The Reading / Listening - Skull Shape - Level 3

Scientists say that smartphones are changing the shape of people's skulls. Some people are spending so long looking at smartphones that a small bony bump is appearing above their neck. Doctors say the bump is large enough to feel by pressing the bottom of the skull, just above the neck. Dr David Shahar, a health scientist at the University of The Sunshine Coast in Australia, spoke to the BBC about the discovery. He said: "I have been a clinician for 20 years, and only in the last decade, increasingly, I have been discovering that my patients have this growth on the skull." The bump is becoming more frequent among 18 to 30-year-olds who spend many hours a day hunched over their smartphone.



A study led by Dr Shahar looked at the smartphone use of 1,200 people aged 18 to 86. Shahar said 18 to 30-year-olds were more likely to have the skull bumps than older generations. He said the bumps will probably be more common as we spend longer bending our necks while looking at their phones. Doctors say the bump could come from constantly bending the neck at unnatural angles to look at digital devices. Our head weighs about 4.5 kilograms and bending our head at the same angle for a long time can strain the neck. Doctors are calling this strain "text neck". They say the skull bump rarely causes health issues. They advised people to change their posture if their neck becomes sore.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Skull Shape - Level 0 Skull Shape - Level 1   or  Skull Shape - Level 2

Sources
  • https://www.livescience.com/65711-humans-growing-bony-skull-spikes.html
  • https://www.insider.com/smartphone-use-could-be-changing-our-skull-shape-scientists-find-2019-6
  • https://www.fudzilla.com/news/mobile/48880-humans-evolving-a-spike-on-the-back-of-the-head


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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. THE SKULL: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about The skull. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       smartphones / shape / skull / neck / doctors / discovery / clinician / decade / patients
       study / generations / common / angle / digital device / strain / health issues / posture
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. LIMITS: Students A strongly believe there should be limits on the number of hours of smartphone use; Students B strongly believe otherwise.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. SMARTPHONES: How could smartphones change our body? How can we deal with this? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Body Change

How We Can Deal With This

Skull bones

 

 

Eyesight

 

 

Thumb

 

 

Spine

 

 

Brain

 

 

Skeleton

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. BONE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "bone". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. DANGERS: Rank these with your partner. Put the biggest dangers of smartphones at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • neck strain
  • poor eyesight
  • radiation
  • accidents while walking
  • skull bones
  • loss of friends
  • weight gain
  • lack of exercise

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. spending a. A lump on the skin, especially one caused by illness or injury.
      2. bump b. Happening or done on many occasions, in many cases.
      3. appearing c. Coming into sight; becoming visible or noticeable.
      4. discovery d. Using time to do something.
      5. clinician e. The action of finding out something new.
      6. decade f. A doctor who has direct contact with and responsibility for patients.
      7. frequent g. A period of ten years.

    Paragraph 2

      8. generation h. Hurt a body part by using it too much.
      9. common i. The space between two joining lines (usually measured in degrees).
      10. constantly j. Making something straight into a curved shape.
      11. bending k. All of the people born and living at about the same time.
      12. angle l. The position and shape of someone's body when they are standing or sitting.
      13. strain m. Happening, found, or done often.
      14. posture n. Continuously over a period of time; always.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. A small bony bump is appearing on the neck of smartphone users.     T / F
  2. The bump is too small to be felt.     T / F
  3. A clinician said he has had a skull bump for 20 years.     T / F
  4. The skull bump is most common in people aged between 18-30.     T / F
  5. Researchers looked at the smartphone use of those aged from 18 to 86.  T / F
  6. The bumps could be caused by bending our heads at unnatural angles.    T / F
  7. Our head weighs about 5.4 kilograms.     T / F
  8. Doctors advised people to change their posture if they have a sore neck. T / F

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

  1. changing
  2. appearing
  3. clinician
  4. discovering
  5. hunched
  6. likely
  7. common
  8. constantly
  9. strain
  10. sore
  1. doctor
  2. always
  3. bent
  4. painful
  5. finding
  6. injure
  7. altering
  8. widespread
  9. becoming visible
  10. probable

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

  1. a small bony bump is
  2. just above
  3. in the last
  4. The bump is becoming more frequent
  5. spend many hours a day hunched
  6. the smartphone use of 1,200 people
  7. older
  8. constantly bending the neck at
  9. They advised people to change
  10. if their neck
  1. aged 18 to 86
  2. over their smartphone
  3. their posture
  4. appearing above their neck
  5. generations
  6. decade
  7. becomes sore
  8. among 18 to 30-year-olds
  9. unnatural angles
  10. the neck

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
just
decade
shape
frequent
bump
spending
growth
discovery

Scientists say that smartphones are changing the (1) ___________ of people's skull. Some people are (2) ____________ so long looking at smartphones that a small bony (3) ____________ is appearing above their neck. Doctors say the bump is large enough to feel by pressing the bottom of the skull, (4) ____________ above the neck. Dr David Shahar, a health scientist at the University of The Sunshine Coast in Australia, spoke to the BBC about the (5) ____________. He said: "I have been a clinician for 20 years, and only in the last (6) ____________, increasingly, I have been discovering that my patients have this (7) ___________ on the skull." The bump is becoming more (8) ____________ among 18 to 30-year-olds who spend many hours a day hunched over their smartphone.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
constantly
use
strain
angles
common
posture
likely
bending

A study led by Dr Shahar looked at the smartphone (9) ____________ of 1,200 people aged 18 to 86. Shahar said 18 to 30-year-olds were more (10) ____________ to have the skull bumps than older generations. He said the bumps will probably be more (11) ____________ as we spend longer bending our necks while looking at their phones. Doctors say the bump could come from (12) ____________ bending the neck at unnatural (13) ____________ to look at digital devices. Our head weighs about 4.5 kilograms and (14) ____________ our head at the same angle for a long time can strain the neck. Doctors are calling this (15) ____________ "text neck". They say the skull bump rarely causes health issues. They advised people to change their (16) ____________ if their neck becomes sore.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  spending so long looking at smartphones that a small bony ______
     a.  bump disappearing
     b.  bump is a peer ring
     c.  bumps appearing
     d.  bump is appearing
2)  Doctors say the bump is large enough to feel by ______
     a.  pressing the button
     b.  pressing the baton
     c.  pressing the batting
     d.  pressing the bottom
3)  the University of The Sunshine Coast in Australia spoke to the BBC ______
     a.  abut the discovery
     b.  about the discovery
     c.  abbot the discovery
     d.  abet the discovery
4)  I have been a clinician for 20 years, and only in ______
     a.  the last decadence
     b.  the last deck cade
     c.  the last deck aid
     d.  the last decade
5)  among 18 to 30-year-olds who spend many hours a day ______ smartphone
     a.  haunch over their
     b.  bunch over their
     c.  hunched over their
     d.  bunched over their

6)  A study led by Dr Shahar looked at the smartphone use of 1,200 ______ 18 to 86
     a.  people age
     b.  people aged
     c.  people aid
     d.  people aided
7)  18 to 30-year-olds were more ______ the skull bumps
     a.  likely to have
     b.  liked to have
     c.  likelihood to have
     d.  like little have
8)  He said the bumps will probably be more common as we spend longer ______ necks
     a.  bend in our
     b.  bend ding our
     c.  ben ding our
     d.  bending our
9)  Doctors say the bump could come from constantly bending the neck ______
     a.  at unnatural wrangles
     b.  at unnatural angels
     c.  at unnatural angles
     d.  at unnatural anglers
10)  They advised people to change their posture if their neck ______
     a.  become saw
     b.  become sore
     c.  becomes saw
     d.  becomes sore

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Scientists say that smartphones are (1) ___________________ of people's skull. Some people are spending (2) ___________________ at smartphones that a small bony bump is appearing above their neck. Doctors say the bump is large enough to (3) ___________________ the bottom of the skull, just above the neck. Dr David Shahar, a health scientist at the University of The Sunshine Coast in Australia, spoke to the BBC (4) ___________________. He said: "I have been a clinician for 20 years, and only in the last decade, increasingly, I have been discovering that my patients have (5) ___________________ the skull." The bump is becoming more frequent among 18 to 30-year-olds who spend many hours a day (6) ___________________ smartphone.

A (7) ___________________ Dr Shahar looked at the smartphone use of 1,200 people aged 18 to 86. Shahar said 18 to 30-year-olds (8) ___________________ to have the skull bumps than older generations. He said the bumps will probably (9) ___________________ as we spend longer bending our necks while looking at their phones. Doctors say the bump could come from constantly bending the neck (10) ___________________ to look at digital devices. Our head weighs about 4.5 kilograms and bending our head at the same angle for (11) ___________________ can strain the neck. Doctors are calling this strain "text neck". They say the skull bump rarely causes health issues. They advised people to change (12) ___________________ their neck becomes sore.

Comprehension questions

  1. Who said smartphones are changing the shape of people's skulls?
  2. What did doctors say the bump is large enough to do?
  3. What news agency did a clinician talk to about the discovery?
  4. How long has the clinician been doing his job?
  5. Who is the bump most common with?
  6. How many smartphone users did researchers look at in their study?
  7. Who are 18-30-year-olds more likely to have a skull bump than?
  8. How much does the human skull weigh?
  9. What did doctors call the strain caused by bending the neck too long?
  10. What did doctors advise changing if their neck becomes sore?




Multiple choice quiz

1) Who said smartphones are changing the shape of people's skulls?
a) doctors
b) scientists
c) smartphone makers
d) call-phone workers
2) What did doctors say the bump is large enough to do?
a) examine
b) see
c) massage
d) feel
3) What news agency did a clinician talk to about the discovery?
a) Reuters
b) CNN
c) the BBC
d) Al Jazeera
4) How long has the clinician been doing his job?
a) 20 years
b) 15 years
c) 25 years
d) 30 years
5) Who is the bump most common with?
a) 18 to 86-year-olds
b) 18 to 30-year-olds
c) 16 to 80-year-olds
d) 16 to 30-year-olds

6) How many smartphone users did researchers look at in their study?
a) 1,200
b) 1,300
c) 1,800
d) 2,100
7) Who are 18-30-year-olds more likely to have a skull bump than?
a) pensioners
b) people in their 30s
c) older generations
d) the middle aged
8) How much does the human skull weigh?
a) about 4.5 kilograms
b) about 5.4 kilograms
c) about 3.5 kilograms
d) about 4 kilograms
9) What did doctors call the strain caused by bending the neck too long?
a) smartphone sore
b) phone ache
c) call bump
d) text neck
10) What did doctors advise changing if their neck becomes sore?
a) their lifestyle
b) their smartphone
c) their posture
d) their doctor

Role play

Role  A – Neck Strain
You think neck strain is the biggest danger of smartphones. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their dangers aren't as bad. Also, tell the others which is the least dangerous of these (and why): a lack of exercise, poor eyesight or a loss of friends.

Role  B – Lack of Exercise
You think a lack of exercise is the biggest danger of smartphones. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their dangers aren't as bad. Also, tell the others which is the least dangerous of these (and why): neck strain, poor eyesight or a loss of friends.

Role  C – Poor Eyesight
You think poor eyesight is the biggest danger of smartphones. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their dangers aren't as bad. Also, tell the others which is the least dangerous of these (and why): a lack of exercise, neck strain or a loss of friends.

Role  D – Loss of Friends
You think a loss of friends is the biggest danger of smartphones. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their dangers aren't as bad. Also, tell the others which is the least dangerous of these (and why): a lack of exercise, poor eyesight or neck strain.

After reading / listening

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

'skull'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'shape'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • 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:

    • 1,200
    • older
    • constantly
    • 4.5
    • text
    • sore
    • so
    • enough
    • scientist
    • 20
    • frequent
    • hours




    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 - Smartphone use could be changing shape of our skulls

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'skull'?
    3. What do you think of this story?
    4. Do you think it's possible for smartphone use to change the skull?
    5. Would you use your smartphone less because of this story?
    6. How important is your smartphone to you?
    7. Is this smartphone skull bump a worry?
    8. What other health problems do smartphones cause?
    9. Could there be another reason for the skull bump?
    10. Why do younger people use smartphones more often than older people?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'smartphone'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. How have smartphones changed our lives?
    5. Should smartphones come with health warnings?
    6. How can we take care of our skull?
    7. Will you change how you use your smartphone?
    8. Do you have good posture?
    9. What kinds of things give you a sore neck?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the scientists?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Scientists say that smartphones are changing the (1) ____ of people's skull. Some people are spending so long looking at smartphones that a small bony bump is (2) ____ above their neck. Doctors say the bump is large enough to feel (3) ____ pressing the bottom of the skull, just above the neck. Dr David Shahar, a health scientist at the University of The Sunshine Coast in Australia, spoke to the BBC about the (4) ____. He said: "I have been a clinician for 20 years, and only in the last decade, increasingly, I have been discovering that my (5) ____ have this growth on the skull." The bump is becoming more frequent among 18 to 30-year-olds who spend many hours a day (6) ____ over their smartphone.

    A study led by Dr Shahar looked at the smartphone use of 1,200 people aged 18 to 86. Shahar said 18 to 30-year-olds were more (7) ____ to have the skull bumps than older generations. He said the bumps will probably be more common (8) ____ we spend longer bending our necks while looking at their phones. Doctors say the bump could come from constantly bending the neck at unnatural (9) ____ to look at digital devices. Our head weighs about 4.5 kilograms and (10) ____ our head at the same angle for a long time can strain the neck. Doctors are calling this strain "text neck". They say the skull bump rarely (11) ____ health issues. They advised people to change their posture if their neck becomes (12) ____.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     shape     (b)     shaped     (c)     shaper     (d)     shapely    
    2. (a)     appearance     (b)     appear     (c)     appearing     (d)     appears    
    3. (a)     on     (b)     at     (c)     by     (d)     as    
    4. (a)     discoverer     (b)     discover     (c)     discovers     (d)     discovery    
    5. (a)     parents     (b)     parents     (c)     patients     (d)     patently    
    6. (a)     bunched     (b)     hunched     (c)     munched     (d)     punched    
    7. (a)     likes     (b)     likely     (c)     likelihood     (d)     liken    
    8. (a)     was     (b)     as     (c)     'twas     (d)     has    
    9. (a)     angels     (b)     dangles     (c)     angles     (d)     wrangles    
    10. (a)     bendy     (b)     bends     (c)     bent     (d)     bending    
    11. (a)     ceases     (b)     casts     (c)     cases     (d)     causes    
    12. (a)     soar     (b)     sour     (c)     saw     (d)     sore

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. apearipng above their neck
    2. a health cinsitest
    3. spoke to the BBC about the icdvosery
    4. my aeitnpts have this growth
    5. more requefnt among 18 to 30-year-olds
    6. ucnhhed over their smartphone

    Paragraph 2

    1. older egtranioens
    2. probably be more omcomn
    3. oscnattnly bending the neck
    4. digital ivecdes
    5. bending our head at the same gnale
    6. change their otspure if their neck becomes sore

    Put the text back together

    1  ) Scientists say that smartphones are changing the shape of people's skulls. Some people are spending so
    (...)  angles to look at digital devices. Our head weighs about 4.5 kilograms and bending our head at the same angle for a long
    (...)  enough to feel by pressing the bottom of the skull, just above the neck. Dr David Shahar, a health
    (...)  at our phones. Doctors say the bump could come from constantly bending the neck at unnatural
    (...)  clinician for 20 years, and only in the last decade, increasingly, I have been discovering that my
    (...)  generations. He said the bumps will probably be more common as we spend longer bending our necks while looking
    (...)  patients have this growth on the skull." The bump is becoming more frequent
    (...)  to 86. Shahar said 18 to 30-year-olds were more likely to have the skull bumps than older
    (...)  among 18 to 30-year-olds who spend many hours a day hunched over their smartphone.
    (...)  A study led by Dr Shahar looked at the smartphone use of 1,200 people aged 18
    (...)  causes health issues. They advised people to change their posture if their neck becomes sore.
    (...)  long looking at smartphones that a small bony bump is appearing above their neck. Doctors say the bump is large
    (...)  scientist at the University of The Sunshine Coast in Australia, spoke to the BBC about the discovery. He said: "I have been a
    (...)  time can strain the neck. Doctors are calling this strain "text neck". They say the skull bump rarely

    Put the words in the right order

    1. people's   are   of   changing   shape   Smartphones   the   skulls   .
    2. their   appearing   neck   .   bump   above   A   bony   small
    3. enough   Large   to   pressing   by   feel   the   bottom   .
    4. growth   My   on   the   patients   this   skull   .   have
    5. over   hunched   their   smartphone   .   day   a   Hours
    6. bumps   will   common   .   The   probably   be   more
    7. at   neck   angles   .   Constantly   bending   the   unnatural
    8. angle   .   same   head   the   Bending   at   our
    9. health   skull   causes   issues   .   The   bump   rarely
    10. posture   .   advised   They   people   their   change   to

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Scientists say that smartphones are changing the shapely / shape of people's skull. Some people are spending / spent so long looking at smartphones that a small bony bump is appearance / appearing above their neck. Doctors say the bump is large enough / sufficient to feel by pressing the bottom of the skull, just / justly above the neck. Dr David Shahar, a health science / scientist at the University of The Sunshine Coast in Australia, spoke to the BBC about the discovery. He said: "I have been a clinic / clinician for 20 years, and only in the last decade, increasingly, I have been discovering that my patience / patients have this growth on the skull." The bump is becoming more frequent / frequency among 18 to 30-year-olds who spend many hours a day hunched / hunch over their smartphone.

    A study led by Dr Shahar looked on / at the smartphone use of 1,200 people aged 18 to 86. Shahar said 18 to 30-year-olds were more likelihood / likely to have the skull bumps than older / olden generations. He said the bumps will probably be many / more common as we spend longer bending our necks which / while looking at their phones. Doctors say the bump could come from constantly / creating bending the neck at unnatural angles to look at digital devices. Our head weighs / weights about 4.5 kilograms and bending our head at the same angle for a length / long time can strain the neck. Doctors are calling this strain "text neck". They say the skull bump rarely because / causes health issues. They advised people to change their posture if their neck becomes sore / soar.

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    S c__ n t_s t s s_y t h_t s m_r t p h_n_s _r_ c h_n g_n g t h_ s h_p_ _f p__ p l_' s s k_l l . S_m_ p__ p l_ _r_ s p_n d_n g s_ l_n g l__ k_n g _t s m_r t p h_n_s t h_t _ s m_l l b_n y b_m p _s _p p__ r_n g _b_v_ t h__ r n_c k . D_c t_r s s_y t h_ b_m p _s l_r g_ _n__ g h t_ f__ l b y p r_s s_n g t h_ b_t t_m _f t h_ s k_l l , j_s t _b_v_ t h_ n_c k . D r D_v_d S h_h_r , _ h__ l t h s c__ n t_s t _t t h_ U n_v_r s_t y _f T h_ S_n s h_n_ C__ s t _n A_s t r_l__ , s p_k_ t_ t h_ B B C _b__ t t h_ d_s c_v_r y . H_ s__ d : " I h_v_ b__ n _ c l_n_c__ n f_r 2 0 y__ r s , _n d _n l y _n t h_ l_s t d_c_d_, _n c r__ s_n g l y , I h_v_ b__ n d_s c_v_r_n g t h_t m y p_t__ n t s h_v_ t h_s g r_w t h _n t h_ s k_l l . " T h_ b_m p _s b_c_m_n g m_r_ f r_q__ n t _m_n g 1 8 t_ 3 0 - y__ r -_l d s w h_ s p_n d m_n y h__ r s _ d_y h_n c h_d _v_r t h__ r s m_r t p h_n_.

    A s t_d y l_d b y D r S h_h_r l__ k_d _t t h_ s m_r t p h_n_ _s_ _f 1 , 2 0 0 p__ p l_ _g_d 1 8 t_ 8 6 . S h_h_r s__ d 1 8 t_ 3 0 - y__ r -_l d s w_r_ m_r_ l_k_l y t_ h_v_ t h_ s k_l l b_m p s t h_n _l d_r g_n_r_t__ n s . H_ s__ d t h_ b_m p s w_l l p r_b_b l y b_ m_r_ c_m m_n _s w_ s p_n d l_n g_r b_n d_n g __ r n_c k s w h_l_ l__ k_n g _t __ r p h_n_s . D_c t_r s s_y t h_ b_m p c__ l d c_m_ f r_m c_n s t_n t l y b_n d_n g t h_ n_c k _t _n n_t_r_l _n g l_s t_ l__ k _t d_g_t_l d_v_c_s . O_r h__ d w__ g h s _b__ t 4 . 5 k_l_g r_m s _n d b_n d_n g __ r h__ d _t t h_ s_m_ _n g l_ f_r _ l_n g t_m_ c_n s t r__ n t h_ n_c k . D_c t_r s _r_ c_l l_n g t h_s s t r__ n " t_x t n_c k " . T h_y s_y t h_ s k_l l b_m p r_r_l y c__ s_s h__ l t h _s s__ s . T h_y _d v_s_d p__ p l_ t_ c h_n g_ t h__ r p_s t_r_ _f t h__ r n_c k b_c_m_s s_r_.

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    scientists say that smartphones are changing the shape of peoples skull some people are spending so long looking at smartphones that a small bony bump is appearing above their neck doctors say the bump is large enough to feel by pressing the bottom of the skull just above the neck dr david shahar a health scientist at the university of the sunshine coast in australia spoke to the bbc about the discovery he said i have been a clinician for 20 years and only in the last decade increasingly i have been discovering that my patients have this growth on the skull the bump is becoming more frequent among 18 to 30yearolds who spend many hours a day hunched over their smartphone

    a study led by dr shahar looked at the smartphone use of 1200 people aged 18 to 86 shahar said 18 to 30yearolds were more likely to have the skull bumps than older generations he said the bumps will probably be more common as we spend longer bending our necks while looking at their phones doctors say the bump could come from constantly bending the neck at unnatural angles to look at digital devices our head weighs about 45 kilograms and bending our head at the same angle for a long time can strain the neck doctors are calling this strain text neck they say the skull bump rarely causes health issues they advised people to change their posture if their neck becomes sore

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    Scientistssaythatsmartphonesarechangingtheshapeofpeople'sskull
    s.Somepeoplearespendingsolonglookingatsmartphonesthatasmall
    bonybumpisappearingabovetheirneck.Doctorssaythebumpislargee
    noughtofeelbypressingthebottomoftheskull,justabovetheneck.DrD
    avidShahar,ahealthscientistattheUniversityofTheSunshineCoastinA
    ustralia,spoketotheBBCaboutthediscovery.Hesaid:"Ihavebeenaclin
    icianfor20years,andonlyinthelastdecade,increasingly,Ihavebeendis
    coveringthatmypatientshavethisgrowthontheskull."Thebumpisbec
    omingmorefrequentamong18to30-year-oldswhospendmanyhoursa
    dayhunchedovertheirsmartphone.AstudyledbyDrShaharlookedatth
    esmartphoneuseof1,200peopleaged18to86.Shaharsaid18to30-yea
    r-oldsweremorelikelytohavetheskullbumpsthanoldergenerations.H
    esaidthebumpswillprobablybemorecommonaswespendlongerbendi
    ngourneckswhilelookingatourphones.Doctorssaythebumpcouldcom
    efromconstantlybendingtheneckatunnaturalanglestolookatdigitald
    evices.Ourheadweighsabout4.5kilogramsandbendingourheadatthe
    sameangleforalongtimecanstraintheneck.Doctorsarecallingthisstrai
    n"textneck".Theysaytheskullbumprarelycauseshealthissues.Theya
    dvisedpeopletochangetheirpostureiftheirneckbecomessore.

    Free writing

    Write about skull shape for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Smartphones should come with health warnings. Discuss.

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    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 this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. OUR SKULL: Make a poster about the skull. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. SMARTPHONES: Write a magazine article about the having a limit on smartphone use to protect our body and brain. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    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. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on the skull. Ask him/her three questions about it. Give him/her three of your opinions of how smartphone use could change our body. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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