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8. House and Home
Some sentences have been removed from the text. While reading, complete it. One of the sentences is extra.
The lives of most Americans revolve around their homes and houses. The percentage of people owning the houses ( and apartments) they live in is one of the highest among western nations.(1…) Contrary to a common belief, only about 5 % of all Americans live in mobile homes.
Most of America has a more or less four- season climate, and the rhythms of life around the house tend to follow the seasons. There is always something that needs to be done around the house, and most American homeowners do it themselves.
Shopping , that is, the big food shopping, is usually done once a week at the local supermarket. One advantage of a service- oriented economy is that many businesses, with employees working in shifts, stay open late to provide services and possibilities for shopping. Most Americans, like most people everywhere, are always trying to keep their budgets under control, and always going over.
(2…) They are assigned “ chores” which might include, for instance, vacuuming the rugs, washing and waxing the floors, cleaning windows, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, keeping the car(s) clean, looking after the pets, and so on.
(3…) This might be working at the local supermarket or service station , mowing lawns, delivering newspapers, or baby- sitting. In fact, about 70 % of high school seniors work during the average school week. One effect on American society is that middle- class children can do mental work without losing face. Sometimes , in fact, it’s a way of gaining status. Americans feel that young people should appreciate the value of work and learn how to stand on their own two feet.(4…)
The image that American teenagers “get whatever they want” from their parents comes from a time when the standard of living was much higher in the USA than it was elsewhere. Many high school students have their own cars. But most of them were paid for by the students themselves( along with the necessary automobile insurance which, by the way, is particularly expensive for teenagers).
(5…) This varies in time according to family traditions and depending upon each member’s schedule. It’s usually the only time of the day when everyone is home. If parents work, all are off to school or work in the morning. Most Americans drive to work, and most children walk to school or take public transportation. Those yellow school buses serve primarily rural areas and schools with children from widely scattered areas.
(6….) At the end of the 20 th century 30% of all employed Americans put in a work week of less than 40 hours. About 40% of all companies offered “flextime” or “ job sharing”. About 60% of all women between the ages of 20 and 44 were working. The availability of child- care centers and the fact that children attend school until three or four in the afternoon and eat lunch there has helped many women with children to take jobs outside the home.
In the average American home there is an enormous amount of activity of coming and going, seemingly all happening at once.( 7…) The social life is often hectic as well. One child is off to the party, another to the library, another to see a film. Neighbors drop by, and the telephone keeps ringing. Messages remind one family member to do this or that. (8…)
Read the text and insert the missing words
American informality recalls not only the frontier a)___, but also the heritage of immigration. Thrown together in a new world, most immigrants watched the familiar societal distinctions of the old world become blurred. The Revolution had abolished titles of b)___. As a result, there was never a hereditary aristocracy in the USA. A centuries-old class system in which people, high and low, “ knew their place” was essentially dead. Throughout the 18 th and 19th centuries, the differences between the new world and the old were considerable.
Immigration, the Revolution, and the frontier experience broke down many traditional class c)__. As a result, Americans have always felt less constrained and more d)__ in their social and professional lives. In other words, they have had over two centuries to forget that “ you should only speak when spoken to”.
The habit of informality, the ease with which Americans speak to people they’ve only casually met, still surprises foreign visitors. Among Americans of roughly the same age group and social status, e)__ are easily and quickly exchanged. The German or French visitor, however, who interprets this as meaning an instant du or tu relationship is making a basic mistake. This is assuming the Americans follow German or French sociolinguistic rules. Likewise, when an American says” if you’re ever in Chicago, stop by and see us”, he doesn’t expect the foreign visitor to take it literally and will not be f)__ to see him, unannounced, appear on his doorstep. Similarly, the customary “ bread- and – butter “ or “ thank you” letter sent to a host is an important and polite gesture.
There are generally established and g)__ rules which parallel this informality. There are topics – income, religion, politics, for example- that many Americans feel are best avoided in casual conversation. Those who insist upon formal address or titles – in general, those who take themselves too h)__ are sometimes thought to be “ phoney” or pretentious. Not surprisingly, such people are often targets for humor.
Reading comprehension exercises
1 Choose the most appropriate answer to the questions:
Which do three American “ national characteristics” recall ?
A things , typical of the nation
B American ways of life and attitudes
C individual differences
D frontier experience
How should the casual friendliness of many Americans be interpreted ?
A as superficial
B as artificial
C as a historically developed cultural tradition
What is being friendly for Americans ?
A courteous convention
B individual interest
What does to be polite mean in the USA ?
A not to say anything at all
B try to be honest to tell the truth
C tell what people want to hear
2 Match the parts of the sentences:
a is typical of most Americans
b they have become adept at making new acquaintances and forming new friendships
c to be friendly to your neighbor
d it’s there, even when you can’t see it
e your nose out of his or her business
f the mental barriers are well- understood and respected
g a way of life symbolized by the small town
h has also been traced to the long period of settlement
3 After you have read a lot about the country, make up a plan to summarize the information.
Keys to the exercises:
The Boston Tea Party
1 T 2 F 3T 4T 5 F 6 T
The American Revolution
1b 2d 3b 4b 5c
Brother Against Brother
1 seceded 2 cemetery 3 ammunition 4 glory 5 bound to 6 survived 7 spectacular 8 captured
1d 2 h 3 g 4 f 5 b 6 a 7 e 8 c
American People – “ A Nation of Nations”
The Melting Pot
1 b 2 c 3 b 4 b 5 d
1 F 2 A 3 D 4 C 5 E 6 B
1 C 2 F 3 G 4 E 5 D 6 B
1 diversity 2 variety 3 largest 4 vast 5 extremes 6 sunbathe 7 drop 8 population 9 living 10 granted 11 mutual 12 American 13 differences
1 spending 2 best 3 appliances 4 millionaires 5 spenders 6 underclass 7 hopelessness 8 payments 9 housing 10 themselves
1 too 2 v 3 v 4 the 5 by 6 a 7 perhaps 8 up 9 v 10 to 11 not 12 have 13 v 14 did 15 v
American Dinner Manners
House and home
1- 2; 2-4; 3-6; 4-9; 5-7; 6-8; 7-5; 8-3;
Keys to the reading comprehension exercises
1 d 2 c 3 c 4 a
1 h 2 a 3 g 4 b 5 f 6 c 7 e 8
ПРИЛОЖЕНИЕ № 2
Exercises for teaching politically correct English.
WARM – UP ACTIVITY
The following phrases use sexist language. Rewrite them to make them inclusive
Although well known, the following proverbs are no politically correct. Try to change them.
1. Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.
2. He who cannot obey cannot command.
3. A man’s home is his castle.
4. Every man has his hobbyhorse.
5. He is happy that thinks himself to.
Column A represents traditional names for different races and nationalities, and column B
gives the politically correct version. Match the names from column A with column B.
1. Oriental a. Native Australians
2. Colored b. Native Hawaiians
3. Australian Aborigines c. Asian
4. Torres Strait Islanders d. Caucasians
5. Whites e. African Americans
Many people are sensitive about their abilities, age, culture, appearance. Make the following phrases sound inoffensive to the persons being spoken about.
На втором этапе работы можно предложить проработать рекомендации из брошюры для выезжающих в США “ Going to the USA? – Remember.”
Затем целесообразно предложить обучающимся попрактиковаться в разыгрывании сценок и составлении мини диалогов по следующим темам:
« Приветствия », «Знакомство», « В аэропорту», « Прохождение таможенного контроля», « На дне рождения», « На вечеринке» и т.д.
How tolerant are you?
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