English: skills for learning
English: skills for learning

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English: skills for learning

4.2 Putting it into practice

Practice can help to express similarities and differences correctly. The following activity gives you an opportunity to use the compare and contrast connectives introduced in Activity 7.

Activity 8

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

The table below compares the job of a home carer employed by an agency with that of a personal assistant employed directly by the service user.

Table 3 Comparison of home carer and personal assistant

ComponentHome carerPersonal assistant
Terms and conditions of workInvolves unsocial hours, and the need to be flexibleInvolves unsocial hours, and the need to be flexible
Training opportunitiesVaries, but these ought to be available (in the way they are for staff at Somebody Cares)Probably none in a formal sense
Training opportunitiesLimited, but possibility of attaining supervisory or managerial rolesNone
Choice of clientsVery limitedConsiderable
Relationship with clientWill vary, but formally constrained by care plan, employer’s regulations and health and safety considerationsPersonally negotiated, but there may well be issues associated with maintaining a boundary between work and friendship
Amount of personal risk associated with the jobVulnerable as they work alone, often in the homes of people they do not knowLimited, although there may be some if the relationship with the employer goes wrong
Job satisfactionDepends on the clients and the way the job is managed by the agencyLikely to be considerable if they get on with the person who employs them
(The Open University 2008 K101 Introduction to health and social care, Block 1, Unit 3, p. 150)

Some aspects of the two roles – such as their terms and conditions of work (first row of the table) – are considered to be much the same. Others, such as opportunities for training (second row of the table), differ.

In this activity you will practise various ways of expressing similarity on the one hand and difference on the other, with reference to the first two components of the table.

Choosing from the following connecting words, complete the gaps in the sentences below. Copy the word into the appropriate gap. Some of the words will need an initial capital letter at the start of the sentence.

unlikehoweverwhile/whereasboth
likeboththe same/similarand
  1. Expressing comparison (similarity)
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Answer

  • a.The terms and conditions of home carers and personal assistants are the same/similar in that they both involve unsociable hours and flexible schedules.
  • b.Like home carers, personal assistants are required to work unsociable hours to flexible schedules.
  • c.Both home carers and personal assistants are required to work unsociable hours to flexible schedules.
  1. Expressing contrast (difference)
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Answer

  • a.While/Whereas the training opportunities available to home carers vary, personal assistants have none in a formal sense.
  • b.Unlike home carers, whose training opportunities vary, personal assistants have none in a formal sense.
  • c.The training opportunities available to home carers vary. Personal assistants, however, have none in a formal sense.

Comment

These examples demonstrate that there are several ways of comparing or contrasting in any given text. Compare and contrast connectives can be used within a single sentence or over two or more sentences.

The structure used will both influence and be influenced by the kinds of connecting words that are used. Using a variety of connecting words to compare and contrast will add interest to an author’s writing.

SWE_1

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