Please read the vocabulary lesson at your natural speed, though it should not be too fast so that I could hear what you speak naturally and imitate yours. Thank you.
We have been talking about a school or college and now I would like to ask you some more general questions relating to this topic.
CONSIDER whether teachers should have the right to hit children who behave badly
I absolutely disagree with children being hit by teachers even if they behave badly. Corporal punishment was outlawed in state schools in the UK in 1987, although I think it had already stopped in many schools prior to that. When I was at school I do not remember it being used. I do not think it acts as a deterrent, I think it teaches children that hitting people is acceptable if they have done something that has annoyed or upset you. It may be argued that discipline problems have increased in schools since it was made illegal, however I do not agree that this is the case, I think that there are other reasons for this such as teachers being powerless to kick students out of classes when they are misbehaving.
EXPLAIN why some parents prefer to educate their children at home rather than sending them to school
Home teaching has become increasingly popular in my country. I think generally in all aspects of life we are much more demanding than we used to be so if we are not happy with something we immediately look for an alternative and I personally think this is why there are many more children being educated at home than in the past. Some parents feel that they can teach their children much more by letting them actually experience real life such as doing the shopping, going to a farm rather than being stuck in a classroom. I fear that it may result in highly educated students, but with poor social skills, as they have not learnt to interact with people properly. Schools are vital for acquiring social skills.
COMPARE education now and in the past. How has it changed?
There have been a number of significant changes in the style of teaching, the curriculum and how children are treated. Firstly, in the past teachers used to be much more authoritarian than they are nowadays. The teacher was a figure of authority. Lessons were conducted with the teacher standing at the front and with very little talking. Things have changed somewhat in that there is much greater emphasis on communication and students are expected to speak more than the teacher. In terms of the curriculum in the past subjects such as Latin were studied whereas nowadays this is taught in very few schools. Additionally, there was a greater focus on reading, writing and maths whereas today there is less emphasis on things such as spelling and handwriting. I think this is a shame. Finally, there has been a shift in how children are treated. I think that they have more rights now and the teachers have fewer rights. Corporal punishment has ceased to exist and schools are far less disciplined than they used to be.
SPECULATE on what the school of 2050 will look like
That’s a question I’ve never thought about before… I suppose there will be much greater emphasis on computers and interactive learning rather than children just sitting at desks and looking at a whiteboard. I think they will have much better facilities than they do today with much greater choice of places to eat and study. I would hope that we don’t get to the stage where there are no desks and students are sitting at a computer all day because I don’t think that is necessarily a good idea. Students need to interact with a teacher and other students. It is likely that libraries in schools will get smaller, as a lot of reference material can now be found on the internet. I am saddened by this thought because I much prefer reading a book to sitting at a computer looking at a document.