A. Discussion

Discuss the following questions with your classmates:

• Where do you think the people in the picture are?

• What are the people doing?

• What do you think the expression "freedom of religion" means?

• Are there many different religions in your country?

Q B. Vocabulary and Key Concepts

Read through the sentences, trying to imagine which words would fit in the blanks. Then listen to a dictation of the full sentences, and write the missing words in the blanks.

1. The U. S. government cannot ask for information on religious affil­iation on a basis.

2. One________________________ done in 2002 shows that 76 per­

cent of the total population identified themselves as Christian,

with 52 percent identifying themselves as_____________________

and 24 percent as Catholic.

3. The number of Americans belonging to churches or other reli­gious organizations is surprisingly high compared to other nations.

4. This is not to suggest that religious__________________________

are not important in these other nations.

5. Freedom of worship is________________________ by the First

Amendment to the Constitution.

6. The First Amendment also_________________________ the

separation of church and state.

7. The importance of religion in American history should not be

8. I’d like to talk about the increasing__________________________

religion has________________________ in fairly recent history.

there was a religious_________________________ in the 1970s

that surprised many people.

7. The religious revival was_________________________ in nature

and, at first, largely confined to issues in the private sphere of life.

8. These issues, however, were very_________________________ in

nature and became quite_________________________ in a short


9. Perhaps the "rise of the religious right" is a temporary in American life.

10. Some people predict that American society will become

increasingly_________________________ and less religious in the

future; others predict a more_________________________

political atmosphere based on conservative religious belief.

Follow-up: Check the spelling of the dictated words with your teacher.

Discuss the meanings of these words and any other unfamiliar words

in the sentences.

C. Predictions

Using the photograph and the vocabulary exercise as a starting point,

write three questions that you think will be answered in the lecture.

Examples: • What were the controversial issues that were involved in

the religious revival in the 1970s?




Follow-up: After you have written your questions, share them with your teacher and your classmates.

D. Notetaking Preparation

To save time while taking notes, it is useful to use symbols and abbre­viations. You may want to develop some of your own for words and phrases that you often hear. However, there are many that are com­monly used that you may find very helpful. The following are some of these commonly used symbols and abbreviations. Put a check next to the ones that are new to you and that you think might be helpful in your notetaking. Refer back to this page from time to time to see if you are using all the symbols and short abbreviations that would be useful in your notetaking.


+ and, plus

& and

less, minus

= equals, is the same as, consists of

ф does not equal, is different from

> is greater than, is more than

< is less than

-> causes, results in, leads to

/> does not cause, does not result in, does not lead to

<- is caused by, results from

<■/■ is not caused by, does not result from


because, because of /" rises, increases

goes down, decreases

1 minute, feet (e. g., З’ = 3 feet)

" inches or ditto marks (repeat the word immediately above)

° degrees

% percent, percentage

$ dollar, money

e. g. for example

i. e. that is

etc. et cetera

cf. compare

c. about/approximately

ca. about/approximately

w/ with

w/o without

Listen to and take notes on the following sentences, which contain information taken from several lectures for which you could use some of the symbols and abbreviations above. Try to take down content words, abbreviate as many of these content words as possible, and use your notetaking symbols and abbreviations. You will hear each item two times.

(1-3 from lecture on population)




(4-5 from lecture on immigration)



(6-7 from lecture on American family)



Follow-up: (1) Compare your notes with your classmates’. Reconstruct the full message of what you heard from your notes. (2) When you finish taking notes on today’s lecture on religion, look at your notes and see if there were places that you missed where you could have used a symbol such as < or a short abbreviation such as w/o to save time.

2. Rhetorical Cues

Read the following sentences, which contain rhetorical cues to help you follow the organization of the lecture. Decide in which order you will probably hear them. Number them from first (1) to fifth (5).

____ a. Let’s consider the first way America differs from these

other modernized nations.

____ b. Finally, let’s take a closer look at this rise in the influence

of religion on American political life.

____ c. Let’s take a look at two ways that religion in the United

States differs from religion in other modernized nations.

____ d. However, there is another somewhat contradictory differ­ence that we should also consider.

____ e. However, whether this group will be able to influence

political life for a long time cannot be known.

Follow-up: Discuss your answers as a class.

», LISTENING_______________________________________________

Q A. First Listening

In the introduction the lecturer discusses the reasons for the great number of churches in the United States. At the end of the introduc­tion he mentions the three subtopics he will go on to develop. Take down details you have time for, but be sure to take down the subtopics.






Follow-up: Check your major subtopics with your teacher before you listen to the lecture for the second time.

Q В. Further Listening

While listening again, write down necessary relevant details below the main subtopic to which they belong. Remember to use symbols and abbreviations to save time.

Follow-up: Check your notes. If you missed important information or have doubts about your notes, (1) verify them by asking a classmate questions to fill the gaps in your notes or (2) Hsten to the lecture a third time. When verifying your notes with a classmate, do not show each other your notes; ask specific questions to get the information you need.


Do you remember which is the second-largest religious group in America?

• What did the lecturer say about the First Amendment?

• What does "religious right" mean?

• Which people were surprised by the religious revival?

This is also a good time to check to see if the lecturer answered your Predictions questions about the lecture.

III. POSTLISTENING_________________________________________

Q A. Accuracy Check

Listen to the following questions, and write short answers. You will hear each question one time only.











Follow-up: Check your answers with your teacher. If your score is less than 70 percent, you may need to listen to the lecture again or rewrite your notes so that you can understand and retrieve the information in them.

В. Oral Activities

1. Review

In pairs, use your notes to reproduce sections of the lecture. Student A will present the introduction and subtopic 1, including details, to Stu­dent B. Then Student В will present subtopics 2 and 3 with details to Student A. Check what you hear against your notes. If you don’t under­stand or you disagree with what you hear, wait until your partner fin­ishes. Then bring your notes into agreement by seeking clarification, as follows:

• Excuse me, what did you say about the television and film media?

• I don’t think your numbers are correct.

• Could you repeat what you said about the future role of religion in America?

2. Transfer

Discuss these questions with a partner or in small groups if you and your classmates come from different countries. If not, discuss them with your teacher and classmates.

• What are the major religious groups in your country?

• What is the relationship between the government and religion in your country?

• Do you think religion is becoming more or less important in your country? Explain.

C. Collaboration: Writing Answers to Essay Questions

To help you prepare for the essay questions in the Unit Quiz at the end of this unit, in groups of three or four, plan and write essay answers to the following questions on religion in the United States. Appoint one member of the group to do the actual writing; all members of the group should participate in planning and helping with the answers. At this point, you should refer to the guidelines in Unit 1, Chapter 2, p. 18. Review the guidelines before you begin to write essay answers.


1. Contrast religion in the United States with religion in modernized European countries.

2. Describe the conflict between the government and the religious right on the issues of legalized abortion and prayer in schools.

Follow-up: Share your answers with at least one other group. Or share your answers orally as a class, and discuss the strengths in each answer.

D. Pursuing the Topic

The following are recommended for a closer look at religion in the United States:


Find any contemporary encyclopedia in English. Look up the names of various religious minorities in the United States, such as "Mormons," "Seventh-Day Adventists," or "Amish." Read to learn about their historical background, their major beliefs, and any problems they have had as a religious minority.


Witness, Peter Weir, director; 112 minutes, R.

This film depicts the life of the Amish in the United States: their commitment to nonviolence and the resulting culture clash when one of them accidentally witnesses a brutal murder.


Interview an American about his or her views on religion in America. Beforehand, prepare interview questions as a class to ask on

• religious background

• role of religion in his or her life

• his or her opinion about freedom of religion, the separation of church and state, prayer in public schools, and the relationship between politics and religion

• any other questions your class is interested in

Write down your answers to the questions, and share the informa­tion with your classmates.

Variation: Invite an American to visit your class, and have the whole class interview him or her, using the questions you wrote.

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