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Paul Sparks, Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Nanning.

Lesson Plans for "Watch, Listen & Speak", Semester 2



Listening & Speaking, News Reports:

VOA (Voice of America) News Report: "Homework"


Part I – Listen to the news report and complete the spot dictation

Students often say their teachers give them too much ________________.  Now, ____________ by two research organizations show that in the United States this ________________ is _______________ not true.

The Brookings Institution in _________________ _____ wrote one of the reports.  It shows that the ______________ student does less than _____ __________ of schoolwork at __________ a night.  The Rand Corporation in California did the other study.  The _____________ shows that only one in _______ high school students __________ more than two hours a ___________ on homework.

The findings are based on information from the United States Department of Education and ___________________ ___________.  They are also based on research by the University of Michigan, the _______________ _____ _______________________ at Los Angeles and ______________.  



Part II –Complete the short answers

1.         During what part of the 20th century did the Rand report examine American homework levels?  

2.         Why were the Americans unhappy with the Soviet Union during the early nineteen-sixties?

3.         What two subjects did politicians, educators and parents call for more

            intensive study of?  

4.         How many minutes of homework per Grade Level does Professor Cooper suggest?



Part III – Listen to the passage again and answer True (T) or False (F)

1.         ____ Students give their teachers too much homework.

2.         ____ The Brookings Institution in California wrote one of the reports.

3.         ____ The average student does less than one hour of homework a night.

4.         ____ One in ten high school students spends more than two hours on homework a night.

5.         ____ Students in France, Italy, Russia and South Africa spend twice as long on homework as Americans.

6.         ____ Homework sharply increased in the 1960s.

7.         ____ In the 1960s about 75% of students completed more than two hours of homework daily.

8.         ____ Parents and educators also protest about homework.

9.         ____ Parents have a lot of time to help their children with their homework.

10.       ____ Brian Gill is an expert on homework.


Part IV – Listen to the passage again and answer the following questions

1.         _____ reports show that teachers do not give their students too much homework.

a)  1 b)  2 c)  3 d)  4

2.         How many minutes/hours a night does the average high school student spend on their homework?

a)  10 mins b) less than 1hr    c)  more than 1 hr    d) 2 hrs

3.         Why did homework levels increase in the 1960s?

a)      America wanted to land on the moon before the Soviet Union

b)      Schools gave more meaningful homework

c)      Politicians, educators and parents called for more intensive study

d)      America wanted to beat France, Italy, Russia and South Africa


4.         Some parents protest about homework because …

a)      The homework is too hard

b)      They want their children to have time for sports, music lessons and    other activities after school

c)      The homework is not meaningful

d)      It takes too long


Part V – Listen to the tape again and complete the summary

Two reports by research ________________ show that in the United States teachers do not give their students too much homework.

One report written by the _____________ ______________ in _______________ _____ shows that the average student does _____ than one hour of schoolwork at home a night.  The other report, written by the ______ _____________________ in _____________ showed that only ______ in _________ high school students spent more than ____ hours a night on homework.

One report notes an international _______ and _________ study from 1995 which showed the United States was nearly _______ among __________  ________ in homework.

The other report examined homework levels during the __________ _________ of the 20th century and found there was only one time when homework _____________ and that happened in the _________ _________________.  However, even then only about _______ percent of high school students completed more than two hours of homework daily.

___________ also protest about homework as their _____ leave them little time to help.  Others want their children to have time for other ____________ after school.

Harris _________ is an __________ on homework and suggests ____ minutes per grade level.  This adds up to __________ a night by the end of high school.

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