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I A primary school in Morocco. d

II Seventh-grade students in India. e

III High-school students in the U.S. participating in an online open course. f

IV A school for indigenous students in Brazil. a

V A special education school in China for children with multiple disabilities. b

VI Nursery school students in Nigeria. c

VII A university graduation ceremony in South Africa. i

VIII A vocational school for cooks. g

IX Tenth-grade students in Moscow, Russia. h

5 Read about some school systems around the world. Then, use the maps to complete the excerpts in your notebook with the name of the country and/or nationality of its students.

Professor/a, os textos constituem breves resumos e generalizações de sistemas educacionais bastante complexos, que podem apresentar diferenças regionais. Sugere-se encorajar os/as estudantes a pesquisar mais informações sobre algum sistema específico pelo qual tenham se interessado.


Play Hangman! Daily Almanac Fifty States

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World and NewsWorld > Stats and Facts

School Years around the World

From Australia to South Korea By Mark Hughes


a “[…] Students in ______ Australia attend school for 200 days a year. Their school year lasts from late January to mid December. Since ______ Australia is in the southern hemisphere, it experiences summer while it’s winter in the northern hemisphere. Summer vacation for ______ Australian students is from mid December to late January. Their school year is divided into four terms, with each term lasting 9 to 11 weeks. Students then have two weeks of vacation between each term. The typical school day is from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and lunch is eaten at school. Students are required to attend school for at least eleven years, but they usually attend for twelve years. […] Kindergarten is the first year of formal schooling, followed by year 1 through year 6; secondary school is from year 7 to year 12. […] Many schools integrate subjects, meaning they combine two or more academic subjects. For instance, say your class is studying coral reefs. A [nonintegrated] approach would have students study coral [reefs] only in science class. An integrated method incorporates math, by taking measurements, for example, and language arts. Students would then use that information to write a report about coral reefs.”
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“The school day in ______ France typically runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a half day on Saturday, although students do not attend school on Wednesday or Sunday. Lunch is a two-hour break for public school students. Students usually attend school from ages 6 to 18. […] Uniforms are not required, but religious dress of any kind is banned. The school year for this country in the northern hemisphere stretches from August to June, and is divided into four sevenweek terms, with one to two weeks of vacation in between. Students in the primary grades, from [ages] 6 to 11, learn basic skills in reading, writing, and math, as well as participate in exercises to develop observation, reasoning, imagination, and physical abilities. Older students study French, math, physical and natural sciences, foreign language, history and geography, economics, and civics.”



The school year in ______ Mexico runs from September to June. Students go to school Monday through Friday, and have elective classes on Saturdays. Students are required to wear uniforms for primaria(elementary school) and secondaria (middle school). School days are divided into two sessions, one for the morning and one for the afternoon. […]Students learn Spanish, math, art, and physical education. Other subjects are integrated into courses called environmental knowledge. These include the natural sciences, history, geography, civics, reading, writing, and oral expression.”



“The school year in ______ Nigeria runs from January to December. The year is divided into three [terms] with a month off in between each [term]. Students must wear uniforms, as well as obey rules for hair, jewelry, and accessory restrictions.

[…] There they will learn one of the three main languages (Hausa, Yoruba, or Ibo), math, English, social studies, health and physical education, religious instruction, agriculture, and home economics.”



“The school year in ______ Russia runs from the first of September to late May. Students attend class from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. No uniforms are required; students are instead encouraged to dress warmly. Students remain together in the same class from grades one to ten. Each classroom has about 16 students.

Tenth grade is the last year of mandatory education. Eleventh and 12th grades offer optional paths, either to vocational schools to learn trade skills or to continue to study for university entrance exams. Students in grades one to ten study Russian, math, reading, natural sciences, music, art, and physical education.”

Hughes, Mark. “School years around the world – From Australia to South Korea”. Fact Monster. © 2000–2006 Sandbox Networks, Inc., publishing as Fact Monster. Available at . Accessed on January 31, 2016. Suppressions for pedagogical purposes (omission of excerpts with inadequate language level or advertising) marked with […]. Occasional linguistic adjustments to fit standard language marked with [ ].
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6 Which of the following pieces of information can you find in at least one excerpt?

a School year period.

b School vacation period.

c Most common school subjects.

d Lunch time and place.

e School uniform policy.

Respostas: a; b; c; d; e

7 How do the school systems in activity 5 compare to your school system? You may use the diagram in activity 2, page 77, to help you. Respostas pessoais.

8 Now think about higher education. Is there anything in common among university admission processes worldwide? Read the text and discuss the questions with a partner.

I. Factors Considered in Admission Processes […]


In most admission systems, a candidate’s score on one or more examinations is a key consideration. The exams used can be grouped into three primary categories: secondary leaving exams, entrance exams, and standardized aptitude tests. Secondary leaving exams and entrance exams are generally [achievement-focused], designed to measure acquired learning, knowledge, and ability in a particular curriculum or domain of interest. Standardized aptitude tests generally measure aptitude in more general cognitive skills and are designed to estimate a person’s ability to learn. Secondary leaving exams are, first of all, a certification mechanism; students are required to pass them in order to receive a high school diploma. Not all countries in which a secondary leaving exam is a requirement of high school graduation use these exams in the university admission process; in many countries, such exams are used for certification purposes only. […]

Like secondary leaving exams, entrance examinations are also [achievement-oriented] […]. Standardized aptitude tests, in contrast, are usually not [subject-specifi c] and are often administered by independent organizations […]. The skills tested by such exams may include reading comprehension, inferential reasoning, and other cognitive abilities, although in some cases subject-specifi c abilities may be covered as well. […]

Secondary School Preparation A variety of components of secondary school preparation are taken into account by admission systems. In many cases, a candidate’s high school grade point average is considered and may be combined with an examination score to produce a composite score used for admission decisions. […]


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In some systems, the overall strength and reputation of the secondary institution is also a factor; candidates who graduated from a particularly rigorous secondary school may be looked upon more favorably and/or may not be required to have as high grades as candidates from less demanding schools. Finally, participation in outsideof-school activities and academic programs may be considered. Examples include art and academic clubs, student government, sports teams, volunteer activities, employment, academic camps, and after-school programs designed to prepare students for university study.

Application Materials

In some countries, universities require candidates to submit an application that has a variety of components. Common elements of a university application include essays in which candidates answer a number of questions designed by the institution, together with recommendation letters from teachers, employers, coaches, public officials, and others. In some cases, candidates may be required to submit a portfolio of previously completed work, such as writing samples or artistic pieces. For performance-specific programs (e.g. music, dance, theater etc.), auditions may be required, and for certain institutions and programs — particularly elite institutions — interviews with faculty and/or alumni may be considered as well. The relative weight of each application element is generally determined by the individual institution.

Demographic Factors

In some cases, admission procedures also take into account the demographic characteristics of applicants. These qualities are often used as ‘tipping’ or ‘plus’ factors, which are considered in conjunction with other criteria when all other conditions are equal and a differentiation is desired, or in the context of equalizing the consideration of different applicants. Although not an exhaustive list, typical demographic factors include race and/or ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, ability to pay tuition, and social class […].

How these factors are taken into account, in what combinations, and the weight accorded to each varies greatly across countries. In some systems where admission is based entirely or almost entirely on exam performance, cutoff scores may be set lower for candidates from disadvantaged groups. In others, ‘affi rmative action’ programs exist in which complex formulas determine the relative weight given to specifi c demographic factors in relation to other admission considerations. […]”

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