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Relations of Television Viewing and Reading Essay

A lot of studies concerning television viewing impacts on students’ academic performance have been made, but there are still questions related to this that are needed to be answered. To bring more clarifications in this aspect, Marco Ennemoser and Wolfgang Scheider conducted the study entitled “Relations of Television Viewing and Reading: Findings From a 4-Year Longitudinal Study”. As stated in the article, the study aims to determine the long-term effects of television viewing on the development of children’s reading competencies.

After conducting scientific processes and methods among German children, the researchers were able to conclude that television viewing has a negative effect on students’ reading skills. The article was generally informative and reliable. There were some technical errors in the writing procedure, but the study itself was a success. Summary On the first part of the article, the researchers discussed four inhibition hypotheses which plausibly explain how television viewing may hinder one’s reading development. These inhibition hypotheses are: 1.

Displacement hypothesis – reading time may be displaced by television watching. 2. Passivity hypothesis – low mental effort in television watching may anchor reduced effort in reading and writing. 3. Concentration Deterioration hypothesis – television’s rapid changes in context and pacing may cause children’s inability to concentrate on a task. 4. Reading Depreciation hypothesis – Students’ motivation in investing energy in learning may diminish due to pleasant experiences with television. After discussing these hypotheses, the researchers enlighten up the positive side by referring to facilitation hypothesis.

This hypothesis views television as a facilitator to one’s reading development. Then, other factors affecting children’s intellectual ability such as IQ and SES were discussed. Methodological problems among previous studies explaining relationship between television watching and academic achievement were given attention. The researchers analyzed the flaws in their methodologies in order to create a better methodological design for their own study. The study was conducted for 4 years among 2 age cohorts of German children. Cohort 1 is composed of kindergarten students, while cohort 2 is composed second grade students.

Their families also collaborated with the researchers to keep records of their viewing time and the genre of the programs they were viewing. Tests were given to measure their reading speed and reading comprehension. Data gathered from the 4-year study were analyzed. Results showed that TV genre affected the students’ reading achievement. Educational programs had positive effects on their reading achievement. On the other hand, entertainment programs were negatively correlated with reading comprehension. The results also showed that viewing type/duartion (light, medium, and heavy) is related to their reading progress over time.

Light and medium viewers have faster reading progress compared to the heavy viewers. Critique In the research paper of Marco Ennemoser and Wolfgang Scheider, hypotheses concerning the effects of television viewing on reading achievement were discussed. This is actually a good start. Putting up background information about possible results of the study would create a better understanding on readers’ perspective. This gave them the opportunity to relate studies’ results to formulated hy However, the hypotheses reviewed by the researchers seem to be lacking.

On a studyconducted by Mary Antonette De Ocampo of Univeristy of the Philippines – Diliman, 2 more theories behind child’s television viewing werecited. The first one is the information processing theory which, according to her thesis paper, says that “learners are viewed as active seekers and processors of information” (De Ocampo, 2007). The other one is the short-term gratification theory which, also according to her thesis paper, says that “television programming promotes short attention spans and quick fix magical answers that are non-conducive to high levels of school success”(De Ocampo, 2007).

Results shown by Marco Ennemoser and Wolfgang Scheider’s study reflect these two hypotheses cited in De Ocampo’s study. If these were included in their study, then these two hypotheses would be enlightened and there would be more contribution to the body knowledge of television viewing. Methods were expounded all throughout the paper but not in a concise manner. There were cases wherein concepts related to methods were discussed more than once. It would be more convenient to readers if methodological processes were summed up into one section.

Through this, it would be easier to locate the overall procedure conducted in the study. Materials, equipment, and procedure were also not explained well in the article. According to Kastenset. al. , method section of a scientific paper must include description of materials, procedure, and theory (www. ldeo. columbia. edu, nd. ). Descriptions are needed so that readers would be able to understand the context meaning of certain words included in the paper. For example, the study did not describe what general audience entertainment programs are and how they differ from educational programs.

There was a gray line between those two. There are educational programs which could be entertainment programs, too. There is a need for clarifications of descriptions. This very crucial in the conduction of study because the parents, who will record the TV programs genre watched by their children, must be informed well so that they would be able to classify the genre of certain TV programs. Yes, the researchers listed the title of educational programs in their study, but how about the audience entertainment programs? Also, descriptions are important in this for future reference.


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