COPING WITH AIDS
You are going to listen to an extract from an interview. Cindy Gibson, an American teenager, talks openly about the fears she has had since she discovered that she has AIDS. Cindy has actually suffered from sickle-cell anemia since birth and she contracted AIDS when she was given a blood transfusion to stop complications from this disease.
The reporter asks the following questions. Take down notes about the answers! Make clear you know the meaning of the new vocabulary.
middle school (US) = school between elementary and high school
She was like ... = here: Her reaction was ...
smoothly = carefully, without drawing too much attention to the problem
to date s.o. = to go out with s.o. as part of a couple
|tension = state of being
very worried and nervous
to yell = to shout
punching bag = heavy, filled bag, which is hung on a rope and used for training boxers
to handle = to deal with
burden = here: an unwanted responsibility
|to act up = to behave
ed = short for education
approximately = about
to hug s.o. = to take s.o. into one's arms
gay = homosexual
to breastfeed = to give a baby mother's milk
|Exploring the text||1.
Which of the adjectives below best describe Cindy's attitude towards her
life and her illness(es)? Check any words you do not understand in your
afraid - aggressive - brave - buoyant - confident - cynical - defeatist - defiant - dejected- desperate - disconsolate - happy - hopeless - nervous - optimistic - panicky - pessimistic - resigned - sad - starry-eyed
2. How was Cindy's family life affected by having to keep her infection with AIDS a secret?
3. Explain what happened with Cindy's boyfriend. How does she feel about this now?
|Close-up: indirect speech||Put
the direct speech into indirect speech, starting with: "Cindy's
parents said..." and "her teachers said...".
"Cindy has AIDS, and you have the choice if you want to be her teacher or not. If you don't, that's fine; we hold no bad feelings against you."
|A step further||1.
groups of three or four, create a page in a teen magazine for
International AIDS Day. Your aim is to raise readers' awareness of the
problems experienced by AIDS sufferers and their families. Then present
your poster to the rest of the class. The class can vote on the best page.
2. Now you know about AIDS, can you talk about it in English, too? Give a one-minute talk on the topic. Then one of your classmates takes over for a minute, trying not to repeat what you have already said.