Thursday, August 11, 2022
News"Be born...die." How Oxford University Press sum up life for kids learning...

“Be born…die.” How Oxford University Press sum up life for kids learning English

A BOOK for children learning English has been branded “incredibly depressing” after summarising life as “be born…die”.

The Oxford University Textbook, aimed at 10-year-olds, includes a page called “My Life” which breaks human experience into 10 stages.

Youngsters eager to learn the language of Shakespeare and Milton start with “1 – be born” and finish the list at “10 – die”.

In between, students are told they will “grow up, move house, start school, leave school, go to university, get a job, get married, and have children”.


The book has been branded “incredibly depressing”


The gloomy £20 tome, starkly called Project 3, infuriated a teacher of English in Kazakhstan.
Ruairi Criscuolo, who lives in Almaty, posted a picture of the page from the book on Instagram.

He added it with the caption: “Life summed up incredibly depressingly by my kids’ textbook.”

A friend of Ruairi’s then sardonically replied: “Can’t wait to die.”

A screenshot of the page was also posted in a Facebook group called Boring Dystopia II, which according to its description documents the “boring, undesirable and slightly frightening”.

Speaking about the book, Ruairi added: “I’m working in Almaty at the moment for a company called Interpress and it’s the suite of books we use for our children’s classes.

“It’s a book to teach children around 10 years old English and I find it’s teaching kids how life should go as opposed to what they want to do, that’s what struck me first.”

A spokesman for Oxford University Press defended the title, saying: “The diagram is taken from ‘Project’, one of our titles for the secondary English Language Teaching market.

“It is an exercise that uses life-stages to test vocabulary. The exercises in our courses draw upon all manner of subjects to ensure that they are relevant and involving.”

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