miércoles, 9 de abril de 2014

Talking point: Reading

This week's talking point is reading. Before getting together with the members of your conversation group, go over the questions below, so that you can work out vocabulary problems beforehand and ideas flow more easily when you get together with your friends.

What kind of books do you read?
Do you read anything else i.e. newspapers, magazines?
How often and how much do you read?
Where do you like reading?
Do you read printed books and newspapers or do you prefer reading online?
What was the last thing you read?
Why do you read?
If you were going to recommend a book to a friend, what would it be and why would you recommend it?
Do you prefer reading a book or watching a film? Why?
Do you usually watch the film based on a book that you have read?
Do you have an e-book reader?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of e-book readers over books?
Will technology ever kill reading?

To illustrate the point you can watch this New York Times video where an American family tells us about their reading habits and the future of reading. 

I guess we are voracious readers because we can’t sit anywhere without reading something, sitting in a waiting room, on a train, we are nuts if we don´t have something to read.
I read about five newspapers a day, I read a number of weekly magazines, and I would say I always read some book before I go to sleep at night.
David Sims and his wife Jean clearly enjoy reading. Every room in their house in Greninge Connecticut is strewn with books and newspapers.
I don’t go anywhere without a newspaper or a magazine or a book. I’m probably at the library three or four times a week. We are very big users at the library.
And their son, Zac, enjoys reading too, but just not in the same way.
My family sort of has a great relationship with reading, but I read a lot more online I can say confidently than the rest of my family, and they probably read more in print than I do.
At least since the invention of television critics have warned that the electronic media would destroy reading by diminishing literacy and wrecking attention spans, but accomplished readers like Zac are redefining what it means to read in a digital age.
When you are reading online you can read a lot of different things about a lot of different subjects in a short period of time, whereas if you are reading a book it’s usually about one subject. I would say reading a lot of magazines, user generated-content that one wouldn’t find in paper form, so a lot of different blogs, I’m subscribed to something like a hundred or two hundred RSS feeds that I read every day, and reading sort of aggregators that bring together a lot of information from different sources.
Sure Zachary likes books but he craves interaction with fellow readers.
It’s about the conversation. I suppose if you just receive it in paper, it´s just like you read and you’re done with it, and I think putting it online takes it a step further.
His mother is staggered by the amount of content Zac absorbs every day.
It’s mind-boggling to me. If he had to go pick up all those resources in print, it would be almost impossible.
Still, she thinks reading in print and on the internet are two different animals.
I don’t think about reading on my computer is a quiet activity. I think about sitting and reading in my comfy chair, crawled up with my book, I don’t crawl up with my computer.
But like many in her generation, Zac and Emma do. 
I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think when you start looking at the amount of time that spent on social networking and IMing (short for Internet Messaging), that’s where I have a problem.
The Sims, like a lot of parents, are concerned that their daughter spends most of her time online playing games, not reading.
I think that it’s very important especially when the kids are young for them to read. I think it enriches their vocabulary. They also think that it helps to lay a foundation for good writing skills.
Zac, for his part, is obsessed with reading on any digital device, even reading headline on his iphone on the train ride at home.
I wouldn’t say it’s an unhealthy amount of time that i´m spending online. I have Facebook, I do SMS with friends, I do have friends, but I think they recognize the fact it’s a lot of reading, it´s becoming more informed about the world than informed about other things you care about.
Some literacy experts believe that there are online reading skills that can ultimately help children fair better in school, like the ability to locate information quickly, or even type faster. 
David thinks these and other skills will serve Zac well at Columbia University in the fall.
He’s learned various ways on multiple levels to do research. He’s a very inquisitive kid, so when he’s interested in a subject instead of using the internet if it didn’t exist, he would be in the library all the time going through research books to study a subject.
While the debate continues for educators and researchers about the virtues of online reading for this family reading, and whatever form it is, is valuable.
I think that reading is really the basis of all learning. And I think whether it’s a book or whether it’s on the internet if you are reading and digging you are learning. So I’d like to think that, you know, that’s where we all can gain a great deal.