More Children Now Prefer Social Networking Over Reading

October 6, 2011

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. charity (n.) [char-i-tee] – an institution or organization set up to provide help or guidance to those in need
Example: She is part of a charity that provides poor people an opportunity to learn livelihood skills.

2. text (v.) [tekst] – in digital technology, this means to send an electronic message over a cellular network from one cell phone to another by typing words, or a text message
Example: He texted his friends about the suspension of classes today.
3. pupil (n.) [pyoo-puhl] – a student who is taught by a teacher, usually a young student
Example: The teacher captured the interest of her pupils by using songs in her class.

4. aspiration (n.) [as-puh-rey-shuhn] – a strong desire to achieve something
Example:  His aspirations led him to a happy and satisfied life.

5. attain (v.) [uh-teyn]– to reach, achieve, or accomplish something
Example: The employees work hard to attain their company’s goals.

Read the text below.

A significant number of British children prefer to spend more time using social networks, like Facebook and Twitter over reading books on school breaks, according to a recent survey in the UK.

The poll, conducted for the charity group National Literacy Trust, questioned 18,141 children aged 8 to 17. Only less than half of those surveyed choose to read a book at least once a month during vacations. British children’s exposure to written word is now replaced by texting, email and social networking sites instead of literature.

The organization's director, Jonathan Douglas, worries about the consequences of this trend to children once they reach adulthood. These children might become part of the one out of six adults who are struggling in literacy to the point of reading below their expected level.

These findings challenge of Secretary for Education Michael Gove's proposal that all pupils aged 11 should read 50 books a year.

Reading more books could have an influence in the future choices of the children since it opens their eyes to new opportunities and aspirations , Douglas says. Since reading frequency influences what the children may attain in the future, Douglas suggests that new approaches are needed to encourage young people to read more.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

·         What can be done to encourage the children to read more?
·         How can reading be an advantage to children?

Discussion B

·         How does literacy affect a country?
·         How can reading books affect a person’s literacy?

October 6, 2011