Watching too much television or Netflix or Youtube makes children poor listeners.

black flat screen tv turned on displaying 11
Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

Do you let your children watch television a lot? Are you worried that it may harm their health? In this article, we present some reasons to limit your children’s TV time and present other activities they can do instead. Reading. The most important activity for children to do is read. As research shows, reading improves children’s language and communication skills, increases their vocabulary, and exposes them to new concepts. They will also be able to understand what they read better.

The Grade 1 students tested in slum areas have so many other things competing for their attention, and it shows in the results. Many of the students showed a lack of understanding of the sounds of letters, as well as having difficulties with the relationship between spoken language and written words. It’s clear that these children need more than just a better school to learn from, they need to have their home life prioritized as well.

Dr. Felicitas Pado, a teacher of beginning reading for 19 years, said the problem is observed globally to too much media exposure of children.

According to the study, the more time children spend on watching television, the more it affected their overall language development. Children who watched TV for 4 hours or more every day in their first three years of life had read much better than children who watched less television. This suggests that children who watched TV for more than 4 hours have been clearly influenced by the environment and media.

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“We have media babies. They’re used to viewing. So, our pupils have poor listening skills. That’s a global problem,” said Pado, who is with the University of the Philippines.

As you turn on the television, you see kids in a room staring at the screen, in a trance-like state. They are engrossed in a game show and their eyes glued to the screen. A few minutes later, your neighbor comes in and turns on the television. Your younger brother and sister, who are playing, stop their game and run to the television.

The problem of illiteracy is a challenging one. It is difficult to imagine how children who are not literate can be successful in whatever the future holds for them. Thus, the need for educators to develop strategies that ensure that all children learn at least some measure of literacy is more important than ever. One such educator, Pado, has taken his teaching to a new level by taking his students, as well as other children from the community, on trips in which they learn to read.

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Pado is a hardworking and caring educator who is making a difference for children up and down his country. The Department of Education (DepEd) estimates that up to four out of 10 pupils finish Grade 1 without knowing how to read. The test was part of the basic reading program undertaken by DepEd officials with the fast-food chain McDonald’s.

A total of 4,200 Grade 1 pupils in 14 public schools in Metro Manila underwent the reading program last year.

Pado, who administered the pretest in July and the posttest last February to selected pupils, said the pupils greatly improved their reading and writing skills with the program’s help. But she asked Grade 1 teachers to help children develop their listening skills.

“Since beginning reading lies heavily on sound-symbol relationship, listening is an important skill for beginning readers,” she said. “The result showed that greater emphasis should still be placed on teaching this skill.”

She said the pre-test scores showed “very poor listening ability” among the beginners, though this greatly improved later as shown by the post-test scores.

She said the pupils did not have much problem with visual discrimination skills, or the ability to differentiate letters and words.

man sitting on bench reading newspaper
Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

“The results show that the children’s visual discrimination skills are better developed than their phonological awareness skills,” she said.

Under its “Bright Minds Read” program, McDonald’s, with the help of DepEd, trained 70 Grade 1 teachers how to better teach their pupils the basics of reading.

Note: The preceding article appeared in the March 23 2004 issue of “Philippine Daily Inquirer.” It was written by Blanche S. Rivera, expounded for 2021 but does not reflect the statistics of the present year. Appeared in the Original B1 Gang Home Page, Articles Section.

Gino Rodrigo

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Ako si Gino Rodrigo. Tumatayong leader ng B1 Gang. Isa nang ganap na Investigative Journalist. Dito sa website na ito ibabahagi ko sa inyo ang aming mga karanasan sa mga adventures naming noong 90's at ang mga kasalukuyang pangyayari. Nawa ay mag enjoy kayo!

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