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Reader

Text 6. Is Television Useful or Harmful for Kids?

Before You Read

1. Answer the questions.

1. Do you like watching TV?

2. Do you think it is useful for you?

3. What are the advantages and disadvantages of watching TV?

Vocabulary Notes

n набір

v засвоїти, вкласти в систему, класифікувати

n насильство

adj мультиплікаційний

phr v бути зображеним

v знижувати чутливість

adj той, що викликає схильність до чогось

Це потребує значних зусиль…

v виховувати

adj надмірний, надлишковий

adj корисний

phr v придумати, справитися з чимось v визнати

Reading File

***

So much television programming is aimed at young children. Much of it appears to be educational: teaching about the world and developing life skills. But there is a question to discuss: is television useful or harmful for kids?

A great deal of research has been done on the effects of television on children’s lives. Nearly all of us have one or more TV sets in our home, and since most of us watch some TV nearly every day, we may not want to hear what research tells us, but these are the things we need to know.

Experts suspect that babies younger than two years old view TV as a confusing array of colours, images, and noises. They don’t understand much of the content.

Cartoons and many children’s shows are filled with images of violence. Many children’s shows are animated versions of adult action films. Research shows that watching this type of programming increases the risk of aggressive behaviour and desensitizes children and teenagers to violence.

Television watching can be addictive sometimes. The more children watch, the more they want to watch. They can become drawn to the set. Once addicted, turning off the TV can become a daily battle. Those who watch TV very often become passive and lose their natural creativity; they eventually have a hard time keeping themselves busy, and they lose valuable time that should be dedicated to “play” the foundation of a healthy childhood and the primary way that very young children learn.

Many teenagers use TV more and more as a way to keep themselves entertained and happy. It takes a strong will and dedication to avoid the easy route provided by this free and easy yet sometimes dangerous friend. Time spent watching television is time taken away from more healthful activities that nurture growth and development.

Children and teenagers who watch a lot of television are at risk for poor social development, and aggressive behaviour. According to a study by Yale Family Television Research, teachers characterized children who watched excessive television as less cooperative, less imaginative, less enthusiastic about learning, and less happy than those who watched little or no TV.

You may have noticed that all of these points demonstrate the negative aspects of children watching TV, and you’re wondering if there are any positives. There are a few, but let’s be honest: we have to be very creative to come up with this list, since published research doesn’t demonstrate many good points for putting a young child in front of a television. But we need to be realistic and acknowledge that most of us aren’t going to put our TVs in the closet or get rid of them at all.

• Quality educational programming can broaden their outlook and develop their academic skills.

• They can view things that might not be seen in daily life: exotic animals, distant lands, musical instruments, historical places, and diverse lifestyles. They can learn about the world beyond your home and neighbourhood.

• They can learn basic social skills from watching wholesome programming: how to get on well with others, how to use good manners or how to be a good citizen.

After Elizabeth Pantley

Building Up Vocabulary

2. Match words and phrases (1-8) with their definitions (a-h).

1. To be aimed at

a) to accept that something is true;

2. Harmful

b) the way that somebody behaves, especially towards other people;

3. To suspect

c) to think of an idea, answer, etc.;

4. To come up with

d) to have something as an aim;

5. To be addictive

e) causing damage or injury to a person’s health or to the environment;

6. To nurture

f) to have an idea that something bad is probably true or likely to happen but without having definite proof;

7. Behaviour

g) to help a plan, idea, feeling to develop;

8. To acknowledge

h) to be unable to stop using or doing something as a habit; to spend all your free time doing something because you are so interested in it.

3. Choose the correct words to complete the sentences.

1. So much television programming.. at young children.

2. Experts …. that babies younger than two years old view TV as a confusing …. of colours, images, and noises.

3. Cartoons and many children’s shows are filled with images of …. .

4. We’ve been asked …. some new ideas.

5. Television watching can be…..

6. Children who watch a lot of television during their early years are at risk or poor social development, and aggressive …. .

7. But we need to be realistic and …. that most of us aren’t going to put our TVs in the closet or …. them at all.

8. A child can learn basic social skills from watching …. program ming: how to get on well with others how to use good manners or how to be a good citizen.

4. Find the words in the story to talk about:

• the effects of television on children’s lives;

• the good points of television for children.

Comprehension Check

5. Work in pairs. Discuss the questions.

1. What kind of research has been done recently?

2. What do experts suspect?

3. Do babies understand much of the content while watching TV?

4. Why does watching TV increase the risk of aggressive behaviour in the teenagers?

5. What are the bad aspects of watching TV? What problems do they cause?

6. Are there any good points in watching TV?

6. Choose the correct item to complete the sentences.

1. Much of television programming for young children appears to be …. .

a) emotional

b) educational

c) energetic

2. Experts suspect that babies younger than two years old view TV as ….. .

a) an interesting cartoon

b) a confusing array of colours, images, and noises

c) a box full of films, cartoons, pictures

3. Cartoons and many children’s shows are filled with ….. .

a) humour

b) kindness

c) violence

4. Many children’s shows almost are animated versions of …. .

a) fairy tales

b) adult action films

c) funny stories

5. Research shows that watching this type of programming increases …. .

a) the risk of heart attacks

b) the risk of aggressive behaviour

c) the viewers’ interest

6. The more television children watch, the more they ….. .

a) understand the world around

b) want to watch

c) like cartoons and films

7. Time spent watching television is time taken away from …. .

a) doing homework

b) communication with parents and friends

c) more healthful activities

8. Quality educational programming can …. .

a) broaden teenagers’ outlook and develop their academic skills

b) teach children dancing and running

c) make children addicted to watching TV

Reading and Thinking

7. Complete the statement.

The text is about …. .

a) the problems in children’s behaviour

b) good and bad aspects of watching TV

c) films and cartoons

8. Number the events in order they happen in the story.

A. Children who watch a lot of television during their early years are at risk for poor social development, and aggressive behaviour.

B. Quality children’s programming can broaden teenagers’ outlook and develop their academic skills.

C. A great deal of research has been done on the effects of television on children’s lives.

D. Many teenagers use TV more and more as a way to keep themselves entertained and happy.

9. Read and say if the statements are true, false or not given in the text.

1. So much television programming is aimed at young children.

2. Most of us watch TV once a week.

3. Children up to the age of two understand much of the content while watching TV.

4. Many young children believe that TV characters actually live inside the TV set.

5. Children who watch TV very often become active and create new images and characters.

6. Children who watch a lot of television during their early years often have troubles adjusting to preschool or kindergarten.

7. Published research demonstrate many good points for putting a young child in front of a television.

8. We need to be realistic and acknowledge that we aren’t going to put our TVs in the closet or get rid of them at all.

10. Prove that watching television can be addictive sometimes.

11. Complete the sentences given below.

Experts suspect that …. .

Research shows that …. .

Research has demonstrated that ….

According to a study by Yale Family Television Research …. .

Discussing the Story

12. Work in two groups. Have a class discussion.

Group A has to present positive aspects of watching TV for children.

Group B, on the contrary, has to prove that watching TV is harmful and even dangerous for children.

Speaking File

13. Make a short report about your attitude to television. Are you fond of watching TV? What TV programmes are among your favourites? Why do you like watching them? Start like this:

The problem of the necessity of watching TV for children is a subject for discussion nowadays. To my mind, television is …. . I like/dislike …. . My favourite TV programmes are …. . I watch them because …. . I think that ….. .

14. Interview your classmates about their attitude to television. Make and act out a dialogue.

Writing File

15. Write a short summary of the text. As a conclusion, write what you personally think about the influence of television on you and your friends.





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