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Unit 8. Coping with an Educational Problem. Teaching Objectives. Students will be able to: Understand the main idea and structure of the text Learn the way to write a cause-and-effect analysis Grasp the key language points and grammatical structures in the text

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unit 8

Unit 8

Coping with an Educational Problem

teaching objectives
Teaching Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the main idea and structure of the text
  • Learn the way to write a cause-and-effect analysis
  • Grasp the key language points and grammatical structures in the text
  • Conduct a series of reading, listening, speaking and writing activities concerned on the theme of the unit
lead in activities
Lead-in Activities

listen to the tape recording of part 1 and answer the following questions

  • what was the riddle?
  • (who is the person who has the same parents as I have but is neither my brother nor my sister?)
  • Why did the teacher ask his class this riddle?
  • (to make his class think and see how clearly they think.)
lead in activities1
Lead-in Activities

Read a piece of news and discuss the related questions

  • Report: Low grad rates in US cities

(Agencies)Updated: 2008-04-01 18:39

  • WASHINGTON - Seventeen of the nation's 50 largest cities had high school graduation rates lower than 50 percent, with the lowest graduation rates reported in Detroit, Indianapolis and Cleveland, according to a report released Tuesday.
lead in activities2
Lead-in Activities
  • The report, issued by America's Promise Alliance, found that about half of the students served by public school systems in the nation's largest cities receive diplomas. Students in suburban and rural public high schools were more likely to graduate than their counterparts in urban public high schools, the researchers said.
  • Nationally, about 70 percent of US students graduate on time with a regular diploma and about 1.2 million students drop out annually
lead in activities3
Lead-in Activities
  • "When more than 1 million students a year drop out of high school, it's more than a problem, it's a catastrophe," said former Secretary of State Colin Powell, founding chair of the alliance.
  • His wife, Alma Powell, the chair of the alliance, said students need to graduate with skills that will help them in higher education and beyond. "We must invest in the whole child, and that means finding solutions that involve the family, the school and the community." The Powell's organization was beginning a national campaign to cut high school dropout rates.
lead in activities4
Lead-in Activities

discuss in small groups about the following questions:

  • How about the dropout rate in your hometown?
  • Do you know any reasons why some students drop out?
  • Is education useful? What do you think are the educational problems of Chinese young people?
  • Do you think the teenagers today have the spirits that their forefathers did?
  • About the author
  • Background information
  • Text organization
  • Language points
  • Text analysis
  • Useful expressions
  • Word study
  • Writing skills
about the author
About the author

Benjamin Jeremy Stein

(born November 25, 1944) is

an American writer and

commentator, Emmy Award-

winning actor, comedian, and game

show host. He was also a lawyer,

lawprofessor, and White House

speechwriter. In recent years he

has become an outspoken advocate

for the creationistintelligent design


background information
Background information
  • U.C.L.A.: (University of California at Los Angeles) the largest of the eight branches of the University of California. It was established in 1919 and now has about 35,000 students. UCLA is known especially for its film studies.
  • The Wealth of Nations: an important work of economic and social theory by Adam Smith( a Scottish philosopher and economist), published in 1776.
background information1
Background information
  • Title of the Text:
  • Fable of the lazy teenager
  • What is a fable?
  • fable--a traditional short story that teaches a moral lesson, especially a story about animals
  • the fable of the fox and the crow
  • Aesop’s Fables
  • Question:
  • Do fables state the moral lessons directly or let the readers deduce?
text organization
Text organization
  • Main idea of the text:
  • The teenagers’ idleness and ignorance will seriously affect themselves and society in general.
  • Structure of the text:
  • Paras.1-7: Anecdote 1--The salesgirl’s ignorance
  • Paras.8-9: Anecdote 2--The boy’s indifference of the ignorance
  • Paras. 10-24: Fable of Kevin Hanley

(Part One)

(Part Two)


Part One


Teenagers’ intellectual laziness and ignorance

All people will be seriously affected. A modern industrial state will stop functioning.

Part Two


Lack of Education

Kevin 1990, his forebears (with the exception of his intellectual father, and his children lead a poor miserable life. (1835, 1928, 1945)

America is on the decline.There is no law and order in the country. (2020)

American children have no chance to receive a good education. (2020)

Businesses in America are owned by wealthy Europeans and Asians.(2050)


Part One (Paras 1-9):

  • The salesgirl’s ignorance (Paras. 1-7)
  • Paras. 1-5: the anecdote about the calculating
  • Paras. 6&7: concerns: so ignorant—and so ignorant of their ignorance

The lazy boy’s indifference about the ignorance (Paras.8&9)

Para. 8: the attitude of a boy

Para. 9: concern: his laziness will seriously affect his way of life. It will also affect the nation.


Part Two (Paras. 10-24):The Fable

  • Kevin 1990: 17-year-old high school senior, feeling bitter.
  • Kevin 1835: great-great-great-grandfather, 17, a poor illiterate peasant in County Kerry, Ireland, hope lying in his children being educated.
  • Kevin 1928: great-grandfather, 17, works in a steel mill in Pittsburgh, can read and write, far better off than his forefathers.
  • Kevin 1945: grandfather, fighting on Iwo Jima against Japanese, always hot, hungry and scared.
  • Kevin 1966: father, goes to college and law school, lives in a fine house.
  • Kevin 1990: himself, works as a cleaner in a Japanese factory.
  • Kevin 2020: son, porter in a hotel for wealthy Europeans and Asians, while the whole generation forgot why there was law, so there is none.
  • Kevin 2050: grandson, has no useful skills, without education, without discipline, no adequate living age, lives in slum, survives by searching through trash piles.

What does the fable intend to tell the readers?

  • The importance of education.
  • The result of being ignorant .
language points
Language points
  • Teenager (in the title): a person between the ages of 13 and 19; an adolescent.

e.g.Teenagers are very fashion conscious. 青少年很讲究时髦。

  • Run out of (line 1):

e.g.The petrol is running out. / We are running out of petrol.

e.g.Our time is running out. / We are running out of time.

language points1
Language points
  • Ful: suffix

a. with ns and vs forming adjs: full of; having qualities of; liable to: 充满的, 有…性质的; 有…倾向的;

  • b. with ns forming ns: amount that fills: mouthful, spoonful

e.g.Handful: When the employer arrived, the secretary handed him a handful of letters. (老板一到,秘书就交给他一叠信)

  • End up: reach or come to a certain place, state, or action.

e.g. If you continue to steal, you’ll end up in prison.

e.g. If he carries on driving like that, he’ll end up dead.

language points2
Language points
  • Upset (line 11): a. make sb. worry or feel unhappy

e.g.The news quite upset him.

Our arrangements for the weekend were upset by her visit.

b. cause sth. become overturned, spilt.

e.g.Upset a bottle of ink; upset enemy’s plan.

  • Sum up (line 20):

e.g. Last section sums up all the arguments on other side.

e.g. Sum sb. up: I summed her up as a competent manager. (我认为)

e.g. Summary: in summary, as a brief statement of the main points (总的说来) In summary, the campaign has been a great success.

language points3
Language points
  • Compete with/against/for/to-v (line 23): to try to win something in competition with someone else.

e.g.They competed with each other in English study.

The children competed against each other to reach the other end of the pool.

Several advertising agencies are competing to get the contrast.

  • Affect (line 26):

e.g.The tax increases have affected us all.

Their opinion will not affect my decision.

Affecting:moving, touching (动人的)

Affected:not natural, pretended, artificial.

language points4
Language points
  • Function (line 27):

e.g.This machine has stopped functioning. (out of order)

The sofa can also function as a bed.

  • Scare (line 54):

e.g.Don’t let the noise scare you, it’s only the wind.

  • Scare sb into/out of doing sth.

e.g.They scared him into handing over the keys.

  • Scare sb away/off

e.g.Light a fire to scare off the wolves.

He scares people away by being so brash.

We’ll scare her out of telling the police.

  • Scarecrow: figure resembling a person that is dressed in old clothes and set up in a field to frighten away birds.
language points5
Language points
  • Security (line 56): the Security Council (peace keeping body of united nations)
  • ~~forces, ~van, (esp. for transporting money)
  • Complex (line 76): difficult to understand or explain because there are many different parts.

e.g.A complex system, network, argument, theory, subject.

试比较complex 和 complicated

e.g.A complicated situation, process, relationship, plot.

  • Complicated 具有complex 的一切意义,但更强调复杂的难以解释或理解. 一道算试题可能非常complex, 但未必确实complicated 而一道complicated算试题一般总是complex的.
language points6
Language points
  • Befriended by (line 82):

e.g.They befriended the young girl, providing her with food and shelter.

  • Adequate (line 78):

e.g. His knowledge of computer was adequate for the job.(他的计算机知识足以胜任这份工作)

I don’t feel adequate to the job. (我不能胜任这份工作)

language points7
Language points
  • Enough, sufficient, adequate
  • Enough: 含有数量很多使人感到心满意足的意思
  • Sufficient: (formal) 分量或数量足以满足需要的. The food is sufficient for a week.
  • Adequate: 指足够符合特定(有时可指最低)的资格,分量,才能等.着重符合一个客观标准的. To be healthy one must have an adequate diet.
language points8
Language points
  • Acquire (line 85): to gain sth. by one’s own ability, efforts, or behavior. (靠自己能力,努力,行为获得,一般指通过漫长过程逐渐获得)

e.g.Abstract art is an acquired taste. (抽象艺术要慢慢才会欣赏)

After having been instructed to drive out of town, I began to acquire confidence.

  • Obtain: come to won or possess sth. by (buying, borrowing, taking, etc.)(含有满足要求或达到目的的意味)

e.g. He always manages to obtain what he wants.

I obtained this ticket for you with difficulty. (我好不容易为你弄到了这张票.)

language points9
Language points
  • Astonish (line 88): surprise very much; amaze

e.g. Her devotion to students always astonishes us.

  • Swear (line 90):make a serous promise about (often followed by infinitive to or that-clause)

e.g.He swore that he would never lie.

  • Make a living by (line 92): earn money by doing sth.

e.g. Many farmers in this area make a good living by growing flowers.

language points10
Language points
  • miracle (line 92):an amazing or wonderful event, esp. sth. that happens unexpectedly.

e.g.It is a miracle that no one was killed in that snowstorm.

  • Faculty (line 95):mental and physical abilities.

e.g. He is 90 years old but still has most of his faculties.


Text analysis

Expository writing:

a clear and detailed explanation

A typical piece of expository writing begins with a statement of opinion, then goes on to give supporting details.


A comparison of 3 expositions learned in this term:

Unit 3. The author arrives at his main argument in the third para. after guiding the readers through reasoning in the first two paras.

How is the main topic revealed?

Unit 6. The author starts by posing a question—Do animals have intelligence? and then gives a positive answer.

Unit 8. The author starts by an anecdote and then leads to his concern about the lazy teenagers.


A comparison of 3 expositions learned in this term:

Unit 3 provides three solutions to the question of how to educate the public so as to form in them a positive attitude towards science.

How are the main bodies developed?

Unit 6 provides three examples to prove that some animals have intelligence.

Unit 8 employs a fable as the main body, which functions to convey the message that education is vital to both the individual and society.


A comparison of 3 expositions learned in this term:

Unit 3 : The author presents a solution/conclusion—human civilization will survive if the public understand science well.

Ending of the texts

Unit 6 : The author presents a solution /conclusion—it’s comforting to know other species other than human being also have intelligence.

Unit 8 : There is not any solution provided.The text ends as the fable finishes.

useful expressions
Useful expressions
  • Run out of : 用完,用尽
  • A handful of :一大把
  • Better-natured:温厚和气的
  • A tiny slice of :一小部分
  • Sum up:总结,概括
  • Seriously affect his way of life: 严重影响他的生活方式
  • To drive this message home to such young Americans: 为使这样的美国青年彻底认清这一点
  • Humble suggestion:愚见
useful expressions1
Useful expressions
  • Put him to sleep:让他打瞌睡
  • Better off:更富有,更舒服
  • Live in peace and security:生活在和平安全的环境里
  • Live by one’s brains instead of one’s back:干脑力活而不是卖苦力
  • Pay no attention to:不关心
  • Earn an adequate living wage:挣到足够的钱养活自己
  • Catch one’s eye:映入眼帘
word study
Word study
  • Decline
  • Sum
  • Jam
  • search
word study1
Word study
  • Decline, refuse, reject:
  • Decline: to refuse politely. I declined her invitation to the dinner party.
  • Refuse: Stronger than decline, often suggesting firmness and sometimes even bluntness. (常指断然或直截了当拒绝)

e.g.Several soldiers refused to obey the order.

  • Reject: more emphatic than refuse, implying an unmistakable denial.

(语气更重,常指非常肯定的口头拒绝,强调不愿与某人或某时有任何关系) She rejected his marriage proposal.

e.g. The board rejected all our ideas.

word study2
Word study
  • Sum:
  • an amount of money

e.g. Huge sum of money is spent on national defense.

  • all of something

e.g. I am afraid that is the pitiful sum of my knowledge on this subject.

  • sum (sth/sb) up:phrasal verbto describe or express briefly the important facts or characteristics about something or someone:

e.g.I'd just like to sum up by saying that it's been a tremendous pleasure to work with you.

word study3
Word study
  • The sum of human knowledge:人类的全部知识
  • A good sum:可观的金额
  • Do a rapid sum in one’s head:敏捷的心算
  • Do sums:做算术
  • The sum of this book:这本书的要点
  • Contributions sumed into several thousand yuan:捐款总数达到数千元
word study4
Word study
  • Jam:
  • n. a kind of food

e.g.strawberry jam:草莓酱

  • Verb. to be unable to move

e.g.The door jammed behind me and I could not get out.

  • Verb. to stop radio signals from reaching the people who want to receive them

e.g.Foreign radio broadcasts were regularly jammed.Traffic jam:交通阻塞

  • A difficult situation:

e.g.How can we get out of the jam?

  • verb, to push something forcefully or with difficulty into something else:

e.g.He jammed the boxes into the back of the car.

word study5
Word study
  • Search
  • verb, to look somewhere carefully in order to find something:e.g. The police searched the woods for the missing boy.
  • Verb,to try to find the answer to a probleme.g.Philosophers have searched for millennia but they haven't found the meaning of life.
  • noun, when you try to find someone or something:e.g. After a long search, they eventually found the missing papers
word study6
Word study
  • Search somewhere for sth:在哪里搜索什么东西
  • Search sb:搜查某人的身体
  • Search the records of a case:仔细查阅某一案件的卷宗
  • Search sb.’s face:察看某人的脸色
  • Search into a matter:调查一件事
writing skills
Writing skills
  • Using cause and effect in essay writing

Every day we try to figure out the causes of things and analyze or predict effects. Cause-and-effect analysis is, therefore, an important analytical skill to develop. When writing a cause-and-effect paper, you should bear in mind the following points:

  • Sound Reasoning or Logic

when discussing causes and effects, make sure your analysis is logical. You must not take it for granted that event A causes event B simply because A precedes B. You must explain clearly what really brings a particular result.

writing skills1
Writing skills
  • Possible Shift in Order

In cause-and-effect writing, it seems convenient to state the effect first and then analyze the causes. The reverse order, however, is to be preferred when one cause leads to a number of effects.