~ Dialogue ~ Topic 14 ~ Family and Relatives ~ Discuss Questions and Answers ~


1) Tell about your immediate family. Talk about benefits and challenges.

My mom passed away when I was a teenager. My dad tried to deal with

the loss. I’m sorry to say, that didn’t work out. Eventually, my aunt took us in.


2) Do you have a close relationship with your in-law relatives? Why/Why not?

Yes. Believe it or not, my mom-in-law is a good friend, and my husband

gets along well with both my parents. We spend lots of time together.


3) Talk about the relationships between your parents and their parents.

Pretty conservative.  There was no love lost between my grandfather

and my father. They were two birds of a different feather. Grandma was kind.


4) Has anyone been a mentor for you in your family? How so?

Yes. My aunt, my mom’s older sister was a real inspiration. She was a pianist.

She taught me to play and took me to concerts. We are close to this day.


5) Were your parents strict or lenient when you were growing up? Tell.

Very lenient. My parents grew up in the seventies in the US. They were

environmentalists well before global climate change. You can imagine.


6 What is the best/worst memory with anyone in your (in-law) family.

My worst memory was when my father came to the ice rink we always went to

in winter and dragged us home because we were late. But he only did it once.


7) Are there any immediate family/relatives you will not meet? Why?

Yes. I won’t meet my brother-in-law. We have strongly opposing political views.

It’s best we don’t have conversations as they often turn to arguments.


8) What is a family reunion? Are there reunions in your country? Tell.

A family reunion is a get-together with as many relatives as possible (and

friends, too). In the US, they are often held at parks in a picnic atmosphere.


9) Tell about a childhood memory that includes a member of your family.

I remember when the neighborhood bully gave me a black eye. My dad walked

with me to the bully’s house and confronted his family. I thought that was brave.


10) Do you include anyone in your family who is not a blood relative? Explain.

Sure. In fact, most people I trust with friendship are like family to me.

The fact is, blood relations can be both good and not so good. Case by case.



~ Original Questions ~  Family and Relatives Choose the questions you like ~


Group A

1) Define your nuclear family and your extended family. Talk about your relationships.

2) Do you have any brothers or sisters? If so, how old are they? Describe your relationships.

3) Talk about your relationships with your mother and father and/or your grandparents.

4) What do you argue about with your family members? your extended family? your in-laws?

5) Should parents control children's friendships? What potential problems arise in such relationships?


Group B

1) Do you think you are influenced by anyone in your family to act in a certain way? Why?

2) Is anyone in your family a role model or mentor for you? Who? Is it a positive experience?

3) Were your parents strict or lenient when you were growing up? How so?

4) Do you have a mother or father-in-law? If so, describe your relationships with them.

5) Do you have a son or daughter-in-law? If so, describe your relationships with them.


Group C

1) What do you do when you meet your uncles, aunts, cousins, nieces, and/or nephews?

2) What was your most memorable meeting with your extended family and/or in-laws

3) Talk about a wedding, funeral, anniversary, graduation, or other family event.

4) Do you have any immediate family or relatives you will not meet? What happened? Why?

5) Who is your favorite in-law? Why do you like him/her? When did you meet?


Group D

1) How often do you meet the members in your immediate family? What do you do together?

2) How often do you meet your relatives (aunt, uncle, etc.)? What do you do together?

3) How often do you meet your in-laws? What do you do together?

4) What is a family reunion? Are there family reunions in your country? What do you do?

5) What is a favorite childhood memory that includes a member of your immediate family?


Group E

1) Do you include anyone in your family who is not a blood relative? Explain.

2) What do your family members do for a living (including relatives and in-laws)?

3) Who is your family's organizer? What do they do? Are they appreciated?

4) Describe the structure of the modern family in your country/culture.

5) Is there anything about family in your country/culture that you would like to change? Explain.



~ Food for Thought ~ Topic 14 ~ Family and Relatives ~ Explore the Topic ~


The term nuclear family is commonly used, especially in the North America, to refer to marriages and family (husband, wife, and children). An immediate family may include grandparents (and pets). An extended family may include uncles, cousins, nephews, nieces, and in-laws.


A single-parent family consists of one parent together with his or her children, where the parent is either widowed, divorced and not remarried, or never married. The parent may either have sole custody of the children, or, the parents may have a shared parenting arrangement, where the children divide their time equally between two different single-parent families.




Dowry is property (money, goods, or estate) that a wife or wife's family gives to her husband when the couple marries. Offering dowry was common in many cultures historically (including in Europe and North America) but this practice today is mostly restricted to a limited number of cultures primarily in the Indian subcontinent.


Bride price (also bride wealth or bride token) is property paid by the groom or his family to the parents of a woman upon the marriage of their daughter to the groom. It is practiced mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa, parts of South-East Asia (Thailand, Cambodia), and parts of Central Asia.



There are 5 basic rules for dealing with your in-laws, according to The Complete Idiot's Guide, and maintaining peaceful family relations:


1) Show a solid front with your spouse

2) Set and enforce boundaries

3) Communicate to resolve conflicts

4) Set realistic expectations

5) Keep your cool -- and your sense of humor




Reproductive rights are legal rights and freedoms relating to reproduction and reproductive health. These include the right to decide on issues regarding the number of children born, family planning, contraception, and private life, free from coercion and discrimination as well as the right to access health services and adequate information.


According to UNFPA, reproductive rights "include the right to decide the number, timing and spacing of children, the right to voluntarily marry and establish a family, and the right to the highest attainable standard of health, among others".


Family planning refers to the factors that may be considered by individuals/couples in order for them to control their fertility, anticipate and attain the desired number of children, and the timing of their births.






Lesson Procedures/How to make a lesson


1) To begin, as a class, in groups, or in pairs, select the questions youd like to talk about. 

2) Then, ask questions and share ideas in your conversations. Take notes. Take equal turns.

3) Share your ideas (each individual) in a classroom discussion (as prepared in 1, 2, and 3).


There are three sections for each topic:


1) Dialogue: There are ten selected questions presented with sample answers.

                   The sample answers are given to assist the learners in creating

                     their own answers. They tend to use a casual speaking style.


2) Original Questions: There are five groups of five questions with no answers.

                                           They are introduced to give more choices to learners.


3) Food for Thought: Definitions, ideas, and links are offered for discussion and contemplation.


Explore the possibilities. Use the web. Make your own questions. Take equal turns.




~ Topic 14 ~ Family and Relatives ~ Questions for Conversation ~

Honor your mistakes, they will lead to learning...

Through this learning, more mistakes will be made…

Through this process, mistakes are no longer mistakes…

They become the act of learning.





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