FCE First Certificate Course Lesson35

Dialogue lesson 35

Dialogue 35: Drinking age

18 year old Emma Chandler believes the drinking age should be lowered to 18 years old, whereas Beth Wilson, a spokesperson on behalf of the International Drunk Driving Prevention Association (IDDPA) is against this, thinking that the drinking age should stay at 21.

EMMA: For the past 6 months I have been living in Spain. A)_________________________________________________ Here, like other European countries, the legal drinking age is 18. I have never really thought about how different America is when it comes to alcohol consumption, we are brought up on the belief that drinking alcohol when you are below the age of 21 is wrong and dangerous. B)________________________________________________________________.

BETH: For me, there are a lot of reasons why the drinking age in America shouldn’t be lowered. There are so many potential dangers of drinking, which are intensified when a person is young and therefore more irresponsible and immature.

EMMA: I disagree that immaturity is immediately connected with youth. You can’t just make generalisations. There are mature young people and immature old people.

BETH: I see your point. C)______________________________________________________ Raising awareness about the dangers of drunk driving is something which is very close to my heart. D)_________________________________________ He survived the crash but has been seeking psychological help ever since to overcome the guilt he feels. Did you know that 226 children were killed in drunk driving car accidents last year? That number is shockingly high.. If the drinking age changed to 18, this would lead to ‘binge drinking’, therefore even more traffic accidents and deaths amongst young people.

EMMA: I understand that there are dangers, however I completely disagree when it comes to the idea of drinking in excess. Whether you want to accept it or not, young people are drinking in America regardless of the legality of what they are doing. Can you not see that ‘binge drinking’ is caused by a lack of knowledge about alcohol. I mean, kids these days are constantly being told in the USA that they aren’t allowed to drink, surely the idea of it being forbidden makes us want it more. E)____________________________________________________________ However, the more laidback attitude to drinking in other countries means teenagers drink casually, they learn gradually what their limit is and they don’t have a reason to drink carelessly because they don’t have rules to break, which is something that teenagers love to do!

BETH: You can’t forget that there is a reason why the drinking age was put as 21 in the first place, with teenagers going through troubles these days such as bullying and coming to terms with who they are in terms of sexuality, beliefs and appearance, alcohol can act as a saviour to them. F)___________________________________________________________________

EMMA: Let’s be honest, they would be able to turn to drink no matter what. If they have a fake ID, there is bound to be one shop who will accept this and serve them alcohol. I just don’t see why we don’t give teenagers the responsibility they deserve. Yes, drinking can be dangerous but with good education from teachers and parents who can teach the importance of drinking in moderation, drinking can be a fun, legal, social activity. G)____________________________________________________________________ So we can put our health at risk through smoking, we can commit to another person for the rest of our lives and we can risk our lives in order to fight for our country, but we can’t have a few beers with friends at the age of 18, or 19 or 20. I don’t see the logic and think it’s about time a change was made.

BETH: I take all of your points on board, if the age limit was lowered, I think it would have to come with the condition of a promise from the government to create tons of campaigns regarding drinking in moderation and the dangers of drinking, especially drunk driving.   

Vocabulary lesson 35

ENGLISH

SYNONYM or DEFINITION

drinking age

legally old enough to drink alcohol

consumption

the act of consuming, usage amount

to lower

to reduce

to intensify

to become more intense

drunk driving

driving while intoxicated

binge drinking

intermittent excessive alcohol consumption

laidback

relaxed

carelessly

without concern or forethought

Exam tip #35

EXAM TIP FOR FCE LESSON 35

Figures of speech enable us to say things less literally. Identifying and using a variety of figures of speech will help you understand people’s opinions in the listening and reading passages, but will also enable you to improve your written and spoken English.

Let’s go over some of the main figures of speech:

  1. Using a Euphemism is when we use a mild or indirect way of saying something: i.e. “to let someone go” sounds less harsh than “to fire someone”…
  2. Using a Hyperbole this is when we exaggerate something to emphasise it: i.e. I have explained this to him a thousand times before…
  3. Using Irony is when there is a contrast between what is said and what is actually meant: i.e. Wonderful! (when we mean the opposite)…
  4. Using Metaphor is when we use 2 elements to express a similitude and paint a picture: i.e. time is money, a heart of stone…
  5. Using Onomatopoeia is when we use the sound of something when describing it: i.e. click, oink…
  6. Using Personification is when we refer to an object or something as if it were a person: i.e. the wind howled, snowflakes danced…
  7. Using Understatement is when we play something down: i.e. it is a mere bruise (when we have actually hurt ourselves quite badly), it is a bit cooler now (when it is actually freezing outside).

Grammar and vocabulary recommended videos

Exercises FCE 35

Vocabulary Exercise

Comprehension Exercise

Grammar Exercise

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