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«Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads

and popular opinion. » Jack Kerouac American writer (1922-1969)



1. Give your comment on the given above saying.

2. What are some fashions or forms of body decoration that are popular with teenagers these days?

3. What fashions do teenagers and their parents disagree about?

4. What sports are especially popular these days?

5. What are your predictions about a future trend?


Part I

- Read the following paragraphs, and after each paragraph write its topic and the main idea.

- Mark important details of each paragraph.

- Make up a summary of the text. Remember that a summary is shorter than the original.


FADS and TRENDS in the 21st CENTURY

A The 19th-century American philosopher Henry David Thoreau was famous for saying, “Simplify, simplify”. Unfortunately, the trend these days seems to be “complicate, complicate” instead. Many people are working longer hours, spending more money, and getting in more debt than ever before. They are also relaxing less and spending less time with family and friends. However, there is also a countertrend – a trend toward voluntary simplicity. People in the voluntary simplicity movement take various steps to make their lives both simpler and more enjoyable. Some people work fewer hours each week. Some move close to their workplace to avoid a long daily commute; they walk or ride a bike, instead. Some plant a vegetable garden; this gives them fresh air, exercise, and time with their families – not to mention organic produce. But all people in the voluntary simplicity movement try to cut back – to buy less; they cut up their credit cards and stop buying unnecessary items. In short, the priority for people in the voluntary movement is to follow Thoreau’s suggestion: simplify.
  Topic:____________________________   Main idea: _________________________   __  
B A popular fad for many teenagers is tattooing. Parents are usually horrified by these permanent designs on their children’s skin, but the young people see them as a fashion statement. In the new millennium, some parents are greatly relieved when their teenage children turn to a new fad, a temporary form of decorating the hands, feet, neck, or legs – mehndi, a method of painting beautiful designs that last only about three weeks. This “new” fad is actually very old; for hundreds of years in India, a woman’s friends have painted her to celebrate her wedding day. Another fad from India, however, causes parents more worry – bidis. Children and young teens are attracted to these thin cigarettes in candy flavors such as orange, chocolate, mango, and raspberry. The problem? Bidis contain more nicotine that regular cigarettes. Unfortunately, many children think these are “cool” – fashionable. So until a new fad comes along, “Indian chic is hot,” as one radio commentator observed.
  Topic:____________________________   Main idea: _________________________   __  
C Another ancient art, aromatherapy, is also popular today. Of course, people have always used perfume to make them more attractive to other people. And we all have experience with the power of smell in a different way – memory. When we smell something for the first time in many years, a sudden rush of memories comes to us. We remember where we were and how we felt all those years ago when we first smelled it. In aromatherapy, floral scents and the smell of such things as lemon, pine, and mint are used to make people feel better in a variety of ways. Some scents make people more relaxed. Other scents make them more alert, more awake. As you might imagine, the market reflects interest in this trend. Businesspeople are happy to make scents available to their customers for a price.
  Topic:____________________________   Main idea: _________________________   __  
D Another fad from the 1990s – dangerous sports – seems to be turning into a trend in the new millennium. People have begun to make traditional sports such as skiing and bicycling more challenging and dangerous. Instead of skiing, there is now snowboarding, which is basically skateboarding on snow. Instead of using a regular bicycle, some people use a mountain bike, which can go almost anywhere. Some thrill seekers, people who want more and more excitement and danger, have created new “extreme sports”. One of these, sky-surfing, combines sky-diving (jumping out of an airplane with a parachute) with surfing. In another, waterfall-running, a person rides a kayak off a high waterfall. The thrill seekers who are addicted to such sports don’t seem to feel fear. They say they need to “focus 100 percent” in order to survive their experience. But they also say they feel “100 percent alive” only in those few moments of falling through air or water. But the question remains: Will this trend disappear, change into a different trend, or become part of the culture?
  Topic:____________________________   Main idea: _________________________   __  

Part II

1.Previewing the topic. Read the information then answer the questions that follow.


Athletes are heroes to us. We admire them, even love them. Why? There are many answers to this question. Consider these major league baseball players:

· Roberto Clemente was among the greatest baseball players of the 1960s. One of the first Latin Americans to play in the major leagues, he helped younger Latin American players. He died in a plane crash while taking food to people in Nicaragua.

· Jim Abbott was born with only part of his right arm. But that didn’t stop him from becoming a player. He was on the U.S. Olympic team in 1988 and was also very successful in the major leagues.

· Babe Ruth was one of the greatest baseball players of all time. He had great talent and strength. When he wasn’t playing baseball, he was usually out eating, drinking, and having a good time. But people loved him for that, too.

· Ty Cobb was also one of the greatest players. He wasn’t the most naturally talented player – or the nicest man. But he worked very hard at baseball, and he treated each game like a war that he had to win.


List three other athletes that you admire.

1. ________________________________

2. ________________________________

3. ________________________________

Why do you admire these athletes? In a small group, use your athletes and the baseball players to discuss different reasons why athletes are heroes to us.

2.Previewing the vocabulary. Read the sentences Circle the letter of the best definition for the underlined word or words.

1) Some people can tolerate hot water. They can play sports outside on a very hot day and feel fine.

a. not have problems with

b. live in

c. understand

2) In order to be a great athlete, a person needs to both work hard and have talent. Hard work or talent alone is not enough.

a. be naturally good at something

b. be able to practice a lot

c. be interested in learning

3) The runner did more than just win. His time broke the record for the 200-meter race!

a. was not good enough to win

b. was good enough to win

c. was better than the best rest

4) Most athletes are very good at what they do. But every once in a while, an athlete who is truly outstanding comes along and captures the world’s attention.

a. not normal

b. excellent

c. better than excellent

5) The border between the United States and Canada stretches from the Atlantic to the Pacific and is the longest border in the world.

a. distance between two countries

b. line separating two countries

c. main road

1) We admire some athletes not only for their achievements as athletes, but also for what they do in other parts of their life.

a. things that don’t work well

b. things that you do successfully

c. things that you tell someone

2) She liked the challenge of playing against athletes who were better than she was.

a. something that is interesting because it is difficult

b. something that a person does often

c. something that is easy to do well

3.Read the text. You will read Swimming to Open Up Borders, the biography of Lynne Cox, a very special swimmer.



When most people think of swimming, they think of summertime and a hot day at the beach. Lynne Cox thinks of icy cold water, of dolphins, sharks, and jellyfish, and of 20-foot waves. Why? Lynne is an open-water swimmer. Open-water swimmers do not swim in pools but in lakes, seas, and oceans. They swim in some of the most dangerous waters in the world, trying to break records for the fastest time.

Lynne was born in the state of New Hampshire. She started swimming at the age of 5. Her parents, who were both swimmers, encouraged her love of swimming, especially ocean swimming. Then, when Lynne was 12, the family moved to Southern California. Here Lynne could swim in the ocean year round.

At the age of 14, Lynne made the 27-mile swim to Catalina, an island off the coast of California. This swim was just the beginning. At the age of 17, Lynne swam the English Channel, in the 9 hours and 57 minutes. This time of under 10 hours broke the women’s record by three hours and the men’s record by one hour. Then she swam, beside a group of dolphins, across Cook Strait in New Zealand. Two years later, she swam between Norway and Sweden and between Sweden and Denmark. During these swims, she had to keep away from 3-foot-long jellyfish. The next year, she swam in 20-foot waves around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, watching for sharks all the way. At one point, a 12-foot shark came so close that a helper on a boat had to use a gun to scare it away. Often, Lynne was the first person ever to do these swims. And most of the swims were in very, very cold water, with temperatures as low as 44 F (6.7 C).

Lynne’s ability to tolerate very cold water is part of the reason that she’s such an outstanding open-water swimmer. Most people could not survive for more than about 30 minutes in water that’s 44 F, but Lynne can swim in water that cold for hours. In fact, Lynne’s body temperature often rises when she swims in cold water. Doctors have found that Lynne has an extra layer of fat around her heart, liver, and other organs. This fat keeps her warm in cold water.

People admired Lynne as a great athlete: she broke records, survived cold temperatures and other dangers, and swam where no one ever swam before. But Lynne decided she wanted to use her talent to do something more. She wanted to encourage peace and to help improve relations between countries. When relations between the United States and Russia were not very good Lynne decided to swim the 2.7 miles across the Bering Strait, from Alaska, in the United States, to Russia. Lynne wanted the challenge of swimming the extremely cold water (38-44 F |3.3 -6.7 C|) of the Bering Strait. But even more, Lynne wanted to bring the two countries together. She had to write many letters before the two governments agreed to the swim. Finally, she swam across the strait – and both President Mikail Gorbachev and President Ronald Regan celebrated her achievement.

Lynne continues to make swims that she hopes will help bring countries together. For example, she swam between Argentina and Chile. And to support peace in the Middle East, she swam the Gulf of Aqaba from Egypt to Israel and from Israel to Jordan. ‘By swimming from one national boundary to another,’ Lynne says, ‘I hope to push the borders open a little further.’


4.Reading for main ideas. Match the sentence beginnings on the left with the sentence endings on the right.

1. Lynne Cox breaks a lot of records a. a. because she wants to encourage peace.
2. Lynne Cox can swim in very cold water b. b.because she is very fast and can tolerate cold water.
2. Lynne Cox swims between countries c. Because she has an extra layer of fat around her organs.


5.Reading for details.

1) Put the sentences in order by time.

___Lynne breaks the English Channel record.

___Lynne swims off the coast of Southern California.

___Lynne swims across the Bering Strait.

___Lynne swims between Argentina and Chile.

___Lynne swims around the Cape of Good Hope.

2) Complete the sentences with the number in the list that follows.

10 30 12 3 2.7 38 5

1. Lynne Cox started to swim when she was ___ years old.

2. She swam ___ miles across the Berling Strait.

3. The water in the Berling Strait was as cold as ___ degrees Fahrenheit.

4. Lynne swam the English Channel in less than ___ hours.

5. When Lynne was swimming around the Cape of Good Hope, a ___-foot-long shark came too close.

6. When she was swimming near Sweden, she had to watch out for ___-foot-long jellyfish.

7. Most people would die after about ___ minutes in very cold water.

6. Reading between the lines.

Read the following statements. Based on the biography, do you agree or disagree? Why? Discuss your answers with the class.

1. Without the extra layer of fat, Lenny Cox would not be a very good open-water swimmer.

2. Very cold water is the greatest danger that Lynne Cox faces.

3. Lynne Cox now swims only to help to open borders between countries.

4. Lynne Cox’s swims can succeed in improving relations between countries.

5. Lynne Cox’s swimming records are not as important as her peacemaking effort.


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