The Reading / Listening - Level 1

What is school for? It's an easy question but people in the USA have different answers. A poll from a teaching group called PDK International asked Americans to name the biggest purpose of school. PDK said 45 per cent of people said the main goal was to prepare students for exams. Around a quarter of people said it was for kids to get a job. Just over 26 per cent of Americans said the biggest reason for school was to teach children about citizenship.



The CEO of PDK said the poll questioned whether schools were doing the right thing. He quoted from an author who said the purpose of school is, "to ask questions of the universe." Students had different ideas about school. Elena Brankov, 15, said it was to teach creativity, ideas sharing and how to use technology. Lyndon Bailey, also 15, said school, "is just to make poor kids into robots who work and make rich people richer".

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Level 0 Level 2   or  Level 3

Sources
  • https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2016/08/29/why-do-kids-go-to-school-americans-are-divided-on-the-answer-a-new-poll-shows/
  • http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-08-29/confusion-over-purpose-of-us-education-system
  • https://edsource.org/2016/national-poll-shows-differing-views-about-focus-of-public-education/568712


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. What is school for?
  2. people in the USA have
  3. A poll from
  4. name the biggest
  5. the main goal was to prepare
  6. Around a quarter
  7. it was for kids
  8. teach children
  1. purpose of school
  2. a teaching group
  3. of people
  4. to get a job
  5. It's an easy question.
  6. about citizenship
  7. different answers
  8. students for exams

Paragraph 2

  1. The CEO
  2. questioned whether schools were
  3. He quoted from
  4. ask
  5. Students had different ideas
  6. how to
  7. just to make poor
  8. make rich people
  1. doing the right thing
  2. kids into robots
  3. of PDK
  4. richer
  5. use technology
  6. an author
  7. about school
  8. questions of the universe

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

What is school for? It's (1) ___________________ but people in the USA have different answers. A poll from a teaching group called PDK International asked Americans                                (2) ___________________ purpose of school. PDK said 45 per cent of people said (3) ___________________ was to prepare students for exams. (4) ___________________ of people said it was for kids to get a job. Just (5) ___________________ of Americans said the biggest reason for school was to teach children (6) ___________________.

The CEO of PDK said the poll quest (7) ___________________ ioned whether schools were doing the right thing. He quoted from (8) ___________________ the purpose of school is, "to ask questions (9) ___________________." Students had different ideas about school. Elena Brankov, 15, said it was to teach creativity, (10) ___________________ and how to use technology. Lyndon Bailey, also 15, said school, "(11) ___________________ poor kids into robots who work and make (12) ___________________ ".

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Whatisschoolfor?It'saneasyquestionbutpeopleintheUSAhavediffere
ntanswers.ApollfromateachinggroupcalledPDKInternationalaskedA
mericanstonamethebiggestpurposeofschool.PDKsaid45percentofp
eoplesaidthemaingoalwastopreparestudentsforexams.Aroundaqua
rterofpeoplesaiditwasforkidstogetajob.Justover26percentofAmeric
anssaidthebiggestreasonforschoolwastoteachchildrenaboutcitizens
hip.TheCEOofPDKsaidthepollquestionedwhetherschoolsweredoingt
herightthing.Hequotedfromanauthorwhosaidthepurposeofschoolis,
"toaskquestionsoftheuniverse."Studentshaddifferentideasaboutsch
ool.ElenaBrankov,15,saiditwastoteachcreativity,ideassharingandh
owtousetechnology.LyndonBailey,also15,saidschool,"isjusttomake
poorkidsintorobotswhoworkandmakerichpeoplericher".

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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