International

Dispatches

By Emily Goodman — December 27, 2004 2 min read
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AUSTRALIA

Say What: The latest inservice for educators Down Under may simply teach them how to talk right. According to one study presented at an Australian Council for Educational Research conference, many students’ classroom failures can be traced to teachers neglecting to pause between sentences, maintain eye contact, or speak slowly. As a result, the five-year study reports, children too often end up misdiagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or hearing problems—errors that could be reduced with as little as one hour of professional development for educators. “Kids are bobbing up and down like corks in a sea of blah,” researcher Ken Rowe told the Canberra Times.

CAMBODIA

Life Support: Students in this Southeast Asian country pay their dues every morning, and not just through tests and hard work. Many educators, mostly at the primary school level, rely on daily handouts from their classes to supplement their meager pay. Most of the nation’s 2.7 million schoolchildren each provide their teachers with the equivalent of 8 cents per day—often doubling their $30 monthly salary, the Agence France-Presse reports. “Of course, I don’t do this with a light heart—this is betraying our profession,” said teacher Kong Nak. “One knows that it is against morality to take money from students, but I must do this for my family to survive.”

NEW ZEALAND

Boogie Nights: The island nation may not be renowned for busting a move, but four Aranui High School students recently had a chance to learn a few new steps. The teens demonstrated a routine prepared in dance class and picked up some core moves from three cast members of Saturday Night Fever, a musical based on John Travolta’s 1977 disco movie. Fever spokeswoman Christine Negus told the Press that the students, who described the lesson as “primo,” got to get down with the professionals because Aranui is one of the few high schools that teach break dancing and hip-hop.

CANADA

Bad Signal: DJs at Radio Bois Joli in Ottawa have been kicked off the air. But these radio personalities aren’t shock jocks—they’re elementary schoolkids, and their transgression was broadcasting with a station signal reaching one and a half kilometers past the school without a permit. “For us, this is a way to express ourselves and get over being shy,” 6th grader Marie-Alexe Morin told the Gazette. “It feels weird not being able to talk anymore.” Added classmate Catherine Desjardin, “When they cut us off, it was like they made us mute.” Michel Clavette of Industry Canada, which enforced the permit violation, claimed that the school was told to stop broadcasting because its signal might interfere with other frequencies and pledged to help get it back on the air legally. The students, however, plan to bypass Industry Canada completely, taking their programming to the Internet.

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