1) What do you think her hints are about? (anticipating/applying background knowledge)
a) how to behave when you are a guest1 at a British home
b) how to give gifts
c) how to start a conversation
d) what you can treat2 British guests to
e) how to behave at table
f) how to answer personal questions
g) how to behave if you don’t know what to do next
h) how to enjoy yourself in Britain
2) What did the author write about in fact? Match Karen Hewitt’s hints with the paragraphs. (matching/reading for the main idea)
A. All countries have unwritten but important rules of behaviour, which can only be explained by the people who live in that country. But they can act differently in one and the same situation: “When Englishmen are introduced to each other, they shake hands and say 4How do you do?’.”
Do they? Sometimes they do. But life is not that ceremonious. So I can give you only general advice. No rules. We remember that foreigners don’t know our ways, and as long as you are friendly and polite from the heart we don’t mind that you behave a bit strangely.
The information about behaviour rules is usually true for many, but not for all. It is rarely possible to describe a nation with words such as "All British people do this or that.” Better to say: "Some British people...”
And we are sometimes not sure how to act and can’t tell you how to act in this or that situation. You may find out that, in answer to questions, we often answer, “Well, it depends.”
B. If you are a guest at a British home, my advice is: “Ask, if you don’t know what to do next.” People enjoy explaining. And if you are asked questions, try to explain in answer. People enjoy trying to understand. But don’t feel that an easy question needs a ten-minute answer. Stop before you have finished your story, so that your friends can ask further questions. First, you may find that they haven’t understood you, and you need to start again. Secondly, English culture does not normally include monologues.
C. Traditionally, Russians are very hospitable, but if you have a British friend at your home, please don’t put a mountain of potatoes or whatever onto your guest’s plate. Most people in Britain try to finish what they are given. Leaving food is considered wasteful in Britain. I must eat all that! Food is precious. We usually put on the plate as much as we want to eat.
D. Our customs of present-giving are very different from yours. We give presents to members of our family and close friends on their birthdays or at Christmas. If we are staying with someone we will give a present — a box of chocolates, some flowers, a small souvenir. We may bring a small present to a host who invites us for the evening, but we do not normally give presents to people just because we have enjoyed their company. We don’t give presents to guests. At the end of a course or a tour we may give a group present to a teacher or a guide as a way of saying thank you. Russian present-giving is more generous and the English don’t know what to do. A small present will be okay. And one present is better than two or three. Of course, the British will be pleased to get a thank-you letter or card from your home than to carry a heavy present.
E. The English from age eighteen or nineteen are independent persons. If you are staying in someone’s home, you will be expected to entertain yourself some of the time. It will be wonderful to help your hosts with their housework — but not all the time. They will like to hear that you explored the town, made friends, practised buying an apple or two, jumped on a bus... Your British friends want to.be friendly but they have work to do. And you are not a child or a very Important Person; you are another grown-up in a grown-up world. If you ask questions, explore, try to find out and do not expect the English to solve your problems, you will have a very enjoyable time.
3) Which tips does Karen Hewitt give to Russians? Prove from the text. (reading for detail)
a) Don’t think that all British persons do the same in one and the same situation.
b) Don’t worry if you don’t know some behaviour rules.
c) Be yourself and just be friendly and polite.
d) Don’t think that there is one answer to all behaviour questions.
e) Be sure that your British hosts will be happy to answer your questions.
f) Don’t make long stories of your answers.
g) Remember that people want to understand you, so answer in detail.
h) Ask questions if you don’t know what to do.
i) Put as much food on your British guest’s plate as you can. Be generous!
j) You should know that the English don’t traditionally give gifts to their guests.
k) Don't forget to thank your guide with a gift.
l) Don’t forget that in most situations a small and heavy present is better than two.
m) In some situations the British will like getting a thank-you letter than a present.
n) You should try to be an independent person when you are a guest in a British family.
4) Which of Karen Hewitt’s advice will you follow?
If I have a British guest, I will never give him presents, so not to put him in a difficult situation.
If I’m in Britain I will try to explore as much as I can on my own. If I’m in Britain I will ask my host family questions about things I wasn’t able to find out myself without any shyness.
I think that the most important advice is polite and friendly from the heart and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.