Why take a gap year? 為什麼選擇間隔年?

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Vocabulary: employment and education 詞彙:就業和教育

When you’ve finished your studies at school and college, do you feel like a well-earned rest? If you’re about to embark on a course at university, you’ll want to recharge your batteries, let your hair down and have some fun. But how long should you do that for? Now the idea of taking a year off before you move into further education seems to be the thing to do.

A year off – also called a gap year – is not a new concept, but there’s now a focus on making the most of this break from academic life. Long gone are the days of just hanging out on a beach or backpacking round the world. While that is still an option, a gap year is now more about gaining skills that will help you in later life. The BBC’s Smart Consumer podcast spoke to a student called Meg, who said 「I just always had in the back of my mind I’d spend a year doing something productive and something that would just be good fun.」

Doing something productive is exactly what students are being encouraged to do because doing more purposeful things like work experience or charity work helps them acquire skills to use when competing for a place at university. It looks good on their CV and ultimately makes them more employable. Chris Rea is a Higher Education Services Manager from organisation, Prospects. He told the BBC that he thinks 「the experience of the gap year has become actually much more practical, partly to do with university participation increasing, but also because of the demands on developing skills, specifically employability skills.」

While the benefits of taking a gap year are clear to see, some students worry they can’t afford it. Another student, Tom, told the BBC that to him, a gap year was an 『alien concept』. He said 「it would have been far too expensive and it’s not something that I would have been able to rely on my parents or family members for.」 But some experts say that it needn’t burn a hole in your pocket; you don’t need to travel far and you can even earn money by doing paid work.

For those who do have the funds, a combination of working, volunteering and travelling is undoubtedly an amazing opportunity. It increases confidence and independence, gives you a chance to learn new crafts, and gives you time to contemplate whether university is right for you.

詞彙表

recharge your batteries 休整,恢復體力
let your hair down 放鬆,享受
further education 繼續教育
gap year 休學年,空當年
academic life 學術生涯
productive 富有成效的
purposeful 有明確目標的
work experience 工作經驗
charity work 公益勞動
employable 有資格任職的,具備受僱條件的
practical 有實際經驗的
alien concept 外星人的概念,迥異的概念
burn a hole in sb’s pocket 口袋裡留不住錢,一有錢就想花
volunteer 無償做義工
confidence 信心
independence 獨立,自主
craft 技術
contemplate 沉思,盤算

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. What does taking a gap year usually involve having a break from?

2. Give an example of something in the article that might make you more employable.

3. Why might taking a gap year not necessarily cost you a lot of money?

4. True or false: You can choose not to go to university after taking a gap year.

5. How new is the idea of taking a gap year?

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思合適的單詞填入句子的空格處。

1. Grace has been very _______ today and completed all her tasks on the rota.

practical                  productive                 confident                  employable

2. Getting out of bed before six o’clock in the morning is an _______ to me!

alien concepts        alien conception         alien concept            concept alien

3. I’m _______ giving up work next year and going backpacking round the world with my boyfriend.

purposeful               volunteering              contemplating           confidence

4. We’ve worked hard this term but now it’s over, it’s time to _______.

burn a hole in your pocket                        let our hair down
further education                                      recharging your batteries

5. His ability to multi-task and use all the software made him very _______.

employable              employed                  employing                employee

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. What does taking a gap year usually involve having a break from?
A gap year usually involves taking a break from academic life – often, but not always between college and starting university.

2. Give an example of something in the article that might make you more employable.
Doing work experience, volunteering or charity work can teach you skills that will make you more employable.

3. Why might taking a gap year not necessarily cost you a lot of money?
Some experts say taking a gap year needn’t burn a hole in your pocket; you don’t need travel far and you can even earn money by doing paid work.

4. True or false: You can choose not to go to university after taking a gap year.
True. Taking a year out gives you time to contemplate whether university is right for you.

5. How new is the idea of taking a gap year?
A year off – also called a gap year – is not a new concept but there’s now a focus on making the most of this break from academic life.

2. 請在不參考課文的情況下完成下列練習。選擇一個意思恰當的單詞填入句子中的空格處。 

1. Grace has been very productive today and completed all her tasks on the rota.

2. Getting out of bed before six o’clock in the morning is an alien concept to me!

3. I’m contemplating giving up work next year and going backpacking round the world with my boyfriend.

4. We’ve worked hard this term but now it’s over, it’s time to let our hair down.

5. His ability to multi-task and use all the software made him very employable.