Examiner: How has the place you live in changed recently?
Student: Well, in my city there is a lot more traffic than there used to be. This is because of the new business centre, which has brought a lot more people to the city for work. This has made the city richer than it was. In fact that’s the most significant difference – the city is not as poor as it was 10 years ago.
Examiner: So, you’re studying here in Sydney. How is your town or city different from Sydney?
Student: Mm, there are quite a few differences such as the shop opening hours – the shops in Tokyo stay open much later than those here in Sydney. Then there’s the transport system which is more efficient and convenient. But the weather is the same as here in Australia.
Examiner: Is it a good place to live?
Student: Yes, it’s really nice. I think it’s considerably better than other cities in my country because it’s more modern. It’s also got a lot of parks which I really like and this means that it’s not nearly as crowded as some places.
James: I think our presentation should focus on why living in the countryside has become more attractive to families nowadays than in the past.
Suzanne: I’m not so sure. Although the statistics Professor Davies showed us in the lecture gave the impression that there are more fam ilies moving to the country now than at any time during the last 20 years, he also mentioned that there aren’t as many available houses in suburban areas so many families don’t have as much choice as before.
Helen: Yes, Suzanne, you’re right. Perhaps that’s actually more important. People think that the same housing stock exists as in the past, but that’s not true. How about we focus our presentation on the fact that the choice of location for fam ilies is not as wide as during the 1980s and this is what is affecting the trend of moving to the countryside.
James: Okay. I think you’ve thought about the presentation a lot more clearly than me.
Suzanne: I think Helen’s right. We want Professor Davies to think that we have done as much research for the presentation as we could and not only used the reading list.
James: Yes, you’re right. Otherwise our final grade won’t be nearly as good as our last presentation – so we need to read as widely as possible.
Alison: So, Greg, Kirsty, have you done much research for our project yet?
Greg: I haven’t done as much reading as I’d planned to but I’ve got quite a lot of books and journal articles that might be relevant.
Kirsty: Good work Greg! I think I might have worked out how we can approach the project and give it a more specific focus than the title that Dr Jones suggested, which is too vague.
Greg: Oh really – how’s that?
Kirsty: Well, we know that the New Seven Wonders of the World were chosen a few years ago but I think that how they were chosen and what this says about people’s relationships to their architectural and natural national heritage is far more interesting than just doing a project that describes what they are and why they were chosen. What do you think Alison?
Alison: You know I think you could be right there. Didn’t Dr Jones mention something in our last lecture about how many more people voted for some of the wonders than the total number of people in the country?
Greg: Mmm, that did happen. In a sense it wasn’t really a voting system at all – more like a TV talent show. It wasn’t nearly as scientific as political voting systems because people could vote as many times as they wanted and it was all done via the Internet
so it only applied to people with access to a computer. And most of the votes for the wonders came from the country’s own citizens.
Kirsty: Mmm, that’s interesting. I think therefore that we can show how the modern choices were different from the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World because the original wonders were chosen by travellers while the latest list was chosen by people from the same country as the wonder itself. From this we can analyse the choices and how having a building or site on this list could be more advantageous to some countries than others. For example, countries which rely less heavily than others on tourism may not have been nearly as interested in the whole competition as those who wanted to boost visitor numbers. Then we could compare this with how travellers chose the previous wonders.
Alison: Okay, now I understand and yes I think it’s a great idea. Let’s do it!
Greg: Yes, I think th a t’ll really give us an edge compared to the other students. It’ll make the final project considerably more original. Remember, Dr Jones isn’t expecting much from us given the result for our last project! But I’m just slightly w orried that we m ight not have as much tim e as w e’d like to do the reading.
Alison: Mmm…. I see what you mean. Well, why don’t we do as much reading of these books and journals as we can and then meet again on Friday to make a final decision on content?
Kirsty: That’s a good idea Alison.
Greg: Absolutely, then we can make sure we won’t read too much and w ill still have enough time for the actual project writing.