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MALE & FEMALE ROLES

Text for dictation:

In the British General Election in 1997, some of the most powerful men in the country lost their seats to professionally successful women. One hundred and nineteen women were elected to the House of Commons and five women secured Cabinet posts. By 1997, over a million of Britain's four million small businesses were run by women. Many of these women had left corporate life because of their difficulties in progressing in large organisations, especially in the world of finance, where men are generally favoured for the top managerial posts.

During the twentieth century, women in Britain have had to campaign vigorously for equal rights - the right to education, the right to vote and the right to work in posts traditionally reserved for men. It was largely through war-work that women proved their capabilities.

More recently, they have been outperforming men in public examinations. Women's rights campaigns have focused particularly on language and thought. Terms such as "chairman" have been changed to more neutral descriptions such as "chair" or less ambiguous alternatives such as "president". This is part of the recent concept known as "political correctness".

Some men are careful to avoid accusations of sexism and sexual harassment while others have reacted by campaigning for "men's rights".



  1. Get a good English speaker to dictate the text giving you a second reading with pauses so that you can write it down.
  2. Afterwards you can look at the above text to check your spelling.
  3. Next, using a red pen, put a small vertical mark high up before each stressed syllable in the text.
  4. Now click here to check that you have marked the correct syllables as the stressed ones.
  5. Finally, read the text aloud, taking care to stress the "stressed syllables" and not to stress the "weak" syllables.