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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Internet Addiction - by Sean Banville

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Internet Addiction – A Growing Problem (10th June, 2010)


 

The New York Times has reported on a problem that many of us have but are not aware of – Internet addiction. According to reporter Tara Parker-Pope, millions of us are addicted to being online. She says this is a growing problem that is making us more forgetful and impatient. Ms Parker-Pope writes about various reports highlighting how technology is changing people. In one, she quotes cyber-psychologist Dr. Elias Aboujaode who says: “More and more, life is resembling the chat room.” He said we are living in “virtual lifestyles” which is negatively affecting our real-life relationships. Nicki Dowling, a clinical psychologist from Melbourne University in Australia, concluded in a recent study that ten per cent of young people had what she called “Internet dependence”.


Tara Parker-Pope quizzed experts in this field on what the signs are of being overly absorbed in technology. She came up with seven indicators of “tech overload”. The first is whether you check your e-mail before doing other things. Another telltale sign is if you always anticipate and look forward to your next online visit – a sure sign of dependence and addiction. The third point is if you say, "just a few more minutes" when someone wants you. Parker-Pope found your interaction with others also says a lot about how important the Internet is compared with family and friends; do you lie about how much time you spend online or choose to surf the Net instead of go out with others? Other giveaways include the “online lift” that stops you being unhappy, and when others complain about you always being online.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. THE INTERNET: Walk around the class and talk to other students about the Internet. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

problem / addictions / being online / forgetfulness / chat rooms / psychologists / experts / technology / telltale signs / interaction / family & friends / being unhappy

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. ADDICTED? Are you dependent on the Internet? Complete this table and show what you wrote to your partner(s). Change partners and share what you heard.

How often do you…

Answer

Is this a problem?

check your e-mail before doing other things?

 

 

really want to get online?

 

 

say “just a few more minutes” when online?

 

 

lie about how long you spend online?

 

 

choose the Net to going out with friends?

 

 

feel much happier after logging on?

 

 

4. VIRTUALITY: Students A strongly believe the Internet will make us less social; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. ONLINE: What do you like most? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • e-mail
  • shopping
  • social networking (Facebook, etc.)
  • reading news
  • finding out information
  • chat
  • looking at videos
  • games

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

Most people know about the problem of being addicted to the Internet.

T / F

b.

A reporter said there are thousands of online addicts.

T / F

c.

A cyber-psychologist said life is getting to become like a chat room.

T / F

d.

A researcher found 10% of youngsters are addicted to the Web.

T / F

e.

The reporter found seven giveaway signs of Internet addiction.

T / F

f.

One sign is asking for an extra few hours online.

T / F

g.

Lying about how much time you spend online suggests you’re addicted.

T / F

h.

Another sign is when you feel the need to lift up your laptop.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

addiction

a.

different

2

forgetful

b.

expect

3.

various

c.

impacting

4.

resembling

d.

immersed

5.

affecting

e.

obsession

6.

quizzed

f.

communication

7.

absorbed

g.

looking like

8.

anticipate

h.

absent-minded

9.

interaction

i.

moan

10.

complain

j.

questioned

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

a problem that many of us have

a.

and impatient

2

millions of us are addicted

b.

you being unhappy

3.

making us more forgetful

c.

called “Internet dependence”

4.

He said we are living in

d.

always being online

5.

young people had what she

e.

to being online

6.

being overly absorbed

f.

sign

7.

Another telltale

g.

of dependence

8.

a sure sign

h.

but are not aware of

9.

the “online lift” that stops

i.

“virtual lifestyles”

10.

others complain about you

j.

in technology

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

The New York Times has ____________ on a problem that many of us have but are not aware of – Internet addiction. According to reporter Tara Parker-Pope, millions of us are ____________ to being online. She says this is a growing problem that is making us more forgetful and ____________. Ms Parker-Pope writes about various reports highlighting how technology is ____________ people. In one, she quotes cyber-psychologist Dr. Elias Aboujaode who says: “More and more, life is ____________ the chat room.” He said we are living in “virtual lifestyles” which is ____________ affecting our real-life relationships. Nicki Dowling, a clinical psychologist from Melbourne University in Australia, ____________ in a recent study that ten per cent of young people had what she ____________ “Internet dependence”.

 

 

 

resembling
impatient
called
reported
concluded
addicted
negatively
changing

Tara Parker-Pope ____________ experts in this field on what the signs are of being overly ____________ in technology. She came up with seven indicators of “tech overload”. The first is whether you check your e-mail before doing other things. Another ____________ sign is if you always anticipate and look forward to your next online visit – a ____________ sign of dependence and addiction. The third point is if you say, "just a few more minutes" when someone wants you. Parker-Pope found your ____________ with others also says a lot about how important the Internet is ____________ with family and friends; do you lie about how much time you spend online or choose to surf the Net ____________ of go out with others? Other giveaways include the “online lift” that stops you being unhappy, and when others ____________ about you always being online.

 

 

telltale
instead
compared
quizzed
complain
interaction
absorbed
sure

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The New York Times has reported on a problem that many of us have but ____________________ – Internet addiction. According to reporter Tara Parker-Pope, millions of us ____________________ online. She says this is a growing problem that is making us more forgetful and impatient. Ms Parker-Pope writes ____________________ highlighting how technology is changing people. In one, she quotes cyber-psychologist Dr. Elias Aboujaode who says: “More and more, ____________________ the chat room.” He said we are living in “virtual lifestyles” which is ____________________ our real-life relationships. Nicki Dowling, a clinical psychologist from Melbourne University in Australia, concluded in a recent study that ten per cent of young people had what she called “____________________”.

Tara Parker-Pope ____________________ this field on what the signs are of being overly absorbed in technology. She came up with seven indicators of “tech overload”. The first is ____________________ your e-mail before doing other things. Another telltale sign is if you always anticipate and look forward to your next online visit – ____________________ dependence and addiction. The third point is if you say, "just a few more minutes" when someone wants you. Parker-Pope ____________________ with others also says a lot about how important the Internet is compared with family and friends; do you lie about how much time you spend ____________________ surf the Net instead of go out with others? Other giveaways include the “online lift” that stops you being unhappy, and when others ____________________ always being online.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘Internet’ and ‘addiction’.

Internet

addiction

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • aware
  • millions
  • impatient
  • quotes
  • chat
  • virtual
  • experts
  • tech
  • sure
  • minutes
  • surf
  • complain

STUDENT THE INTERNET SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about the Internet in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

THE INTERNET DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘Internet’?

c)

Do you think you’re addicted to the Internet?

d)

Is Internet addiction such a bad thing?

e)

Why are so many people addicted to the Internet?

f)

How might our life resemble a chat room?

g)

How might the Internet affect our real-life relationships?

h)

Do you think the Internet affects your relationships with others?

i)

What would life be like without the Internet?

j)

Should children be given Internet addiction lessons in school?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you do that might suggest you’re addicted to the Internet?

c)

What do you most enjoy about the Internet and why?

d)

What do you least enjoy about the Internet and why?

e)

Are you always itching to get online?

f)

How would you feel about having no Internet access for a month?

g)

Have you ever lied about how long you spend online?

h)

Does using the Internet make you feel happier?

i)

Do you have any other addictions?

j)

What questions would you like to ask a cyber-psychologist?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The New York Times has reported on a problem that many of us have but are not (1) ____ of – Internet addiction. According to reporter Tara Parker-Pope, millions of us are addicted to being online. She says this is a growing problem that is making us more (2) ____ and impatient. Ms Parker-Pope writes about various reports highlighting how technology is changing people. In one, she quotes cyber-psychologist Dr. Elias Aboujaode who says: “More and more, life is (3) ____ the chat room.” He said we are living in “virtual lifestyles” which is (4) ____ affecting our real-life relationships. Nicki Dowling, a clinical psychologist from Melbourne University in Australia, (5) ____ in a recent study that ten per cent of young people had what she (6) ____ “Internet dependence”.

Tara Parker-Pope (7) ____ experts in this field on what the signs are of being overly absorbed in technology. She came up with seven indicators of “tech overload”. The first is whether you check your e-mail before doing other things. Another (8) ____ sign is if you always anticipate and look forward to your next online visit – a (9) ____ sign of dependence and addiction. The third point is if you say, "just a few more minutes" when someone wants you. Parker-Pope found your interaction with others also (10) ____ a lot about how important the Internet is compared with family and friends; do you lie about how much time you spend online or choose to surf the Net instead of go out with others? Other (11) ____ include the “online (12) ____” that stops you being unhappy, and when others complain about you always being online.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

beware

(b)

awareness

(c)

wary

(d)

aware

2.

(a)

forgetful

(b)

forgets

(c)

forget

(d)

forgotten

3.

(a)

resemble

(b)

resembling

(c)

resemblance

(d)

resembles

4.

(a)

negative

(b)

negativity

(c)

negatively

(d)

negatives

5.

(a)

conclusion

(b)

concludes

(c)

concluded

(d)

conclude

6.

(a)

callers

(b)

called

(c)

calling

(d)

callings

7.

(a)

knowledge

(b)

interrogated

(c)

spoke

(d)

quizzed

8.

(a)

telltale

(b)

telling tales

(c)

tales

(d)

tall tale

9.

(a)

surely

(b)

sure

(c)

surety

(d)

sureness

10.

(a)

writes

(b)

whispers

(c)

hears

(d)

says

11.

(a)

takeaways

(b)

hideaways

(c)

giveaways

(d)

anyways

12.

(a)

lift

(b)

escalator

(c)

elevator

(d)

carry

WRITING

Write about the Internet for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about the Internet and its addictiveness. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. THE INTERNET: Make a poster about the Internet and its pros and cons. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. ADDICTED: Write a magazine article about someone who is really, really, really addicted to the Internet. Include imaginary interviews with that person and his/her best friend who’s worried about him/her.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to an Internet addict. Ask him/her three questions about the Internet. Give him/her three pieces of advice on how he/she can overcome his/her addiction. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

F

c.

T

d.

T

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

addiction

a.

obsession

2

forgetful

b.

absent-minded

3.

various

c.

different

4.

resembling

d.

looking like

5.

affecting

e.

impacting

6.

quizzed

f.

questioned

7.

absorbed

g.

immersed

8.

anticipate

h.

expect

9.

interaction

i.

communication

10.

complain

j.

moan

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

a problem that many of us have

a.

but are not aware of

2

millions of us are addicted

b.

to being online

3.

making us more forgetful

c.

and impatient

4.

He said we are living in

d.

“virtual lifestyles”

5.

young people had what she

e.

called “Internet dependence”

6.

being overly absorbed

f.

in technology

7.

Another telltale

g.

sign

8.

a sure sign

h.

of dependence

9.

the “online lift” that stops

i.

you being unhappy

10.

others complain about you

j.

always being online

GAP FILL:

Internet addiction – A growing problem

The New York Times has reported on a problem that many of us have but are not aware of – Internet addiction. According to reporter Tara Parker-Pope, millions of us are addicted to being online. She says this is a growing problem that is making us more forgetful and impatient. Ms Parker-Pope writes about various reports highlighting how technology is changing people. In one, she quotes cyber-psychologist Dr. Elias Aboujaode who says: “More and more, life is resembling the chat room.” He said we are living in “virtual lifestyles” which is negatively affecting our real-life relationships. Nicki Dowling, a clinical psychologist from Melbourne University in Australia, concluded in a recent study that ten per cent of young people had what she called “Internet dependence”.

Tara Parker-Pope quizzed experts in this field on what the signs are of being overly absorbed in technology. She came up with seven indicators of “tech overload”. The first is whether you check your e-mail before doing other things. Another telltale sign is if you always anticipate and look forward to your next online visit – a sure sign of dependence and addiction. The third point is if you say, "just a few more minutes" when someone wants you. Parker-Pope found your interaction with others also says a lot about how important the Internet is compared with family and friends; do you lie about how much time you spend online or choose to surf the Net instead of go out with others? Other giveaways include the “online lift” that stops you being unhappy, and when others complain about you always being online.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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