Unit 1 Family Matters

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1 Unit 1 Family Matters Sibling Science: How Important Is Birth Order? Many families could tell stories about their oldest child who always does well in school and has a stable job. The same families could talk about their younger children who are funny and friendly, but have trouble at school. Some scientists believe that oldest siblings are naturally more organized, while younger ones are more outgoing. Researchers think that there are reasons why birth order could make a difference. The oldest child gets all of the attention from their parents until their younger sibling is born. Experts believe that a head start is enough for those children to do better in school and work in the future. Many doctors, lawyers, and politicians are the oldest children in their families. Younger siblings, on the other hand, always have an older sibling to compete with. They usually choose not to follow in their older sibling s footsteps because the competition is too much. Instead, they find more exciting or artistic careers, like being police officers or musicians. They also have to act differently to get the family s attention, often by being funny or ridiculous. Because of this, people think younger children are friendlier than their older siblings. Other researchers don t believe that personality traits 1, like being organized or adventurous, are decided by birth order. They think the child s environment is more important in shaping those characteristics. The more attention Mom and Dad give to each child, the better off they will be, whether they re studying at law school or art school. Reference: 1. trait a particular quality in one s character Chinese Translation 1 / 6

2 Key Vocabulary and Phrases 1. sibling n. a brother or sister Do you have any siblings? 2. stable adj. steady and not likely to change Mike has a stable job with the government. 3. have trouble to have problems Rick is having trouble with his new classes. get / run into trouble to experience lots of problems Don t copy work off the Internet, or you ll get into trouble. have trouble / problems / difficulty + V-ing when it is difficult for someone to do something I m having trouble using my phone. The reception is poor. 4. naturally adv. in a way that is the result of nature The children in that family are naturally good at playing musical instruments. nature n. someone s character The boy has a happy, easygoing nature. by nature something that happens without being influenced by people She was by nature a risk-taker. She was born that way. 5. organized adj. working in an effective and well planned way Michelle s an organized person. She always plans ahead. 6. outgoing adj. likes to meet and talk to people synonyms friendly, sociable, extroverted antonyms shy, introverted, timid All the girls in my class are really outgoing. 7. attention n. interest; consideration Charlie got my attention by waving at me. attract / receive / get attention to be noticed or seen She receives a lot of attention when she walks down the street. 2 / 6

3 8. a head start an advantage Joey gave his little brother a head start in the race. give someone a head start 9. compete v. to try to be better than someone The two sisters compete against each other in tennis. adjective competitive noun competition It s difficult to work with Tom. He s competitive at all times. Even when I play cards with my sister, it turns into a competition. We have such a sibling rivalry. 10. follow in one s footsteps to do the same job as someone else Charlie wanted to follow in his father s footsteps, so he joined the army. 11. artistic adj. relating to art; good at art Olivia is very artistic. Have you seen her latest paintings? 12. ridiculous adj. very silly or unreasonable That s the most ridiculous thing you ve ever said. 13. personality n. someone s character He has a charming personality. 14. trait n. a particular quality in someone s character What are the traits of a good leader? 15. adventurous adj. not afraid to try new things Pat is the most adventurous person I know. sense of adventure You don t want to go bungee jumping with us? Where is your sense of adventure? 16. characteristic n. (usually plural) a quality of someone or something What kind of characteristics do you look for in a friend? characteristic adj. typical of a particular thing or someone s character Jerry, with characteristic generosity, treated everyone to dinner. 17. better off in a better situation I think you would be better off working for an international company. be better off + V-ing used to give advice Don t stay up all night studying. You d be better off getting some rest. 3 / 6

4 The Magic of Twins Imagine growing up with someone the exact same age as you. From learning how to walk to learning how to drive, every part of your life is shared with someone. For about two percent of the world s population, that s what being a twin means. There are two kinds of twins, identical and fraternal 1. Only eight percent of twins are identical twins. Those two individuals have the exact same DNA and will be very hard to tell apart just by looking. Most twins are fraternal, and they share as much DNA as any two siblings would. Male-female fraternal twins are the most common kind of twins. Many sets of twins talk about a special bond they have with each other. Some describe it as having a soul mate or someone closer than a best friend. There are many stories about twins being able to feel each other s pain. If one twin gets in a car accident, the other twin might feel something even from thousands of miles away. Twins can have very similar ways of thinking. Ron and Roger always had trouble convincing teachers they weren t cheating on tests because they always made the exact same errors. While working in different states, twins Janie and Linda sent their parents the exact same gifts. This twin bond can even be seen in twins that grow up in separate families. Research has found adult twins often share unique habits with their long-lost sibling, like wearing rubber bands on their wrist or walking into the ocean backwards 2. It s often described as something magical and almost impossible to explain, but the twin bond can be seen in all of the examples above. It is a deep love that twins share, the love of people who are really not complete without each other. Reference: 1. fraternal (twins) don t look exactly the same 2. backwards going toward the back Chinese Translation 4 / 6

5 Key Vocabulary and Phrases 1. twin n. one of two children born at the same time Even though they are married, Sally and her twin still spend a lot of time together. 2. population n. the number of people living in an area A large portion of the population doesn t have enough food to eat. populate v. to live in a place The neighborhood is populated mainly by people from Italy. densely / highly populated many people living in a certain area Tokyo is one of the most densely populated cities in the world. 3. identical adj. exactly the same synonyms the same, just / exactly alike, can t tell the difference, indistinguishable, be no different from The twin brothers are identical in appearance, but they have totally different personalities. 4. fraternal adj. having a bond with other people; relating to brothers Although they were brothers, they didn t have a fraternal feeling for each other. 5. individual n. a person; adj. considered separate from other people or things It is the responsibility of each individual to clean up the environment. He has his own individual way of managing people. 6. tell apart to see the difference between two people or things synonyms distinguish, separate You can tell the two singers apart by their distinctive voices. 7. bond n. something that unites people The doctor formed a close bond with each of his patients. Word Usage When something limits your freedom or stops you from doing whatever you want, we 5 / 6

6 call this a bond or bonds. As an uneducated woman, you could have economic bonds to your husband 8. soul mate someone you have a close relationship with To Melanie, her husband is a friend, lover, and soul mate. They have many things in common. 9. similar adj. almost the same The two skirts are similar in color and design. adverb similarly noun similarity The cost of food has increased in recent years. Similarly, fuel prices have gone up. It s not surprising there are some similarities between the two stories. They were written by the same author. 10. convince v. to make someone feel certain that something is true synonym persuade The lawyer had to convince the jury that his client had not committed the murder. convinced adj. feeling certain that something is true We haven t heard from him, but we re still convinced that he s safe. convincing adj. making you believe that something could be true Scientists have found convincing evidence about the creation of the universe. 11. error n. a mistake You might want to check the letter again. It has many spelling errors. 12. separate adj. different You need separate cutting boards for vegetables and meat. verb separate adverb separately noun separation We separated the class into two teams. After being married for 20 years, my parents have decided to separate. We re going to fly to Hong Kong separately. Every time there s a separation between us, I go crazy. 13. unique adj. being the only one of its kind synonyms distinctive, one of a kind, special If twins can communicate with each other without speaking, that would truly be unique. 14. backwards adv. going toward the back antonym forwards Sonja slipped and fell backwards into the chair. 6 / 6

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