UK to Recruit Chinese Math Teachers

April 19, 2014

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. overhaul /oʊərˈhɔl/ (v.) – to examine carefully in order to repair or revise
Example: The school expects improvement on the students’ performance after overhauling the curriculum.

2. numeracy /ˈnuə rəsi/ (n.) – the ability to use numbers and understand numerical techniques in Mathematics
ExampleThe student’s numeracy is exceptional.

3. feedback /ˈfidˌbæk/ (n.) – an evaluation of an activity or performance
ExampleThe teacher gave positive feedback on the students’ essay.

4. pass on /pæs ɒn/ (idiom) – to share or transfer information to another person
ExampleShe passed on the details of the exchange program to other students.

5. take part /teɪk pɑrt/ (phrasal v.) – to participate in an event or activity
Example: I took part in a research about the effects of sleep on concentration.


Read the text below.
The UK will recruit teachers from China to help boost the Math performance of British pupils.

Asian countries often perform best in key subjects like Math and Science. Because of this, UK Education Minister Elizabeth Truss believes that England can learn from the teaching strategies of teachers in Asian nations, especially China. The minister even visited the country to examine how the Chinese teach Math.

Sixty English-speaking teachers from various Chinese cities will take part in the exchange program. They will be assigned in 30 new schools that specialize in teaching Math. These teachers are also expected to try new methods to help struggling students deal with homework and feedback. They will also conduct practical demonstrations and advanced classes for school staff.

At the same time, two British math teachers will be sent to China to learn from the teaching methods of the Chinese. Once they go back to the UK, they are expected to pass on the new methods and practices they learned to other teachers in the country.

In 2012, more than half a million 15-year-old students from different countries participated in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study. The study revealed that the UK ranked 26th in Math. The results also showed that the UK is falling behind Asian countries like China, Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and South Korea when it comes to Math, Science, and Reading.

On another note, UK’s Department for Education says Math performance is important in becoming competent for jobs. And in order to improve the students’ Math performance, the country plans to overhaul the way numeracy is being taught in schools.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think the exchange program is a good idea? Please explain.
·         Do you agree that good Math performance is key to becoming competent for jobs? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         How else can the government help pupils improve their Math performance? Explain.
·         Aside from Math, what other subjects should be prioritized by schools? Kindly discuss your answer.


April 19, 2014