Time Banks, an American concept which first started in 1980, operate today throughout the United States, England, Spain and elsewhere. The idea is simple. First, participants must enrol in the scheme. Then, every hour they spend performing services for other participants is registered as credit. That means that they are entitled to receive an equal number of hours of service from others in the plan. All services have equal value, so that people who donate, for example, an hour of dog-walking can, in return, receive an hour of legal advice. Transactions are recorded by the banks’ organisers, who match members with each other.
Unlike traditional barter systems, Time Banks enable members to receive from one person and donate to another. One elderly lady spent time visiting a disabled neighbour, and in exchange, her kitchen was redecorated. Another woman accumulated time so that she could “buy” luxuries, such as massages. Services offered range from music and language instruction to wardrobe reorganisation, eyebrow plucking and plant watering.
One obvious advantage of Time Banks is that they allow people access to services that might otherwise be too costly. However, there are also other benefits. These schemes build community spirit, which is hard to create today because the population is so mobile. They also help people who may feel that they have little to offer to realise that they are valuable contributors. Many people never use the hours they accumulate, while others donate their time to people in need.
There is an old saying in English that “time is money”. With Time Banks, this is truer than ever!
I. READING COMPREHENSION
ANSWER QUESTIONS 1-2 ACCORDING TO THE INFORMATION GIVEN IN THE TEXT. USE YOUR OWN WORDS.
1) Why are Time Banks especially important in modern communities?
2) How do Time Bank schemes work?
- People donate a certain amount of their time to do some work and in exchange someone else does work for them for the same amount of time.
ARE THESE STATEMENTS TRUE OR FALSE? JUSTIFY YOUR ANSWERS WITH WORDS OR PHRASES FROM THE TEXT.
3) Time Banks were first started in Spain in 1980.
4) Members can only receive services from people they’ve donated to.
5) It’s possible to give people your hours.
6) People must withdraw the time they deposit in time banks.
II. USE OF ENGLISH
7) Give one synonym for INSTRUCTION (noun, line 13)
8) Give one opposite for COSTLY (adjective, line 16)
9) Find in the text the word which has the following definition:
“to enable something to happen” (verb)
10) Give a noun with the same root as TRUER (adverb, line 20)
11) Turn the following sentence into the passive voice.
A Time Bank member will perform an hour of service.
12) Join the following sentences using an appropriate linker. (Do not use AND or BUT.) Make changes if necessary.
One woman accumulated over 100 hours. She doesn’t want to receive any services.
13) Give a question for the underlined words.
One elderly lady visited her disabled neighbour.
14) Use the words in boxes to make a meaningful sentence. Use all the words and only the words in the boxes without changing their form.
RECORD THE EVERY OCCURS TRANSACTION THAT ORGANISERS