Banning Mobile Phones Improves Student Performance

July 9, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

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

1. performance / pərˈfɔr məns / (n.) – the act of doing a certain task
Example: The student received an award for his excellent academic performance.

2. unaffected / ˌʌn əˈfɛk tɪd / (adj.) – not influenced or not altered
Example: Fortunately, the school was unaffected by the storm.

3. detrimental / ˌdɛ trəˈmɛn tl / (adj.) – causing harm
Example: Watching television excessively may be detrimental to one’s study habits.

4. comparable / ˈkɒm pər ə bəl / (adj.) – referring to things that are alike and can thus be compared with each other
Example: The two schools are comparable in terms of their student population.

5. cognition / kɒgˈnɪʃ ən / (n.) – mental activities related to knowledge, comprehension, and memory 
Example: Lack of sleep may weaken one’s cognition.


Read the text below.
A study published by the London School of Economics suggests that banning mobile phones in schools can help improve student performance.

The said study involved secondary schools from Birmingham [BUR-ming-uh m], Leicester [LES-ter], London, and Manchester. The researchers analyzed and compared the test scores of the schools before and after the phones were banned.

According to the results of the study, schools that banned mobile phones had a more than 6% increase in their students’ test scores. Furthermore, results revealed that low-income and low-achieving students were the ones who showed more improvement in their performance in school. It also revealed that low-achieving students have a higher probability of getting distracted by mobile phones, while high achievers remain unaffected.

Researchers mentioned that using mobile phones in schools distracts students and reduces their productivity, thus causing a detrimental effect to their learning. Banning mobile phones in schools is recommended, as its benefits are comparable to adding one more hour of school every week or adding five days to a school year.

Aside from banning gadgets in schools, there are other ways to help students perform better and prevent failure in school. In fact, researchers from Brown University and Harvard Kennedy School found that providing parents with their children’s points for improvement can help prevent academic failure among students. This is because doing so allows parents to take more concrete actions in helping their children.

A report in 2013 also found that being physically active also results in better performance in school. According to the US-based Institute of Medicine’s report, being active promotes faster cognition, leading to better performance on standardized academic tests.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that mobile phones should be banned in schools? Why or why not?
·         What other things do you think should not be allowed in schools?

Discussion B

·         What other things do you think affect student performance?
·         What are some other ways teachers or parents can help students perform better in school?

July 9, 2015