01 Some people think that giving students time during a class to discuss ideas with each other is a good way to help students learn; others think giving students time for discussion is ineffective or a waste of time. Which idea do you agree with, and why?"
Asis known to all, the education in China is exam-oriented. Everythingstudents learn in class is for passing the exams. There are few opentopics for students to discuss in Chinese class. It is believed byboth Chinese teachers and students that discussion in class is anineffective way to learn. I totally agree with it.
Tobegin with, Chinese students have got used to the way they areeducated. Most students are required to listen carefully to theteachers and take as many note as possible in the class from primaryschool to senior high school. It will be too much to ask for studentsto accept class discussion within a short period of time. It ispossible that students might not know what to say in the first place.When topics were given in class, it would be possible that the wholeclass would be silent. It is not only a waste of time, but alsoembarrassing.
Inaddition, the effectiveness of class discussion depends on thestudents’ personality. Unlike students from western countries likethe United States, Chinese students are introverted who are reluctantto express their ideas in front of their fellow classmates. Somestudents might be afraid of speaking in public. They are worried ifthey do something wrong, it will be quite humiliating. Some studentsare just not interested in sharing although they have plenty ofamazing ideas in mind.
Moreover,in order to conduct successful class discussion, the teacher playsthe most crucial role. It is quite tough for the teacher to supervisethe process. He is supposed to be capable of dealing with variouschallenges. He has to know how to start the topic when the wholeclass remains silent. Also he has to know how to engage as manystudents as possible. He has to know what to do when the discussionis absolutely off the topic.
Insum, class discussion might be an effective teaching method in othercountries. However, it is not the case in China. It takes time forChinese students to get familiar with it. It might be good whenstudents become more extraverted. The qualification of the teachermatters the most in carrying out a successful class discussion.
02 Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Technology designed to make our life simpler actually makes our life more complicated.
It cannot be denied that technology enables people to live a better andmore convenient life today. People have been enjoying high-techproducts such as smart phones, car navigation system, and laptops, toname a few. However, it does not mean that those high-tech tools makeour life easier now than in the past. In fact, technology makes ourlife far more complicated today as illustrated in the followingparts.
High-techtools can save lots of labor work, but sometimes they are not as“smart” as we expect. I would like to use car navigation systemas an example. In the past, people could only refer to printed mapsto find ways to their destinations. Nowadays, car navigation systemcan automatically find the right path for us. It seems that carnavigation system is far more convenient than printed maps. However,in order to install the system, we need to download the digital mapsbefore ahead and make sure that our destinations are recognizable. Ifthe system fails to recognize the destination, it sometimes does notstop navigating, but lead us to somewhere else. Once I was drivingfrom California to a Native American Reservation in Arizona, the carnavigation failed to find the right path and led me to a small townthat I had never heard of. Fortunately, I found a gas station and theemployees there showed me the correct way. My own experience showsthat high-tech products might not be always as reliable as we expect.
Anotherexample of how technology has made our life more complicated isonline shopping. Nowadays, more and more people choose to shopclothes online, so to save time and efforts. Admittedly, shoppingonline is convenient to some extent compared with going to a shoppingmall, because we could stay at home and check out with severalclicks. All we need to do then is to wait until our new clothes aredelivered to us. However, many people had terrible shoppingexperience in that the colors and designs of those clothes are notexactly the same as they are described online. Moreover, the sizemight not fit us, which is not expected either. In this case, we needto follow a complicated returning process, completing forms neededfor returning and going to the local express service to send theclothes back. The process of returning is extremely daunting, whichusually takes a long time for us to get our money back.
Basedon the above discussion, it could be concluded that sometimestechnology is not as convenient as we expect. Should we just refuseto use high-tech products? I do not think so. I believe that moderntechnology is still developing, and it will definitely make our lifemore and more comfortable and convenient in the future.