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Reading Comprehension + Translation

Ein wichtiges Thema in der 8. Klasse in Englisch ist das Lesen/Verstehen + Übersetzen von Texten. Genau dazu liefert dieser Artikel Erklärungen und Beispiele.

Themenbereich: School System

School in Britain

1. Facts about the British school system

Here are some facts about the British school system. Read the text carefully before you answer the questions.

In England, school starts for children at the age of five. At first they go to Primary school. There are two so-called Key Stages, Key Stage 1 for Year 1 and 2 and Key Stage 2 for Year 3 to 6. At the end of year 6 the pupils are tested in English, Mathematics and Science. From Year 7, at the age of 11, pupils go to Comprehensive schools or Grammar schools. The Comprehensive schools are similar to the German “Gesamtschule”, the Grammar schools to the “Gymnasium”.

In general, school begins at 9 o’clock and lasts until 4 o’clock in the afternoon. There is always a lunch break. Pupils go to the cafeteria to buy lunch or drinks. Although the school day is very long, pupils still get homework. Many of the pupils also go to school clubs after lessons. There are a lot of sports activities and hobby clubs. Nearly all pupils in Britain wear school uniforms.

In Great Britain, pupils do not take a lot of tests during the school term. In winter and summer they take their exams in all subjects within one or two weeks instead. At the end of Year 11 pupils can take their General Certificate of Secondary Education exams (GCSE). These are set centrally. The papers are marked by professional examiners and all pupils get their results by post on the same day. After the GCSE, pupils have the possibility to attend the 6th form (the German “Sekundarstufe II”) and to take the GCE-A-Level.

Comprehensive schools in city areas are usually very big schools with more than 1000 pupils. All pupils take the same subjects until Year 9. Afterwards they have the opportunity to drop some subjects and take new ones. The pupils do not learn all subjects together in one fixed class, but in different study groups. When you are very good in one subject, you learn in the top group, when you are not very good, you are in a group of a lower level.

For joining a Grammar school pupils have to sit a test after the Primary school at the age of 11. So Grammar schools are selective while Comprehensive schools are open to all children. At a Grammar school pupils between 11 and 18 are prepared for their later academic education at a University.
(Words: 404)

1.1 Comprehension

1. True or false: Read the text carefully and circle the correct answer.

a) Pupils do not have to stay in school in the afternoons.

t

f

b) Pupils do not get homework after school.

t

f

c) All pupils go home for lunch.

t

f

d) Pupils do not take many tests during the school term.

t

f

e) There are no activities offered after lessons.

t

f

f) A Grammar school is very selective.

t

f

2. What about your school?
First fill in the table, so that you do not forget anything important. Then write about your own school.

Name of my school

How many pupils?

How old?

How many teachers?

How many classrooms?

Big or small school?

Is the building old or modern?

Are there special rooms like laboratories?

Is there a library?

When do the lessons begin?

When do we have breaks?

Do we get or buy food at school?

Do we have special events at our school?
If yes, what kind?

Is the school in the centre of a city/town?

What about a playground?

From which countries are pupils from?

3. Have a look at the text again. What are the differences between the German and the British school system? (About 150 words)

4. Give your opinion! What could be the pros and cons? How do you feel about school uniforms?

2. Talking about school

Pete and Sara are talking about school. Find the correct order of the dialogue.

  • Pete: Yes, most of the time.
  • Pete: Because I really enjoy painting.
  • Sara: What is your favourite subject?
  • Sara: Do you like going to school?
  • Sara: Why is that your favourite?
  • Pete: Art.

Start with d) and write the dialogue down.

Try it again with a longer dialogue. Start with d).

  • Pete: Because I like playing football.
  • Sara: Why don’t you like it?
  • Sara: Why is that your favourite?
  • Sara: What is your favourite subject in school?
  • Pete: Music.
  • Pete: PE.
  • Sara: And what subject don’t you like?
  • Pete: Because I don’t like singing.
  • Sara: Why not?
  • Pete: No, I don’t like going to school.
  • Pete: I don’t like the teachers. And you have to go there every day of the week!
  • Sara: And do you like school?
3. The examination system in England

First read the following e-mail:

Date: 5 August, 2007
From: Sara Smith
To: Andreas Schulz

Hi Andy,

Here is my latest news. As I told you I had my first GCSE on Friday. We were all so scared! One of my friends was sick because she was so nervous.

It all started at 9:30 and lasted till 11:00. We had to wait in alphabetical order in line in front of the Assembly Hall. When we entered the Hall we noticed that it was full of special examination tables, all set very far apart, so that no one could cheat. It was really a bit of a shock! We weren’t allowed to take our bags in, only our pencil-cases and sandwiches. When everyone was sitting in the right place, the envelopes were opened by the teachers and were handed out. I tried to concentrate, but it was really difficult! Once you’ve started, it’s not too bad. The waiting was really the worst! Next week I’ve got four more exams, I’ll tell you about them in my next mail. I’m so glad when holidays start in 2 weeks!
What about your exams? Please, tell me all about them! Good luck with them!

Yours,

Sara

3.2 Write an email

What do you learn about exams in Great Britain from this email? Compare the examination system to the German examinations and write an answer to Sara.

4. School subjects

A school timetable:

Time

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

9:00 – 9:30

ASSEMBLY

ASSEMBLY

ASSEMBLY

ASSEMBLY

ASSEMBLY

9:30 – 10:15

Maths

Maths

Religious Education

English

German

10:15 – 11:00

History

English

History

Maths

Maths

11:00 – 11:15

BREAK

BREAK

BREAK

BREAK

BREAK

11:15 – 12:00

P.E.

Art

Science

German

French

12:00 – 12:45

P.E.

Art

Science

French

English

12:45 – 1:45

LUNCH

LUNCH

LUNCH

LUNCH

LUNCH

1:45 – 2:30

English

Science

German

History

Information
Technology

2:30 – 3:15

Home Economics

French

English

Science

P.E.

3:15 – 4:00

Home Economics

Geography

Information Technology

Geography

P.E.

4.1

1. Look at the timetable and answer the questions:

  • When does school begin and finish?
  • How long are the lessons?
  • How long is the morning break?
  • What languages are offered?
  • How many sports lessons do the pupils have each week?

2. Write down your own timetable. What are the differences? Which is your favourite day?

3. What are your favourite subjects? Which ones don’t you like?

5. Useful Vocabulary

Deutsch
Abschlussprüfung(en)
Bibliothek
Biologie
Bleistift
Chemie
Deutsch
Englisch
Erdkunde
Fach
Fremdsprachen
Gemeinschaftskunde
Gesamtschule
Grundschule
Gymnasium
Hauptschule
Hausaufgaben
Internat
Klassenzimmer
Kreide
Kunst
Labor
Lehrerzimmer
Mathematik
Mündliche Prüfung
Naturwissenschaft
Note
Oberstufe
Pause
Pflichtfach
Philosophie
Physik
Prüfung
Radiergummi
Realschule
Religion
Schriftliche Prüfung
Schulheft
Schulhof
Sport
Sprachlabor
Stundenplan
Tafel
Turnen
Turnhalle
Unterstufe
Wahlfach
Werkunterricht
Zeichnen
Zeugnis

British English
final(s), final exam (coll.)
library
biology
pencil
chemistry
German
English
geography
subject
foreign languages
Social Studies
Comprehensive school
primary school
Grammar school
Secondary school
homework
Boarding school
classroom
chalk
art education /class / lessons
laboratory
staff room; teacher’s room
maths
oral examination, oral exam
Science(s)
mark, grade
sixth form
break
compulsory subject
philosophy
physics
examination, exam
rubber; eraser
Middle school
religious education
written examination
exercise book
school playground; schoolyard
physical education (PE)
language laboratory
timetable
blackboard/whiteboard
gymnastics
gym
elementary level; lower grade
optional subject, facultative subject, elective (course)
crafts, design and technology (CDT), handicraft lessons
drawing (lessons)
report card

6. Translation

Translate the following dialogue into English:

Lehrerin:

“Peter, wo sind deine Mathe-Hausaufgaben?”

Peter:

„In meiner Tasche, Frau Maier.“

Lehrerin:

„Dann zeig sie mir bitte mal! Aha. Rechne mal bitte an der Tafel vor, wie du zu diesen Ergebnissen gekommen bist.“

Peter:

„Nicht gerade jetzt. Die Pause fängt doch an.“

Lehrerin:

„Das macht nichts. Wir haben später angefangen. Also arbeiten wir die Pause durch, bis eure Sportstunde anfängt! Pause habt ihr auch morgen wieder!“

Peter:

„Schade, dass Mathe Pflichtfach ist!“

7. Mind map

Complete the following mind map with the words below:


1. Your headline is “school”.
2. Your main words are: rooms – timetable – classroom – schoolbag – people – homework
3. And here are the words you have to match to the main words:

lesson – gym – music – parents – teachers – maths – reading – English – ruler – sandwich – arts – youth club – sports – pen – geography – dictionary – pupils – boring – pencil case – desk – break – exercise books – board – subjects – German – afternoon – library – bell – lunch break – books – assembly hall – swimming pool – prayer – history – head teacher – biro – cafeteria - too much

Musterlösung „School System“

1.1 Comprehension

a)

f

b)

f

c)

f

d)

t

e)

f

f)

t

2. This is an example of what your table could look like:


Name of my school

Exciting School

How many pupils?

1000

How old?

25 years

How many teachers?

80 teachers

How many classrooms?

I don’t know. 20 on each floor.

Big or small school?

big

Is the building old or modern?

modern

Are there special rooms like laboratories?

Yes, a library, a laboratorium and a computer room.

Is there a library?

Yes.

When do the lessons begin?

At 7:45.

When are the breaks?

5 minutes between the lessons and a lunch break at 12:30.

Do we get or buy food at school?

There’s a cafeteria.

Do we have special events at our school? If yes, what kind?

Yes, there are sports events and concerts with the school band and choir.

Is the school in the center of a city/town?

Yes, it’s in the town center.

What about a playground?

We have a small playground and a basketball court.

From which countries pupils come from?

Pupils from our school are mostly German. Some students are from Russia and Turkey; we have Chinese students and an exchange student from France.

3. When do you start school in Germany? What kind of different school types are here? Describe how long you have to stay at school. Write something about the examinations. Always answer in full sentences and pay attention to good English.


4. Here you can give your own opinion. Maybe you think that it is great if everybody was the same in school. Or maybe you think it is terrible to be all the same. However, think of a few arguments and write a short text. Use phrases like “I think…”, “In my opinion …”

2. Talking about school

1. d), a), c), f), e), b)
2. d), f), c), a), g), e), b), h), l), j), i), k)

3.2 Write an email

Compare the examination system to the German examinations and write an answer to Sara. (e.g. Tests how often? How long?)

Always write in full sentences and pay attention to good English.

Salutation (Anrede): Remember to end the salutation with a comma. You continue with a capital letter.

4. School subjects 4.1

1. School begins at 9 o’clock and ends at 4 o’clock.
2. The lessons are 45 minutes long.
3. The morning break is 15 minutes.
4. English, German and French are offered at this school.
5. The pupils have 4 sports lessons.

6. Translation

Teacher

Peter, where is your math homework?

Peter

In my schoolbag, Mrs. Maier.

Teacher

Please, show it to me than. OK! Please go to the board and calculate, how you’ve gotten these results.

Peter

Not right now. The break begins.

Teacher

That doesn’t matter. We started later, so we continue and work during the break, until your P.E. lesson starts. You will have a break again tomorrow.

Peter

It’s a shame that math is compulsory!

7. Mind map


School

Rooms

Timetable

Classroom

Schoolbag

People

Homework

gym

music

lesson

ruler

parents

reading

youth club

maths

desk

sandwich

teachers

boring

library

English

board

pen

head teacher

afternoon

assembly hall

arts

bell

dictionary

too much

swimming pool

sports

pencil case

cafeteria

geography

exercise books

break

books

subjects

biro

German

lunch break

prayer

history

Themenbereich: Children all over the world

1. Victims of Civil Wars

Children at war and peace
When a civil war ends, people on all sides have to try to rebuild their lives. It is worth for the children and the young people. Some of them cannot remember a life in peace; others will have scars, physical and emotional, for the rest of their lives. Here are three examples: landmine victims in Angola, orphans in Afghanistan and child soldiers in Liberia.

Stephen was 10. He appeared in the newspapers when Diana, the late Princess of Wales, visited the Red Cross in Luanda, Angola. He told her how he was playing with friends in a field near his village when an old landmine exploded, blowing off his leg. When she met him, he was one of 200 patients having treatment. He thought himself lucky; many victims of landmines lose both legs and can never walk again. The Red Cross and many other organizations are campaigning for a total ban of landmines, which kill or injure long after war is over. Yet, several Western governments do not want to ban landmines, which they consider a useful deterrent, like nuclear weapons.

Karima is a 17-year-old girl from Afghanistan. She lost both her parents in the Civil War. She has an aunt, but this aunt could not look after Karima because the regime, the Taliban, forbade women to work and she could not afford to feed another child. The first “orphanage” Karima went to was in fact a mental asylum. There were several orphans there, living among the mentally ill, because they had nowhere else to go. Karima was then sent to a large orphanage, for about 500 children. The boys lived on the ground floor and could play in the small, dirty courtyard, guarded by soldiers. The girls lived on the upper floor and never went outside, not even into the courtyard, as it was the regime’s policy to keep boys and girls seperated. There was very little hope in Karima’s life. Nowadays, the situation for young women is a little bit better. But no one can imagine the physical and mental consequences of Karima’s childhood for her life.

Mohammed was eight when soldiers came to his village and killed all the adults, including his mother and father. So, Mohammed, 16 years old, is an orphan as well. “I followed the soldiers because there was no one left to look after me“, he explains. He was given a gun and for five years he fought and killed. After the war, Mohammed’s luck changed; he was picked up by the Children’s Assistance Programme, run by Liberian social workers for the United Nations Children’s Fund. This programme includes reading, writing, vocational training and physical exercise, and forbids violence and antisocial behaviour. Of course, the children sometimes break the rules, but physical punishment is banned. “A child who was faced with guns doesn’t fear being hit,” explains the social worker in charge.
(Words: 478)

Vocabulary:

orphan - der/die Waise
the late Princess - die verstorbene Prinzessin
to rebuild - wieder aufbauen
scars - Narben
courtyard - Hof, Hinterhof
vocational training - Berufsausbildung
violence - Gewalt
punishment - Strafe, Bestrafung

Comprehension:

a) Why does Stephen think himself lucky?
b) Where did Karima stay during the Taliban government in Afghanistan?
c) Why did Mohammed leave his village and went with the soldiers?
d) What does the United Nations Children’s Fund do for children in Liberia?

Working with words:

2. Try to explain these war phrases in English your own words.

Civil war – landmine – victim – orphan – child soldier

2. Children in Europe: Northern Ireland

Protestants protest as children walk to school
Scenes of Catholic schoolgirls frightened and in tears after violent protests by angry Protestants have shocked Northern Ireland and the world.

Imagine it is your first day at school. You’re just five years old, proudly wearing your school uniform for the first time. You are probably a bit nervous about the entire thing, but looking forward to it as well. Then imagine that instead of people smiling at you as you walk to school, they line the streets shouting “scum” or “go back to your rat holes”. They are spitting at you, throwing bottles and stones while the police try to protect you.

That is what happened to pupils at the Holy Cross Catholic Primary School as term began after the summer holidays in 2001. Every day about 50 Protestants have stood on the street as the Catholic girls and their parents walked to school. The reason? The school is situated in a Protestant neighbourhood within the mainly catholic area of Ardoyne in North Belfast. Protestants were protesting against the fact that Catholics, even if they were only small children on their way to school, were walking through their area.

Protestants who lived near Holy Cross claimed that the protests began because Catholics repeatedly attacked their homes. They also argued that Catholics knocked a man off a ladder while he was putting up flags for the July 12th Orangemen’s Day parade, which celebrates the victory of William of Orange over the Catholics. One has to understand that anywhere else, an incident of this kind would probably be seen as relatively harmless, but in Northern Ireland, it is regarded as a severe provocation.

Although the school has a back entrance that can be reached without walking along the Protestant street, parents did not want their children to use it. One mother who walked her seven year old daughter to school told the Guardian: “I don’t want to take my child through any back entrance. What sort of massage does that send her? That she’s second class citizen?”

Emotionally, however, the children have suffered severely. Some have panic attacks and nightmares and some have started wetting their beds. Some have to take sedatives because they are so nervous. Some parents are worried that their daughters could suffer psychological damage.

The majority of Northern Irish people are horrified by the Protestant protest. The situation has now calmed down a little after talks with police and Protestant politicians. Loyalists now protest peacefully. The people who line the streets as the children go to Holy Cross in the mornings now stand back from the police and are much quieter. The police are still taking no chances, however. A spokesman said that although officers no longer wear riot shields, they are “in a position to react” if difficulties arise.
(Adapted from Time, January 2002)
(Words: 463)

Vocabulary:
violent - gewaltsam
proud - stolz
spit - anspucken, anfauchen
rat hole - Rattenloch
scum - Abschaum
neighbourhood - Nachbarschaft
incident - Unfall
severe - ernsthaft
sedative - Beruhigungsmittel
damage - Schaden
riot shield - Schutzschild
Guardian - englische Tageszeitung

Comprehension:
a) What happened to the children on their first day when they were walking to school?
b) What was the reason for it?
c) Why did the conflict arise?
d) How did the children suffer from their experiences?
e) Give your opinion. How would you react when you would have to walk to school this way?

2.1 Background Information

Here you get some information about the conflict in Northern Ireland. Since it is a very complex situation, the following explanation is in German.

Bis 1921 war Irland als Ganzes fester Bestandteil des Vereinigten Königreichs, dann wurde es aufgeteilt in die unabhängige Republik Irland und den weiterhin zu Großbritannien gehörenden Teil Nordirland (Ulster). Die Bevölkerung der Republik Irland ist weitestgehend katholisch, die Mehrheit im Norden ist protestantisch und tritt für eine enge Anbindung Nordirlands an Großbritannien ein.

Bis weit in die 1990er Jahre trat die Regierung der Republik Irland dagegen für eine Anbindung Nordirlands an die Republik ein. In Ulster bestimmte die protestantische Mehrheit das Leben, was zu massiven Benachteiligungen der Katholiken führte. Daher kam es zwischen Katholiken und Protestanten im Laufe des gesamten 20. Jahrhunderts immer wieder zu gewaltsamen Konflikten. Ende der 60er Jahre wurden die Auseinandersetzungen heftiger, weil sich Übergriffe protestantischer Extremisten auf katholische Wohngebiete häuften. Die extremistische IRA (Irish Republican Army), der bewaffnete Zweig der katholischen Sinn-Fein-Partei, versuchte nun gewaltsam die britische Herrschaft über Nordirland zu beenden. Das wiederum führte dazu, dass die britische Regierung 5000 Soldaten nach Nordirland sandte, die zur Unterstützung der nordirischen Polizei gedacht waren, die aber selbst mehr und mehr in die Auseinandersetzungen hineingezogen wurden.

Tragischer Höhepunkt war im Jahre 1972 der Bloody Sunday, an dem 13 Teilnehmer einer Demonstration von britischen Soldaten erschossen wurden. Ebenfalls 1972 richtete die britische Regierung das Nordirlandministerium ein, wodurch sie die direkte Verwaltung Nordirlands übernahmen, was in den folgenden Jahrzehnten zu bürgerkriegsähnlichen Verhältnissen in der Provinz Ulster führte. Alle Versuche zur Lösung dieses Problems scheiterten. Erst 1998 kam es zum Good Friday Agreement, wobei sich alle Beteiligten auf eine friedliche Lösung des Konflikts einigen und eine Regionalregierung für Nordirland vereinbaren konnten. Dass dieses Projekt nach jahrelangen Kämpfen nicht ohne Probleme umzusetzen war, ist klar. Es gab immer wieder Unterbrechungen und neue Anschläge und erst im Juli 2005 gab die IRA das Ende ihres bewaffneten Kampfes bekannt.

3. Child Labour

Below you find an article from Human Rights Watch about the children’s situation in developing countries
The International Labour Organization (ILO) has estimated that 218 million children between the ages of five and seventeen work in so-called developing countries. 122.3 million children work in the Asia-Pacific region, 49.3 million work in Sub-Saharan Africa, and 5.7 million work in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most working children in rural areas work in agriculture. Furthermore, many children work as “domestics”; children in urban areas work in trade and services, with fewer in manufacturing and construction.

In some cases, a child's work can be helpful to him or her and to the family; working and earning can be a positive experience in a child's growing up. However, this depends largely on the age of the child, the working conditions, and whether work prevents the child from going to school.

The Children's Rights Division at Human Rights Watch has focused its efforts on the worst forms of child labour, those prohibited by the ILO (International Labour Organization). Children that work long hours, often in dangerous and unhealthy conditions, are exposed to lasting physical and psychological harm. Children making silk thread in India for example, dip their hands into boiling water that burns and blisters them, breath in smoke and fumes from machinery, handle dead worms that cause infections, and guide twisting threads that cut their fingers. Children harvesting sugar cane in El Salvador use machetes to cut cane for up to nine hours a day in the hot sun; injuries to their hands and legs are common and medical care is often not available.

Denied a proper education and a normal childhood, some children are confined and beaten, reduced to slavery. Some are denied freedom of movement — the right to leave the workplace and go home to their families. Some are abducted and forced to work. The human rights abuses in these practices are clear. We have found similar problems in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and even the United States: children who work for too many hours and too many days, for too little, or sometimes no pay.
(Words: 340)

Vocabulary:
to estimate - schätzen
domestic - Haushalt-
agriculture - Landwirtschaft
prevent - vermeiden
effort - Anstrengung
prohibit - untersagen, verbieten
dangerous - gefährlich
unhealthy - ungesund
expose - aufdecken, darlegen
harm - Nachteil, Schaden
harvest - ernten
sugar cane - Zuckerrohr
injuries - Verletzungen
confined - eingesperrt
beaten - geschlagen
slavery - Sklaverei
denied - verweigert, aberkannt
abducted - entführt
Human Rights - Menschenrechte
abuse - Missbrauch, Verletzung

Comprehension:

a) What experience children that produce silk threat in India?
b) What are the working conditions like in El Salvador?
c) What are the problems of child labour?
d) Compare your life to that of a child labourer.

4. Children living on the streets of India

Migration and Street Children
Historically, India has attracted visitors, traders, students, and warriors from around the world. Today, it continues to be a safe haven for many, as it is one of the world's largest democracies. After the decline of the Soviet Union, for example, many urban refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Somalia, and Sudan migrated to India. Many of them settled in New Delhi, the capital. In addition, each year large numbers of people from neighbouring countries such as Nepal, Tibet, and Sri Lanka relocate to India.

Although 75% of India's population still lives in rural parts of the country, many families move to the city areas. Movement is the result of both a desire for a better life and a wish to escape from a very limited rural economy. Some of the migrating children spend their childhood years working and living on the streets, and have no opportunities for play or school. India has an estimated 500,000 street children - the largest as such in the world.

There are differentgroups of street children: The so-called children on the streets work in street trade for example and usually return home or to some shelter at night. The children of the streets on the other hand voluntarily seek shelter, companionship and livelihood on the streets among other children. The abandoned children survive entirely on their own with no ties to their family. With little or no protection and guidance from adults, street children often exposed to exploitation (by adults). Living in unhygienic conditions, suffering from malnutrition, and lacking the basic amenities of safe drinking water, electricity, and sanitation, these children are at a greater risk for poor health than their rural counterparts. Since most street children have little or no education, there is hardly a chance of improving their living conditions.

Nearly 58% of street children are hired in unskilled, labour-intensive jobs in small factories, restaurants, and wayside teashops, all requiring long hours of work. Nearly 46% of the children are newspaper distributors and other types of vendors, or they are parking attendants, domestic servants, porters, car cleaners, and shoeshine boys. Many small industries in India depend heavily on child labour. (Words: 385)

Vocabulary:
to attract - anziehen
warrior - Krieger
decline - Niedergang
refugee - Flüchtling
rural - ländlich
desire - Wunsch
to escape - fliehen
street trade - Straßenhandel
population - Bevölkerung
opportunity - Gelegenheit, Möglichkeit
shelter - Schutz, Unterkunft
voluntarily - freiwillig
livelihood - Existenz, Lebensunterhalt
abandoned - verlassen
to survive - überleben
no ties - keine Bindungen
guidance - Lenkung, Beratung; Führung
to suffer - leiden
lacking - mangelnd
malnutrition - Mangelernährung

Comprehension:
True or False?

a)

India is not a democracy.

T

F

b)

Most people in India live in big cities.

T

F

c)

Street children have little or no guidance from adults.

T

F

d)

Street children live very healthy.

T

F

e)

More than half of the street children work in labour-intensive, unskilled jobs.

T

F

Musterlösung „Children“

1. Victims of Civil Wars

a) Stephen thinks he is lucky because he lost only one leg.
b) During the Taliban regime, Karima stayed in a mental asylum and later in an orphanage with about 500 other children. She was not allowed to go outside because she is a girl.
c) Mohamed left his village because there was no one left to look after children.
d) Liberian social workers teach the children reading and writing. They also get physical exercise and vocational training. The children are prepared for getting a job and there is no physical punishment.

2. Working with words:
Try to explain these “war” phrases on your own:

Civil war:

This is a war within a state. The inhabitants of one state fight against each other; for example different ethnic groups or different religious groups.

Landmine:

A landmine is a weapon. When you step on one it explodes and you may be dead or heavily injured.

Victim:

Everyone who suffers from bad treatment, crime, war or catastrophes is a victim.

Orphan:

This is a child who lost its parents.

Child soldier:

A child soldier is a child who fights or is forced to fight in a (civil) war.

2. Children in Europe: Northern Ireland

a) When the children were walking to school, people lined the streets, shouted at the girls, threw bottles and stones and spit at them.
b) The school is situated in a Protestant neighbourhood within a mainly catholic area.
3) The conflicted arose because Catholics had attacked the Protestants’ homes and claimed that a man was knocked off a ladder.
4) The children suffered panic attacs, nightmares, they were wetting their beds, and some of them had to take sedatives.
5) Give your opinion. How would you react when you would have to walk to school this way? (Describe your feelings/possible reaction. Would you be scarred, sad …)

3. Child Labour

a) Children that produce silk threat in India “dip their hands into boiling water that burns and blisters them, breath in smoke and fumes from machinery, handle dead worms that cause infections, and guide twisting threads that cut their fingers.”
b) Children that harvest sugar cane “use machetes to cut cane for up to nine hours a day in the hot sun; injuries to their hands and legs are common and medical care is often not available.”
c) The problems of child labour are unhealthy and dangerous working conditions. They work too many hours for little or no pay and many have no proper education or a normal childhood.
d) Compare your life to that of a child labourer. (Your life: 6-8 hours of school with breaks and lunch, friends and hobbies, healthcare, parents pay for every day life …)

4. Children living on the streets of India

a)

India is not a democracy.

F

b)

Most people in India live in big cities.

F

c)

Street children have little or no guidance from adults.

T

d)

Street children live very healthy.

F

e)

More than half of the street children work in labour-intensive, unskilled jobs.

T

Themenbereich: Generation Conflict

In this exercise you will practise how to answer questions on the text, how to express your feelings and emotions and how to write summaries and characterizations.

1. How to become more interesting

“I won’t allow you to go out in this mini skirt” – or: “We don’t expect you to wear these tight black jeans and those shoes with the high heels”:

Many youngsters have often heard these remarks and the result was either that they stayed at home and lay on the couch in their room with the doors locked, or the result was that they rushed out of the house and did it for spite. Sounds familiar? Maybe your friends have encouraged you to talk to your parents: “I know, you expect me to wear things you think are fashionable for young people but I prefer to put on things which I think suit me. You can’t count on me learning at school if I look silly.” If your parents are sensible people their response might be like this. “I believe that our daughter is no longer a child, she has taken the first steps towards becoming a grown-up.” Or “She is still our daughter, we are a respected family and I dislike her walking in the street in these clothes.”

There are many other things teens can be blamed for. They can dye their hair preferably green or other crazy colours and experiment with make-up, they can wear old-fashioned trousers they found in the attic, they can put on intentionally torn jeans with black lacy underwear everybody can see through or they can have their ears, their noses or eye brows pierced. And Dad can’t help saying that only bulls wear a nose ring like that.

Even the strictest parents cannot prevent their children from doing something that seems “modern”, even the most diplomatic parents don’t often find a way of stopping new trends. When you plan to act grown-up don’t keep away from arguments but try to find solutions. Parents always can be a problem, can’t they?
(Words: 308)

Vocabulary:

spite
encouraged
a grown-up
to dye ones hair
intentionally
torn
lacy underwear
argument

Boshaftigkeit, Gehässigkeit
ermutigt, angespornt
ein Erwachsener
sich die Haare färben
aus Absicht, absichtlich, vorsätzlich
zerrissen, eingerissen
Spitzenunterwäsche
Streit, Diskussion, Auseinandersetzung

1.2 Comprehension

1) According to the text: In which two ways can young people react when something isn’t allowed?
2) What other fashion experiments can you find in the text?
3) What solution(s) does the text suggest?
4) The text begins with two typical remarks. Write down three other “typical” remarks your parents could say.

1.3. Discuss

1) Why are arguments necessary for the development of a young person?
2) Should parents be strict and forbid their kids certain clothes or trends? Why or why not?

2. How to answer “Questions on the text”

Read the text once. Read the text a second time. Make notes or underline important words or phrases. Look up words you don’t know before you answer questions. There are different forms of “Questions on the texts”.

If you have to answer questions

  • only include the author’s opinion
  • do not comment (I think, In my opinion …)
  • use your own words
  • (If you do use a quote, make the quote visible with quotation marks “” and give the line of the text.)

Sometimes questions on the text can be true or false or multiple choice questions.

These questions can be a bit tricky. Always read the questions carefully and make sure you understand the question correctly. Look closely at the text before you answer the questions.

As you get older you will be asked to give your opinion on something more and more. Many of the useful arguments you can use for your own argumentation are “hidden” in the text already. When you give your opinion

  • make notes first, this helps you to structure your text
  • use phrases like: In my opinion, I think/believe, I find this (text) …
  • don’t just state an argument, explain what you mean
  • give examples
  • always re-read your text
3. How to get a son-in-law

If you paid attention to your history teacher you might remember that in the Stone Age our ancestors had to do everything by themselves. But in the course of time there have been many specialisations. Bakers bake our bread, farmers produce our food, policemen look after our security and tailors make our clothes. Today, there are even home sitters for your house or flat when you go on a holiday.

When our family left the town for the Caribbean Sea the home sitter was instructed: 1) watering the flowers, 2) feeding the dog and the cat, 3) getting the mail out of the mail box, 4) answering the telephone, 5) cleaning the rooms once a week – the family’s cleaner, Mrs Porridge, was supposed to help – and airing the rooms every day, 7) pulling down the blinds at night and pulling them up next morning, 8) checking whether everything is in order.

Our home sitter wasn’t allowed to smoke or empty all the bottles of wine and cognac. No girl was permitted to stay during the night either! But there was one exception. It was a rainy afternoon when the doorbell rang. Our home sitter went to the front door. There was a young girl with a huge umbrella at the door. She was rather beautiful, as far as our home sitter could tell. She was wearing denim jeans, shoes with high heels and a sweater.

Our home sitter wasn’t surprised, as the doorbell often rang and people delivered newspapers and magazines or wanted to sell something. Our pretty girl on the other hand was totally amazed to see the young man opening the door because she had never seen him before. She began to stutter nervously, “What are you doing here? Where are my parents?” It was a funny situation when they were sitting together having their dinner. They had a lot to talk about. One can say it was love at first sight! When our family came back from our holidays my wife almost passed out when she saw our home sitter holding hands with our daughter.
(Words: 348)

Vocabulary:

Stone Age
ancestors
instructed
blinds
permitted
exception
to stutter
love at first sight
to pass out

Steinzeit
Vorfahren
angewiesen
Jalousien
erlaubt, gestattet
Ausnahme, Sonderfall
stottern, stammeln
Liebe auf den ersten Blick
ohnmächtig werden

3.1 Comprehension

a) True or false?


In the Stone Age people had to do everything by themselves. T F

b) Multiple Choice

The family went on holidays in the

Caribbean Sea
The Baltic Sea
Canada

c) What was the home sitter supposed to do while the family was on holidays?

d) Give your opinion. Do you believe in love at first sight?

4. Expression of feelings and opinions

Betty and Jenny

First read the dialogue between the two women, than try to answer the questions.

Betty: Hi! I’m Betty Miller, nice to meet you. We’re neighbours. I live over there.
Jenny: Oh, pleased to meet you. My name is ...
Betty: Jenny Clyber, I know. And you and your family just moved here from Chicago to take over old Watson’s gas station. (laughs) Right?
Jenny: (also laughs) Right! It’s a small village here. News travel quickly!
Betty: Well, it’s really a small place. Did you run a gas station in Chicago, too?
Jenny: Well, actually Harry, that’s my husband, until recently he was running a chain of hundreds of gas stations all over the country.
Betty: Hundreds? Wow! So, how comes – I’m sorry, I guess times are hard, aren’t they?
Jenny: No, no nothing like this! The company he was working for is in good shape. And they didn’t want him to leave. No, we decided to downsize!
Betty: Ah...., I see.
Jenny: It’s probably difficult to understand. But sometimes you realize that success and money aren’t everything. Hardly ever did he see our children.
Betty: Oh.
Jenny: Harry was always under terrible pressure. He had a twelve-hour day on average. He was travelling here and there and everywhere and had only very little time at home.
Betty: Oh, that’s tough. For every family member!
Jenny: It wasn’t easy. We were living in a beautiful home with all that..., but, you know, when you never see each other...
Betty: You have two kids, don’t you?
Jenny: Yes, a girl and a boy. Patrick is 16 and Hillary is 15. And they were growing up without their father. And he didn’t know what was going on in their lives.
Betty: So, did something happen? I’m sorry, I shouldn’t ask questions. My husband William always tells me not to stick my nose in where it doesn’t belong.
Jenny: (laughs) It’s not a secret! There was a special moment that changed things for us. It was Hillary’s birthday. She was celebrating with some friends when Harry arrived home, tired as usual. He had completely forgotten that it was Hillary’s birthday. As soon as he came into the house he started to complain about the loud music. Well, when he found out what was going on, he was shocked. And he started to ask himself what kind of father he was...
Betty: Not enough parents ask themselves that question...
Jenny: After that we all sat together and we discussed what we thought about the situation. We asked what was important to us, what we could do. We all agreed that we couldn’t continue that way and that we needed to change things – although our two kids didn’t want to move away from their friends!
Betty: You can’t have everything in life. And I’m sure they’re happy their father is there for them now.
Jenny: Exactly. Anyway, to cut a long story short, Harry left his job; we sold our house in Chicago and moved here. From now on one gas station will be enough!
Betty: Well, I think it’s a wonderful story. Not everyone would have changed life in that way. I really admire you!
(Words: 493)

Vocabulary:

gas station
to run
to guess
shape
to downsize
pressure
on average
to celebrate
to complain
to admire

Tankstelle
hier: betreiben
meinen, denken, annehmen (AE), ahnen
Zustand, Form
verkleinern, herunterfahren
Druck
im Durchschnitt
etwas feiern, zelebrieren
beschweren, beklagen, jammern
bewundern

4.1 Comprehension

1) Write a summary of the plot!
2) Give a short characterization of Betty and Jenny.
3) What do you think about the solution for Jenny’s family problem?
4) Do you think that Betty and Jenny will become friends?
5) Write a dialogue between Hillary and one of her new classmates, telling the story from her point of view.

5. How to write a summary
  • Read the text carefully! Try to understand what the text is about.
  • When you clearly understand the writer's major point (or purpose) for writing, read the text again. This time underline the major points (words or phrases here and there rather than complete sentences) and/or make notes on the side.
  • Now begin writing your summary. Start with a sentence naming the writer and text title and stating the main idea. Then write your summary with every important aspect of the text.
  • In a summary, do not insert your own opinions or thoughts; instead summarize what the writer has to say about the subject.
  • Try to write fluently – connect the paragraphs with words and phrases like:

in addition – moreover – furthermore – on the one hand … on the other hand – what is more – additionally – finally – at last – after all – to sum up – to come to a conclusion – in the end

  • After you've completed your text, read your summary carefully and check for accuracy. (Does your summary make the same points as the article? Do you have forgotten anything important? Are there spelling mistakes? Are you judging what the author is saying?)
  • Keep in mind that a summary should generally be no more than one-fourth the length of the original. If your summary is too long, cut out words rather than ideas. Delete non-essential words or phrases.
6. How to write a characterization

Please note:
There are two different kinds of characterization:
Direct characterization: There is a concrete information about the look and character of a person (blond hair, fat, small, loud, always laughing, sad eyes …)
Indirect characterization: There is a description of a person’s appearance and experience, so that you can suggest the person’s character.

  • Read the text carefully. Find out all about the character(s). Mark the words or sentences or write down the lines that give you information about the character(s).
  • Ask yourself if the character(s) change(s) during the development of the text. If so, how do(es) he / she / they change and why?
  • At the beginning of your characterization write a short introduction in which you present the character(s) and his or her (their) situation.
  • Write in paragraphs. Every paragraph should deal with one characteristic feature (e.g. polite, angry, nervous, etc.).
  • Present all words or sentences taken from the text that show that your interpretation is right and comment on it. Don’t forget to refer or quote the text.
  • Write a conclusion as a summary of the results of your detailed analysis.
  • At last ask yourself:
    • Does your introduction lead to the detailed analysis of one or more characters?
    • Have you referred to or quoted the text?
    • Does your conclusion offer a convincing summary of what you have found?
7. Expressing emotions

When you write a text about your feelings and emotions you will need many adjectives. Your text will be more interesting if you use a variety of different words. Here are some examples:

afraid – alarmed, horrified, terrified, shocked, frightened
angry – annoyed, furious, stressed
bad – wicked, lousy, foul, ill
confused – shy, upset, doubtful, uncertain, tense, irritated
depressed – disappointed, powerless, guilty, discouraged, sad
good – fine, well, OK, sweet, nice, friendly, great, super, fantastic
happy – great, excited, lucky, ecstatic, terrific, thankful
helpless – alone, frustrated, useless, empty
interested – curious, concerned, nosy
lonely – unloved, unwanted, abandoned
sad – down, unhappy, depressed, blue
tired – bored, sleepy, dull, fatigued

Musterlösung „Generation Conflict“

1.2 Comprehension

Answer in complete sentences! Don’t just copy from the text and answer the questions in your own words.
1) According to the text: In which two ways can young people react when something isn’t allowed?
(Some people stay at home, lay on the couch and lock their doors, while others just leave the house wearing what they like to wear.)
2) What other fashion experiments can you find in the text?
(Other fashion experiments are dying hair in crazy colours and experimenting with make-up, wearing old fashioned clothes or torn jeans with lacy underwear underneath or getting a piercing.)
3) What solution(s) does the text suggest?
(One solution could be to talk to the parents. One should not run away from an argument.)
4) The text begins with two typical remarks. Write down three other “typical” remarks your parents could say.
(When I was young, we were not allowed to do this.
Back in my childhood children had discipline.
You look like a parrot in those clothes…)

1.3. Discuss

1) Why are arguments necessary for the development of a young person? (e.g. learn to stick to your opinion, learn how to discuss things in a serious matter, take criticism …)
2) Should parents be strict and forbid their kids certain clothes or trends? Why or why not? (In my opinion, parents should not be too strict because children have to make their own experiences …)

3.1 Comprehension

a) True or false?
In the Stone Age people had to do everything by themselves. TRUE

b) Multiple Choice
The family went on holidays in the Caribbean Sea.

c) What was the home sitter supposed to do while the family was on holidays?
The home sitter was supposed to water the flowers, feed the dog and the cat, check the mail, answer the phone, clean the rooms once a week and air out the rooms, pull the blinds up and down and check if everything was in order.

d) Discuss. Do you believe in love at first sight? (This question is not easy to answer. On the one hand … One the other hand … After all I believe …)

4.1 Comprehension

1) Write a summary of the plot!
(In the dialogue “Betty and Jenny” is about two women that are neighbours and meet for the first time. …)


2) Give a short characterization of Betty and Jenny.
(Betty: nosy, wants to know everything, doesn’t let Jenny finish her sentence …
Jenny: she behaves like she comes from a big city, talks about how small the village is, talks about all the money they earned…)


3) What do you think about the solution for Jenny’s family problem?
(Do you agree or disagree? Why?)


4) Do you think that Betty and Jenny will become friends?
(Look at your characterization first and than give your opinion.)


5) Write a dialogue between Hillary and one of her new classmates, telling the story from her point of view.
Your story could start like this:

Hillary: Excuse me, is this seat taken?
Sue: No, have a seat. Are you the new girl?
Hillary: Yes, my name is Hillary.
Sue: Nice to meet you, I’m Sue. Where are you from?
Hillary: I’m from Chicago.
Sue: Wow, this place here is much smaller! Do you miss Chicago?
Hillary: …

Sum up the story from Hillary’s point of view. Would she miss her friends? Would she like living in the country? Does she want to spent more time with her parents? …

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