sábado, 14 de diciembre de 2013

Reading test: Is it better for children to have siblings?

Our reading text this week revolves around the topic of family life and it was published on the BBC's Magazine this summer under the title Is it better for children to have siblings?

Click on the links above to go to the article and read it through for your enjoyment.

Now that we are acquainted with the text, it's time for us to try a reading comprehension activity. Read the Is it better for children to have siblings? again, and say whether the statements below are true (T) or false (F).

1 Colin Brazier is the author of the article.
2 The people who write studies like The Cost Of The Sibling act freely and have no personal advantage.
3 The study by The Child Poverty Action Group about the cost of raising a child is objective.
4 The author of the article is trying to prove the point that large families are good.
5 Only children have a tendency to be obese.
6 Having a brother or a sister is overall beneficial for a child's mental health.
7 Having brothers or sisters prepares children better to fight allergies and autoimmune disorders.
8 If you are the eldest brother or sister you are more likely not to cause offence to the people around you.
9 The increase in the number of only children may cause a number of social issues.
10 Being the parent of an only child has negative consequences for the parent in the long run.
11 The term 'helicopter parenting' seems to have a negative connotation.

Now, the gist (main ideas) in the article is not hard to follow, but that doesn't make the article an easy one to read, as there is a number of idiomatic expressions that are not always self-explanatory. We have selected a few:

plug a product
rocket science
pecking order
the iron fist
the silver tongue
helicopter parenting
risk life and limb

See if you can work out the (approximate) meaning of these expressions through the context. If not, you can find their meaning below.

The text also lends itself to studying a good number of family-related vocabulary. You can check the meaning of the words below by double-clicking on them.

eldest/middle/youngest child
only children
raise a child
grow up

1T 2F 3F 4F 5F 6T 7T 8F 9T 10F 11T

Idiomatic expressions:
plug a product: To advertise something by talking about it a lot or praising it, especially on the radio or television.
not (the stuff of) rocket science: Used to say that you do not think that something is very difficult to do or to understand.
pecking order: A hierarchy of status among members of a group of people or animals, originally as observed among hens.
the iron fist: Rigorous or despotic control.
the silver tongue: Ability to persuade people to do things.
helicopter parenting: Parents who pay extremely close attention to a child's experiences and problems.
risk life and limb: To do something very dangerous where you might get hurt