Town or Country?

Merci !

Annales corrigées
Classe(s) : Tle STI2D - Tle STMG - Tle ST2S - Tle STL | Thème(s) : Espaces et échanges
Type : Écrit LV1 | Année : 2018 | Académie : Pondichéry

Pondichéry • Mai 2018

Séries technologiques • LV1

Town or country?

document 1 Small town America

The narrator and his family have just moved from England.

There are many wonderful things about the United States of America that deserve praise1, but none is more outstanding than the friendliness of the people.

When we moved to this little town in New Hampshire, people received us as if the one thing that had kept them from total happiness up to that point was the absence of us in their lives. They brought us cakes and pies and bottles of wine.

It was dazzling2 and it has remained so. At Christmas last year we went to England for ten days and returned home late at night and hungry to find that a neighbour had stocked the fridge with both essentials and goodies, and filled vases with fresh flowers. This sort of thing happens all the time.

That people leave their cars unlocked and the windows open tells you something more about the town, of course. The fact is, there is no crime here. People will casually leave a $500 bicycle propped against a tree and go off to do their shopping.

The police don’t shoot people here because they don’t need to, because there is no crime. It is a rare and heart-warming example of a virtuous circle. We have grown used to this now, but when we were still new in town and I expressed wonder about it all to a woman who grew up in New York City but has lived here for 20 years, she laid a hand on my arm and said, as if imparting3 a great secret: “Honey, you’re not in the real world any longer. You’re in New Hampshire.”

Adapted from Bill Bryson, Notes from a Big Country, 1999.

1. praise: a compliment.

2. dazzling: wonderful.

3. imparting: sharing.

document 2 Adjusting to Life in the City


This past Friday marked exactly ten weeks since we arrived in London and began adjusting to life in the city. Anytime, anywhere you move, there will always be an adjustment period, an undetermined amount of time where you, among other things, acclimate to your new home’s culture, learn your way around town, and start meeting new friends.

After ten weeks, I still panic a bit at the till (cash register) when I need to pay in cash and I can’t quickly count out the correct pence because I’m still used to American coins. I get frustrated when I can’t find the ingredients I need to cook our familiar family meals, and when I mess up the unit conversions between grams and ounces and ruin the entire dinner. I get lost everywhere. Street signs aren’t always prominently displayed (if they are displayed at all), and I once spent an hour, completely turned around, trying to meet my cousin for dinner, when the actual distance from the tube to the pub was less than a quarter of a mile. But these are minor annoyances1, and things I’m bound to learn the longer I live here.

The real transition has been from quiet, rural life to living in one of the biggest and busiest cities in the world. Even though I’ve lived in a lot of places, I have always lived either in the country or in the suburbs, neither of which could have prepared me for the noise and the fast pace of a big city. The first thing I noticed, and likely the first thing anyone notices, is the people. And not just that there are a lot of them, but that they are moving really, really quickly. When we are in the busiest sections of the city, sometimes I feel like pressing myself against a wall to get out of the way for fear of being trampled2.

Adapted from, August 5, 2013.

1. annoyances: irritations, nuisances.

2. trampled: walked over, crushed.


Document 1

1 What is the document about? Choose the right answer.

1. An English family that has recently moved to New Hampshire, USA.

2. An American family that has recently settled in London, England.

3. An English family that has recently arrived in New York City, USA.

Focus on lines 1 to 12

2 What surprised them most when they arrived in their new country?

Explain in your own words and justify (one sentence and one quote).

3 True or False? Justify by quoting the text.

1. They live in New York City.

2. Their new neighbours first ignored them.

3. They felt amazed by their neighbours’ welcome.

4 From lines 8 to 11: “At Christmas […] flowers”.

From the following list, choose two adjectives to describe the neighbours and two adjectives to describe the family:

disappointed / helpful / surprised / selfish / kind / thankful

The neighbours:

The family:

Focus on line 13 to the end

5 In the text, pick out two examples of habits in this town that seemed both very surprising and very nice to them.

6 Lines 23-24: “Honey, you’re not in the real world any longer. You’re in New Hampshire.”

Explain in your own words what the lady means. (20 words)

Document 2

7 Identify the type of document.

8 The following sentences are false. Correct each statement with quotes from the text.

1. The narrator has lived in London for a long time.

2. The narrator feels relaxed in his / her new environment.

3. The narrator is English.

9 Focus on the second paragraph. In the text, pick out three “minor annoyances” in the narrator’s daily life.

10 What is the most difficult challenge the narrator has to face? Explain in your own words and use two quotes from the text to justify (30 words).

Documents 1 and 2

11 What do the families in documents 1 and 2 have in common?

Pick the two correct statements.

1. Both families have moved to a different place and need to adapt.

2. Both families have to adapt to a rural life in the country.

3. Both families experience a culture shock.

4. Both families think their new lives are very similar to their old ones.

12 Was it easy for these families to adjust to their new environment? Compare the two experiences. (about 40 words)


Choose ONE of the following subjects (200 words)

1 You have just moved to New York City. Write a blog article to share your experience.

2 You want to spend a year in an American university. Where would you prefer to study? In a small town or in a big city? Why?

Les clés du sujet

Document 1


Bill Bryson (1951-) est un écrivain mondialement connu pour ses récits de voyage humoristiques et l’étude de la langue anglaise. Il a la double nationalité : américaine et britannique. Les différences entre les deux pays forment l’essentiel de ses très nombreuses œuvres.

Pour en savoir plus :

Résumé du texte

Le narrateur décrit la vie dans une petite ville américaine où tout semble idyllique : les voisins s’occupent de la maison quand on part en vacances, il est inutile de fermer les portes à clé et il n’y a pas de criminalité. Le New Hampshire ne fait pas partie du monde réel !

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

To deserve (l. 2) : mériter ; outstanding (l. 2) : frappant ; a pie (l. 7) : une tourte ; to prop something against (l. 16) : poser quelque chose contre ; heart-warming (l. 18) : qui fait chaud au cœur ; to lay a hand on (l. 22) : poser la main sur.

Document 2

La source est un blog rédigé par une Américaine passionnée de voyages et de photographie. Ces quinze dernières années elle et sa famille ont vécu dans onze pays différents.

Pour en savoir plus :

Résumé du texte

L’auteure raconte la période d’adaptation qu’elle traverse depuis son arrivée à Londres. Ayant toujours vécu à la campagne ou en banlieue, elle se sent désorientée par la vie dans cette très grande ville.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

Among (l. 4) : parmi ; the till (UK), the cash register (US) (l. 7) : la caisse ; to mess up (l. 11) : (ici) se tromper ; an ounce (l. 11) : une once (unité de mesure de poids) = 28 g ; to be bound to (l. 17) : (ici) forcément ; pace (l. 22) : rythme de vie.

Les points de convergence

Les deux documents montrent les différences entre la vie dans une métropole et une petite ville dans deux pays anglophones très différents : ­l’Angleterre et les États-Unis.

Le sujet d’expression 1

Une direction possible

Il s’agit d’un récit de la vie menée à New York par un(e) Français(e) nouvellement arrivé(e). Pensez aux différences entre votre vie actuelle et la vie à New York : une très grande ville, mythique, si riche en promesses. Avez-vous des attentes particulières, des craintes ?

Key ideas

Life here is so different! I wasn’t expecting things to be so big, so noisy, so vibrant! When my parents told me, we were moving to the Big Apple, it was a dream come true, but the reality is a little harder to get used to… But I’m sure I’ll get used to it in time.

Le sujet d’expression 2

Une direction possible

Choisissez d’abord la taille de la ville où vous voulez étudier : une petite ville où tout est accessible à pied ou une grande cité avec des sorties et des musées à visiter en abondance. Y a-t-il une ville en particulier qui vous fait rêver ?

Key ideas

I’ve always wanted to study in the USA. All the films you see with those American teenagers having the time of their lives, the big-name Ivy League universities that open doors to all the best jobs later in life. I think studying in a big city like Boston with both Harvard and MIT would be amazing!