Children and Parenting
Upper-Intermediate to Advanced level
To provide Ss with an opportunity for freer speaking practice within the context of family, raising children, and general parenting methods
To provide Ss with an opportunity to practice their gist and detailed reading skills, while completing a pre-reading exercise
Procedure (109-123 minutes)
Write on the WB "PARENTS AND CHILDREN." Elicit from the Ss some details about their family, and specifically, their parents. 1) "Who do you look most like? Your mother or your father?" Encourage the Ss to describe specific physical similarities with their parents. Guide the Ss to think about their appearances, both when they were young and now that they are a young adult. As they have grown up, have they become more, or less, similar-looking to one of their parents? 2) "Who do you act most like, now that you're an adult? Your mother or your father?" Encourage the Ss to describe specific behavioral traits and habits that they have adopted from their parents. Guide the Ss to think about their habits and behaviors, both when they were young and now that they are a young adult. As they have grown up, have they become more, or less, similar in thought and behavior to one of their parents? 3) "When you were young, what activities do you remember doing with your mother?" "What about your father?" 4) "What do you do with your mother and father today, as an adult?" 5) "Who were you closest to as a child? Your mother or your father?" "What about as an adult? Has the relationship changed at all? How so?" 6) "Who here has a sibling (or siblings)?" "How has your brother/sister affected your relationship with your parents--when you were a child and now that you are an adult?"
Show the WC a picture of the T with her father and with her mother. Elicit from the WC who they think was the disciplinarian in the T's house, based on the photographs, and why. Elicit, from the WC, who was the main disciplinarian in their family--their mother or father? What did they do to punish the Ss for bad behavior when they were young? What did their parents consider as bad behavior, worthy of discipline and punishment? For those Ss who answered that they have siblings, ask if the rules, and family expectations, were different for the Ss' younger/older brother(s)/sister(s). If so, why do they think there was that difference?
Refer the Ss to the pre-reading task ('Smacking Children'). Elicit from the WC a response to the article. "Who supports the argument for disciplining children with a 'smack' and who thinks that disciplining through violence solves nothing?" Elicit from the Ss the rationale for their opinion; encourage them to use points in the article to support their argument. "Lynette Burrows, the author of 'Good Children,' says that emotional punishment is more harmful to children than physical punishment. What would you define as emotional punishment?" Divide the WC into groups and distribute a HO on 'Suitable Punishments.' Have the groups go through a list of situations and decide when a certain form of discipline is acceptable, and when it is not acceptable. Following debate and discussion, bring the WC together for FB. Build upon the activity with the following questions: --"Which do you think is more violent? A 'smack' or a 'blow'?" --Go through the list of physical forms of discipline. "Would some of these forms of physical punishment be acceptable for a little boy, but not a liitle girl? Which ones and why?" "Are there any other factors that might determine whether a particular form of physical punishment is reasonable or not?" --"At what age do you think it is no longer necessary or appropriate to discipline children?" Expand upon the topic with some probing questions. --"How have social attitudes to disciplining children changed over time? Do we discipline our children more or less today than we did 50 or 60 years ago? Why do you think that?" --"What about cultural differences in disciplining children? Do you think there are differences between disciplining children in Turkey and the United States? What about other countries?"
Write on the WB "RAISING CHILDREN." "So we've been talking about our families and about different approaches to disciplining children. Let's now think, in general, about raising children." Instruct the Ss, in their groups, to share with each other how they were raised as children. Have the groups compare and contrast their experiences. What did they like and what didn't they like about their family's parenting style. Bring the WC together for FB. Ask the Ss to describe their fellow peers' experiences. Following WC discussion, instruct the groups to create an 'ideal parent' for their family. "Come up with 5 important qualities that a parent should have to raise their children properly." Upon completion of the activity, bring the groups together for WC FB. Write some of the Ss' answers on the WB. Highlight some of those answers. "Do you think some of these qualities are specific just for the father role, or the mother role? Which ones and why?" "What are some problems that parents face today that they didn't have to worry about 50 or 60 years ago? When do you think it was easiest (and most difficult) to be a parent? During the time when your grandparents were parents? During the time when your parents were raising you? Or today? Why?"
Divide the WC into groups and have each group select a proverb, or quotation, on children and parenting. Instruct the Ss to decide: 1) what the proverb/quotation means and 2) if they agree or disagree with the proverb/quotation meaning, and why. "Does this proverb still apply to today? Does it apply to the modern Turkish family?" Ask each pair if they know of any Turkish equivalents to the English proverb that they select? Bring the WC together for FB and for each pair to share and explain their proverb/quotation.