80-Year-Old Omani

Some time ago, I created a popular blog article–Examples of Cause and Effect Essays of 5 paragraph length for Omani students–and study for Omani students concerning cause and effect essays.

I have now revised Part 2 of that article (below) for level 4 students across the nation who are facing a new reading exam type, based loosely on IELTS. Try it our with your students and learn about status quo in Oman today. –kas


Read the passage below and determine which headings fit which paragraph.


Some days ago, I met an 80 year-old Omani.  The man had never gone to school, but he had learnt many things.  He could write in Arabic and read the Koran.  He had learnt to be a carpenter and a mason.  Later, after he was older, he learnt to drive and then drove trucks and taxis—both in Kuwait and then here in Oman.  I asked the gentleman why he thought many of my students at SCT don’t seem to learn well or, at least, they too often appear not to want to try and learn English and other subjects very well these days.  The older man said that there are many reasons why young Omani’s do not study or like to learn many things as people in his generation had to do.  Let me share some of those reasons here.


First of all, the older man explained that too many young Omanis get too much given to them from their parents. The old Omani explained that, for example, if a young boy wants a car, the father often gives it to him.  Later, in college, this may mean that when the same young man asks for help on his homework, too, that he believes that someone should simply give it to him, i.e. without him really studying or learning to study. This creates a habit of dependence and poor expectations for himself or herself.


Second, the 80 year-old gentlemen extrapolated that young people often don’t have the patience that many in his generation had learnt. For example, when he was young and he needed money, he learnt step-by-step to work—when he was younger as a carpenter and later as a mason.  First, he watched the others work.  Next, he tried to do the work but then asked for help as he needed it.  It took time. The man had to learn to work with simple tools and simple designs before he tried more difficult ones.  As a truck driver, too, he first learnt to drive slowly and safely before he later drove many kilometers to Abu Dhabi, to Qatar, and to Kuwait. However, nowadays, students and young drivers are looking to go too fast and take dangerous shortcuts.   In education this often means cheating or paying someone else to study or to help them. Others get a friend in class to do work for them rather than listening to the teacher in class and asking the teacher in a timely fashion for clarification.


Finally, some young people simply do not know what is important or don’t know what they want. They are disorganized with their lives. Until the student knows why he studies or what he wants when he studies, the student will not be organized.  The student will waste time on this or that instead of taking time to do what he really needs to do. Perhaps, if young people work in groups or have better advice from others,  they will be able to organize their lives and make better decisions.


In conclusion, this  80-year-old Omani from Dahariz believes that young people have basically three problems when learning.  First, sometimes, they are given too much and because of this, they don’t learn to try hard enough on their own. Second, some people are trying to go too fast without learning the patience to do things step-by-step  or slowly-but-surely. Third, some Omanis need ask for advice and direction from others about how to organize their time, study habits and lives better.  They need advice that will help them direct their ideas and dreams in the proper way, i.e. through proper planning and good organization.  I agree with the elderly gentleman and think this is all great advice for Omani students and youth.


Process of acquiring new skills

  • Students needing to expect more of themselves
  • Importance of goals and direction
  • Many reasons for lack of study habits from old man’s perspective.
  • Many reasons for lack of study habits from writers
  • None of the Above






Do the following multiple choice questions.

  • The old Omani learnt by watching and asking questions over time.
  • True (b) False                              (c) Not in the text
  • Writer focused on three bad effects of students habits

(a) True                                (b) False                              (c) Not in the text

  • Students have trouble in deciding on goals and organizing.

(a) True                        (b) False                              (c) Not in the text

  • Because of low attendance and other bad study habits, some Omani students actually will either leave or quit SCT during the Foundation period.

(a) True                        (b) False                              (c) Not in the text

  • Some students just want to be given what they ask for as they ask for it.

(a) True                                (b) False                              (c) Not in the text

Survey of parents on level of stress felt on a daily basis by their kids

Looking at both the graph (above) and in the 5 paragraph essay, answer the following by filling in the blanks as best you can.

The graph above shows that in the most recent years, i.e. after 2007, both the mother and father perceive that  their children are having more stress in their daily lives.  In short, the amount of stress is ___________________________.  Likewise, the writer and the 80-year-old Omani perceive that college students don’t seem to _________________or, at least, they too often appear not to want to try.   The old man says that part of the problem is that ______________ have not learnt to learn step-by-step.   They are impatient and  want _____________ or ______________ immediately.   Their elders need especially to teach the young ___________________________ skills.

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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