1.How big is your family?
There are three of us at home. You know, because of the one-child policy my parents were entitled to only one kid. Occasionally my grandmother comes and stays with us. If you are asking about my extended family, I have many uncles, aunts and cousins. But as for my immediate family, just my parents, I have no siblings.
There are four of us at home. I live with my parents, and I also have an elder brother. My brother’s going to turn 21 pretty soon. I am still in high school so I get to stay with my folks (= my parents), but my brother has been studying at college in Wuhan for the last three years.
2.Can you tell me something about your family members?
Okay, no problem. My mother is a very considerate and thoughtful person. She works as a math teacher in middle school, so she has always been able to help me with my homework. She’s generous and very kind-hearted. My father on the other hand is a businessman. He set up his own company a long time ago. They manufacture (= produce) shoes, and export all over the world. I don’t get to see my father very often. He’s often away on business. But we often call each other. He’s a hard-working and responsible man. He would do anything for my family. I told you I also have a brother. He is a college student. He’s a firn guy to be with. He’s enthusiastic and always optimistic. He likes to laugh and enjoy life.
TRY TO USE:
I don’t often get to see my parents because my university is far away from my hometown.
I don*t often get to speak English because I don*t know any foreigners (= laowai!) in Fuzhou.
During the holiday, my younger brother usually gets to play computer games whenever he wants.
3.What kind of work do members of your family do?
BE PRECISE! It’s a great chance to show your vocabulary: DON’T BE BORING!
My Dad is a businessman 一 What kind of business? Since when? Is he busy? His salary?
My mother is a nurse — Does she like her job? What makes her a good nurse? (considerate, patient…)
My mother is a doctor — What’s her specialty (pediatrician, gynecologist, cardiologist, psychiatrist…)?
4.How much time do you manage to spend with family and relatives?
I only get to see my parents on the weekend, because from Monday to Friday I stay on campus at university. My college is located in the suburbs of my city. It’s like 45 minutes away from my home. I usually get home on Friday night. On the weekend we (my parents and I) have a big dinner together. It’s a good chance for us to catch up. We frequently watch TV together, and occasionally we go for a walk.
- in my university”
- in my school”
- in my high school”
YOU SHOULD SAY:
- at university
- at school
- in high school
I only get to see my parents twice a year because my university is located in Sichuan Province, far away from my hometown. It’s a four-hour flight. I come home for Spring Festival, you know, Chinese New Year, and during the summer holiday. Otherwise my parents often call me, and I try to send them emails as often as possible.
5.Do you get on well with your family?
Yes, we get on pretty well. Of course, we occasionally disagree and fight (= quarrel), but my parents are quite open-minded and relaxed. They always support me and encourage me. You know, I plan to go overseas next year, and they will pay for my studies. They are extremely helpful, and I consider myself very lucky to have such parents. One of my classmates has big issues with his parents. He says there*s a huge generation gap between him and his folks. At least I don’t have to worry about that. My parents always listen to what I have to say.
6.What sorts of things do you like to do together?
Well, we frequently have dinner together. You know, in China, food is an important aspect of our culture. Meals on the weekend are a great chance for all of us to chat and catch up with each other. In addition, we often watch TV, especially the NBA on Sunday morning with my Dad. We are both big basketball fans. We support different teams, and sometimes we make some bets on the games. Occasionally the three of us go for a walk or go shopping. We used to go to the cinema a lot, but now that I am in college, we have less time to do that.
7.Did you have a lot of contact with your grandparents when you were a child?
Yes, when I was a child I used to see my grandparents on a daily basis, because they used to live with us. I guess that when I was very young, my parents needed someone to look after me since they were both busy with their job. My grandpa passed away a few years ago, and my grandma is our neighbor now. My Dad bought the apartment next door for her to be with us whenever she feels like it.
8.Is it common for grandparents to live with their children and grandchildren in your country?
Yes, definitely. It’s very common. In China, children take it as their responsibility to look after their parents when they get old. In addition, nowadays, because both parents often work, grandparents can lend a hand when it comes to raising the kid in the family. Hiring a nanny costs money, and putting a child in a day-care center is not that popular (= so popular) here.
9.What part do grandparents play in family life in your culture?
As I told you, grandparents are very important in my culture. The whole family listens to and respects the grandparents5 point of view. They are like the wise people in the house. In addition, these days, they play a major role in the family, because they very often get to raise the child when both parents are working.
10.How can grandchildren benefit from knowing their grandparents?
It’s your turn to answer!
(Children can learn from experienced grandparents + increase respect for elderly people + traditions)