Clocking in to Vatican


 

The Vatican has reintroduced a system of clocking in, nearly fifty years after it was last phased out. Now, even senior clerics have to swipe plastic cards when entering and leaving, all in a drive to improve efficiency.

 

It was Pope John 23rd, fondly known as the Good Pope, who phased out clocking machines in the early 1960s. Now the Vatican has brought back a high-tech version.

 

Around 2,000 lay and ecclesiastical staff working in the tiny city state are using electronic swipe cards. The cards have been issued to everyone, from the lowest office staff to the heads of departments, even if they're priests and archbishops, though there's been no mention if the Pope carries one.

 

According to some reports, elder clerics in the Vatican have complained clocking in and out is a headache, especially when they have to leave on pastoral duty.

 

It's all part of a drive to increase efficiency and to make the Vatican more meritocratic. Next year there are plans to introduce performance related pay.

 

 

Part A. Reading Comprehension.


I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text. (2 points: 1 point each)

 

a) Why has the Vatican re-introduced a system of clocking-in?

 

b) What are the plans for next year?

 

 

II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer. (1.5 point: 0.5 each)

 

a. Everybody has been issued with the swipe cards.

b. Everybody is happy about this new measure.

c. In the future, Vatican workers are going to be paid according to merit.

 

 

III. Find a synonym for each of the four words below from these six options: (1 point: 0.25 each)

 

      swipe cards     phased out    lay      elder clerics    headache      meritocratic

 

a) gradually removed

b) senior priests

c) involved with a church without being a priest

d) focussed on people’s achievements

 

 

IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct (1.5 points: 0.5 each)

 

1. Nearly 50 years ago, clocking in …

a) was phased out by senior clerics.

b) was state-of-the-art using a high-tech 1960s version

c) was stopped by Pope John 23rd.

 

2. Priests and archbishops…

a) needn’t use swipe cards.

b) have not been issued with swipe cards.

c) are also obliged to use swipe cards.

 

3. The clock-in system has been introduced …

a) in order to improve performance

b) with a view to increasing pay

c) so that all Vatican workers can learn to drive

 

 

Part B. Composition (130-150 words approximately). Choose one of the following topics. (4 points)

 

  1. Do you think personalised swipe cards should be introduced to control students at school? (OPINION)

 

  1. What can we do to stop students from not going to school (playing truant)? (PROBLEM SOLVING)

 

 


 

 

KEY TO EXERCISES

 

I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text (2 points: 1 point each)

 

a) Why has the Vatican re-introduced a system of clocking-in?

The Vatican has re-introduced a clock-in system to improve efficiency…

-      in order to improve efficiency.

-      so that things are made more efficient.

-      with a view to making efficiency better.

-      in order that they can do things more efficiently.

 

The objective is to allow students to use the purpose clauses which they have studied for exams set at school. They can also discover how to use adjectives and adverbs and also how to use synonyms. Students should really know the meaning of “improve”, “make better” and “efficient”

 

b) What are the plans for next year?

The plans are to introduce performance related pay.

They are going to introduce pay which is related to performance.

They are planning to / They are thinking about introducing pay which is related to how they perform.

 

The objective is that they pick up on their future tense grammar. This is future intention. They can also use noun and verb word-building and should know the meaning of “performance”.

 

 

II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer. (1.5 point: 0.5 each)

 

 

a. Everybody has been issued with the swipe cards. F though there is no mention if the Pope carries one

 

This is very borderline and students should protest. Nowhere does it say that the Pope hasn’t got one. It is too ambiguous. I feel however that this type of question wakens students up. However, they should demonstrate politeness and be able to express doubt in a constructive way. If students do not pick up on this then it means they are too passive and should be made aware of this.

 

b. Everybody is happy about this new measure. F elder clerics have complained …

 

c. In the future, Vatican workers are going to be paid according to merit. T there are plans to introduce performance related pay

 

It is important to point out to students that they MUST make a big effort to look after their spelling especially if copying directly from the text. NB: Any spelling mistakes made by myself are totally the fault of my Word corrector and nothing to do with me!!!!

 

 

III. Find a synonym for each of the four words below from these six options: (1 point: 0.25 each)

 

 

      swipe cards     phased out    lay      elder clerics     headache      meritocratic

 

a) gradually removed à phased out

b) senior priests à elder clerics

c) involved with a church without being a priest à lay

d) focussed on people’s achievements à meritocratic

 

 

IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct (1.5 points: 0.5 each)

 

1. Nearly 50 years ago, clocking in …

a) was phased out by senior clerics.

b) was state-of-the-art using a high-tech 1960s version

I have introduced the term state-of-the-art as I feel it is quite interesting to discuss with students. Used a lot in English society at the moment.

c) was stopped by Pope John 23rd. OK

 

2. Priests and archbishops…

a) needn’t use swipe cards.

b) have not been issued with swipe cards.

c) are also obliged to use swipe cards. OK

 

The objective here is to play with “obligation” and “lack of obligation” grammar which they should have learnt in class

 

3. The clock-in system has been introduced …

a) in order to improve performance OK

b) with a view to increasing pay

c) so that all Vatican workers can learn to drive

I hope NO student picks this choice. Most awful distractor!!!

 

The objective, once again, is to allow students to be more aware of “purpose clauses”.