The Reading / Listening - Saying 'Please' - Level 2

Technology is helping children to be polite. Amazon has a new children's version of its virtual assistant Alexa. It is called "FreeTime". The child-friendly device will include a "Magic Word" feature. Actually, there are two magic words: "Please," and: "Thank you." The software is programmed to encourage children to say these two words when they ask the device questions. If a child asks FreeTime: "What is the capital city of Australia?" Alexa will answer and end its response with: "Thank you for asking so nicely." Amazon hopes children will copy the device and be more polite.



The Magic Word feature is for people who think technology teaches children to be rude. Many smart devices say sentences without using any polite words. Parents say children copy this and forget to say "please" or "thank you". Children also ask smart devices questions without being polite. Not everyone is happy with this new technology. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said: "AI devices [get in the way of] face-to-face interactions and child-driven play that children need to grow." It said parents should spend time with children and teach them politeness.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Saying 'Please' - Level 0 Saying 'Please' - Level 1   or  Saying 'Please' - Level 3

Sources
  • https://slate.com/technology/2018/04/amazon-announces-a-kid-friendly-alexa-freetime-and-echo-dot-kids-edition.html
  • https://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/baig/2018/04/25/amazon-echo-dot-kids-alexa-thanks-them-saying-please/547911002/
  • http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-43897516


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. Technology is helping children
  2. a new children's
  3. The child-
  4. there are two
  5. the software is
  6. encourage
  7. ask the device
  8. Thank you for asking
  1. friendly device
  2. programmed
  3. version
  4. so nicely
  5. to be polite
  6. questions
  7. magic words
  8. children

Paragraph 2

  1. Parents say children
  2. Children also ask smart
  3. Not everyone is
  4. devices get
  5. face-to-face
  6. children need
  7. parents should spend
  8. teach them
  1. time with children
  2. happy
  3. politeness
  4. interactions
  5. devices questions
  6. in the way
  7. to grow
  8. copy this

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Technology is helping children (1) ___________________. Amazon has a new children's version (2) ___________________ assistant Alexa. It is called "FreeTime". The child-friendly device will include a "Magic Word" (3) ___________________ are two magic words: "Please," and: "Thank you." The software is programmed to encourage children (4) ___________________ two words when they ask the device questions. If a child asks FreeTime: "What is the (5) ___________________ Australia?" Alexa will answer and end its response with: "Thank you for asking so nicely." Amazon hopes children will (6) ___________________ and be more polite.

The Magic Word (7) ___________________ people who think technology teaches children to be rude. Many smart devices say sentences without using (8) ___________________. Parents say children copy this and (9) ___________________ "please" or "thank you". Children also ask smart devices questions without being polite. Not everyone (10) ___________________ this new technology. The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said: "AI devices [get (11) ___________________ of] face-to-face interactions and child-driven play that children need to grow." It said parents should (12) ___________________ children and teach them politeness.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

Technologyishelpingchildrentobepolite.Amazonhasanewchildren'sv
ersionofitsvirtualassistantAlexa.Itiscalled"FreeTime".Thechild-frie
ndlydevicewillincludea"MagicWord"feature.Actually,therearetwom
agicwords:"Please,"and:"Thankyou."Thesoftwareisprogrammedto
encouragechildrentosaythesetwowordswhentheyaskthedeviceques
tions.IfachildasksFreeTime:"WhatisthecapitalcityofAustralia?"Alex
awillanswerandenditsresponsewith:"Thankyouforaskingsonicely."A
mazonhopeschildrenwillcopythedeviceandbemorepolite.TheMagic
Wordfeatureisforpeoplewhothinktechnologyteacheschildrentoberu
de.Manysmartdevicessaysentenceswithoutusinganypolitewords.Pa
rentssaychildrencopythisandforgettosay"please"or"thankyou".Chil
drenalsoasksmartdevicesquestionswithoutbeingpolite.Noteveryon
eishappywiththisnewtechnology.TheCampaignforaCommercial-Fr
eeChildhoodsaid:"AIdevices[getinthewayof]face-to-faceinteractio
nsandchild-drivenplaythatchildrenneedtogrow."Itsaidparentsshoul
dspendtimewithchildrenandteachthempoliteness.

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic 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.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

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

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

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

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

Help Support This Web Site

  • Please consider helping Breaking News English.com

Sean Banville's Book

Thank You