Tuesday, March 10, 2009

That'll Teach 'Em!

Hello all.
Monday night is Level Three night. This class meets once a week, and we use New English File Intermediate.

Right now we're on unit 4A, "Back to School aged 35". And on page 55 there is an intriguing account of an experiment, featured in a TV programme, in which a group of modern British 16-year-olds volunteered to "turn the clock back" and spend a month at a specially-recreated 1950s British boarding school.

Question: how many modern Italian 16-year-olds would like to go back to a 1950s Italian "liceo"?

The objective here was to see whether school nowadays is easier than it was in the 1950s. In our lesson, we listened to a TV critic discussing the programme. Some suprprising facts emerged.

Now, have a look at the "That'll Teach 'Em" home page on the Channel 4 (TV) web site. Can you answer these questions?

1. Home page: What percentage of people said that education in the 1950s was better than that of today?
2. Students' pages: What did Clare Dery (first student) enjoy most about her experience?
3. Students' pages: What did Harry Elgood (second student) hate most about his experience?
4. Students' pages: What is Seraphine Evans's (third student) one question to all the other students?
5. Staff pages: Why will headmaster Andrew McTavish find it easy to recreate the atmosphere of a 1950s boarding school?
6. Yesterday and Today: What is the serious disadvantage of the 1950s selective exam at age 11?
7. Yesterday and Today: What are the advantages of the modern exam system?
8. Yesterday and Today: Discipline: What are the main differences between disclipline in the 1950s and that in today's schools?

Please send your answers, quoting the number of the question only, to the Tag Board, or, in the case of longer answers, to the Comments page after this message.

Do explore the rest of the site: the What it was like pages, containing memories of people who were educated in the 1950s, are especially interesting. The School Report page is also very interesting, and not just for teachers or parents. See also Criticising Education and finally, for masochists, click on Take the test. Tell us all how well, or otherwise, you did in a message on the Tag Board.

Note: though this exercise is based on a lesson with Level 3 students, all readers of this Blog are encouraged to explore the site. Consult your parents to find out the differences betwen the Italian and British eductaions systems, in the 1950s and now.

Coming soon: Six Minute English.

- Mike

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