Once upon a time, parents read bedtime stories to their children... But now it seems that the fairy tale is over. According to a poll of mums and dads with under-sevens, 36 per cent of parents never pick up a book with their little ones. Of those who do read with their kids, just 21 per cent make time for a story before bed every night. The study also showed that nearly half of the kids would rather watch TV or play with toys or computer games.
In light of the findings, Littlewoods.com, a British online retailer behind the study, has teamed up with 31-year-old British pop star Natasha Hamilton to get youngsters back into reading. Littlewoods and Natasha have just launched a bedtime story competition for children under seven to draw pictures and create their own tale. The winning entry will be turned into an audio book, narrated by Natasha. The pop star said: “As a mum of three, I know how enjoyable bedtime stories are for my kids. I’m really excited about seeing all the different story ideas. I can’t wait to see what the kids come up with. Choosing a winner will not be easy”.
Experts say that one of the key ways of helping children to learn to read and write well is to give them a love of books. However, some parents blame a lack of time for not reading with their children, while others say they are just too stressed, or that their kids are simply not interested. Surprisingly enough, the vast majority of parents were told bedtime stories regularly when they were little.
I. READING COMPREHENSION
1.- Are the following statements TRUE or FALSE? Copy the evidence from the text. No marks are given for only TRUE or FALSE.
a) A little over a third of parents who took part in the study never read a story to their children.
- TRUE: “According to a poll of mums and dads with under-sevens, 36 per cent of parents never pick up a book with their little ones”.
b) Most of the mums and dads who participated in the study had bedtime stories read to them when they were kids.
2.- In your own words and based on the ideas in the text, answer the following questions. Do not copy from the text.
- a) How is Natasha Hamilton collaborating with Littlewoods.com in order to get young people to read again? PAR. 2
- b) Give two reasons why parents fail to read stories to their kids. PAR.3
II. USE OF ENGLISH
3.- Find the words in the text that mean:
- a) almost (paragraph 1): NEARLY
- b) joined forces (paragraph 2): TEAMED UP
- c) produce (paragraph 2): CREATE
- d) main (paragraph 3): KEY
4.- Complete the following sentences. Use the appropriate form of the word in brackets when given.
- a) When my children were young, I TOLD (tell) them a story every night before GOING (go) to bed.
- b) Nowadays, reading IS CONSIDERED (consider) to be an interaction BETWEEN the reader and the text. The more you read to children, THE BETTER (good) their reading and writing skills become.
- c) According to research, English children read less for pleasure THAN their peers in many other countries.
- d) Complete the following sentence to report what was said:
- A spokesman from the company said: "We appreciate how important it is for parents and kids to spend quality time together.”
- A spokesman from the company said that THEY APPRECIATED HOW IMPORTANT IT WAS FOR THE PARENTS AND KIDS TO SPEND QUALITY TIME TOGETHER.
5.- Write about 100 to 150 words on the following topic.
- What kind of books do you like to read? Explain why you like them.