【Unlocking Word Meanings】
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
1. regardless of / rɪˈgɑrd lɪs ʌv / (idiom) – without considering something
Example: Anyone can attend the seminar, regardless of his or her work background.
2. pursue / pərˈsu / (v.) – to take up something
Example: She wants to pursue a teaching career.
3. stimulating / ˈstɪm yəˌleɪtɪŋ / (adj.) – describing something that is encouraging and exciting
Example: The school created a stimulating environment for studying.
4. disadvantaged / ˌdɪs ədˈvæn tɪdʒd / (adj.) – lacking something that is necessary for a comfortable life
Example: New government projects focus on helping disadvantaged children.
5. liberal / ˈlɪb ər əl / (adj.) – open to new ideas and opinions
Example: The liberal organization fights for women’s rights.
Read the text below.
A study suggests that children with preschool education become better learners regardless of their background.
Researchers from Oxford University found that children ages five and under who attend preschool are likely to pursue university studies later in life. The study was funded by the UK’s Department for Education as part of the Effective Preschool, Primary, and Secondary Education (EPPSE) project that started in 1997.
The study also found that children who are exposed to stimulating learning activities at home have higher chances of getting better grades during secondary education. Such activities include singing, learning the alphabet and numbers, and reading. However, not all children have the opportunity to experience learning activities at home. Thus, investment in preschool education is highly beneficial.
Lead researcher Pamela Sammons said that the study’s findings support the significance of preschool education to children’s futures, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. According to Oxford University Educational Psychology professor Kathy Sylva, all of them who conducted the study agree that high-quality early education is very important as it makes children better not only in specific subjects but also in learning itself.
Around the time before the results were revealed, Bright Blue, a liberal group from the United Kingdom, pushed that parents who do not send their children to preschool be denied from claiming their child benefit, a type of help extended by the government for those with children. The group believes that parents should ensure that their children get a good preschool education.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
· What are your thoughts about today’s article? Please discuss your answer.
· How can parents or caregivers be encouraged to provide stimulating learning activities to children at home?
· What do you think is more important: starting early education at school or at home? Explain your answer.
· How can the government help parents provide quality home education to children?