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History Lesson

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Read the text.



The American people value education highly. Some of the traditional values, which have developed over the years, are:

1. Public education should be free. There should be no hidden charges to prevent any citizen from receiving a good education at public expense.

2. School should be equal and open to all. No one should be discriminated against because of race, religion, or financial status.

3. The public school should be free of any creed or religion. The schools are open to all Americans regardless of their religious beliefs. However, religious schools are permitted outside of the public school system.

4. Public schools are controlled by the state and local governments. Local school boards run the public schools under laws passed by the state legislature. The State Board of Education assists the local schools, but does not give orders to the district board.

The US Office of Education also assists with advice and information, but the actual control is in the local school district, where the people know the local situation.

5. Attendance at school is compulsory. Parents cannot decide to keep their children out of school.

6. Most Americans believe that school should be the place where young people can grow in body, mind, and spirit. Athletics, clubs, social events, and creative arts are a part of each personТs education. Schools should be lively places where individuals are encouraged to develop to their greatest potential.


Ex.1. Learn the underlined words.

value - ценность, важность;

board - правление;

attendance - посещаемость;

charge - цена, запросить цену;

to run - управл€ть;

compulsory - об€зательный;

regardless of - не принима€ во внимание, несмотр€ на

legislature Ц законодательна€ власть


Ex.2. LetТs discuss.

1. Using the У6 traditional valuesФ of American education described above, summarize the educational philosophy of your country.

               Where do you find similarities?

               Where are the differences?

2. Who should take decisions about the school - parents? professional educators? elected officials? religious leaders? specially appointed experts? the children themselves?

3. Read the statements below and discuss the pros and cons of each. With whom do you agree?


PARENTS: УThey are our kids. We know what is best for them.  We should decide what they are going to learn and how they are supposed to be taught.Ф 



TEACHERS: УWhat do parents know?

We have been to college. We are the ones with the special training. We should make the decision.Ф


GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS: УWe have the best view of the issues. We know the budget and understand the laws and how they apply. Only we can make the best decision.Ф



RELIGIOUS AUTHORITIES: УSchools that teach facts but no values weaken the moral strength of the country. We can provide wisdom and insight on which all teaching should be based.Ф


UNIVERSITY EXPERTS: УWe have studied the problem and done the research. We should be consulted before any decisions are made.Ф



CHIILDREN: У ItТs our life and education that are at stake.

No decision should be made without our advice and agreement.Ф


New words and phrases for you:

pros and cons - доводы за и против;

issue Ц предмет обсуждени€, вопрос;

to apply Ц примен€ть;

insight Ц понимание, проницательность;

ItТs our life and education that are at stake.- Ќа карту поставлена наша жизнь и наше образование.


Read the text.


Education in the USA is compulsory for children up to about the age of 16. Most young people stay at school longer than that and graduate from high school at the age of 17-18. Almost half of these high school graduates continue their education at a college or university.

Education for most young people in this country is free up to the time they graduate from high school. There are private schools, but most parents send their children to public schools, where students do not pay tuition. When young people go to college, however, they must pay tuition at a public university or a private university. University costs are going up a lot!  Private universities have become very expensive because the government does not help the private schools.

Who pays? The parents of children in college may have to pay more, or often the students may have to find jobs. These students have to worry about assignments and grades and also about their jobs. If they work too much at their jobs, they may be absent from class or miss assignments or make too many errors on tests. They may even fail their courses and have to leave the university.

For many students, the problem of getting education is not just a problem of homework and exams. They also have to make money to pay for tuition. And professors donТt teach them how to do that.


Ex.1. Translate from Russian into English:

Ѕесплатный, выпускник, домашнее задание, об€зательный, ошибка, оценка, платить за обучение, провалить (экзамен).


Ex.2. Synonyms & antonyms.

A.      Write the letter of the word that has an opposite meaning.

___ 1. error                                                                a. level

                                                                                  b. chosen

___ 2. fail                                                                   c. pass

                                                                                  d. example

___ 3. public                                                              e. schedule

                                                                                  f. correction

___ 4. advanced                                                         g. private

                                                                                  h. beginning

___ 5. compulsory


B.      Write the letter of the word that has a similar meaning.

___ 1. error                                                                a. course

                                                                                  b. be absent

___ 2. educate                                                                       c. grade

                                                                                  d. short letter

___ 3. miss                                                                 e. teach

                                                                                  f. mistake

___ 4. note


Ex.3.Answer the questions.

  1. Education in the USA is not compulsory, is it?

  2. Up to what age is education compulsory in America?

  3. At what age do most students graduate from high school?

  4. How many high school graduates go to colleges or universities?

  5. Do high school students in the USA have to pay tuition?

  6. Higher education is free too, isnТt it?

  7. Are colleges and universities in the USA private, or public?

  8. What do college students do if they need money?

  9. Is it easy or difficult to study and to work at the same time?

10. Do you think higher education is expensive in the USA?


It is interestingЕ


In Russia, I was an English teacher in high school. But in America, I wouldnТt like to have a job as a teacher. Do you want to know why?

In Russia, students usually listen to the instructor. They ask questions mostly only to clarify something they do not understand. They usually donТt question or doubt the instructor. It doesnТt mean that I liked that, not at all. I often tried to encourage my students to disagree with me, to doubt, to ask questions, to say their own opinion... It was not easy, but I was happy when they felt free to talk, when they were comfortable at my lessons.

In America, the students talk as much as the instructor does, sometimes even more.  Most instructors encourage students to be independent and to think for themselves. At some lessons, students criticize each otherТs work.

Can you imagine students in Russia eating something or having their coffee or water, or whatever drink they have in front of them on the desk during the lesson? Well, in America, they can do that, though not at every school and mostly at colleges. And it is not considered to be rude. They can leave the classroom whenever they want. Also, American students sometimes come to class late. ThatТs what I couldnТt stand being a teacher in Russia!

In general, students in America have more freedom in classroom. They can do and say whatever they want.

However, I donТt want to be a teacher in America. More freedom for students means less control and more headaches for teachers. Do you agree with me?


    Ex.1. Answer the questions.

1.      Are classes at schools in Russia similar to, or different from classes in the USA?

2.      How do students behave and what do the teachers expect of students?

3.      Which classes are better for learning, the ones in America, or the ones in Russia?

4.      Imagine that an American high school student is going to your school.

Describe his or her first day in class. What would you tell this student to prepare him, or her for the first day at your school?


Ex.2. Choose the best word to complete each sentence.


1.       In Russia, the students accept everything the teacher says. They never question/repeat/encourage  the teacher.


2.       American teachers want their students to speak up in class. They criticize/encourage/control  their students to participate in class discussion.  They do not want students  to simply  repeat/rude/criticize  what they say. Therefore, students should come to class  shocking/prepared/comfortable.


3.       Generally, American schools do not teach students to believe what everyone else believes. Rather, they encourage them to be shocking/freedom/independent thinkers. Students have the  freedom/doubt/opinion  to believe what they want.


4.       Students often  doubt/criticize/agree  each  otherТs work.


5.   I think that American students have a lot of freedom in class but that their teachers have less  freedom/opinion/control  than in Russian classroom.


Enjoy the poem.

Hip, Hip Hooray!

By John Ciardi.


Sally brought a flower

For the teacher today,

And the teacher yelled,

УHip, hip hooray!Ф

Byron brought an apple

For the teacher today

And the teacher yelled,

УHip, hip hooray!Ф

Jennifer brought a poem

For the teacher today,

And the teacher yelled,

УHip, hip hooray!Ф

Ben brought a radish

For the teacher today,

And the teacher said,

УA radish? Why a radish?Ф

And Ben said,

УBecause I love radishes!

I just love radishes!

And I love you, too!Ф

So, Ben brought a radish

For the teacher today,

And the teacher yelled,

УHip, hip hoorayФ!


Do you bring anything for your teachers to treat them?


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