Work in pairs. Ask and answer the questions about home.
1) Where is your home? Is it where you live, where you were born, or where your parents live?
2) Do most people live in a flat or a house in Russia?
3) Do people prefer new homes?
4) Which of these features would you expect to see in a typical home?
attic balcony bathroom bedroom cellar courtyard
dining room garage garden kitchen living room
2a. Read the first paragraph of the text. What does home mean to the writer? Do you agree?
What does the word “home” mean to you? How do you say the word in your language? Although people usually know what the word means, it often has no exact translation. It’s not surprising really, because the idea of home varies from country to country, and from person to person. A home is more than a roof and four walls. It’s the cooking, eating, talking, playing and family living that go on inside which are important as well. And at home you usually feel safe and relaxed.
B. Read the rest of the text and think about answers to the questions for your country.
This is what some people from different countries say about their homes.
What are typical features of homes in your country?
“In Britain, even in the town there’s always a garden and sometimes a cellar. We have separate bedrooms and living rooms. But we don’t often have balconies or terraces. The weather isn’t warm enough!” (Pat, Exeter, England)
How often do people move home in your country?
“In the USA many people move every ten years.” (Cheryl, Boston, USA)
What is the main room in your home?
“The kitchen. Because it’s warm and we have breakfast, lunch and dinner there seven days a week. (Jackie, Cork, Ireland).
Work in pairs and talk about your answers to the questions in the text.
4. Work in groups of three or five. Prepare a description of a home that would suit all of you. Use the following ideas:
- Type of home - Size
- Location - Number of rooms
- Furniture - Electrical appliances
- The most important items
Use the following expressions:
To make suggestions To express doubt
What about…? I have my doubts about that.
Let’s start with … Well, I’m still not sure…
I suggest that we should… I can’t say that…
(See ‘List of Speech Acts’, p. 104)
5. Work in groups of three or four and discuss your answers to the following questions:
1) Do you live in a house or flat?
2) If you live in a flat what floor is it on?
3) If you live in a house do you have a garden?
4) Do you have your own garage or personal parking space?
5) Does the house/flat belong to you (or your family) or do you rent it?
6) What sort of furniture do you have?
7) What is the most important item for you?
8) Would you describe your house/flat as comfortable, dark or light (noisy or quiet)?
B. Eating Habits
Make these sentences true for you. Compare with a partner.
1) We often eat together in my family.
2) A typical dinner lasts about one hour.
3) Eating together keeps the family close.
4) We often eat out.
5) I like fast food.
6) We have special meals at the weekend.
2. Read a magazine article in which two families describe their eating habits. Are they different or the same?
The Norris family is a monument to modern-food technology. “I can’t remember the last time we all ate together,” says husband Michael Norris. “Mostly the food comes out of the freezer and goes straight into the microwave. We have two dining-tables but they never get used, not unless my mother-in-law, who lives with us, cooks something.” The children, Sophie and Ben, eat when they come home from school, while watching TV. Pat Norris, who works irregular hours and travels a lot, boils soup and makes a salad when she’s at home; Michael often eats out. It’s informal, but everyone likes it.