1005 Physical Education

Monica and Todd discuss whether students should be forced to take P.E. classes.


Todd: So, Monica, you are actually a trained physical education teacher.

Monica: Yes, that's right.

Todd: So, we often hear about how kids today are not fit, and they don't exercise enough. Do you think that's true?

Monica: I think it is true, yes. I think kids these days spend a lot more time on the computer than they used to, so of course that means less time outside and getting fit.

Todd: Now, in some countries there's a big debate about how much fitness kids actually do in school, so in your country, in New Zealand, do kids still do a lot of fitness actually in school?

Monica: Well, recently the P.E. curriculum got amalgamated with the health curriculum, so P.E. and health were considered to be important in school, and the health side of the curriculum is often taught in the classroom, and of course the P.E. side often taught outside the classroom, and there's always debate about how much kids should be doing inside school. In fact very recently, now that it has become quite a big problem in New Zealand for teenagers, there has been talk about increasing the number of P.E. lessons that students have, but the current Prime Minister I think believes that the emphasis should be put on out-of-school activities like clubs and encouraging students to become more involved in that side of things.

Todd: What do you feel? Do you think it should be?

Monica: I actually agree to be honest, because I think if you increase the number of P.E. lessons that students have in a week, it doesn't actually necessarily increase their motivation to be involved in physical activity, but if like he's suggesting, you increase the opportunities outside of school, students maybe become involved in a sport that they choose, that they'd like to do and they hopefully can take it on as a lifetime sport. Yeah, which is important.

Todd: Butt wouldn't the counter argument be that only kids that have a natural inclination to play sports would want to join those clubs and if the kids that are more sedentary or don't enjoy physical activity won't join a club, so you need to actually make them do fitness at school?

Monica: Yeah, that's true. That is a counter argument, and a very good one … to argue on some other occasion. Of course I can talk about that side of the argument as well if you want me to.

Todd: No, it's Okay. Basically, you saw there's … both sides make a good point.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

we often hear


We often hear how kids are not fit.

When we say the phrase 'we often hear', we are referring to information people hear in general conversation or the news or media. Notice the following:

  1. These days we often hear how people are worried about the future.
  2. I often hear that people are spending their savings.



She is a P.E. teacher.

P.E. means physical education. People often use the initials P.E. because it is easier to say that the full words, physical education. P.E. also just refers to a sports or fitness class in school. Notice the following:

  1. My favorite class in school was P.E.
  2. We ran three miles in P.E class today.



The curriculum recently got amalgamated.

When two things are amalgamated, they are joined or mixed together to make one thing. Notice the following:

  1. The companies were amalgamated into one large corporation.
  2. The metal was amalgamated into steel.



The curriculum was changed by the school.

Curriculum is a set of material or subjects that are taught by a school or class. Notice the following:

  1. The curriculum at that school is very old and outdated.
  2. On the first day of class, we discussed the course's curriculum.



There is a natural inclination to play sports.

When you have an inclination to do something, that means you have a natural tendency or desire to do it without training or being told to do it. For example, babies have an inclination to stand up and walk. Here are a few sample sentences:

  1. He has a natural inclination for solving math problems.
  2. She has an inclination for business.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

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Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
P.E. • amalgamated • hear
curriculum • inclination
  1. I you are going to Italy.
  2. was my favorite class in high school.
  3. The includes a foreign language and math class.
  4. He has an to study science.
  5. The grammar and writing classes were into one English class.