Topic: Describe an area of the subject that you are interested in.
You should say
– What is it
– When you started becoming interested in it
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– What you have learned from it
– Why do you like it
Well, the first thing I should mention is that my school life was pretty easy for me as I had the chance to choose and concentrate on my favorite subjects. Among them, English is the one that I really devoted my effort and time in learning and practicing. It was not my case to say that I fell in love with English at first sight, actually, I had been struggling a lot on the path of figuring out the right method to pick up this language. In the early years of secondary school, English for me was just the matter of reading and learning by heart all the grammar rules. Therefore, it was extremely intricate and thorny for me to listen and speak in this language. However, when I was in grade 10, I had the chance to meet Mr. Son, who is one of my greatest teachers, ever. His unique way of teaching, in fact, provoked my passion for this language. To be more specific, he altered my perspective on learning English. He showed me the vital role of sounds, intonation and how to block out your first language on the way to conquering the second one. Since then, under his guidance, I concentrated more on the way native speakers create their sounds and exerted myself to imitate that. Over a few months, my speaking and listening were upgraded a lot and I became addicted to immersing myself in English. It is my teacher that lighted up my study journey and inspired me to continuously practice for a better me.
QUESTIONS FOR PART 3
1. What is your opinion of modern education (in school)?
What I think about modern education… I guess people are incorporating a lot of technology in the classroom. Like at a university right now, you can see that teachers, or should I say, lecturers, deliver their lessons using computers and projectors, and students study with the slides given by their educators. Students may also submit their work online instead of handing it indirectly like before, and some of the study with e-books and mobile applications instead of carrying around textbooks all day long. This approach to teaching will certainly filter down to secondary school education, too.
2. What school subjects do you think are most important (in primary school or high school)? (Why are they important?)
I would say Literacy and Math, for primary school children. They help youngsters form their basic skills and ability like calculating, analyzing or the ability to express their thoughts. Without these two, children may have trouble communicating and thinking logically. Literacy and Math are like the foundation of everything, I think.
3. What school subject do you think will be the most useful in adult life (or, most useful for society)?
Literacy, as in teaching people how to think critically, how to write a proper piece of writing and how to express their thoughts. Subjects like Mathematics, well its advanced version only, or Physics or Chemistry will rarely be applied in life unless you really understand them and you do some kind of job-related to them. Literacy, however, assists people in both their normal life and their professional one, particularly in the way they speak, write, and think. That’s why I believe literacy is the subject that will be of prime importance to people throughout their lives.
4. Which subjects do you think should be optional and which should be compulsory?
I believe subjects requiring a bit of natural ability should be optional, as not everyone can show an aptitude for things like music and art. Compulsory subjects should be natural sciences and some part of literature which teaches writing or expressing ideas, as these can help students form skills like critical thinking, calculating, or analyzing. In some countries, languages should be compulsory too, for example, some minorities will need to learn a second language to be able to communicate with the world.
5. What are the advantages of studying computing in high school?
Studying computing in high school is really advantageous to students. Technology, or – well in this case – the computer, is used almost everywhere nowadays you know, you can see it being a part of almost everything. This is why learning computing means giving students a chance to catch up with what’s going on in the world. Computing would also assist them in their future careers as more and more jobs nowadays require the use of computers.
6. In the west, (upper) high school students are allowed to choose any of the subjects they study. Do you think that would be a good idea?
It depends. This would be a good idea for those who already know what they want to do in the future, as they could easily choose the subjects that are necessary to realize their dreams. Also, leaving students to choose the subjects they study means letting them have a say in deciding their future from an early age, which can boost their independence and determination. However, this would cause problems for those who don’t know yet what they want to do in the future, thus stopping them from studying their potential favorite or important subjects.
7. How are educational priorities today different from those in the past?
In modern society, a higher priority is placed on the education of children than in the past. This is simply, in my opinion, a recognition that we now live in a world of work in which specialist knowledge and skills are essential for many jobs. So, education now gives more priority to the ability to use technology. Students today must be both literate and computer-literate.
8. What is your opinion on the way languages are taught in schools?
Too passive, I think. Most schools in our country focus too much on teaching grammar and vocabulary, thus neglecting to speak, listening and writing. Except for those from specialized schools, most students often speak with no intonation, their pronunciation of each sound is rarely fully correct, and it’s hard for them to strike up a conversation with a foreigner in English due to their poor speaking and listening skills. Most of them can hardly come up with a decent piece of writing either.
9. What changes do you think will happen in the classroom in the near future?
Studying in the future may include a lot of technology. Right now education technology is already on the rise, and I think it’s going to be everywhere in years to come. The role of the teacher may be minimized, and in some places, the physical classroom may also be eliminated and replaced by the virtual one.
Incorporate [verb] to include as part of something
Example: The textbook incorporates all the latest information on climate change.
Educator [noun] (formal) a person whose job is to teach or educate people (formal)
Example: Modern educators prefer a different approach to the teaching of reading.
Submit [verb] to give a document, proposal, etc. to somebody in authority so that they can study or consider it
Example: Completed projects must be submitted by 10 March.
Hand something [phrasal verb] = submit
Example: You must all hand in your projects by the end of next week.
Filter down [phrasal verb] to move slowly down to lower levels of an organization or system
Example: During the day, the news that the company was going to close filtered down to the employees.
Literacy [noun] the ability to read and write
Example: Now that most children go to school, the rate of literacy in the country is improving.
Analyze [verb] to examine the nature or structure of something, especially by separating it into its parts, in order to understand or explain it
Example: He tried to analyze her feelings and finally managed to get what she wanted.
Foundation [noun] a principle, an idea or a fact that something is based on and that it grows from
Example: Respect and friendship provide a solid foundation for marriage.
Prime [adjective] main; most important; basic Example: The care of the environment is of prime importance.
Aptitude [noun] natural ability or skill at doing something
e.g. After working for several months, she got promoted as she showed an aptitude for the work.
Critical thinking [noun] the process of analyzing information in an objective way, in order to make a judgment about it
e.g. The school encourages critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
Go on [phrasal verb] happen/take place
Example: I often check the news on the internet to know what’s going on in the world.
Realize [verb] to achieve something important that you want to do
Example: She never realized her ambition of becoming a singer.
Say (in something) [noun] the right to influence something by giving your opinion before a decision is made
Example: We had no say in the decision to sell the company.
Boost [verb] to make something increase, or become better or more successful
Example: The movie helped boost her screen career. She received several prizes and was asked to do some TV commercials.
Potential [adjective] that can develop into something or be developed in the future
Example: First we need to identify actual and potential problems, then we may come up with some solutions.
Computer-literate [adjective] able to use computers well
Example: She is highly computer-literate and she now teaches other people to use computers.
Apparent [adjective] obvious
Example: It was apparent on her face that she was really upset.
Pay attention to smt/smb [expression] listen to, look at or think about something/somebody carefully
Example: The teacher asked her students to pay their full attention to what she was saying, as that part was really important.
Neglect [verb] not give enough attention to something
Example: She has neglected her studies – all she’s done is playing.
Specialized (chuyên) [adjective] designed or developed for a particular purpose or area of knowledge
Example: The course is very specialized; only psychologists are allowed to attend it.
Intonation (ngữ điệu) [noun] the rise and fall of the voice in speaking, especially as this affects the meaning of what is being said
Example: In English, some questions have a rising intonation.
Strike up sth (with sb) [phrasal verb] to begin a friendship, a relationship, a conversation, etc.
Example: He would often strike up conversations with complete strangers.
Come up with [phrasal verb] to find or produce an answer, a sum of money
Example: She came up with a new idea for increasing sales.
Decent [adjective] of a good enough standard or quality; acceptable to people in a particular situation
Example: I need a decent night’s sleep; I have been staying up late recently.
To come [idiom] in the future
Example: They may well regret the decision in years to come.
Eliminate [verb] to remove or get rid of something/somebody
Example: The police have eliminated two suspects from their investigation.
Virtual [adjective] made to appear to exist by the use of computer software, for example on the Internet
Example: New technology has enabled the development of an online “virtual library”.