Does television play a positive or negative role in modern society?

Конспект урока

Педагогика и дидактика

During the lesson you’ll be able to deepen and widen your knowledge about the most famous invention of the 20th century. You will work in small groups and than share your researched information with each other. The second part of the lesson will be dedicated to a Talk Show...



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Донецький ліцей  30 Донецької міської ради

Does television play a positive or negative role in modern society?

                                  Level  Intermediate - B1

                                                                    Valentina Sarana

                                                             a teacher of English

                                                             school 30

                                           Донецьк – 2012

Тема: Does Television Play a Positive or negative role in modern society?

Meтa: формування мовленнєвої компетенції з проблеми “ Tелебачення і діти у сучасному світі”.

Розвиток  уміння  соціального спілкування через рольову гру.

Формування творчого та критичного мислення учнів через дискусію.

особистого ставлення до проблеми.


- Активизация лексіко-граматичного матеріалу з теми;

- Вираження своєї точки зору, згоди чи незгоди;  відпрацьовування модальних диєслів  Should, must, can.

- Oбладнання:  додатковий текст до уроку:” Ultraman cartoon upsets parents”, рольови картки для проведення Talk Show.

- Демонстрація та презентація  уроку вчителем.

Look at the poster, please. It says ”Modern civilisation in which we live today  is a consequence of science and technology”.

During the lesson you’ll be able to deepen and widen your knowledge about the most famous invention of the 20th century. You will work in small groups and than share your researched information with each other. The second part of the lesson will be dedicated to a Talk Show-” Does Television Play a positive or negative Role in Modern Society”?

In this day and age it is hard to find someone who doesn’t know what television is. Indeed, TV plays a very important part in our life and there are many reasons for this. In the first place, television is not only a convenient source of entertainment, but also a comparatively cheap one. For a family of four, for example, it is more convenient and cheaper to sit comfortably at home, with almost unlimited entertainment available, than to go out in search of amusement elsewhere. They do not have to pay for expensive seats at the theatre, the cinema, or the opera, only  to discover, perhaps, that the show is disappointing. All they have to do is press a button, and they can see plays, films, operas, and shows of every kind, not to mention political discussions and the latest exciting football match. Some people, however, maintain that this is precisely where the danger lies. The television view takes no initiative. He makes no choice and exercises no judgment. He is completely passive and has everything presented to him without any effort on his part. The television screen has an almost physical fascination for us. We get so used to looking at the screen, so dependent on its flickering pictures, that it begins to dominate our lives. Television, like other things, has both advantages and disadvantages. Do the former outweigh the latter?

|Warm up. Finding out TV Viewing Habits

Teacher(T): Using the card ”Find someone who…” make a survey and give a portrait of the average television viewer. Walk around the class, interview your classmates and then make a report  summarizing  all your findings.

Find someone who…


….has more than two televisions.

….turns on TV first thing when

they come home.

….is worried about the amount of

television her/his children/ pupils  are watching.

….loves Talk  Shows.

…thinks that the Culture Channel  Is boring.

….watches television in English.

…thinks there are too many American programmes.

….has arguments with family members over what to watch.

T:Well,what did you find interesting or surprising about your classmates’ viewing habits?(pupils  summarise their findings)

T: So, your attitudes towards TV programmes  vary…

Are there any  telly addicts among your pupils? Do you think television is harmful to children?

Now we are approaching an extremely vital theme ’’Children and Television”.

Nowadays it is standard practice for mother to keep the children quiet by putting them in the living-room and turning on  the set.It doesn’t matter that the children will watch rubbishy commercials or spectacles of sadism and violence so long as they are quiet.

T: Now I’d like to read a text which is called ”Ultraman cartoon upsets parents.”

|| pre -reading activity

Before reading try to guess what problem is being discussed in the article.

Yes, television and children. Is Ultraman a positive or negative character? Negative. Why do you think so? Yes, because of the  word|” upset. ”Could you give synonymous verbs? Yes, you are right.They are to make smb. unhappy, to disturb, to annoy, to trouble. The cartoon makes parents unhappy. Now, read the text to yourself, please.

|||. After reading the text.

Well, let’s turn to the text again and go through it carefully, making sure that everyone has understood the text. Let’s read it again, in small portions. In the first passage…Ultraman… has obsessed many children… What about the word obsessed? Yes it means that Ultraman is obsession- a creature that kids think about all the time. All the children like Ultraman cartoon very much. Well, go to the second passage. Children from kindergartens and schools turn on TV sets to watch the Japanese series…

Could you tell me what kind of film it is- series or serial. Yes, it is a continuing set of animated film usually shown every day for many weeks, months or even

years at fixed time, it is produced by one company under the same name. To be brief, a  serial is a film in parts. Well, now go on to the third passage. The young people are so fascinated  by  Ultraman…

                Ultraman cartoon  upsets parents

1 Ultraman, a powerful extraterrestrial being in weird silver and red outfit, has obsessed many children in Shanghai.

2 Every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday night children from kindergarten and  schools turn on TV sets to watch the Japanese series that shows how  Ultraman from outer space fights the enemies of mankind.

3 The young people are so fascinated by Ultraman that he has become part of their daily language.

4Ultraman books, toys, clothes and even food can be found in many shops.

5”I worry about my son a lot these days. He has seen so much violence in the series and has grown quite aggressive. He now fights with other kids and tends to use force to solve disputes, said the mother of one five- year old.

6 Educators say television has a great influence on children, especially those under six years old. Small children can not tell what is real and what is fiction. They tend to think everything happening on television is real.

7Two months ago, a five-year old boy jumped from his home on the sixth floor of a building trying to imitate Ultraman’s flight and died, the local  Evening News reported.

8 The tragedy sounded alarm bells among parents and teachers. Next came the question: What would children watch if not Ultraman?

9The city’s cultural market is dominated by overseas cartoons. Many parents complain about the poor quality of some foreign cartoons and urge the concerned departments to exercise stricter control on their imports.

10 On the other hand, domestic cartoon makers are starved of funds and have to do contract work for foreign companies. Most of them have not produced their own cartoon pictures for years. The only exception seemed to be the Shainghai Cartoon.Film Studio, which recently merged with the Shainghai Television Station and produced a 100 part cartoon series,”Heroes in Their early Teens.”The series describes episodes from the childhood of  historical figures, such as Chinese poet li Bai and the first US President George Washington

The series soon won over many children.

Could you describe their attitude to Ultraman in other words? What does the  verb to fascinate mean? Yes, to interest very much, so that one continue to look, to visit, in our situation- to watch. Well…now passage 5”I worry about my son…”How does this mother feel? Yes she feels uncomfortable, she makes anxious about her son. Now take the word violence, what is violence? Yes, it is force against other, rough treatment. If children see a lot of violence they become aggressive. How do you understand the word aggressive? When a child is aggressive he is always ready to quarrel or attack, he is always threatening.That’s why parents are worried. Then the 7th passage…trying to imitate Ultraman’s flight…Try to use another verb instead of imitate. Yes,to imitate- to copy smb’s behavior or way of doing things.(In the text the boy copied the flight of Ultraman In the8th passage- the tragedy sounded alarm bells… to sound alarm bells-to raise the alarm. So, the tragedy alrerted parents and teachers. Now go on to the next passage. Parents urge the concerned department to exercise stricter control on their imports. What do parents want to do? Yes, parents try hard to make the concerned departments do what they want. In the10th passage perhaps the only phrase may be difficult- are starved of funds.

How do you understand it? Yes that’s right. Chinese cartoon makers haven’t got enough money, they lack money to produce their own animated films for children.

               Comprehension  questions:

  1.  When is Ultraman on?
  2.  Where is Ultraman made?
  3.  What do examples does the author give describing the harmful effects of the Ultraman cartoon on for children?
  4.  Why doesn’t the city have a cartoon industry?


  Role   -   play

T: Now imagine that we are in our TV studio. We’ve come here to discuss an extremely important problem” Does Television Play a Positive or negative Role in Modern Society” and especially we’ll pay attention to the theme”Children and Television.”
We’ll try to investigate a social problem.

You are representatives of community. We all live in one community and everyone should express his point of view, his opinion on social problem.

Among you there is a teacher, an educator, a TV executive, a local politician, a parent, a representative of the town authorities, a housewife, two doctors, a child psychologist and a lonely elderly person. Role cards will be of great help to you. To arrange ideas and to give yourself thinking time please try to use useful opening expressions from our Oral Functions Bank.

Oral Functions Bank     

How to strongly agree with an opinion

I couldn’t agree more!

That’s absolutely true!

I take your point.

I’m with you on that.That’s just what I was thinking.

How to half agree with an opinion

Yes, perhaps. Yes in a way. Yes, I agree up to your point.

That’s worth thinking about.

How to politely disagree with an opinion.

Do you think so?

Well it depends.

I am not so certain.

Well, I don’t know.

Well, I’m not sure about that.

Mmm, I ’m not really sure you’re right.

I’m inclined to disagree with that.

No, I don’t think so really.

How strongly disagree with an opinion

I disagree.

I’m afraid I don’t agree

I disagree with you entirely.

I’m afraid you are wrong there.

I really can’t agree.

How to present both sides of an argument

On the one hand…on the other hand…

Although it’s true to say that…it’s also true to say that…

Teacher(the first to speak)

You are very glad that the vital social problem”Children and Television” is being discussed.You’d like to say that you are very concerned about your pupils..You have been seeing an increase of violent and antisocial behavior and you believe that television is the cause.

Children spend too much time watching and they are becoming used to violence they see on the screen.You think T V Executives are to blame because they are interested only in making money on cartoons.

TV Executive

You disagree with the teacher entirely. You feel you have a right to run a business and make a profit. You are willing to produce any programme that sells. The cartoons are selling very well right now. You are only responding to what the people say they want to see. You don’t think the  Ultraman cartoons or any other programmes are harming children. They are only make- believe, after all it is the parents’ responsibility to monitor their children’s watching habits and discipline them.

Kindergarten teacher

You are very sorry for interrupting the TV Executive but you think that Politicians  are guilty too. You think the government should do something to limit the number of inappropriate programmes. You have noticed that the children try to solve disputes with violence and force. They are talking longer to learn to read. Your youngest children are coming to kindergarten quoting the language of television  characters. They seem fascinated by their favourite characters and it’s difficult  to get their attention sometimes. Television is becoming like a parent and busy parents are just placing their children in front of the TV and use it as a pacifier.

Parent: Well, it depends…(you disagree with an opinion)You try your best to bring up your child as a good person but you have to work hard and don’t have the opportunity to spend much time with your child. Your life is hard and the town authorities don’t do anything for you…

Local Politician

“Well, it depends”(you are strongly disagree with parent’s opinion) You want everybody to know that the TV industry pays high taxes and brings a lot of money into the community. This money helps build roads, parks and other improvements to the area. You are aware of a growing problem with aggressive behavior in the schools. You do not think that television is to blame. You think that young teachers and parents are not strict enough. You think that parents are guilty because they bring up their children badly and don’t take care of them.


You love television. You feel it helps to keep the children at home and off the street. Your children come right home from school and don’t wander around the town at night. It helps keep them quiet and gives you time to do things around the house. You don’t think television is hurting your children. They seem to be interested in the programmes and ask lots of questions based on what they’ve seen Watching television is  one  of your  family’s  activities.


You think that television is a very interesting activity, which has the possibility of making life brighter.  To your mind there are lots of intellectual TV programmes  nowadays.  But unfortunately most of the programmes  are packed with negative information. By watching the news you learn primarily about wars, crimes, disasters and accidents. All this negative information can cause stress and a bad mood.


You’d like to add a little to what has been said by your colleague.You also think television in itself is very good. It conveys a lot of information  and shows a lot of interesting and instructive  programmes. But your main concern is the physical health of people that watch a lot of TV. Watching TV is a very passive activity. The important thing for your health is to be active, go outside, do things, think about things and be as creative as possible.

Child      Psychologist

TV does affect children in both positive and negative ways. Younger children  can  not tell the difference between reality and fiction. This can cause them to imitate beloved TV characters. They simply don’t realize that they are misbehaving. Another serious problem is addiction to television. It is similar to drug or alcohol addiction. Many people begin to feel closer to actors on the screen than to real people in their lives, their own lives seem boring. However, good children’s  programmes  help educate and socialize children.

Lonely elderly person

You love television. You don’t see many people these days since your children moved far away. Television is like a friend for you. You have grown used to having the television on. You  think  it’s comforting, interesting and  entertaining. It offers an insight into the world and gives you a chance to see things that are not possible to see otherwise. You can’t imagine that TV is bad for anyone. You wish people would stop talking about the problems of television and go and visit an old person from time to time

Discuss and write a few pros and cons of the effect of television on children. Place them in order from the most convincing downwards.

T: Well, there are many arguments for and against television… Could you give some advice or useful recommendations on the  discussed  problem.


Pupils: - We must realize that television in itself is neither good nor bad. Television is undoubtedly a great invention but people should be selective enough when choosing what to watch.

  •  TV viewers should be more careful about the programmes  they pick out.
  •  TV mustn’t occupy all our spare time. We should have time to enjoy other leisure activities- going to cinemas, theatres; enjoy reading books, listening to music…
  •  We buy a TV set at our own initiative and it’s up to ourselves to decide whether to be corrupted or entertained by television.
  •  T: Our time is up. On the whole I’m satisfied with your work, pupils. You worked hard and deserved excellent marks.
  •  Your homework is to write a composition on why you never watch some programmes  and  never miss others. And don’t forget to give your arguments. I’m looking forward to our next English lesson so much!



Television is not only a convenient source of entertainment, but also a comparatively cheap one.

People who don’t watch television are happier than those who watch it because television goes with the kind of life which leaves the viewer nothing to spare, nothing left.

Television keeps one informed about current events, allows one to follow the latest developments in science and politics and offers an endless series of programmes which are both instructive and entertaining

Television makes the viewer completely passive because everything is presented to him without any effort on his part.

Television series have done a great job in  popularizing many literary masterpieces.

Television is to blame for the fact that children take longer to learn to read these days and barely see the point of acquiring the skill.

Television has been good company to those who do not work, like housewives, lonely old people, etc.

Television takes up too much of our time.We no longer have enough time for hobbies, entertaining activities, and other outside amusement like theatres, cinemas etc

There is a considerable variety of programmers on television. The viewer is always free to choose whatever he wants to see.

The monster, i.e. television, demands absolute silence and attention. No one dares to open his mouth during a programme.

Television provides enormous possibilities for education, like school programmes via  closed- circuit television.

People have grown addicted to television, often neglecting the necessary and more important things like meals, sleep and even work.

Television provides an outlet for creative talents

A lot of parents use television as a pacifier for their children.

People all around the world are no longer distant and isolated from each other. The most distant countries and the strangest customs are brought right into one’s sitting-room.

What the viewer receives from television is nothing but secondhand experience. He is completely cut off from the real world.

Compared with the radio, everything on television is more lifelike, vivid,  and real.

The more the viewer watches television, the  lazier  he becomes. He is glued to the set instead of going out

Television may be a vital factor in holding a family together where there are, for example, economic problems and husband and wife seem at breaking point.

Television prevent people from communication with each other. It has done a lot of harm to the relationships between family members


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