Skype Helps Cancer Victim Teach

March 25, 2011

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

1. chemotherapy (n.) [kee-moh-ther-uh-pee, kem-oh-] – a treatment that uses chemicals which kill cancer cells
Example: Breast cancer patients go through chemotherapy.

2. gesture (n.) [jes-cher] – the movement of head, face, hands or body in order to express an idea or send a message
Example: His gesture means that I should be quiet.

3. malfunction (n.) [mal-fuhngk-shuhn] – to not work properly; to break down
Example: The computer with hardware malfunctions was finally changed. 

4. engage (v.) [en-geyj] – to catch the attention of someone
Example: The exciting movie engages many teenagers.

Read the text below.

A high school teacher in UK continues to teach his class every day despite the pain he’s suffering from cancer.

James Kelly, an English teacher from Mount St. Joseph High School, conducts his class using the free internet program called Skype. Weakened by regular chemotherapy, Kelly no longer has the energy to teach inside a classroom. Skype enables him to teach virtually through a screen where his students can listen to his voice and watch his gestures.

His students found it unusual at first, but eventually, they adapted to this new way of teaching.

To make sure that his students behave properly, Kelly asked the help of his assistant to monitor the students while inside the classroom. Fortunately, Kelly’s students cooperate with him well.

There are times when there would be computer right in the middle of the class and whenever this happens the chairman of the school’s computer department stands by to fix the problem.

Kelly says that Skype is as good as being inside the classroom. Even if he is not physically present, he is able to engage his students so they can make progress in class. However, Kelly still thinks it is important to be inside the classroom every once in a while because it is still the best place where he can make a real connection with his students.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Do you think students can learn better if the teacher is around?
·         How do you think can teachers engage their students in class even if they are not around?

Discussion B 

·         Do you think it is possible to replace human teachers with a machine? Why or why not?
·         What can human teachers do that computers cannot?

March 25, 2011