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TOEFL Preparation: Lesson 16 - Expertise

Target Words 1. curriculum

2. distinctly

3. erudite 4. fortify 5. implicitly 6. parochial

7. rigor 8. roster 9. secular 10. suspend

Definitions and Samples

1. curriculum n. The courses of study offered by an educational institution The teachers met to design a new curriculum for the Intensive English Program.

2. distinctly adv. Clearly I distinctly remember saying that we would meet at noon. Parts of speech distinction n, distinct adj

3. erudite adj. Highly educated Even though Stella was only a freshman, she was considered erudite by both her classmates and her professors.

4. fortify v. To strengthen The high-priced drink had extra vitamins and minerals to fortify the body. Parts of speech fortification n 5. implicitly adv. Without being stated; unquestioningly By joining the competition, she agreed implicitly to the rules. Parts of speech implicit adj

6. parochial adj. Restricted in outlook; relating to the local parish Marla moved from her rural community to get away from its parochial thinking. Sending your children to a parochial school can cost as much as sending them to college.

7. rigor n. Strictness; difficult situations that come from following rules strictly The wrestler followed his diet with rigor. The rigors of military life toughened the young men quickly. Parts of speech rigorous adj

8. roster n. A list, similar to a schedule that includes names Two of the names on the roster were misspelled.

9. secular adj. Worldly rather than spiritual; not related to religion

Few private schools in the United States are secular.

10. suspend v. To cause to stop for a period; to hang as to allow free movement The trial was suspended when the judge learned that one of the jury members knew the defense lawyer. The circus acrobat was suspended in midair.

Parts of speech suspension n, suspension adj


For each word, choose the word that has the most similar meaning.

1. distinctly (a) clearly (b) fully (c) softly (d) aggressively 2. erudite

(a) strong (b) wise (c) complicated (d) plain

3. fortify (a) weaken (b) contemplate (c) strengthen (d) reshape

4. rigor (a) strictness (b) talent (c) peace (d) recklessness

5. suspend

(a) tie (b) fill (c) hang (d) throw


Choose the word from the list that is closest in meaning to the underlined part of each sentence. curriculum implicitly parochial roster secular

1. The class list showed that only 12 students had enrolled for spring quarter. 2. Many parents feel that public schools are as good as private, religious schools. 3. The principal requested parents’ feedback on the new set of math classes. 4. In the United States, many private grade schools are not affiliated with a religion. 5. The janitor agreed indirectly not to turn in the students.

TOEFL Success

Read the passage to review the vocabulary you have learned. Answer the questions that follow.

In the last three decades, universities across the United States have attempted to adapt their curriculums to meet the changing purposes of higher education. University education was also once considered an exclusive opportunity, with erudite scholars establishing courses based on the goal of training a distinctly academic “elite.” These days, not every undergraduate is destined to become a scholar, and the roster of students represents a more complete cross section of society, including minorities, women, and returning students. These days, most learners attend university to fortify basic skills, primarily learning how to learn and how to express themselves. Far from its earlier religious or elitist image, the university is seen increasingly as a secular center for career development, where students know they will graduate into a competitive job market. Most professors have embraced this evolution in the university’s role, letting go of the traditional, parochial view of higher education. On the other hand, many feel that while they want to accommodate an adaptable curriculum, universities must not suspend their obligation of establishing rigorous re- requirements for education and graduation. Implicit in their stance is support for the traditional liberal arts curriculum with a core of classes required across disciplines.

Bonus Structure— On the other hand introduces an opposing point.

1. According to information in the reading, which of the following sentences would the author be most likely to agree with?

a. Universities are becoming increasingly exclusive.

b. A curriculum needs to be completely adaptable to students’ needs.

c. The role of higher education is changing, and so is the university curriculum.

d. The cost of university puts it out of reach of many populations.

2. In this passage, the word elitist is closest in meaning to

a. superior

b. academic

c. populist

d. elegant

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