Social Status Influences Teens’ Internet Activities

September 23, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

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

1. inequality / ˌɪn ɪˈkwɒl ɪ ti / (n.) – social or economic difference
Example: The issue of social inequality was discussed during the convention.

2. well-off /ˈwɛlˈɔf, -ˈɒf/ (adj.) – having enough money to live comfortably
Example: John comes from a well-off family.

3. on the other hand / ɒn ði ˈʌð ər hænd / (idiom) – introduces something opposite or different
Example: Jack is a good student. His brother Rick, on the other hand, struggles with school.

4. underprivileged / ˈʌn dərˈprɪv ə lɪdʒd / (adj.) – describes someone who lacks money, education, and other basic needs
Example: The goal of the organization is to support underprivileged children so they can go to school.

5. literacy /ˈlɪt ər ə si/ (n.) – a person’s capability to read and write
Example: The politician promised to build more schools in hopes of improving literacy.


Read the text below.
A new study suggests that social inequality exists in how teenagers are using online technology at home.

Researchers from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducted the study and analyzed data from more than forty countries in Europe, Asia, and South America.

Findings suggest that rich and poor teenage students have equal access to the Internet and digital technology. However, their socioeconomic status greatly affects their online activities.   Results show that well-off teenagers are more likely to use the Internet for educational purposes, such as gathering information and reading news.

On the other handunderprivileged students are more likely to use the Internet for other things, like playing games and chatting online, rather than for learning. The report further stated that lack of awareness in utilizing the Internet for educational purposes may result to difficulty in finding jobs.

The study concludes that the real contributions of digital technology have not yet been fully understood and utilized, especially in the education sector. The study also suggests focusing on developing teens’ literacy skills, instead of their digital skills.

However, Mark Chambers, chief executive of a UK organization supporting the use of computers in school, believes that equal focus should be placed on both skills. He believes that both literacy and digital skills are beneficial, and that schools should work toward improving both.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think Internet access is good for teenage students? Why or why not?
·         What do you think are the reasons why most underprivileged students only use the Internet for online games and chatting? Discuss.

Discussion B

·         What do you think can schools do to encourage teenage students to use digital technology for educational purposes? Enumerate.
·         Do you think the education system in your country maximizes the Internet? Why or why not? 

September 23, 2016