It has been believed that people who read for pleasure have developed imagination and language skills better than people who prefer to watch TV. To what extent, do you agree or disagree with this opinion?
Indisputably, TV viewing is one of the most prevalent ways for pleasure in today’s world, but it is often scrutinized by the public, especially educators, for its hampering effects on development of creative imagination and language skills. These people firmly believe that reading is a better way for its beneficial influences on such development. Personally speaking, I give my unreserved support to the belief.
Reading has long been praised as a superb measure to develop a man’s comprehensive capabilities including imaginative ability and linguistic competence. In the first place, it is a process of active input and thinking. By this I mean that readers have to reconstruct what they read in their mind since books, unlike TV programs, have no motional pictures . If they read a detective novel, for example, they have to create different roles’ images, actions, facial expressions and story plots in their heads by themselves. The creation is definitely an indispensable part of imagination . On the contrary, watching TV is recognized as a passive progress during which TV audience just receive messages and pictures pre-digested by reporters and editors. It is no wonder that TV is called idiot box for frequent and longtime TV viewing might turn the viewers into idiots by hampering their imagination and creativity. Secondly, reading helps readers appreciate beautiful expressions. Written materials are carefully polished before being published so they contain elaborate grammatical structures, well-chosen words and strictly logic coherence. In contrast, TV programs often present spoken language which is coarse and disorderly. Also, it is aired once and for all. Therefore, there is usually no need or chance for the audience to learn expressions.
It is undoubtedly true that watching TV can play the role as a conducive tool for boosting language skills in listening. Foreign language learners practice and improve their listening ability through TV program most of the time. However, the practice is far less crucial than acquiring genuine foreign language expressions through reading.
In brief, I prefer reading for pleasure to TV watching for the former’s more active and effective role in bringing imaginative ability into play and enhancing language competence. Just as English philosopher Francis Bacon said, “Reading makes a full man”.