Exercise: Approaching the November events

This exercise is linked to the article: Approaching the November events

This exercise is linked to the article: Approaching the November events

1. Now, you can take a bus and go to Vienna for a coffee or for a concert. Could your parents enjoy the same luxuries 20-30 years ago?
2. Do you know of any famous people (sportsmen, actors, politicians) who emigrated from Czechoslovakia before 1989?
3. What were the possible dangers of emigration?
4. Do you know any movies that depict the period before 1989 well? Do they take a positive or negative approach?

Key words: approach, biased, come up with, communism, elevated, freedoms, indecisiveness, hostility, monograph, nostalgic, realm, sentiments, trivialise, totalism, totalitarian, touched by, unanchored

1. Where can you find a monograph? In a bookshop, hospital or electronics shop.
2. From history lessons, what do you know about communism?
3. What other ideologies do we know?
4. Is there any country in the world where they still have a totalitarian regime?
5. What can be elevated after:
- you eat a lot of sweets
- your father is angry with you
- you read an educative book

Article Approaching the November events

1. According to the author:
A. the young people do not know about the November 1989 events
B. are not interested in the November 1989 events

2. Branislav Kočan:
A. was aware of the fact that the students are not interested in history
B. thought that the students might be interested in the recent history

3. According to the people from the Milan Šimečka Foundation:
A. people in Slovakia are not conservative enough
B. there is a difference in values between the generations

4 .We can say that:
A. the opinions and values of people are influenced by their environment
B. people are divided into two main groups: democrats and communists

5. Young people:
A. praise all the changes resulting from the November 1989 revolution
B. are happy with the free access to information

6 .Young people:
A. are aware of all the difficulties that accompanied life before 1989
B. are to a great degree influenced by the media

7. According to Kočan:
A. the Velvet Revolution is not appropriately documented in literature
B. says that teachers do try explain the events of November 1989

Task: look at the following issues. What do they mean? Where can we feel their positive outcomes? Do you personally benefit from any of them?
- the freedom of speech
- the possibility to study, travel and work abroad
- free access to information
- the possibility to participate in public affairs

Homework: find some person (a famous personality or someone you know) who emigrated before 1989. Get to know their stories and prepare a short presentation of 3-4 minutes.

More than one quarter of schoolchildren admitted they have harmed their classmates, with one quarter of boys and 20 percent of girls having had a personal negative experience with bullying. This stems from the results of the State School Inspection (ŠŠI) which checked 86 schools in the 2012-2013 school year.

Moreover, 43 percent of schoolchildren have witnessed bullying and 14 percent of children even said they do not feel safe at their school, the SITA newswire reported.

According to special education teacher Mária Barancová, both children and teachers encounter aggressive behaviour, vulgar language and threats from children at schools. She adds that bullying starts at kindergartens when children are kicking and hitting their peers to get the toys they want. 1______________________________ Some schools even installed video cameras to reveal the bullying at schools, she added, as reported by the TASR newswire.

“Any form of bullying is dangerous,” Barancová said, as quoted by SITA, adding that it can result in serious mental problems. Therefore it is necessary to deal with the problems.

One of the projects that aim at bullying in schools is Second Step. It helps to solve problems like aggression, violence, bullying, torture or hyperactivity. 2________________________The project was established 15 years ago by the Committee for Children from Seattle, US. It has been implemented by various countries, including Slovakia.

In 2014 altogether 96 teachers across Slovakia have been trained, with the programme taking place at 54 schools. So far, 154 primary schools have joined it and implemented it into their curricula, TASR wrote.

The Second Step can be part of various subjects, said Eva Gajdošová, the project’s guarantor and school psychologist. 3 ___________________________________________ According to Gajdošová, the results of the project are positive. For example, children who had refused to communicate started to integrate into the group and to talk more about themselves, while hyperactive children got calmer and less aggressive.

“We will monitor these schools also over the following years to see the long-term development,” Gajdošová said, as quoted by SITA.

Task 1: Fill in the gaps with the missing paragraphs. There are 3 extra paragraphs that you do not need to use.

A. CCTV camera records can’t help to tackle the issues, as faces and toys are hard to recognise.
B. It is hard for teachers to reveal bullying since children are often afraid to talk about it.
C. Moreover, it helps children develop empathy, communication skills, moral behaviour and good social relations, as reported by TASR.
D. Moreover, they use the traditional methods of discussion and special games that do not require any further training, as reported by TASR.
E. Pupils and teachers work with pictures and cards which depict a specific emotion or situation that needs to be solved, and also the steps how to do it.
F. Pupils and doctors work with pictures and cards which depict a specific emotion or situation that needs to be solved, and also the steps how to do it.

Task 2:
1. How many children admitted that they have bullied their classmates?
A. at least 25%
B. 25%
C. 20% of boys
D. 43%

2. Which of the following groups suffer from bullying?
A. teachers
B. children in kindergarten
C. children at schools
D. all of the above

3. The Second Step program:
A. has brought about some improvements
B. has made the situation worse
C. did not change anything
D. we can't tell yet

4. Who created the Second Step program?
A. teachers in Slovakia
B. children in Seattle
C. an organization in the US
D. training programs

Task 3: match the words from the left with their synonyms on the right

1 harmed
2 encounter
3 threat
4 torture
5 train
6 join
7 integrate
8 monitor

A come to grips with
B hurt
C drill
D menace
E include
F mayhem
G supervise
H take part in

Task 4: Write:
Three things that you can be trained in.
Three things that you can join.
Three types of problems a school psychologist deals with.

Task 1:

1 – B – It is hard for teachers to reveal bullying... therefore the following sentence should include some of the methods how to reveal bullying – for example the cameras.
2 – C it (the project) helps children
3 – E it is part of the curriculum, therefore it is done by teachers (not by doctors)

Task 2:
1 – A, 2 – D, 3 – A, 4 - C

This exercise is published as part of Spectator College, a programme created by The Slovak Spectator with the support of Petit Academy Foundation and Orange Foundation.

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Theme: Spectator College

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