Speaking, Part 1: Education

I had a very insightful lesson on education with my students .

There is an incredible amount pressure on them to perform well academically, with the main focus being on the university entrance exam. Their whole life seems to be focused on that one day. Students not only attend regular classes to get their compulsory education, but study for hours and hours after at private academies – on weekdays and at weekends –  with parents forking out vast sums of money to support their child’s learning. 

It’s all very different from my own school experience in Scotland.

Sample answers

1. Did you like your high school teachers?

I liked most of my high school teachers but my favourite was our geography teacher. He was firm but fair, and I always looked forward to his classes. He had a real passion for the subject and presented the curriculum in an accessible and interactive way that really engaged students. It was partly thanks to him that I decided to go on to study this at university.

2. Are teachers usually strict in your country?

I think older teachers tend to be stricter than younger teachers – I had one teacher who had a reputation for being a bit of an old dragon! I think it also depends on the school – secondary school teachers may be sterner than their counterparts working in primary school. Thankfully corporal punishment has been banned for many decades so teachers need to use other techniques to manage the class effectively.

3. What was your major?  Why did you choose it?

I have a bachelor’s degree in geography. It was an easy choice for me to choose this major – I was a straight A student and I had a natural talent for the subject. I was lucky that I got to study at a prestigious seat of education – my university is well-known for their School of Geosciences and many of the lecturers are leading authorities in this field.

4. Would you say that you’re a good student?

Of course! It’s true that my attention occasionally wanders if I’m studying something I don’t find particularly inspiring or interesting. In those situations I have to try to motivate myself, for example I’ll revise the coursework in a way that is more engaging for me. I’ve never played truant and I’ve always shown a positive attitude in class.

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