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Reading Comprehension

A. Introduction

Reading Comprehension Section is the third and the last section of the three sections of toefl. As you have already known that every section has its own characteristics to complete and also needs certain strategies to complete owing to the handicaps. Generally,there are two main handicaps to complete this section, namely :; 1) limited time; and 2) new vocabulary. According to most test takers, they confess that they cannot finish this section because the available time (less than one hour) is not enough.

B. More detail explanation

Reading Comprehension Section consists of 50 questions derived from 5 to 7 reading passages. The topics of the passages are various such as : astronomy, geology, chemistry, medicine, engineering, sport, biography, economics, law, communication, literature, sociology, history, anthropology, architecture, psychology, art etc. There is no guarantee that the reading passages will be corresponding with test takers’ educational background. However, we never find two similar topics in a test. (Read your module p. 136 – The Passages)

C. Some Effective Strategies

1. We have to be accustomed to the question forms. ( module p. 137)

2. It is better you learn the questions first before reading the whole passage. By doing this, you can focus on certain parts or paragraphs related to the questions, because sometimes you choose the correct choice without mastering all the passage.

3. List the question form from the easiest then complete the 50 questions based on the list. Make priority to questions about closest in meaning, similar meaning, pronoun, and line. Question about topic, title, the purpose of the writer, unstated statement etc. you may do later. In other words, you need not need to start from question number 1 and you stop to number 50.

4. Remember, if you find new vocabulary, please do not get panic. Very often the next lines may give more explanation about it especially for technical term. Last but not least, add your vocabulary day after day and be familiar with various passages.

5. Learn your module pages 138 – 141


A. Introduction

Frankly speaking, all graduates can be classified into two groups. First, those who want to run their own businesses (job creators) and second, those who want to look for job vacancies (job seekers). It is said that more than 90 % of the graduates belong to the second classification. This is caused by several main reasons : 1) they want to earn money as soon as possible, 2) they lack of qualifications as employers such as: leadership and managerial tasks, 3) they prefer low to high risk.

Dealing with the above brief description, we could say that application letter takes a great role for the success of job seekers. They need to know characteristics of good application letter and all its other essential elements, even though good application letter does not guarantee that they get jobs absolutely.

B. Types of Application Letter

Commonly, there are three types of application letter, namely; 1) application as a reply to advertisement; 2) application based on recommendation; 3) application based on initiative of the applicants. In other words, anytime applicants may send application letter as long as it is a private company. It is said that most working people get jobs through the first type, but the second type has strong possibility to be accepted.

C. Further Notes about Application Letter

– Application letter is a means of communication used by an applicant to keep in touch with the employer.

– As representative an applicant has to consider three important elements. They are quality of paper, tone and content.

– Employers are not interested with long application letter for they are very busy. Therefore, one page is recommended.

– Remember, it is not polite to say thanks at the end of the letter. It is said that English people will say thanks if they get something.

– The main philosophy of submitting application is not to apply the job itself. Instead, it will ask the employer to offer a chance of job interview. In order to get more detail information, let you open your module pages32 – 35.

– About CV Writing, you may design by yourself and compare with your module page 40.

– Examples of application letter can be found in your module pages 37 and 38.

How to make effective presentation


Here are some essential notes you have to consider dealing with effective presentation.

1.      Many people assume that presentation is very difficult especially if it is in a foreign language. Sometimes it is likely similar with someone who is in a stressful or frightening situation when he meets a dentist. However, presentation is not very difficult as long as you know what you are expected to do and make a better preparation.

2.      In the previous session, we have already discussed that presentation means standing in front of people (audience) in order to give certain information. Someone who gives information is called presenter or speaker while people who listen to information are called audiences.

3.      In a broader sense, we may conclude that presentation skill is a must for you as an intellectual people regardless your majors. Moreover, this competency is really required  in work place.  

4.     Generally, most people prefer listening to making presentation, but a few have different point of view. Some can be neither presenter nor listener.

5.      Let you learn your module page 46 – 50. There you will find two important things to make effective presentation. They are, first, what you are going to present. It means the title of your presentation. A new presenter commonly adjusts his title or topic with the need of his prospect audiences (calon pendengar). To do that a presenter had better try to gather information as much as possible about his prospective audience before choosing a title. Information includes age, status, job, educational background, religion, culture etc. The topic itself is divided into INTRODUCTION, BODY, and CONCLUSION. Needless to say, some people believe that introduction and conclusion are more important. Second, how you are presenting the topic. It is so-called delivery. Eye-contact, voice and posture relaxed are parts of delivery. Even though, many people say that delivery is more important than topic, but effective presentation may not ignore one of the two factors.

6.     There are some important points you have to mention on INTRODUCTION. They are : greetings, self introduction, thanks, topic, reason why you are interested to choose it, parts of your presentation, and certain rules whether or not you let the audience interrupt you to ask questions. Next, I will show you a simple draft of INTRODUCTION:                               

Good afternoon everybody. My name is Rudi Saputra. I come from Faculty of Communication, majoring Public Relation. My registration number is 200958089.  First of all, I want to say thanks to Mr. Laris as my Business English lecture. Next, I also say thanks to all my friends who follow my presentation well. Today I want to talk about the roles of PR. I choose this topic, because there are many people who do not know the role of PR.  In the first part of my presentation I will tell you the definition of PR, after that I will explain about history of PR, then I will move to PR’s classifications, next I will talk much about PR’s role and finally before I stop my presentation, I will take some conclusions. I will be very happy if you ask me at the end of my presentation. Let me start.

7.     Give complete information on BODY of your presentation. You need to explain every main parts of your topic. A presenter will spend most of his time in this part. Sometimes a presenter will show some examples and make comparison dealing with topic.

8.     Never stop your presentation without taking conclusion. It is said that conclusion is the most important part of a presentation. Frankly speaking, there is no new information on conclusion. A homely way to make conclusion is to review the main point on body only. Long conclusion is sometimes less effective to audience.

9.      How to design slide? Slide is really needed on presentation. Slide is a helpful tool for a presenter to deliver information to audience. In other words, slide does not make presentation, but contains the main points of the whole presentation. Therefore using to many slides may take over the role of a presenter.  On final semester exam every student is allowed to prepare two slides only, not more than that. You have to know that slide does not contain all information about the topic.  What you have to put on your slide are : one title or topic, 4-5 Sub-titles, conclusion (2-3 short sentences), name, registration number and faculty.  Take a look at the examples below :


                                     CORRUPTION IN INDONESIA IN 2000s      

                     I          Definition         

                     II         Types of Corruption

                     III        Causes of Corruption

                     IV       Act about Corruption

                     V        Case

                     VII     Conclusion

1.     ________________________________________

2.     ________________________________________

3.     ________________________________________



                                               Marketing Function

              I     Definition

              II   History and Elements of marketing

              III   Function

             IV   Examples

              V    Conclusion

1.     ___________________________________

2.     ___________________________________

3.     ___________________________________

4.     ___________________________________


10.      Another important thing you have to remember is KEEP TO THE TIME. It means before starting a presentation you have to know well how long you are given the time to deliver introduction, body and conclusion. Having known the available time, you need to divide your time, how long (many minutes) you will spend on introduction, on body and an conclusion.  Generally, it is better less than one minute than more than one minute to stop a presentation.

Writing Paragraph

About Writing Paragraph

  1. Writing Competency is the third part of mastering a foreign language besides speaking and reading. Someone who can speak fluently does not mean that he can write easily or vise versa. What important things in writings are  possessing a lot of vocabulary and mastering sentence pattern.
  2. A paragraph is a group of sentences, that has one main idea with several supporting sentences. Most writers put the main idea in the beginning of every paragraph, some prefer placing it in the middle and a few write it in the last sentence. Supporting sentences functions to give complete information about the topic sentences. Sometimes, main idea is also called topic sentence.
  3. A sentence is a group of wards that has complete meaning. A sentence must be correct in structure and diction.
  4. In writing a paragraph we should be able to differentiate formal writing or informal one. Most business activities require formal rather than informal writing.
  5. An effective paragraph consists of 50 to 150 words. Then in one paragraph there should be at least three sentences. In general it is recommended that you apply simple and short sentences in writing paragraph. Short sentences are usually around 10 – 20 words.
  6. However, writing a paragraph is not an easy task for many people especially for a beginner.
  7. Steps to write a paragraph, first : you have to choose an appropriate topic or title.  Title is the central point of the whole paragraph. Sometimes it is better you choose a simple topic rather than the complicated one. Second, determine the main points of your paragraph orderly. What should you write first then, the next and so on. Third, make sure that you get the main purpose of your writing whether you want to inform, to describe, to report, to persuade, to claim, to propose, etc.

For example:

Esa Unggul University

Esa Unggul University is a private university, which is located at 9, Jalan Arjuna West Jakarta. It was established in 1994. There are around 10,000 students of several faculties. Many of them take morning class and the remaining join the evening class. Students are very active and they have close relationship with all lecturers and staff. The facilities are complete and these make them eager to learn in order to be graduated on time. Every year, this university receives new students and graduates around 800 students as well. Among other private university in West Jakarta, Esa Unggul has good reputation and is assumed as a prominent university in future.

Note   :    The bold part is called as topic sentence and the remaining sentences are called supported sentences.


Writing Indonesian Summary


Another objective of Business English Subject is to guide students in order to comprehend English passages dealing with their majors so that they will be accustomed to some technical terms. Furthermore, we do hope that they will be able to read textbooks and any other scientific writings.

There are several steps students have to follow. They are:

  1. They need to spend much time to read a passage several times. It is better to produce sound while reading. All punctuations and comfortable reading speed should be considered. For a non-native the comfortable speed is around 90 – 100 words per minute. It is less effective to read too fast.
  2. They have to know that a paragraph consists of one main topic only. Generally, the writers put it in the first sentence, some prefer to state in the middle and a few tend to place in the last sentence of every paragraph. In other words, the remaining sentences are so-called supported sentences. They function to give more detail information towards main topic. Sometimes, main topic is also called main idea or topic sentence.
  3. Usually, they meet some new vocabularies in a passage. It is not necessary to consult dictionary any time new vocabulary exists. They just underline and try to guess the meaning or there will be an explanation in the next sentences.
  4. Having read the passage, they need to translate it in order to get the meaning as a whole. Remember, there are two ways to translate a sentence or a paragraph. First, you translate word by word. The translation will be based on lexical meaning. Most sentences can be translated through this first way. Second, you just get the main point of the sentence or the paragraph. In doing this, sometimes you have to add some new words or you do not have to translate certain words. This way will be useful, if the first way does not produce effective translation.
  5. Writing summary is different with translating. Summary does not mean you start from the first line until the last. Instead, writing summary means that you review the main points only. You may star from the middle or from the last line. It depends on your own style. Another advantage of writing summary is that even though you find some new vocabularies in the passage, you still be able to make summary.


Take a look at and read the following passage,

In Japan, there is a close relationship between the worker and his company. Employees work hard and do hours of unpaid overtime to make their firms more efficient. If necessary, they give up weekends with their family to go on business trips. They are loyal to their organizations and totally involved with them. For example, many of them live in company houses and their friends are people they work with. The system of lifetime employment creates a strong link between the enterprise and its workforce. It covers about 35 % of the working population. Generally, when a person joins a firm after leaving high school or university, he expects to stay with the firm until he retires. He has a secure job for life. Therefore, he will not be laid off if the company no longer needs him because there is no more work. Instead, it will re-train him for another post

The pay of the worker depends on his seniority, that is to say, on the years he has been with the firm. The longer he stays with the firm, the higher his salary will be. When he is 30 or 40 years old, therefore, he cannot afford to change jobs. If he did move, he would also lose valuable fringe benefits. Promotion depends on seniority as well. Japanese managers are rarely very young, and chief executives are at least 60, and very often 70 years old. The Japanese have a special way of making decisions. They call it the consensus system. This is how it works. When a firm is thinking of taking a certain action, it encourages workers at all levels to discuss the proposal and give their opinions. The purpose is to reach consensus (general agreement). As soon as everyone agrees on the right course of actions, the decision is taken. Because of this method, a group of workers rather than one person is responsible for company policies. One advantage of this is that decision comes from a mixture of experience from the top, the middle and the bottom of an enterprise. Another advantage is that junior staff frequently suggests ideas for change. A disadvantage, perhaps, is that decision-making.


Indonesian summary :

Pada wacana tersebut dijelaskan bahwa di perusahaan-perusahaan Jepang tenaga kerja sangat dihargai oleh pemilik perusahaan. Hubungan baik tercipta antara karyawan dan pimpinan. Pada umumnya sistem bekerja seumur hidup diberlakukan bukan bekerja berdasarkan kontrak. Itu sebabnya, para pekerja Jepang dikenal dengan sifat-sifat seperti : kerja keras, patuh, disiplin, mampu bekerjasama dan menghargai senioritas. Gaji dan kesempatan untuk promosi ditentukan berdasarkan lamanya seseorang bekerja. Artinya, semakin lama dia bekerja di satu perusahaan, semakin tinggi gaji yang diterima. Oleh karenanya, orang Jepang tidak suka bekerja berpindah-pindah dari satu perusahaan ke perusahaan lain. Hal lain adalah untuk menjadi seorang pemimpin faktor usia menjadi sangat penting, umumnya antara 60 – 70 tahun. Dalam mengambil keputusan biasanya agak lambat, karena melibatkan semua unit.

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Perumpamaan – Perumpamaan Yesus

Yesus dalam memberikan pengajaran kepada orang banyak seringkali menggunakan perumpamaan. Namun, perumpamaan hanya diberiakn kepada kelompok tertentu yang notabene memiliki kemampun inteligensia di atas rata-rata. Selanjutnya, pesan atau makna yang tersirat dalam perumpamaan itu sendiri harus disimak dengan teliti agar dapat dipahami. Itu sebabnya, sering kali perumpamaan itu tidak dapat dipahami mereka pada saat Yesus memberikannya.

Perumpamaan adalah sesuatu analogi yang bisa diamati di alam semesta dan dijadikan kiasan untuk meyampaikan makna tertentu secara tidak langsung. Dalam Alkitab terdapat banyak perumpamaan, antara lain: Amsal-Amsal dari Salomo dan Ayub. Ini merupakan metode pengajaran yang sangat digemari dan efektif bagi orang Yahudi dan bangsa-bangsa Timur bahkan sampai era sekarang ini perumpamaan-perumpamaan tersebut masih relevan. Yesus dalam misi penyelamatan menggunakan lebih dari 50 perumpamaan.

Perumpamaan Yesus adalah perumpamaan (analogi) yang diajarkan kepada murid-muridnya dan juga kepada orang-orang tertentu. Kisah-kisah perumpamaan ini terdapat dalam semua kitab Injil: Matius, Markus, Lukas, dan Yohanes. Kitab Matius memuat perumpamaan dengan jumlah yang terbanyak.

Perumpamaan-perumpamaan Yesus ini cukup sederhana dan cukup mudah untuk diingat. Oleh karena itu, untuk kurun waktu yang sangat lama, perumpamaan-perumpamaan tersebut tersebut masih dapat diceritakan dari mulut ke mulut, sebelum akhirnya menjadi bentuk tertulis, bertahun-tahun setelah wafatnya Yesus. Salah satu sifat perumpamaan adalah penggambaran secara sepintas sebuah cerita yang sederhana dan lugas, namun memiliki makna yang jauh lebih dalam jika direnungkan lebih jauh.

  Perumpamaan domba yang hilang (Lukas 15:3-7)

  Perumpamaan tentang dirham yang hilang (Lukas 15:8-10)

  Perumpamaan tentang anak yang hilang (Lukas 15:11-32)

  • Perumpamaan tentang mutiara yang berharga adalah sebuah perumpamaan yang diajarkan oleh Yesus kepada murid-muridnya. Kisah ini tercantum di dalam Matius 13:45-46. Perumpamaan ini merupakan salah satu perumpamaan terpendek yang digunakan Tuhan Yesus.
  • Perumpamaan Tentang Domba Yang Hilang. Perumpamaan ini menceritakan tentang seorang gembala domba yang memiliki seratus ekor domba. Pada suatu hari salah seekor dombanya hilang, dan ia meninggalkan domba yang lainnya di pegunungan dan mencari seekor yang tersesat. Diceritakan bahwa ketika gembala tersebut menemukan domba yang hilang, maka kegembiraannya atas seekor domba itu lebih dari 99 ekor domba yang tidak sesat.
  • Domba merupakan lambang yang sangat sering dijumpai di dalam Alkitab sejak zaman sebelum Daud, gembala domba yang menjadi raja Israel (lihat Mazmur 23). Domba adalah binatang yang sangat bodoh yang tidak mampu mencari makan/minum sendiri tanpa tuntunan gembalanya, apalagi melindungi dirinya. Domba merupakan perlambangan dari manusia. Domba yang sesat/hilang melambangkan manusia yang berdosa/kehilangan kemuliaan Allah, sedangkan domba yang tidak sesat melambangkan orang yang benar, yaitu mereka yang telah percaya kepada Yesus, bertobat dari dosanya, dan kembali ke jalan yang benar. Setiap orang Kristen dilambangkan dengan seekor domba.
  • Gembala domba, di sisi lain, adalah orang yang mencukupi kebutuhan domba-dombanya, melindungi mereka dari serangan binatang buas, mengobati mereka yang terluka, dan menuntun mereka ke mana-mana. Sang Gembala Agung menunjuk pada sosok Yesus, dan titel ‘gembala manusia’ diteruskan hingga kini untuk menyebut seorang pendeta Kristen, yaitu gembala sidang.

Masih banyak perumpamaan yang dicatat dalam Kitab Injil, al

  1. Perumpamaan lalang dan gandum
  2. Perumpamaan biji sesawi
  3. Perumpamaan seorang penabur
  4. Perumpamaan tentang talenta
  5. Perumpamaan tentang pohon ara
  6. Perumpamaan tentang Terang dan Garam
  7. Perumpamaan tentang 10 anak dara
  8. dll

Mijizat – Mujizat Yang Dibuat Yesus

Adalah benar bahwa Alkitab tidak mencatat berapa banyak mujizat yang pernah dilakukan Yesus ketika masih berada di dunia dalam misi utama yaitu memulihkan hubungan manusia dengan Allah agar memperoleh jalan keselamatan. Jelas bahwa apa saja yang dilakukan Yesus selam lebih kurang 33 tahun di dunia semata-mata hanya untuk kepentingan keselamatan orang berdosa.

Terkait dengan mujizat, perlu kita memahami bahwa ketika Yesus berada di dunia, Dia 100 % Allah dan 100 % manusia. Maka ketika Dia melakukan mujizat tentu Dia sebagai Allah. Hal lain yang perlu kita ketahui adalah bahwa apabila Dia melakukan mujizat tidak pernah bertujuan untuk kepentingan-Nya, melainkan demi kepentingan orang banyak. Sayangnya, acapkali mijizat yang dilakukan tidak menobatkan orang banyak. Mereka terheran-heran namun pengajaran Yesus tidak mereka pahami dan membawa perubahan rohani.

Ada catatan lain yang perlu diketahui bahwa dari mujizat-mujizat yang Yesus lakukan, maka kita dapat memetik banyak pelajaran rohani yang relevan dengan kehidupan sekarang. Berikut ini akan kita bahas mujizat pertama yang dilakukan oleh Yesus. Mujizat tersebut dicatat dalam Injil Yohanes 2 : 1 – 11. Bagaimaka kronologisnya?

  1. Yesus, murid dan Ibu-Nya Maria diundang untuk menghadiri pesta perkawinan di kota Kana.
  2. Pada waktu itu Yesus belum dibabtis dan belum saanya untuk melakukan misi utama penyelamatan.
  3. Pada pertengahan acara pesta muncul masalah yaitu kekurangan air minun (anggur). Tuan rumah merasa malu dan tidak bisa berbuat apa.
  4. Maria mendengar masalah tersebut dan segera mengambil inisiatif menghampiri Yeus agar bersedia melakukan mijizat.
  5. Akhirnya mujizat terjadi setelah beberapa tempayan berisi air biasa berubah rasa nebjadi abggur dengan rasa istimewa.

Pelajaran Penting

  • Tuhan adalah sumber segala berkat
  • Tuhan Selalu Memberikan Yang Terbaik
  • Berkat Tuhan Itu Cukup Bahkan Lebih
  • Bagian Kita Adalah memberikan Yang Terbaik    Lebih Dahulu Kepada Tuhan

Mujizat lain adalah ketika Yesus memberi makan 5000 orang lebih denagn 5 ketul roti dan 2 ekor ikan. Bahkan diakhir kisah tersebut dikatakan masih sisa 12 bakul (Keranjang)

Salah satu mujizat yang paling luar biasa adalah ketika Lazarus yang sudah meninggal selama 4 hari, sudah bau busuk akhirnya dibangkitkan kembali oleh kuasa Yesus. Hal ini menunjukkan bahwa Yesus telah memegang kuasa kematian atau maut. Yesus mengajarkan bahwa mati artinya tidur. Tidur berarti akan ada saat bangkit. Lalu Dia berkata : berbahagialah orang yang mati karena kebenaran. Pada ayat lain Yesus berkata : Akulah jalan kebenaran dan hidup, tidak seorangpun bisa masuk surga tanpa percaya kepadanya.

Marilah kita berdoa agar mijizat Tuhan semakin nyata dalam menyelesaikan segala perkara yang kita hadapi setiap hari khususnya perkara-perkara yang berkaitan dengan keselamatan.


Pandangan Tentang Mujizat

Apakah Anda percaya dengan mujizat? Mujizat adalah sebuah kata yang menggetarkan banyak hati manusia. Di kalangan kekristenan, paling tidak ada tiga pandangan yang berbeda. Pandangan pertama oleh kaum liberal. Mereka tidak percaya mujizat terjadi di Alkitab dan di dunia. Bagi mereka semua peristiwa supra-natural di Alkitab hanyalah sekedar dongeng atau mitos belaka. Pandangan kedua, mereka mempercayai mujizat benar terjadi di Alkitab. Dulu pernah terjadi, tetapi setelah kedatangan Roh Kudus pada Pentakosta, mujizat sudah berhenti. Pandangan ketiga percaya bahwa mujizat pernah terjadi dan masih terjadi hari ini sampai akhir sejarah dunia.
Pengertian Mujizat
Mujizat adalah kejadian yang terjadi di luar kodrat alam karena efeknya melampaui kekuatan / kemampuan mahluk ciptaan. Oleh karena efeknya yang melampaui kekuatan kodrati maka mujizat disebut sebagai suatu hal yang adikodrati, yang melibatkan adanya campur tangan Ilahi.
• Langsung oleh Tuhan. Tuhan langsung melakukan mujizat. Contoh yang paling mudah adalah mujizat yang dilakukan oleh Yesus ketika Dia berada di Dunia.
• Melalui perantara (Malaikat, Manusia). Artinya Tuhan menggunakan manusia atau malaikat sebagai perantara untuk melakukan mujizat-Nya. Contohnya : Musa, Petrus, Elia, Daud, dll.