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If the passage is an English one, (oral) reproductioncan be used. In the case of narrative passages, the verbs reproduceand (re)tellare possible.

e.g. a. Reproduce/(re)tell the story (in your own words).

If the passage is not a story, reproduce or give can be used with the main points, for example:

b. Reproduce/Give the main points of the passage (in English).

(Re)tell is not possible here, and such sentences as Retell the passage/text/article are incorrect.

If the passage is a Russian one, and the main points are to be given in English, this is a free translation,and one can say, for example:

. Give a free translation of the passage.
or Translate the main points of the passage into Eng-


render should not be used to translate ( ). As explained in unit 287, render

is a little-used synonym of translate. It is therefore meaningless to say:

d.* You are not to translate the passage/text, but to render it.

Instead one should say, for example:

. You are not to translate everything, lust (give) the main points.

In England teachers who want to find out whether their pupils/students have read and understood a story, or other passage and can use its vocabulary generally prefer to ask a series of questions, which are answered by different people.

In the case of an English passage to be reproduced in English, (written) reproduction can be used (see unit 288). If it is a story, one may say, for example:

Write the story in your own words.

Rewrite should not be used in this sense, since it tends to imply deliberate modification of the original. In the case of a Russian passage, free translation is to be recommended, as for (see unit 300).


There is nothing equivalent to this in most English universities and colleges. Arts students (i.e. students of the humanities) write essays regularly throughout each year, and in some newer institutions they also do projects (see unit 412), but none of these seem to occupy the specific place of in their course of studies. Essay or project can be used to translate . An essay may range in length from 3-4 pages to about 20, and may involve a lot of reading and/or collecting of material (see also unit 290).

is difficult to translate in such a way as to make a good combination with essay and project. The only possibilities seem to be yearly or firstlsecondlthirdlfourth-year. This gives the following possible translations:

yearly essay/project or first/second/third/fourth-year essay/project

e.g. a. First-year essays must be given in by April 30th.

b. (Teacher to students) You should be starting
work on your (yearly) projects soon.

c. (One student to another) Have you finished your
essay/project yet?

As these word combinations do not sound very natural, it is better to omit the modifier yearly or first/second-year, etc. whenever the context makes this possible.



This is the usual word for work which schoolchildren do at home.

BEE gives the following definition: "... It is the name given to set tasks, planned by the teacher and arising out of a lesson experience or sometimes leading to the next planned lesson, which the pupil is expected to complete outside the classroom."

It corresponds to . Teachers set homework using such sentences as:

a. Your homework is to learn the vocabulary on page 20.

b. For (your) homework I want you to read chapter 6
in your textbooks.

or one of the others given in unit 267. Pupils can ask, for example:

. What's our English homework?
or What have we got to do for (English) homework?

d. What did Miss Brown set/give us for homework?

Homework corresponds not only to () , as in the above examples, but to in such sentences as:

e. Where's David?

In the other room, doing his homework.

f. Parents sometimes help their children with their

Lessons should not be used in such cases, as it is old-fashioned. Homework is sometimes contrasted with classwork.

e.g. g. Brian's homework is often carelessly done, but he answers well in class.

Homework is often abbreviated to hwin writing.

The type of homework can be specified if necessary, as reading homework learning homework written homework

e.g. h. How often do you set written homework?

The use of the word homework is not customary in English universities and colleges, perhaps originally because so many students live away from home. Instead one of the words given in units 305-307 is used.


Task has the same basic meaning as . The SOED defines it as, among other things: "a piece of work imposed, exacted, or undertaken as a duty or the like; spec, a portion of study imposed by a teacher, a lesson to be learned or prepared." In practice, however, this specific meaning is no longer used. Home task is not given at all; the addition of home appears to be the result of literal translation from Russian. The modern meaning of task given in the SOED is: "any piece of work which has to be done; something one has to do (usually involving labour or difficulty)". Task is sometimes used in this sense with reference to teaching and learning, at least in formal style.

e.g. a. Every pupil was given a different task.

b. Mastering the use of tenses is a difficult task,

(See also the quotation from BEE at the beginning of the previous unit.)

In everyday speech task is not often heard. For example, the above two sentences could be rephrased as follows:

. Every pupil was given something different to do.
d. Mastering the use of tenses is (very) difficult.
or It is (very) difficult to master the use of tenses.

Sometimes exercise is used to denote a set task. Its use is wider than (see also unit 217).


Assignment has come to have the same meaning as task. This is a modern use of the word, not given in the SOED, and classed as American by the more recently revised COD. It is rarely used in English educational establishments, but its meaning is clear enough and Soviet teachers may use it

sometimes in the sense of . assignment is not given in any of the dictionaries consulted, and appears to be a literal translation from Russian.

306. preparation, prepare

Preparation, usually abbreviated to prep, is used instead of homework in some schools, mainly independent boarding schools, where the work is not done at home but at school. Here prep may denote not only the work set, but a period when the pupils do the work under the supervision of a teacher or prefect (see unit 176), as in the following sentence rom Chapter One of THE SANDCASTLE by Iris Murdoch:

He's taking junior prep.

This means that he (Donald) is keeping order in the room where the junior boys are doing the work they have been set. Preparation (not abbreviated) and to prepare are used in universities and colleges when the work set is a direct preparation for the next class, when each student will be asked to translate, or explain difficult points, or contribute to a discussion. Another example is that of preparing to speak on some pre-arranged topic.

e.g. a. (Teacher to student) You're very slow. Have you

prepared this chapter? b. (One teacher to another) Jill Crossman never

seems to

do any/much preparation, prepare her work.

e. (Student to teacher) / sorry but I m not
prepared today.
(See unit 270.)

As mentioned in unit 270, prepared (not ready) corresponds to the Russian () .

Prepare and preparation are also widely used of teachers in the sense of " /; ".

e.g. d. (One teacher to another) / must go. I've got to prepare my lessons/a lecture for tomorrow.

In the case of class/seminar/tutorial, prepare for is generally used.

e.g. . I've got to prepare for a/my translation class. Preparation is used in such sentences as:

f. I've got a lot of preparation to do.

g. / spend a lot of time on preparation.

h. The staff are allowed . . . hours a week for preparation.

Set) work

The general word work is widely used in universities and colleges in such sentences as:

a. (One student to another) Miss Stuart has giv
en/set us a lot of work this week.

b. / can't go to the concert. I've got too much
work to do.

Set work is sometimes used, mainly in formal style.

e.g. Students sometimes complain that they have too much set work (or that they are set too much work).

308. "For" and "by" with time expressions

Teachers and students often avoid the necessity for homework, preparation or an equivalent noun by using for followed by the day or date by which the work has to be done.

e.g. a. (Teacher to students) For Monday I want you

to do the translation on page 27. b. For next week I'd like you to write an essay on

. (One student to another) What have we got to do for tomorrow?

By is also used in some cases.

e.g. d. You are to read all Shakespeare's histories ( = historical plays) by the beginning of next term.

Date: 2016-04-22; view: 679

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