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IELTS essay, topic: Excessive use of modern technologies is negatively affecting the reading and writing skills of children (agree/disagree)

Some people believe that excessive use of modern technologies, such as computers and smartphones, is negatively affecting the reading and writing skills of our young people. To what extent do you agree or disagree?

Sample Band 8 Essay

Parents and teachers in many countries are feeling increasingly concerned about the effect of digital devices on vital skills of school-aged children. They are alarmed by the declining ability of young people to read and write and its suspected link to the influence of modern technology, and I wholeheartedly share their view. This essay will outline the reasons to watch out for the consequences of widespread use of computers and mobile phones by our youngsters.

Primary school is a very important period when children develop their fine motor skills, which are involved in learning to write. Time spent typing on a mobile phone or a tablet doesn’t contribute to the necessary workout of the small muscles in the hands and fingers of young people. Not only do they get less practice in writing but also fewer opportunities to train in spelling words, since the ‘autocorrect’ and ‘autocomplete’ features use the first few letters to guess the entire word, therefore making it unnecessary for the child to remember and type it correctly. Another companion of unrestrained use of mobile devices is the jargon that is often used in text messages, where words are shortened or distorted. Exposure to ‘texting’ tends to replace the correct words with abbreviations in young minds, causing their spelling accuracy to decline.

Reading is another casualty of unrestricted access to smart devices. Video content can be more appealing and immersive for kids and they often are automatically drawn to it instead of books. Reading requires regular practice and needs to become a habit in order to fully develop as a skill; however, it is being perceived as a boring and labourious activity by many youngsters compared to effortless video-watching. Easy and instant access to videos and movies pushes books further down the list of preferences of young audience, and it takes a significant commitment from parents and teachers to ensure that children continue to read books.

To sum up, modern technology can be a friend or a foe for young children, depending on the choices adults in their lives make, regulating the amount of screen time and its purpose. Without due care the writing and reading abilities of kids can be harmed by other, more enjoyable activities they can use the devices for.

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