Is TV addiction becoming Britain's new problem? New figures from the National Office of Statistics certainly suggest that this might be the case. Their researchers have found that watching TV is the nation's favourite pastime. Britons on average, watch an unbelievable amount of TV each week. The worst couch potatoes regularly watch more than six hours of TV every day. The majority of these people enjoy soap operas, entertaining series and game shows and can't wait for digital TV with all the new channels it will offer.
Children’s Television Viewing Habits in the UK
Parents and teachers throughout the country often express concern about the
amount of hours that children spend in front of the television.
According to recent statistics, teenagers watch between 2.5 and 3.2 hours of television every day. Many children watch television in the mornings over breakfast but most viewing takes place after school in the evenings. Peak viewing times for teenagers are between seven and nine o’clock. They watch soap operas, music programmes and quiz shows. Between the hours of four and six, when the programmes are specifically aimed at children, the viewing figures are much lower.
Girls watch more drama series, documentaries and news programmes. Boys watch more science fiction and sport.
Television plays an important part in the lives of children. They are affected by the images they see and they find role models in their favourite programmes. What parents and their children have to consider is how much time should be spent watching television and which programmes are suitable or unsuitable.
a) Find the words or phrases in the texts with the following meaning:
1. something that you do in your spare time because you enjoy it or are interested in it;
2. fiction based on imagined future scientific or technological advances and major social or environmental changes, frequently portraying space or time travel and life on other planets;
3. a person who takes little or no exercise and watches a lot of television;
4. a television or radio drama series dealing typically with daily events in the lives of the same group of characters;
5. have an effect on.
b) Answer the following questions:
1. What is the favourite pastime of Britons? And of Belarussian people?
2. How many hours a day do teenagers in the UK spend watching television?
3. What time of day does most viewing take place?
4. Do boys and girls watch the same kind of programmes?
5. Why should parents pay attention to what their children watch?
c) Work in pairs. Ask your partner about his/her television viewing habits using the questions below. Be ready to speak about your partner's television viewing habits.
1. Do you watch television every day?
2. Have you got a television in your bedroom?
3. Do you watch television before going to university?
4. Do you think you watch too much television?
5. Does anybody restrict your television viewing?
6. Do you have a favourite television channel?
7. Do you watch more television at the weekend?
8. Do you watch educational programmes?
9. Would you find it easy to stop watching TV for a week?
10. Do you think young people in your country watch too much TV?