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Musterlösung 2014: Composition: Fiktionaler Text: "Talk, Talk" by T.C. Boyle


Choose one of the following topics. Write about 200 to 250 words.

  1. “Inclusive education means that all students attend and are welcomed by their neighbourhood schools in age-appropriate, regular classes and are supported to learn, contribute and participate in all aspects of the life of the school” (
    Outline how you think students with mental or physical disabilities can be included in everyday school life.
  2. “Science may have found a cure for most evils, but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings”
    (Helen Keller, 1880-1968; deaf-blind American author).
    Comment on this statement.
  3. What might happen next? Continue telling the story.
  4. Describe and interpret the following cartoon and comment on it.
    Musterlösung 2014: Composition: Fiktionaler Text: "Talk, Talk" by T.C. Boyle - Abbildung 1



Today, more and more students with disabilities are entering regular education classrooms. Consequently, schools and teachers are facing new challenges arising from inclusive education.
How can students with mental or physical disabilities be included in everyday school life?

First of all, it is important to modify and adapt teaching materials to meet the needs of different kinds of learners. Teachers can facilitate life for students with disabilities by providing appropriate material – e.g. shorter texts, audio texts or fewer assignments – and by giving further explanations to help these students master the tasks. Although these students might need special attention, teachers should try and treat them just like any other student.

Secondly, group work and group activities could be a good way to strengthen the feeling of solidarity, to involve the whole class and to make use of the different abilities and strengths that each student has. Students with disabilities can also ask their peers for help who might in turn also profit from this task.

What is more, to make students with disabilities feel as comfortable and normal as possible they should be given the opportunity to spend time with peers outside the classroom as well. Hence, they should be encouraged to participate in school projects, workshops and groups, e.g. the theatre group or the school newspaper.

All in all, in order to make inclusive education work, still a lot needs to be done. Schools welcoming students with disabilities should receive appropriate funding to modify classrooms to the students’ needs and to recruit additional qualified staff.


Scientific progress has made life much easier for all of us. At the same time, people have become more individualistic and egoistic and do not seem to care about each other that much. Thus, Helen Keller, a deaf-blind American author, surely has a point when she states that “[s]cience may have found a cure for most evils, but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all – the apathy of human beings”.

To begin with, these days, people seem too concerned with themselves and their own problems and apparently do not pay much attention to what is happening around them. This can be seen especially when living in big cities where life has become very anonymous and stressful. People are in a constant hurry, passing by absent-mindedly without noticing others. It is obvious that people like Helen Keller, who depend on the help, commitment and empathy of others, suffer the most from this general lack of interest and solidarity.

However, one must not forget that there are people who do care about fellow citizens and who are committed to social causes. Volunteers do charitable community work, helping the underprivileged and people in need.
It is these people who work for charitable institutions and organizations that, in a world based on progress, efficiency and performance help to keep alive values like trust, solidarity and commitment.

In conclusion, science has not found and will not find a remedy for the apathy of human beings. It is the task of every single one of us to make a difference in order to build a society worth living in.


Dana was frozen in shock, unable to move, her hands shaking in her lap. She was not able to control that shaking, or to move her hands to where he could see them. In fact, she couldn’t do anything but stare at the patrolman who hadn’t stopped screaming yet, his face red with fury and aggression.
Wasn’t that just a bad dream she would certainly soon awake from to find herself at home in bed? To start this day over again, no hurry, a nice cup of coffee – NO, thinking about the coffee she had swallowed before jumping into the car made her realize that this was real. REAL.
She made another attempt to control her hands, trying hard to collect her thoughts.
She suddenly felt her mobile buzzing in the hip pocket. Her body was still rigid with fear, but the sensation of the buzzing phone was kind of comforting. She glanced through the window and saw that the patrolman had approached one step, the gun still pointed at her. She managed to raise her hands and to put them on the steering wheel, her fingers clutching the warm leather until her knuckles turned white.
The mobile had stopped buzzing. She closed her eyes and when she opened them again she realized that the patrolman’s face hadn’t relaxed the slightest bit. He still seemed a wild pit bull terrier just seconds before the fight.
Her hands still clutched the steering wheel – but hadn’t she put them where he could see them? She tried to take a deep breath and to relax her hands that started to get numb from the firm grip. What in Heaven’s name did he want from her?
All she could see before her vision blurred and she fainted was the barrel of the gun – dangerously near now ...


The cartoon shows a mother and her teenage son Jake at home. The son is sitting in front of his computer, apparently absorbed in his work, while his mother is looking out of the huge window fronting onto the garden.
In the garden, the viewer can identify several police officers with their guns drawn, ready to enter the house in order to arrest a suspect.
The mother addresses her son with the words “Oh, for heaven’s sake! What kind of ridiculous thing did you put on your Facebook now, Jake?!”

Her reaction and her posture suggest that, rather than being shocked or frightened, she is annoyed and already used to this kind of situation (implied by the word “now”). That is to say, she is aware of her son’s online activities on social networks which must already have caused similar police operations. Her swearing (“Oh, for heaven’s sake!”) and talking about a “ridiculous thing” imply that she does not take the whole incident too seriously and finds the police operation exaggerated.

The cartoon alludes to the consequences that careless online behaviour might cause. The cartoonist seems to make fun of excessive online surveillance, but at the same time he wants people – and especially teenagers – to become aware of the dangers involved in the careless sharing of data and personal information on the Internet.

All in all, I think that the cartoonist has a point as these days, many people share confidential information on the World Wide Web without thinking about possible risks and consequences.

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