We are now moving to The Generation Gap – Part 2.
Last week we started a Reading Unit focusing on the Generation Gap. In the first text we introduced the theme and now we are going to deal with another aspect of the general theme.
What is the subject of our new text?
Let's talk about it.
- How would you define the expression Generation Gap? (You may wish to read the first text again.)
- Compare the generation gap between you and your parents and the one between your parents and grandparents.
- Which conflict seems more serious? Why?
- Would you like your parents to behave exactly like you and your friends? Would that bridge the gap between the generations? Discuss!
major issues – נושאים חשובים
minor matters – עניינים שוליים
bridge the gap – לגשר על הפער
old-fashioned – מיושן, לא אופנתי
up-to-date – מעודכן
Getting Ready to Read
The following passage also deals with the generation gap. Make sure you know the meaning of the following words before you start reading. Look them up in the dictionary.
Read the following passage and then answer the questions that follow.
1. The generation gap is a problem that exists in one way or another in every family. It's hard to notice when the process starts, but one day, all of a sudden, the sweet, loving child becomes a rebellious, discontented teenager. Nothing pleases him any more. The house is shabby, the car is ancient, his parents are old-fashioned. He seems to go out of his way to annoy them. If they insist on order, he will be sloppy. If they consider good manners very important, he will use bad language and be impertinent. If his parents seem concerned about his health, he will wear summer clothes in winter, walk barefoot and eat junk food.
2. What is the reason for the endless fights between parents and teenagers who obviously love each other? The teenager rebels because he needs to show his independence and define his self-identity. He only pretends to be sure of himself. Actually, he is full of questions and doubts. He is no longer a child, but not yet an adult. He is trying to find his own way in the grown-up world which often seems confusing and frightening.
3.The main reason for the age-old conflict between parents and teenagers is that they have different needs at this particular point in life. Parents want to be needed. Teenagers want to be independent. Parents want to see their children safe and happy. Teenagers resent their parents' attention, worries and endless advice. They may begin to understand and appreciate their parents' attitude only when they become parents themselves.
1. The generation gap is a problem (paragraph 1) that
a. exists in every family in the same way.
b. exists in different ways in different families.
c. affects few families.
d. is characteristic of the Israeli society.
2. Give two examples of things done by teenagers to annoy their parents (paragraph 1).
3. Complete the sentence (paragraph 2):
Teenagers rebel out of ————————————- and ————————————————————
4. What words in paragraph 2 show that teenagers are not really sure of themselves?
5. Complete the sentence (paragraph 3).
When teenagers grow up and have —————————————————–, they may begin to understand ———————————————–
Vocabulary and Language Review
Choose the most suitable word in brackets.
a. Youngsters often feel that (their, theirs, there) parents and teachers, as well (than, as, from) other members of the so-called (establishment, institution, authority), are actually their enemies. They think that nobody (understand, understands understanding) them and that they know (practice, practical, practically) everything, (while, however, even) their parents and teachers know very (few, small, little) about most things. They (don't, didn't, wouldn't) realize that they still need (lot, lots, great deal) of guidance and support. They may not be children any longer, but they are not grown ups (yet, already, still).
b. Mrs. Cohen (doesn't, didn't, hasn't) approve of the clothes her son (uses, used, is used) to wear. There were endless (argue, argument, arguments) on the subject. Oren always preferred black (shirt, shirts, coat) and black trousers and he wore a couple of (ear, ears, earrings) in each ear. His mother begged him to (wear, wearing, dress) in a more conventional way, but (it, this, that) was impossible to (pressure, tell, convince) him. At school, the teachers (speak, speech, spoke) endlessly about the way he (wore, dress, dressed), but Oren refused to give (on, off, in). He claimed (nobody, anybody, somebody) understood him, and he felt he was (a, like, almost) victim of the generation (problem, situation, gap). Finally, his mother got (sorry, enough, tired) of the arguments and stopped (talking, looking, saying) about his clothes. Slowly but surely, (her, his, boys) appearance began to change. He had his hair (cutting, cut, to cut) in a "normal" way, he (threw, throwing, throw) away his earrings and he went back to the jeans and T- shirts he (was, has, had) worn all his life. The period of rebellion was over. He was beginning to grow up…
c. Dan Cohen and his father used (argue, to argue, arguing, argument) a lot about Danny's (money, economic, week, weekly) allowance. Danny thought that fifty shekels (the, a, for, whole) week weren't (enough, just, good, satisfied) for his needs. (However, Though, Although, But), his father said that his son (was, wasn't, is, isn't) reasonable and simply spent (enough, also, too, almost) much money. After (that, this, all, then), Dan didn't (was, have, had, be) any expenses except (at, on, after, while) weekends. He had room and board at home. Dan kept (hope, want, hoping, hoped) his father would get (tired, tiresome, angry, content) of his nagging and eventually give (on, in, at, off). That (did, didn't, was, won't) happen, however. Dan's father refused to raise the (money, issue, gap, allowance) as a matter (on, of, off, at) principle. Finally, having (some, no, not, none) other choice, Dan decided to take a part-time (work, employ, job, allowance). Today, he no longer argues with his father. He (does, has, had, is) even considering the idea of telling (himself, him, the Cohens, his boss) that he doesn't need the allowance. On the other hand, why hurt his father's feelings…?
And that's all for today. More texts and suggestions in my next post.