At last I’ve finally figured out how to properly record lectures. So, I hope, this thread won’t be ignored just like previous ones.
Here is the article:
In response to a change in the way companies expect their employees to do their work, schools have begun to focus more on group work. Students are now expected to complete projects as a team, rather than simply demonstrate individual knowledge on a test. This shift toward teamwork is a good development.
The biggest advantage of having a group of people tackle a problem is that the solution is likely to be found much more quickly. Every person in the world has unique skills and abilities. When a group of people is assembled, each persons special ability can contribute to the ability of the team. Moreover, breaking a large project into smaller, more manageable pieces makes the work get done much more quickly.
Secondly, teamwork encourages individuals to try out bold new ideas and this produces better and more creative results. As the saying goes, Two heads are better than one. When a group of people come up with more varied ideas and combine those ideas, they can produce a more original and creative result Moreover there is less likely to be an unsolvable issue when many brains are working on a problem from various angles. This means that teamwork often leads to a better, more creative outcome than individual work does.
Strangely enough, being a member of a team can actually encourage individuals to take more risks and actively contribute because teamwork is less burdensome to each individual. If a person is working alone and fails, all the blame is placed fully upon that individual. However, in a group, each member is willing to express his or her own ideas and actively take part in the group work, knowing that his or her teammates will help out and take some of the blame if the project fails. This mentality can maintain maximum productivity and creativity on the job.
And this is my essay:
The article states that today group projects become more and more popular in schools and companies. The passage argues that working in team is a very effective way of improving productivity of work. The lecturer, in contrast, casts a doubt on the idea that group projects improve effectiveness of work.
The passage states that different people have unique backgrounds and skills. Besides, a complicated project could be split into smaller ones. Thus each individual would get a fairly small piece of work to carry out. Therefore employees working in a group can complete a task more quickly than it would do an individual. But the professor warns that in practice it takes much time for all the people in a group to reach an agreement. Besides quite often group discuss the same topic over and over again instead of continuing to solve other problems. This makes group projects take more time than individual projects.
The passage states that several people generate more interesting solutions. But the lecturer says that in any group there are several leaders which generate all ideas. Moreover individuals who are not leaders are afraid of coming up with new ideas. This is because they think that their ideas would be rejected by the leaders. Thus large number of individuals in a group doesn’t allow to create many ideas.
The passage states individuals are more brave when working in groups. This is because in case of failure the blame will be evenly distributed between all persons. But the lecturer argues that there can be some lazy individuals in a group who do not work hard. Therefore work will be carried out mainly by separate active persons. But in case of success all individuals will be awarded equally. This corrupts satisfaction from results of work and therefore decreases motivation of employees.
TOEFL listening lectures: Why do Birds of Paradise have amazing plumages?