OUTLINE FOR A CHARACTER SKETCH
1. Appearance: age, height, weight, build of figure, face, hair, eyes, complexion, clothes.
2. Background: family, education, profession or occupation.
3. Likes and dislikes: with regard to people, tastes, hobbies and interests.
4. Character: temperament, disposition.
Exercise 41. You are asked to tell a group of students about your favourite fiction (literary, film) character. Describe the character in about 50 words. Use the Topical Vocabulary and the Outline for a Character Sketch of Exercise 17.
Exercise 42. Work in pairs. Discuss real people or fiction characters you find interesting. Bring out clearly their most prominent individual traits. One of the students is supposed to describe a person he/she likes, the other a person he/she dislikes. Try and interrupt each other with questions to get sufficient information concerning the characters you speak about. Use the Topical Vocabulary, Outline for a Character Sketch and clichés given below.
When describing people you either criticise or praise them. When you criticise you normally try to find faults rather than positive traits of character but it certainly does not exclude the expression of praise. Here are some comments that people make when they are invited to analyse and judge:
A.:I want to tell you about Peter who is by far the most affable man from all I know. I can speak about him unreservedly. He is honest and generous, he is a man of high morals. Moreover, he is everyone's favourite...
B.: But I am not as enthusiastic about people as you are. I do not take people for what they look and sound. I try to size them up according to their deeds. That's why I pass my judgement only on second thought. Very often some little things make us change our opinion of a person for the worse...
Read the following text. Find in it arguments for accepting anger as normal and against it. Copy them out in two columns (I - "for", II - "against).
Anger Is Normal. Or Is It?
In terms of frequency of expression, anger is normal. It exists everywhere and is all of us. But most teachers and parents find it difficult to accept anger as normal or inevitable. The real issue for the teacher and parent becomes the question of how to deal with anger in oneself. The pressure on us to control or hide our anger are very powerful. Teacher asks, "Will this be held against me as a sign of incompetence or immaturity?" Other concerns are: "What will the kids tell their parents?" and "Will this get back to the principal?" Teachers, in addition, have really concern for their children: "Will a child become frightened? Will it damage him in some way?" or, even more upsetting, "Will the child get angry at me, become rebellious, and no longer like me as a teacher?"
These concerns are so real that most teachers try to hide their anger. The results of this are quite predictable: at best the teacher who is straining to keep in anger is tense, irritable, and impatient; at worst the anger slips out in sarcasm or explodes in a rage of accumulated fury. Some teachers report that they never get angry in the classroom. In further discussions with teachers regarding situations or behaviour which typically arouses anger some teachers recognize all the signs of anger, but actually did not feel in the classroom. But usually an observer or the children in the classroom recognize the signs of anger. Certain teachers are more successful at hiding anger, but unless anger is in a mild form, it will be out one way or another.
How do children react to anger? All of us, as we recall our own childhood experiences in school, can remember instances of teachers experiencing anger in the classroom. Though children frequently face anger from adults, they do not always adjust to it in ways that foster their own growth and learning. Teachers report that children often react with confusion; they're bothered, or their faces appear troubled. Some children are especially sensitive and hurt at the teacher's anger, and a few children are even frightened. Sarcasm or biting remarks that touch areas of special concern for children can be remembered with special misery for many years.
Exercise 1. Discuss the text in pairs. One partner will take the view that anger is normal on the part of a teacher. the other will defend the opposite point of view: