READING activity - Intermediate students - A School Day in China


A School Day in China

It’s noon and the bell is ringing at your school. By now, you’ve probably spent around seven hours there. Maybe you’ve had five or six lessons, a few short breaks and a longer break of up to an hour for lunch. If you think that’s a tough timetable, you might have to think again! A school day in China can be almost eleven hours long – that is three hours longer than the average working day there!
Let’s take a look at a typical school day in China. School begins at 7:30 with a flag-raising ceremony and a speech from the head teacher. The first three lessons last from 7:45 to 10:20 with three ten-minute breaks in between.
At 10:30, pupils gather at the sports ground to do half an hour of morning exercises. Chinese people believe that keeping fit is important and people of all ages often make time to exercise during the day. Before the fourth lesson begins at 11:25, it’s time to do some eye exercises. These exercises usually take five minutes and are for strengthening pupils’ eyesight.
Lunch is at 12:20 but it’s a short break: only twenty minutes. After lunch, there’s a study period of one hour, followed by a fifteen-minute break.
Then it’s back to the classroom for the fifth lesson and some more eye exercises. By then it’s 3:40 but the bell hasn’t rung yet! There are three more lessons before school finishes at ten past six. What’s more, when the school day has ended, pupils can’t always go home and relax. Weekday evenings and most of the weekend are often packed with extra lessons and activities such as doing sports, playing a musical instrument or learning another language.
As you can see, Chinese pupils work hard and their free time is very limited. All Chinese children learn, from a young age, to be good pupils, get good grades and help other pupils do the same. Behind this tough timetable is the belief that a good education is the key to a bright future.

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1. Read and and say true or false.

a) A typical day in a Chinese school is shorter than a typical day in a Chinese office.
b) Every day starts in the same way.
c) Morning exercise is before the third lesson.
d) Pupils do eye exercises because they need to relax.
e) Most pupils in China have got more lessons after school.
f) In China, studying hard is more important than free time and relaxing.

2. Complete.


3. Work with a partner. Look at the things. Compare your school day and a Chinese school day. Give your opinion.


4. Discuss these questions in groups. Collect ideas, then write about a typical school day in your notebook.

a) What happens on an average school day in your country?
b) What extra lessons or activities do pupils do?
c) How much free time have pupils got? What do they do with it?

ANSWERS

1. Read and and say true or false.

a) A typical day in a Chinese school is shorter than a typical day in a Chinese office. false
b) Every day starts in the same way. true
c) Morning exercise is before the third lesson. false 
d) Pupils do eye exercises because they need to relax. false
e) Most pupils in China have got more lessons after school. true 
f) In China, studying hard is more important than free time and relaxing. true

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