Daily English Discussion–Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hi everyone,

Here are some news articles for our discussion today.

Internet growth corrupting the youth, say parents

The “information superhighway” is supposed to spread knowledge, but parents in poor rural communities find their children use it more for smut and video games.

It’s only 9 a.m., but groups of secondary school students between 12 and 15 years old are already huddled around computers at an Internet shop in the mostly-rural Dien Ban District, Quang Nam Province.

Some of them are watching pornography, others are chatting online.

A ninth-grader from Dung Si Dien Ngoc Secondary School, who is chatting with a local girl, tells his friend that he thinks the girl is “hot” and he’ll try to seduce her. He says he thinks she’s willing to go out with him. The subtext is that he thinks she’s willing to do much more than just go out with him.

After chatting with the girl, the boy accesses a forum of students from Da Nang. “Let’s see if the city kids have more interesting things going on than around here,” he says.

Another Internet shop nearby is packed with local students all morning. Some stand outside cursing harshly because there are no free computers. Obscenities mix with sounds of gun fire, screams and blood-splattering from the online games in the shop.

The establishment’s owner says he opened the shop nearly four years ago with 20 computers, and he often stays open until 10 p.m. He is about to buy more computers to meet higher demand during the summer.

With the province’s great outdoors – terraced rice fields, green mountains and cool swimming holes – just waiting to be explored by adventurous kids on their summer break, many youngsters will opt to sit in front of the screen and surf the net instead.

What do you say to that?

Students burdened by study fees
17:03′ 09/06/2009 (GMT+7)

VietNamNet Bridge – Fees for finals exams unexpectedly raised to 500,000, fines imposed if students pay tuition fees late – students are fed up with the spontaneous and high fees set by universities.

When returning to school to prepare for repeating the final exams, T and his friends at the HCM City Food Industry College were surprised when they read the college’s notice which stipulated a surprisingly high fee for the exams.

The notice said that the students of some training courses who failed the final exams last year have to pay the fee of 500,000 to repeat the final exams. Meanwhile, the fee for sitting for the final exams was 300,000 dong only in previous years.

The college stated that this would be the last exam it organised for the said students. If students do not register to sit for the exams, the college will not be responsible for any claims the students make later.

Explaining the sharp increase in the final exam fee, Doan Le Ngoc Phi Lan, who leads the training division of the college, said that the fee was set based on the regulation on internal spending which went into effect on March 1, 2009.

Lan said that the sum of money was set after the college calculated necessary expenses such as goods price increases and increases in pay of lecturers.

What do you think about the exam fees? Should school have exam fees to begin with? What is the logic for it? What if a student doesn’t have money for the exam? Is there any way for him to obtain a fee waiver from the school?

If the fee is legitimate (by common sense), then what should be a reasonable amount for the fee? How to calculate it reasonably? Is the way to calculate as described in the article good enough?


Thanks, all, for translating the three Phil Collins songs. Chi Hue is a little busy but she will comment on your work when she get a chance.


We have two new articles for discussion up there, and the transcript of the WCAG 2.0 theme song video. These are good for translation exercise. Anyone wants to give it a shot?

That’s it for now. Have a great day, everyone.


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