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Text A. American teenagers and their free time
American teenagers spend their free time doing a lot of different things. They love to watch television or rent videos. Often young people meet at a friend’s house to watch videos together. They might call out for a pizza or make popcorn at home and eat in front of the television.
Young Americans also enjoy going to the movie theatre, both to watch movies but also to “hang out” and flirt with people of the opposite sex. Before going out teenagers usually spend a long time getting ready. They try to wear their most fashionable clothes and they make sure their hair looks perfect.
In America, it is against the law for people under 21 years of age to drink alcohol, so often they can’t go to the local concerts at bars, but they do go to the large concerts wherever their favourite band or pop singer comes to town.
Teenage girls like to read fashion magazines and magazines about handsome, famous actors and singers. They also like to go shopping. They might not buy anything but some girls might spend hours trying on clothes, jewelry and shoes.
Teenage boys like to play sports, baseball, basketball, football or soccer. Many boys read magazines about rock groups or cars and trucks. It is often the dream of many teenage boys to own their own car. If they do, they spend most of their free time and extra money making their cars look beautiful and run perfectly.
Stereotypically young Americans don’t like to spend time alone. They don’t read books unless it is absolutely necessary. And when they do read, or do their homework, they do it in front of the television or with the stereo on.
Like most Americans, young Americans like to work because they like to have money. It’s difficult to find free entertainment in America. Young people spend a lot of money. In general, they spend a great portion of their free time buying things to make themselves look better than their friends or to have better music, clothes, etc. than their friends.
I. Read the text ‘American teenagers and their free time’. Find the English equivalents to the following word combinations:
проводить много времени; в доме друга; смотреть видеофильмы вместе; заказать пиццу; приготовить кукурузные хлопья; “слоняться”; флиртовать с людьми противоположного пола; выглядеть безупречно; противозаконно; популярный певец; журналы мод; ходить в магазины; примерять; ювелирные изделия; иметь свою собственную машину; в одиночестве; несмотря на; с включённым стереомагнитофоном; бесплатное развлечение.
II. Write 10 questions on the text. Let your fellow students answer them.
III. Retell the text ‘American teenagers and their free time’.
IV. Speak about your free time.
V. Get ready for the discussion “Problems of Youth”. The following questions will help you:
1. At what age can a young person take the responsibilities of adulthood?
2. What kinds of difficulties do some young people have in their relationship with parents?
3. Can the young people always discuss their physical, social or emotional problems with their parents?
4. What role does the mass-media (newspapers, television, magazines, etc.) play in the development of the values of the teenagers?
5. Do they read much? How long do they watch TV a day? What are their favourite TV programs?
6. What can be the ideals of the young people? What ideals do you follow?
7. Why do the young people often need idols?
8. Who do they usually choose their idols among? What are their favourite sportsmen or sports teams? What fan-clubs do you know in your country and abroad?
9. What do young people do in search for self-identity? What kind of clothes do they wear? What colours do they prefer? How do they do their hair? Why do they speak slang?
10.What economical problems do some young people face? What can you tell about unemployment, shortage of money and accommodation among the young?
11.Which of these problems may lead the young to use alcohol or drugs or even to crime? Does it often happen nowadays?
12.Where can the young earn the pocket money? What do they usually spend it on?
13.What can you tell about student activities such as sports, drama clubs, debate teams, student newspapers, dancing groups and bands?
14.Are the young people interested in politics?
15.Why is St. Tatiana’s day the favourite holiday for all the students in Russia?
VI. Discuss the problems of youth in your group.
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