Contemporary American Society (p. I)

Contemporary American Society (p. I)

A point of view

Active vocabulary:

1 kid

no kidding

to kidnap



, ;


. , ;

, ;


2 to worry about drugs

drug addict



3 violence



4 prevent (somebody from something)


; ;

, ; , ;


5 value

to value

of no value


; , ;




; , , ;

; , ;

, ;

, (a picture, etc.)

6 (pre)marital



7 suicide

to commit suicide

, ;

, ;

8 personality


, ;

9 knowledgeable

Exercise 1. Answer the following questions:

1. When you were a teenager, how did you spend your free time?

2. Did you spend most of your time at your own house, at a friends houses or out?

3. Do/did your parents worry about you?

Exercise 2. Read the following point of view

My name is Ron Perotta. I have three teenagers, two girls and a boy. I want to tell you its not easy to have kids nowadays. They all laugh because Im always saying. When I was a kid ... But, its true: when I was a kid, things were different. Families were closer. We all went to church together. I make my family go to church every Sunday, but we are the only ones in our neighborhood who go. So my kids think that religion is just another one of Dads traditional ideas. There is not much support for traditional ideas nowadays.

Its hard to be a parent these days. My parents never had to worry about drugs, about sex, about the danger for their kids on the street. Kids werent even supposed to know sex, unless they lived on a farm, until they were sixteen or so. There were some problems, I guess, even then, but werent as many. Drugs and violence werent all around us like they are now.

Well, Im a realist. I expect my kids will probably try smoking and alcohol and my girls may live with their boyfriends. I wont like it and Ill fight to prevent it, but thats the way it is. But I think that basically my kids are good kids. I think theyll grow up and get married. Theyll probably have the same kinds of values that my wife and I have. I just wish it were 1965 again. Those were the good old days!

Exercise 3. Read each of the following statements carefully to determine whether each is true (T), false (F), or impossible to know (ITK).

1. _____ The writer is a mother.

2. _____ Ron has six children.

3. _____ Rons neighbours go to church every Sunday.

4. _____ Drugs, sex, and violence were big problems when Ron was young.

5. _____ Kids who lived on a farm were supposed to know about sex.

6. _____ Ron thinks it is a good idea for people to live together without being married.

7. _____ Ron thinks that traditional ideas are unpopular now.

8. _____ Rons children tried marijuana last year.

9. _____ Ron thinks that religion is important.

10. _____ Ron is married.

Exercise 4. Circle the letter of the words with the same meaning as the underlined words.

1. We have five kids.

a. parents b. relatives c. children

2. Its hard to be a parent.

a. difficult b. single c. busy

3. I cant prevent my friend from moving.

a. stop b. follow c. develop

4. I am worried about my children.

a. angry b. concerned c. idealistic

5. What kind of ice cream do you have?

a. product b. area c. type

6. The PTA is the Parent-Teacher Association.

a. child b. father or mother c. president

7. They seem to grow up too quickly.

a. become adults b. take drugs c. continue

8. In those days I felt like a different person.

a. another place b. the past c. postwar times

9. What else do you want to do today?

a. already b. often c. other things

10. Will you support me with this new idea?

a. prevent b. help c. object

Exercise 5. Answer the following questions:

1. Why do his children laugh when he says, When I was a kid ...?

2. Were things really different when he was a teenager?

3. Why is it hard to be a parent these days, to his mind?

4. Is he a pessimist or an optimist?

Exercise 6. Answer the following questions and then share your answers with a classmate or with the class.

1. Which three of the following worries do parents have most about their children in your country?

_____ physical danger

_____ education

_____ drugs

_____ premarital sex

_____ loss of religion

_____ extreme religions

_____ alcohol

_____ teenage pregnancy

_____ kidnapping

_____ violence outside the home

_____ violence inside the home

_____ teenage suicide


_____ _____________________________________

_____ _____________________________________

_____ _____________________________________

_____ _____________________________________

2. Now decide the three most difficult problems for parents today in the U.S.

3. In the United States, teenagers usually go through a stage that is very difficult as they try to establish their independence from their parents. Is this rebellious stage common in your country?

4. Some parents and teenagers get along better than others. What do you think makes the difference?