Країнознавство США ІІ семестр - ПЛАНИ-КОНСПЕКТИ УРОКІВ - 2016 рік

LESSON 30 Practical training "American character"

Aims and objectives:

- to practise vocabulary and grammar;

- to develop skills in reading and speaking;

- to develop logical thinking, cognitive and creative skills;

- to expand students' knowledge about American character.

PROCEDURE

I. INTRODUCTION

Greeting. Introducing the topic

T. Good morning! Today we’re going to work on the topic “American Character”.

Warm up

Task 1. Answer the questions.

1. What do you think about Americans?

2. Can you describe a typical American character?

3. What do you know about the attitude of American people towards family, home, leisure time?

II. THE MAIN PART

Reading

Task 2. Read the text, divide it into logical parts.

Suggest appropriate titles for each part.

AMERICAN PEOPLE

The United States of America is a land as diverse and unique as its people. Right from the discovery of the New World and all through American history, the natives and settlers have learnt from numerous lessons on strife, challenge and tolerance. Generalizing the society for distinctive characteristics is not an easy task at all. This is mainly because each segment of this society has its own distinct and unique characteristics. While the Native Americans are a hardy lot, the settlers brought in versatility in the use of resources at hand and the colonists ushered in scope for restraint and amalgamation of diversity.

The other influencing factors include the size of the nation and its climatic variations. The geographic differences have a huge impact on the ethnic groups. This great mixture of people and traditions contribute to the variety. ‘If variety is the spice of life’ then American society is most certainly at the helm of the spice list!

Americans are known to value and respect their individuality. They possess a spirit that has remained undaunted even in the eye of the storm of global contradiction. The people of America personify resilience and equality. It is not as though they did not err or learn from bitter lessons; but the learning was quick and thorough. Just like their tryst with colonization and the American Civil War, they also battled and melted racial differences with equal vigor and strength of character. Their decisions were and are always based on the fact that they recognize the underlying unity of thought, word and deed.

They believe that they design their own destiny as a nation. Americans have never felt fear to speak up and oppose. It hardly mattered whether the truth was spoken by Abraham Lincoln or dared by Rosa Parks. They have always voiced their opinions and thoughts on various subjects and values. The quality of being fearless enables them to honestly express political opinion and live up to the liberties bestowed upon them as a nation by the U.S.Constitution. In fact, this ability to stand fearless in any situation empowers Americans to refrain from raking up class consciousness or distinctions.

Americans take their friendly nature to the next level and show genuine concern for global issues. Whether it is their participation as forerunners in the United Nations (UN) or as victims of global terrorism, they have never hesitated to contribute positively to world. Their concern has made them the victims of misunderstanding and malice, but this has never stopped them from making an effort towards necessary change.

Americans are known to be very comfortable being informal. This is not confined only to a dress code or mannerisms, but to life in general. They are known to be people who break through fetters and declare freedom from the roof-tops. And yet, beneath all this they remain sensitive towards their selves and others. As far as being realistic is concerned, Americans may or may not turn casual acquaintances into true friendships, but the first name habit does help to melt boundaries and sink differences. Little wonder why their variation of the English language has been so well received the world over. In spite of the unlearning and relearning involved, the variations in spelling and pronunciations actually make more sense!

American people may live by the rule that “time is money”, but when they choose to unwind, it is not comparable to any other. For them, punctuality is a virtue and professional life is as comfortable as the personal one. Americans are known to be materialistic and flaunt it without the slightest inhibition, while not shying away from acknowledging areas where they lag behind.

Task 3. Match the words to their definitions, then make up sentences using them.

1) strife, n

a) the effect or impression of one thing on another

2) challenge, n

b) an appointment to meet, esp secretly

3) tolerance, n

c) loss or abridgment of freedom

4) versatility, n

d) something that is done or performed; act

5) restraint, n

e) physical or mental strength, energy, or force

6) amalgamation, n

f) desire to harm others or to see others suffer; extreme ill will or spite

7) impact, n

g) having a wide variety of skills

8) resilience, n

h) knowledge of a person or thing, esp when slight

9) equality, n

i) angry or violent struggle; conflict

10) tryst, n

j) the quality or practice of moral excellence or righteousness

11) vigor, n

k) something that restrains, blocks, or suppresses

12) deed, n

l) the capacity to endure hardship or pain

13) malice, n

m) the state of being equal

14) acquaintance, n

n) consolidation or merger, as of several corporations

15) virtue, n

o) an act or statement of defiance; a call to confrontation

16) inhibition, n

p) the ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune; buoyancy

Task 4. Answer the questions.

1. Why is the United States of America a diverse and unique land?

2. Why is it a difficult task to generalize the society for distinctive characteristics?

3. Do Americans respect their individuality?

4. Prove that Americans are fearless people.

5. Are Americans helpful?

6. Why Americans are thought to be informal and realistic?

7. What do you think about American people?

Task 5. Jigsaw reading. Ask questions and complete the text.

MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

Group I

The family remains central to US society, and How many? unmarried adults between the ages of 18 and 24 still live with their parents. Even so, the American family has changed considerably in recent decades. Today How many? households consist of a traditional nuclear family, and more than half of all households have no children. One out of every four children is born out of wedlock, and there has been a large increase in the number of single-parent families.

How many? working Americans are women. In many households where both the husband and wife work outside the home, men are expected to share household duties. Men have also been playing an increasing role in What?. With both parents working, the use of, and need for, day care facilities are increasing; this is especially true for single-parent families. Among the growing proportion of the elderly population, many prefer What?. Those who cannot care for themselves may live in retirement communities or other institutions, or with their adult children. However, What? are not common in the US. The US family is more mobile than in many other societies. It is common to move from one region of the country to another for What?. Some people may move 15 times or more during a lifetime. Although many couples choose to live together before, or instead of, marriage, What? is one of the highest in western societies-but the divorce rate is also the world’s highest. Weddings vary in style according to religion, region, ethnic origins, and wealth. Who? may be legally authorized to perform weddings. The average age for marriage is 26 for men and 24 for women.

Group II

The family remains central to US society, and more than half of unmarried adults between the ages of 18 and 24 still live with their parents. Even so, the American family has changed considerably When?. Today only about one-quarter of all households consist of a traditional nuclear family, and more than half of all households have no children. One out of every four children is born out of wedlock, and there has been a large increase in the number What?.

Almost 45.9 per cent of all working Americans are women. In many households where both the husband and wife work Where?, men are expected to share household duties. Men have also been playing an increasing role in raising their children. With both parents working, the use of, and need for, What? are increasing; this is especially true for single-parent families. Among the growing proportion of the elderly population, many prefer to live in their own homes and maintain their independence. Those who cannot care for themselves may live Where?. However, extended families are not common in the US. The US family is more mobile than Where?. It is common to move from one region of the country to another for education, employment, or simply a change of climate and scenery. Some people may move How many? times or more during a lifetime. Although many couples choose to live together before, or instead of, marriage, the marriage rate is one of the highest in western societies-but the divorce rate is also the world’s highest. Weddings vary in style according to What?. Both religious and secular people may be legally authorized to perform weddings. What? is 26 for men and 24 for women.

Reading and grammar

Task 6. Read the text and put the verbs in brackets into the correct form.

DIET AND EATING

Americans ... (to eat) a lot of fast food such as hamburgers, pizza, and fried chicken, but their diet ... (to embrace) an enormous range of foods from all over the world. Staples ... (to include) potatoes, pasta, breads, and rice prepared with a variety of sauces. In the past two decades, eating habits ... (to change) as people ... (to become) more health conscious, but many Americans ... (to continue) ... (to eat) red meat (beef in particular) as well as pork, and chicken and other fowl. People visiting the US for the first time ... (to amaze) often at the size of the steaks and other portions of food served in restaurants. Fresh fish and seafood ... (to be) widely available on the coasts and near major rivers and lakes, and a wide variety of fresh vegetables and fruit ... (to be) available year-round. An extensive food-distribution system ... (to make) fresh farm products available to all parts of the country.

Americans also ... (to consume) large amounts of chocolate, ice cream, and other forms of confectionery. Although beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages ... (to be) available and popular in most areas, many Americans ... (to abstain) from alcohol for health or religious reasons, and various kinds of mineral water ... (to be) commonly available.

Eating styles and habits ... (to vary) between people of different backgrounds, but Americans generally . (to eat) with the fork in the hand with which they write. A knife ... (to use) for cutting and spreading; otherwise, it ... (to lay) on the plate or table. Fast foods, such as chips, fried chicken, hamburgers, pizza, and tacos, ... (to tend) ... (to eat) with the fingers. In general, table manners ... (to be) casual, although it ... (to consider) traditionally impolite ... (to rest) elbows on the table.

There ... (to be) a significant difference between what people may ... (to do) at home or in a fast-food restaurant, and how they ... (to act) in a more formal restaurant. Because both parents often ... (to work) outside the home, some Americans . (to be) less likely ... (to sit down) as a family ... (to eat) once the children ... (to be) older and able . (to prepare) their own food or ... (to serve) themselves.

Task 7. Read and complete the text with the words from the box.

Wave; address; “Fine, thanks”; aeroplane; inappropriate; food; invited; affection; respect; “How do you do?”; strangers; relationship; comfortable; greeting; flowers; gestures; “Hi”; embrace; sitting; close; conversation; variations; refuses; emphasis; guest

SOCIALIZING

Both men and women usually smile and shake hands when ... . Good friends and family members may ... when they meet, especially after a long absence. In casual situations, a ... may be used instead of a handshake. Americans may greet ... on the street by saying “Hello” or “Good morning”, although they may pass without any greeting. Among young people, verbal greetings or various hand-slapping ... , such as the “high five”, are common. Except in formal situations, people usually ... one another by their first names once they are acquainted, and often do so on first meeting. Combining a title (such as “Mrs.”, “Dr.”, or “Ms.”) with a family name shows ... . When greeting someone for the first time, Americans commonly say, “Pleased to meet you” or ... . A simple “Hello” or ... is also common. There are regional ... such as “Aloha” in Hawaii or “Howdy” in parts of the West. Friends often greet each other with “How are you?” and respond ... . Americans do not usually expect any further answer to the question unless there is a close … .

Americans do not generally stand very ... to each other when conversing, keeping about arm’s length apart. However, they may spontaneously touch one another on the arm or shoulder during ... . It is common for couples to hold hands or show ... in public. When ... , both men and women are often casual when circumstances allow, and they may prop their feet up on chairs or place the ankle of one leg on the knee of the other. In more formal settings, however, it is often considered … to slouch or be too casual in demeanor.

Visiting friends, family, and acquaintances plays a big part of social life in the United States, and people will travel long distances by car, bus, train, or ... to do so. People are generally expected to be on time for appointments or when they are ... to someone’s home. However, if a ... is late, Americans will rarely take offence if the visitor has called in advance to inform them of the delay. In general, the ... during visits is on informality. Guests are expected to feel ... , to sit where they like, and to enjoy themselves. It usually does not cause offence if a guest … refreshments. Gifts are not expected when visiting, but many guests bring ... or wine when invited for a meal. Close friends may offer, or be asked, to bring an item of ... to serve with the meal.

Task 8. Find 10 grammar mistakes in the text.

RECREATION

Baseball, basketball, American football, and ice hockey are the most popular spectator and participation sport, but Americans enjoy the enormous range of activities, including soccer, cycling, racket-ball (a hybrid of squash and handball), tennis, swimming, golf, bowling, martial arts, walking, jogging, and aerobic exercise. Schools, cities, and other organizations sponsor team sports for the youngs, and professional sports are an important part of a culture. In general, most Americans spent a large amount of theirs leisure time socializing or watching television. Other leisure activities including going to the cinema or concerts, picnicking, and travelling. Many Americans volunteer for a wide range of causes, from raising funds to help those which are less fortunate to tutoring students or leading Scout troops and youth sports. Even city dwellers enjoy spend time in the “great outdoors”, camping, hiking, or hunting.

Reading

Task 9. Read funny facts about America and its people.

1. Only in America... can a pizza get to your house faster than an ambulance.

2. Only in America... are there handicap parking places in front of a skating rink.

3. Only in America... do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.

4. Only in America... do people order double cheese burgers, large fries, and a diet coke.

5. Only in America… do banks leave both doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.

6. Only in America… do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.

7. Only in America… do we use answering machines to screen calls and then have call waiting so we won’t miss a call from someone we didn’t want to talk to in the first place.

8. Only in America… do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.

9. Only in America… do we use the word “politics” to describe the process so well: “Poli” in Latin meaning “many” and “tics” meaning “bloodsucking creatures”.

10. Only in America. do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille.

III. SUMMING UP

Speaking

Task 10. Answer the questions.

1. What traits of American character can you name?

2. What is the attitude of Americans towards family, other people, recreation?

Home assignment

Make a portrait of a typical American. (Use the Internet resources.)





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