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Children with Phones

A debate about children having mobile phones. (Printable Worksheet)
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Ruth: So Akane, what do you think about children today having mobile phones?

Akane: Mobile phones? Well, I mean, I think they could be a good thing, I mean for safety reasons.

Ruth: Really?

Akane: Yes if I was a parent I think I would feel safer knowing that my child had a mobile phone and I could get in touch with them whenever I need to, and if something happens, like an emergency, then they will be able to use the mobile phone.

Ruth: You see I would argue that they’re quite dangerous actually, because children don’t really have the best attention spans anyway, and often they could, for example, walk into the road whilst they were talking on their mobile phone and generally not pay attention, so I don’t think they’re very safe.

Akane: Well that’s a good point, but that could also teach them responsibility as well. If mobile phones are unsafe, I mean bicycles could be unsafe and toys could be unsafe, but that’s all part of growing up, and I think that if you teach them responsibility, it shouldn’t be a big problem.

Ruth: But I think fewer children these days play on bikes than they used to; I think children are more dependent upon technology, and I see that as a definite negative thing because children don’t play out as they used to before. They just stay in and watch TV and play on computer games.

Akane: True, true. I suppose so, but you know technology is a necessity in our lives, and in the future if we want them to become competent in using technology and taking advantage of technology, then I think it would be a good way to start.

Ruth: Don’t you think they are really expensive though? I mean, don’t…

Akane: Oh yeah, they are.

Ruth: If I was a parent though I would not want my child to be phoning people left, right and centre because it would cost so much money.

Akane: Well you could be right about that. They do cost a lot of money.

Ruth: Oh, I’m glad you agree. Well, yeah, like at least we agree about something now.

Akane: For sure.

Learn vocabulary from the lesson!

get in touch


I would feel safer if my child had a mobile phone and I could get in touch with them.

When you 'get in touch' with people, you communicate with them by phone or email.  Notice the following:

  1. We have been trying to get in touch with him all day.
  2. I will get in touch with you next week.



If something happens like an emergency, then they will be able to use the mobile phone.

An 'emergency' is a sudden or urgent situation that you weren't expecting. Many times an emergency is when someone is injured and needs immediate attention. Notice the following:

  1. It was a bit of an emergency when the machine stopped working.
  2. I have an emergency situation at home, and I need to leave.

attention span


Children don't have the best attention spans.

Your 'attention span' is how long you can focus your attention on something. Notice the following:

  1. Movies for children are short, because kids don't have a long attention span.
  2. I am distracted today, so my attention span is not good.



If you teach them responsibility, it shouldn't be a big problem.

If a child learns 'responsibility,' he learns what he has an obligation to do without someone telling him to do it.  Notice the following:

  1. She does everything for her kids, so they're not learning responsibility.
  2. You learn a lot of responsibility when you start living on your own.

left, right and center


I would not want my child to be phoning people left, right and centre

When something is happening left, right and center that means it is happening often and in many places. Notice the following:

  1. They were giving away food at the festival left, right and center.
  2. We were wasting money left, right and center.

Vocabulary Quiz

touch • emergency • attention
responsibility • left
  1. You can take your time.  This isn't an or anything.
  2. His parents taught him with money when he was very young.
  3. His span is normal for a child of his age.
  4. At the party, there were famous people right, and center.
  5. It's kind of hard to get in with him sometimes, because he doesn't have a cell phone.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

Pratice grammar by choosing the corect word. View full screen >>

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