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E-learning jako vzdělávací nástroj školy 3. tisíciletí

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Reading - The French and the Americans

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Read the text and try to answer the questions:

  • Do you share the view of French or Americans? In what characteristics do you share the view? Why?
  • Can you describe your own nation in similar terms? Is your nation more similar to French or American? In which way is it similar? Can you class your nation into the chart?
  • What type of education is there in your country? How does it affect people´s behaviour and thinking? Can you think of more differences in education?
  • Do you think such characterizations are true? Are they useful? In which way? Are they also dangerous? When?

 

 

The French see the Americans as:

  • Arrogant and sure they are always right and good,
  • Moralizing and overly religious
  • Insular: people who do not know other nations and whose press never addresses international
  • Domineering: people who do not take criticism
  • Naive: “des grands enfants” (i.e. people who are naive and have no, or a too short, history)
  • Violent: people who have free access to guns and who use them to shoot each other when things go wrong
  • Materialistic: people who are arch-capitalists and only think about money

 

The Americans see the French as:

  • Lazy: people who do not work and demonstrate in the streets (when they are not on strike)
  • Cowards: they always surrender; they are unreliable allies
  • Rude, anti-American and ungrateful people who don't speak English, distant and difficult to meet
  • Communists: people who live in a bureaucratic Socialist system and who are totally dependent on the State
  • Dirty: people who do not use soap (recently, I received a message: "why do French women use perfume instead of taking a bath?")
  • Arrogant and conceited people, always giving lessons to the others
  • Not democratic: people who do not respect religious freedom

 

Education develops major differences: schools help American kids become independent and autonomous (their mother says: "have fun ") whereas French kids learn the principle of authority (the mother says: "be good "). There are of course many differences, but the main division can be characterized just this way.

 

Basic differences between Americans and French can be described as follows:

Americans

French

-          are highly explicit

-          are highly implicit

-          optimist and positive : value present and future ; good at action

-          -pessimist and negative : value past ; good at analysis and criticism

-          binary : "it is true or false"

-          -contextual : "it depends"

-          like what is simple

-          like what is complex

-          do not lie (it is bad)

-          lying is no big deal

-          want to be loved

-          -want to be independent

-          social identity is based on the individual

-          -based on being a member of a group

-          process oriented : everything must be clear and documented ; reacts as planned

-          -like grey zones and nuances ; very creative ; very quick to react and sometimes more inventive

-          DOING : you are judged on what you do

-          -BEING : you are judged on what you are

-          value quality of work

-          -value quality of life

 

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