Academic standards at Burnage Media Arts College have soared since pupils were forbidden to use mobile phones. The world, for these youngsters, began not with basic mobiles but with the BlackBerry and the touchscreen. In their lives, face-to-face social contact often takes second place to electronic text, Facebook and Skype. Real life like playing football or simply hanging around with one’s friends is not important in comparison with the virtual.
So it came as something of a shock when, in September of last year, the school’s headmaster, Ian Fenn, banned the use of mobiles by pupils on his premises. They can be brought into school but must be switched off at the gate in the morning and not switched on again until leaving time. Many schools allow the use of phones during break times, but pupils at Burnage who are caught using one must surrender it immediately or face exclusion. Confiscated devices can be recovered only by a parent or other responsible adult.
It seems to have worked in terms of lessening disruption in class, improving learning and reducing cyber bullying. Children are playing football at playtime again and rediscovering face-to-face contact.
Has Mr. F nn considered banning phones altogether at Burnage, given that children once managed perfectly well without them? “They are an extremely effective means of contacting home if someone is stranded or has missed the bus,” he concedes.
Adapted from The Daily Telegraph December 2012
READING COMPREHENSIONQuestion 1: [2 POINTS] Indicate whether the following statements are true or false and write down which part of the text justifies your answer.
a) Academic levels at Burnage Media Arts College have increased because Mobile phones have been prohibited.
b) Students cannot bring mobile phones into the school.
c) Children can get their confiscated mobile phones back when school finishes.
d) Children used to cope very well at school without mobile phones.
Question 2: [2 POINTS] Answer the following questions in your own words according to the text.
a) What benefits to the school has prohibiting mobile phones brought?
b) What benefits to the students has prohibiting mobile phones brought?
Question 3: [1,5 POINTS] Find words or phrases in the text that correspond to the words and definitions given.
- a) To prohibit (Paragraph 2): (To) ban
- b) To disconnect (Paragraph 2): (To) switch off
- c) A method or way of doing something (Paragraph 4): means (of)
Question 4: [1,5 POINTS] Complete the following sentences without changing the meaning.
- a) They will delay the flight because of the heavy fog.
- The flight will be delayed because of the heavy fog.
- b) “Don´t forget your key, Peter”, said his mother.
- Peter´s mother told him not to forget his key.
- c) The students failed their exam because they did not study.
- If the students had studied they would not have failed their exam.
WRITINGQuestion 5: [3 POINTS] Write a short essay (about 120-150 words) on the following topic:
– What are the benefits or disadvantages of mobile phones? Give reasons.