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Unit 7. Learning about English. 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?

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Unit 7

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Unit 7

Learning about English


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Unit 7

Part Ⅰ Pre-reading activities

Part Ⅱ Text A

Part Ⅲ Text B

Part Ⅳ Post-reading activities


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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?


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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


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Text A

Robert MacNeil

The Glorious Messiness of English


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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.”


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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.


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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.


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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)


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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)


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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?


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.





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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


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Language study

Example: The chairman encourages everyone to

contributeto 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.


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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.


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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.


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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.



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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


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Development of Englishback

Indo-European language

the parent language

Anglo-Saxon words

by Germanic tribes

Greek and Latin words

by Christian religion

Old English

Old Norse

by Vikings

French words by

Norman Conquest

Middle English

Printing press

European Renaissance

Modern English

Br. English

Am. English


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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。


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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.


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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


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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


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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______.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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


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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.


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Comprehension Check

2.The leading language for scientific purpose in the 1930s was_______.

a.Latin

b.English

c.German

d.French


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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


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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


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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


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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



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