1. Why is television one of the greatest inventions of this century?
2. Why can't we do without television?
3. What are the most popular TV programs? Why?
4. Why does education benefit from television?
5. How can television be misused?
6. What are the drawbacks of constant TV viewing?
7. Is television a blessing or a curse? Why?
Circle the right answer
1. Lots of people
a) don't watch TV at all;
b) can't do without television;
c) prefer radio to television;
d) have more than three TV sets at home.
2. Watching TV
a) means loosing time;
b) usually keeps the viewers in suspense;
c) is a favorite pastime for everyone;
d) is a bad way to relax.
3. Doctors keep reminding us that television
a) is useful for our health;
b) should be watched for more than seven Hours a day;
c) degrades the eyesight;
d) is the best remedy.
4. Television is
b) a curse;
c) a time waster;
d) more a blessing for humanity.
5. When TV viewers watch commercials they
a) are happy;
b) decide what they will buy in future;
c) their patience snaps;
d) admire them as real pieces of art.
4. Do you agree or not? Comment on the following statements
1. Television gives the opportunity to learn about almost everything.
2. People can easily do without television.
3. Some TV programs can improve your mood.
4. Education does not benefit from television.
5. Such great invention as television can't be misused.
6. Doctors often accentuate the disadvantages of constant TV viewing.
7. TV is a great time waster.
8. Many people hate watching TV.
5. What do you think? Give the reason for your opinion
1. Television is the greatest invention of the 20th century.
2. Television gives a good opportunity to relax.
3. Television is a great helper for students.
4. Television can be misused.
5. Television makes lots of children violent and aggressive
6. It is impossible to eliminate television from people's lives.
7. TV viewers always complain about commercials.
Role play. You want to watch a football match. Your mum is going to watch a soap opera at the same time
LIFE THROUGH A LENS
Read the text
1. A generation of ‘multitasking’ children are living their daily lives – including eating and falling asleep – to the accompaniment of television, according to a survey of young people’s media habits. They watch TV before they go to school, when they return home, as they eat their evening meal and then – for 63 %, a much higher percentage than read a book each day – in bed at night. The survey of five to 16-year-olds shows that four out of five children now have a TV set in their bedroom.
2. Television has become so widespread that many children now combine it with other activities, including social networking online, looking from their laptop to the TV screen and back again. Even if they are concentrating on the television, young people are now unwilling to watch just one programme, with boys in particular often switching between channels to keep up with two programmes at the same time. The survey, conducted by the market research agency Childwise, will increase worries that childhood is increasingly about private space and sedentary activities and less about play, social interaction or the child’s own imagination.
3. The government’s recent Children’s Plan focused on improving play facilities as a means of ensuring a more balanced life for young people who spend a lot of time watching television. Today’s survey findings show that after declining for three years, television-watching among children is now increasing again. This is mainly the result of more girls watching soap operas.
4. Internet use is also continuing to increase rapidly. This means British children spend an average of five hours and 20 minutes in front of a screen a day, up from four hours and 40 minutes five years ago. Reading books for pleasure, on the other hand, continues to decline as a regular pastime. While four out of five children read books in their own time, only a quarter do so daily and 53 % at least once a week.
5. The report, based on interviews with 1,147 children in 60 schools around England, Scotland and Wales, found television viewing now averages 2.6 hours a day across the age group, though one in ten say they watch more than four hours daily. The survey, which has been conducted annually for 14 years, asked for the first time whether children watched television while eating dinner or in bed before going to sleep. It found that 58 % watch during their evening meal, while 63 % lie in bed watching the screen (rising to almost 75 % of 13 to 16-year-olds). Two-thirds – particularly the youngest children – watch before school, and 83 % turn on the television after returning home.
6. Rosemary Duff, Childwise research director, said television was now “a part of children’s lives”, but added that the quality of viewing had changed. “People used to pay more attention when they watched television. It used to be less widespread but much higher in its importance. Now it is widespread but just part of the background, not just at home but wherever you go.”
7. “It seems that children now multitask, keeping one eye on the television as they flick through magazines or use the computer,” Duff added. When the company asked boys to choose between programmes on different channels they often refused, saying they would ‘watch both’. “They switch from one to another and cannot imagine that they should have to make a decision. They are surprised that you should put them in a situation where they have to make a choice.”
8. Computers are also now a key part of children’s private worlds. “The Internet is now an essential part of most young people’s lives,” says the study, with 85 % of five to 16-year-olds using the Internet, and over a third (including a quarter of five to six-year-olds) owning a computer or laptop of their own. On average, they go online just over four times a week, spending two hours each time.
9. The survey shows a rise in Internet use, particularly among younger children. This is mainly the result of social networking sites, primarily Bebo. Communication, says the report, “has overtaken fun (e.g. online games) as the main reason to use the Internet and study is now far behind”. Almost three quarters (72 %) of children have visited a social networking site, and over half have their own profile – sometimes lying about their age to avoid minimum age requirements. Children as young as eight are now signing up.
10. Kathy Evans, policy director of the Children’s Society, which is conducting its own inquiry into modern childhood, said there was now “growing public and professional concern about the possible effects of children’s TV and Internet viewing habits”. The inquiry will report next month on children and technology as part of its two-year investigation.