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1) Basic (and not so basic) Vocabulary Look at this blog and follow the instructions below:
without looking at the blog, write out the definitions
A nuclear family
An extended family
A one-parent family
Now compare your definitions with those given on the blog and correct anything you think is
b. Watch the slide show about family-related vocabulary and make notes of any terms with
which you are unfamiliar. Then, without looking at your notes, answer the following questions.
1. Give a single word which means a brother or sister =
2. Give an expression for your grandfathers father = .
3. Mrs. Smiths son has just got married to Jenny. What is Jenny with respect to Mrs. Smith?

4. Mrs. Smith divorces her husband and marries Jack. Her new husband has a son, Jonas, by a
previous marriage. What is Mrs. Smiths relation to Jonas?

5. Mrs. Smith and Jack have a baby, Charlotte. What is Charlottes relation to Jonas?
6. Mrs. Smith decides to adopt a child called Jonathan. What is her relation to him?

7. Mrs. Smiths sister Janet gives birth to a little baby girl called Jeanette. Janet decides to have
her daughter christened (baptized) and she asks Mrs. Smith to be the
8. Mrs. Smith unfortunately dies. Jack is now a..
9. On your passport you will probably be asked to give the name of a close relative whom the
authorities can get in touch with in an emergency. What is the term for such a close relative?

10. Who are your folks =

c. Watch the slide show about family-related English idioms. Then answer the questions
below. If you dont know any of the answers, go back to the blog and make a note of the
answer. Test yourself later.

Give an appropriate idiom (in full, meaningful sentences) to describe the following
1. Miriam had to choose whether to help her brother or her best friend who were both in
financial difficulties. What did she do and why? Give two possible idioms in your answer.

2. Danny is a sporty type who hates sitting at home playing computer games. His mother is just
the same. Give an idiom and a phrasal verb to describe this situation.

3. Annabelle stole money from the bank where she worked. Surprisingly, her sister Freddy is an
Anglican priest!

4. All the members of my friend Jims family have bushy eyebrows.

5. Greg has just left the family home to start at university in another part of the country. What
has he finally done?

2) Reading Comprehension
Read this text and be prepared to answer questions about the vocabulary and to discuss the
topic(s) at the end.
Ten Golden Rules To Surviving Life With Your Parents (Language Level = C1)
I have just finished my job as a teaching assistant in France and there are a few weeks before I will start
my new job in Brussels. In the meantime, Im back living with my parents after 5 years of being away.
While Im in the UK Im trying to make the most of visiting my British friends and family before I jet off
again. On the whole, I am having a good time and am very grateful to my parents for letting me move back
home rent-free for a few months. However, moving back in with my parents, albeit temporarily, has brought
back some strange family patterns that I thought wed all outgrown. In an interesting way, it has brought
me back to some of my teenage struggles, and I have come up with some golden rules to ease this

1. Always knock
Most people value some privacy in their lives, and if you expect your parents to knock before coming into
your room, you should do them the same courtesy, if only to remind them that it is important to do so.
2. Be as clear as possible and follow the rules
Whether you have very set rules in your family or not, try to be clear about your intentions. If you go out, let
them know when you think youll be back and who youre with. Think of doing this as a courtesy to them
and to stave off some parental worrying. It might even be a good idea to suggest a rule that seems fair to
you. For example, if you are saving up for something, rather than ask for the money you could ask to earn
more pocket money if you do certain chores each week and see if they agree with your terms. They will
see this as a more responsible approach to the situation and feel pleased for having raised you so well.
3. Do your bit
Everyone knows that chores are not fun, including your parents! But if you chose to do chores without or
before being asked to do so, you will feel in control of your own time. Also, this means that you can choose
the chores that you prefer to do and may mean that you get to avoid some of the chores you dislike the
4. Be polite and try not to rise to it
There is an expression in English, a little goes a long way which in this case means that a small gesture
can have a big effect. Most arguments can be avoided by speaking to each other nicely. We also say dont
rise to it, which means try not to let teasing affect you and put things into perspective. Remember, people
tend to enjoy teasing because they get a reaction. Dont give them the satisfaction.
5. Avoid criticism
They say that its easiest to criticize your family because you love them the most, and you know they will
always love you no matter what you say. But that doesnt mean you should abuse this. Nobody likes to be
criticised, including your parents, so the next time you find yourself sighing at your mother for not knowing
how to work the T.V, catch yourself before you do and explain calmly. Remember, she taught you how to
walk, talk and hold a spoon. You can remind her of something shes forgotten in a nice way.
6. Identify things that particularly annoy your parents and try to avoid doing them to the best of
your ability
No two parents are the same. As frightening as this thought might be, your parents are individual people
and certain things will push their buttons (an expression which means to annoy someone a lot) more than
others. Sometimes these things might seem illogical or petty to you, but especially if its easy to do, why
waste your energy getting irritated by it? Life will be much easier for you if you make efforts to prevent
avoidable conflicts.
7. External venting
Find someone to talk to who is not living with you at home to vent to. Vent just means to help you deal with
the stress of something by talking to someone about it. You will probably find that your friends are having
similar problems, and it might even help you to laugh about some of your strange family rules (even
though, from my experience, this is much easier to do once you have moved out!)

8. Find a stress reliever

Whether you start doing yoga in your room like me, going out for walks, or getting out to do sports or
activities, it helps to do something that is just focused on yourself. If you make this a regular thing and
make it known to your family that this time is important to you, they will probably leave you to it.
9. If it gets too much - pick your battles or retreat
In English we have an expression, pick your battles which means that you should try and put silly

arguments into perspective and let things go if they dont matter too much. Equally, it means to only speak
up and argue your point if it is really important. Naturally, youll want to pick a good moment to bring
something up (after dinner is usually better so no one is hungry!) But if you take a deep breath and realise
that its not a really important issue but you still feel annoyed, retreat into your room and give yourself
some time to calm down and gain perspective.
10. Apologise
Sometimes arguments happen; we just cant all get along all the time, but once everyone has calmed
down, apologise as soon as possible to clear the air. Even if the apology is just Im sorry that we fought, it
will feel more resolved. Especially if arguments arise often in your household, youll want each conflict to
be clear cut and not a tangle of all previous arguments.

Do you get on well with your parents? Which of Anne's golden rules do you think is the
most important?
How have families changed in recent times?

We Are Family Sister Sledge (1980)
3) Listening Practice
a. First, listen to some advice about acquiring listening skills in English. It is really just common
b. Listen to this B2 listening exercise from the British Council about trends in naming children:

c. A B2 listening exercise on household chores. It is American English:
d. A more difficult listening text (C1) about a babysitter:
e. A conversation between a father and his teenage daughter (American English, level C1):

4) Further Reading Practice

Leaving Home
"An Englishman's home is his castle"; so says an old proverb. "Home" is perhaps the most
important thing in a person's life - "home sweet home", as they say. Yet in Britain's teenage
culture, home has long been seen as a place to leave, rather than a place to live. And while
the age of independence is, for many young people, becoming later and later, the desire for
independence is developing at a younger and younger age.
Leaving home for the first time has always been a difficult turning point in life; today the
difficulties are perhaps greater than ever before.
Section 1



Almost every 16-year old has thought about
leaving home. Many have been thinking about
it, off and on, for years; some have been dreaming
of independence since they were twelve, or even
younger. Leaving home is part of the teenage
Recently, a survey of "Young People's Social
Attitudes" asked British teenagers for their
opinions about leaving home. Forty-nine per cent
of 12-15 year olds thought that teenagers should be allowed to leave home at the age of 16;
another 12% said 17, and 8% said "when they want". Only 23% of young teenagers thought
that they should be obliged to live at home until they were 18!
Yet the teenage dream seems to conflict with the experience of real life; when the same
question was put to 18 and 19-year olds, almost half replied that teenagers should not leave
home before the age of 18.
Nevertheless, leaving home is part of the process of growing up. Many teenagers leave to go
and study or train or look for a job in a different town or city, returning home when the

money runs out. Others leave because they just want to get out. Most especially younger ones
are happy to go home again later; for a small number, leaving home is a definitive break.
Every year, thousands of young people in Britain leave home in search of a better or more
exciting life; many of them go to London, attracted by the bright lights, the night life, the youth
scene and the hope of finding work.
16-year olds who leave school with few or no qualifications find it very hard to get jobs;
indeed, in some British cities, particularly in the North, finding work is almost impossible for
unqualified people, especially young people. London, however, has less unemployment and
more jobs; and though no one imagines that the streets of the capital are "paved with gold"
(as in the legend), many teenagers make their way to the capital, hoping to set up a new home
of their own.
Though there are indeed more jobs in London than in most other cities, they are not always
good jobs, and the dream of leaving home and finding a job often turns out to be just that; a
dream a new problem, and there are many associations that help homeless people to find
somewhere to live. And although, overall, less people keep coming to London in search of a
new life, the number of young people doing so has gone up sharply; their reasons for coming
have changed too.
London's biggest homeless charity, Centrepoint, reported that causes of homelessness
among teenagers have changed ; instead of leaving home because of "pull factors" (the
attraction of London, the hope of a job) more and more young people now leave home
because of "push factors", victims of broken homes, poverty or physical aggression.
It's all part of our changing society. In 1961, only about 5% of children (about half a million
children) in Britain lived in single-parent families; in 2013, 22% of children, that is three million
children, lived in single-parent families. Single-parent families are generally poorer than
traditional families.
Even teenagers with caring parents and lovely homes dream of leaving home. Kids in poor or
aggressive homes dream too; in their situation, it's not surprising that they may want to make
their dreams come true.
Section 2 Teenagers speak.
Three teenagers' stories
Homes O.K! says Simon. In fact, as far as Im concerned, its the best place to be, even if
you cant always do what you want!! If you live at home, youve got to obey a few rules, thats
obvious; but my parents are quite tolerant really! I spose itd be different if they tried to lock
me up or something, but they dont. Its a matter of respect.. They leave me to it; that way
everyones happy! Besides, its much easier living at home if you can. You get your meals
cooked and your washing done for you; and its far cheaper than living on your own! Ill move
out when I go to university, but Ill come home in the vacation. Why not: Its home, after all,
isnt it?

It was one evening in April that Sarah decided to leave home. It was not that she disliked her
home; not even that she had a lot of arguments with her parents. As a family, everyone got on
quite well together; but in the small Dorset town of Crewkerne, there wasn't exactly a lot to
do. Besides, Sarah didn't actually live inCrewkerne, but in a village where there was even less
to do. She was fed up with school too. Though she had done quite well in her GCSE exams, she
had not chosen the right subjects for "A" level and had become disillusioned.
Her parents liked the village life; her father, a businessman, was always travelling, and
enjoyed coming back at weekends to the peace of Dorset; her mother had a part-time job in
the town. Her elder brother was away at university, her 14-year old sister was, in Sarah's
words, "a nuisance".
"I just wanted to get out," says Sarah. "I felt too cooped up; and it was so boring. So I
decided to come up to London. For the time being I'm selling beads, but I'm looking for a
proper job too."
Sarah is one of the lucky ones. Her parents are giving her an allowance until she finds a job,
and she lives with two other girls in a flat in Hampstead. She's artistic, she doesn't smoke or
take drugs, and can talk intelligently. She'll probably get a job quite quickly.
"I'm glad I left home," she says; "I'm 18 now, and I'm in charge of my own life. I go home
quite often; but I prefer living my own life."
Darren claims that he was pushed out of his home. "I lived with my mum and two brothers
in Bedford, but I couldn't stand it anymore. My mum didn't have a job, and she was
always yelling at us. I was in care for three years. Then I went back to live with my mum. In the
end I just decided to quit. I don't want to go back; not for a while, anyway."
For the last year, Darren has been living in a hostel for the homeless, and at the moment
he's doing a training course, to become a builder. "There's plenty of work in the
building trade in London right now," he says, "So I should get a job quite easily. Then I'll get
myself a proper place to live. I'd like to have my own place. A proper home of my own, so as to
speak. I can't say I've really ever had a home before."
Section 3 Living at school.
Often in Britain, it is parents who send their children to make a new home, away from home.
For hundreds of years, "boarding schools" have played an important part in British life.
Not for everyone, of course; far from it. But boarding schools are part of middle class
culture, especially in the south of England, where almost 30% of all 17-year olds in secondary
schools are in fee-paying independent schools.
Many parents (and grandparents) save money for years, in order to be able to send their
children to boarding school. "My dad worked as a flying instructor in Saudi Arabia for ten
years," explains Nikki. "He saved as much as he could, to send me and my sister to a good
school. He could have spent it on other things; for instance he could have bought a big BMW,
but we've had the same car for five years, a VW, and it was second-hand when we bought it."

According to classic images, boarding schools are Spartan places, with cold dormitories and
strict rules; but the image is no longer true.
"I started boarding when I was 14," says William; "The worst thing about it was the first few
weeks, when it was all new and strange. But now I feel much more independent.
I like coming home for hols, but I like it at school too. It's not like it used to be, with big cold
dorms and corporal punishment! You've got to obey the rules, of course; but that's part of
For young people who cannot "go away" to school, university offers the chance of breaking
free. While in many parts of Europe students tend to study at universities and colleges close
to home, the British tradition is very different. "I certainly wouldn't have wanted to go to
college in my home town," says Tom. "One of the great things about going to university is that
you get away from home! Universities recruit nationally, and when you apply, you usually
apply to several different universities. You choose your universities for the courses they offer,
not because they're near your home. I go home to see my parents in the holidays, but that's
all. As far as I'm concerned, I've left home now. I certainly wouldn't want to go back home at
weekends! That's when everything happens!"

Home or homeless?
Find words or expressions in the article that mean
1. To look for .....................................
2. Teenagers who are sixteen years old .....................................
3. Who go to London .....................................
4. The fact of having nowhere to live. ...............
5. Families with just one parent .....................................
Read the article under the heading then say whether these statements are true or faIse..
1. Sarah got on very badly with her parents. T/ F
2. Sarah did not do too badly at school. T/ F
3. Both of Sarah's parents were away at work all day. T/ F
4. Sarah is older than her brother and sister. T/ F
5. Sarah does not want to continue selling beads for much longer. T/ F
6. Sarah is homeless. T/ F
7. She ought to nd a proper job quite easily. T/ F
8. She has not seen her parents since leaving home last April. T/ F
Dave wrote down some sentences about boarding school and university in Britain on
a sheet of paper. Unfortunately, his dog found the sheet of paper, and chewed out the
middle! Can you help Dave by rewriting the middle part of each sentence, using information from the article!
1. Nikkis dad ...................................................................................................... ve years ago.
2. William did not .................................................................................................. at boarding

3. British students .............................................................................. close to home.

4. Although Tom ..........................................................................................Edinburgh.
5; Tom comes ................................................................................................ see him.

Alternative word guide

A levels: exams taken at the end of secondary school - allowance: some money - apply: be a
candidate beads: cheap coloured stones - besides : also - board: to live at school 24 hrs a day - a break :
a complete change - broken home: a broken family - in care: looked after by the local social
services - caring: who love and help their children - charity: organisation which helps people claim : say - conflict with: contrast with -cooped up: restricted, shut in - definitive:
permanent, complete - disillusioned: she had lost her hopes, lost her dreams - enjoyed: liked ever-increasing: continually growing - fed up with : tired of, unhappy with - fee: money - GCSE: national exams taken at the age of about 16 - grow up: become an adult hostel: home instance: example - off and on: from time to time - overall: in general - process: system,
routine ranks: lines, numbers - recruit: attract students - runs out : finishes - second-hand: not new seek: to look for - single: just one - spartan: without any luxury - survey: study - 'pose :
suppose, imagine - trade: profession - unemployment: absence of jobs, people without any
work - yell: shout - youth scene: the clubs, meeting places and other things that attract young
people -