Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
- revive / rɪˈvaɪv / (v) – to bring back something into use
The state’s school board decided to revive calligraphy. It will now be included in the high school curriculum.
- illegible / ɪˈlɛdʒ ə bəl / (adj) – impossible to be read
The student’s writing was illegible. I could not understand anything he wrote.
- cognitive / ˈkɒg nɪ tɪv / (adj) – involving the process of thinking
The new study shows a strong connection between playing sports and one’s cognitive ability.
- academe / ˈæk əˌdim / (n) – the scholarly environment in colleges or universities
Several people in the academe worked hard to make the experiment successful.
- optional / ˈɒp ʃə nl / (adj) – not required to be taken
Learning foreign languages is optional here in our university.
Read the text below.
Texas elementary schools are set to reintroduce cursive writing, a style wherein letters are connected together.
Based on the revised Texas Education Code, cursive writing will be part of the elementary school curriculum starting September 2019. The state’s new education code requires that students learn and practice cursive writing starting from the second grade.
Texas is the 18th and latest state in America to revive cursive writing. This move is the lawmakers’ response to complaints about kids’ illegible handwriting. The state also hopes to fix the current curriculum, which focuses more on teaching students how to use a keyboard instead of how to write by hand.
Marty Rowley, a Texas school board member, explained the importance of incorporating cursive writing in the school curriculum. He said that studying cursive improves children’s cognitive abilities as well as their spelling and reading skills. More importantly, learning cursive will enable children to read several historical documents in the United States, which are in cursive handwriting.
Despite the benefits, however, some members of the academe are not fully convinced that learning cursive writing is necessary. An assistant professor from the University of Southern California believes that teaching how to use a keyboard will be more advantageous than teaching how to write in cursive. One professor from Oberlin College also thinks that learning cursive should be optional for students.
A University of Texas at Austin professor agrees that learning cursive is beneficial but that it can also be challenging. For one, learning cursive will lessen the time for students to study other subjects because there is a limited time in school daily.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
• Should learning cursive be forced or optional for elementary school students in Texas? Explain.
• Which do you think should students learn first: how to write in cursive or how to use a keyboard? Discuss.
• In your opinion, what are the pros and cons of stylized writing, like cursive handwriting or calligraphy? Discuss.
• When do you think is the ideal time for people to know stylized writing (e.g. elementary level, university level)? Why?