Global Test Children Then and Now

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Global Test Children Then and Now

In the 1970s, 80% of children in UK walked to school unaccompanied. Now only 9% do. The rise of the motor car, combined with terror of crime, has turned children into home captives. While old-fashioned images show children playing out of doors, in the streets or in parks, these days they are more likely to be found slouched over video games and television sets. Children today use up a one-quarter fewer calories than they did in 1930s and experts, worried about the long-term health effects of childhood inactivity, are warning of a future health crisis.

One physiologist who checked children’s heart rates during school physical activities found that only a few ever boost their heart rates through exercise sufficiently to be of any benefit. Some researchers are now saying that an inactive lifestyle brings with it a risk factor equivalent to a packet of cigarettes a day, or even that it may be a higher risk than either smoking or high blood pressure.

What has been the cause of this disastrous change in children’s lives? The car, the video game and the TV have played their part but the most important factor is the unreasonable fear of crime. Children are imprisoned by their parents’ fear. Yet the chances of a child being hurt or killed by a stranger are so small that it is a tragedy to think of all those millions of children living a confined life indoors, because of the rare horror story that grips the imagination. If it weren’t for this largely imagined danger, most parents would like the idea of their children walking to school and learning independence at a suitable age. But the way crimes are reported by the popular press greatly increases fear of crime. If something horrible does happen to a child, there is an implied question, “what were the parents doing letting that child out alone?”

We have to start replacing fear of crime with a new fear for our children: of physical damage through inactivity, and psychological damage through an over-protective attitude that never lets them explore the world around them freely.

I- COMPREHENSION (15 points)

BASE YOUR ANSWERS ON THE TEXT

A- Choose the appropriate answer from the list (3 pts)

1. A suitable title for the text would be

  • Childhood inactivity and heart diseases.
  • Indoors children: protected or harmed?
  • Parents ’fear of crime
  • Children’s need for physical exercise

2. The writer’s purpose is to

  • discourage children from getting out
  • list the illnesses most likely to attack children today
  • encourage parents to be less protective towards their children
  • present new statistics about children’s lifestyle in the UK today

3. The writer seems to be

  • a- anxious about children’s physical and psychological health
  • satisfied with parents’ ways of raising their children today
  • indifferent to children’s health
  • angry about children who play video games

B- Are these statements True or false? Justify. (4 pts)

  1. Few children walk to school in the UK today.
  2. Children get plenty of physical exercise at school.
  3. Parents may be accused of carelessness in case their child should be attacked.
  4. Press reporting reduces fear of crime.

C- Answer these questions: (4 pts)

  1. In what ways is the lifestyle of children today different from that of children in the past?
  2. What are the dangers of children leading an inactive life?

D- Find words in the text which mean approximately the same as: (2 pts)

  1. Sitting in a lazy way: (1st paragraph) ………………..
  2. Restricted: (3rd paragraph) ……………………

E- What do the underlined words in the text refer to? (2 pts)

  1. Few: ……………………
  2. Story: ……………………..

II- LANGUAGE (15 points)

A- Choose the correct linking word to complete the sentence. (2 pts)

  • Video cameras are becoming easier to use. …………………., they are getting cheaper.

as a consequence- in addition- however

  • It was a fantastic party ……………… the terrible food.

in spite of- thanks to- due to

B- Put the verbs in brackets in the correct tense. (3 pts)

  1. By the end of the next week, the minister (finish) ………………. his negotiations with all the political parties to form his new government.
  2. When I got to the office, Susan was not there. He (just/leave) …………………….
  3. The children looked very tired. They (watch) …………………… cartoons for more than two hours.

C- Rewrite these sentences beginning with the suggested words. (3 pts)

1- Many countries sent letters of indignation to the UN Secretary.
The UN Secretary ………………………………………………

2- Most people believe that the current negotiations will lead to good results for both countries.
It is …………………………………………………………………

3- They didn’t go to the party because they didn’t know the address.
If ……………………………………………………………………………..

D-Add a prefix or a suffix to the underlined words to get meaningful sentences: (2 pts)
Pro- pre- dis- co- mis

  1. A tolerant society is the one where different cultures (exist) ……………….
  2. John was dismissed from his work because he (used) ………………… his authority.

E- Fill in the blanks with the appropriate words or idioms from the list: (3 pts)
Free access- a dead loss- absent-minded- improve- empower- equal opportunities

  1. Education and financial independence are the key factors to ………………. women and help them live with dignity.
  2. The World Wide Web offers everybody …………………….. to a formidable collection of texts, visuals, sounds and video clips.
  3. My brother is ……………….. at maths. He always needs my help.

F- Respond to the following situations as suggested: (2 pts)

A: Excuse me? I want to return this table. When it was delivered this morning, I found that it was broken.
B: (accept the complaint) ……………………… ……………………………………………………….

III-WRITING (10 points)

Despite the high price of tobacco and the new laws against smoking in public areas, there is always a growing number of cigarette-addicts, especially among young people. Write an article to your school magazine stating the dangers of smoking, and offering some pieces of advice for those who want to quit this bad habit.

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