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  • Rob: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Rob.

  • Neil: and I'm Neil. Hello.

  • Rob: Well Neil I've got a question for you straight away. Were you a summer baby?

  • Were you born in the summer?

  • Neil: Um... Yes, I was actually. Late summer.

  • Rob: OK. And did you go to university?

  • Neil: Yes...? Strange questions here, Rob.

  • Rob: Not really. My questions do make sense because we're talking about the impact

  • when you were born has on how well you perform at school.

  • Neil: OK. Are you calling me stupid here, Rob?

  • Rob: Nothing like that. Well maybe... let's wait and see what the experts have to say.

  • But before that, I've got another question for you.

  • Neil: OK then, let's see if I'm clever enough to answer it!

  • Rob: OK. Well, based on birth records between 1973 and 1999,

  • what is the most common birthday for a person in the United States? Is it:

  • a) 1st January

  • b) 16th September

  • or c) 30th March

  • Neil: I'm gonna guess 30th March.

  • Rob: OK. Well, we'll hear the answer at the end of the programme. Another question now.

  • According to research, are summer born babies more likely or less likely to go to university?

  • Neil: Well, we are going to hear from an expert. Lorraine Dearden, who is Professor of Economics

  • and Social Statistics at University College London (UCL). She was interviewed by the BBC

  • about summer-born babies. She talks about the research, how well do they do in tests.

  • How do they perform?

  • Lorraine Dearden: All the research has shown that summer born kids perform much worse in

  • tests right through up until the age of eighteen and even

  • they're less likely to attend higher education.

  • BBC interviewer: I mean, these are startling statistics 20% are less likely to go to university.

  • Lorraine Dearden: Absolutely.

  • Rob: That was Professor Lorraine Deardon with some really really surprising statistics...

  • startling statistics, in fact.

  • Neil: Yes, she says summer born kids perform much worse in tests.

  • Rob: Yes, these summer born kids perform worse at school right through until the age of eighteen

  • when they might be thinking about going to university.

  • Neil: Yes, university. That's higher education.

  • Rob: So the professor said, according to research, summer babies are less likely to go to university

  • 20% in fact.

  • Neil: Really? Well, don't forget Rob, I told you I'm a summer baby. Well, I went to university.

  • Rob: Yes, of course. These are just statistics... just figures. But if you are a parent of a

  • child starting school these statistics are worrying.

  • Neil: Well they shouldn't worry. There are lots of people who were born in the summer

  • that have done very well at university, thank you. And some of them are now professors.

  • Rob: OK. Or BBC presenters... like you Neil.

  • Neil: Yes, like me. But there is the problem. Let's say you have a child. He's a boy, born

  • in August. He's now 4 years old so he can start school this September. But in his class

  • there are students whose birthday is coming very soon so they're going to be 5, that's

  • almost a year older than your child.

  • Rob: So parents want their kids to do well at school... they are concerned - and now

  • the government is trying to help... they're trying to address those concerns. England's

  • schools minister Nick Gibbs says that the government wants to change the admissions rules for schools.

  • Neil: The rule now in much of England is that

  • children must start school in September after their fourth birthday.

  • Rob: The schools minister says these rules should be changed.

  • "Parents know their children best," said Mr Gibb.

  • Neil: Parents don't want to send their children to school before they are ready.

  • Rob: So here is the proposal or suggested new rules. If a child is born in the summer,

  • parents could delay the child's start of school by up to a year.

  • Neil: So the child will start school at 5 years old. Great, but does our expert Professor

  • Lorraine Deardon think that's a good idea. Is this the way to address the problem of the age difference?

  • Lorraine Deardon: Ah no, it's not. I mean, basically, the reason why these children do

  • worse in tests right throughout their life is simply that they are up to a year younger

  • than their September born colleagues and this does nothing to address this.

  • Neil: Professor Lorraine Deardon. She says that the new policy does nothing to address

  • the problem of the age difference.

  • Rob: There are still going to be 4 year olds in the class. Perhaps there will be more 5

  • year olds now because parents can delay their child's start at school.

  • Neil: Yes, the new policy addresses the concerns of parents that their children are not ready

  • for school at 4 years old.

  • Rob: but there will always be this age difference in a classroom and many of the younger children

  • will do worse in tests. Professor Deardon says that the proposal to change the schools

  • admission policy does nothing to address this.

  • OK, time now for the answer to the question I set you at the beginning of the programme.

  • I asked: based on birth records between 1973 and 1999, what is the most common birthday

  • for a person in the United States?

  • Is it: a) 1st January

  • b) 16th September

  • or c) 30th March

  • Neil: And I guessed the 30th March.

  • Rob: But you are wrong I'm afraid. The answer is actually the 16th September.

  • Happy birthday to whoever was born then anyway.

  • Neil: OK, Rob. Can you tell us the words we learned today again please?

  • Rob: Of course. We heard:

  • more likely / less likely

  • perform

  • higher education

  • startling

  • statistics

  • admissions

  • delay

  • policy

  • concerns

  • address the problem

  • Neil: Well, that's the end of 6 Minute English. Please do join us again soon.

  • Both: Bye.

Rob: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I'm Rob.

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A2 UK TOEIC rob lorraine summer born university

BBC 6 Minute English October 01, 2015 - Summer-born Kids

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    Adam Huang posted on 2015/12/29
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