The Reading / Listening - Level 2

What is school for? It's an easy question, but a poll in the USA shows people have different opinions on school. The poll is called the 'Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools'. It is from a worldwide group of teachers called PDK International. PDK asked Americans to name the biggest purpose of school. Just 45 per cent of people said the main goal was to prepare students to pass exams. Around a quarter of people said it was to get kids ready to find a job. Just over 26 per cent of Americans said the biggest reason for school was to teach children about citizenship.



Joshua Starr, CEO of PDK, said the poll questioned whether schools were doing the right thing and if they were, "what the public wants". He quoted from author James Baldwin, who said in 1963 that the purpose of school is "to ask questions of the universe and learn to live with those questions." Students had different ideas about school. Elena Brankov, 15, said it was to teach children to be creative, to share ideas and to use technology to make the world a better place. 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 1   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 have different
  3. It is from a worldwide
  4. name the biggest purpose
  5. the main goal was to prepare
  6. Around a quarter
  7. get kids ready
  8. teach children
  1. group of teachers
  2. about citizenship
  3. students to pass exams
  4. opinions
  5. of school
  6. to find a job
  7. It's an easy question.
  8. of people

Paragraph 2

  1. questioned whether schools were
  2. He quoted from
  3. school is to ask
  4. Students had different ideas
  5. teach children
  6. make the world a
  7. just to make poor kids into
  8. make rich people
  1. questions of the universe
  2. better place
  3. richer
  4. doing the right thing
  5. robots
  6. about school
  7. to be creative
  8. an author

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

What is school for? It's (1) ___________________, but a poll in the USA shows people have (2) ___________________ school. The poll is called the 'Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools'. It is from a worldwide (3) ___________________ called PDK International. PDK asked Americans to name the (4) ___________________ school. Just 45 per cent of people said the main goal was to prepare students to pass exams. Around (5) ___________________ people said it was to get kids ready to find a job. Just over 26 per cent of Americans said the (6) ___________________ school was to teach children about citizenship.

Joshua Starr, CEO of PDK, said the (7) ___________________ schools were doing (8) ___________________ and if they were, "what the public wants". He (9) ___________________ James Baldwin, who said in 1963 that the purpose of school is "to ask questions of the universe and (10) ___________________ those questions." Students had different ideas about school. Elena Brankov, 15, said it was to teach children to be creative, to share ideas and to use technology (11) ___________________ a better place. Lyndon Bailey, also 15, said school, "is just to make poor kids into robots (12) ___________________ rich people richer".

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Whatisschoolfor?It'saneasyquestion,butapollintheUSAshowspeople
havedifferentopinionsonschool.Thepolliscalledthe'Public’sAttitudes
TowardthePublicSchools'.Itisfromaworldwidegroupofteacherscalled
PDKInternational.PDKaskedAmericanstonamethebiggestpurposeof
school.Just45percentofpeoplesaidthemaingoalwastopreparestuden
tstopassexams.Aroundaquarterofpeoplesaiditwastogetkidsreadyto
findajob.Justover26percentofAmericanssaidthebiggestreasonforsc
hoolwastoteachchildrenaboutcitizenship.JoshuaStarr,CEOofPDK,sa
idthepollquestionedwhetherschoolsweredoingtherightthingandifthe
ywere,"whatthepublicwants".HequotedfromauthorJamesBaldwin,w
hosaidin1963thatthepurposeofschoolis"toaskquestionsoftheuniver
seandlearntolivewiththosequestions."Studentshaddifferentideasab
outschool.ElenaBrankov,15,saiditwastoteachchildrentobecreative,t
oshareideasandtousetechnologytomaketheworldabetterplace.Lynd
onBailey,also15,saidschool,"isjusttomakepoorkidsintorobotswhow
orkandmakerichpeoplericher".

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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