Task 1. Read the text and fill in the table.
kinds of programmes
When you sit down to watch television, you may not think too much about the kinds of programmes you watch. You probably just pickthings because you like them. However, there exist the main categories of TV programmes — informational programmes; shows; films and cartoons; programmes on sports, hobbies and interests.
Informational programmes include news (from international to domestic and local affairs), documentaries(about real life events), travelogues(accounts of smb.’s travels), TV shops (selling things and telling the prices) and even commercials or infomercials (inform about certain products or events).
Shows on TV comprise talk shows or chat shows (when guests come to talk about their lives or problems), game shows (when the programme features competitive games or quizzes), humour shows (featuring comedians), talent shows (dancers, singers, circus people, ice-skaters, etc.) and reality shows (when real people put themselves into certain situations).
Films on TV go in variety of styles. These programmes include light dramas where each episode is a new situation called situation comedies, soap operas where the drama is long — continuing from series to series, dramas(are usually action-packed, about life of detectives, police officers, lawyers and doctors) and cartoons.
Programmes on sports, hobbies and interests can be about different kinds of sports — from games to training sessions, DIY programmes (Do It Yourself) that show how to cook, how to repair the houses, how to plant the garden and even how to put on make-up.
|They include such programmes as…||The programme features…||It is usually viewed by…/ The TV audience for the programme is…|
|Informational Programmes||______________________ ______________________ ______________________||______________________ ______________________ ______________________||______________________ ______________________ ______________________|
|Shows||______________________ ______________________ ______________________||______________________ ______________________ ______________________||______________________ ______________________ ______________________|
|Films and Cartoons||______________________ ______________________ ______________________||______________________ ______________________ ______________________||______________________ ______________________ ______________________|
|Programmes on Sports, Hobbies and Interests||______________________ ______________________ ______________________||______________________ ______________________ ______________________||______________________ ______________________ ______________________|
Task 2. What is your opinion of the programmes? Use the following adjectives to express it.
|amazing, catching humorous, lively educational entertaining realistic, watchable||boring, dull, repetitive humdrum, monotonous tedious, hard to endure insulting, biased|
Task 3. Read the text to talk about watching habits. Use the ‘Key Language’.
Though television is one of the greatest achievements of the 20-th century, it has changed much since the time of its invention and so has its role. There have been numerous debates concerning advantages and disadvantages of television.
Today television gives people a possibility to be well informed and enjoy ‘civilised pleasures.’ The programmes are various and people have a chance to select what they want to see. Television provides great opportunities for education. With the help of TV it is possible to learn foreign languages, to know a lot of wonderful things concerning the world flora and fauna. TV teaches the ideals of democracy and political argument. It provides an outlet for creative talents. The choice of the channels ranges greatly and these channels show programmes of various kinds from documentaries, current events and sports to children’s programmes. Moreover, TV can keep children quiet. If people do not like TV they do not buy it or switch it off.
At the same time there are a lot of arguments against TV. It is said that only three generations have grown up with television, but they managed to forget how to spend their free time without television. It is called a ‘living room monster’ or ‘one-eyed monster.’ It is established that the biggest viewers are pensioners and housewives. In total they spend five hours daily sitting before the ‘boxes’. Children watch commercials, horror films or films of violence. TV prevents children from developing their abilities. Moreover, TV is damaging for health. It has bad effect on the eyes, particularly of children. Sometimes TV programmes become the topics of common interest of the people and without them they have nothing to talk about. Today some people become TV addicts and free time is regulated by television. No surprise that television is often called ‘chewing gum for men’s brains.’ People become lazy, instead of doing sports they watch TV and become ‘couch potatoes’. Another problem of constant watching is ‘zapping’ — instead of watching one channel, people zap the channels for hours which can cause even mental disorders!
Key Language: Expressing Opinion
|In my view… As I see it… It may be…||However … On the other hand… Opponents of … say…|
Task 4. Read the text. For questions (1–10) choose the correct answer (A, B, C or D).
Reality television is a genre of television programming which, it is claimed, presents unscripted dramatic or humorous situations, documents actual events, and features ordinary people rather than professional actors. It could be described as a form of artificial or ‘heightened’ documentary. Although the genre has existed in some form or another since the early years of television, the current explosion of popularity dates from around 2000.
Reality television covers a wide range of television programming formats, from game or quiz shows which resemble the frantic, often demeaning programmes produced in Japan in the 1980s and 1990s (a modern example is ‘Gaki No Tsukai’), to surveillance, or voyeurism, focused productions such as ‘Big Brother’.
Critics say that the term ‘reality television’ is somewhat of a misnomer and that such shows frequently portray a modified and highly influenced form of reality, with participants put in exotic locations or abnormal situations, sometimes coached to act in certain ways by off-screen handlers, and with events on screen manipulated through editing and other post-production techniques.
Part of reality television’s appeal is due to its ability to place ordinary people in extraordinary situations. For example, on the ABC show, ‘The Bachelor’, an eligible male dates a dozen women simultaneously, travelling on extraordinary dates to scenic locales. Reality television also has the potential to turn its participants into national celebrities, outwardly in talent and performance programmes such as ‘Pop Idol’, though frequently ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’ participants also reach some degree of celebrity.
Some commentators have said that the name ‘reality television’ is an inaccurate description for several styles of programme included in the genre. In competition-based programmes such as ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Survivor’, and other special-living-environment shows like ‘The Real World’, the producers design the format of the show and control the day-to-day activities and the environment, creating a completely fabricated world in which the competition plays out. Producers specifically select the participants, and use carefully designed scenarios, challenges, events, and settings to encourage particular behaviours and conflicts. Mark Burnett, creator of ‘Survivor’ and other reality shows, has agreed with this assessment, and avoids the word ‘reality’ to describe his shows; he has said, ‘I tell good stories. It really is not reality TV. It really is unscripted drama.’
1 In the first line, the writer says ‘it is claimed’ because ________.
A they agree with the statement
B everyone agrees with the statement
C no one agrees with the statement
D they want to distance themselves from the statement
2 Reality television has ________.
A always been this popular
B has been popular since well before 2000
C has only been popular since 2000
D has been popular since approximately 2000
3 Japan ________.
A is the only place to produce demeaning TV shows
B has produced demeaning TV shows copied elsewhere
C produced Big Brother
D invented surveillance focused productions
4 People have criticised reality television because ________.
A it is demeaning
B it uses exotic locations
C the name is inaccurate
D it shows reality
5 Reality TV appeals to some because ________.
A it shows eligible males dating women
B it uses exotic locations
C it shows average people in exceptional circumstances
D it can turn ordinary people into celebrities
6 ‘Pop Idol’ ________.
A turns all its participants into celebrities
B is more likely to turn its particiapants into celebrities than ‘Big Brother’
C is less likely to turn its particiapants into celebrities than ‘Big Brother’
D is a dating show
7 The term ‘reality television’ is inaccurate ________.
A for all programmes
B just for ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Survivor’
C for talent and performance programmes
D for special-living-environment programmes
8 Producers choose the participants ________.
A on the ground of talent
B only for special-living-environment shows
C to create conflict among other things
D to make a fabricated world
9 Paul Burnett ________.
A was a participant on ‘Survivor’
B is a critic of reality TV
C thinks the term ‘reality television’ is inaccurate
D writes the script for ‘Survivor’
10 Shows like ‘Survivor’ ________.
A are definitely reality TV
B are scripted
C have good narratives
D are theatre