Robot teachers

Read an article about robot teachers to practise and improve your reading skills.

Instructions

Do the preparation task first. Then read the text and do the exercises.

Reading text

If you think of the jobs robots could never do, you would probably put doctors and teachers at the top of the list. It's easy to imagine robot cleaners and factory workers, but some jobs need human connection and creativity. But are we underestimating what robots can do? In some cases, they already perform better than doctors at diagnosing illness. Also, some patients might feel more comfortable sharing personal information with a machine than a person. Could there be a place for robots in education after all?

British education expert Anthony Seldon thinks so. And he even has a date for the robot takeover of the classroom: 2027. He predicts robots will do the main job of transferring information and teachers will be like assistants. Intelligent robots will read students' faces, movements and maybe even brain signals. Then they will adapt the information to each student. It's not a popular opinion and it's unlikely robots will ever have empathy and the ability to really connect with humans like another human can.

One thing is certain, though. A robot teacher is better than no teacher at all. In some parts of the world, there aren't enough teachers and 9–16 per cent of children under the age of 14 don't go to school. That problem could be partly solved by robots because they can teach anywhere and won't get stressed, or tired, or move somewhere for an easier, higher-paid job.

Those negative aspects of teaching are something everyone agrees on. Teachers all over the world are leaving because it is a difficult job and they feel overworked. Perhaps the question is not 'Will robots replace teachers?' but 'How can robots help teachers?' Office workers can use software to do things like organise and answer emails, arrange meetings and update calendars. Teachers waste a lot of time doing non-teaching work, including more than 11 hours a week marking homework. If robots could cut the time teachers spend marking homework and writing reports, teachers would have more time and energy for the parts of the job humans do best.

Discussion

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Average: 4.1 (7 votes)

Submitted by Yeonjun on Sun, 13/03/2022 - 09:20

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In Task 1, Q1, What's the reason this answer is False?

In Task 1, Q5 and Q6, Reason for those answer was false is the questions is not given in sentence?

Hi Yeonjun,

I'll try to explain :)

Q1. The first sentence imagines a list of jobs that robots cannot do, and a 'list' suggests a relatively large number. Also, sentence 2's mention of two jobs that robots can do seems to be offered in contrast with the statement that "some jobs need human connection and creativity" (i.e., a relatively larger number). So, since the question asks whether most jobs can be done by robots, False is the best answer.

Q5. This should be True (see the final two sentences).

Q6. The False answer is implied by the final sentence: "If robots could cut the time ... , teachers would have ...". This is a second conditional structure, showing an unlikely or imaginary situation (i.e., one that does not necessarily happen now). This idea, that robot teachers will appear in the future but haven't appeared yet in the present, is shown in other places in the text (e.g., "2027" in para. 2; "That problem could be partly solved" in para. 3). But the question is about what teachers do now, in the present ("Some teachers use ..." - present simple).

Does that make sense?

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Fisherman on Tue, 30/11/2021 - 11:47

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In Task 2, Q1, the correct answer is option c. What´s the explanation for that?

Hello Fisherman,

That is a somewhat tricky question, but since the overall message of the article is that robots can do more than we typically think, it's the correct answer. The first paragraph points out that robots already perform some aspects of a doctor's job better than humans and then when the article discusses teaching, it explores all the ways that robots could help in education.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by LamVanPhuong on Wed, 10/11/2021 - 09:15

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that's great if i have a lot of money i will buy a teacher robot to teach me to do my homework.

Submitted by sophie.green on Wed, 20/10/2021 - 14:22

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No, I definitely wouldn't! Teachers have special skills, human skills and robots would never replace them. Being a teacher is a mission which is far more than only teaching a class and notions. A teacher can inspire his students, can help them to become open-minded citizens and they share important human values. I believe that students understand it quite well with the different lock-downs consequently to the pandemic. Staying hooked to their screens without any human contact was rather depressing.

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Mon, 18/10/2021 - 18:20

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Yes, this is existing to study. I'm excited about this. Many teachers have incapable to know how to teaches students and they are boring.

Submitted by Aydan on Sun, 17/10/2021 - 17:49

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Actually I wouldn’t like My teacher is a robot, if all teachers have enough good properties. But I know that there are a lot of students who receive incomplete or incorrect education by unqualified teachers. That is why meybe robots could do better.

Submitted by Dariusz on Mon, 13/09/2021 - 00:45

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In some cases it would be good to have a robot as a teacher: like more comfortable, less pressure, but there's need to study by psychologists of negative aspects this perform. No empathy isn't looking good.
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Submitted by iEdd on Wed, 21/07/2021 - 17:33

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Absolutely not. I've beed a teacher and I know how to feel about that. Human relationships are based on empahty and respect. Sort of feelings a robot will never live. I disagree in the main role in a classroom, but I support the idea of robots can helps with marks and reports.