Listening Exercise 2 – New South Wales Teacher Shortage ANSWERS

Keywords: Year 8+, preparation for VCE English, journalism, audio, 13 questions overall [8 MCQs, 4 short-answer, 1 extended response].

Listen to all of the audio before answering questions. Feel free to listen to it again while you answer.

Click here to go to the audio’s webpage:


ATAR = “Australian Tertiary Admission Rank”. A score that Year 12 students get that shows how they rank against all other Year 12 students. Generally, you need an ATAR to get into university. The highest possible score is 99.95.

HSC = “Higher School Certificate”. An academic award (certificate) Year 12 students in New South Wales can get at the end of the school year.

Read more to view the answers.


  1. Who is the main journalist of this piece?

a) Grant Scott

b) Mayeta Clark

c) ABC News

d) Australian Department of Education

2. The ________________________ is having trouble filling in ________ teaching vacancies.

a) New South Wales Department of Education, 0

b) Australian Department of Education, 160

c) Australian Department of Education, 1600

d) New South Wales Department of Education, 1600

3. There are interviews in this piece from anonymous teachers. Why are they anonymous?

a) They don’t want their family and friends to know about their troubles

b) Speaking publically against the public education system is against government policy

c) They’re ashamed about the issues they are facing with school staff

d) The reason for their anonymity is never specified/explained

4. Who does the journalist speak to during this piece?

a) Teachers

b) A high-school student

c) Head of an educational institute

d) All of the above

5. At one point, the journalist walks with the principal and describes what they (the journalist) see in an minimally-supervised library classroom. Why would they include these observations?

a) To illustrate that these sorts of classes don’t encourage students to study or work.

b) To express frustration at how students don’t pay attention to their teacher.

c) To insert humor into the piece by describing how students react to seeing their principal.

d) To segue into interviewing the principal about how they feel about minimally-supervised classes.

6. What best describes the high-school student’s tone?

a) Dejected and hopeful

b) Resigned and matter-of-fact

c) Cheery and morose

d) Neutral and objective

7. When speaking to the NSW Deputy Secretary of Education (Murat Dizdar), what does he state is the main cause of the teacher shortage?

a) Decreasing wages, which has made the teaching profession less attractive

b) The COVID pandemic, which has led many teachers to resign

c) Gradually increasing enrolments in public schooling due to population growth

d) Growing workload stress, which resulted in many teachers resigning

8. What is Dizdar’s goal and proposed solution for the teacher shortage issue?

a) To aid current teachers in their struggles, which would create a stronger pipeline of teachers

b) To present the teaching profession as something appealing and high-standing to prospective student teachers

c) To increase teacher wages and improve working conditions so that fewer teachers resign

d) To redesign the teaching profession so that it appears more glamorous and laidback

9. In 1-2 sentences, summarise the piece’s main topic and its cause.

This piece concerns the teacher shortage in New South Wales, which has multiple causes: the COVID pandemic, increasing demand for teachers, low wages, a negative social perception of teachers, and workload stress.

10. Why would the journalist speak to a high-school student in this piece?

Any answer that relates to illustrating students’ views of the issue is acceptable. You also need to explain that high-school students are a significant part of the topic (i.e. teacher shortage) and thus deserve to be heard.

11. Why would the journalist speak to a school principal in this piece?

As above, any answer that relates to illustrating the perspectives of school staff is acceptable. You also need to explain that principals are a significant part of the topic as they are directly related to the teacher shortage (i.e. they’re the ones who hire teachers and deal with the shortage).

12. The New South Wales Department of Education said that this issue is a “good problem to have”. Do you agree with what they said? Why or why not? Remember to specify what their reasoning is.

There is no ‘correct’ answer here, as this question asks for your opinion. However, a strong answer would include describing the rationale behind the quote (“They think it’s a good problem to have because it shows how much people want teachers and a good education”). Whether you agree with this reasoning or not is up to you, but you need to specify a reason for your argument. For example, if you don’t agree, you could state that “this isn’t a good problem to have, simply because many students are going without teachers and their education has been negatively impacted”. If you do agree, a potential reason could be, “this is a good problem to have, as it reinforces how important it is to have high-quality teachers and education.”

If you need help or you want me to review your response for this question, comment and I’ll be happy to provide some brief feedback!

13. Write a sample introduction to an analysis of this piece. Remember to state:

  • the piece’s title and date of publication (3rd June, 2022)
  • the journalist’s name and news outlet
  • the target audience
  • the main issue
  • three aspects of the piece you would investigate further

Alright, so this is a bit of a tricky one to explain the answer to. Basically, you need to make sure you’ve included all of the details above and that your English is grammatically correct. If you need more individualised feedback on your response to this question, please don’t hesitate to comment with it. I’m always happy to provide brief feedback!


A teaching student whose goal is to become a primary-school teacher! I'm currently working as an English tutor to almost 100 students (they're all wonderful!).

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