the school. Let me show you. Look: you came in through the Main Entrance, here, and now we’re here at Reception. Now, to get to the Main Hall, you walk on to the end of this corridor in front of you and then you turn left. Walk along past the Language Laboratory and then past the Library, which is next to the Language Lab, on the same side, and facing you is the Main Hall, at the end of the corridor. You can’t miss it.
STUDENT: SO it’s next to the Library, in fact.
RECEPTIONIST: Yes, that’s right.
STUDENT: I should be able to find that. And do you have a Computer Laboratory?
RECEPTIONIST: Yes, we do.
STUDENT: Could you tell me where that is?
RECEPTIONIST: Certainly, yes. You go down to the end of this corridor again but, this time, don’t turn left; turn right, away from the Main Hall. The Computer Lab. is immediately on your right. OK?
STUDENT: And where’s the staff room, in case I need to find a teacher at some stage?
RECEPTIONIST: The staff room is near the main entrance, on the left over there, just opposite the Reception desk. In a day or two, I’m sure you’ll find your way around very easily.
STUDENT: Oh, one last thing. Is there a student common room?
RECEPTIONIST: Oh yes, I forgot to mention that. It’s this area here, very close to where we are now, to the right of the Reception desk as you come in the main entrance. There’s tea and coffee facilities there.
STUDENT: Great. Thank you very much.
RECEPTIONIST: You’re welcome.
Hello, everybody and welcome to this informal meeting about the University Helpline. The Helpline was set up ten years ago by the Students Union and it aims to provide new students to the university with a service that they can use if they need information about practical areas of student life that they are unfamiliar with.
Let me give you some examples of the type of help we can offer. We can provide information on financial matters; for example, you may feel that your grant is insufficient to see you through college life or you may have some queries regarding the fees you are paying if you are an overseas student. In both cases, the Helpline would be able to go through things with you and see what the outcome might be. Another area we can help with is what we generally term the ‘domestic’ area; things such as childcare and the availability of nursery provision, for example, come under this.
Then there’s ‘academic’ issues that may arise while you are in the early stages of your course that you may not know what to do about. You may wish to know more about essay deadlines, for example, or how to use the library – there are all kinds of questions you will find yourself asking and not knowing where to get quick answers from. The Helpline would be able to provide these. The last example I’ve given here is simply termed ‘social’ – and yes, there is a lot of social life here! But you may have a particular interest you wish to pursue or you may wish to participate in outings or trips if you don’t know many people at the moment.
Let me give you some details so that you know where to go and who to see if you want to pay us a visit. Generally, you will see our Helpline officer Jackie Kouachi, that’s K-O-U-A-C-H-I. Jackie is a full-time employee of the Student Union and she works in the Student Welfare Office – that’s the office that deals with all matters related to student welfare and it’s located at 13 Marshall Road. I have some maps here for those of you who haven’t been there yet. If you wish to ring the office, the number is 326 99 40. That’s 3269940. The office is open between 9.30 and 6.00 on weekdays and from 10 to 4 on Saturdays and there’ll be somebody there – usually Jackie or myself – between those times. If you want to make an appointment you can phone or call at the office in person. Please note that it may not be possible for anyone to see you straight away – particularly if it is a busy time – lunch time for example – and you may have to go on the waiting list and then come back later. Well, enough from me. Any questions?
TUTOR: Good morning. So, we’ve looked at various aspects of staff selection this term and I think by now you should all be beginning to see how much more there is to it than just putting applicants through a short interview or asking the ‘right’ questions. So I think you should be ready for today’s tutorial on ‘matching the person to the job’. We’re going to talk today about the importance of choosing that all round ‘right’ person.
MURIEL: Right. So we have to put ourselves into the role of the manager or supervisor?
TUTOR: Yes. And then we’re going to imagine how different applicants would fit into the team or group they have to work with … er … we’ll look at some examples later.
MURIEL: It’s just theoretical at the moment…
TUTOR: Yes. The point is, you can select someone – even a friend – who has all the right qualifications… degrees… certificates, whatever. You can also check that they have a lot of experience… that they’ve done the sort of tasks that you want them to do in your office already, in a similar environment. But if they start work and you realise that they just don’t get along with everybody else, that… say, they’ve got sharply contrasting views on how something will work . .. well, with the best will in the world, you may be backing a loser.
DAVE: Wouldn’t it be just a question of company training, though?
TUTOR: Not always. Particularly in a team situation, and I think it’s important to think in terms of that type of working environment. People have to have faith in each other’s ability to carry out the task their boss has set them. They have to trust that everyone will do their part of the job, and you can’t necessarily train people for this.
DAVE: But it’s like trying to find out what someone’s personality is like in a job interview… I mean you just can’t do that. Even if you try, you won’t find out what they’re really like until they actually start work.
TUTOR: Well, in most interviews you usually ask candidates questions about their hobbies and what they like doing in their spare time … that sort of thing… so employers are already involved in the practice of … well, doing part of the task.
DAVE: But it doesn’t tell you anything. It doesn’t tell you if they’re easy-going or hate smokers or whatever.
TUTOR: Well, arguably it does give you a bit of information about an applicant’s character.
TUTOR: Well, arguably it does give you a bit of information about an applicant’s character, but also . .. more and more employers around the world are making use of what are called ‘personality questionnaires’ to help them select new staff and …
MURIEL: What’s it called?
TUTOR: A Personality Questionnaire. They have to be filled out by the candidates sometime during the selection procedure, often just before an interview. The idea is actually quite old. Apparently, they were used by the ancient Chinese for picking out clerks and civil servants, and then later they were used by the military to put people in appropriate areas of work. They’ve gained a lot of ground since then and there are about 80,000 different tests available now and almost two-thirds of the large employers use them.
MURIEL: Which makes you think that there must be something in them.
TUTOR: That’s right. They ask the sort of questions that you might expect, like do you like working under pressure or are you good at keeping deadlines.
DAVE: And what if people can see through them and just write what they think the employer wants to see?
MURIEL: Well, that’s always a possibility.
DAVE: I mean, it’s human nature to lie, isn’t it?
TUTOR: Well, that’s the point. Apparently, it isn’t. These tests are compiled by experts and they believe that the answers can provide a few simple indicators as to roughly the type of person that you are… that people will generally be truthful in that situation.
MURIEL: And then you can go some way towards finding out whether someone says, forward-looking … a go-ahead type of person… or resistant to change.
TUTOR: Yes. And there are all kinds of (fade out)
TUTOR: Right. Are we all here? OK. As you know, today Vivien is going to do a presentation on the hat-making project she did with her class during her last teaching practice. So, over to you, Vivien. Example
VIVIEN: Thanks. Um . . . Mr Yardley has asked me to describe to you the project I did as a student teacher at a secondary school in London. I was at this school for six weeks and I taught a variety of subjects to a class of fourteen-year-old pupils. The project I chose to do was a hat-making project and T think this project could easily be adapted to suit any age. So, to explain the project… After we’d done the research, we went back to the classroom to make two basic hat shapes using rolls of old wallpaper. We each made, first of all, a conical hat by … er … if I show you now … cutting out a circle and then making one cut up to the centre and then … er … overlapping the cut like this… a conical hat that sits on your head. The other hat we made was a little more complicated … er … first of all, we cut out a circle again . . . like this . . . then you need a long piece with flaps on it – I’ve already made that bit which I have here – you bend the flaps over and stick them . .. with glue or prittstick… to the underside of the circle … like this. Again, I’ve prepared this so that I don’t get glue everywhere. The pupils do, of course, so you need plenty of covers for the table. And there you have a pillbox hat as in pill and box. Now variations and combinations of these two hat shapes formed the basis of the pupils’ final designs.
The next stage of the project was the design phase and this involved, first of all, using their pages of research to draw a design of their hat on paper. That’s the easy part. They then had to translate their two-dimensional design into a form to fit their head. I encouraged them to make a small-scale, three dimensional hat first so that they could experiment with how to achieve the form they required and I imposed certain constraints on them to keep things simple. For example, they had to use paper not card. Paper is more pliable and easier to handle. They also had to limit their colours to white, grey or brown shades of paper which reflected the colours of the buildings they were using as a model for their hats and they had to make sure their glue didn’t show! Well, it was very enjoyable and just to give you an idea of what they produced, I’ve brought along three hats to show you. This one here is based on a circular stairway in an old building in London. It uses three pillbox hats one on top of the other. This was designed by Theresa. Here’s another one that has a simple strip going round the base of the hat but has then gone on to add strips of paper that come out from the base and that meet at the top of the hat -rather like a crown – making a fairly tall hat. This was made by Muriel. And lastly, there’s a combination of the pillbox or single strip around the base and then the conical hat shape on top to form a castle turret. This was made by Fabrice, and there are many more that I could have brought.
TUTOR: Thank you, Vivien. That was most interesting. Now what we can learn from this is that…