108 From Paragraph to Essay p. 73. Culture Shock

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108 From Paragraph to Essay p. 73


Culture Shock

Moving to a new country can be an exciting, even exhilarating experience.In a new environment, you somehow feel more alive: seeing new sights, eating new food, hearing the foreign sounds of a new language, and feeling a different climate against your skin stimulate your senses as never before. Soon, however, this sensory bombardment becomes sensory overload. Suddenly, new experiences seem stressful rather than stimulating, and delight turns into discomfort. This is the phenomenon known as culture shock. Culture shock is more than jet lag or homesickness, and it affects nearly everyone who enters a new culture-tourists, business travelers, diplomats, and students alike.. Although not everyone experiences culture shock in exactly the same way, many experts agree that it has roughly five stages.

In the first stage, you are excited by your new environment. You experience some simple difficulties such as trying to use the telephone or public transportation, but you consider these small challenges that you can quickly overcome. Your feelings about the new culture are positive, so you are eager to make contact with people and to try new foods.

Sooner or later, differences in behavior and customs become more noticeable to you. This is the second stage of culture shock. Because you do not know the social customs of the new culture, you may find it difficult to make friends. For instance, you do not understand how to make "small talk," so it is hard to carry on a casual, get-acquainted conversation. One day in the school cafeteria, you overhear a conversation. You understand all the words, but you do not understand the meaning. Why is everyone laughing? Are they laughing at you or at some joke that you did not understand? Also, you aren't always sure how to act while shopping. Is this store self-service, or should you wait for a clerk to assist you? If you buy a sweater in the wrong size, can you exchange it? These are not minor challenges; they are major frustrations.

In the third stage, you no longer have positive feelings about the new culture. You feel that you have made a mistake in coming here. Making friends hasn't been easy, so you begin to feel lonely and isolated. Now you want to be with familiar people and eat familiar food. You begin to spend most of your free time with students from your home country, and you eat in restaurants that serve your native food. In fact, food becomes an obsession, and you spend a lot of time planning, shopping for, and cooking food from home.

You know that you are in the fourth stage of culture shock when you have negative feelings about almost everything. In this stage, you actively reject the new culture. You become critical, suspicious, and irritable. You believe that people are unfriendly, that your landlord is trying to cheat you, that your teachers do not like

you, and that the food is making you sick. In fact, you may actually develop stomachaches, headaches, sleeplessness, lethargy, or other physical symptoms.

Finally, you reach the fifth stage. As your language skills improve, you begin to have some success in meeting people and in negotiating situations. You are able to exchange the sweater that was too small, and you can successfully chat about the weather with a stranger on the bus. Your self-confidence grows. After realizing that you cannot change your surroundings, you begin to accept the differences and tolerate them. For instance, the food will never be as tasty as the food in your home country, but you are now able to eat and sometimes even enjoy many dishes. You may not like the way some people in your host country dress or behave in public, but you do not regard their clothes and behavior as wrong-just different.
Exercises : Write the body and conclusion for the following Introductory Paragraphs:

Controlling Stress

Introductory Paragraph

The busy schedules that most adults face every day have created a growing

health problem in the modern world. Stress affects almost everyone, from the

highly pressured executive to the busy homemaker or student. It can cause

a variety of physical disorders ranging from headaches to stomach ulcers and

even alcoholism. Stress, like the common cold, is a problem that cannot be

cured; however, it can be controlled. A person can learn to control stress in

four ways.

Topic Sentences for Body Paragraphs

A. Set realistic goals.

B. Take up a hobby.

C. Exercise regularly.

D. Maintain close relationships with family and friends.
The number of vehicles on freeways and streets is growing at an alarming

rate. This increase of motor vehicles is creating hazardous conditions. Moreover, drivers are in such a rush to get to their destinations that many become angry or impatient with other motorists who are too slow or who are in their way. Aggressive drivers react foolishly toward others in several dangerous ways.

Body Paragraph 1 ( Transition Words):

One way an angry driver may react is to cut off another motorist.

.(+supporting sentences)

Body Paragraph 2 (Transition Words). :

Another way is to tailgate2 the other car.(+supporting sentences)

Body Paragraph 3 ( Transition Clause):

In addition to cutting off and tailgating other cars, aggressive drivers

often use rude language or gestures to show their anger. (+ supporting


Body Paragraph 4 ( Transition Clause) :

Although law enforcement authorities warn motorists against aggressive driving, the number who act out their angry impulses has not declined. (+ supporting sentences)

Concluding Paragraph :

To conclude, aggressive drivers are endangering everyone because they create hazardous conditions by acting and driving foolishly. They should control their anger and learn to drive safely. After all, the lives they save could be their own.

cut off: drive in front of

tailgate: drive closely behind or on the tail of another car

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