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Heavy Texting – a New Social Problem (10th November, 2010)


 

Teenagers who send more than 120 text messages a day are more likely to have sex, drink, use drugs, and get into fights, a new study has found. The research from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, found there was a strong link between “hyper-texting” and “risky behavior”. Lead researcher Dr Scott Frank said one of the causes of excessive messaging could be poor parenting: “If parents are monitoring their kids' texting and social networking, they're probably monitoring other activities as well,” he said. Dr Frank’s research was based on questionnaires taken by 4,200 students at 20 high schools in the U.S. state of Ohio. Frank's study is the first to look at the link between texting and social problems.

The report reveals some interesting statistics. It found that one in five students was a hyper-texter and about one in nine was a hyper-networker (someone who spends three or more hours a day on social networking websites). Both these activities seemed more common among girls, minorities, children whose parents are not so well educated, and kids from single-parent homes. The findings that should worry parents are the things hyper-texting kids do. The study found hyper-texters have more sex than “normal” texters, have been in fights, binge drink, and take drugs. One teenager, Jason McCoy, 19, said the statistics made sense: “Kids who text a lot are arranging dates and parties with their friends. Dates and parties mean drinking and meeting people. Of course kids will do things,” he said.


WARM-UPS

1. TEXTING: Walk around the class and talk to other students about texting. 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.

 

teenagers / likely / risky behavior / causes / messaging / networking / social problems / statistics / websites / minorities / educated / binge drinking / statistics / parties

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

3. SOCIAL PROBLEMS: What are the solutions to these hi-tech problems? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Problems?

Solutions?

Texting

 

 

Computer games

 

 

Social networking

 

 

Mobile phones

 

 

The Internet

 

 

Other ___________

 

 

4. MESSAGING: Students A strongly believe messaging leads to social problems; Students B strongly believe it doesn’t.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. MOBILES: Who needs them most? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • children
  • business people
  • emergency workers
  • teenagers
  • the elderly
  • teachers
  • university students
  • mothers

6. TEXT MESSAGE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘text message’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

An article says teenagers send on average 120 text messages a day.

T / F

b.

A researcher found a weak link between texting and risky behavior.

T / F

c.

One of the reasons for heavy texting could be poor parenting.

T / F

d.

The researchers asked over 4,000 students about their texting habits.

T / F

e.

Around 20% of students surveyed were hyper-texters.

T / F

f.

Hyper-networkers spend at least 3 hours a day on social network sites.

T / F

g.

Kids who text more are less likely to drink or have sexual relations.

T / F

h.

A boy in his late teens didn’t agree with the research statistics.

T / F

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

1.

likely

a.

conclusions

2

link

b.

hazardous

3.

risky

c.

shows

4.

monitoring

d.

naturally

5.

questionnaires

e.

probable

6.

reveals

f.

youth

7.

seemed

g.

checking

8.

findings

h.

connection

9.

teenager

i.

appeared

10.

of course

j.

surveys

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

1.

more likely to

a.

and “risky behavior”

2

get into

b.

sense

3.

there was a strong link between “hyper-texting”

c.

and social problems

4.

monitoring other

d.

will do things

5.

look at the link between texting

e.

five students

6.

The report reveals some

f.

have sex

7.

one in

g.

common among girls

8.

these activities seemed more

h.

fights

9.

the statistics made

i.

activities as well

10.

Of course kids

j.

interesting statistics

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Teenagers who ____________ more than 120 text messages a day are more likely to have sex, drink, use drugs, and ____________ into fights, a new study has found. The research from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, found there was a ____________ link between “hyper-texting” and “____________ behavior”. Lead researcher Dr Scott Frank said one of the causes of excessive messaging could be ____________ parenting: “If parents are monitoring their kids' texting and social networking, they're ____________ monitoring other activities as well,” he said. Dr Frank’s research was ____________ on questionnaires taken by 4,200 students at 20 high schools in the U.S. state of Ohio. Frank's study is the first to look at the link ____________ texting and social problems.

 

 

 

probably
based
get
risky
between
send
strong
poor

The report ____________ some interesting statistics. It found that one in five students was a hyper-texter and about one in ____________ was a hyper-networker (someone who spends three or more hours a day on social ____________ websites). Both these activities seemed more ____________ among girls, minorities, children whose parents are not so well educated, and kids from ____________ -parent homes. The findings that should worry parents are the things hyper-texting kids do. The study found hyper-texters have more sex than “normal” texters, have been in fights, binge ____________, and take drugs. One teenager, Jason McCoy, 19, said the statistics made ____________: “Kids who text a lot are arranging dates and parties with their friends. Dates and parties mean drinking and meeting people. Of course kids will do ____________,” he said.

 

 

single
things
nine
drink
reveals
common
sense
networking

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Teenagers who send more than 120 text messages a __________________ have sex, drink, use drugs, ____________________, a new study has found. The research from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, found there was ____________________ “hyper-texting” and “risky behavior”. Lead researcher Dr Scott Frank ____________________ excessive messaging could be poor parenting: “If parents are monitoring their kids' texting and social networking, they're probably monitoring other activities as well,” he said. Dr Frank’s ____________________ questionnaires taken by 4,200 students at 20 high schools in the U.S. state of Ohio. Frank's study ____________________ the link between texting and social problems.

The report reveals some interesting statistics. It ____________________ students was a hyper-texter and about one in nine was a hyper-networker (someone who spends three or more hours a day on social networking websites). Both these activities seemed ____________________ girls, minorities, children whose parents _____________________, and kids from single-parent homes. The ______________________ parents are the things hyper-texting kids do. The study found hyper-texters have more sex than “normal” texters, have been in fights, binge drink, and take drugs. One teenager, Jason McCoy, 19, said ______________________: “Kids who text a lot are arranging dates and parties with their friends. Dates and parties mean drinking and meeting people. Of ____________________,” he said.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

social

problem

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • 120
  • strong
  • risky
  • causes
  • based
  • first
  • statistics
  • spends
  • educated
  • binge
  • sense
  • course

STUDENT TEXTING SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about texting 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.

TEXTING 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 ‘texting’?

c)

How important is texting to you?

d)

What do you usually text about?

e)

What would life be like without texting?

f)

Do you think the texting habits of adults and teens are different?

g)

What do you think of the research in the article?

h)

What do you think about risky behaviour and texting?

i)

Do you think there should be parental controls on their children’s texting?

j)

Do text messages affect our language and writing?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think you are / could be a hyper-texter?

c)

What did people do before they sent 120 text messages a day?

d)

Why do you think texting is more common among girls, minorities, etc?

e)

Would you be worried about this research if you were a parent?

f)

Why do you think there is a link between texting and getting into fights or binge drinking?

g)

What other social problems does technology cause?

h)

What will text messaging be like in the future?

i)

How can companies improve text messaging?

j)

What questions would you like to ask researcher Dr Scott Frank?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Teenagers who send more than 120 text messages a day are more (1) ____ to have sex, drink, use drugs, and (2) ____ into fights, a new study has found. The research from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, found there was a strong link (3) ____ “hyper-texting” and “risky behavior”. Lead researcher Dr Scott Frank said one of the causes (4) ____ excessive messaging could be poor parenting: “If parents are monitoring their (5) ____ texting and social networking, they're probably monitoring other activities as well,” he said. Dr Frank’s research was based (6) ____ questionnaires taken by 4,200 students at 20 high schools in the U.S. state of Ohio. Frank's study is the first to look at the link between texting and social problems.

The report reveals some interesting statistics. It found that one in five students (7) ____ a hyper-texter and about one in nine was a hyper-networker (someone who spends three or more hours a day (8) ____ social networking websites). Both these activities seemed more common among girls, minorities, children whose parents are not so well educated, and kids from (9) ____-parent homes. The findings that should worry parents are the things hyper-texting kids do. The study (10) ____ hyper-texters have more sex than “normal” texters, have been (11) ____ fights, binge drink, and take drugs. One teenager, Jason McCoy, 19, said the statistics made sense: “Kids who text a lot are arranging dates and parties with their friends. Dates and parties (12) ____ drinking and meeting people. Of course kids will do things,” he said.

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

1.

(a)

liked

(b)

likelihood

(c)

liking

(d)

likely

2.

(a)

let

(b)

get

(c)

bet

(d)

met

3.

(a)

between

(b)

among

(c)

next to

(d)

across from

4.

(a)

for

(b)

from

(c)

of

(d)

by

5.

(a)

kid’s

(b)

kids

(c)

kids’

(d)

kid

6.

(a)

at

(b)

on

(c)

in

(d)

of

7.

(a)

was

(b)

be

(c)

are

(d)

were

8.

(a)

in

(b)

at

(c)

of

(d)

on

9.

(a)

alone

(b)

single

(c)

lonely

(d)

just one

10.

(a)

wrote

(b)

pointed

(c)

looked

(d)

found

11.

(a)

at

(b)

on

(c)

in

(d)

of

12.

(a)

mean

(b)

define

(c)

say

(d)

write

WRITING

Write about texting 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 social problems and texting. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. TEXTING: Make a poster about texting. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. SMS: Write a magazine article about the problems SMS can cause. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it.

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 a teenage hyper-texter. Ask him/her three questions about texting. Give him/her three pieces of advice on how to use SMS wisely. 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.

T

g.

F

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

likely

a.

probable

2

link

b.

connection

3.

risky

c.

hazardous

4.

monitoring

d.

checking

5.

questionnaires

e.

surveys

6.

reveals

f.

shows

7.

seemed

g.

appeared

8.

findings

h.

conclusions

9.

teenager

i.

youth

10.

of course

j.

naturally

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

more likely to

a.

have sex

2

get into

b.

fights

3.

there was a strong link between “hyper-texting”

c.

and “risky behavior”

4.

monitoring other

d.

activities as well

5.

look at the link between texting

e.

and social problems

6.

The report reveals some

f.

interesting statistics

7.

one in

g.

five students

8.

these activities seemed more

h.

common among girls

9.

the statistics made

i.

sense

10.

Of course kids

j.

will do things

GAP FILL:

Heavy texting – a new social problem

Teenagers who send more than 120 text messages a day are more likely to have sex, drink, use drugs, and get into fights, a new study has found. The research from the Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, found there was a strong link between “hyper-texting” and “risky behavior”. Lead researcher Dr Scott Frank said one of the causes of excessive messaging could be poor parenting: “If parents are monitoring their kids' texting and social networking, they're probably monitoring other activities as well,” he said. Dr Frank’s research was based on questionnaires taken by 4,200 students at 20 high schools in the U.S. state of Ohio. Frank's study is the first to look at the link between texting and social problems.

The report reveals some interesting statistics. It found that one in five students was a hyper-texter and about one in nine was a hyper-networker (someone who spends three or more hours a day on social networking websites). Both these activities seemed more common among girls, minorities, children whose parents are not so well educated, and kids from single-parent homes. The findings that should worry parents are the things hyper-texting kids do. The study found hyper-texters have more sex than “normal” texters, have been in fights, binge drink, and take drugs. One teenager, Jason McCoy, 19, said the statistics made sense: “Kids who text a lot are arranging dates and parties with their friends. Dates and parties mean drinking and meeting people. Of course kids will do things,” he said.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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