The Reading / Listening - Handwriting - Level 6

The world-renowned Cambridge University is considering abolishing handwritten exams after 800 years. University officials may ask students to type their exam answers on a computer rather than use a pen. The move follows complaints from examination markers who say they are finding test papers increasingly illegible due to poor handwriting. Academics say today's students primarily use laptops in lectures and tutorials instead of pens. Students are losing the ability to write by hand. One academic said asking students to hand-write exams actually causes them physical difficulties. The muscles in their hand are not used to writing extensively for prolonged periods of two to three hours.



A Cambridge University lecturer, Dr Sarah Pearsall, told Britain's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper that handwriting was becoming 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 added: "We have been concerned for years about the declining handwriting problem. There has definitely been a downward trend. It is difficult for both the students and the examiners as it is harder and harder to read these [exam] scripts." Dr Pearsall says some students' handwriting is so illegible that they had to return to the university over the summer to read their answers out loud to examiners who could not read their writing.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Handwriting - Level 4  or  Handwriting - Level 5

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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. HANDWRITING: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about handwriting. Change partners often and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?

       world-renowned / handwriting / exams / answers / illegible / lectures / muscles /
       a lost art / twenty years ago / problem / trend / examiners / harder / university

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. WRITE BY HAND: Students A strongly believe it is no longer necessary to write by hand in today's digital world; Students B strongly believe writing by hand is essential.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

4. WRITING: Is it better to write these things by hand or type them on a keyboard? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

By Hand (Using a Pen)

On a Smartphone / Computer Keyboard

Essays

 

 

Shopping list

 

 

Birthday cards

 

 

Exams

 

 

Poems

 

 

Diary / Journal

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. EXAMS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "exams". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. LEGIBLE: Rank these with your partner. Put the most important things to be legible at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • love letter
  • birthday card
  • directions
  • apologies
  • exam
  • signature
  • doctor's prescription
  • shopping list

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if a-h below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. Cambridge University has had hand written exams for 800 years.     T / F
  2. Exam markers complained they could not read exam papers.     T / F
  3. Students still use pens more than computers in lectures.     T / F
  4. Cambridge University students have stronger hand muscles.     T / F
  5. A Cambridge University lecturer called handwriting a fine art.     T / F
  6. She said students used keyboards a lot 20 years ago.     T / F
  7. The lecturer said there was an upward trend in legibility.    T / F
  8. Students had to read their exam scripts out loud to examiners.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. abolishing
  2. rather than
  3. complaints
  4. primarily
  5. prolonged
  6. routinely
  7. virtually
  8. concerned
  9. illegible
  10. handwriting
  1. grumbles
  2. regularly
  3. worried
  4. instead of
  5. penmanship
  6. getting rid of
  7. unreadable
  8. lengthy
  9. mainly
  10. almost

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. Cambridge University is considering
  2. students primarily
  3. causes them physical
  4. not used to
  5. prolonged periods
  6. handwriting was becoming a
  7. Twenty years ago, students routinely
  8. There has definitely been a downward
  9. students' handwriting is so
  10. read their answers
  1. wrote by hand
  2. writing extensively
  3. illegible
  4. "lost art"
  5. difficulties
  6. abolishing handwritten exams
  7. out loud
  8. of two to three hours
  9. trend
  10. use laptops in lectures

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
illegible
officials
physical
primarily
abolishing
periods
rather
losing

The world-renowned Cambridge University is considering (1) ____________ handwritten exams after 800 years. University (2) ____________ may ask students to type their exam answers on a computer (3) ____________ than use a pen. The move follows complaints from examination markers who say they are finding test papers increasingly (4) ____________ due to poor handwriting. Academics say today's students (5) ____________ use laptops in lectures and tutorials instead of pens. Students are (6) ____________ the ability to write by hand. One academic said asking students to hand-write exams actually causes them (7) ____________ difficulties. The muscles in their hand are not used to writing extensively for prolonged (8) ____________ of two to three hours.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
trend
several
loud
art
declining
return
except
scripts

A Cambridge University lecturer, Dr Sarah Pearsall, told Britain's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper that handwriting was becoming a "lost (9) ____________". She said: "Twenty years ago, students routinely [wrote] by hand (10) ____________ hours a day, but now they write virtually nothing by hand, (11) ____________ exams." She added: "We have been concerned for years about the (12) ____________ handwriting problem. There has definitely been a downward (13) ____________. It is difficult for both the students and the examiners as it is harder and harder to read these [exam] (14) ____________." Dr Pearsall says some students' handwriting is so illegible that they had to (15) ____________ to the university over the summer to read their answers out (16) ____________ to examiners who could not read their writing.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  The world-renowned Cambridge University is considering ______ exams
     a.  abolish in handwritten
     b.  and polishing handwritten
     c.  abolishing handwritten
     d.  abolition handwritten

2)  ask students to type their exam answers on a computer ______ a pen
     a.  rather than use
     b.  lather than use
     c.  father than use
     d.  farther than use

3)  examination markers who say they are finding test papers ______
     a.  increasingly ill ledge able
     b.  increasingly illegibly
     c.  increasingly ill eligible
     d.  increasingly illegible

4)  Academics say today's students primarily use laptops in lectures and tutorials ______
     a.  in stead of pen
     b.  instead of pens
     c.  instead off pens
     d.  instead of pen

5)  The muscles in their hand are not used to writing extensively for ______
     a.  prologue periods
     b.  pre longed periods
     c.  prolonged periods
     d.  prolonged period

6) Pearsall told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper that handwriting was becoming ______
     a.  a "lost art"
     b.  a "loss tart"
     c.  at a "lost art"
     d.  at a "loss tart"

7)  students routinely wrote by hand several hours a day, but now they write ______
     a.  virtually noting
     b.  virtual noting
     c.  virtual anything
     d.  virtually nothing

8)  She added: "We have been concerned for years about the ______ problem
     a.  decline in handwriting
     b.  declining handwriting
     c.  decline in-hand writing
     d.  declining in-hand written

9)  both the students and the examiners as it is harder and harder to read ______
     a.  these exams scripts
     b.  these exams crypts
     c.  these exams clips
     d.  these exam scripts

10)  they had to return to the university over the summer to read their ______
     a.  answers out loud
     b.  answers out lewd
     c.  answers out laud
     d.  answers out load

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

The (1) ___________________ Cambridge University is considering abolishing handwritten exams after 800 years. University officials may ask students (2) ___________________ exam answers on a computer rather than use a pen. The move (3) ___________________ from examination markers who say they are finding test papers increasingly illegible due to poor handwriting. Academics say today's students (4) __________________ in lectures and tutorials instead of pens. Students are (5) ___________________ to write by hand. One academic said asking students to hand-write exams actually causes them physical difficulties. The muscles in their hand (6) ___________________ writing extensively for prolonged periods of two to three hours.

A Cambridge University lecturer, Dr Sarah Pearsall, told Britain's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper that handwriting was (7) ___________________. She said: "Twenty years ago, students (8) ___________________ hand several hours a day, but now they (9) ___________________ by hand, except exams." She added: "We have been concerned for years about the declining handwriting problem. There has definitely been (10) __________________. It is difficult for both the students and the examiners as it is harder and harder to read (11) ___________________." Dr Pearsall says some students' handwriting is so illegible that they had to return to the university over the summer to read their (12) ___________________ to examiners who could not read their writing.

Comprehension questions

  1. For how long has Cambridge University had hand written exams?
  2. What did exam markers say was becoming increasingly poor?
  3. What do students mainly use in lectures and tutorials?
  4. What do hand-written exams cause many students?
  5. What is not used in students' hands for long periods of time?
  6. What did a doctor say handwriting was becoming?
  7. What did the doctor say students write by hand today?
  8. What kind of trend did the doctor identify with handwriting quality?
  9. What is it harder for students and academics to read?
  10. Where did some students have to return to over the summer?




Multiple choice quiz

1) For how long has Cambridge University had hand written exams?
a) 700 years
b) 600 years
c) 800 years
d) 900 years

2) What did exam markers say was becoming increasingly poor?
a) handwriting
b) Cambridge University
c) students
d) education

3) What do students mainly use in lectures and tutorials?
a) notebooks
b) laptops
c) tablets
d) desktops

4) What do hand-written exams cause many students?
a) paralysis
b) stress
c) hand-eye coordination
d) physical difficulties

5) What is not used in students' hands for long periods of time?
a) pens
b) pencils
c) muscles
d) dictionaries

6) What did a doctor say handwriting was becoming?
a) modern art
b) a lost art
c) a fine art
d) a mainstream art

7) What did the doctor say students write by hand today?
a) shopping lists
b) songs
c) poems
d) only exams

8) What kind of trend did the doctor identify with handwriting quality?
a) a Twitter trend
b) a downward trend
c) a social media trend
d) a best trend

9) What is it harder for students and academics to read?
a) Latin
b) exam scripts
c) research papers
d) newspapers

10) Where did some students have to return to over the summer?
a) the university
b) home
c) their place of birth
d) London

Role play

Role  A – Exams

You think exams are most important to be written legibly. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): signatures, love letters or directions.

Role  B – Signatures

You think signatures are most important to be written legibly. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): exams, love letters or directions.

Role  C – Love Letters

You think love letters are most important to be written legibly. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): signatures, exams or directions.

Role  D – Directions

You think directions are most important to be written legibly. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their things. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): signatures, love letters or exams.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'hand'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'writing'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • newspaper
    • art
    • nothing
    • trend
    • some
    • loud
    • considering
    • rather
    • follows
    • losing
    • causes
    • three




    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 - Cambridge University may end handwritten exams

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'exam'?
    3. What do you think of Cambridge University?
    4. Should all students use pens to write exams?
    5. How important is good handwriting?
    6. Do people need to write any more?
    7. Should students who can't write legibly get a zero?
    8. How good is your handwriting?
    9. Do you need muscles to write for a long time?
    10. How do you feel about writing for a long period of time?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'handwriting'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. To what extent do you think handwriting is an art?
    5. How often do you need to use a pen?
    6. Is it better to use your smartphone or a pen to write lists?
    7. Why is people's handwriting getting worse?
    8. Would you like to write more beautifully?
    9. Can you tell someone's character from their handwriting?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the exam markers?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    The world-renowned Cambridge University is (1) ____ abolishing handwritten exams after 800 years. University officials may ask students to type their exam answers (2) ____ a computer rather than use a pen. The move (3) ____ complaints from examination markers who say they are finding test papers increasingly illegible (4) ____ to poor handwriting. Academics say today's students primarily use laptops in lectures and tutorials (5) ____ of pens. Students are losing the ability to write by hand. One academic said asking students to hand-write exams actually causes them physical difficulties. The muscles in their hand are not used to writing extensively for prolonged (6) ____ of two to three hours.

    A Cambridge University lecturer, Dr Sarah Pearsall, told Britain's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper that handwriting was becoming a "lost (7) ____". She said: "Twenty years ago, students (8) ____ [wrote] by hand several hours a day, but now they write virtually nothing by hand, except exams." She added: "We have been concerned for years about the (9) ____ handwriting problem. There has definitely been a downward (10) ____. It is difficult for both the students and the examiners as it is harder and harder to read these [exam] scripts." Dr Pearsall says some students' handwriting is (11) ____ illegible that they had to return to the university over the summer to read their answers (12) ____ loud to examiners who could not read their writing.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     considers     (b)     consideration     (c)     considerate     (d)     considering    
    2. (a)     of     (b)     to     (c)     in     (d)     on    
    3. (a)     afters     (b)     follows     (c)     replaces     (d)     succeeds    
    4. (a)     because     (b)     owes     (c)     due     (d)     causes    
    5. (a)     prefer     (b)     rather     (c)     instead     (d)     rely    
    6. (a)     periods     (b)     period     (c)     periodical     (d)     periodicals    
    7. (a)     knack     (b)     art     (c)     know-how     (d)     skillful    
    8. (a)     routinely     (b)     routines     (c)     routine     (d)     routes    
    9. (a)     reclining     (b)     declining     (c)     inclining     (d)     clinging    
    10. (a)     blend     (b)     bland     (c)     trend     (d)     gland    
    11. (a)     such     (b)     then     (c)     so     (d)     though    
    12. (a)     as     (b)     to     (c)     up     (d)     out

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. glaihoisnb handwritten exams
    2. The move follows mntplsacoi from examination markers
    3. finding test papers increasingly elgbillei
    4. students iyrrlpiam use laptops
    5. The ssecuml in their hand
    6. for nloopegrd periods

    Paragraph 2

    1. students rueotniyl wrote by hand
    2. they write uilayrlvt nothing by hand
    3. the icnldgein handwriting problem
    4. There has ytidefenil been a downward trend
    5. read these exam ctrsisp
    6. read their answers out loud to eeimxrsna

    Put the text back together

    (    )     hours a day, but now they write virtually nothing by hand, except exams." She added: "We have been

    (    )     pen. The move follows complaints from examination markers who say they are finding test papers increasingly

    (    )     used to writing extensively for prolonged periods of two to three hours.

    (    )     hand-write exams actually causes them physical difficulties. The muscles in their hand are not

    (    )     trend. It is difficult for both the students and the examiners as it is harder and

    1  )     The world-renowned Cambridge University is considering abolishing handwritten exams after 800

    (    )     to return to the university over the summer to read their answers out loud to examiners who could not read their writing.

    (    )     concerned for years about the declining handwriting problem. There has definitely been a downward

    (    )     years. University officials may ask students to type their exam answers on a computer rather than use a

    (    )     illegible due to poor handwriting. Academics say today's students primarily use laptops in lectures and tutorials instead

    (    )     of pens. Students are losing the ability to write by hand. One academic said asking students to

    (    )     harder to read these [exam] scripts." Dr Pearsall says some students' handwriting is so illegible that they had

    (    )     becoming a "lost art". She said: "Twenty years ago, students routinely [wrote] by hand several

    (    )     A Cambridge University lecturer, Dr Sarah Pearsall, told Britain's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper that handwriting was

    Put the words in the right order

    1. handwritten   Abolishing   years   800   after   exams   .
    2. type   may   their   ask   exam   students   answers   to   Officials   .
    3. markers   move   complaints   examination   The   follows   from   .
    4. hand   ability   Students   to   are   write   losing   by   the   .
    5. The   their   not   writing   in   are   to   muscles   hand   used   .
    6. "a   said   was   lost   handwriting   art"   .   A   lecturer   becoming   .
    7. routinely   hours   wrote   a   by   day   hand   Students   several   .
    8. the   about   years   for   Concerned  problem   handwriting   declining  .
    9. lecturer  is   says   too   some   illegible   students'   The   handwriting  .
    10. answers   to   had   their   loud   They   read   out   examiners   to   .

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    The world-renowned Cambridge University is consideration / considering abolishing handwritten exams after 800 years. University officials / official may ask students to type their exam answers on / in a computer rather than use a pen. The move follows complains / complaints from examination markers who say they are finding test papers increasingly illegible / ineligible due to poorly / poor handwriting. Academics say today's students primarily / primary use laptops in lectures and tutorials instead / rather of pens. Students are losing the able / ability to write by hand. One academic said asking students to hand-write exams actually causes them physical difficulties. The muscles in their hand are not used to writing extensively / extensive for prolonged periods of two to three hours.

    A Cambridge University lecturer, Dr Sarah Pearsall, told Britain's 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper that handwriting / handwritten was becoming a "lost art". She said: "Twenty years ago, students routine / routinely [wrote] by hand several hours the / a day, but now they write virtual / virtually nothing by hand, exception / except exams." She added: "We have been concerned for years about the declining / declined handwriting problem. There has definitely been a downward trendy / trend. It is difficult for both the students and the examiners as / has it is harder and harder to read these [exam] scripts." Dr Pearsall says some students' handwriting is so / such illegible that they had to return to the university over the summer to read their answers out / in loud to examiners who could not read their writing.

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    Th_ w_rld-r_n_wn_d C_mbr_dg_ _n_v_rs_ty _s c_ns_d_r_ng _b_l_sh_ng h_ndwr_tt_n _x_ms _ft_r 800 y__rs. _n_v_rs_ty _ff_c__ls m_y _sk st_d_nts t_ typ_ th__r _x_m _nsw_rs _n _ c_mp_t_r r_th_r th_n _s_ _ p_n. Th_ m_v_ f_ll_ws c_mpl__nts fr_m _x_m_n_t__n m_rk_rs wh_ s_y th_y _r_ f_nd_ng t_st p_p_rs _ncr__s_ngly _ll_g_bl_ d__ t_ p__r h_ndwr_t_ng. _c_d_m_cs s_y t_d_y's st_d_nts pr_m_r_ly _s_ l_pt_ps _n l_ct_r_s _nd t_t_r__ls _nst__d _f p_ns. St_d_nts _r_ l_s_ng th_ _b_l_ty t_ wr_t_ by h_nd. _n_ _c_d_m_c s__d _sk_ng st_d_nts t_ h_nd-wr_t_ _x_ms _ct__lly c__s_s th_m phys_c_l d_ff_c_lt__s. Th_ m_scl_s _n th__r h_nd _r_ n_t _s_d t_ wr_t_ng _xt_ns_v_ly f_r pr_l_ng_d p_r__ds _f tw_ t_ thr__ h__rs.

    _ C_mbr_dg_ _n_v_rs_ty l_ct_r_r, Dr S_r_h P__rs_ll, t_ld Br_t__n's 'D__ly T_l_gr_ph' n_wsp_p_r th_t h_ndwr_t_ng w_s b_c_m_ng _ "l_st _rt". Sh_ s__d: "Tw_nty y__rs _g_, st_d_nts r__t_n_ly [wr_t_] by h_nd s_v_r_l h__rs _ d_y, b_t n_w th_y wr_t_ v_rt__lly n_th_ng by h_nd, _xc_pt _x_ms." Sh_ _dd_d: "W_ h_v_ b__n c_nc_rn_d f_r y__rs _b__t th_ d_cl_n_ng h_ndwr_t_ng pr_bl_m. Th_r_ h_s d_f_n_t_ly b__n _ d_wnw_rd tr_nd. _t _s d_ff_c_lt f_r b_th th_ st_d_nts _nd th_ _x_m_n_rs _s _t _s h_rd_r _nd h_rd_r t_ r__d th_s_ [_x_m] scr_pts." Dr P__rs_ll s_ys s_m_ st_d_nts' h_ndwr_t_ng _s s_ _ll_g_bl_ th_t th_y h_d t_ r_t_rn t_ th_ _n_v_rs_ty _v_r th_ s_mm_r t_ r__d th__r _nsw_rs __t l__d t_ _x_m_n_rs wh_ c__ld n_t r__d th__r wr_t_ng.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    the world-renowned cambridge university is considering abolishing handwritten exams after 800 years university officials may ask students to type their exam answers on a computer rather than use a pen the move follows complaints from examination markers who say they are finding test papers increasingly illegible due to poor handwriting academics say today's students primarily use laptops in lectures and tutorials instead of pens students are losing the ability to write by hand one academic said asking students to hand-write exams actually causes them physical difficulties the muscles in their hand are not used to writing extensively for prolonged periods of two to three hours

    a cambridge university lecturer dr sarah pearsall told britain's 'daily telegraph' newspaper that handwriting was becoming 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 added "we have been concerned for years about the declining handwriting problem there has definitely been a downward trend it is difficult for both the students and the examiners as it is harder and harder to read these [exam] scripts" dr pearsall says some students' handwriting is so illegible that they had to return to the university over the summer to read their answers out loud to examiners who could not read their writing

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Theworld-renownedCambridgeUniversityisconsideringabolishingh
    andwrittenexamsafter800years.Universityofficialsmayaskstudents
    totypetheirexamanswersonacomputerratherthanuseapen.Themov
    efollowscomplaintsfromexaminationmarkerswhosaytheyarefinding
    testpapersincreasinglyillegibleduetopoorhandwriting.Academicssa
    ytoday'sstudentsprimarilyuselaptopsinlecturesandtutorialsinstead
    ofpens.Studentsarelosingtheabilitytowritebyhand.Oneacademicsai
    daskingstudentstohand-writeexamsactuallycausesthemphysicaldif
    ficulties.Themusclesintheirhandarenotusedtowritingextensivelyfor
    prolongedperiodsoftwotothreehours.ACambridgeUniversitylecturer
    ,DrSarahPearsall,toldBritain's'DailyTelegraph'newspaperthathand
    writingwasbecominga"lostart".Shesaid:"Twentyyearsago,students
    routinely[wrote]byhandseveralhoursaday,butnowtheywritevirtuall
    ynothingbyhand,exceptexams."Sheadded:"Wehavebeenconcerned
    foryearsaboutthedeclininghandwritingproblem.Therehasdefinitelyb
    eenadownwardtrend.Itisdifficultforboththestudentsandtheexamine
    rsasitisharderandhardertoreadthese[exam]scripts."DrPearsallsays
    somestudents'handwritingissoillegiblethattheyhadtoreturntotheuni
    versityoverthesummertoreadtheiranswersoutloudtoexaminerswho
    couldnotreadtheirwriting.

    Free writing

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

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    Academic writing

    Handwriting is an important art we all need to learn and be good at. Discuss.

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about handwriting. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

    3. HANDWRITING: Make a poster about handwriting. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

    4. A LOST ART: Write a magazine article about handwriting becoming a lost art. Include imaginary interviews with people who think young people should learn to write and with people who think handwriting skills are not so important.

    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on handwriting. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your opinions on the importance of handwriting. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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