Some cultural aspects of Britain

Some cultural aspects of Britain

Respect of privacy underlies many aspects of British life. It is not just Privacy in your own home which is important, but the individual’s right to keep information about himself or herself private is also important. Despite the increase in informality, it is still seen as rude to ask people what are called « personal » questions ( for example, about how much money they earn or about their family life) unless you know them very well. Notice that conventional formula on being introduced to someone in Britain, « how do you do ? » is not interpreted as a real request for information at all; the conventional reply is not to « answer the question » but to reply by saying « how do you do ?»

The British are always talking about the weather. Unlike many people, this stereotype is actually true to life. But constant remarks about the weather at chance meetings are not the result of polite conventions. They are not obligatory. Rather, they are the result of the fact that, on the one hand, to ask personal questions would be rude while, at the same time, silence also would be rude. The weather is a very convenient topic with
which to « fill the gap ».

British people give a relatively high value to the everyday personal contacts that they make. It is certainly true that working man’s club or the numerous other clubs devoted to various sports and pastimes play a very important part in many people’s lives. In these places, people make contacts with other people who share some of the same interests and attitudes. For many people, these contacts are an important part of their social identity. Another factor is work. Many people make their social contacts through work and, partly as a result of this the profession or skill which they practice is also an important aspect of their sense of identity.

Comprehension
I- Are these sentences true or false? Justify (3 points) 1 each
1) Most British people are reserved.
2) Talking about the weather is a good way to start conversations in Britain
3) Personal contacts are not an example of British culture

II- Answer these questions according to the text: (3 points) 1 each
1) Why do British give priority to privacy?
2) For what reason do British people go to clubs?
3) In your opinion, do British people inside clubs talk about personal issues? why?

III-Complete the following sentences: (3 points) 1 each
1) In Britain the question « How do you do ? » doesn’ t require……………………..
2) In Britain, Keeping silent is also …………………………………………..………..
3) British people make social contacts through………………….and …………………

IV- What do the underlined words in the text refer to? (3 points) 1 each
1) them
2) this stereotype
3) these places

V- Find in the text words or expressions meaning the same as (3 points) 1 each
1) impolite ( paragraph 1)
2) answer ( paragraph 1): ………………..
3) component ( paragraph 3): ………………….

Language
A- Replace the wrong words with correct alternatives:(2 points) 0.5 each
People who are claustrophobic suffer palpitations and (anxious)…………… attacks when they are enclosed in a small area. An (agoraphobia)………….. suffers in a similar way if they are exposed to the great outdoors. Technophobes, on the other hand, experience milder symptoms. They suffer (feel)……………….. of self-doubt and anxiety. They often feel insecure and obsolete. Some (worried)……………….. that they will lose their job because they cannot keep up with the times.

B-Fill in the blank with an appropriate word from the list: (3 points) 0.5 each
Lobby / hatred / Censorship/ community / partnership / altruism/
1. A lot of people ____________ near the white house for an immediate stop of the war in Iraq.
2. Authorities resort to ____________of television programmes when it causes problems or offend someone
3. Many Americans choose to work in developing countries out of _____________.
4. James suffers from xenophobia he has an intense ________________ of all foreigners.
5. Several youth charities have formed a ____________________ to help homeless teenagers.

C- Match the letters with the numbers to form collocation: ( 1 points ) 0.5 each
1- Citizenship 2- care 3- good 4- justice 5- education

a- Health: ……………….
b- Social: …………………

D-Put the verbs in brackets in the correct form: (3 points) 1 each
1. Experiments on animals should (forbid)……………………………………………
2. Experts predict that the world population (double) ……………… by the year 2060.
3. You ought (go) …………… to bed early if you feel tired.

E-Fill in the blanks with an appropriate word or expression from the list. (3 points) 1 each
Nevertheless – in spite of – although – as well as – whereas – even if
1. The book tells about the author’s life _______________ his writings.
2. _________ she was in poor health, she continued to carry out her duties.
3. Doctors’ salaries have risen substantially, __________ nurses’ pay has actually fallen.

F-Complete the following conversation, responding to the prompts between brackets (3 points) 1 each
Situation: “You have ordered a pizza, but they didn’t deliver it on time.”
You:(complain)………………………………………….
The pizzeria manager: (apologizes)……………………………………
You: (accept his apology)…………………..

Writing
An English-speaking friend would like to know about wedding ceremonies in Morocco. Respond to his email. Talk about some of the cultural practices in Moroccan wedding ceremonies. (Approximately 200)

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