Tuesday, July 26, 2011

South Korea to Swap Textbooks for Tablets

South Korean school textbooks will be all digital by 2015
Credit to: Digital Trends

South Korea’s government has announced ambitious plans to revolutionize school classrooms and provide the world’s first “smart education” system. It intends to digitize all textbooks in all schools by 2015. This means bulky, paper-based books are out and handheld tablets and e-readers are in. First in line to go digital are elementary schools, which will switch to online devices by 2014. South Korea’s Ministry of Education says it will invest $2.4 billion to create and deliver the e-learning and mobile-learning materials. Education Minister Lee Ju Ho explained the need to ensure teachers are sufficiently trained in using the new tech in class. "It's very important to make sure that the two can work together,” he said.

The Ministry has not yet made a decision on which make of products it will bring into the classroom. Many industry experts predict it will opt for Korean-made devices such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab rather than gadgets from international rivals Apple or Sony. In addition to digital content in the classroom, the Ministry is also hoping to make online classes available for students who miss lessons. South Korea is well known for its embrace of technology and high-speed Internet. A Ministry official stated: “Korean students have ranked first in terms of digital literacy among developed nations…That’s why Korean students, who are already fully prepared for digital society, need a [major] shift in education.”

Source: Breaking News English

Vocabulary Words: Read the vocabulary words, the definitions and the example sentences. Make your own sentence using the vocabulary word/s afterwards.

1. ambitious (adj.): full of ambitions; showing great desire for something

  • The young girl is very ambitious. 
2. revolutionize (v.): to bring a significant/extraordinary change
  • Mark Zuckerberg revolutionized social networking by creating Facebook.
3. digitize (v.): make digital

  • South Korea will digitize their textbooks.
4. ensure (v.): make sure; guarantee

  • You have to ensure that you passed the exam.
5. opt (v.): choose
  • Students can opt to write a review of a journal article rather than taking the long quiz.
6. embrace (n. here but it can be v.): eager acceptance
  • South Korea is well known for its embrace of technology and high-speed Internet.
7. literacy (n.): the ability to read and write
  • The literacy rate in the Philippines is 93%.
8. ministry (n.): a department in the government
  • The Ministry of Health advised the young adults to abstain from premarital sex.

Comprehension check:
 Answer the questions based on the article.

1. What is the plan of the South Korean government regarding the education system in their country?
2. Where would the Ministry of Education in South Korea invest $2.4 billion on?
3. The devices to be used in this new project have been predicted. What are these devices? Give a specific device.
4. What classes would be offered to students who will miss their classes?

1. What could be the disadvantages of this project--to the government, the students, the parents?
2. What are the effects of this project to the economy of South Korea? To the Global Economy?
3. Do you think that your country is also capable of executing a project like this?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tall People Have Greater Risk of Cancer

Tall People Have Greater Risk of Cancer
Source: Slanted Science

Scientists have found that tall people have a higher risk of getting cancer. Researchers from Britain’s University of Oxford say that for every 10 cm above 150 cm, a person was 16 per cent more likely to get cancer. Women who were over 175 cm tall were 37 per cent more at risk than women who were 150 cm. The study found that with tallest women the rate of cancer was 10 per thousand women. For smaller women, it was 7.5 per thousand. The study was very large. It looked at the health of over one million women between 1996 and 2001.

Cancer experts said tall people do not need to be worried by this new report. They say that being tall is not a reason for cancer and that there are other things that cause cancer. One reason might be tall people have more cells, so there is a higher chance of cells becoming cancerous. Another possibility is that growth hormones add to the risk of cancer. Doctors say the most important way to reduce the risk of cancer is to live healthily. People who smoke, drink lots of alcohol and are overweight have a bigger risk of getting cancer.

Source: News English Lessons

Vocabulary Words: Read the vocabulary words, the definitions and the example sentences. Make your own sentence using the vocabulary word/s afterwards.

1. more likely (adj.): higher chance to happen / to become
  • The student is more likely to get low grades because he is not studying.
2. looked at the health (v.): examined the health / studied the health
  • The doctor looked at the health of the boy.
3. cell (n.): smallest part of the body
  • We have billions of cells inside our body.
4. hormone (n.): a chemical that is produced by the body to help our body parts function normally
  • We have hormones to make us taller.
5. reduce (v.): lessen, make smaller
  • The price of the meat has to be reduced so that many people can eat.

Comprehension check: Answer the questions based on the article.
1. Who are the people with higher chances of having cancer?
2. How will we prevent cancer?
3. What are the reasons why tall people are more likely to have cancer?