Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. a merit scholarship
    • ex. Students with very good grades can apply for a merit scholarship at the university.
    • ex. The tennis prodigy started winning gold medals when she was just 10 years old.
  2. a community college
    • ex. After high school, some kids go to various universities, some kids go to the local community college, and some kids start working.
  3. thrilled
    • ex. My children are thrilled that a new amusement park is opening in our town soon.
  4. competitive
    • ex. The sports teams at my school are very competitive; many people want to join them, but they only accept the best players.


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

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After applying to 10 different universities, Tiara Abraham has a big decision to make. She recently found out that she was accepted into 8 schools, including the University of Southern California (USC). Even more amazing, 4 of the 8 universities offered Abraham a merit scholarship because of her singing ability.

Abraham is a musical prodigy with a high IQ. She graduated high school at the age of 13 and has been taking classes at a local community college since then. Abraham plans to study vocal performance in university and dreams of becoming an opera singer. She has performed at famous venues around the world such as Carnegie Hall in New York City.

Abraham’s mother said that she’s thrilled that her daughter was accepted into so many universities. Originally, she didn’t want her daughter to study music, but she changed her mind after seeing her passion for it. Abraham’s mother explained that the vocal programs at these universities are very competitive. She said that USC, for example, only accepts about 3-4 vocal students each year, and Abraham is the youngest student ever accepted by them.


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.

Choosing a School

  • Do you think that Tiara Abraham can choose the right school for herself, or should her mother help her decide? Why? Discuss.
  • What factors should be considered when choosing a school (ex. quality of education, location)? Why? Discuss.
  • How many schools should a student apply to? Why? Discuss.


  • Do you think it's okay for a 14-year old prodigy to go to university? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Should parents treat prodigies differently from other children (ex. be strict with their training, let them miss classes)? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Do you think that prodigies are born that way, or can anyone become a prodigy if he/she trains hard? Why? Discuss.