Fill in the correct preposition, then choose any five items and make sentences.
1) alien____sb: 2) to concentrate_______sth: 3) to feed sb____sth: 4) to be responsible_______sth'sb: 5) to share sth______sb; 6) to be the key_____sth: 7) to participate_______sth: 8) to discuss sth____sb; 9) to be important____sb'sth: 10)_____detail; 11) all_______all; 12) ___my own; 13) to be suitable_____ sb.'sth
(taken from Virginia Evans and Jenny Dooley Enterprise 4 Intermediate Coursebook, pp. 121-122)
Education word search
10. Can you find all the hidden words in this word search? Words can go in the following directions:
TERM ESTABLISHMENT EDUCATION
DEGREE COMPULSORY PRIVATE
SCHOLARSHIP SCORE GUIDANCE
KNOWLEDGE SUBSIDIZE EMPHASIS
(taken from www.busyteacher.org)
11. Look at the text. In which paragraphs (A-N) are the following questions answered? Scan the text to find the answers and then write the paragraph letter beside the question.
1. What does the acronym “Cat” stand for?
2. What does the acronym “Sat” stand for?
3. At what ages is the Cat taken?
4. At what age do students take the Sat?
5. Do all American students take the same school-leaving exam?
6. How are pupils in the USA evaluated by their teachers?
7. How are Scan-Tron tests completed and marked?
8. How can American parents influence the school system?
9. How many students take the Sat?
10. What are the three national tests that American pupils take?
11. What is the attitude of American people to education?
12. What is the attitude of people in Britain to multiple-choice questions?
13. What proportion of American students go to college?
14. What skills does the Cat cover?
15. Which answers in the multiple-choice test should you pick if you don’t know the answer?
16. Which pupils do less well in the national tests?
17. Who controls and pays for education in the USA?
18. What is the main underlying principle of American education?
19. Why is the relationship between pupils and teachers different in the UK and USA?
20. Why is there a discrepancy between the attitude of different colleges to Sat scores?
The Cat sat on the test
School testing, like baseball, is crucial to the American way of life. Michael White in Washington offers a parent's view of the results
ANOT MANY days pass without one or other of my kids getting out a number 2 pencil in their American suburban classroom and Shafting 5h the dots of a Scan Tron paper in the correct number 2 lead so that the computer can read it.
BAnd what is this Brave New World all about, you may be wondering? The answer is standardised testing, a national passion in this vast country of endless diversity.
CSo a Scan-Tron paper is what you use to answer the multiple-choice questions you get in maths, science, world studies (history and geography) or whatever it to be. Why did denim trousers become popular in the 1850s? Because they were (a) blue; (b) durably (c) attractive, (d) inexpensive? Shade in the correct letter (incidentally ii is (b)) in this 13-year-old's comprehension test and the computer will machine-read it.
DBritish parents, teachers and pupils may already be fuming - or jeering - at the mention of pernicious multiple-choice techniques, let alone no. 2 pencils. But American education has its own ends: a system democratically designed to educate the many rather than nurture the brightest few. Even though its public (i.e. state) as well as private schools actually do nurture an elitist core, an astonishing near-50 per cent of Americans go on to some form of higher education. And there are 240 million of them.
E Tests are part of the means to that end. Education is primarily a state and local function.
FSo there has to be some way of objectively evaluating Boston and Biloxi's idea of an A-student in the name of both progress and value for money. Americans are practically-minded. Education is utilitarian. The consumer's parent is king - and can vote out the school board. Quantification is a national instinct which finds expression in both IQ and baseball scores.
G There is another reason why routine testing and published results matter so much. The US boasts no national exam system, no Himalayan range of GCSEs, A levels or Baccalaureates to scale. Pupils are evaluated in two ways; in a process of continuous assessment by their teachers, via class work, homework, occasional essays and Scan-Tron exercises which produce term grades; and by national tests conducted at the ages of 8, 10, 13 and 17 - at least in our state, though practice varies.
H For college aspirants there is the Scholastic Aptitude Test (Sat) taken by about one million 17-year-olds a year, plus anyone younger who wants a practice run. Even at graduate level a host of tests exist.
I Susan Sullivan, who teaches at one of Washington's best schools, regrets this emphasis, "In the British system the teacher is a coach. You work towards the same goal and the enemy to be overcome is the A level. In our system the end of year assessment is so important, the teacher can be the enemy." And the multiple-choice test can be the enemy of real learning, the crucial technique being how to spot the "right" answer.
J My 13-year-old at the local junior High School offers a few basic tips on multiple-choice technique, "Statements are more usually 'true' than 'false' in these tests. If in doubt pick (c) or the longest answer." He does not have to write many essays and idiosyncrasy/creativity sits uneasily in the system. On the other hand: he is in the fast stream, laden with homework and kept busy.
K That too is a function of early diagnostic and formative testing, bolstered by teacher evaluation. In the restless, anxious debate about the quality and direction of US education ("Why are the Japanese winning?") one familiar complaint is that the strongest and the weakest are identified and helped: but it is the 80 per cent in the middle whose fate is vital to the nation's social and economic health.
L We happen to live in Maryland suburbs but the standardised national test our kids take at 8, 10, 13 and 17 is the California Achievement Test (Cat) widely used, as are the comparable Iowa and Stanford tests in some states. Covering such basics as reading, vocabulary, spelling, language expression and math computation, they produce results expressed in stanine bands (1-9) and national percentiles. If you are bright, white and middle class your scores will probably be in the 90 per cent band 60 per cent is the high school failure rate. If you are a poor black or Puerto Rican your scores may lag horribly.
MContemplating the jungle of American testing systems Britons might usefully note that anxiety about the efficacy of testing has produced more and more tests and refinements of tests. In college selection it has also produced greater reliance on teacher assessment.
NThe-much-vaunted Sal scores may be helpful to the top 50 colleges in weeding out lesser applicants for entry. Most US colleges don't suffer heavy oversubscription and some publish misleading Sat scores, gleaned from their freshman intake, to boost their image in the marketplace. Good for business, say the critics, bad for education. "The tyranny of the Sats" frightens away promising students.