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Read an article “The Wired-up School” about using computers in schools. Be ready to answer some questions.



The Wired-up School

 

Churchill Community School in Somerset is a place where pupils and staff have mastered the art of getting what they want out of their computers. Like many schoolboys, Philip Eagle and his friends enjoy making paper airplanes. The only difference is that these boys are being given tips by a computer. “It’s physics, aeronautics and education,” insists Philip. He forgets to add that it’s also a pleasant way of passing the time during the morning break. He is currently working on his personal statement for the university entrance form.

He is one of the many pupils at Churchill Community School who have chosen to spend their twenty minutes of freedom in the learning resource centre. Here they can borrow books, do last minute homework, catch up on gossip or take a turn on one of the computers that are always available for them to use.

Students use the computers for a wide variety of tasks. Ian Blomfield, for example, used a CD-ROM of back issues of The Times and Sunday Times, along with the electronic encyclopedia Encarta, to find out about environmental damage caused by oil-tanker disasters. But he was able to go a step further. He used E-mail to pick the brains of campaigners and Friends of the Earth. “There was no other way we could have got such up-to-date information,” he says.

Because of a technologically advanced link to the Internet, twenty-eight computers can remain permanently on life. Cliff Harris, the school’s computer technician, explains that pupils can use the Internet as easily as any piece of software. “A lot of students are likely to have a PC at home in their room,” he adds. “They go home and have conversations with their schoolmates on the Internet.”

Most children seem to use their PC in a way that would please any teacher. Charles Palmer, who can also be found in the resource centre at break-time, says, “I didn’t exactly learn to read using a computer, but it was the adventure game Monkey Island that made me really want to learn. If I couldn’t read what was on the screen, I couldn’t play the game.” Charles also uses his PC for designing his family’s Christmas cards.

Helen Brown finds that her PC is an invaluable home tutor that can offer her that little extra bit of help. “Sometimes there are things in algebra or biology that teachers only go over once, and I don’t understand them. But I can use a program I’ve got at home which explains it again and again until I do understand it!” However, she is not impressed by the possibility of computers replacing teachers. “You can’t ask a computer questions,” she says. “It just asks you.”

Her view seems widely shared. “It would be totally boring,” says Chris Richmond. “You’d switch the machine off, or switch off yourself.” Nevertheless, he is currently using his PC to write an article on passive smoking, and claims that he is being given the chance to write the best essay he could possibly write with the use of his computer.

Pupils without access to a computer at home are obviously at some disadvantage. The school tries hard to make up for this, however. They want all pupils to have a chance to take advantage of this valuable, interesting – and often fun – form of technology.

 

Questions:

 

1. Who says that students use their PCs to communicate with each other?

2. Who used a computer to read old newspapers?

3. Who needed to learn to read before he could play a computer game?

4. Who thinks pupils can use the Internet without any difficulty?

5. Who says that computers as teachers would be very boring?

6. Who used a computer to get information about an oil spillage?

7. Who uses a computer for extra help at home?

8. Who is writing an essay with the help of a PC?

 

3. Read the texts “I want to be a programmer” and “The Wired-up School” again and say how the pupils in the article use computers in terms of communication, information, education, leisure.

4. Working in groups discuss the questions:

1) Do you have a PC at home? For what purposes do you use it?

2) It is said that computers will replace teachers in the future. Do you believe that this statement is true? Why/ Why not?

3) Do computers help us communicate with others?

 

5. Make a project on one of the following themes:

1. Computers and Modern Life.

2. The History of Computer Science.

3. Virtual Reality.

4. Modern computer technology in education.

5. I want to be a teacher of basic information science and computing machine.

6. The Internet and Modern Life.

Read and translate the text.

A Teacher of Russian and Literature

I study at the philological faculty of the university. My future profession is closely connected with general linguistics as a science and with the study of the Russian language and literature.

Linguistics attempts to answer:

- How do children learn language?

- What is the relation of language to the brain?

- How and Why do languages change in the course of time?

- How is language used in different forms of literature (poetry, drama, prose)?

General linguistics is based on the study of individual languages. In its most general sense the term «language» may be defined as «a system of communication used by particular groups of human beings»

Any language is the system: phonological, lexical and grammatical. Each language has specific set of sounds, a peculiar set of words, its own set of grammatical patterns.

Phonetics is the name we give to the branch of knowledge that is concerned with speech sounds: vowels, consonants and their classification. It also deals with such important phonetic phenomena as stress and intonation.

Grammar is traditionally divided into morphology and syntax. Morphology is the description of meaningful forms. Syntax is the ordering of the sentence elements.

The area of linguistics which is studied under the heading of lexicology and semantics is concerned with words and their meaning.

Russian is the principal state and cultural language of Russia and makes up the eastern branch of the Slavic family of languages. It is a valuable and worthy object to study. Studying the language enriches our inner world, broadens our mind and makes our speech more flexible and expressive.

The Russian language is the language of great Russian literature and the means of studying foreign literature. We enjoy reading fairy tales, adventure stories, detective stories, spy thrillers, classics, contemporary novels, poetry, non-fiction, biographies, memoirs, travel books, science fiction.

Some books we read to cheer and amuse ourselves, the others can mace us wise and educated. When we wish to express some tenders emotion we turn to poetry. It is the only way to express the best that is within us.

The main function of literature as a subject is to develop the intellectual capacities of the students? That is the ability to judge evidence critically, to develop independence of mind, the ability to communicate, curiosity, reasoning power and factual accuracy.

 

I. Give the English equivalents for:

1) быть тесно связанным с...

2) лингвистика основывается на...

3) общий смысл

4) может быть определена

5) определенный

6) набор звуков (слов)

7) область знаний

8) гласные

9) согласные

10) составлять

11) расширять кругозор

12) средство изучения

 

II. Give the Russian equivalents for:

1) a system of communication

2) a specific set of

3) to be concerned with

4) to deal with

5) the ordering of the sentence elements

6) the area of linguistics

7) valuable and worthy object

8) flexible

9) expressive

10) contemporary novels

11) non-fiction

12) memories

13) tender emotion

14) intellectual capacities

15) to judge evidence critically

16) independence of mind

17) curiosity

18) factual accuracy

III. Find the sentences with Passive Voice. Read and translate them into Russian.

IV. Answer the question:

1. How can you define the term “language”?

2. What are the main aspects of language?

3. What is phonetics concerned with?

4. Is there any difference between morphology and syntax?

5. How do we call a branch of linguistics which studies words and their meaning?

 

V. Put the question to the part of the text concerned with literature.

VI. Arrange different kinds of books according to their importance to you.





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