children using tablets

Read about computers then do the exercises to help you practise your reading in English.


Do the preparation exercise first. Then read the text and do the other exercises.

Reading text

Boy playing game on tablet

Computers can do lots of jobs. They can do maths, store information, or play music. You can use a computer to write or to play games. What do you know about the history of computers?

The first computers were very big. They were the size of a room! They were so big that people didn't have them at home. Early computers could also only do simple maths, like a calculator. In the 1930s Alan Turing had the idea for a computer you could program to do different things.

In 1958 Jack Kilby invented the microchip. Microchips are tiny but can store lots of information. They helped make computers smaller. In the 1970s computers were smaller and cheaper so people started to use them at home. In the 1980s computer games were very popular. Lots of people bought computers just to play games.

In 1989 Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, which is a way to organise information on the internet. Now people all over the world can look for and share information on websites.

Today people can use smartphones to play games, email and go on the internet. In the past a simple computer was the size of a room. Now it can go in your pocket!

Fun facts

  • More than 5 billion people use the internet!
  • More than 300 billion emails are sent every day!
  • The first computer mouse was made of wood!


What do you use computers for? Tell us about it!

Average: 3.8 (23 votes)

Submitted by TiredOpal8 on Tue, 24/12/2019 - 12:57

I use my computer for studying and for watching youtube videos. I also use my computer to play games.

Submitted by BlueSong80 on Sat, 28/09/2019 - 23:39

I use my computer to watch videos, play games and learn English

Submitted by SparklyDesert100 on Thu, 06/06/2019 - 16:07

I use my computer to watch videos or to play online games

Submitted by AmazingAmulet30 on Wed, 24/04/2019 - 19:16

I use my comuter to learn me what i ned to learn.

Submitted by DJDinosaurViolet on Thu, 08/03/2018 - 05:58

I use computers to learn engalish.

Submitted by AgentTurquoiseHawk on Wed, 14/02/2018 - 15:41

I use computer to play games and learn English.

Submitted by WowEclipse500 on Tue, 16/01/2018 - 00:40

I use a computer for playing games and do british council.

English courses for children aged 6-17

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