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Exercise: Activities should be chosen carefully

This exercise is linked to the articles:  Activities should be chosen carefully and Family time still remains the key to successful childhood development

(Source: SME)

INTRO:
1, What are the most typical hobbies of young people today?

2, Which of your hobbies can be useful later in life?

3, What do you usually do when you spend time with your family?

4, How do you imagine an ideal weekend with your friends?

5, And how do you imagine an ideal weekend with your family?

 

Vocabulary: afterschool programmes, anxiety, decrease, delinquency, force, garner, go overboard, initiative, juvenile, overburden, throttle 

 

I, What are the origins of these words, how are they formed: overburden, afterschool, overboard

II, Read the text. Five sentences have been removed. Choose 5 of the statements 1 – 7 that best fit the gaps. There are two extra paragraphs that you do not need.

 

Activities should be chosen carefully

“Correctly selected after-school activities help children to develop their talents,” Marta Hanečáková, head of the free time centre in Stará Ľubovňa, told The Slovak Spectator.

Though parents want to offer their children as many possibilities for their self-realisation as possible, some do not think about the consequences, which may result in overburdening the child, warns Dagmar Kopčanová, psychologist of the Research Institute for Child Psychology and Pathopsychology.

“Fortunately, most parents know the interests and hobbies of their children, so they choose the after-school activities based on these preferences,” Kopčanová told The Slovak Spectator.

Benefits for development

Youth who participate in after school programmes can garner academic, social and health benefits, according to the 2008 Harvard Family Research Project report focusing on the potential of activities after school. A _____________________________________

Moreover, they can improve social and developmental outcomes, as participation in them is connected with decreased behavioural problems, improved social and communication skills and better relationships with others, increased self-confidence, as well as lower levels of depression and anxiety and development of initiative, the report suggests.

As for the positive impact on prevention outcomes, students participating in after school programmes more often avoid drug and alcohol use, decrease delinquency and violent behaviour, increase knowledge of safe sex, and reduce juvenile crime. B ______________

 After-school programmes can also tackle the growing problem of obesity among children and youth, the report states.

The offer is really wide, as there are various activities directly at schools, in free time centres or personal interest clubs, Hanečáková said.

“There is, however, a question whether the offer is based on the child’s needs or is prepared by parents who think it would be appropriate,” she added.

Selecting activities

It is important to talk with children to find activities they would like, Hanečáková and Kopčanová agree.  C _______________________________________________

From Hanečáková’s observation, especially younger schoolchildren often change activities as they want to try everything. However, it is not good to start with too many activities and then gradually reduce them, Kopčanová claimed.

“Such approach may result in children not spending much time in any activity,” the psychologist explained.

It is also individual how many activities the children can bear. Parents should not compare them with other children or their siblings and make them do the same.

D __________________________

“A child is not a machine we can programme to run at full throttle.”

In addition to activities after school, they should also have time to relax and regenerate, she added.

Digital impact

Despite the broad offer of after-school activities, an increasing number of children spend their free time behind a computer or TV as “it is simpler and more comfortable”, Hanečáková said.

Despite the negative impacts on children’s health shown by several studies, computers and tablets – when used appropriately – can develop children’s logic, strategic thinking and concentration, according to Kopčanová.

E _____________________________________ “That is the reason why the after school programmes should be interesting, create room for children to meet and talk, and to offer safe space for un-organised activities available to all,” she said.

 

Statements to choose from:

1 Similar programmes were introduced in several schools around Slovakia, although the number of activities is limited in some regions.

2 Such programmes can, for example, improve academic achievement as they are associated with better attitudes toward school and higher educational aspirations, better school attendance and less tardiness, less disciplinary actions, better performance in school and engagement in learning.

3, Usually, children dislike variety and stay at the activities chosen by their parents therefore it is important to select what they like.

4, Additionally, it can also contribute to healthy lifestyles and increased knowledge of nutrition and exercise.

5, “Every child is specific, unique, thus is has the right to follow its own way,” Kopčanová said.

6 Since we cannot prevent children from sitting behind computers and TVs, we should try to find ways that will help children develop their knowledge and skills in their future life, Hanečáková added.

7 For example, it is good to learn foreign languages, but if children are more interested in, for example, sports, it is better to find an activity they like, Kopčanová added.

 

BOX

I, Which statement best summarises the short text

A, Parents should encourage their children to do sports as it is the best way to overcome an unhealthy lifestyle.

B, Families should spend more time together, mainly on activities that encourage cooperation and active lifestyle.

C, Families should spend time together on watching TV or shopping.

 

II, Decide whether these statements are True or False.

1, Families have unique common memories. T - F

2, In order to improve cohesiveness, each family member should join the activities. T - F

3, Shopping centres are good for children. T - F

4, Shopping should be compensated by activities that support individualism. T - F

5, Parents are aware of the dangers of too much TV and computers. T - F

 

III, Fill in the box: noun (person) - noun (characteristic) - verb adjective

person

Abstract noun

Verb

adjective

Alien

 

 

 

 

Cohesion

 

 

 

 

relate

 

 

 

 

common

 

 

ANSWERS A - 2, B - 4, C - 7, D - 5, E – 6

Further explanation

2,  Such programmes can, for example, improve academic achievement as they are associated with better attitudes toward school and higher educational aspirations, better school attendance and less tardiness, less disciplinary actions, better performance in school and engagement in learning.

- gap A, programmes are mentioned in the previous sentence and the sentence following the gap adds further benefits of these programs. Therefore some of the benefits must be listed in the missing sentence (academic achievement, school attendance...)

4,  Additionally, it can also contribute to healthy lifestyles and increased knowledge of nutrition and exercise.

- gap B, it adds support and further develops the sentence about nutrition and exercise. Moves from general (healthy lifestyle and exercise) to specific (obesity)

7,  For example, it is good to learn foreign languages, but if children are more interested in, for example, sports, it is better to find an activity they like, Kopčanová added.

- gap C, talk with children to find activities means to find what they are interested in. The same thought is repeated in the following paragraph with including more particular example  - sports.

5, “Every child is specific, unique, thus is has the right to follow its own way,” Kopčanová said.

- gap D, parents should not compare them other children or siblings, the missing sentence summarizes that every child is specific and unique. Sentence following the missing paragraph states that the child is not a robot. All three sentences are centred on the same idea - everyone is a unique individual.

6,  Since we cannot prevent children from sitting behind computers and TVs, we should try to find ways that will help children develop their knowledge and skills in their future life, Hanečáková added.

gap E, adds further details to the previous sentence. Retells the content in a different way computers and tablets - knowledge and skills for future life.

 

Box – true or false

T,T,F,F,T

 

Table

alien     - alienation     - alienate     - alienated

  ------- -  cohesion       - cohere       - cohesive

-------- -  reality        - relate       - related

commoner  - commonalty     - common       - common

 

This exercise is published as part of Spectator College, a programme created by The Slovak Spectator  with the support of Petit Academy Foundation.

Topic: Spectator College


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