Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. insanely
    • ex. That actress is insanely rich. She always buys the most expensive clothes and cars.
    • ex. In many Asian countries, the norm is to leave your shoes by the door.
    • ex. Employers are looking for new staff members who are responsible and hardworking.
    • ex. The small restaurant’s competitiveness shows that it can also be successful against bigger restaurants.
    • ex. Students should read and analyze the math problem first before answering the test.


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

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High school student Kevin Tran loves superheroes. Tran said, “They’re insanely smart. In their regular jobs, they’re engineers, they’re scientists. And you can’t do any of those things without math.”  Tran loves math. He studied calculus five hours a day. But this isn’t the norm among high school students today.

Many Americans joke about how bad they are at math. And scores on math tests are falling even further. Employers are saying that the country needs people who are good at math. And that America’s poor math performance isn’t something to be laughed at. It’s a threat to the country’s global economic competitiveness and national security.

The number of jobs that use or apply math concepts and skills to make calculations, analyze data, and solve problems will increase by more than 30,000 per year until 2033. That’s based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Michael Allen, head of the math department at Tennessee Technological University, said, “Mathematics is becoming more and more a part of almost every career.”

This material was based on an article by The Associated Press.


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.


  • Do you enjoy learning math? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, how important are math skills in a person’s career or work? Discuss.
  • According to the article, American students’ math scores are falling even further. What do you think schools can do to change this? Discuss.


  • Who is your favorite superhero? Why? Discuss.
  • Imagine that you are a superhero. What superpower would you like to have? Why? Discuss.
  • Who do you consider a real-life superhero (ex. parents, firefighters)? Why? Discuss.