GENERATION GAP

GENERATION GAP

Vocabulary work

1. Write the comparative and superlative of the following adjectives:

rude, late, painful, shy, clumsy, supportive, bad, impressionable, naive, lenient, grave, glorious.

2. Give the Russian equivalents to the following words and phrases:

1. from generation to generation,

2. no longer children nor yet teenagers,

3. a fearful hurry to grow up,

4. the vagaries of love on TV serials,

5. an insatiable desire,

6. being raised by single-parent families,

7. creates behaviour problems,

8. the most painful part of childhood,

9. a complete lack of self-confidence,

10. overconscious of their appearance,

11. rebel violently against parental authority,

12. teenagers with sympathetic and supportive parents,

13. think of life-long GENERATION GAP goals,

14. to be entertained every waking moment,

15. is becoming more and more stratified,

16. brand-new cars,

17. on the part of children whose parents are poor,

18. inhibits their emotional development,

19. such a harsh world,

20. let them find out about life for themselves,

21. to develop their own idea of right and wrong,

22. a grave mistake,

23. to live in the present rather than in the past or future.

3. Read the text and get ready to speak about the problems of teenagers:

GENERATION GAP

Old people are always saying that the young are not what they were. The same comment is made from generation to GENERATION GAP generation and is always true. It has never been truer than it is today.

These days grown-ups describe children as «difficult», «rude», «wild» and «irresponsible». Only some people say that they will grow up to make our country a better place.

For kids from 8 to 14 a new term «tweens» has recently been coined. They are no longer children nor yet teenagers, just between - tweens. They are said to be a generation in a fearful hurry to grow up. Instead of playing with Barbies and Legos they are interested in the vagaries of love on TV serials. Girls GENERATION GAP wear provocative make-up. At this very age kids start pairing off. Tweens have got an insatiable desire for the latest in everything - from jeans with labels so that everyone will know that they've got the latest stuff - to CDs. Kids at their age desperately need to belong and that's why everything comes down to appearance. They think that having the right «stuff» is the quickest way to acceptance. To parents and teachers they can be a nightmare, aping the hairstyles, clothes and make-up of celebrities twice their age. Experts say that the rush to grow up is GENERATION GAP due to the mass media. Being raised by single-parent families as well as watching TV, which sucks up most of their free time, can also accelerate the desire of children for being independent and creates behaviour problems.

But the most painful part of childhood is the period when they begin to emerge from it: adolescence or the awkward age. There is a complete lack of self-confidence during this time. Adolescents are overconscious of their appearance and the impression they make on others. They feel shy, awkward and clumsy. Feelings are intense and hearts - easily broken GENERATION GAP. Teenagers experience moments of tremendous elation or black despair. And besides friends are becoming more and more important these years. At schools there are cliques who decide what is «cool». Adolescents may rebel violently against parental authority, but this causes them great unhappiness. And they are not always helped to get through a confusion of life in a steady, productive way. But even teenagers with sympathetic and supportive parents can fall in with bad company.

Most children don't belong to any clubs and they just start roaming the street after school out of sheer boredom. A lot of GENERATION GAP them become addicted to drugs and/or alcohol because their life is hollow and they don't think of life-long goals. They have nothing to fill the emptiness of their souls with. They demand to have all that they see, and regard it as their right to be entertained every waking moment.

And besides our society is becoming more and more stratified. There has appeared a class of rich people and a class of poor people (to be more exact - people leaving below the poverty line). Children of well-off parents consider themselves «the smart set» or «gilded youth». Their GENERATION GAP parents give them every material benefit, pocket money any time they ask. A lot of these children have their own brand-new cars and personal computers. It goes without saying that it causes jealousy and the desire to possess the same things on the part of children whose parents are poor and cannot afford it. Such feelings can push teenagers to comitting a crime and it leads to a wide spread of juvenile delinquency.

Nowadays children start using computers very early. Tweens and teens are so fascinated by them that they spend hours and hours at their personal computers or GENERATION GAP at computer clubs. The electronic universe replaces their contacts with friends and dominates their life completely. Obsession with computers brings about a mechanical, disillusioned mentality and inhibits their emotional development.

The heads of youngsters are also being filled with violent pictures they have seen on TV. Children are very naive and impressionable. And no wonder that they are so aggressive and arrogant in real life. They are thrown into such a harsh world, especially if they live in a city.

These days a lot of parents think that they should be lenient with their children, they should let GENERATION GAP them find out about life for themselves, they should leave children to develop their own idea of right and wrong. But it's a grave mistake. Parents shouldtry to protect their children from possible bad influences and give them clear guidance about right and wrong.



There is no way to predict how today's children will turn out. Keeping faith in kids is necessary. They are not bad. They are optimistic. They expect to have a better life than their parents'. And grown-ups - if they are prepared to admit it - could learn a thing or two from their GENERATION GAP children. One of the biggest lessons they could learn is that enjoyment is not «sinful». Enjoyment is a principle you could apply to all aspects of life. It is not wrong to enjoy your work and enjoy your leisure, to shed restricting inhibitions. It is surely not wrong to live in the present rather than in the past or future. This emphasis on the present is only to be expected because the young have grown up under the constant threat of World War III, which means complete annihilation. This is their «glorious» heritage. Can we be surprised that they question GENERATION GAP the wisdom and sanity of their elders?

4. Answer the questions:

1.What comment is usually made about the younger generation?

2. What epithets do grown-ups use speaking about children?

3. Does anyone believe that children will make our country a better place to live in?

4. What term has been coined recently?

5. Are tweens interested in playing with dolls and toys?

6. What things do they want to have and why?

7. Why is the awkward age the most painful part of childhood?

8. Do teenagers obey their parents?

9. Teenagers with sympathetic and supportive parents never get in bad company, do they?

10. Why do teenagers GENERATION GAP become addicted to drugs and alcohol?

11. What do teens regard as their right?

12. What society do we live in?

13. Are there any people who live below the poverty line in this country?

14. Who belongs to the smart set or gilded youth?

15. What can push children from poor families to commit a crime?

16. When do children start using computers nowadays?

17. What does preoccupation with computers bring about?

18. Children are easily influenced by violence on TV, aren't they?

19. How do they behave in real life?

20. What do many parents think about upbringing nowadays?

21. Are they right?

22. What GENERATION GAP should parents do?

23. Is it possible to predict what people today's children grow up?

24. What sort of life do children expect to have?

25. What could grown-ups learn from their children?

26. Why do young people prefer to live in the present?

27. What does World War IIImean?

28. Do young people have a right to question the wisdom and sanity of their elders?

5. Agree or disagree with the following statements:

1.Old people never grumble that the young are not what they were.

2. Adults are not sure that today's children will grow up to make this country a better place GENERATION GAP.

3. The new term «tweens» means the same as «teens».

4. Tweens prefer to wear practical clothes.

5. They think that having the most fashionable things is the quickest way to acceptance.

6. Tweens imitate the haircuts, clothes and make-up of celebrities.

7. Experts say that the rush to grow up is due to the mass media.

8. Teenagers are confident of their appearance.

9. Adolescents experience high and low spirits by turns.

10. Their rebel against parental authority brings them satisfaction.

11. Few parents care too little about what their children do.

12. Children start roaming the street out of curiosity.

13. Stratification of our society is one of the reasons GENERATION GAP for a wide spread of juvenile delinquency.

14. Obsession with computers brings about creative imagination and helps to develop emotionally.

15. Teenagers are thrown into a ruthless world.

16. Nowadays all parents think that children should grow and experience on their own.

6. Find synonyms to these words in the text:

receptive susceptible
mild compassionate
to imitate to copy
cruel ruthless
to cause to effect
intense piercing
happiness euphoria
envy discontent
monotony dullness
excitement stimulation

7. Work in groups. Find out from your partners:

- what term has been recently coined for kids from 8 to 14;

- why adolescence is the most distressing period GENERATION GAP of childhood;

- whether they had any problems at the awkward age;

- how they got through the awkward age;

- what sort of parents they've got;

- if they've got a personal computer;

- whether the computer is a curse or blessing.

8. Prove that:

- the mass media cause the rush to grow up;

- television is full of violence;

- most parents are very permissive nowadays.

9. Comment on:

- the desire of tweens and teens to have the latest in everything;

- teenagers' rebel against parental authority;

- the way most children spend their free time;

- the consequences of obsession with computers;

- the reasons of juvenile delinquency GENERATION GAP.

10. Imagine that:

• You have a teenage son/daughter. He/she has entered into the awkward age and your life has turned into a nightmare. Ask a psychologist for help. Role-play a dialogue with your partner;

• You are a middle-aged person. You've met your old school friend and you start talking about the younger generation. He/she thinks that all of them are arrogant, aggressive and good-for-nothing. But you can't agree with him/her. Role-play a dialogue with your partner;

• You've just had a terrible row with your parents. Now you GENERATION GAP are strolling the streets with your friend in order to cool off and discussing the relations with your parents. Role-play a dialogue with your partner.

11. Comprehension check. Choose the best alternative according to the text:

1.The older generation is always grumbling that…

a) the young are just what they were;

b) the young are not what they were;

c) the young are much better than they were.

2. The term «tweens» has been coined for kids…

a) from 6 to 12;

b) from 8 to 16;

c) from 8 to 14.

3. Tweens are interested in…

a) playing with Barbies and Legos;

b) watching soap operas GENERATION GAP on TV;

c) studying mathematics and physics.

4. At the age of 8 - 14 everything is reduced to…

a) appearance;

b) profound knowledge;

c) spiritual values.

5. Experts say that the rush to grow up is due to…

a) the influence of anxious parents and teachers;

b) the influence of newspapers, magazines and TV;

c) the influence of bad company and TV.

6. The awkward age is the most unpleasant part of childhood because of…

a) the lack of good opinion of oneself;

b) the lack of good opinion of other people;

c) the lack of bad opinion of oneself.

7. A lot of teenagers who roam the GENERATION GAP streets are addicted to…

a) fresh air;

b) computers and TV;

c) drugs and alcohol.

8. Children of well-off parents…

a) live below the poverty line;

b) are jealous of poor people;

c) can afford everything.

9. Stratification of our society has lead to…

a) a decrease in juvenile delinquency;

b) an increase in juvenile delinquency;

c) a decrease in the number of poor people.

10. Mechanical, disillusioned mentality is caused by…

a) obsession with books;

b) obsession with computers;

c) obsession with the fine arts.

11. Children of today are exposed to…

a) heroism;

b) ridicule;

c) violence.

12. Teenagers GENERATION GAP are impressionable that's why…

a) they shouldn't watch TV at all;

b) parents shouldn't buy TV sets and videos;

c) parents should exercise a stricter control over what they watch.

13. There is a wide-spread tendency among parents…

a) to be permissive with their kids;

b) to be strict with their kids;

c) to be polite with their kids.

14. A lot of parents think that…

a) children shouldn't develop their own idea of right and wrong;

b) children should grow and experience on their own;

c) children should be given clear guidance about right and GENERATION GAP wrong.

15. The emphasis on the present is only to be expected because the young have grown up under the constant threat of…

a) loss of love;

b) punishment;

c) nuclear war.


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