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Homework For Sale
these questions in pairs.
1. When you do homework, do you often get help from your parents or someone
else? Why or why not?
2. Do you think homework is a good idea for students at elementary school?
Why or why not?
this question in pairs.
child does his or her math homework. Which is more important:
i. Getting the answers correct but not
understanding how to get the answers?
ii. Getting answers wrong but understanding
how to get the correct answers next time?
Why do you think this?
Look at the words below. These words are in today's article. In pairs decide
which word is different from the other words. Say why the word is different
from the other words.
cat, desk, bird
is the odd one out because it is different from the other words. The other
words are animal words.
1. consumer, pupil, schoolteacher, education
2. website, Internet, homepage, price
3. defend, buy, pay, cost
Finding The Main Idea
today's article quickly. Answer the questions.
Who was the website for?
What does it offer help with?
website sells math answers...
2009 Thomson Reuters Limited. Lesson © 2009 www.english-to-go.com
Wed Mar 4, (Reuters) - "You can't do it? We're here to help,"
says the homepage of a new French website where children
can pay for older students to do homework for them.
On faismesdevoirs.com [which means 'do my homework'],
children buy answers to simple maths problems for 5 euros
($6), while a full end-of-year presentation complete with
slides and speaking notes costs 80 euros ($100).
The website goes live Thursday morning, founder Stephane
Boukris told Reuters.
"I realized there was a gap in the market. Add to
that a dose of insolence, a zest of arrogance and the internet,
and you have faismesdevoirs.com," he said.
Schoolteachers reacted with anger.
"It is shocking. It defeats the purpose of education which
is that the pupils need to learn for themselves how to do
the work," said Agathe Field, a young English teacher at
a secondary school in a suburb of Paris.
| "It turns them into consumers.
The message is that for the right price you can get the
results you want. It's nonsense," she said.
Boukris defended the website, saying that the schoolchildren
would still learn something if they bought homework from
the site because it would come with annotations from the
students explaining how they got to the final result.
"We're not just giving them the fish, we're teaching
them how to fish," Boukris said in a telephone interview.
"Of course some schoolchildren might use the system
to cheat, but they'll have to learn sooner or later because
we won't be there on exam day," he said.
Put the words in order to make questions about today's article.
1. of / is the / name / What / the website ? ____________________________________
2. does / the homepage / What / say ? ____________________________________
3. their homework / can / Who / children / pay / to do ? ____________________________________
4. cost / do / How much / answers / for / math problems ? ____________________________________
5. founder / is / the / Who / website's ? ____________________________________
6. website / do / schoolteachers / What / think / of the ? ____________________________________
Find the answers to your questions from Part One.
Work in pairs. Write
three questions about today's article. Then ask another pair to answer
1. (Write your questions here.) ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Reading For Meaning
Work in pairs. Read
the sentences and say what you think they mean.
1. "...pupils need to learn for themselves how to do the work,"
said Agathe Field, a young English teacher at a secondary school in a suburb
2. "It turns them into consumers. The message is that for the right price
you can get the results you want. It's nonsense," she said.
3. "We're not just giving them the fish, we're teaching them
how to fish," Boukris said....
4. "Of course some schoolchildren might use the system to cheat, but
they'll have to learn sooner or later because we won't be there on exam day,"
E: Give Your Opinion
Answer this question in pairs:
On 6 March 2009, a message was posted on
the website saying it was closed: "Fermeture De Faismesdevoirs.com"
Why do you think this happened?
You may do one or
more of these.
Thinking of Ideas
Work in small groups. Your teacher will ask you to do i. or ii.
i. Imagine you are
Boukris. Think of as many ideas as you can that show your website are
helpful for students.
ii. Imagine you are
a teacher who doesn't like the website. Think
of as many ideas as you can that show that websites like this are not good
2. As a class debate whether websites like this one are a good idea.
B: Writing An Ad
Work in pairs and do ONE of the following:
1. Fill the gaps in the ad below
2. Write your own ad for a homework website.
Decide Your Homework!
Work in small groups or as a class. Answer this question:
Your teacher wants to give you some homework. What would be the best
homework for you to do after this class?
NOTES AND ANSWER KEY
Vocabulary - Suggested Answers
1. Consumer is the odd one out as it relates to shopping whereas the others
relate to schooling.
is the odd one out as it relates to shopping whereas the others relate to
is the odd one out; the others relate to payment and shopping.
Finding The Main Idea - Answers
1. c., 2. homework.
What is the name of the website?
2. What does the homepage say?
3. Who can children pay to do their homework?
4. How much do answers for math problems cost?
5. Who is the websites founder?
6. What do schoolteachers think of the website?
"You can't do it? We're here to help", 3. older students, 4.
5 euros ($6), 5. Stephane Boukris, 6. Answers will vary. (Look
for answers that show teachers disagree with the website's aim.)
Writing Questions - Notes
Students work in pairs
and write questions for the article. Circulate and assist with any grammar
difficulties. Check that questions are sensible and can be answered. When
pairs have had enough time, ask them to read their questions to another pair
who then answer them. (This can also be done by students working alone
and then pairing to ask and answer questions.)
Reading For Meaning - Suggested Answers
1. Students have to learn how to do something
rather than having it done for them.
2. This kind of website makes students into shoppers who learn that if they
pay the right amount they can get what they want.
3. The website founder argues that the website is not only giving students
the answers but also is helping them learn how to get the answers.
4. Some schoolchildren will use the website in the wrong way (i.e. just buying
the answers rather than trying to learn anything from the website.) However,
this will not help them when they come to do their exams.
Give Your Opinion - Notes
will vary. You may like to show students the letter posted on the website
Writing An Ad - Sample Answer
Tricky math? Difficult English assignments? Does your homework stink?
Do you open your books every night and then cry when you see your homework?
Do you always get the wrong answers at school?
Our website is here to help you. Tricky math problems, difficult English
assignments: we do the work for you. You send us your homework
and we do it for you! (And we give you notes on how to do it too!) Click
on the link below, fill in your details and let us do your homework! It's
Children, please note: get your parents' permission first!
Decide Your Homework! - Notes
discussed the validity of websites that give students the answers and also
talked of the benefits (or otherwise of homework), students now have a chance
to decide what their homework will be after this class. (This is presuming
that you are planning to set up some sort of follow up activity.)
Small groups can suggest ideas and then present them to you or the class
could hold a discussion (with you stepping aside and others acting as scribe
and discussion facilitator.) Be prepared to accept whatever conclusion they
come up including the suggestion that there be no homework at all!
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