Learning about English



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  • Unit 7

Unit 7

  • Part Ⅰ Pre-reading activities
  • Part Ⅱ Text A
  • Part Ⅲ Text B
  • Part Ⅳ Post-reading activities

Pre-reading Activities:

  • Listen to the passage carefully and then think over
  • the following questions:
  • 1. What is the passage about?
  • 2. What’s your impression of the English language?
  • 3. Can you give one or two examples to illustrate the messiness of the English language?
  • 4. Can you guess what the texts in this unit are going to be about?

Pre-reading Activities:

  • Look at these following pairs and try to master the
  • usages of them:
  • a wise guy / a wise man overlook / oversee
  • burn up / burn down go off / go on
  • when stars are out / when lights are out
  • wind up a watch / wind up a speech
  • a slim chance / a fat chance
  • fill in a form / fill out a form
  • back

The Glorious Messiness of English

  • Text A
  • Robert MacNeil

Cultural Notes:

  • Winston Churchill
  • Churchill became Britain’s Prime Minister
  • and Minister of Defense in 1940, and was
  • reelected as Prime Minister in 1951. His
  • radio speeches during World WarⅡgave
  • the British people a strong determination
  • to win the war.
  • (1874-1965)
  • “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.”

Cultural Notes:

  • Julius Caesar (100-44BC)
  • He is the best-known of all the ancient Roman leaders, and
  • the first to land in Britain with an army in 55 and 54 BC
  • respectively, although Britain did not become part of the
  • Roman empire until nearly a hundred years later.

Cultural Notes:

  • William Caxton (c.1422-1491)
  • He set up the first printing firm in Britain. He printed his
  • first book in 1474. By printing books in English, Caxton had
  • a strong influence on the spelling and development of the
  • language. Many of the books he published were French
  • stories which he translated himself.

Cultural Notes:

  • Otto Jesperson (1860-1943)
  • Danish philologist, grammarian, and educationist. He
  • promoted the use of the “direct method” in language
  • teaching with the publication of his theoretical work How to
  • Teach a Foreign Language (1904). Other books include his
  • seven-volume Modern English Grammar (1909)

Cultural Notes:

  • Viking:
  • A member of people from Scandinavia who attacked parts of
  • northern and western Europe, including Britain and Ireland
  • in the 8th to 11th centuries. In Britain, they were also known
  • as Norsemen. They were feared as violent and cruel, but
  • they were also noted for their skills in building ships and as
  • sailors.

Cultural Notes:

  • Norman:
  • Any of the people from Normandy in northern France who
  • settled in England after their leader William defeated the
  • English King at the battle of Hastings in 1066. The Normans
  • took control of the country, a process known as the Norman
  • Conquest. The language of government became first Latin,
  • and then Norman French, and this caused many new words
  • to be added to the existing English language.

Language study

  •    1. massive: large in scale, amount, or degree
  • Examples: The ancient temple’s massive stone
  • pillars had begun to crumble.
  • The scale of the problem is so massive that it
  • will require all our resources to deal with it.
  •     2. snack: a small meal
  • Examples: I usually have a snack of hamburger
  • and a glass of coke at lunchtime.
  • The children in the kindergarten have a
  • midmorning snack of milk and biscuits.

Language study

  •    3. corrupt:
  • (1) cause errors to appear in
  • Examples:
  • The academy ruled that such foreign expressions were
  • not permitted, as they corrupted the language.
  • Has Japanese been corrupted by the introduction of
  • foreign words?
  • These jargons merely corrupt your good English.
  • (2) cause to act dishonestly in return for personal gains
  • Examples:
  • We believe film of violence would corrupt young
  • people.

Language study

  • To our great surprise, the former mayor turned out to have been corrupted by the desire for money and power.
  • To gain more profits, the businessman tried every means to corrupt the officials in the local government.
  • 4. ban: forbid (sth.) officially (used in the pattern: ban sth.;
  • ban sb. from sth./doing sth.)
  • Examples:
  • Scientists from many countries called on the international
  • community to created an international convention to ban
  • human cloning as soon as possible.
  • Tom was banned from driving for six months after being
  • caught speeding again.

Language study

  • n. ban (followed by on)
  • Examples:
  • The government is considering a total ban on cigarette
  • advertising.
  • The ban on underground nuclear tests is a vital step toward disarmament.
  • 5. invent:
  • (1) make or design (sth. that has not existed before);
  • create (sth.)
  • Examples:
  • James Watt invented the steam engine.
  • Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone.

Language study

  • (2) give (a name, reason, etc. that doesn’t exist or is not
  • true)
  • Examples:
  • All the characters in the novel are invented.
  • Standing still in the teacher’s office, the boy tried to invent
  • a plausible excuse for his absence from class.
  • Cf.: invent, discover
  • If somebody invents something, they are the first person to
  • think of it or make it.
  • Examples:
  • Walter Hunt and Elias Hone invented the sewing machine.

Language study

  • If somebody discovers something, they find out about
  • something which exists but which was not previously
  • known.
  • Examples:
  • The planet Pluto was discovered in 1930.
  • 6. fascinating: of great interest or attraction
  • Examples:
  • The story of his adventures in the Arctic was fascinating to listen to.
  • It is fascinating to imagine what might have happened if the US had not declared war against Japan in World WarⅡ.

Language study

  • 7. tolerance:
  • (1) the quality of allowing other people to say and do as
  • they like, even if you don’t agree or approve of it
  • (followed by of/for)
  • Examples:
  • School teachers have to have a great deal of tolerance in order to deal with difficult children.
  • I think tolerance between students is extremely necessary since they live and study together.
  • (2) the ability to hear sth. painful or unpleasant (followed
  • by of/for)

Language study

  • Examples:
  • Human beings have limited tolerance of noise.
  • The patient had no tolerance for pain.
  • 8. necessity:
  • (1) sth. you must have in order to live properly or do sth.
  • Examples:
  • Water is a basic necessity of life.
  • A lot of people would consider a TV as more of a
  • necessity than a luxury item.
  • The workers’ wages were so low that they hardly had
  • enough money to buy the bare necessity of life.

Language study

  • (2) circumstances that force one to do sth.; the state of
  • being necessary; the need for sth. (followed by of/for)
  • Examples:
  • There is absolutely no necessity for you to be involved in
  • the project.
  • The reached an agreement on the necessity of educational
  • reforms.
  • 9. arouse: provoke (a particular feeling or attitude)
  • Examples:
  • These educational toys give children a feeling of self
  • worth by arousing their interest in challenging tasks.

Language study

  • The man’s strange behavior aroused the policeman’s suspicions.
  • 10. surrender: give in (followed by to )
  • Examples: After several weeks of severe attacks, Afghanistan’s Taliban forces surrendered to the North Alliance.
  • After the bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the
  • Japanese surrendered.
  • We’ll never surrender to terrorism despite the terrorist
  • attacks.

Language study

  • 11. virtually: for the most part, almost
  • Examples:
  • It’s virtually impossible to tell the imitation from the
  • real thing.
  • It has been raining virtually non-stop for the past several
  • days.
  • 12. invade: enter with armed forces
  • Examples:
  • In July 1937 the Japanese army invaded China.
  • The Germans invaded Poland in 1939, leading to the
  • start of World WarⅡ.

Language study

  • 13.mystery: sth. that people can’t, or have not been able to understand or explain
  • Examples:
  • The politician’s sudden death remains a mystery to us all.
  • How Egyptian pyramids were built still remains a mystery.
  • No one has ever been able to explain the mystery of the
  • Bermuda Triangle.
  • 14. resemble: be like or similar to
  • Examples:
  • I’d say he resembles his mother more than his father.
  • In his childhood, Stevie Wonder loved music and would
  • pound spoons or forks on any surface that resemble a
  • drum.

Language study

  • 15. systematic: done according to a system
  • Examples:
  • Our professor not only imparts knowledge to us, but also
  • teaches us how to read books in a systematic way.
  • The staff made a systematic check to make sure that no
  • name had been omitted from the register.
  • 16. descend: come down (from a source), go down (followed
  • by from)
  • Examples:
  • These ideas descend from those of the ancient
  • philosophers.
  • The Japanese are thought to be descended from tribes
  • from the north of China.

Language study

  • 17. establish:
  • (1) cause to be, set up
  • Examples:
  • The school was established in 1905 by an Italian
  • Professor.
  • The bank helps people wanting to establish their
  • business.
  • (2) place or settle sb./oneself in a position, an office, etc.
  • (used in the pattern: establish sb./oneself as)
  • Examples:
  • She established her fame as an actress.

Language study

  • 18.drift: move or go somewhere in a slow casual way
  • Examples:
  • Jimmy spent the year drifting around Europe.
  • As rural factories shed labor, people drift towards the city.
  • The football match was over, and the crowds drifted
  • away from the stadium.
  • 19.climate: (an area or region with) a regular pattern of
  • weather condition
  • Examples:
  • Brought up in the south of China, she wouldn't't’t enjoy
  • living in such a cold climate.
  • Due to the greenhouse effect, changes in the earth’s
  • climate have taken place.

Language study

  • 20.addition: a person or thing added (followed by to )
  • Examples:
  • The baby is a welcome addition to the Smith family.
  • The young professor will be a most valuable addition to our board.
  • 21.conquer: take possession and controlled of (a country,
  • city, etc.) by force; defeat
  • Examples:
  • Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance conquered Kabul a
  • month ago.
  • She has conquered the hearts of many men.
  • The Spanish once conquered most of South America.

Language study

  • 22.royal: of a king or queen, or other members of their
  • family, and things relating to them
  • Examples:
  • The new born baby was welcome not only by the
  • Japanese royal family but by the country at large.
  • The royal wedding drew large crowds from across the
  • country.
  • 23.alternative: one of two or more possibilities (followed by
  • to)
  • Examples:
  • Check out the alternatives before deciding whether to go
  • to a nearby college.
  • What was the alternative to going home?

Language study

  • 24.modify: change slightly
  • Examples:
  • The school authorities plan to modify the school
  • regulations.
  • The computer programmers tried to modify the design of
  • the software to make it suitable for commercial
  • production.
  • 25.enrich:
  • (1) make rich or richer
  • Examples:
  • That once coastal village has been enriched by the profits from tourism.
  • The development of oil fields enriched many Arabian countries.

Language study

  • (2) improve
  • Examples:
  • It is important to enrich the soil prior to planting.
  • Travel enriches people’s lives.
  • 26.classic: a work of art recognized as having lasting value
  • Examples:
  • Both Tom Jones and Wuthering Heights are classics.
  • His manual on botany has become a classic among scientists.

Language study

  • 27.source: a place from which sth. comes or is obtained
  • Examples:
  • Tourism, which is a major source of income for the city,
  • has been serious affected by the terrorist attacks.
  • The source of the anthrax outbreak in the USA remained
  • a mystery.
  • 28.fortunately: by good luck
  • Examples:
  • Fortunately, my friend survived the car accident.
  • Fortunately a life guard noticed that the woman was drowning and she was rescued.
  • I had forgotten my key, but fortunately the door wasn’t locked.

Language study

  • 29.strictly speaking: if one uses words, applies rules, etc. in
  • their exact sense
  • Examples:
  • He’s not strictly speaking an artist; he is more of a
  • performer.
  • Strictly speaking she was not qualified for the job. But we employed her because of he honesty.
  • 30.to a (very real, certain, etc.) extent: to the degree
  • specified
  • Examples:
  • I agree with him to some extent but there are still some
  • areas of sharp disagreement between us.

Language study

  • 31.out of control: no longer able to be controlled
  • Examples:
  • The fire was out of control by the time the second fire
  • engine arrived.
  • There was nothing they could do about it. The situation
  • was out of control.
  • 32. put into practice:
  • Examples:
  • Having delayed several times, we must put this plan into practice now.
  • They weren't’t allowed to put into practice in their daily lives the teachings they received.

Language study

  • 33.strike out: start being independent; start doing want one
  • wants to do in life
  • Examples:
  • After working for his father for about ten years, he
  • decided to strike out on his own.
  • 34.pass (sth.) on to (sb.): hand or give (sth.) to (sb.)
  • Examples:
  • When you have finished reading the novel, please pass it
  • on to Laura.
  • The King passed on much of his fortune to the princess.

Text Organization:

  • Parts
  • Paragraphs
  • Main Ideas
  • 1
  • 1-3
  • Massive borrowing from other languages is a major feature of the English language.
  • 2
  • 4 -16
  • Tells about the history of the English language from the Indo-European parent language to modern English.
  • 3
  • 17-19
  • Tolerance, love of freedom, and respect for the rights of others—these qualities in the English-speaking people explain the richness of their language.

Text Organization: back

  • Paras
  • Content
  • 4 - 9
  • The introduction of the Indo-European language---the parent language of English
  • 10-11
  • Germanic tribes came to settle in Britain and brought Anglo-Saxon words---Old English
  • 12
  • The Christian religion enriched English with words from Greek and Latin
  • 13
  • The Vikings from Scandinavia came with words from Old Norse
  • 14
  • The Norman Conquest--- French influence
  • 15
  • The European Renaissance and the printing press brought many new words from Greek and Latin
  • 16
  • The American revolution--- the emergence of a new variety--- American English

Text B

  • The Role of English in the 21st Century
  • Melvyn A. Hasman

Language study

  • 1. status: (high) social position
  • Example: Women have very little status in many countries.
  • 2. exceed: go beyond in quantity, degree, etc.
  • Examples: The price will not exceed 100 pounds.
  • Their success exceeded all expectations.
  • 3. trend: general tendency or direction
  • Example: The trend of prices is still upwards.
  • 4. crude: not refined
  • Example: His paintings are rather crude.
  • 5. contribute to: help to cause

Language study

  • Example: The chairman encourages everyone to
  • contribute to the discussion.
  • 6. give way to: yield to
  • Example: One should not give way to difficulties.
  • 7. integrate: make into a whole
  • Example: The buildings are well integrated.
  • 8. unique: being the only one of its kind
  • Example: She is the unique person to do this job.
  • 9. authority: power to give orders and makes others to obey
  • Example: The leader must be a person of authority.

Language study

  • 10. to name a few: to give just a few examples
  • Example: Mammal is any of the class of animals that
  • give birth to live offspring and feed them on
  • milk, to name a few, cat, dog, and sheep, etc..
  • 11. aspect: an element or side of a situation or idea
  • Example: We should look at every aspect of the problem.
  • 12. predict: declare or tell in advance
  • Example: The earthquake had been predicted several
  • months before.
  • 13. genuine: real, not fake or artificial
  • Example: This is a genuine pearl.

Language study

  • 14. in transition: in the course of changing into another state
  • or condition
  • Example: His attitude is in transition.
  • 15. rid oneself of: free oneself from
  • Example: Many students want to rid themselves of heavy
  • homework.
  • 16. shift: change or move from one position or direction to
  • another
  • Example: The wind shifted from east to north.
  • 17. substantial: large in amount; considerable
  • Example: Her contribution to the discussion is
  • substantial.

Language study

  • 18. economic: of an economy or economics
  • Example: It is not always economic for buses to run on
  • Sundays.
  • 19. professional: of or belonging to a profession
  • Example: The doctor was accused of professional
  • misconduct.
  • 20. dominate: have control of or a very strong influence on
  • Example: He has authority, but he doesn't try to
  • dominate others.

Text Organization back

  • Parts
  • Paragraphs
  • Main Ideas
  • 1
  • 1-4
  • The globe spread of English over the past 40years has been remarkable.
  • 2
  • 4 -16
  • There are three factors contribute to this spread of English.
  • 3
  • 17-19
  • The future of the English language is unpredictable.

Post-reading Activities

  • Text A:
  • 1. Try to draw a picture or a chart of the development of the
  • English language. (Keys)
  • 2. Translation practice
  • Text B:
  • 1. Language practice
  • 2. Comprehension check

Development of English back

  • Indo-European language
  • the parent language
  • Old English
  • Anglo-Saxon words
  • by Germanic tribes
  • Greek and Latin words
  • by Christian religion
  • Middle English
  • Old Norse
  • by Vikings
  • French words by
  • Norman Conquest
  • Modern English
  • Printing press
  • European Renaissance
  • Br. English
  • Am. English

Translation

  • Translate the following passage into English, using the words and
  • phrases given below:
  • mystery descend enrich pass on to
  • tolerance independent source out of control
  •  
  • 虽然英语是如何产生的还是个谜,语言学家倾向于认为它和许多
  • 欧洲语言来自同一个源头,即印欧母语。英语最初是在公元五世纪
  • 入侵英国的盎格鲁萨克逊人中间使用的。他们将英语的基本词汇传
  • 给了我们。在十五个多世纪的发展中,英语大量借用了其他语言。
  • 这种借用大大丰富了英语的词汇。随着移民来到美洲建立了独立的
  • 美利坚合众国,英语又增添了一个新的变种:美语。虽然有人担忧
  • 英语的发展失控了,但大多数以英语为母语的人对他们语言的宽容
  • 性感到自豪。

Translation

  • Keys:
  • Though how the English language come into existence
  • remains a mystery, linguists/language scientists now tend to believe that English and most other European languages have descended from a common source: the Indo-European parent language. English was first spoken by the Anglo-Saxons who invaded England in the fifth century. They passed onto us the basic vocabulary of English. In its over 15 centuries of development, English has borrowed from other languages massively, and such borrowing has greatly enriched its vocabulary.

Translation

  • As settlers, landed in America and established the United
  • States as an independent nation, a new variety was added to
  • the English language: American English. Though some
  • people worry that the language is running out of control,
  • many native speakers of English take pride in the tolerance
  • of their language.
  • back

Language Practice

  • Use the proper form of the following words or
  • phrases to fill in the blanks.
  • give way to substantial in transition
  • professional economic authority
  • crude shift unique
  • rid oneself of predict integrate
  • aspect genuine to name a few
  • dominate trend status
  • had contributed to exceeding

Language Practice

  • 1. If you think I will ______your threats, you are mistaken.
  • 2. Everybody thinks that it will be a very close race and no one dare to _______ its outcome.
  • 3.We should be thankful to Emily for he______contribution to our project.
  • 4. Daniel found it difficult to ______himself into a society
  • whose culture was completely different fro his own.
  • 5. The Chinese economy is still _______from a planned to a
  • market economy.
  • 6. Lighting is a vitally important ______of filmmaking.
  • 7. It’s the sort of ad that is intended to appeal to teachers,
  • lawyer, doctors and other______.

Language Practice

  • 8.The handbag is worth the money. It is made of ______leather.
  • 9. The government’s policies have led us into the fastest ______growth for years.
  • 10. “Quite a number of students gave excellent answers to
  • my last question. David Smith, Jane Anderson, Edward
  • Newman, ______,” said the professor in his comments
  • on our performance in the exam.
  • 11. The new professor is a leading ______on the history of
  • Sino-British relations.
  • 12. Gone are the days when superpowers could ______the
  • world.     

Language Practice

  • 13. “No admittance” was painted in such ____ letters on the
  • door that anyone would see right away the painter was a
  • green hand.
  • 14. The ______at the moment is towards a more natural and
  • less made-up look.
  • 15. The government’s economic policy is to ______the
  • emphasis from primary industry to tertiary industry.
  • 16. In his closing remarks, the chairman expressed thanks to
  • all those whose work ______the success of the
  • conference.
  •     

Language Practice

  • 17. As many as 100 species of fish, some of them ______to
  • these waters, may have been affected by the pollution.
  • 18. Richard got two tickets for ______speed limits within
  • one week. He really has to take care.
  • 19. It’s not impossible to ______ this bad habit, but it will
  • take a lot of effort.
  • 20. Many sociologists have called our attention to the
  • ______of women in the rural areas.

Language Practice

  • Keys:
  • 1. give way to 2. predict 3. substantial
  • 4. integrate 5. in transition 6. aspect
  • 7. professional 8. genuine 9. economic
  • 10.to name a few 11. authority 12. dominate
  • 13. crude 14. trend 15. shift
  • 16. had contributed to 17. unique 18.exceeding
  • 19. rid yourself of 20. status
  • back

Comprehension Check

  • Choose the best answer for each of the following:
  • 1.How many people are learning English across the globe?
  • a. 5% of the world population.
  • b.10% of the world population.
  • c. 20% of the world population.
  • d.50% of the world population.      

Comprehension Check

  • 2.The leading language for scientific purpose in the 1930s was_______.
  • a.Latin
  • b.English
  • c.German
  • d.French
  •      

Comprehension Check

  • 3.Written English is becoming more informal due to the influence of ______.
  • a.pop music
  • b.American standards
  • c.the Internet
  • d.the growing number of English speakers

Comprehension Check

  • 4. English is unique in______.
  • a. is alphabet
  • b. the simplicity of its grammar
  • c. its informality
  • d. its wide range of sources

Comprehension Check

  • 5.The writer points out that the different
  • varieties of English______.
  • a. make communication difficult
  • b. allow the language to adapt to local
  • circumstances
  • c. are not equally acceptable
  • d. require a central authority to set standards

Comprehension Check

  • 6.The middle section of the essay, paragraphs 11-
  • 17, could best be subtitled______.
  • a. The growth of English
  • b. The forces behind the spread of English
  • c.  English past and present
  • d. The future of English
  • Thank you!


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