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HOMEWORK: HOW USEFUL IS IT?
Homework is an (0) …B… part of school life in most countries around the world. However, there is still considerable debate among teachers about (1) …… homework has a significant educational value. On the one side are those who (2) …… that it takes too much time away from other (3) …… useful activities. On the other are those who see homework as reinforcing school lessons so that concepts will not be forgotten. (4) …… is often neglected in this debate is the role of parental involvement and (5) …… or not the child’s home provides support for effective homework. Middle-class families regularly spend time helping with homework by providing facilities and being interested. These are the same facilities that can (6) …… other educational experiences like overseas holidays and weekend museum visits. Parents in low-income families often don’t have the time to make homework a priority or aren’t able to afford a computer or additional textbooks. (7) …… money they have goes on the basic necessities of life – accommodation, food, clothing and heating. Their children are more (8) …… to spend weekends doing part-time jobs or playing in the street. However, the (9) …… that only middle-class parents support their children’s education is quite obviously wrong. Not (10) …… well-to-do parents give the support they should, and some parents living in the most impoverished circumstances (11) …… find the time and energy to involve themselves in their children’s homework. In general, (12) …… the family’s economic status is a major factor in determining the value of homework.
6. For questions 1-5, think of one word only which can be used appropriately in all three sentences. Here is an example (0).
0Educational reforms will be at the …top… of the government’s agenda next week.
As he left for work, Peter gave his young daughter a quick kiss on the …top… of her head.
At 4.00 am, climbers could just see the sun rising over the …top… of the mountain to the east.
1. The course will …… all the skills I will need in the future.
The light was so bright that I had to …… my eyes.
Because there was little traffic, we managed to …… 200 km in an hour and a half.
2. The timetable was completely …… so we had no time to relax.
Jack was the only one who got …… marks in the test.
The …… impact of the rise in oil prices hasn’t yet affected consumers.
3. We need to make some changes to the …… in which we educate our children.
We had to walk a long …… to the beach after we had parked the car.
I recognized Paul immediately as he has an unusual …… of walking.
4. The students felt they would …… more efficiently if they had their own computers.
I can’t get my new camera to …… properly.
Could you …… out how much I owe you?
5. Has your son …… in his new school?
We couldn’t decide where to go but we finally …… on Alexandria as the best place.
Payment of your account is now overdue and it should be …… immediately.
7. You will hear a radio interview in which two people, Frank Johnson and Anna Pritchard, are discussing education in Britain. For questions 1-6, choose the correct answer A, B, C or D. You will hear the recording twice.
1. What does Frank Johnson suggest about current teaching methods?
A They help teachers get their message across in an amusing way.
B They result in teachers losing sight of their main professional tasks.
C They allow students a necessary break from serious study.
D They encourage parental involvement in the educational process.
2. According to Frank, what is the key to a good education?
A Promoting traditional skills through creativity
B Developing general knowledge through linguistic ability
C Enduring the accuracy of what is taught
DEnabling students to acquire reasoning powers
3. Anna Pritchard thinks that in the average school today
A most teachers adopt satisfactory teaching methods.
B there is an insufficient variety of classroom activities.
C most teachers adapt their methods to suit different learners.
D there are too many students per class for teachers to deal with.
4. How does Anna think schools should change their approach?
A By helping students to investigate the ways in which they learn.
B By allowing students to choose precisely what they want to learn.
C By letting students play music in the background during classes.
D By encouraging students to talk through their ideas in class.
5. Anna thinks that activities such as juggling can be beneficial because they
A can improve students’ physical balance.
B make students more receptive to what they study.
C help students relax after concentrating hard.
D promote awareness of physical fitness.
6. Anna thinks that note-taking activities should be
A varied according to the topic.
B replaced by other activities.
C adjusted to suit each student.
D checked carefully for inaccuracies.
8. You are going to read an article about changes in learning techniques nowadays. For questions 1-5, decide whether the statements given below are true (T), false (F) or not given (NG) according to the article.
1. Teachers are no longer important.
2. Learning new things is not essential.
3. The British education system is old-fashioned.
4. Student autonomy is becoming more common in British schools.
5. Many people agree with Tapscott’s views.