Children Not Ready for School Because of Parents’ Smartphones

June 24, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

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

1. comprise /kəmˈpraɪz/ (v.) – to include or be made up of
Example: Twenty students comprise one class in the school.

2. proficiency /prəˈfɪʃ ən si/ (n.) – the state of being good at something
Example: Students take a test in reading proficiency on their first day in school.

3. scholastic /skəˈlæs tɪk/ (adj.) – relating to school or education
Example: All schools in the city consider students’ scholastic achievement their highest priority.

4. burden /ˈbɜr dn/ (n.) – something that is not easy to carry or accept
ExampleThe problematic student is a burden on many teachers.

5. struggle / ˈstrʌg əl / [STRUHG-uh l] (v.)  – having difficulty
Example: The school administration struggles to discipline the students. 


Read the text below.
Parents spending more time using their smartphones can make their children unprepared for school, a new study says.

A survey conducted by UK schools support services The Key revealed that around one-third of children aged four and five lack the skills needed for school survival. The major cause of this, according to educators, is the growing number of parents tapping their smartphones more often than spending time with their children.

The participants of the survey comprised of 1,100 senior primary school staff. Seventy-nine percent of them said that lack of social skills is the primary concern among preschoolers. Delayed speech comes second, with 78% of the participants saying that poor speech is one of the major reasons why children are not prepared to enter school.

Aside from social skills and speech proficiency, involved educators were also asked about the children’s scholastic abilities. Fifty-eight percent of the participants said that children start preschool with below average reading skills, 56% pointed out children’s difficulty in writing, and 55% claimed that preschoolers’ ability to handle numbers is far below poor.

The Key chief executive Fergal Roche voiced out his concern about unprepared children coming to school. He thinks that this issue places a huge burden for schools that are still struggling to retain staff and manage teachers’ workload. According to him, an agreed definition of school-readiness might help all involved parties in identifying solutions to the issue.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Aside from lessening smartphone use, how else can parents in the United Kingdom ensure their children’s preparedness for school?
·         How can school staff help struggling students adjust to school life?

Discussion B

·         Do you agree that early education is important? Why or why not?
·         How can parents enhance their children’s early education experience?

June 24, 2016