Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

1006 Taking a Campus Tour

访问量:
Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 1006 – Taking a Campus Tour.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 1006. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in beautiful Los Angeles, California.

Visit our website at ESLPod.com. Become a member of ESL Podcast and download a Learning Guide for this episode.

This episode is about a student visiting a college to determine if she wants to go there, and in order to do that, she takes a campus tour. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Ji Won: Come on, Dad, the campus tour starts over there. The guide is ready to begin the walking tour.

Guide: Welcome, prospective students and your parents. My name is Jaime and I’ll be conducting your tour today. This tour will last about an hour, and we’ll be making frequent stops so I can point out some of the most important buildings and areas on this campus.

Ji Won: Dad, are you listening?

Guide: First, let’s stop on the quad. On your left, you’ll see the administration building. On your right are the student union and bookstore. Let’s continue.

Ji Won: Dad, stop checking your email. You promised that you’d make these campus visits with me and help me make a decision about which university to attend.

Guide: We’re passing the sports stadium on your left and the arts complex on your right. Those buildings there are the dorms. The research library is just ahead.

Ji Won: Dad, where did you go?

Guide: Let’s stop here a moment so I can point out the science buildings and research labs. Is something the matter?

Ji Won: I think I’ve lost my dad. I think we’ll have to take the self-guided tour!

[end of dialogue]

Our episode begins with Ji Won saying to her father, “Come on, Dad, the campus tour starts over there.” “Come on” means “hurry up.” When you are telling someone to move faster or to come with you, you might use this expression, “Come on.” The word “campus” (campus) refers to the physical location of a university. The buildings of a university are located on a campus.

Sometimes we use that word “campus” nowadays when we’re talking about a large company or corporation that may have many different buildings located all on the same property, all in the same area. Sometimes those buildings or that collection of buildings is called a “campus,” but the most common use of the word “campus” is to refer to a college or university campus. Sometimes we also refer to the place where you find high schools and schools for younger children “campuses” as well.

This student is taking a “campus tour,” where she is going to go with someone from the university who is going to tell her about the university and the different buildings that they have there at the university. The person that leads the tour is called a “guide” (guide). Ji Won says, “The guide is ready to begin the walking tour.” A “walking tour” would be, of course, a tour that has you walking around the campus. My guess is most campus tours are walking tours. If you’re taking a tour of the city, that would probably be a “bus tour.”

The guide begins by saying, “Welcome prospective students and your parents.” A “prospective (prospective) student” would be a student who is thinking about attending this university. The word “prospective” here refers to something that might happen in the future. You might be a student at this university, so we will call you a “prospective student.” The guide’s name is Jaime. He says, “My name is Jaime and I’ll be conducting your tour today.” “To conduct a tour” is to lead a tour, to be the leader of a tour.

“This tour will last,” or will take, “about an hour, and we’ll be making frequent stops so I can point out some of the most important buildings and areas on this campus.” When Jaime says the group will be making frequent stops, he means they will be pausing or stopping to talk and look at something in particular. Instead of walking the entire hour, the group will walk maybe five minutes, stop, talk a little, then walk another five minutes, and so forth.

The guide is going to “point out some of the most important buildings and areas on this campus.” “To point out” is a very common two-word phrasal verb meaning to indicate something, to draw someone’s attention to something important. If you are on any kind of tour and you have a tour guide, the guide will typically mention important things as you go by them, either driving by them or walking by them. “To point out” is to indicate. The guide will be pointing out “the most important buildings and areas on the campus.”

Ji Won says to her father, “Dad, are you listening?” Apparently, her father is not paying attention. I should mention that typically these tours are offered to high school students who are thinking of attending that particular university. Universities and colleges, just like any other sort of business, need to get customers. They need students to come to their university. So, some parents take their children to these universities so that the children, the teenagers, can get a better idea about the university, and the parents can get a better idea about where they are sending their child.

I never took a campus tour. I didn’t have a lot of choices about the university that I was going to attend, and this wasn’t a very common practice, at least when I was in high school, at least for the students that I went to high school with. I did have some friends who went to other universities in a different part of the country that took campus tours, but it’s often the more wealthy families that are able to afford – that have enough money – to travel to different parts of the country to take these campus tours. But back to our story . . .

The guide says, “First, let’s stop on the quad.” So, we’re taking a tour of the campus, and the first place the guide takes this group is the “quad” (quad). The quad is an area in the central part of campus that is in the shape of a square or a rectangle. “Quad” is short for “quadrangle.” Usually, this is an area with grass in the middle of the campus that has the most important buildings around it, or some of the larger buildings around it.

A lot of campuses in the U.S. were built, and are built, with this idea of having a central area, a central square, that students can gather in and that can be a place for students and faculty (that is, the professors) to go and sit in – well, you know, waste time, which is what most students do at the university. The guide takes them to the quad and then points out different buildings that are around the quad.

He says, “On your left, you’ll see the administration building.” An “administration building” is the building where the president of the university and the people who are running the university work, or at least have offices. The “administration building” in many campuses is a large building where the secretaries and the administrators, the managers of the university, work.

Administration buildings don’t typically have professors or teachers in them. There are other buildings that have offices for the professors who teach at the university. Many large universities have more than one administration building. The guide points out the “student union” and the “bookstore” to the tour group. The “student union” (union) is a building for students that typically has a restaurant or a café, places for students to have meetings, offices for student organizations, and places for students to have events, activities.

When I went to the University of Minnesota, we had a student union that had a place for large meetings or dances on the weekends. The student union had places to eat. It had offices for the student organizations – all of these things could be found in the student union. It’s a place for students to go before or after their classes to talk and to do other sorts of activities on campus.

The “bookstore” is the place where you can buy the very expensive books that are used at the university for the classes. Ji Won says to her father, “Dad, stop checking your email.” Her father is apparently looking at his phone and checking his email. She says, “You promised that you’d make these campus visits with me and help me make a decision about which university to attend.” Ji Won then gives us the main reason why you take a campus tour, which is to decide if you want to go to that college or university.

The tour guide continues with the tour. He points out four other areas on the campus. The first is the “sports stadium.” A sports stadium would be a large building, inside of which you play sports. Often sports stadiums are what we would call “open air” stadiums, so that the building is sort of in a circle, and you play the sport in the middle, but there’s no roof. There is no top that goes over the place where you play the sport.

So, you can have a football stadium. You could have a baseball stadium. You could have a soccer stadium. More typically, you would just have one big stadium in which you would play all of these different sports. Basketball would of course have to be played inside, so the stadium for the basketball team would have to be a normal building with a roof on top.

The “arts complex” is a group of buildings where the university has their art classes. “Dorms” (dorms) are places where the students sleep. These are like apartments for the students. Typically, dorms have rooms for the students, but there aren’t any kitchens or cooking areas inside of the rooms. Typically, if you are staying in a university dorm, you eat downstairs in a cafeteria or a place where they have food for you to eat. The guide also points out the “research library.” A “library,” as you probably know, is a place where you can go and get books.

In some large universities, such as the University of Minnesota, the University of Southern California, the University of California at Los Angeles, there is more than one library. Often, there’ll be a library that is especially designed for the professors and graduate students doing research. And so, in that library you will have things like professional journals – scientific magazines, if you will – for the professors to look at and the graduate students to look at. That’s what the guide is referring to here.

Ji Won says to her father, “Where did you go?” She doesn’t know what happened to her father, who obviously is not paying attention. The guide then says, “Let’s stop here a moment so I can point out the science buildings and research labs.” The “research labs,” or “laboratories,” are places where the university has its science classes and where professors do their scientific experiments.

The guide says to Ji Won, “Is something the matter?” That phrase, “something the matter” (matter), refers to a problem – something that is unusual, something that is bad, something that has gone wrong. If someone asks you, “Is something the matter?” they mean, “Is there something wrong?” “Is there a problem?” Ji Won says, “I think I’ve lost my dad. I think we’ll have to take the self-guided tour.”

A “self-guided tour” would be a tour in which you do not have a guide. You do not have a leader. You have to go on your own and look at the different things. Ji Won thinks that she’ll have to take the self-guided tour because she has to go and find her father, and of course, that would mean leaving the guided tour that she is on now.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Ji Won: Come on, Dad, the campus tour starts over there. The guide is ready to begin the walking tour.

Guide: Welcome, prospective students and your parents. My name is Jaime and I’ll be conducting your tour today. This tour will last about an hour, and we’ll be making frequent stops so I can point out some of the most important buildings and areas on this campus.

Ji Won: Dad, are you listening?

Guide: First, let’s stop on the quad. On your left, you’ll see the administration building. On your right are the student union and bookstore. Let’s continue.

Ji Won: Dad, stop checking your email. You promised that you’d make these campus visits with me and help me make a decision about which university to attend.

Guide: We’re passing the sports stadium on your left and the arts complex on your right. Those buildings there are the dorms. The research library is just ahead.

Ji Won: Dad, where did you go?

Guide: Let’s stop here a moment so I can point out the science buildings and research labs. Is something the matter?

Ji Won: I think I’ve lost my dad. I think we’ll have to take the self-guided tour!

[end of dialogue]

The most important thing to point out is the fact that this script was written by the wonderful scriptwriter, Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast was written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2014 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
campus tour – a slow walk through the grounds and buildings of a university while following someone who provides information about what one is seeing

* We encourage students to go on campus tours before selecting a university.

guide – the leader of a tour group; a person who walks in front of a group and provides information to the people who are following him or her

* The guide took us to see some beautiful waterfalls deep in the forest.

walking tour – an organized walk with a group of people who want to see particular sites or destinations without getting into a vehicle

* Boston offers some great walking tours of the city’s most important historical and cultural sites.

prospective – with the possibility of having or doing something in the future; potential

* The trade show offers an excellent opportunity to meet with prospective clients and tell them about our products and services.

stop – a pause or break while one is walking and traveling, especially to rest, get into or out of a vehicle, or to get information or examine something more closely

* They climbed the mountain, making stops every hour to rest and drink water.

to point out – to indicate something; to draw someone’s attention to something important

* Thanks for pointing out to me the city’s most interesting architecture.

campus – the land and buildings owned and/or used by a university and its students, staff, and faculty

* The engineering building is at the opposite end of campus, so I’ll have to run if I don’t want to be late for my next class.

quad – quadrangle; a four-sided figure, such as a rectangle, or square, usually a grassy area found in the center of a college campus with paved paths connecting important buildings

* On a sunny day, the quad is filled with students studying outside on the lawn.

administration building – a college building where administrators and other staff members work in departments like admission, transcripts, billing, safety, and more; not a building where classes are taught

* Remind me to go to the administration building to pay my tuition by Friday.

student union – rooms or an entire building used for students groups, clubs, and related activities

* The service groups meet every Tuesday evening in the student union.

(university) bookstore – a store owned by a university and located on a college campus where students, staff, and faculty can buy textbooks, other books, office supplies, and college paraphernalia (branded clothing, pens, hats, etc.)

* It’s a lot cheaper to buy pens and notebooks at an office supply store than at the college bookstore.

sports stadium – a large building with a field or court surrounded by many seats, used for sports and games with a large audience

* Do you go to the sports stadium to watch football games, or do you prefer to watch them on TV?

arts complex – a group of buildings where artists learn and work, and where art is displayed for the public, especially on a college campus

* The student art exhibit will be held tonight at the arts complex.

dorm – dormitory; residence hall; a large building on a college campus with many small rooms where students live, especially when those rooms have only beds and desks, with shared bathrooms for each floor and no kitchens

* College freshmen are required to stay in the dorms, but after that year, they can move into an off-campus apartment.

research library – a library affiliated with a university that has a lot of academic journals and other publications used to learn more about specialized fields

* The research library has subscriptions to hundreds of journals, including the National Journal of Grants Management.

research lab – a laboratory where scientists and professors conduct experiments for learning, often while collaborating with students

* The university just received a grant to purchase two new mass spectrometers for the research lab.

something the matter – a problem; something that is unusual and seems to be negative, bad, or troublesome

* We knew something was the matter when we saw that she had been crying.

self-guided tour – exploring a building or an area on one’s own, without a leader, but sometimes with written or audio materials

* The museum gives every visitor a brochure for self-guided tours.

Comprehension Questions
1. Where would student club meetings most likely be held?
a) In the student union.
b) In the sports stadium.
c) In the arts complex.

2. Where do students sleep?
a) On the quad.
b) In the dorms.
c) In the research labs.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
stop

The word “stop,” in this podcast, means a pause or break while one is walking and traveling, especially to rest, to get into or out of a vehicle, or to receive information or examine something more closely: “We’ll make a quick stop at the grocery store so that the bus passengers can buy snacks and drinks.” A “rest stop” or a “rest area” is a grassy area with restrooms and vending machines at the side of a highway or freeway, where drivers can rest: “I have to go to the bathroom. Can you pull over at the next rest stop?” Finally, a “truck stop” is an area with restaurants, gas stations, and showers, surrounded by very large parking spaces, where professional truck drivers can rest: “This truck stop offers a safe place for drivers to rest when they’re transporting cargo across the country.”

matter

In this podcast, the phrase “Is something the matter?” is a way to ask someone whether there is a problem, because he or she seems troubled or is doing something unusual. “Nasir, you seemed really distracted at work today. Is something the matter?” A “matter” can also be any type of subject: “These personnel matters are confidential.” Or, “Did you two speak much about financial matters before you got married?” The phrase “as a matter of fact” is used to introduce more details about a topic: “The conference was great. As a matter of fact, it was the best conference I’ve ever attended.” Finally, the phrase “a matter of life or death” describes a situation that has very serious consequences: “Getting that medicine to her is a matter of life or death.”

Culture Note
University Campus Events for Parents

When young adults “go off to college” (move out of their family’s home and live independently while studying at the university), it can be difficult for parents to adjust to not seeing their children every day. Many universities make an effort to include parents in special events, inviting students’ parents to come onto campus at certain times.

Universities have offered “orientation programs” to students for years as a way to help “orient” (guide and help feel comfortable) them to the campus and expectations for their behavior. But in recent years, many universities have begun offering “parent orientation” too, to help parents understand the new adventure that their children are “embarking on” (beginning). The parent orientation generally has information about paying for “tuition” (money paid to study at a school), “room and board” (money paid for food and housing), and books, but it also provides information about campus safety, healthcare, “counseling services” (opportunities to speak with a psychologist or counselor about one’s concerns or difficulties), social activities, and more. Many parent orientation events also give parents an opportunity to express their feelings about becoming “empty nesters” (parents whose children have moved out of the home).

Many universities also organize a “parents weekend” when parents are invited back onto campus, usually a few months into the school year. The parents might stay on campus, or they might stay at a nearby hotel. Parents “accompany” (go with) their children to classes and participate in organized social activities, such as talent shows, special meals, and sports events.

Of course, parents also come to campus for special events, like “homecoming” (an important football game and other events where “alumni” (graduates) are welcomed back to the school), and “graduation” (ceremony for students who have completed their studies and receive their degree).

Comprehension Answers
1 - a

2 - b