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YOUTH PROBLEMS
U n i t 1
NEW GENERATION KNOWS BEST
When we are out of sympathy with the young, then I think our work in this world is over

Macdonald
WORDS TO STUDY
adolescence – юность; adolescent – юноша; девушка; подросток;

подростковый

to aim – стремиться (к чему-либо); aim – цель; намерение

to assess – оценивать; assessment – оценка; признание

contest – соревнование; конкурс

to contribute – жертвовать (деньгами и т. п.); делать вклад; contribution – вклад; содействие

creative – творческий

to experience – испытывать; переживать

to face – сталкиваться

objective – цель

potential – потенциал; возможности

prosperity – процветание, успех

to socialize (with) – общаться; встречаться

teenage – находящийся в возрасте от 13 до 19 лет; юношеский

value – ценность; важность

to volunteer – предлагать (свою помощь); сделать по своей инициативе; volunteer – доброволец

youngster – юношa; мальчик; подросток

LEXICAL EXERCISES
1 Match the words on the left with their synonyms on the right:

1 contest

2 objective

3 to socialize

4 teenage

5 to experience

a) aim

b) adolescent

c) competiton

d) to live through

e) to communicate


2 Complete the following sentences using the given words: to assess, contribution, creative, volunteered, values:

1 The young generation will make a positive … to the society.

2 He was taught to be guided by the moral ….

3 He is too young to … his abilities in swimming.

4 A group of adolescents … to work at the old people’s home.

5 It was useful and … work.
3 Translate the following sentences into Russian:

1 The initiative is aimed at helping young people.

2 Adolescent period is a period between childhood and adulthood.

3 This young man has a considerable potential.

4 Nobody refused to contribute to the Red Cross.

5 She enjoys socializing with her friends in my spare time.
TEXT 1
Look through the text quickly and answer the questions. The Can-do Generation:

1 What are young people like today?

2 How do they see themselves and each other?

3 What do they think about their future?

4 How do boys and girls behave if they are not confident of themselves?
CAN-DO GIRLS
Things are changing for girls – there's a new generation of confident girls. They think that they can do everything, that they'll be successful and have an exciting future. These can-do girls believe that they can-do everything that boys can-do and that they can do it even better! The typical can-do girl has a good relationship with her parents, especially with her father. Another thing that seems to be important is a good relationship between the girl's father and mother.

TOMORROW’S MEN
Things are changing for boys too. It isn't good now to be loud, tough and macho. Tomorrow's men are confident in a different way – they have better relationships with adults, with girls and with each other. They can talk to parents and teachers about most things. School is important for them. And they don't think that men are better than women. These are can-do boys and they're sure that they'll have a great future.
Vocabulary
can-do generationпоколение, которoe все может.
TEXT 2
Read the text "It's So Good To BeYoung" and say:

1 Why the period of adolescence is important?

2 What the aim of the educational policy of our state is?

3 What the main objectives of the youth policy are?
IT’S SO GOOD TO BE YOUNG
It's common knowledge that at the age of 18 young people take on most of the rights and responsibilities of adulthood. But until adolescent years come, the teenager lives through a very important character-building period of adolescence. During this time youngsters rapidly grow out of their last year's clothes become more intellectual, better educated and better socially informed. They want to be more independent, they try to keep to their own values which are not always the same as those held by their parents and older people. They think more for themselves and do not blindly accept the ideals of their elders. They admit that the old know a lot for the simple reason that they have been around in this world a bit longer. The young often doubt that the older generation has created the best of possible worlds. They question their values and grown-ups often lose contact with teenagers. Traditionally, the young have turned to the older people for guidance. Today, adults – if they are prepared to admit it – could learn a thing or two from their children. At the same time teenagers are definitely influenced by the values and moral requirements which they learn at home, at school as well as from their social surrounding, including mass media.

While the teenage years for most young people are basically free of a serious conflict, they may face a certain number of personal emotional problems either at home or at school or with their friends. And if they can't cope on their own with the difficulties they face and they have nobody to turn to for support or advice and find understanding, some of the weak-willed take to drinking or they may even start taking drugs or committing crimes. They are those whom psychologists call "problem children" and they are the major concern of the society and educational authorities in every country. The educational policy of our state is aimed at creating necessary facilities for young people to develop their abilities and encouraging them to live "a healthy life".

Talented children are encouraged by the government and local authorities to realize their creative and intellectual potential to its full. Contests in various subjects are very popular with Belarusian pupils and they are held every year. So far there hasn't been a single international Olympiad at which our pupils haven't been among the winners. Becoming a winner at an international Olympiad is prestigious and is good evidence of the brilliant knowledge of the subject of an individual pupil and at the same time it's a broad assessment of the educational system of the country the winner represents.

Another way how young people can display their abilities is their contribution to the national economy. In the summertime a lot of young people in the countryside work together with their parents in the fields helping to get a good harvest. Some even get awards and prizes.

It's quite natural that young people want to socialize with their equals so as to express their views on several political and social issues. They join youth organizations and societies. The most popular with young people is the Belarusian Republican Youth Union (BRSM) which was set up in 2002. The main aim of the Union is to involve young people into socially useful activities such as sporting events, volunteering at hospitals, taking care of war veterans, assisting the old and the handicapped, carrying out some ecological projects and doing other things.

International cooperation is among the objectives of youth policy in our country as well. The existing agreements are aimed at establishing and developing relations with youth organizations of other countries, including the CIS states. Our young people attend various forums and conferences at which they debate and exchange opinions on youth problems in different countries. Youth international contacts are important and we all understand that the future of our planet is with the young and we lay our best hopes on them.
Answer the questions:

1 What is the period of adolescence characterized by?

2 What values are teenagers influenced by?

3 What problems may some teenagers face?

4 What happens if teenagers can't cope with their problems?

5 How can young people realize their creative and intellectual potential?

6 What is the educational policy aimed at?

7 Why is winning an international Olympiad prestigious?

8 In what other ways can young people show their abilities?

9 When was the Belarusian Republican Youth Union formed (BRSM)?

10 What activities do the BRSM members participate in?
TEXT 3
1 Read the text "All Starts in a Family" and say if the speaker is optimistic about family life.
ALL STARTS IN A FAMILY

(A letter to the editor)
I'm a perfectionist. I believe that everything has its beginning in the family. Family is important for every person, because it gives you a sense of stability and tradition, a feeling of having support and understanding. In happy families parents are frank and honest with their children, they treat their children with respect without moralizing or bossing them around and children in their turn learn how to treat other people, how to form relationship among their equals. In a friendly family people are gentle, respectful and loving. This is how things should be in all families. And maybe that's why TV advertisements, modern magazines, films and talk shows force these ideals of family life upon millions of average people. They force them to think that a perfect family should consist of two parents (both successful) and two children (healthy, happy, with rosy cheeks), as family still remains the key social structure. At weekends they have breakfast together, then go to the park, picnic or zoo, they broadly smile and look cheerful. But at the same time the mass media report numerous instances of family tragic clashes and miserable children who suffer a lot when marriages break up and several of whom have to be brought up in children's homes.

At wedding ceremonies couples are sure that they will have and hold each other from this day forward, for better and for worse till death parts them. But what later makes them unhappy in their married life? Why does eternal love sometimes end up in tears?

Marriage is a very responsible decision. Common interests, mutual respect and understanding are no less important than love. And living under one roof always means compromise. Parents shouldn't be ashamed of saying "I love you, dear!" in front of their children. Children need to know that their parents love them and they also love each other.

I suppose the saying is true that small children create small problems while the big ones bring big problems. The older we grow, the more patient our parents should be with us. Teenagers often protest and very often they seem to be against the whole world when they are 14 or 15 years of age. Every generation is different from the previous one due to the changes that take place in economic, social and political spheres of every society and in every country. So, should our parents make us live according to their values? Of course, their judgments on many things are sensible and reasonable (experience is a great thing that is acquired with years), but at the same time I suppose that children have the right to make their own mistakes and to overcome their own hardships. As for me, 1 always try to look at the bright side of things.

Of course, the young should turn to their elders for guidance. And the elders should be prepared to admit that they can learn a thing or two from their children. The young are better educated nowadays; they grow up more quickly, enjoy more freedom and are not so dependent on their parents. They think more for themselves and do not blindly accept the ideals of their elders. Every new generation is different from the one that preceded it. Older people have never liked to feel that their values may be questioned. And this is exactly what the young are doing.

Respect, support, confidence and love are most important in a family. I do believe in family as a basic social institution. Am I right?

Yours Alice
Vocabulary
perfectionist – взыскательный, добивающийся во всем совершенства человек;

clash – столкновение;

mutual – взаимный;

previous –предыдущий;

hardship – трудность;

blindly – слепо
2 Read the quotations connected with family life, translate them into Russian and say how you understand them. Say which of them you agree to and which are wrong in your opinion.

a) We never know the love of our parents until we become parents ourselves.

b) The best way to make children good is to make them happy.

с) A tree is known by its fruit.

d) All happy families resemble one another, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

e) A family is a group of people who have the same name and sit together in front of a TV-set.

f) Home is where the heart is.
3 Act out a talk show on family problems. Choose the topic you are going to discuss and interview your groupmates.

a) The young can’t blindly accept the ideals of the elders.

b) The old can learn some useful things from the young.

c) Too much money spoils the young especially the stars’ children.

d) Young people need guidance.

e) Each new generation is better and more intellectual than the previous one.
TEXT 4
1 Read the text and see whether your opinion coincides with that of the author on all the points.
A WORD FROM AN OLD GRUMBLER
I would say that nowadays young people are poorly adapted to contemporary life, no matter how well they are armed with modern computer technologies and devices. Though some of them look quite grown-up physiologically at a rather early age, yet, they are far less developed mentally and psychologically. This contradiction leads to their incorrect self-estimation as well as to the wrong estimation of their abilities and possibilities on the part of the grown-ups who deal with them.

Most of those young dream of independence; they declare that they are sick and tired of their parents’ constant supervision and too abundant care. But are they really ready and able to live separately and independently? Some of them realize how much they owe to their parents only when they lose them.

We are living in a critical period of time when old values and ideals have been dethroned but those new ones, so much attracting young people with their tinsel luster are more than often false and are unlikely to stand the test of time.

Yet rare are people ready to study on others’ mistakes and advice. So again and again young people “step on the same rake” as the famous Russian saying goes. There still exist and will always be preserved the so called eternal values such as genuine love, fraternal friendship, kindness and readiness to help, the ability to understand real beauty, to admire other people’s high qualities and talents and to be tolerant to their drawbacks.

Someone once said: to understand what kind of person an individual is he or she is to undergo three kinds of temptations. They are as follows: testing by wealth, testing by glory and testing by power. They who have passed these three temptations and remained sensitive to other people’s pain and grief, ready to help those in need, to defend the weak, to give hand to those in trouble, not to bend neck before a mediocrity in power, but respect, value and admire other people’s achievements, never envy and enjoy the beauty of the world – only those may consider themselves happy. And the last but not the least: you must love other people. The paradox is that egoists can never be happy.
Vocabulary
to grumble – ворчать; жаловаться;

to adapt (oneself) – приспосабливаться;

contemporary – современный;

to estimate – оценивать;

abundant – обильный, чрезмерный;

tinsel показной; мишурной;

lusterглянец, блеск;

eternalвечный;

temptationискушение, соблазн;

mediocrityчеловек, обладающий посредственными способностями
2 Discuss the following questions.

1 Do you agree that nowadays young people are more than often accelerate in their physical development but keep behind in mental aspect? Why?

2 Do you think it is possible to learn on other people’s mistakes? Why do we make the same mistakes generation by generation?

3 What do you think of the so-called “eternal values”? Can they really be unchangeable?

4 Would you like to be put to the three temptations mentioned in the letter? How do they usually change people? Would they change you? In what way?

TEXT 5
1 Read the dialogue and do the assignments following it:
CLEAN UP YOUR ROOM

(After Art Buchwald)
(You don't really feel the generation gap in this country until a son or daughter comes home from college for Christmas. This dialogue is probably taking place all over America this week.)

? Nancy, you've been home from college for three days now. Why don't you clean up your room?

? We don't have to clean up our room at college, Mother.

? That's very nice and I'm happy you're going to such a free-willing institution. But while you are in the house I would like you to clean up your room.

? What difference does it make? It's my room.

? I know, dear. And it really doesn't mean so much to me. But your father is much afraid of the plague. He said this morning if it's going to start anywhere in this country, it's going to start in your room.

? Mother, you people aren't interested in anything really important. Do you realize how big corporations are polluting our environment?

? Your father and I are very much worried about it. But now we are more concerned with the pollution in your bedroom. You haven't made your bed since you came home.

? I never make it at the college.

? Of course you don't and I'm sure the time you save goes toward your education. But we still have that old-fashioned ideas about making beds in the morning and we can't give them up. And since you are at home for such a short time, why don't you do it to please us?

? Oh, Mother, I'm quite grown-up! Why do you have to treat me like a child?

? We are not treating you like a child. But it's difficult for us to realize you're an adult when you throw all your clothes on the floor.

? I haven't thrown all my clothes on the floor. Only those I wore yesterday.

? I'm sorry I exaggerated. Well, how about the dirty dishes on your desk? Are you collecting them for a science project?

? Mother, you don't understand us. You people were brought up to have clean rooms. But our generation doesn't care about things like that.

? No one respects education more than your father and I do, particularly at the prices they are charging. But we can't see how living in dirt can improve your mind.

? All right, all right. I'll clean up my room if it means that much to you. But I want you to know you've ruined my vacation.

? It was a risk I had to take. Oh, by the way, I know it's a terrible thing to ask you, but would you mind helping me to wash the dinner dishes?

? Wash dishes? Nobody washes dishes at college.

? Your father and I were afraid of that.
Vocabulary
a free-willing institutionзаведение, где можно делать все, что хочется;

plagueчума;

to pollute the environment – загрязнять окружающую среду;

exaggerate – преувеличивать.
2 Say in what way the girl thinks her generation differs from that of her parents. Is she right?
3 Say how you understand the phrase "generation gap". Use the following words and expressions if necessary:

lack of mutual understanding; common interests; disres­pect of children for their parents; modern; old-fashioned; to feel superior (superiority); estrangement (отчуждение) between the younger and older generations; misunderstan­ding and tension in the family; to feel embarrassed; to be out of question; to spoil relationships.
4 Role play the dialogue.
5 Read the joke and say what it adds to the "ge­neration gap" problem:
A Talk in the Tram

? Who's that long-haired young man?

? It's not a young man. It's my daughter.

? Indeed? You’re such a young father!

? I’m not the father. I’m the mother.


TEXT 6
1 Robert Bridge, an American correspondent in Moscow shares his impressions after visiting his native places in America. Read and learn what he was so amazed at. Do we deal with the same problems in this country?
WHERE HAVE ALL THE CHIDREN GONE
On a recent trip back to America, I decided to take a nostalgic walk through my old neighborhood, a walk down memory lane, as it were.

I visited the baseball field where life-and-death games were played until the ball was nothing but a dangerous silhouette against the night sky. I walked through a small patch of urban woods where baseball players became fearless soldiers and crude tree branches substituted as guns. I sat momentarily on the old wooden porch where lazy conversations warmed the chilly evenings.

It wasn’t until later that I realized something was oddly amiss: there were no children to be seen – anywhere. My old neighborhood had become a ghost-town, devoid of the voices of children (cynics may counter that this is not such a bad thing). With a bit of detective work I soon discovered that the kids were all “interacting” with some electronic gadgets. If they weren’t sitting blankly in front of a television screen, they were staring blankly at a computer screen; If they weren’t playing a video game, they were sending an e-mail to a friend, who probably lived right down the street. In short, they were all “plugged in” one way or another. And the playgrounds stood silent.

Nor is Moscow immune to the scourge of the technobug. Here, the mobile phone is Public Nuisance Number One (that is, next to the shrieking car alarm). On a recent trip to a restaurant with a friend, it suddenly became obvious that an uninvited third party had joined us. The ultra-hip Nokia phone literally had a seat at the table and enjoyed far more conversation than me. Regrettably, the obnoxious device remained silent when it came to paying the bill.

How about the walkman stereo system that includes a convenient head-jack that plugs directly into the skull? The idea behind this invention, it seems, was to provide the listener with an opportunity to listen without disturbing the peace. However, over time, most walkman users have lost most of their hearing and must turn the volume up to the highest possible decibel. Thus, everyone within 10 meters is susceptible to the musical tastes of the soon-to-be-deaf adolescent. These gadgets should come with the government health warning. “Can cause permanent hearing loss”.

And how about the latest sensation in technological breakthroughs which threatens to revolutionize the entire wired world? You know – the SMS message option thingmajig on mobile phones. Not only will the youth of the world be deaf at 40, they will be blind as well from trying to hammer out those teeny-tiny little buttons in order to communicate asinine messages like “I miss you”, “You are revolting”, “Let’s not see each other anymore”. Jolly fun, isn’t it?

The greatest paradox from this technological onslaught is that we are not saying anything more we did before. Actually, we may be saying a good deal less, since when we finally meet in the flesh and blood we haven’t got the strength to talk.

I might continue on this rant – but I must check my emails now.
Vocabulary
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