Unit 12 the message behind the smile
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Unit 12 The Message Behind the Smile. Teaching Arrangement. Pre-reading task Background Analyzing the text in detail Exercises. Pre-reading task. How do you feel when someone smiles at you? List three occasions when people smile. Background.

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Unit 12 The Message Behind the Smile

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Unit 12 The Message Behind the Smile

Teaching Arrangement

  • Pre-reading task

  • Background

  • Analyzing the text in detail

  • Exercises

Pre-reading task

  • How do you feel when someone smiles at you?

  • List three occasions when people smile.


  • A typical British "Wry smile": a wry smile is a smile you do when you find a situation slightly amusing because you know more than other people or you can see how ironic it is.

  • Japanese don't show their negative feelings openly. They often give a broad smile to hide their true feelings.

Analyzing the text in detail

We all smile-----but can you tell when someone else's smile is the real thing or jus a fake?

  Child psychologists report mat babies start smiling so early in life (often as early as three weeks) that this action is unlikely to have been picked up from parents. Apparently the act of wrinkling up the mouth functions as a vital survival mechanism: by making the baby appear attractive, a smile reduces the chance that it will be abandoned by the mother.



  • To make wrinkles or a wrinkle in.

  • To draw up into wrinkles; pucker:

    • wrinkled her nose in disdain.



  • To form wrinkles.

    • wrinkle (up)one's forehead


    • wrinkle with age



  • A machine or mechanical appliance.

  • The arrangement of connected parts in a machine.

  • A system of parts that operate or interact like those of a machine:

    • the mechanism of the solar system.


  • An instrument or a process, physical or mental, by which something is done or comes into being:

    • “The mechanism of oral learning is largely that of continuous repetition”(T.G.E. Powell)


  • Psychology A usually unconscious mental and emotional pattern that dominates behavior in a given situation or environment:

    • a defense mechanism.



  • To withdraw one's support or help from, especially in spite of duty, allegiance, or responsibility; desert:

    • abandon a friend in trouble 抛弃处于危难中的朋友

  • To give up by leaving or ceasing to operate or inhabit, especially as a result of danger or other impending threat:

    • abandoned the ship 弃船

  • To surrender one's claim to, right to, or interest in; give up entirely.See Synonyms at relinquish

  • To cease trying to continue; desist from:

    • abandoned the search for the missing hiker.


While smiling may start as instinctive behavior, it is soon shaped by social situations. By the time we are four years old, it is no longer a sign of openly expressed pleasure. Instead, it can be produced artificially to please others. According to Dr. Roger Lamb of Oxford University, "Conversational signals become habitual and just as automatic as emotional expressions. It is very difficult for adults not to smile and nod their heads when listening to someone's conversation."


  • Of, relating to, or prompted by instinct.

    • Suckling is an instinct in mammals.


    • Birds learn to fly by instinct.


  • Arising from impulse; spontaneous and unthinking:

    • an instinctive mistrust of bureaucrats.



  • Made by human beings; produced rather than natural.

  • Brought about or caused by sociopolitical or other human-generated forces or influences:

    • set up artificial barriers against women and minorities


    • an artificial economic boom


  • Made in imitation of something natural; simulated.

  • Not genuine or natural:

    • an artificial smile


The problems start when people of different ages, sexes, and cultures try to smile encouragingly at each other, for although the basic expression is universally recognized, each social group develops its own system of conversational signals. A typically British "wry smile", for example, involving raising one comer of the mouth and lowering the other, is likely to be incomprehensible to most other nationalities.


  • An indicator, such as a gesture or colored light, that serves as a means of communication. Synonyms: gesture

    • an area with a poor [an excellent] TV signal


    • They went into action at a given signal.

      在约定的信号发出时, 他们投入了战斗。

  • A message communicated by such means

    • A red light is usually a signal of danger.


  • Something that incites action:

    • The peace treaty was the signal for mass celebrations.


    • What he said was the signal for the argument.


The Japanese, too, are a role unto themselves when it comes to facialexpressions. Under traditional Japanese codes of behavior, negative emotions such as anger, sadness, and disgust should not be shown openly; as a result, people may end up giving a broad smile instead.


  • Of or concerning the face:

    • facial cosmetics; facial hair.


    • a facial nerve


    • facial expressions


    • facial tissue

      擦面用的薄纸, 纸巾


  • Profound aversion or repugnance excited by something offensive.

    • The smell filled me with disgust.



  • To excite nausea or loathing in; sicken.

    • His behaviour disgusted everybody.


    • The food disgusted me.


  • To offend the taste or moral sense of; repel.

Smiling practices may also differ dramatically between the sexes. Women, for instance, smile more than men. Again, this isn't because they are happier but simply because they are expected to appear pleasant; often they smile when they are actually feeling uncomfortable or tense. Men who smile a lot describe themselves as sociable''; women who do so describe themselves as "feminine".


  • Fond of the company of others; gregarious.

    • The Smiths are a sociable family.


  • Marked by or affording occasion for agreeable conversation and conviviality. Synonyms social

  • Pleasant, friendly, and affable. Synonyms gracious


  • Of or relating to women or girls; female.

  • Characterized by or possessing qualities generally attributed to a woman.

    • feminine beauty 女性美

  • Effeminate; womanish.

Whatever the reason, smiling people are considered more attractive than those who are stony faced. This is why some children who fail to learn to smile properly and appropriately often find themselves outcasts on the playground. In the United States social skills programs now concentrate on teaching unpopular children to smile with the required degree of warmth. The results are said to be highly successful.



  • Covered with or full of stones:

    • a stony beach.


  • Resembling stone, as in hardness.

  • Hardhearted and unfeeling; unemotional.

  • Exhibiting no feeling or warmth; impassive:

    • a stony expression.


  • Emotionally numbing or paralyzing:

    • a stony feeling of fear.



  • One that has been excluded from a society or system

    • a social outcast



  • Why can you trust a baby's smile more than an adult's?

  • What's the difference in smiling practices between men and women?

  • What do people in the Unite States do to help those children who cannot smile a proper smile?

Thank you for your attention!

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