TPS Review 2018

This article is an updated description English section of the CESPE/IRBR phase 1 – ‘TPS’.

Here we will look at the sources of the texts used in previous exams up to this year and adapted in our updated TPS course. It is hoped that by the end of these articles candidates have a greater understanding the exam’s, overall style and uses of different English texts in the English sections. At the end of the article there is a short comment on overall change in the exam for the past 7 years and some links to texts for candidates to use for reading practice.

Note: Different questions styles will be covered in another article.

Here we see the bibliography/sources of texts taken from the CESPE/IRBr exam since 2011.

All of the Texts

  1. Christopher Meyer. Getting Our Way: 500 Years of Adventure and Intrigue: the Inside Story of British Diplomacy. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009, p. 6 (adapted)
  2. Christopher Meyer. Getting Our Way: 500 years of adventure and intrigue: the inside story of british diplomacy. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009, p. 7-9 (adapted)
  3. No longer so male and stale. Internet: < www.economist.com> (adapted).
  4. Chi When  Did  Colonial  America  Gain  Linguistic Independence?  Internet:  <https://daily.jstor.org>  (adapted)
  5. Paul N. Edwards. The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996 (adapted).
  1. W. Said. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon, 1978, p. 1-4 (adapted).
  2. Massey. For space. London: Sage Publications, 2005, p. 4-5 (adapted).
  3. Bierschenk. Book Review — Pierre Englebert (2009), Africa: unity, sovereignty, and sorrow. Internet: <http://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de> (adapted).
  4. Internet: <www.publicdiplomacy.org> (adapted).
  5. Michael Johnson. The impact of political and diplomatic disputes on international business activity. Internet: <www.ibde.org> (adapted).
  1. Andrew F. Cooper. The changing nature of diplomacy. In: Andrew F. Cooper and Jorge Heine. The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. p. 36 (adapted) 
  2. Aida Edemarian. Francis Bacon: box oftricks. Internet: <www.theguardian.com> (adapted) 
  3. Virginia Woolf. Orlando – A biography, 1928 (adapted) 
  4. Mabel van Oranje and Graça Machel. Girls, not brides. Apr. 22nd 2015. Internet: <www.project-syndicate.org> (adapted) 
  1. Source: <www.amazon.com>. Retrieved on: March 2, 2014 
  2. Makin, John H. The challenge of a lifetime. In: The international economy. Fall 2013, p. 10-11. Available at: <http://www.international- economy.com>. Adapted. Retrieved on: March 1, 2014. 
  3. Christopher Lasch. The Cult of Narcissism. Abacus, Londres, 1980 p. 320-322 (adapted). 
  4. Roger Crowley. Empires of the Sea, The Final Battle for the Mediterranean, 1521-1580, Faber and Faber, 2008, p. 1-2. 
  1. Pearce. What do we fix first – environment or economy? New Scientist. July 8th, 2013 (adapted) 314 words
  2. Onley. The future of global diplomacy. June 17th, 2013 (adapted). 
  3. S. Abu Jaber, Language and Diplomacy. In: J. Kurbalija; H. Slavi (Eds.) Language and Diplomacy, p. 53. Malta: DiploProjects, 2001. 
  4. Internet: <www.nytimes.com> (adapted). 
  5. Simon Winschester. The Professor and the Madman – A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary. Harper Perennial, 2005, p. 182-3 (adapted).
  1. Internet: <www.economist.com> (adapted) 
  2. Internet: <www.time.com> (adapted) 
  3. Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American
  4. Charleston (SC): Forgotten Books, 2008, p. 26-7 (adapted) 
  5. Andrew Graham-Dixon. Caravaggio: a life sacred and profane. New York – London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2010 (adapted). 
  1. Barbara Tuchman. The proud power. MacMillan Company, 1966, p. 233 (adapted) 
  2. The promise and perils of crowdsourcing content. In: The Economist, January 15th-21st, 2011, p. 69 (adapted) 
  3. Frederick L. Schuman. International politics: the destiny of the Western state system. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1948, p. 1 (adapted) 

Types of Text

We can see some patterns in the themes/styles of text that the examiner has used. There are more texts based on themes found in diplomacy (obviously), English literature, and articles adapted from magazines and newspapers.

On further examination, while there is a spread of the texts available both over the internet and in paper-based books, we see that there is less dependency on more popular newspapers and magazines and the use of diplomatic/international relations themes from academic reading has become more prominent.

Diplomacy

  1. Christopher Meyer. Getting Our Way: 500 Years of Adventure and Intrigue: the Inside Story of British Diplomacy. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2009, p. 6 (adapted)
  2. Paul N. Edwards. The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996 (adapted).
  1. W. Said. Orientalism. New York: Pantheon, 1978, p. 1-4 (adapted).
  2. Massey. For space. London: Sage Publications, 2005, p. 4-5 (adapted).
  3. Bierschenk. Book Review — Pierre Englebert (2009), Africa: unity, sovereignty, and sorrow. Internet: <http://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de> (adapted)
  4. Michael Johnson. The impact of political and diplomatic disputes on international business activity. Internet: <www.ibde.org> (adapted) 

Andrew F. Cooper. The changing nature of diplomacy. In: Andrew F. Cooper and Jorge Heine. The Oxford Handbook of Modern Diplomacy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. p. 36 (adapted)

K.S. Abu Jaber, Language and Diplomacy. In: J. Kurbalija; H. Slavi (Eds.) Language and Diplomacy, p. 53. Malta: DiploProjects, 2001. 

  1. Barbara Tuchman. The proud power. MacMillan Company, 1966, p. 233 (adapted)
  2. Frederick L. Schuman. International politics: the destiny of the Western state system. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1948, p. 1 (adapted) 

Literature

No Texts Used

No text Used

Virginia Woolf. Orlando – A biography, 1928 (adapted)

Roger Crowley. Empires of the Sea, The Final Battle for the Mediterranean, 1521-1580, Faber and Faber, 2008, p. 1-2.

Christopher Lasch. The Cult of Narcissism. Abacus, Londres, 1980 p. 320-322 (adapted).

Simon Winschester. The Professor and the Madman – A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary. Harper Perennial, 2005, p. 182-3 (adapted).

Frederick Douglass. Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave. Charleston (SC): Forgotten Books, 2008, p. 26-7 (adapted)

Andrew Graham-Dixon. Caravaggio: a life sacred and profane. New York – London: W. W. Norton & Company, 2010 (adapted).

Sources available on the Internet website magazines/journals

  1. No longer so male and stale. Internet: < www.economist.com> (adapted).
  2. Chi When  Did  Colonial  America  Gain  Linguistic Independence?  Internet:  <https://daily.jstor.org>  (adapted)
  1. Internet: <www.publicdiplomacy.org> (adapted).
  2. www.ibde.org
  1. Aida Edemarian. Francis Bacon: box oftricks. Internet: <www.theguardian.com> (adapted)
  2. Mabel van Oranje and Graça Machel. Girls, not brides. Apr. 22nd 2015. Internet: <www.project-syndicate.org> (adapted)
  1. Source: <www.amazon.com>. Retrieved on: March 2, 2014
  2. Makin, John H. The challenge of a lifetime. In: The international economy. Fall 2013, p. 10-11. Available at: <http://www.international- economy.com>. Adapted. Retrieved on: March 1, 2014.
  1. Pearce. What do we fix first – environment or economy? New Scientist. July 8th, 2013 (adapted)
  2. Internet: <www.nytimes.com> (adapted). 
  1. Internet: <www.economist.com> (adapted)
  2. Internet: <www.time.com> (adapted)

Wikipedia. The promise and perils of crowdsourcing content. In: The Economist, January 15th-21st, 2011, p. 69 (adapted)

Other texts

Paul N. Edwards. The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996 (adapted).

Changes in the TPS Text used

As stated, the development of the exam has gradually moved away from the staple magazines and newspapers of the Economist and The Guardian from the UK and Time and The New York Times from the US, which were last used in 2013, toward the use of diplomacy themes in academic style texts. However, the economist text made a comeback in 2017.

Literature texts such, have always declined in the exam and have not been used since 2015 which was the ‘Orlando’ excerpt by Virginia Woolf . Up until 2014 there were 2 literature texts used but in the last 2 years, 2016 and 2017, no such text was included. This trend might mean that literature has been completely replaced by readings which are more diplomacy in content.

It is clear that although the difficulty of the texts is still very high, the examiner had discarded text which are unrelated to diplomatic subjects . In 2017 the final text, ‘The Closed World: Computers and the Politics of Discourse in Cold War America.’ would not necessarily be part of standard reading although related to international politics.

The move away from literature is shown through a gradual inclusion on more diplomacy book-based texts, which can be found by a broader choice of reading of subjects, linked to International Relations. However, the internet is still one main source, especially The Economist, for the texts used but it seems the exam has been using less resources that can be discovered online.

What to study for the TPS

Having reviewed material on the CACD market, some ‘concurso’ preparation books still base most of their material on American and British magazines and newspapers. Their difficulty, of course, is to follow the changes presented here in this article. This study resources might be useful for improving your English but not necessarily include the high level of texts that a candidate must be familiar with when preparing for the TPS phase

Also, we will see when I analyse the questions, in a later article, that these journalist texts do not necessarily include the weird and novel language that are usually found in this first phase of CESPE/IRBr exam.

High level academic texts must be the focus for this phase and those candidates who have not studied international relations or are not yet familiar with the main diplomatic themes might have some difficulty choosing from the array of information available. Furthermore, although I state that they have been used less, from a teaching point of view, text from classic English literature still offers an excellent resource to help to perfect ‘text interpretation’ (the main question type on the exam) because they offer rich language and depth of thought that can only benefit a candidate for this stage. Finally the use of The Economist magazine is accessible and should also he used.

This is a link to one source that I have been using for the last few years with my students for literature:  http://www.classicshorts.com/abc.html.

A good university library is the only way to find paper-based texts. English books on International Relations and academic articles on different diplomatic subjects can help candidates to become more familiar with the themes and language used in this section of the TPS.

Good sites to use where you can focus on current diplomacy/political themes and improve your English

  1. www.project-syndicate.org
  2. https://www.foreignaffairs.com (for a very western view)
  3. http://www.international-relations.com
  4. https://www.economist.com
  5. www.theguardian.com

Suggestions and Links