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American Families(中考阅读)  

2015-05-30 15:55:01|  分类: 中考阅读 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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       In some ways American families are very different from Chinese ones, with each member following their individual desires, and in other ways very much the same. American families, for example, enjoy family dinners, support and love each other just as other families do. The differences come from culture, however. Many Chinese students are surprised to learn that teenagers are allowed to make many decisions on their own, and that parents want their children to leave home at eighteen.
  In many (not all!) families, children are encouraged to make their own choices at a young age, starting with small choices and gradually larger ones until the year before high school graduation. That is when they face the biggest decision of their lives: what to do next. Parents and family will help with the choice, but the final decision belongs to the children.
  The thinking behind this is that children need to learn how to live on their own, and that by the age of eighteen they should be responsible adults. The independence and maturity encouraged by American families can come at a cost, and that cost is closeness. While most Chinese people have close, dependent ties to their family, American families spend less time together and sometimes have difficulties. Teenagers try to spend as much time as they can away from home, and adults see their parents only a few times a year*.
  When Americans get older, it is less common for them to move back into family homes. Instead, they prefer to have their own lives for as long as possible. If they need help in their daily lives, they may move to a “retirement home” or “assisted living center” where health care professionals will care for them. While this may seemcold to people with a close family, it is important to remember that these are cultural differences, and that Americans see this as part of the culture.
  For language learners trying to understand American culture, the best way to find out more about the way families live is to ask (politely) a native speaker. Every family is different and the answers might surprise you. Television shows like Modern Family and other American dramas exaggerate family life for entertainment, and are not accurate.
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