You are going to read a text about robot teachers. Before you read, consider these questions:
Skim read the article and see whether any of your ideas are mentioned in the text.
If you think of jobs robots could never do, you would probably put doctors and teachers at the top of your 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, who has been a teacher for more than 35 years, thinks so. And he even has a date for the robot takeover: 2027. He predicts robots will take on the main role 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. This opinion is not popular and it’s unlikely robots will ever have empathy and be able 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 percent of children under 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 agree it is a difficult profession and many are leaving the profession because they feel overworked. Perhaps the best question to ask 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 much of their time doing non-teaching work, including more than 11 hours per week marking homework. If robots could reduce how long teachers spend marking homework and writing reports, teachers would have more time and energy for the parts of the job humans do best.
Adapted from: https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/skills/reading/intermediate-b1/robot-teachers.
Decide which of the statements are correct according to the text.
Think about your answers to the following questions:
In the first topic of this unit, you practised language for praising your students and thought about some reasons why this is important. What impact would robot teachers have on this?