Considerate Soldiers Keep it down for Korean Exams

examThere’s nothing worse for distracting students during a listening test than having other people making a lot of noise nearby. That’s why I was pleased to see the South Korean army being so considerate in this article on the BBC News website. I know they place a high priority on education in South Korea and I think this is a great example that other parts of the world should think about following.

There are some interesting expressions in the article, too. The first one I would like to look at comes in the first paragraph where it is mentioned that the army has pledged to ‘keep the noise down‘. ‘Keep the noise down‘ is a nice expression meaning to make minimal noise and we often say ‘keep it down‘ if we want to tell someone to be quiet in an informal way. We also use the phrasal verbs ‘turn up‘ and ‘turn down‘ to talk about making the volume of a TV or sound system louder or quieter.

There is another interesting word in the next paragraph. The author uses the word ‘drills‘ to talk about the situations the army sets up to practice in. We also often use this word to talk about when we practise in preparation for a possible emergency using ‘fire drills‘ or ‘earthquake drills‘.

The last expression I would like to look at is ‘rush hour‘. This means the time of day when the roads and public transportation systems are busiest, usually 7am-9am then 5pm-7pm. The morning and evening rush hours are more than an hour long in most parts of the world, as are most ‘happy hours‘, the time of day when drinks are sold cheaply in some bars!

What things do you find most distracting when you are in an exam?

Today’s photo is by Ralaenin.