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“Generation Me” Students More Selfish (30th May, 2010)

A new report says today’s teenagers are more selfish than they were 20 years ago. The report’s researcher is Dr Sara Konrath of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. She found that today’s “Generation Me” cared less about other people than they did two decades ago. Dr Konrath looked at statistics of 14,000 university students over a thirty year period. Her colleague, Edward O’Brien, said: "College students today may be so busy worrying about themselves and their own issues that they don't have time to spend [thinking about] others.”

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Dr Konrath believes video games and the Internet are the biggest reasons for this increased selfishness. "This generation…grew up with video games [and] violent media numbs people to the pain of others," she said. She found the big increase started from the year 2000, which is when violent video games became really popular. Another reason was online social networks, which reduce face-to-face contact. Also to blame was an obsession with celebrities. This encouraged youngsters to hide their weaknesses and to try and be better than others.

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

today’s teenagers are more selfish

a.

ago

2

cared less

b.

themselves

3.

two decades

c.

period

4.

over a thirty year

d.

than they were

5.

so busy worrying about

e.

to spend

6.

they don't have time

f.

about other people

 

Paragraph 2

1.

the biggest reasons for this

a.

up with video games

2

This generation…grew

b.

became really popular

3.

when violent video games

c.

than others

4.

an obsession with

d.

weaknesses

5.

hide their

e.

increased selfishness

6.

be better

f.

celebrities


LISTENING GAP FILL

A new report says today’s teenagers ___________________ they were 20 years ago. The report’s researcher is Dr Sara Konrath of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. She found that today’s “Generation Me” ___________________ people than they ___________________ ago. Dr Konrath looked at statistics of 14,000 university students ___________________ period. Her colleague, Edward O’Brien, said: "College students today may be ___________________ about themselves and their own issues that they don't ___________________ [thinking about] others.

Dr Konrath believes video games and the Internet are the biggest reasons for ___________________. "This generation…grew up with video games [and] violent media ___________________ the pain of others," she said. She found the big increase started from the year 2000, which is ___________________ games became really popular. Another reason was online social networks, ___________________-to-face contact. Also to blame ____________________ celebrities. This encouraged youngsters to hide their weaknesses and to ___________________ than others.


MULTIPLE CHOICE

A new report says (1) ____ teenagers are more selfish than they were 20 years ago. The report’s researcher is Dr Sara Konrath of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. She found that today’s “Generation Me” (2) ____ less about other people than they did two decades ago. Dr Konrath looked at statistics of 14,000 university students (3) ____ a thirty year period. Her (4) ____, Edward O’Brien, said: "College students today may be so busy worrying about themselves and their own issues that they don't have time to (5) ____ [thinking about] others.

Dr Konrath believes video games and the Internet are the biggest reasons for this (6) ____ selfishness. "This generation…grew up with video games [and] violent media numbs people to the (7) ____ of others," she said. She found the big increase started from the year 2000, which is when violent video games (8) ____ really popular. Another reason was online social networks, which reduce (9) ____ -to-face contact. Also to blame was an obsession with celebrities. This encouraged youngsters to (10) ____ their weaknesses and to try and be better than others.

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

today

(b)

days

(c)

today’s

2.

(a)

cared

(b)

careless

(c)

caring

3.

(a)

under

(b)

over

(c)

through

4.

(a)

colleague

(b)

collage

(c)

college

5.

(a)

spending

(b)

spent

(c)

spend

6.

(a)

increase

(b)

increases

(c)

increased

7.

(a)

pain

(b)

ache

(c)

ouch

8.

(a)

become

(b)

became

(c)

becoming

9.

(a)

head

(b)

skull

(c)

face

10.

(a)

hiding

(b)

hide

(c)

hid


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

A new pretor

2.

rcdae less about other people

3.

two ddeasce ago

4.

a thirty year pidreo

5.

have time to edpns

6.

thinking about rtohes

 

Paragraph 2

7.

the biggest rsaneos

8.

egrw up with video games

9.

the big caerines

10.

oveitln video games

11.

online ascoli networks

12.

hide their enksaewsse


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

Dr Konrath believes video games and the Internet are the biggest reasons for this increased

(    )

students today may be so busy worrying about themselves and their own issues that they don't have time to spend [thinking about] others.

1  )

A new report says today’s teenagers are more selfish than they were 20 years ago. The report’s researcher

(    )

became really popular. Another reason was online social networks, which reduce face-to-face contact. Also to

(    )

statistics of 14,000 university students over a thirty year period. Her colleague, Edward O’Brien, said: "College

(    )

others," she said. She found the big increase started from the year 2000, which is when violent video games

(    )

selfishness. "This generation…grew up with video games [and] violent media numbs people to the pain of

(    )

today’s “Generation Me” cared less about other people than they did two decades ago. Dr Konrath looked at

(    )

is Dr Sara Konrath of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research. She found that

(    )

blame was an obsession with celebrities. This encouraged youngsters to hide their weaknesses and to try and be better than others.


THE READING / TAPESCRIPT

With a partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

are     were     more     selfish     Today’s     than     teenagers     they.    

2.

Me    people    cared    less    Today’s    about    Generation    other.   

3.

of     Statistics     students     university     14,000.    

4.

busy     So     themselves     about     worrying.    

5.

about    They    time    thinking    have    spend    others    don't    to.   

6.

selfishness     this     reasons     The     increased     for     biggest.    

7.

from     The     the     big     year     increase     2000     started.    

8.

networks     Another     was     social     reason     online.    

9.

to     with     blame     celebrities     was     an     Also     obsession.    

10.

encouraged     This     weaknesses     their     hide     to     youngsters.    


DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________


WRITING

Write about selfishness for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


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. SELFISHNESS: Search the Internet and find more information about selfishness. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about “Generation Me”. Include imaginary an interview with one student who’s very selfish and another who’s very selfless. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. 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.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on “Generation Me”. Ask him/her three questions about selfishness. Give him/her three of your opinions on selfishness and how we can reduce it. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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