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1. What is going to school like in Russia? What would you tell your American peers about it?

Listening Comprehension Activities

1. Listen to three girls talking about high schools in the USA and Canada. Make brief notes about what you got from their stories.

2. Listen again. Answer the following questions:

Ashley (Indiana, USA)

  1. How is Ashley’s school day organized?

  2. Are all subjects mandatory in American high schools?

Valery (California, USA)

1. How long is middle school in the USA? What grades does it include?

2. How long is high school? What grades does it include? How is each high school year called?

3. What electives does Valery mention?

4. What does she say about exams in American high schools?

Angela (Vancouver, Canada)

1. Is the French language popular in the region where Angela lives?

2. What kind of school does Angela go to?

3. How many classes do students take per year?

4. How is her school day organized?

After Listening Activities

Activity I: Comparing

1. Using your notes from the previous exercise, talk about differences between Russian schools and American schools.

2. Read the following opinion given by an American student studying in Russia. Do you agree with what he says about Russian schools? Why/Why not?

There will be a few major differences if you study in a Russian school. The academics will probably be much more demanding in the Russian system. However, it’s probably the little things that you’ll notice the most. For example, there are rarely extracurricular activities (other than KVN), positive reinforcement is a rarity, there is a much more rigid relationship between teachers and students. Overall, (this may sound harsh), but the major difference between Russian schools and American schools is that Russian schools stress rote education, where you memorize things. American schools emphasize the learning process and independent thinking(http://www.localyte.com/info/6569--Russia--Is-it-ok-to-go-to-school-in-Russia--What-is-it-like).

Vocabulary Corner

Basic Vocabulary

  1. Match the types of U.S. schools on the left with their definitions on the right.

  1. charter school

  2. elementary school

  3. high (senior high) school

  4. middle school

  5. magnet school

  6. parochial school

  7. private school

  8. public school

    1. a church-related school administered by parishes or dioceses

    2. a competitive public school that has high academic standards and special programs for students

    3. a school that does not receive funding from the state government

    4. a school where basic subjects are taught for the first six years of a child’s education

    5. an autonomous, alternative public school started by parents, teachers, and community members

    6. a school for children of 14 or 15 to 18 years old

    7. SESa free local school controlled and paid for by the government

    8. a school for children aged between 12 and 14 or 15

2. Divide the words below into the following categories:

Academic year, Advanced Placement (AP) classes, assignment, band, car park, cheerleaders, choir, crib, curriculum, custodian, cycle racks, drop-out, drama group, graduate, graduation ceremony, guidance counselor, gym, homecoming parade, home room, laboratory, lockers, maintenance worker, marching band, pep rally, performance, period, playground, principal, principal’s office, prom, PTO (Parent Teacher Organization), report card, reunion, SAT, science club, school dance, school reunion, school physician, semester, self-service cafeteria, soccer field, sports team, standardized tests, student government, student-run newspaper, study hall, sub, summer camp, superintendent, valedictorian, varsity team

People at school

School

facilities

Extracurricular activities

Social events

Studies

ACTIVE READING

Read the text for general information on the topic.

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