EXPRESSING ABILITY AND PERMISSION
The nine o`clock news
Here is the nine o`clock news.
Last night thieves stole a painting from the home of Lord Bonniford. The painting, a sixteeth-century masterpiece by Holbein, is said to be priceless.
Lord Bonniford said he could hear noises in the middle of the night, but he paid no attention. The security guard, Mr Charles Potts, couldn`t phone the police because he was tied hand and foot.
The thieves managed to get in and escape without setting off the security alarm by cutting off the electricity supply.
Andrew Gardener, the man who had a liver, heart and kidney transplant, is doing well after his operations, say his doctors.
Andrew is able to sit up and feed himself. He can get out of bed but he can`t walk yet, as he is still too weak. Doctors say he`ll be able to go home in a few weeks` time.
A Could I go home early, Steve? I don`t feel very well.
B Yes, of course. What`s the matter?
A I feel dizzy.
A Do you mind if I open the window? It`s a bit stuffy in here.
B No, not at all. Please do.
A Thank you.
A Would you mind if I borrowed your paper?
B Actually, I`m just going to read it myself. Sorry.
A Never mind. It doesn`t matter.
Could I go?
Would you mind if I went?
Could you help me?
Would you mind helping me?
Permission or request?
Listen to these dialogues. A man called Dick is talking to five different people.
D = Dick O = Operator
D Hello. Could you tell me the code for Rome, Italy please?
O Are you dialing direct?
O One moment. It`s 010 396, followed by the number.
D Thank you, Goodbye.
D = Dick M = Megan
D Could you do something for me? Can you see the paper over there? Could you get it for me?
M Sorry, where is it?
D On the television.
C = Chares D = Dick
C There you are, sir. That`ll be $35.50.
D Can I pay by cheque?
C Cheque, credit card, cash, any way you like.
D Who do I make the cheque payable to?
C British Rail, please, sir.
D And do you need my cheque card?
C Oh yes, please.
D There you are.
C Thank you. And here`s your ticket.
B = Bernadette D = Dick
D Hello. I wonder if you could help me? Would you mind if I left my bags here just for one minute? I have to make a phone call.
B No I`m sorry, sir. It`s not allowed.
D It`s only for a short time.
B It`s against regulations. No baggage can be left in reception for security reasons.
D Is there anywhere I can leave them?
B I`ll get a porter to take them to the left luggage office.
D Where`s that?
B It`s next to the dinning room.
D No, don`t bother, it doesn`t matter.
D I said don`t worry. It`s OK.
D = Dick A = Anna
D Excuse me?
D Would you mind if I went before you? I have to make a vey quick call, but it`s really urgent.
A Er ….er…. No, go on, that`s fine.
D Oh, that`s very kind. Thank you.
Educating children at home
Broadcast 9.4.84, Radio 4, �Woman`s Hour�
�Released by Arrangement with BBC Enterprises Limited�
I = Interviewer
B = Bruce Cox
I Now educating children at home is something that apparently twice the number of parents are taking on than used to be the case. It`s been estimated that about 6,000 children are being taught at home without going to school. `Education Otherwise` is the name of one organization of parents who`ve taken this step, and Bruce Cox is one of their members. He`s joined me in our studio with June Fisher. Who`s Head Teacher of Catford County School, that`s a girls` comprehensive in south London, and I know June is familiar with what`s called `de-schooling` children from a teacher`s point of view. Bruce, first of all, it`s not against the law is it, to take your children out of school or not to put them in school?
B No, it`s … it`s urn… Children must be educated, according to the 1944 Act, but whether you educate them in school or otherwise, is a matter for parents to choose.
I Now, how have you done that with your children and why have you not sent them to school?
B Well, we have three children, none of them went �.. have been to school until very recently. when they started at … um �.. to go to a small �. urn . . . school that`s run by a co-operative group of parents.
I That is an alternative school ?
B An alternative school, yes, a part-time school really. We didn`t send them to school in the first place for a variety of reasons. It wasn`t a sudden, big, dramatic decision. And we realized that Eleanor would have to be bussed off to a remote . . . urn . . . school, that we would say goodbye to her at eight o`clock and see her again . … at … sometime after half past four. Um � we didn`t like that. We … we`d been involved in play-groups, and had a pretty clear idea of what went on in infant schools and felt ..well we weren`t particularly hostile to school in some respects, um . .. that we could do just as good a job. And we very much enjoyed having our family all together at home.
I Now your boy is 6 and your girls are 9 and 11. Do they have a curriculum at home?
B We don`t have a curriculum in the sense of. . . um . . . er � all organized programme of work that we solidly go through. Um … we`ve done a certain amount of more organized maths, but most of the things we do arise out of the ordinary business of day-to-day life and responding to their interests and questions.
I Can you give an example of that?
B Well, it may be that er . . . they may be interested in growing something in the garden, so they may have a plot of land that they can grow things in and … see them come up. It may be that they`re interested in drama, so they go along and join a drama club, and eventually they are involved in some kind of production. It may be that er … Eleanor and Madeleine are, that they`re very interested in gymnastics, so again they go along to a club and enjoy that.
I That all sounds rather lovely. I mean, I would have loved to have been educated like that. But what about the three Rs, reading, writing and arithmetic? I mean, how good are they at doing those things, and are you confident that they`re keeping up with their school peers?
B Well they`re perfectly um � they`re perfectly OK as far as reading and writing are concerned, though we`ve been much more happy to leave the direct teaching of it to a later point in their lives than perhaps would happen at school. But I think that has worked out very well.
I So you`re suggesting that perhaps they`re not quite up to their peers in terms of writing.
B Oh no, I think, I think that they are, but I think that we have left it until a bit later er � to introduce direct teaching to them.
I You`re a qualified teacher, Bruce. Who does all the teaching at home?
B Well, this has largely been the responsibility of my wife who isn`t a qualified teacher, and I would � sort of hasten to add you don`t have to be a qualified teacher to educate your children at home. Most people who do educate their children at home aren`t qualified in any way.
I When you were at school, what were your own feelings about school? I wonder if what your children are undertaking now stems from some sort of feeling about school that you had?
B No, I don`t think it stems from anything that I experienced at school in itself. I think it stems partly from my experience as a teacher. At school I was quite successful, I quite enjoyed it. I did think that it was very dependent on the �carrot and stick� motivation.
I But could you get expert help if you felt that you weren`t capable of taking a child up to maths or English O or A level? Can you go outside educating your child at home for expert help? This costs money sometimes, presumably.
B Erm �. Well, certainly if you`re doing correspondence courses it costs money. I don`t think the cost is exorbitant, but it does cost money. I think that we could easily underestimate the immense reserves of expertise and good will that exist in a community once you start trying to dig it out. The range of people that have helped us, or been prepared to help us or have helped other families. People are delighted that somebody comes along and asks them for knowledge to be shared that they have.