The Reading / Listening - Handwriting - Level 4

Cambridge University may end handwritten exams after 800 years. Students may soon type their answers on a computer rather than use a pen. Exam markers are complaining that exams are becoming more difficult to read because of poor handwriting. Today's students mainly use laptops in lectures. They are losing the ability to write by hand because writing causes students physical difficulties. Their hand muscles are not used to writing for three hours at a time.



A Cambridge lecturer said handwriting is a "lost art". She said: "Twenty years ago, students routinely [wrote] by hand several hours a day, but now they write virtually nothing by hand, except exams." She said handwriting has been on "a downward trend" for years. The lecturer said some students' handwriting is so illegible that students had to return to the university to read out their answers to examiners who could not read the writing.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Handwriting - Level 5 or  Handwriting - Level 6

Sources
  • http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2017/09/students-unreadable-handwriting-could-mean-laptops-in-exams.html
  • https://www.theguardian.com/education/2017/sep/09/cambridge-considers-typed-exams-as-handwriting-worsens
  • http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-09/09/c_136597258.htm


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. type their answers
  2. exams are becoming more
  3. poor
  4. students mainly use
  5. They are losing the ability
  6. physical
  7. Their hand muscles are not
  8. for three hours
  1. to write by hand
  2. handwriting
  3. used to writing
  4. on a computer
  5. at a time
  6. laptops in lectures
  7. difficult to read
  8. difficulties

Paragraph 2

  1. handwriting is a lost
  2. students routinely wrote
  3. several
  4. now they write virtually
  5. handwriting has been on a downward
  6. some students' handwriting
  7. read out
  8. examiners who could not
  1. trend for years
  2. their answers
  3. art
  4. read the writing
  5. by hand
  6. nothing by hand
  7. is so illegible
  8. hours a day

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Cambridge University (1) ___________________ handwritten exams after 800 years. Students may (2) ___________________ answers on a computer rather (3) ___________________. Exam markers are complaining that exams are becoming more difficult to read (4) ___________________ handwriting. Today's students mainly use laptops in lectures. They are losing (5) ___________________ write by hand because writing causes students physical difficulties. Their (6) ___________________ not used to writing for three hours at a time.

A Cambridge lecturer said handwriting (7) ___________________. She said: "Twenty years ago, students routinely [wrote] (8) ________________ hours a day, but now they (9) ___________________ nothing by hand, except exams." She said handwriting (10) ___________________ downward trend" for years. The lecturer said some students' handwriting (11) ___________________ that students had to return to the university to read out their answers (12) ___________________ could not read the writing.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

CambridgeUniversitymayendhandwrittenexamsafter800years.Stu
dentsmaysoontypetheiranswersonacomputerratherthanuseapen.E
xammarkersarecomplainingthatexamsarebecomingmoredifficultto
readbecauseofpoorhandwriting.Today'sstudentsmainlyuselaptopsi
nlectures.Theyarelosingtheabilitytowritebyhandbecausewritingcau
sesstudentsphysicaldifficulties.Theirhandmusclesarenotusedtowriti
ngforthreehoursatatime.ACambridgelecturersaidhandwritingisa"lo
start".Shesaid:"Twentyyearsago,studentsroutinely[wrote]byhands
everalhoursaday,butnowtheywritevirtuallynothingbyhand,excepte
xams."Shesaidhandwritinghasbeenon"adownwardtrend"foryears.T
helecturersaidsomestudents'handwritingissoillegiblethatstudentsh
adtoreturntotheuniversitytoreadouttheiranswerstoexaminerswhoc
ouldnotreadthewriting.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

Help Support This Web Site

  • Please consider helping Breaking News English.com

Sean Banville's Book

Thank You