The Reading / Listening - Handwriting - Level 5

Cambridge University may abolish handwritten exams after 800 years. The university may ask students to type their exam answers on a computer rather than use a pen. Exam markers are complaining that test papers are becoming increasingly illegible due to poor handwriting. Academics say today's students mainly use laptops in lectures instead of pens. Students are losing the ability to write by hand. One academic said hand writing exams actually causes students physical difficulties. The muscles in their hand are not used to writing extensively for two to three hours at a time.



A Cambridge lecturer told Britain's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper that handwriting is a "lost art". She said: "Twenty years ago, students routinely [wrote] by hand several hours a day, but now they write virtually nothing by hand, except exams." She said declining handwriting has been a problem and on "a downward trend" for years. She added it is difficult for examiners to read exam scripts. Some students' handwriting is so illegible they had to return to the university over the summer to read out their answers to examiners who could not read their writing.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Handwriting - Level 4 or  Handwriting - Level 6

Sources
  • http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2017/09/students-unreadable-handwriting-could-mean-laptops-in-exams.html
  • https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/sep/09/cambridge-considers-typed-exams-as-handwriting-worsens
  • http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-09/09/c_136597258.htm


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. abolish handwritten exams
  2. increasingly illegible due to poor
  3. use laptops in lectures
  4. Students are losing the ability
  5. causes students
  6. The muscles in
  7. not used to writing
  8. for two to three hours
  1. extensively
  2. to write by hand
  3. physical difficulties
  4. at a time
  5. instead of pens
  6. handwriting
  7. after 800 years
  8. their hand

Paragraph 2

  1. handwriting is a lost
  2. students routinely wrote by
  3. now they write virtually
  4. declining handwriting has
  5. on a downward
  6. it is difficult for examiners
  7. Some students' handwriting
  8. read
  1. nothing by hand
  2. is so illegible
  3. trend
  4. out their answers
  5. hand several hours
  6. been a problem
  7. art
  8. to read exam scripts

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Cambridge University (1) ___________________ handwritten exams after 800 years. The university (2) ___________________ to type their exam answers on a computer rather than use a pen. Exam markers are complaining that test papers are (3) ___________________ illegible due to poor handwriting. Academics say today's students (4) __________________ in lectures instead of pens. Students are losing the ability to write by hand. One academic said hand writing (5) ___________________ students physical difficulties. The muscles in their hand are not used to writing extensively for (6) ___________________ at a time.

A Cambridge lecturer told Britain's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper that handwriting (7) ___________________. She said: "Twenty years ago, students (8) ___________________ by hand several hours a day, but now they (9) ___________________ by hand, except exams." She said declining handwriting has been a problem and (10) ___________________ trend" for years. She added it is difficult for examiners (11) ___________________ scripts. Some students' handwriting is so illegible they had to return to the university over the summer (12) ___________________ answers to examiners who could not read their writing.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

CambridgeUniversitymayabolishhandwrittenexamsafter800years.
Theuniversitymayaskstudentstotypetheirexamanswersonacomput
erratherthanuseapen.Exammarkersarecomplainingthattestpapers
arebecomingincreasinglyillegibleduetopoorhandwriting.Academics
saytoday'sstudentsmainlyuselaptopsinlecturesinsteadofpens.Stud
entsarelosingtheabilitytowritebyhand.Oneacademicsaidhandwritin
gexamsactuallycausesstudentsphysicaldifficulties.Themusclesinthe
irhandarenotusedtowritingextensivelyfortwotothreehoursatatime.
ACambridgelecturertoldBritain's'DailyTelegraph'newspaperthathan
dwritingisa"lostart".Shesaid:"Twentyyearsago,studentsroutinely[w
rote]byhandseveralhoursaday,butnowtheywritevirtuallynothingby
hand,exceptexams."Shesaiddeclininghandwritinghasbeenaproble
mandon"adownwardtrend"foryears.Sheaddeditisdifficultforexamin
erstoreadexamscripts.Somestudents'handwritingissoillegibletheyh
adtoreturntotheuniversityoverthesummertoreadouttheiranswersto
examinerswhocouldnotreadtheirwriting.

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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