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TOPIC-RELATED WORDS

TOPIC 1: FAMILY

Vocabulary Meaning Collocations Examples


Sibling Sibling rivalry
Twins
Offspring
Spouse
Relative Close relative
Distant relative
Adolescence Early adolescence
During adolescence
Generation Generation gap
Nurture
Upbringing
Relationship Establish a relationship
Build/develop/form…
Maintain a relationship
A long-lasting relationship
Family Close-nit family
Nuclear family
Extended family
Single-parent family
Blended family
Family reunion
Family ties
Family gather/reunion
Homemaker
Breadwinner
Bond Close bond
Strengthen family bond
Sacrifice Make a sacrifice
Conflict
Tell O apart
Take after Physical resemblance
Confide in
Look like
Have in common
Break down
Get together
On good terms with
Flesh and blood

Exercises:
The nuclear family is the traditional family structure in the West. This term, originating in the 1950s, describes families consisting of a father, a
mother, and their offspring. Under this structure, the family is seen as the basic unit in society; the father functions as the breadwinner and the mother
as the homemaker. Nowadays, alternative family types are becoming more prevalent, such as single-parent families, families headed by same-sex
parents, and extended families where families live with their kin, which may include several generations. Extended families are less common in North
America, where it is not uncommon to place grandparents in retirement homes.
A Social Trends survey in 2009 reported radical changes in child rearing and marriage practices in the United Kingdom. Figures showed that
while 30 percent of women under thirty had given birth by the age of 25, only 24 percent had tied the knot. This marked the first time childbirth had
become the first major milestone in adult life, ahead of marriage. In 1971 in the U.K, 3/4 of women were married by the age of 25 and half were mothers.
Judging by the high rates of divorce and the increasing number of children born out of wedlock, it would appear that the family as an institution
is in decline. American sociologist Stephanie Coontz believes so too, but for different reasons. Coontz points out that marriages are no longer arranged
for political or economic reasons, and children are no longer required to contribute to the family income. Marriages nowadays are founded on love. She
believes this shift towards love and free choice has actually weakened both the family by making it optional and the bond between the husband and wife
by making it contingent on emotional fulfillment.
1. What is a nuclear family?
 .
2. True or False: extended families are replacing nuclear families in North America.
 .
3. How has marriage and raising children changed in the U.K. since 1971?
 .
4. Why does Stephanie Coontz believe the institution of the family has weakened?
 .
Match the words with their meaning
1. breadwinner A. bring up and care for the child until it is fully grown
2. rear B. get married
3. tie the knot C. children
4. bond D. the person who makes money in a family
5. offspring E. relationship/link/connection
The nuclear family, consisting of a mother, father, and their children, may be more an American ideal than an American reality. Of course, the so
called traditional American family was always more varied than we had been led to believe, reflecting the very different racial, ethnic, class, and
religious customs among different American groups, but today diversity is even more obvious.
The most recent government census statistics reveal that only about one third of all current American families fits the traditional mold of two parents
and their children, and another third consists of married couples who either have no children or have none still living at home. An analysis of the
remaining one third of the population reveals that about 20 percent of the total number of American households are single people, the most common
descriptor being women over sixty-five years of age. A small percentage, about 3 percent of the total, consists of unmarried people who choose to live
together; the rest, about 7 percent, are single parents, with at least one child.
There are several easily identifiable reasons for the growing number of single-parent households. First, the sociological phenomenon of single-
parent households reflects changes in cultural attitudes toward divorce and also toward unmarried mothers. A substantial number of adults become
single parents as a result of divorce. In addition, the number of children born to unmarried women who choose to keep their children and rear them by
themselves has increased dramatically. Finally, there is a small percentage of single-parent families that have resulted from untimely death. Today,
these varied family types are typical and, therefore, normal.
In addition, because many families live far from relatives, close friends have become a more important part of family life than ever before. The vast
majority of Americans claim that they have people in their lives whom they regard as family although they are not related. A view of family that only
accepts the traditional nuclear arrangement not only ignores the reality of modern American family life, but also undervalues the familial bonds created
in alternatives family arrangements. Apparently, many Americans are achieving supportive relationships in family forms other than the traditional one.
1. Which of the following is the main topic of the passage?
A. The traditional American family C. The nuclear family
B. The current American family D. The ideal family
2. The word ‘current’ in paragraph 2 could best be replaced by which of the following?
A. typical B. perfect C. present D. traditional
3. The word ‘none’ in paragraph 2 refers to
A. parents B. couples C. children D. families
4. How many single people were identified in the survey?
A. One third of the total surveyed C. One fourth of the total surveyed
B. One fifth of the total surveyed D. Less than one tenth of the total surveyed
5. Who generally constitutes a one-person household?
A. A single man in his twenties C. An elderly man
B. A single woman in her late sixties D. A divorced woman
6. The word ‘undervalues’ in paragraph 4 is closest in meaning to
A. does not appreciate C. does not include
B. does not know about D. does not understand
7. The passage discusses all of the following reasons for an increase in single-parent households EXCEPT?
A. a rising divorce rate C. death of one of the parents
B. increased interest in parenting by fathers D. babies born to single women
8. With which of the following statements would the author most probably agree?
A. There have always been a wide variety of family arrangements in the United States
B. Racial, ethnic, and religious groups have preserved the traditional family structure
C. The ideal American family is the best structure
D. Fewer married couples are having children

Choose the correct answers to complete the following passage.


When talking about family, a distinction (1) is making / is made between extended family and nuclear family. The nuclear family is the basic family
unit of parents and children. The extended family is all the other members who (2) are related / have been related by blood and by marriage: aunts,
uncles, grandparents, nieces, nephews, in laws, etc. In the West, the importance of extended family (3) has decreased / has been decreased greatly in
the last 50 years. But the extended family has many economic benefits. Grandparents (4) help / are helped with childcare and in turn they (5) are looked
after / have been looked after when they are old by younger members of the family. Also, when houses and domestic chores (6) are sharing / are being
shared by many, living costs are naturally lower. But in recent years more and more young people (7) are choosing / have been choosing to live in
nuclear families and so the economics (8) changed / have been changing. The older generation say that traditional family values (9) are losing / are
being lost; but the more serious economic issue is that everyone’s network of support (10) has been taking / has been taken away.

Read the passage and do the tasks that follow.


What are your parents doing now? Maybe they’re watching you, listening to you or finding out where you are. How? It’s all thanks to new high-tech
equipment from specialist companies in the USA. A company called BladeRunner has a jacket with a GPS system inside. It costs $500, and for $20 a
month your parents can always see where you are (or where your jacket is!). But that’s nothing. Do your parents want to know what you’re eating? No
problem. MyNutriKids tells them what you’re having for lunch at school. Do your parents want to know your exam results? GradeSpeed is a service
which gives them that information. Do they want to know what online conversations you’re having? IMSafer tells them. You usually arrive on time for
extra-curricular sports classes. But if one day you don’t arrive on time, there’s a service which informs your parents. And there’s another service which
sends them a message if you go outside a specific area. So, are your parents protecting you or are they spying on you? Babies and small children need
constant care and protection. But is it really important for parents to know where their teenage kids are every minute of the day? Adolescents need to
take their own decisions and make their own mistakes. Mistakes are an important part of growing up, of passing from childhood to independence. We
think it’s important for parents to give their children the opportunity to do this.
1. The BladeRunner jacket _____
A. costs $500. B. only works if you pay regularly. C. has a mobile phone inside.
2. GradeSpeed _____
A. helps students to work fast in exams.
B. helps students to have good results in exams.
C. gives parents information about exam results.
3. One of the services _____
A. tells parents if their children do not arrive at a place on time.
B. stops children from entering a new zone.
C. tells children if they are going into a dangerous place.
4. A lot of the new technology _____
A. is dangerous for children. B. is difficult to use. C. gives parents information about their children.
5. In the article, it says that for young people it is _____
A. bad to make mistakes. B. important to listen to parents. C. important to have the chance to make mistakes.
Match the underlined words in the text with their definitions.
1. something you do at school, but not part of your normal studies .
2. things that you do wrong, that are incorrect .
3. connected to the Internet .
4. chance, possibility .
5. permanent attention and help .
6. written or spoken information that you send to somebody .
7. tells .

DEVELOPING VOCABULARY: Noun suffixes -ment, -ion, -ence


Complete the words in the table and then use your dictionary to check the words
-MENT -ION ENCE
Verb Noun Verb Noun Adjective Noun
Equip Protection Independence
Improve Inform Adolescence
Move Invent Different
Retirement Discuss Confidence

Complete the sentences with nouns from the table above.


1. ____________________ is the period between childhood and being an adult.
2. He and his brother are very similar. There isn’t a ____________________ big between them.
3. The computer is a brilliant ____________________.
4. She doesn’t live with her family. She likes having complete ____________________.
5. You can find a lot of ____________________ about many different topics on the Internet.
6. A hat can give you ____________________ from the sun.
Read the text and questions below. For each question, circle the correct letter A, B, C or D.
Marie Davies – being a twin
When people hear that I’m a twin, their first question is always “Can you and Paula read each other’s thoughts?” Being a twin means always having
a best friend and never being lonely. Form a very early age, my sister and I both new what the other was thinking and feeling. I’ve watched videos of us
as young children, playing happily side by side, not needing to say anything. Sometimes, even I can’t tell which twin is which.
The teenage years are a difficult enough time for anyone, but they were even worse for us. At school, I joined the basketball team, listened to hip hop
music and dressed in sporty clothes, and Paula didn’t want to know me. If I wore trousers, she wore a skirt. Her blond hair was long and loose, while
mine was dark and very short. Sometimes we had arguments, though they were quickly forgotten. Luckily, we never like the same kind of boyfriend! At
18, we went to different universities and didn’t see each other for six months. When we met up again, she seemed like a stranger.
Now we are both in our twenties and live 500 kilometers apart, though we speak or email most days, our friends see us as different as night and day.
Paula is shy and kind, and always forgetting things. I am more confident than she is and I’ve never forgotten a friend’s birthday! Yet we both love
painting, running and dancing and hate people who are rude or unkind. Underneath, we are just as close as ever.
1. In the text, Marie Davie is _____.
A. advising parents how to bring up twins C. describing her relationship with her sister
B. explaining why she dislikes being a twin D. complaining about her friends’ attitude
2. In films of their early childhood, Marie and Paula _____.
A. play separate games C. behave in different ways
B. communicate without speaking D. sometimes fight with each other
3. What did Marie and Paula do at school?
A. They refused to copy each other’s style. C. They had long-lasting disagreements.
B. They liked to borrow each other’s clothes. D. They went out with the same boyfriend.
4. Marie thinks that she _____.
A. has a better memory than Paula C. has more hobbies than Paula
B. is more ready to trust people than Paula D. is less friendly than Paula
5. What would the twins say about their lives?
A. We were very close as children but we’re never been as close since that time.
B. We’d like to live near to each other; we’ve lost contact because our homes are so far apart.
C. We had a lot of fun at secondary school – we looked so similar that the teacher often got our names wrong.
D. Even though we lead separate lives now, there is still a very strong bond between us.