“(NE)Sigurni u cestovnom prometu” [(Un)Safe on the Road]

Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian Classroom Materials

Marta Pirnat-Greenberg
CARLA 2004 Summer Institute:
Developing Classroom Materials for LCTLs
University of Minnesota
August 2-6, 2004

Topic:                           Traffic accidents

Level:                           Intermediate

Target audience:          University students

Materials:                     Newspaper article: “Two Dead on Istrian Roads”

Newspaper article: “What Can Be Expected from the New Traffic Safety Law”

Humorous quotes and pictures related to the topic

Film: “Bure baruta” [Cabaret Balkan] (FRY, 1998): the clip from the beginning with the collision scene of a Yugo and a Volkswagen Bug (begins with reckless driving, concludes with the Yugo’s driver running away—about 3 minutes). Instructor should provide at least some social and historical context and its significance for the situations portrayed in the film. If working with a subtitled version, the instructor should cover the subtitles.


Prerequisite:                 Students have been introduced to the basic vocabulary related to traffic and traffic accidents

Purpose:                      To help students develop communicative skills on the topic in all four areas by balancing the activities for each skill.

Content of the packet: The packet consists of four fairly independent (although topically related) units. Units 1-3 are reading-based, unit 4 is listening-based. All units, and unit 4 in particular, provide an opportunity to expand the cultural knowledge. Depending on time constraints and students’ abilities the instructor may chose any one or any combination of these units.

Time requirement:        Units 1 and 4 require 50 minutes each, units 2 and 3 require 20-30 minutes each.

Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian Classroom Materials: Summary

Unit 1: Na istarskim cestama dvoje poginulih [Two Killed on Istrian Roads]

Prereading: (1) Write down all the words you associate with a traffic accident.

(2) Look at the picture. What kind of accident is most likely discussed in the article?

Reading:    Provide detailed information from the text by completing the table.

Speaking:  (1) The road is closed because of the accident. Make a phone call to your parents explaining what happened.

                  (2) In pairs act out a conversation between a police officer and a witness of the accident.

                  (3) You are a reporter for a local radio station and you are reporting from the site of the accident.

Writing:       In order for the insurance to cover the damage, drivers must fill out a form in which, among other things, they are required to describe the accident as concisely as possible. Without looking at the text, in a sentence or two describe both accidents.

Unit 2: Humor u prometu [Humor in Traffic]

Reading:    Read the following actual descriptions of accidents.

Language: (1) Identify those parts in the sentences that make the sentences ironic / illogical.

(2) Change the illogical descriptions into logical ones.

Speaking: Explain what is unusual about these pictures.

Unit 3: Novi zakon o sigurnosti prometa [The New Traffic Safety Law]

Reading:    (1) Read the article and answer the questions referring to the data from the article, some that you have to find from other sources, and compare the two.

               (2) Complete the table with the penalties the offenders may receive for the given offenses according to the law discussed in the article.

(3) Assign each statement to the appropriate person mentioned in the text.

Unit 4: Bure baruta [a clip from the film Cabaret Balkan]

Before viewing: Read the following statement (a quote from the article “The New Traffic Safety Law”).

Viewing :    Watch the film clip with the sound off and try to determine in what relation the statement you read is with the clip; how do people behave in the clip; what does the old gentlemen with a hat and glasses say.

Listening:         Watch the film clip with the sound and determine whether your prediction was right; what offense in addition to reckless driving did the young man in the Yugo commit; how does the policeman’s attitude change.

Language: (1) With strangers Serb/Croats usually use the formal “vi” form. When they get mad, they abruptly switch to informal “ti”. Carefully listen to the clip again and write down some examples from it.

                  (2) Have you noticed in the clip that the command “izađi(te)” changes into “izlazi” when the policeman becomes impatient with the young man in the Yugo? What grammatical change is involved in the expression of impatience?

                  (3) Using the same change, turn the following commands into “impatient” commands.

                  (4) What do people do when they are angry? Think of as many verbs as possible.

Writing:       Describe what you saw in the clip, but alternate the ending.

forward to unit 1 forward to unit 2 forward to unit 3 forward to unit 4