Sie sind auf Seite 1von 3

Name: Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, Writing Task and Discussion

Date:

Why a pencil and a piece of paper is just as good


as a £100 Nintendo for training the brain.

Daily Mail UK 27th January 2009


By Caroline Grant

It sounds like a good investment - £100 for a gadget which promises to boost your brain
power and improve your mental agility. It is a marketing phenomenon which has had adults
flocking to experiment on their children's games consoles.

But don't be blinded by technology. A simple game of Scrabble or a good old-fashioned


puzzle are just as effective in exercising those grey cells, it would seem.

Researchers found no evidence to support claims that the Nintendo DS console and Dr
Kawashima's bestselling Brain Training game, which is played on the console, will boost
intelligence.

The so-called 'edutainment' games have been endorsed by stars such as Nicole Kidman,
Testing: Nicole Kidman
Julie Walters and Patrick Stewart who can be seen in advertising campaigns using the has endorsed the Nintendo
hand-held Nintendo console. More than 100million have been sold worldwide, partly brain game.
thanks to the appeal of the brain games.

But Alain Lieury, professor of cognitive psychology at the University of Rennes, who tested the consoles on a group of
ten-year-olds, says helping children with their homework, watching documentaries, reading and playing games is just as
effective, if not better than brain training.
'The Nintendo DS is a technological jewel. But it is charlatanism to claim that it is a scientific test,' he said. ‘Games
such as Brain Training or Big Brain Academy claim to measure the user's 'brain age' and say they can make players 'two
to three times better in tests of memory'.

The games apparently work by increasing blood flow to the brain as users tackle timed calculations, maths problems
and word memory tests devised by Japanese Neuroscientist Ryuta Kawashima.

Professor Lieury and his researchers tested 67 children and split them into four groups.
Two groups were given a seven-week memory course on the Nintendo DS, a third was given puzzles to complete on
paper and the final group was given no extra work.

Tests showed that when it came to memory tests, the paper-and pencil group recorded a 33 per cent improvement. Those
using the Nintendos showed a 17 per cent drop in performance. In maths, the gamers had a 19 per cent improvement,
but so did the traditional puzzlers and the group undertaking no additional training improved by 18 per cent. The paper-
and-pencil group also matched the Nintendo DS groups in logic tests, with results up by 10 per cent.

Professor Lieury said: 'If it doesn't work on children, it won't work on adults. There were few positive effects and they
were weak. Dr Kawashima is one of a long list of dream merchants.'

Nintendo defended the games, saying it had never claimed they were scientifically proven.
'The game involves a number of fun challenges incorporating simple arithmetic, memorisation and reading. It is like a
workout for the brain and the challenges can help stimulate the player's memory.'

 Do you play any type of console or computer games? If so, which ones? What types
of games are they? (Fantasy, skill, puzzle etc)
 Who do you side with – the game makers or the Professor and why?
 What do you think about educational games in general – helpful or just for fun?
 Have you ever played traditional board games, card games or puzzles like crosswords
or Sudoku? Which ones?
 Which do you prefer the traditional games or games played on a console and why?
 Would you buy this game for yourself or someone else? Why or why not?
Vocabulary: What do these words/phrases mean from the text?

to “improve your mental agility”


_______________________________________________________________________________________________
“marketing phenomenon”
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
boost
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
“edutainment” (in context of the text as this word will not be in a dictionary)
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
“endorsed”
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
“charlatanism” (Clue: look up “charlatan”)
_______________________________________________________________________________________________
“scientifically proven”
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Reading Comprehension

1. Who wrote this article, for which newspaper and when?


____________________________________________________________________________________

2. On what console can you play this game?


____________________________________________________________________________________

3. What is the name of the game and who designed it?


____________________________________________________________________________________

4. What is the term used in the text to mean games that are educational?
____________________________________________________________________________________

5. Who is the game made for specifically?


____________________________________________________________________________________

6. Which celebrities are endorsing this product?


____________________________________________________________________________________

7. How does this game supposedly work?


____________________________________________________________________________________

8. Who was the professor of the study and how many children participated in the study?
____________________________________________________________________________________

9. Describe briefly how the study was organised. (How many groups and what did they do)
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

10. TRUE or FALSE: Nintendo has said that these games are scientifically proven. T / F
Writing task

Below is a sample of one of the brain training exercises. Take the test and answer the questions.

How did you do? Did you find it easy, ok or difficult?

____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

Do you feel that your brain has had a workout?

____________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________

You have been asked to test the game and write a customer review for a magazine. Write clearly
your opinions and give reasons why or why not people should buy or avoid this game. Give a rating
out of 5 at the end with 1 being the lowest and 5 the highest.

________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________