Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

    • ex. Tom dropped out of school because he was very sick.
    • ex. The student athlete got a sports scholarship from his university.
  1. a perspective
    • ex. Traveling abroad gave me a new perspective on different cultures.
  2. open new doors
    • ex. Learning a new language can open new doors for you.
    • ex. James didn’t contribute to the conversation; he just sat quietly and listened.


Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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James Hatch, a 52-year-old retired soldier, entered Yale University this year as a first-year student. When he was young, Hatch wanted to go to university, but he dropped out of high school and joined the military. He spent 25 years as a soldier before he retired in 2009. Earlier this year, Hatch applied for and won an Eli Whitney scholarship, a special scholarship for nontraditional students who want to go to school later in life.

Hatch is thankful for the chance to go back to school and learn new things. He thinks that a degree will give him a new perspective on life. He also believes that a degree will open new doors for him. Hatch admitted that he’s nervous about starting school again, but he’s determined to do his best.

Patricia Wei, a Yale official, believes that Hatch will contribute a lot to the university. According to her, Hatch’s experiences in life are very different from many of the other students and professors in the Yale community, and everyone can learn something from him.


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Getting a Degree

  • Do you think that it’s important to get a degree? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Why are some degrees more popular than others? Discuss.
  • Should there be an age limit to get a degree? Why or why not? Discuss.

Knowledge and Experience

  • Which do you think is more important, knowledge or experience? Why? Discuss.
  • Do you think people learn more from good or bad experiences? Why? Discuss.
  • What’s the best way to increase your knowledge (ex. read books, take classes)? Why? Discuss.