Advertisements
1. Creativity

Question: “building a ‘magical kingdom’ may help develop 1…………………”

Keywords:

– building a ‘magical kingdom’ = this fantasy

– develop = take her first steps towards

Explain:

– The phrase “magical kingdom” is put in the double quotes, implying it is emphasized as a phrase used in the text. As we can easily locate the phrase in the first sentence of the passage, we should pay attention to the first paragraph. What we need to focus on now is what the fantasy of building a magical kingdom can help develop, referring to its benefits in the future. The answer should be mentioned in the next sentences, after describing what building a magical kingdom is like. In those sentences, “take first steps towards her capacity” can be understood as “develop”, and it refers to “creativity”.

2. Rules

Question: board games involve 2………………. and turn-taking

Keywords: board games, turn-taking = takes turn

Explain:

– We have to find information referring to board games. It is in the last sentence of paragraph 2 (we use scanning skills to find the word “board game” in the passage): “When they tire of this and settle down with a board game, she’s learning how to follow the rules and take turns with a partner”. So with board games, a child can learn to “follow the rules” and “take turns” (it means “turn-taking”, which is mentioned already as one of the two things involved). As the word needed should be a noun (after “involve”) and the task asks for one word only, it must be “rules”.

3. Cities

Question: Recent changes affecting children’s play: populations of 3………………. have grown.

Keywords:

– Recent changes = in changing times

– Populations = the people in the world

– have grown = over half

Explain:

– Remember that question 3 belongs to the section “Recent changes affecting children‟s play”, so we should focus on the part of the passage where the author mentions “changes”, which is paragraph 5. Here, the author refers to “changing times”. “Population” means “the number of people or a species living in a certain area”. The word needed here should be a noun referring to a place or a species. In paragraph 5, the writer confirms that “over half of people in the world now live in cities”, implying the number of people living in cities has increased/ grown compared to the past.

4. Traffic

Question: opportunities for free play are limited due to fear of 4………………..

Keywords:

– opportunities for free play = outdoor play

– limited = curtailed

– fear = perceptions of risk

5. Crime

Question: fear of 5………………

Keywords: fear = wish to protect their children from being the victims of crime

6. competition

Question: increased 6……………. in schools

Keywords:

– increased = greater

– in schools = in academic learning and schools

Explain:

– The author mentions “Opportunities for free play” by saying that they “are becoming increasingly scarce” and “outdoor play is curtailed” in the second and third sentence in paragraph 5. “Curtail” means to reduce something with the result that we can no longer continue to do it. So we can assume it is replaced by the word “limited” here. Therefore, we should focus on those sentences to find the reasons for that. Reasons which are listed include “perception of risk to do with traffic”, “parents wish to protect their children from being victims of crime” and “greater competition in academic learning and schools”. “Perception of risk” and “wish to protect their children from something” should be considered as fears. Therefore, “traffic” and “crime” are the answers for Question 4 and 5 (One word only and it should be a noun – after preposition “of”). The third reason mentioned is “greater competition” in schools and “greater” can be understood as “increased”, so the answer for Question 6 is “competition”

7. evidence

Question: it is difficult to find 7……………… to support new policies

Keywords:

– difficult to find = lack

– support new policies = base policies on

Explain:

– New policies are mentioned in paragraph 6, so we should pay attention here. As the word “difficult” is mentioned, we need to look for difficulties or disadvantages of supporting new policies. At first, the author mentions all the advantages, then he uses “but”, implying an added statement, usually something different from what he said before, so we can assume the next statement will be a disadvantage so we should focus here. “But what we often lack is the evidence to base policies on”. The phrase “to base policies on” can be considered as “to support new policies”, and “what they lack” means “it is difficult to find”, so the answer is “evidence”.

8. life

Question: research needs to study the impact of play on the rest of the child’s 8…………….

Keywords:

– research need to study = very little data on

– the rest of = later

Explain:

– As the word needed is put behind a possessive adjective (child’s), we need to look for a noun referring to the child. Paragraph 7 talks about the long – term impact of play. In the last sentence, the author explains that “long-term impact of play” means “the impact of play on the child’s later life” while “later” refers to “the rest”. Therefore, what is needed to fill in the blank here is “life”.

9. True

Question: Children with good self-control are known to be likely to do well at school later on.

Keywords:

– Children with good self-control = the ability to self-regulate.

– are know to be likely = has been shown to be.

– to do well = a key predictor.

– school = academic performance.

Explain: Find the paragraph beginning: “In a study carried out by Baker….” This was a study of very young pre-school children. The study found that “children with greater self-control solved problems more quickly..” According to the next paragraph, play is therefore very significant for education, “because the ability to self-regulate (= to control oneself) has been shown to be a key predictor of academic performance”. So, developing good self-control through play means that children are likely to do well academically in school later on

10. True

Question: The way a child plays may provide information about possible medical problems.

Keywords:

– The way a child play = playful behaviour

– provide information = give us important clues

– possible medical problems = their wellbeing; the diagnosis of…

Explain:

– Find the paragraph beginning: “Gibson adds…” This is about the way that children play or, in other words, “playful behaviour”. We are told that this can indicate the healthy social and emotional development of children. Observing how children play “can give us important clues (= provide information) about their well-being and can even be useful in the diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders like autism”. Autism is an example of a medical problem. Therefore, a child’s behaviour during play may give information to help identify medical problems.

11. Not given

Question: Playing with dolls was found to benefit girls’ writing more than boys’ writing.

Keywords: dolls, benefit, writing

Explain: Find the paragraph beginning: “Whitebread’s recent research…” This is about using play to support children’s writing, because “Children wrote longer and better-structured stories when they first played with dolls representing characters in the story”. So, playing with dolls benefits the writing of children in general, but we are not told if this benefits girls more than boys.

12. False

Question: Children had problems thinking up ideas when they first created the story with Lego.

Keywords:

– had problems = didn’t know

– thinking up ideas/ created the story = know what to write about

Explain: In the same paragraph, we find the key words: “In the latest study, children first created their story with Lego with similar results. Many teachers commented that they had always previously had children saying they didn’t know what to write about. With the Lego building, however, not a single child said this….” So, using Lego to think up ideas (= create their story), children then had no problems with ideas for their stories.

13. True

Question: People nowadays regard children’s play as less significant than they did in the past.

Keywords:

– children’s play = play

– significant = importance

– less = has been lost

Explain:  We find the answer in the last paragraph: “Somehow the importance of play has been lost in recent decades. It’s regarded as something trivial, or even as something negative that contrasts with work.” In recent decades, attitudes to play have, therefore, changed. It is now considered to be something unimportant or even negative. In contrast, people in the past thought that it was more important.

Passage 1

THE IMPORTANCE OF CHILDREN’S PLAY

Brick by brick, six-year-old Alice is building a magical kingdom. Imagining fairy-tale turrets and fire-breathing dragons, wicked witches and gallant heroes, she’s creating an enchanting world. Although she isn’t aware of it, this fantasy is helping her take her first steps towards her capacity for creativity and so it will have important repercussions in her adult life (Q1).

Minutes later, Alice has abandoned the kingdom in favour of playing schools with her younger brother. When she bosses him around as his ‘teacher’, she’s practising how to regulate her emotions through pretence. Later on, when they tire of this and settle down with a board game, she’s learning about the need to follow rules and take turns with a partner (Q2).

‘Play in all its rich variety is one of the highest achievements of the human species,’ says Dr David Whitebread from the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, UK. ‘It underpins how we develop as intellectual, problem-solving adults and is crucial to our success as a highly adaptable species.’

Recognizing the importance of play is not new: over two millennia ago, the Greek philosopher Plato extolled its virtues as a means of developing skills for adult life, and ideas about play-based learning have been developing since the 19th century.

But we live in changing times, and Whitebread is mindful of a worldwide decline in play, pointing out that over half the people in the world now live in cities (Q3). ‘The opportunities for free play, which I experienced almost every day of my childhood, are becoming increasingly scarce,’ he says. Outdoor play is curtailed by perceptions of risk to do with traffic (Q4), as well as parents’ increased wish to protect their children from being the victims of crime (Q5), and by the emphasis on ‘earlier is better’ which is leading to greater competition in academic learning and schools (Q6).

International bodies like the United Nations and the European Union have begun to develop policies concerned with children’s right to play, and to consider implications for leisure facilities and educational programmes. But what they often lack is the evidence to base policies on (Q7).

‘The type of play we are interested in is child-initiated, spontaneous and unpredictable – but, as soon as you ask a five-year-old “to play”, then you as the researcher have intervened,’ explains Dr Sara Baker. ‘And we want to know what the long-term impact of play is. It’s a real challenge.’

Dr Jenny Gibson agrees, pointing out that although some of the steps in the puzzle of how and why play is important have been looked at, there is very little data on the impact it has on the child’s later life (Q8).

Now, thanks to the university’s new Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL), Whitebread, Baker, Gibson and a team of researchers hope to provide evidence on the role played by play in how a child develops.

‘A strong possibility is that play supports the early development of children’s self-control,’ explains Baker. ‘This is our ability to develop awareness of our own thinking progresses – it influences how effectively we go about undertaking challenging activities.’

In a study carried out by Baker with toddlers and young pre-schoolers, she found that children with greater self-control solved problems more quickly when exploring an unfamiliar set-up requiring scientific reasoning. ‘This sort of evidence makes up think that giving children the chance to play will make them more successful problem-solvers in the long run.’

If playful experiences do facilitate this aspect of development, say the researchers, it could be extremely significant for educational practices, because the ability to self-regulate has been shown to be a key predictor of academic performance (Q9).

Gibson adds: ‘Playful behavior is also an important indicator of healthy social and emotional development. In my previous research, I investigated how observing children at play can give us important clues about their well-being and can even be useful in the diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.’ (Q10)

Whitebread’s recent research has involved developing a play-based approach to supporting children’s writing. ‘Many primary school children find writing difficult, but we showed in a previous study that a playful stimulus was far more effective than an instructional one.’ Children wrote longer and better-structured stories when they first played with dolls representing characters in the story (Q11). In the latest study, children first created their story with Lego*, with similar results. ‘Many teachers commented that they had always previously had children saying they didn’t know what to write about. With the Lego building, however, not a single child said this through the whole year of the project.’ (Q12)

Whitebread, who directs PEDAL, trained as a primary school teacher in the early 1970s, when, as he describes, ‘the teaching of young children was largely a quiet backwater, untroubled by any serious intellectual debate or controversy.’ Now, the landscape is very different, with hotly debated topics such as school starting age.

‘Somehow the importance of play has been lost in recent decades (Q13). It’s regarded as something trivial, or even as something negative that contrasts with “work”. Let’s not lose sight of its benefits, and the fundamental contributions it makes to human achievements in the arts, sciences and technology. Let’s make sure children have a rich diet of play experiences.’

———————————-
* Lego: coloured plastic building blocks and other pieces that can be joined together

14. E

Question: a description of how people misused a bike-sharing scheme.

Keywords: people, misused, bike-sharing, scheme

Explain: Paragraph E states that: “The system was prone to vandalism and theft”. This means that people damaged and stole bikes from the scheme, thus both can be called actions of misusing the scheme. Therefore, the answer is E.

15. C

Question: an explanation of why a proposed bike-sharing scheme was turned down.

Keywords: explanation, proposed, bike-sharing scheme, turned down

Explain:

– Paragraph C states that: “the council unanimously rejected the plan”.

– Turn down = rejected, Scheme = plan

– The author further explains that the council turned down the plan because they believed bikes were a thing of the past. Thus, paragraph C gives an explanation of why a proposed bike-sharing scheme was turned down.

16. F

Question: a reference to a person being unable to profit from their work

Keywords: reference, person, unable, work, profit = benefit

Explain: We can find information relating to profit in both paragraphs E and F. In paragraph E, we know that the chip card wasn’t profitable, but it is irrelevant to, a person being unable to profit from their work. In paragraph F, however, we know that Schimmelpennink financially “didn’t really benefit from it” (it refers to his bike-sharing programme). Thus, Schimmelpennink didn’t profit from his work.

17. C

Question: an explanation of the potential savings a bike-sharing scheme would bring

Keywords: explanation, potential, savings, bike-sharing scheme

Explain: Schimmelpennink stated in paragraph C that his bike-sharing scheme “would cost the municipality only 10% of what it contributed to public transport per person per kilometre”. This suggests that the benefits of the scheme were much greater than the cost, hence it would save a lot of resources. This can be considered “the potential savings” of this scheme. Therefore, the answer is C.

18. A

Question: a reference to the problems a bike-sharing scheme was intended to solve.

Keywords: reference, bike-sharing scheme, intended, solve, problems = threats

Explain: The purposes of a bike-sharing scheme are mentioned in paragraph A: “the scheme…was an answer to the perceived threats of air pollution and consumerism”. Hence, air pollution and consumerism are two problems that the scheme was intended to solve.

19. B

Question: Which TWO of the following statements are made in the text about the Amsterdam bike-sharing scheme of 1999?

D   It was made possible by a change in people’s attitudes.

Keywords: two, statements, Amsterdam, bike-sharing, scheme, 1999

20. D

Question:

B   It failed when a partner in the scheme withdrew support.

Keywords:

– withdrew support = has lost interest

– partner = business partner

Explain 19, 20:

– While there are a few mentions of the Amsterdam bike-sharing scheme in the text, we need to find information about the 1999 scheme, not the initial one. We can find this in paragraph D onwards.

– Schimmelpennink and his scheme “succeeded in arousing the interest of the Dutch Ministry of Transport”, so A is incorrect.

– Schimmelpennink said “times had changed”, referring to people’s change in attitudes towards the environment. This, combined with the success of the Danish bike-sharing scheme, led to the introduction of the new Amsterdam scheme in 1999. In other words, it was made possible by a change in people’s attitudes. Thus, D is one correct answer.

– Paragraph E mentions several problems faced by the scheme: vandalism, theft, and most importantly, Postbank’s withdrawal from the scheme. We know this because: “Postbank decided to abolish the chip card” and “the business partner had lost interest”. This was “the biggest blow” to the scheme, and the scheme could not continue. Therefore, B is correct.

21. E

Question: Which TWO of the following statements are made in the text about Amsterdam today?

E   The city has a reputation as a place that welcomes cyclists.

Keywords: two, statements, Amsterdam, today

22. D

Question:

D   A bike-sharing scheme would benefit residents who use public transport.

Keywords: residents who use public transport = people who travel on the underground.

Explain 21-22:

– We can easily find the phrase, Amsterdam today at the beginning of paragraph G.

– “38% of all trips are made by bike”, but we cannot be sure that more trips in the city are made by bike than by any other form of transport, so C is incorrect.

– “it is regarded as one of the two most cycle-friendly capitals in the world”, which means Amsterdam is known as a place that welcomes cyclists. Thus, E is correct.

– Schimmelpennick also mentions the need for a bike-sharing scheme in Amsterdam today because “people who travel on the underground don’t carry their bike around. But often they need additional transport to reach their final destination”. People using the underground are, residents who use public transport, and they would benefit from the scheme. Thus, D is correct.

23. Activists

Question: The first bike-sharing scheme was the idea of the Dutch group Provo. The people who belonged to this group were 23……………

Keywords:

– was the idea of = came up with the idea

– the Dutch group = a group of Dutch

Explain:

– “This group” refers to the Dutch group, Provo. We can find information about Provo in paragraph A. Here, it is stated that Provo “was a group of Dutch activists”, so “activists” is the answer.

24. Consumerism

Question: They were concerned about damage to the environment and about 24…………….

Keywords: damage to environment = perceived threats of air pollution

Explain:

– Provo activists believed that the scheme would help to deal with air pollution and consumerism. This means that they are concerned about these two problems, and suggested a solution. Because air pollution can be understood as damage to the environment, the missing word in the blank is consumerism.

25. Leaflets

Question: As well as painting some bikes white, they handed out 25……………… that condemned the use of cars.

Keywords:

– handed out = distributed

– condemned = describing

– the use of cars = the dangers of cars

Explain:

– The word “condemn” means “disapprove”. It is stated that Provo activists “distributed leaflets describing the dangers of cars”, meaning these leaflets disapproved (or condemned) the use of cars.

26. Police

Question: However, the scheme was not a great success: almost as quickly as Provo left the bikes around the city, the 26…………….. took them away.

Keywords:

– as quickly as = as soon as

– took away = remove

– left the bikes around the city = the white bikes were distributed around the city

Explain:

– Need N: the + N

– Paragraph B describes the scheme’s problems, one of which is that the police removed the bikes “as soon as the white bikes were distributed around the city”. Therefore, it is clear that the answer is “police”.

Passage 2

The growth of bike-sharing schemes around the world

How Dutch engineer Luud Schimmelpennink helped to devise urban bike-sharing schemes

A

The original idea for an urban bike-sharing scheme dates back to a summer’s day in Amsterdam in 1965. Provo, the organization that came up with the idea, was a group of Dutch activists who wanted to change society (Q23). They believed the scheme, which was known as the Witte Fietsenplan, was an answer to the perceived threats of air pollution and consumerism (Q18, Q24). In the centre of Amsterdam, they painted a small number of used bikes white. They also distributed leaflets describing the dangers of cars and inviting people to use the white bikes (Q25). The bikes were then left unlocked at various locations around the city, to be used by anyone in need of transport.

B

Luud Schimmelpennink, a Dutch industrial engineer who still lives and cycles in Amsterdam, was heavily involved in the original scheme. He recalls how the scheme succeeded in attracting a great deal of attention – particularly when it came to publicising Provo’s aims – but struggled to get off the ground. The police were opposed to Provo’s initiatives and almost as soon as the white bikes were distributed around the city, they removed them (Q26). However, for Schimmelpennink and for bike-sharing schemes in general, this was just the beginning. ‘The first Witte Fietsenplan was just a symbolic thing,’ he says. ‘We painted a few bikes white, that was all. Things got more serious when I became a member of the Amsterdam city council two years later.’

C

Schimmelpennink seized this opportunity to present a more elaborate Witte Fietsenplan to the city council. ‘My idea was that the municipality of Amsterdam would distribute 10,000 white bikes over the city, for everyone to use,’ he explains. ‘I made serious calculations. It turned out that a white bicycle – per person, per kilometer – would cost the municipality only 10% of what it contributed to public transport per person per kilometer.’ (Q17) Nevertheless, the council unanimously rejected the plan. ‘They said that the bicycle belongs to the past. They saw a glorious future for the car,’(Q15) says Schimmelpennink. But he was not in the least discouraged.

D

Schimmelpennink never stopped believing in bike-sharing, and in the mid-90s, two Danes asked for his help to set up a system in Copenhagen. The result was the world’s first large-scale bike-share programme. It worked on a deposit: ‘You dropped a coin in the bike and when you returned it, you got your money back.’ After setting up the Danish system, Schimmelpennink decided to try his luck again in the Netherlands – and this time he succeeded in arousing the interest of the Dutch Ministry of Transport. ‘Times had changed,’ he recalls. ‘People had become more environmentally conscious, and the Danish experiment had proved that bike-sharing was a real possibility.’ (Q19) A new Witte Fietsenplan was launched in 1999 in Amsterdam. However, riding a white bike was no longer free; it cost one guilder per trip and payment was made with a chip card developed by the Dutch bank Postbank. Schimmelpennink designed conspicuous, sturdy white bikes locked in special racks which could be opened with the chip card – the plan started with 250 bikes, distributed over five stations.

E

Theo Molenaar, who was a system designer for the project, worked alongside Schimmelpennink. ‘I remember when we were testing the bike racks, he announced that he had already designed better ones. But of course, we had to go through with the ones we had.’ The system, however, was prone to vandalism and theft. ‘After every weekend there would always be a couple of bikes missing,’ (Q14) Molenaar says. ‘I really have no idea what people did with them, because they could instantly be recognised as white bikes.’ But the biggest blow came when Postbank decided to abolish the chip card, because it wasn’t profitable. ‘That chip card was pivotal to the system,’ Molenaar says. ‘To continue the project we would have needed to set up another system, but the business partner had lost interest.’ (Q20)

F

Schimmelpennink was disappointed, but – characteristically – not for long. In 2002 he got a call from the French advertising corporation JC Decaux, who wanted to set up his bike-sharing scheme in Vienna. ‘That went really well. After Vienna, they set up a system in Lyon. Then in 2007, Paris followed. That was a decisive moment in the history of bike-sharing.’ The huge and unexpected success of the Parisian bike-sharing programme, which now boasts more than 20,000 bicycles, inspired cities all over the world to set up their own schemes, all modelled on Schimmelpennink’s. ‘It’s wonderful that this happened,’ he says. ‘But financially I didn’t really benefit from it, because I never filed for a patent.’(Q16)

G

In Amsterdam today, 38% of all trips are made by bike and, along with Copenhagen, it is regarded as one of the two most cycle-friendly capitals in the world – but the city never got another Witte Fietsenplan (Q21). Molenaar believes this may be because everybody in Amsterdam already has a bike. Schimmelpennink, however, cannot see that this changes Amsterdam’s need for a bike-sharing scheme. ‘People who travel on the underground don’t carry their bikes around. But often they need additional transport to reach their final destination.’ (Q22) Although he thinks it is strange that a city like Amsterdam does not have a successful bike-sharing scheme, he is optimistic about the future. ‘In the ‘60s we didn’t stand a chance because people were prepared to give their lives to keep cars in the city. But that mentality has totally changed. Today everybody longs for cities that are not dominated by cars.’

 

27. E

Question: Hotel managers need to know what would encourage good staff to remain.

Keywords: hotel managers, encourage good staff to remain

– to know = to understand

– encourage good staff to remain = increase employee satisfaction and retention

Explain: Paragraph 8 refers to the practices that hotel management must develop “to inspire and retain competent employees”. The last sentence of paragraph 8 states that “it is beneficial for hotel managers to understand what practices are most favourable to increase employee satisfaction and retention”. To increase employee retention means to encourage employees to remain. This is the statement of Enz and Siguaw (2000), so the answer is E.

28. D

Question: The actions of managers may make staff feel they shouldn’t move to a different employer.

Keywords:

– the actions of managers = provide recognitions + motivate employees + remove obstacles

– they shouldn’t move = more obligated to stay with the company

Explain: According to Ng and Sorensen in paragraph 5: “employees feel more obligated to stay with the company” if the manager does certain things, such as: providing recognition, motivating group work, and removing obstacles. These are “actions of managers”, and these actions make employees feel that they should stay with the company and shouldn’t move to another employer. So D is the correct answer.

29. B

Question: Little is done in the hospitality industry to help workers improve their skills.

Keywords:

– help workers improve their skills = enables developing and drawing out the full potential of people

– little is done = does not appear to be designed to

30. D

Question: Staff are less likely to change jobs if cooperation is encouraged.

Keywords:

– are less likely to change jobs = more obligated to stay

– cooperation = employees to work together

– is encouraged = motivate

Explain: As we have learned in question 28, Ng and Sorensen suggest in paragraph 5 that motivating employees to work together, as well as other actions, is a way to keep staff from changing jobs.

31. C

Question: Dissatisfaction with pay is not the only reason why hospitality workers change jobs.

Keywords:

– Among the many cited reasons = not the only reason

– Low compensation = dissatisfaction with pay

– Change jobs = employee turnover

Explain: In the last sentence of paragraph 4, the author cited Madouras et al. to mention several reasons which result in high employee turnover in hospitality industry. These reasons include “low compensation”, or in other words, low pay. High employee turnover means that a high percentage of workers leave the company and are replaced by new employees. Thus, it can be understood that dissatisfaction with low pay is, along with other reasons, why hospitality workers change jobs frequently. The answer is C.

32. Yes

Question: One reason for high staff turnover in the hospitality industry is poor morale.

Keywords:

– One reason = Among many cited reason

– poor morale = compromised employee morale and attitudes

Explain: Paragraph 4 refers to “high employee turnover” in the hospitality industry. As we know from question 31, “compromised employee morale” is given in paragraph 4 as one reason for high employee turnover in the hospitality industry. The word “compromised” here suggests that employees are not very motivated to do their work, so we can also call it “poor morale”. The correct answer is YES.

33. No

Question: Research has shown that staff have a tendency to dislike their workplace.

Keywords:

– staff = employees

– their workplace = many aspects of their work

– Tendency = predisposition

– Dislike = view negatively

– Workplace = work environment

Explain:

According to Spector et al in paragraph 6, “no evidence exists to support this hypothesis”. The said hypothesis is that employees have “a predisposition to view their work environment negatively”. In other words, employees have a tendency to dislike their workplace. Because there is no evidence, it cannot be said that this hypothesis is shown or proven by research. The answer is, therefore, NO.

34. No

Question: An improvement in working conditions and job security makes staff satisfied with their jobs.

Keywords:

– improvement in working conditions and job security

– just fulfilling these needs

Explain: We can find information relating to “working conditions and job security” in paragraph 9. According to Herzberg, when these are not good, employees may be dissatisfied. However, fulfilling factors like working conditions and job security alone “does not result in satisfaction” so the statement contradicts the writer’s claims.

35. Not given

Question: Staff should be allowed to choose when they take breaks during the working day.

Keywords: take breaks = allowing adequate breaks

Explain: In the last paragraph, it is stated that “allowing adequate breaks during the working day” is a way to retain good staff. However, this does not mean that staff should be allowed to choose when they take breaks. The statement is therefore NOT GIVEN.

36. Restaurants

Question: Tews, Michel and Stafford carried out research on staff in an American chain of 36……………

Keywords:

– carried out = conducted

– research = a study

– American = the United States

Explain:

– Using the skim and scan skill, we can locate the information about Tews, Michael and Stafford’s study in paragraph 11. The study (research) focused on “staff from a chain of themed restaurants in the United States”. Thus, the answer is clearly “restaurants”

37. Performance

Question: They discovered that activities designed for staff to have fun improved their 37………………

Keywords:

– They discovered that = it was found that

– activities designed for staff = activities

– improved = has a favorable impact on

Explain:

– Continue to read paragraph 11. According to these researchers, “It was found that fun activities had a favourable impact on performace”, meaning that fun activities improved staff performance. The answer for question 37 is “performance”. Next, “manager support for fun had a favourable impact in reducing turnover”. In this context, “manager support for fun” can be paraphrased into “manager involvement”. Thus, the answer for question 38 is “turnover”.

38. Turnover

Question: and that management involvement led to lower staff 38……………..

Keywords:

– management involvement = manager support for the fun

– led to = had as favorable impact in

– lower = reducing

Explain:

– Continue to read paragraph 11. According to these researchers, “It was found that fun activities had a favourable impact on performace”, meaning that fun activities improved staff performance. The answer for question 37 is “performance”. Next, “manager support for fun had a favourable impact in reducing turnover”. In this context, “manager support for fun” can be paraphrased into “manager involvement”. Thus, the answer for question 38 is “turnover”.

39. Goals & 40. Characteristics

Question: They also found that the activities needed to fit with both the company’s 39…………… and the 40……………. of the staff.

Keywords:

– needed to fit with = must be carefully aligned with

– company’s = organizational

– on the staff = employee

Explain: Continuing to read paragraph 11, according to Tews, Michel and Stafford, the “framing of that fun” must be aligned with two things: organizational goals (paraphrased into company‟s goals) and employee characteristics. Thus, it is clear that the correct answers are “goals” and “characteristics”, respectively.

Passage 3

Motivational factors and the hospitality industry

A critical ingredient in the success of hotels is developing and maintaining superior performance from their employees. How is that accomplished? What Human Resource Management (HRM) practices should organizations invest in to acquire and retain great employees?

Some hotels aim to provide superior working conditions for their employees. The idea originated from workplaces – usually in the non-service sector – that emphasized fun and enjoyment as part of work-life balance. By contrast, the service sector, and more specifically hotels, has traditionally not extended these practices to address basic employee needs, such as good working conditions.

Pfeffer (1994) emphasizes that in order to succeed in a global business environment, organizations must make investment in Human Resource Management (HRM) to allow them to acquire employees who possess better skills and capabilities than their competitors. This investment will be to their competitive advantage. Despite this recognition of the importance of employee development, the hospitality industry has historically been dominated by underdeveloped HR practices (Lucas, 2002).

Lucas also points out that ‘the substance of HRM practices does not appear to be designed to foster constructive relations with employees or to represent a managerial approach that enables developing and drawing out the full potential of people, even though Q33 employees  may be broadly satisfied with many aspects of their work’ (Lucas, 2002) (Q29 Q33). In addition, or maybe as a result, high employee turnover has been a recurring problem throughout the hospitality industry. Among the many cited reasons are low compensation, inadequate benefits, poor working conditions and compromised employee morale and attitudes (Maroudas et al., 2008) (Q31 Q32).

Ng and Sorensen (2008) demonstrated that when managers provide recognition to employees, motivate employees to work together, and remove obstacles preventing effective performance, employees feel more obligated to stay with the company (Q28 Q30). This was succinctly summarized by Michel et al. (2013): ‘[P]roviding support to employees gives them the confidence to perform their jobs better and the motivation to stay with the organization.’ Hospitality organizations can therefore enhance employee motivation and retention through the development and improvement of their working conditions. These conditions are inherently linked to the working environment.

While it seems likely that employees’ reactions to their job characteristics could be affected by a predisposition to view their work environment negatively, no evidence exists to support this hypothesis (Spector et al., 2000). However, given the opportunity, many people will find something to complain about in relation to their workplace (Poulston, 2009). There is a strong link between the perceptions of employees and particular factors of their work environment that are separate from the work itself, including company policies, salary and vacations.

Such conditions are particularly troubling for the luxury hotel market, where high-quality service, requiring a sophisticated approach to HRM, is recognized as a critical source of competitive advantage (Maroudas et al., 2008). In a real sense, the services of hotel employees represent their industry (Schneider and Bowen, 1993). This representation has commonly been limited to guest experiences. This suggests that there has been a dichotomy between the guest environment provided in luxury hotels and the working conditions of their employees.

It is therefore essential for hotel management to develop HRM practices that enable them to inspire and retain competent employees. This requires an understanding of what motivates employees at different levels of management and different stages of their careers (Enz and Siguaw, 2000). This implies that it is beneficial for hotel managers to understand what practices are most favorable to increase employee satisfaction and retention (Q27).

Herzberg (1966) proposes that people have two major types of needs, the first being extrinsic motivation factors relating to the context in which work is performed, rather than the work itself. These include working conditions and job security. When these factors are unfavorable, job dissatisfaction may result. Significantly, though, just fulfilling these needs does not result in satisfaction, but only in the reduction of dissatisfaction (Maroudas et al., 2008) (Q34).

Employees also have intrinsic motivation needs or motivators, which include such factors as achievement and recognition. Unlike extrinsic factors, motivator factors may ideally result in job satisfaction (Maroudas et al., 2008). Herzberg’s (1966) theory discusses the need for a ‘balance’ of these two types of needs.

The impact of fun as a motivating factor at work has also been explored. For example, Tews, Michel and Stafford (2013) conducted a study focusing on staff from a chain of themed restaurants in the United States (Q36). It was found that fun activities had a favorable impact on performance (Q37) and manager support for fun had a favorable impact in reducing turnover (Q38). Their findings support the view that fun may indeed have a beneficial effect, but the framing of that fun must be carefully aligned with both organizational goals and employee characteristics (Q39 Q40). ‘Managers must learn how to achieve the delicate balance of allowing employees the freedom to enjoy themselves at work while simultaneously high levels of performance’ (Tews et al., 2013).

Deery (2008) has recommended several actions that can be adopted at the organizational level to retain good staff as well as assist in balancing work and family life. Those particularly appropriate to the hospitality industry include allowing adequate breaks during the working day, staff functions that involve families, and providing health and well-being opportunities (Q35).

Share This