The Importance of Children's Play ielts reading passage answers

The Importance of Children’s Play IELTS Reading

The Importance of Children’s Play IELTS Reading Passage with Answers

READING PASSAGE 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.

The Importance of Children’s Play

Brick by brick, six-year-old Alice is building a magical kingdom. Imagining fairy-tale turrets and fire-breathing dragons, wicked witches and gallant heroes, she’s creating an enchanting world. Although she isn’t aware of it, this fantasy is helping her take her first steps towards her capacity for creativity and so it will have important repercussions in her adult life.

Minutes later, Alice has abandoned the kingdom in favour of playing schools with her younger brother. When she bosses him around as his ‘teacher’, she’s practising how to regulate her emotions through pretence. Later on, when they tire of this and settle down with a board game, she’s learning about the need to follow rules and take turns with a partner.

‘Play in all its rich variety is one of the highest achievements of the human species,’ says Dr David Whitebread from the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, UK. ‘It underpins how we develop as intellectual, problem-solving adults and is crucial to our success as a highly adaptable species.’

Recognizing the importance of play is not new: over two millennia ago, the Greek philosopher Plato extolled its virtues as a means of developing skills for adult life, and ideas about play-based learning have been developing since the 19th century.

But we live in changing times, and Whitebread is mindful of a worldwide decline in play, pointing out that over half the people in the world now live in cities. ‘The opportunities for free play, which I experienced almost every day of my childhood, are becoming increasingly scarce,’ he says. Outdoor play is curtailed by perceptions of risk to do with traffic, as well as parents’ increased wish to protect their children from being the victims of crime, and by the emphasis on ‘earlier is better’ which is leading to greater competition in academic learning and schools.

International bodies like the United Nations and the European Union have begun to develop policies concerned with children’s right to play, and to consider implications for leisure facilities and educational programmes. But what they often lack is the evidence to base policies on.

‘The type of play we are interested in is child-initiated, spontaneous and unpredictable – but, as soon as you ask a five-year-old “to play”, then you as the researcher have intervened,’ explains Dr Sara Baker. ‘And we want to know what the long-term impact of play is. It’s a real challenge.’

Dr Jenny Gibson agrees, pointing out that although some of the steps in the puzzle of how and why play is important have been looked at, there is very little data on the impact it has on the child’s later life.

Now, thanks to the university’s new Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL), Whitebread, Baker, Gibson and a team of researchers hope to provide evidence on the role played by play in how a child develops.

‘A strong possibility is that play supports the early development of children’s self-control,’ explains Baker. ‘This is our ability to develop awareness of our own thinking progresses – it influences how effectively we go about undertaking challenging activities.’

In a study carried out by Baker with toddlers and young pre-schoolers, she found that children with greater self-control solved problems more quickly when exploring an unfamiliar set-up requiring scientific reasoning. ‘This sort of evidence makes up think that giving children the chance to play will make them more successful problem-solvers in the long run.’

If playful experiences do facilitate this aspect of development, say the researchers, it could be extremely significant for educational practices, because the ability to self-regulate has been shown to be a key predictor of academic performance.

Gibson adds: ‘Playful behavior is also an important indicator of healthy social and emotional development. In my previous research, I investigated how observing children at play can give us important clues about their well-being and can even be useful in the diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.’

Whitebread’s recent research has involved developing a play-based approach to supporting children’s writing. ‘Many primary school children find writing difficult, but we showed in a previous study that a playful stimulus was far more effective than an instructional one.’ Children wrote longer and better-structured stories when they first played with dolls representing characters in the story. In the latest study, children first created their story with Lego*, with similar results. ‘Many teachers commented that they had always previously had children saying they didn’t know what to write about. With the Lego building, however, not a single child said this through the whole year of the project.’

Whitebread, who directs PEDAL, trained as a primary school teacher in the early 1970s, when, as he describes, ‘the teaching of young children was largely a quiet backwater, untroubled by any serious intellectual debate or controversy.’ Now, the landscape is very different, with hotly debated topics such as school starting age.

‘Somehow the importance of play has been lost in recent decades. It’s regarded as something trivial, or even as something negative that contrasts with “work”. Let’s not lose sight of its benefits, and the fundamental contributions it makes to human achievements in the arts, sciences and technology. Let’s make sure children have a rich diet of play experiences.’

———————————-
* Lego: coloured plastic building blocks and other pieces that can be joined together

Questions 1-8
Complete the notes below.

Choose ONE WORD ONLY from the passage for each answer.
Write your answers in boxes 1-8 on your answer sheet.

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Children’s play

Uses of children’s play

•     building a ‘magical kingdom’ may help develop 1 ____________
•     board games involve 2 ____________ and turn-taking

Recent changes affecting children’s play

•     population of 3 ____________ have grown
•     opportunities for free play are limited due to

–  fear of 4 ____________
–  fear of 5 ____________
–  increased 6 ____________in schools

International policies on children’s play

•     it is difficult to find 7 ____________to support new policies
•     research needs to study the impact of play on the rest of the child’s 8 ____________

Questions 9-13
Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 1?

In boxes 9-13 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE               if the statement agrees with the information
FALSE              if the statement contradicts the information
NOT GIVEN    if there is no information on this

9    Children with good self-control are known to be likely to do well at school later on.
10  The way a child plays may provide information about possible medical problems.
11  Playing with dolls was found to benefit girls’ writing more than boys’ writing.
12  Children had problems thinking up ideas when they first created the story with Lego.
13  People nowadays regard children’s play as less significant than they did in the past.


The Importance of Children’s Play IELTS Reading Passage Answers

1. creativity

2. rules

3. cities

4. traffic

5. crime

6. competition

7. evidence

8. life

9. TRUE

10. TRUE

11. NOT GIVEN

12. FALSE

13. TRUE


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The Importance of Children’s Play IELTS Reading Answers Explanation

Question 1

Answer: Creativity
Supporting Sentence: “Although she isn’t aware of it, this fantasy is helping her take her first steps towards her capacity for creativity and so it will have important repercussions in her adult life.”
Keywords: this fantasy, helping, take her first steps, creativity
Explanation: : Consider the first paragraph. Here we find the word ‘magical kingdom’ but nothing related to ‘develop. But we do find that the author is talking about ‘taking first steps towards her capacity’ which means she is developing. Now that we have deduced the word ‘develop’, we find what follows after is the word ‘creativity’. Hence the answer is creativity.
Reference: : Para 1, last 2 lines


Question 2

Answer: Rules
Supporting Sentence: “Later on, when they tire of this and settle down with a board game, she’s learning about the need to follow rules and take turns with a partner.”
Keywords: she’s learning about the need to follow rules
Explanation: : The word ‘board games’ occur in the second paragraph. ‘settle down with a board game, she’s learning about the need to follow rules and take turns with a partner’. We can clearly see that the ‘board games’ is succeded with a closely related word ‘rules’ which is succeded by ‘turn-taking’. Hence, rules is the correct answer.
Reference: : Para 2, last line


Question 3

Answer: cities
Supporting Sentence: “But we live in changing times, and Whitebread is mindful of a worldwide decline in play, pointing out that over half the people in the world now live in cities.”
Keywords: Whitebread, mindful, worldwide decline in play, half the people in the world, live in cities
Explanation: : We find a reference for this in paragraph 5. ‘worldwide decline in play, pointing out that over half the people in the world now live in cities’. We can clearly see that it is summarised as the population in cities is growing every year hence there is a decrease in children’s play. Hence the correct answer is cities.
Reference: : Paragraph 5, first 2 lines

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Question 4

Answer: Traffic
Supporting Sentence: “Outdoor play is curtailed by perceptions of risk to do with traffic, as well as parents’ increased wish to protect their children from being the victims of crime, and by the emphasis on ‘earlier is better’ which is leading to greater competition in academic learning and schools”
Keywords: Outdoor play, curtailed, perceptions of risk, traffic
Explanation: : We can find a reference for this sentence in paragraph 5. ‘Outdoor play is curtailed by perceptions of risk to do with traffic, as well as parents’ increased wish to protect their children from being the victims of crime’. Here ‘perceptions of risk’ is summarised in ‘fear of’ and there are two risks/fears mentioned, i.e., traffic and crime. Hence the correct answer is traffic and crime.
Reference: : Paragraph 5, line 4


Question 5

Answer: Crime
Supporting Sentence: “Outdoor play is curtailed by perceptions of risk to do with traffic, as well as parents’ increased wish to protect their children from being the victims of crime, and by the emphasis on ‘earlier is better’ which is leading to greater competition in academic learning and schools.”
Keywords: protect their children from being the victims of crime
Explanation: : the explanation is similar to


Question 4.

We can find a reference for this sentence in paragraph 5. ‘Outdoor play is curtailed by perceptions of risk to do with traffic, as well as parents’ increased wish to protect their children from being the victims of crime’. Here ‘perceptions of risk’ are summarised in ‘fear of’ and there are two risks/fears mentioned, i.e., traffic and crime. Hence the correct answer is traffic and crime.
Reference: : Paragraph 5, line 5

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Question 6

Answer: Competition
Supporting Sentence: “Outdoor play is curtailed by perceptions of risk to do with traffic, as well as parents’ increased wish to protect their children from being the victims of crime, and by the emphasis on ‘earlier is better’ which is leading to greater competition in academic learning and schools.”
Keywords: earlier is better, greater competition, academic learning
Explanation: : In paragraph 5, it is mentioned that ’emphasis on ‘earlier is better’ which is leading to greater competition in academic learning and schools’. Here ’emphasis on ‘earlier is better” clearly points to the increase, and then it is succeded by ‘competition’. Hence the correct answer is competition.
Reference: : Paragraph 5, last 2 lines


Question 7

Answer: Evidence
Supporting Sentence: “But what they often lack is the evidence to base policies on.”
Keywords: But what they often lack, evidence, base policies on
Explanation: : Reference for this found in paragraph 6. ‘what they often lack is the evidence to base policies on’. Here ‘often lack’ clear points to difficulty and is succeeded by ‘policies’ which is preceded by ‘evidence to base’ which clearly points to ‘support ne policies’ in the sentence. Hence the correct answer is policies.
Reference: : Paragraph 6, last line


Question 8

Answer: life
Supporting Sentence: “Dr Jenny Gibson agrees, pointing out that although some of the steps in the puzzle of how and why play is important to have been looked at, there is very little data on the impact it has on the child’s later life.
Keywords: very little data, impact, child’s later life
Explanation: : In paragraph 8, the author mentions that ‘there is very little data on the impact it has on the child’s later life’. We see the word ‘impact’ matches which is followed by the word ‘child’s later’ which clearly points to ‘rest of the child’s’. Now only one word is left that completes the sentence which is ‘life’ and thus it is the right answer.
Reference: : Paragraph 8, lines 2 – 3


Question 9:

Answer: True
Supporting Sentence: “Now, thanks to the university’s new Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development and Learning (PEDAL), Whitebread, Baker, Gibson and a team of researchers hope to provide evidence on the role played by play in how a child develops.”
Keywords: she found that children with greater self-control solved problems more quickly
Explanation: : We find a reference for this statement in paragraphs 11 and 12. ‘she found that children with greater self-control solved problems more quickly when exploring an unfamiliar set-up requiring scientific reasoning. If playful experiences do facilitate this aspect of development, say the researchers, it could be extremely significant for educational practices’. From these statements we can clearly deduce that children with greater self-control, does significantly well in educational practices which is very much in sync with the given statement, hence the answer is true.
Reference: : Para 11, first 2 lines


Question 10:

Answer: True
Supporting Sentence: “Gibson adds: ‘Playful behaviour is also an important indicator of healthy social and emotional development. In my previous research, I investigated how observing children at play can give us important clues about their well-being and can even be useful in the diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders like autism.”
Keywords: observing children, play, important clues, well-being, useful, diagnosis, neurodevelopmental disorders, autism
Explanation: : We can find the reference for this statement in paragraph 13 stating, ‘observing children at play can give us important clues about their well-being and can even be useful in the diagnosis of neurodevelopmental disorders like autism’. It can be clearly deduced from this statement alone that the way a child plays helps in medical problems as well which clearly makes the given statement true.
Reference: : Paragraph 13, lines 2 – 4


Question: 11:

Answer: NOT GIVEN


Question 12:

Answer: False
Supporting Sentence: “Children wrote longer and better-structured stories when they first played with dolls representing characters in the story. In the latest study, children first created their story with Lego, with similar results. ‘Many teachers commented that they had always previously had children saying they didn’t know what to write about. With the Lego building, however, not a single child said this through the whole year of the project.”
Keywords: Children, longer, better-structured stories when played with dolls representing characters, the latest study, children, created, Lego
Explanation: : We find the reference for this statement in paragraph 14 which states that ‘Children wrote longer and better-structured stories when they first played with dolls representing characters in the story. In the latest study, children first created their story with Lego, with similar results’. It can be clearly seen that the children wrote better-structured stories when they played with dolls as well as lego, producing similar results which are in contrast to the given statement, hence the answer is false.
Reference: : Paragraph 14, lines 3 – 5


Question 13:

Answer: True
Supporting Sentence: “‘Somehow the importance of play has been lost in recent decades. It’s regarded as something trivial, or even as something negative that contrasts with “work”.”
Keywords: Somehow, importance of play, lost, recent decades
Explanation: : We can find the reference for this statement in paragraph 16, stating that, ‘Somehow the importance of play has been lost in recent decades. It’s regarded as something trivial, or even as something negative that contrasts with “work”‘. Words ‘importance of play has been lost’ clearly points towards the ‘regard children’s play as less significant’ and ‘recent decades’ points towards the ‘past’. Hence the given statement is valid, hence true.
Reference: : Paragraph 16, line 1

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