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Психология Explain the words and word combinations in bold in the text.
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5) Explain the following metaphors. What is the writer’s purpose of using them, to your mind?

1. … fresh cohorts of young people pour out of the trenches to do battle with school and university examinations.

2. The emotional casualty rate is grievously high.

3. Schoolchildren are cudgelled into studying… .

4. … they peak too early… .

5. … a system the crowning glory of which is getting the highest possible mark.

6) Fill in the correct preposition or particle, then make sentences:

1) to do battle … smb; 2) What is the point … (smth); 3) critical … smth; 4) to scare smb … smth; 5) essential … smth; 6) to rely … smth; 7) to be unanimous … (doing) smth; 8) to concentrate … smth; 9) to prepare smb … smth; 10) … many cases; 11) to comply … smth.

7) Answer the questions:

1. What does the author of the article want to prove?

2. What are his arguments?

3. Do you agree? What exactly do you agree or disagree with?

1) Before reading the next article, read the following information about schools in England and answer the questions:

Schools in England are becoming very exam-oriented, with children taking their first public exams (SATS) at 7. There are more important public exams for pupils at 16 (GCSEs), 17 (AS levels) and 18 (A levels), and schools are required to publish the results of all these public exams. The results are then used to compile league tables which show, among other things, the schools with the best exam results. Schools who do particularly well are given the status of 'beacon' school and receive increased financial support from the local authorities. More recently, the government has introduced performance-related pay for teachers, meaning that good exam results earn teachers a better salary.

· What are league tables?

· Is there a similar system in your country?

· How many exams do you take at school? At what age?

· Are exam results published?

· Do teachers in your country have performance-related pay?

Let’s Ditch Exams

Right, class, settle down. This will be a very short examination – one question only – and you have five seconds to provide the answer. How many tests must a child sit between starting school and finishing: 105, 82 or 56? Okay, time up. And the answer is: any of the above. The alternative answer is: too many. Both answers are correct. So let's change the question and ask a better one: have we lost sight of what education is all about?

Before we try to answer this let us look at what is happening to our over-tested children. At the age of seven a child must do four tests: maths, reading, spelling and writing. By the end of A levels the total will be 56. But these are only the public examinations or tests called for by the national curriculum, which almost all pupils must take. Most schools opt for many more, which can take the final figure above the 100 mark.

Why would they do that when head teachers across the land say they can scarcely cope as it is? Because they are afraid that if they don't their young charges will not be sufficiently practised in the art of passing exams and will fail when the big tests arrive. In other words, the point of school has become the sitting and passing of exams. This is crazy.

It is odder still, given that until relatively recently scarcely anyone in education had a good word to say for exams. They were the unwelcome legacy of the Victorian schoolroom in which children sat in neat rows and learnt by rote. What a terrible betrayal of a child's imagination and creativity, everyone said. Surely it was obvious that exams proved only how good some children were at performing a particular trick on a particular day. They said nothing about the child's innate intelligence or even the breadth of his knowledge.

History, they said, was full of people who had achieved great things and who had never passed an exam in their lives. Even as a test of memory, exams were irrelevant. Who needs to remember things when we can click on a mouse and retrieve more information than 1000 Einsteins could store in their brains? They are little better for testing a child's ability to think. They might show whether he had grasped a mathematical theory but what about history or English? What could possibly be the value of mugging up a few pre-scripted essays for the topics the teacher reckons are most likely to come up? They'll have been forgotten a few-weeks later anyway.

Good teachers knew that most exams were a waste of time. The way of the future was continual assessment. Let the child show what he could do over a full term or, better still, a full year. Away with the tyranny of the examination room and its ticking clock.

Then there are league tables. These can indeed be useful for parents who want the best education for their children. Exams are indispensable to league tables. They become the measure of everything and parents are surprised these days to find themselves poring over league tables wondering what to do for the best.

Who gains from all this? The politicians, for starters. They can use the statistics to 'prove' that things are improving. Then there are the examining boards, who may make silly mistakes but who benefit from the extra business. Some schools work the system to their advantage: the more pupils their good results attract, the higher their income. Some teachers, with their performance-related pay, may also gain. But the biggest winners are in the cramming industry. Private tutors have never been in such demand. This makes a nonsense of the whole business. If a school produces good results because most of its parents can afford private tuition, then the league tables become meaningless. They are also devalued when teachers cheat by helping children answer their papers. It's impossible to say how much of it goes on, but the Sats results over the past seven years suggest great improvements in literacy and numeracy which are not always borne out by independent research. I suppose continuous assessment, the teachers' preferred method, is open to similar abuse.

Who loses from all this? The schools who do not cheat and who have to face much higher bills in examination fees; a typical secondary school might have to fork out an extra £20,000 a year. The teachers who feel their vocation is being stolen from them; instead of teaching they must become administrators of an educational process. But the biggest losers, it goes without saying, are the children. It is desperately sad to talk to children who seem to spend half their young lives worrying about the next set of exams and measuring their success only by those results.

2) Find the English equivalents for the following in the text:

едва справляться с чем-л., подопечные, природный ум, глубина знаний, экзаменационная комиссия, извлекать выгоду из чего-л. (2 варианта), пользоваться спросом, призвание.

3) Find words and phrases in the article which mean the following:

1) forget the most important part of something (paragraph 1)

2) choose something (paragraph 2)

3) something that is passed on to following generations (paragraph 4)

4) learnt something by repeating it continuously(paragraph 4)

5) part of you when you are born (paragraph 4)

6) understood an idea or concept (paragraph 5)

7) government by someone or something with complete power (paragraph 6)

8) too important to be without (paragraph 7)

9) reading something very carefully (paragraph 7)

10) preparing for an exam in a short time (paragraphs 5 and 8)

11) shown or proved to be true (paragraph 8)

12) pay a lot of money for something unwillingly (paragraph 9)

4) Fill in the correct preposition or particle, then make sentences:

1) to lose sight .. smth; 2) to happen … smb; 3) … the age of 7; 4) to opt … smth; 5) to learn … rote; 6) to be good … (doing) smth; 7) the value … (doing) smth; 8) to be indispensable … smth; 9) to pore … smth; 10) to gain … smth; 11) to benefit … smth; 12) to work smth … smb’s advantage; 13) to be … demand; 14) to make a nonsense … smth; 15) improvement … smth; 16) to fork … (money); 17) to measure smth … smth.

5) Answer the questions:

1. What is “continual assessment”?

2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of exams/continual assessment? Which would you prefer?


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