Reading and Writing – Introduction

Can we combine Reading and Writing?

Can the combination of Reading and Writing improve students’ abilities in both domains?

We will try to answer this question and work on this idea using group activities.

How can we do that?

Let’s divide the class into groups of 4 – 6 students.

All the groups will be given the same text.

Reading Comprehension Text*

There is a television set in almost every house in Israel, usually more than one. Television has practically become a member of the family. We always expect it to be there and we miss it when it is not.

Television has many advantages. It brings home news from all over the world. It enriches our education. We can study languages, geography, biology and many other subjects in a very interesting way. We need an atlas in order to study geography. It is also very entertaining. We can watch movies, sports, plays and many other programs in the comfort of our home.

The problem is that not all programs are good for us. Some of them contain a lot of violence and they may have a bad effect on the viewers, especially the young ones. Most people are not very selective. They will watch almost anything as soon as they sit in front of the T.V. after a long day at school or at work. They may even find it hard to relax without watching whatever is happening on the screen. My T.V. set breaks down twice a week. That is why people do not read as much as they used to. They even talk less. Instead of having a pleasant conversation with their family or with their friends, they mumble a few words and sit in front of the T.V., almost hypnotized, hours at a time.

The great advantage of television is probably a small button which enables us to switch it off whenever we like, even though we don’t do it as often as we should. Thanks to the remote control system, we do not even have to get up from our comfortable armchairs to do that.

Instructions

First Activity – All, groups do the same.

  • Read the assigned text.
  • Sum up each paragraph.
  • Give a title to each paragraph.
  • There are two irrelevant sentences in the text. Underline them.

Second Activity – Half of the groups work on the advantages and the other groups work on the disadvantages.

  • Underline the arguments for television (Advantages).
  • Underline the arguments against television (Disadvantages).

Suggestions for Class Discussion:

  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Television. Try to find positive and negative aspects that have not been mentioned in the text.
  • Should parents limit the hours children spend watching T.V.?
  • Should parents control the programs their children watch? Until what age?

Discuss.

Homework Assignment

Write 2 – 3 paragraphs about your attitude to television and the programs you like best.

The following words / expressions / structures may help you.

I like television because …

The programs I like best are:

talk shows / thrillers / video clips / comedies / dramatic series / movies / children’s programs / interviews / the news / sports broadcasts / documentaries / detective stories…

I like these programs because they are…

interesting / exciting / funny / entertaining / educational / informative…

I would like to see more …

westerns / dramatic series / movies / pop concerts …

I think T.V. should show less …
and more …

And that’s all for today. More texts and suggestions in my next post.

*- For more exercises on this text, please see The Lively World of English – Book 1 – p 304-306.

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