Monday 14 November 2011

Never Left Home: Chandra from India - What is "traditional" Britain?

You are going to 
  • discuss tradition and change
  • watch a short clip about a man who is looking for "traditional Britain" and answer some comprehension questions
  • discuss some IELTS writing questions on tradition and change
  • write an IELTS / argument question on tradition and change 

1) Discuss
  • Has your country changed much in the last 50 years?
  • Is life for you different to when your parents or grandparents were young?
  • What are the differences between now and the past?
  • Do you think change is a good thing? Why / Why not?

Before you watch the video
  • Have you been to Britain? / Would you like to visit Britain?
  • How do / did  you imagine Britain?
  • What do you think is "traditional Britain"?
  • Do you think traditional Britain is the same as modern Britain?
  • Do you think this poem describes modern or traditional Britain?  
 I wandered lonely as a Cloud    
That floats on high over Vales and Hills,    
When all at once I saw a crowd    
A host of dancing Daffodills;
Along the Lake, beneath the trees,
Ten thousand dancing in the breeze.
(William Wordsworth)

    2) Watch
    1. How does Chandra feel about his first visit to the UK?
    2. What kind of education did he have?
    3. Why was he surprised when he came to the UK?
    4. How many Indians live in the UK?
    5. What percentage of them live in London?
    6. Why does he go to "Chaucer's" Canterbury?
    7. What is he worried about?
    8. What are the answers to his question about “traditional Britain”?
    9. What does he find strange in the countryside?
    10. What does he say about modern Britain?

    Answers - highlight below
    1. Excited
    2. British influenced
    3. He found so many Indians
    4. More than 1.8 million
    5. 35%
    6. Maybe he’ll find the Britain he’s looking for
    7. Has traditional Britain gone forever?
    8. Countryside, “difficult to pin down”, Fish and chips, bad summer, tea…
    9. The British don’t seem to know what he’s looking for. He thinks he learnt more about English history in India than the locals.
    10. Modern Britain is full of global brands. Immigration has made it multicoloured. There is something for everyone

    3) Discuss
    What do you think?
    • Why don't the British people in the video know what he's looking for?
    • What are traditional values? Are they worth keeping?
    • What is globalization? Is it a good thing?
    • Should people know more about their history and traditions or should we look more to the future?
    • Are we losing traditions and traditional values in the race to be modern? Is that good or bad?

    4) Discuss / Write
    Look at these IELTS writing topics. Discuss them and choose one to write (250 words).
    1. Some people believe that visitors to other countries should follow local customs and behaviour. Others disagree and think that the host country should welcome cultural differences. Discuss both these views and give your own opinion.
    2. People nowadays work hard to buy more things. This has made our lives generally more comfortable, but many traditional values and customs have been lost and this is a pity.
    3. Society advances most when people break from the traditions of their predecessors. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?
    4. Cultural traditions today are often used for money making purposes, especially in the tourism industry.  Do you feel this development is more positive or negative?
    5. It is inevitable that as technology develops so traditional cultures must be lost. Technology and tradition are incompatible – you cannot have both together. To what extent do you agree or disagree?
    6. There are many different types of music in the world today, why do we need music? Is the traditional music of a country more important than the international music that is heard everywhere nowadays?

    Remember to plan your essay.
    Look here for advice on introductions IELTS: Writing introductions for task 2

    Chandra mentions 3 famous British writers / poets; Shelley, Wordsworth and Chaucer. 
    Search on the net and find out about them. When did they live? What did they write?

    Find out more about the UK here Life in the UK; The British and how to understand them
    here  Visit Britain - Webquest
    and here  Visit Britain - You're invited

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