sábado, 5 de julio de 2014

Reading test: Overload of screen time ‘causes depression in children’

In the last few weeks we have received a few emails from students asking us whether we intend to continue posting exam preparation activities throughout summer time. Specifically they were interested in finding out about the reading comprehension activity that we publish every other Saturday.

This has been a new feature during the last school year which has proved to be quite popular. So, the answer is yes, we'll carry on with our reading tests throughout summer and next school year too.

Today, we are going to deal with a different type of reading comprehension activity. In the text below, Overload of screen time ‘causes depression in children’, taken from The Independent, 14 words or phrases have been taken out. Choose the word or phrase from the list A-Q that best fits into each gap. There are two words you do not need to use. 0 is an example.

British children who spend most time in front of televisions and computer screens have lower self-esteem and greater emotional problems, (0) … a study published today by Public Health England.
The report found that excessive “screen time” – more than four hours a day – was (1) … to anxiety and depression and was responsible for limiting a child’s opportunity for social interaction and physical activity.
“The greater the time spent in front of the screen, the greater the negative impact on both behavioural and emotional (2) … relating to the child’s development,” said Professor Kevin Fenton, director of health and wellbeing at PHE. Professor Fenton said that too much screen time limited a child’s opportunities for physical activity and (3) … social interaction with friends and family, which are (4) … factors in reducing childhood anxiety.
British children spend disproportionately large amounts of time in front of screens, (5) … to counterparts in other Western European countries, the report observed.
“In the UK, 62 per cent of 11-year olds, 71 per cent of 13-year olds and 68 per cent of 15-year olds report watching more than two hours of TV a day on weekdays, whereas in Switzerland the figure is less than 35 per cent across all three (6) … groups.”
Professor Fenton said there was a clear “dose-effect” in the impact of screen time on a child’s emotional state, and that “each additional hour of viewing increases children’s (7) … of experiencing socio-emotional problems and lower self-esteem”.
The report, titled 'How healthy behaviour (8) … children’s wellbeing', found that: “Higher levels of TV viewing are having a negative effect on children’s well-being, including lower self-worth, lower self-esteem and lower levels of self-reported happiness.”
The amount of time British children spend in front of televisions, computers and other screens is also increasingly rapidly, driven by the popularity of computer games. Between 2006 and 2010 “the proportion of young people playing computer games for two hours or more a night during the week (9) … from 42 per cent to 55 per cent among boys and 14 per cent to 20 per cent among girls”, the report said.
The study was based on (10) … conducted by the Children’s Society among 42,000 eight to 15 year olds, and on other data. Lily Caprani, its director of policy, said that the children who were least likely to be happy with their lives tended to be the ones who spent longer in front of screens.
She said that social interaction via a computer or mobile phone did not deliver the same benefits in emotional well-being. “It’s nowhere near,” she said. “You have to be physically present with your friends to get the benefits of social interaction. Texting, Facebooking or even (11) … on the phone has a remoteness that means you lose a lot of the positive impact.”
But the television industry last night (12) … the idea that it impacts negatively on  children. “We are proud that there is so much carefully created and curated TV content for children – to watch alone or with their families – that excites and inspires them. That might be watching Professor Brian Cox, Dora the Explorer or Hannah Cockcroft,” said Lindsey Clay, Managing Director of industry body Thinkbox.
“Watching professionally made TV content is one of the most beneficial uses of the many screens that children now have access to, and the (13) … level of children’s TV viewing is totally compatible with a physically and emotionally healthy lifestyle.”
She added that TV is “one of the main (14) … of learning what exactly constitutes a healthy lifestyle.”

A-according to
Photo: The Independent and Getty Images, Rex Features

0 (A) according to; 1 (K) linked; 2 (H) issues; 3 (F) face-to-face; 4 (I) key; 5 (E) compared; 6 (B) age; 7 (J) likelihood; 8 (Q) supports; 9 (G) increased; 10 (O) research; 11 (D) chatting; 12 (N) rejected; 13 (C) average; 14 (P) sources