A. Have a conversation as natural as possible with a partner about the topic. Use the pictures above and the questions below to help you.
1. What is your full name? Why did your parents select this name for you? Did / Do you have a nickname? Is there a naming tradition in your family, such as always giving the firstborn son the name of his paternal grandfather?
2. Describe the personalities of your family members. Are there any physical characteristics that run in your family?
3. When and where were you born? How did your family come to live there? Were there other family members in the area? What is your earliest childhood memory? What was your favourite thing to do for fun (movies, beach, etc.)? Did you have family chores? What were they? Which was your least favourite? Did you receive an allowance (i.e. pocket money)? How much? Did you save your money or did you spend it? What events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family? What would you change about your childhood?
4. What accomplishments are you the most proud of? What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you? What will you teach your children? (values, beliefs, hobbies, skills, etc.)
5. Have you ever felt pressured by your family to act in a certain way? Do you usually have any influence on family matters? Which is the person in your family who has had the greatest influence on you?
6. How can you define a “modern” family”? What about a “traditional” family? In what ways have families changed over the last forty or fifty years? What were the positive aspects of families forty or fifty years ago? What are the positive aspects of modern families? What was the downside of traditional families? Are there any downsides to modern families? How easy is it for you to talk with each of the following people nowadays: father, mother, children, brothers and sisters, grandparents, friends. In your opinion, how easy was it to speak your mind openly fifty years ago?
7. If you could change one thing about the dynamics in family relations, what would it be? (e.g. time spent together, communication style, rules…)
8. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
•Children get into trouble because their parents punish them too much.
•The trouble with most children nowadays is that their parents are too easy with them.
•Many of the unhappy things in people’s lives are partly due to bad luck.
•People’s misfortunes result from the mistakes they make.
•Heredity plays a major role in determining one’s personality.
•It is one’s experiences in life which determine what people are like.
1. Describe a typical family dinner when you were a child. Did you all eat together as a family? Who did the cooking? What were your favourite foods?
2. How were / are holidays celebrated in your family? Tell us about the last time you went on holiday?
3. Did / Does your family have special traditions? Tell us about the last time you celebrated something special together.Student B
1. Who was the oldest relative you remember as a child? What do you remember about them? Do / Did you live with any of your grandparents?
2. What stories have come down to you about your parents, grandparents, or more distant ancestors?
3. Of all the things you learned from your parents, which do you feel was the most valuable?Sample answers
1. Do you like your name?
I love the name Jillian! It does not sound like an old lady!
I can't stress enough how much I HATE my name. And it is ALWAYS mispronounced, which I don’t understand because it is not uncommon.
My name is hard to pronounce and sounds weird.
My name is Amber Nicole. I used to hate my name but I like it now. I couldn’t really picture myself with another name. I can’t stand it when people call me Amberlyn. It really bothers me when people spell Nicole Nichole.
2. Describe the Personality of your family
He's very open and friendly - he gets it from his father.
We're all very musical - it's in the family.
She comes across as quite a shy person when you first meet her, but she's not like that at all.
He makes a bad impression on everyone.
You'll find him absolutely charming.
My son is self-reliant (independent) for his age.
Unfortunately, my brother is a social misfit.
Everybody likes my sister. She's a really good laugh.
3. Childhood Memories
The earliest thing I can remember is sitting in my cot (AmE crib Sp. cuna) in a house we moved out of when I was about nine months old.
I was a real handful (difficult to control) when I was a baby.
The first thing I recall is right after we moved to our second apartment in Houston. I was somewhere between 18 months and 2 years old and I had just been given my first "big kid bed" which I kept falling out of. I told mum that recollection whilst a teenager and she insisted I couldn't POSSIBLY remember that far back and then I described the layout of the apartment and her eyebrows just flew into her hairline.
I fell out of the top bunk of our bed a few times.
I remember walking in red cowboy boots. I remember that they were so high on my legs, that I felt I couldn't bend my knees. I was holding on to two people on each side of me to keep my balance.
3. Family Traditions
As a name gives an identity to a person, family traditions differentiate a family, making each and every family unique and special.
Also, dinner-time conversations are valued in my family. Friday nights are also looked forward to as time spent together playing board games, cards, or watching a movie.
Our family traditions are passed on from generation to generation and help define the true meaning of my family.
Holidays mean a lot to my family, for they help build everlasting memories and enrich our cultural knowledge.
Just the word "Christmas," has always evoked a fond (with pleasure) nostalgia...the aroma of the turkey with all the trimmings.
The tradition goes way back in my father's family.
If ever there is a relative or friend of the family whom I don't see throughout the year, I can rest assured I'll see them come Christmas time.
rest assured (that…) (formal) used to emphasize that what you say is true or will definitely happen. E.g. You may rest assured that we will do all we can to find him.
Family traditions are the glue that binds one generation to another. They give kids and parents something to look forward to, as well as something to count on during the hectic holiday season...and throughout the year.
Sibling: brother or sister
Pour: /pɔː(r)/ Sp. verter.
Spill spilt: Sp. derramar
Spoil: rude and badly behaved because they are given everything they ask for and not enough discipline. Sp. mimar, consentir, malcriar, estropear .E.g. a spoiled brat. He's spoilt rotten (= a lot). E.g. Too many cooks spoil the broth
Pamper somebody to take care of somebody very well and make them feel as comfortable as possible. Sp. mimar. E.g. Pamper yourself with our new range of beauty treatments. A spoilt and pampered child.
Dressing gown: a long loose piece of clothing, usually with a belt, worn indoors over night clothes, for example when you first get out of bed.
Bathrobe: a loose piece of clothing worn before and after taking a bath
pancake: a thick crepe /kreɪp/