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					中山大学南方学院大英部                                                                 全新版大学英语二册教案 Unit 4

Unit 4 The Virtual World

Ⅰ. Suggested Teaching Plan


Students will be able to
1.     understand the main idea (despite the many negative effects of virtual life, the author prefers it to
       real life) and structure of the text (contrast between virtual life and real life);
2.     learn some rules of interpreting new vocabulary and usage related to computers and the Internet in
3.     grasp the key language points and grammatical structures in the text;
4.     conduct a series of reading, listening, speaking and writing activities related to the theme of the

Time Allotment

         1st period           2nd period               3rd period         4th period            5th period

      Pre-reading          While-reading          While-reading        Post-reading;         Theme-Related
                           (text                  (language            Check on              Language Learn-
                           organization;          points;              students’ home        ing Tasks
                           language points)       “find” structure;    reading
                                                  consequences         (Text B)
                                                  virtual life)

Pre-reading activities

1. T asks Ss the following questions on the poem Surfing the Internet: (5 minutes)
      — What was the hero doing when his boss came in? (surfing the Internet)
      — How did he act in front of his boss? (He pretended to be surprised at the computer which had
         crashed “unexpectedly”.)
2. Ss look at the theme of this unit (The Virtual World) and the title of Text A (A Virtual Life), then try
     to: (10 minutes)
      — find antonyms of “virtual world” and “virtual life”; (real world, real life)

中山大学南方学院大英部                                                           全新版大学英语二册教案 Unit 4

   — suggest synonyms for “virtual world”; (cyberspace, cyberia, etherworld, virtual reality, Internet
      world, net world, etc.)
   — say what people can do on the Internet, (communicating with people, shopping, reading,
      entertainment, education, working, hacking, publishing, etc.)
3. Imaginative writing (28 minutes)
     1) T dictates to Ss the following paragraph:
             For the past two weeks, other participants of the Net Survival Contest (网络生存竞赛) and
       I have been shut up in bare hotel rooms. Our only link to the real world has been a computer that
       is hooked up to the Internet (联网电脑). We have relied on it, not only for food, bed sheets and
       other daily necessities, but also to set up an e-business (电子商务)of our own.
     2) Now Ss will complete the next paragraph beginning with: “Now it is time for me to walk out
        into the light of day again...” They will give their imagination full play. They will write no
        more than 100 words.
     3) Ss form groups of four to five, and read aloud to each other their own writings.
     4) T asks some groups to recommend the best piece in their group to the class.
4. T may lead in to Text A by saying: Some of us like to live a life in contact with real things and real
  people, but others favor a virtual existence. Which life is better? I’m sure you have different opinions.
  Now let’s read Text A to find out what Maia Szalavitz has to say about these two life styles. (2

While-reading activities

1. Text organization (15 minutes)
   1) T draws Ss’ attention to Text Organization Exercise 1, and lets them read its instructions as well
      as what has already been done for them in this exercise.
   2) Ss try to complete the exercise by simply reading the first sentence of each paragraph in Text A.
   3) Ss compare answers with each other; if necessary, T may help.
2. T explains the key language points and gives Ss practice (see Language Study). (45 minutes)
3. T guides Ss through Structure Exercise 2. (10 minutes)
4. Ss re-read Paras 4-10, work in pairs to find out consequences of “my” virtual life. Can they use the
   “find oneself + adj./ past participle/present participle” structure when summing up the consequences?
   (10 minutes)
5. Some pairs report to the class their findings, using the “find” structure. (5 minutes)

Post-reading activities

1. Computer-related vocabulary items (20 minutes)

中山大学南方学院大英部                                                            全新版大学英语二册教案 Unit 4

    1) Ss scan Text A to find out vocabulary items related to computer and the Internet. (They are:
       virtual life, the net, telecommuter, email, Internet mailing lists, computer-assisted, data, link,
       cyber-interaction, on line, system crash, click on the modem, connection, password)
    2) T tells Ss that new terms related to computer and the Internet are constantly added to the English
       vocabulary, so much so that many of them are not included in any English dictionary. However,
       if we apply certain rules, their meanings are easy to deduce.
   3) T gives Ss more examples of computer-related vocabulary items (see Text Analysis).
2. T guides Ss through some after-text exercises. (25 minutes)
3. T checks on Ss’ home reading (Text B). (3 minutes)
4. Ss do Part IV: Theme-Related Language Learning Tasks. (1 period)
5. T asks Ss to prepare the next unit: (2 minutes)
   1) do the pre-reading task;
   2) preview Text A.

Ⅱ.Text Analysis
     The most dynamic combining forms/prefixes for new computer-and-Internet-related vocabulary in
English are cyber-, virtual, Net- (net-), Web- (web-), and E- (e-).
     New English vocabulary items derived from them usually appear in the following forms:
1. combining forms/prefixes + noun: this is the most common type, e.g. virtual life (虚拟生活), virtual
   world (虚拟世界), virtual community(虚拟社区), virtual office (虚拟办公室), virtual pet (虚拟宠
   物), virtual reality (虚拟现实), cyber-interaction (网络互动), cyberculture (网 文 ), cybernut (网 ),
                                                                        络 化
                                 络 间
   cyberpet (电子宠物), cyberspace (网 空 ), netwriter(发送电子邮件的人),nethead (网虫),
               站 护 ),          页             站           络 视 ),        子 籍
   Webmaster (网 维 者 Web page (网 ), website (网 ), WebTV (网 电 机 E-book (电 书 ),
               上 物 ),
   E-shopper (网 购 者 e-card (电 贺 ), e(-)mail (电 邮 ), e-journal ( 电 子 杂 志 ), e-business
                             子 卡              子 件
     子 务            子 币                子 务
   (电 商 ), e-cash (电 货 ), e-commerce (电 商 ).
2. combining forms/prefixes + verb: e.g. cybersurf (网络漫游), netsurf (网络漫游), websurf (网络漫
  游),email (发送电子邮件)
3. words like cyber, net, etc. + suffix: e.g. cyberian (cyber + ian, 网络用户), cyberphobia (cyber +
   phobia, 电脑恐惧症), cybernaut (cyber + naut 网络用户), netter (net + er 网民), Webify (web + fy
   使万维网化), cyberize (cyber + ize, 使联网).
4. clipped word: cyberdoc (cyber + doctor, 网络医生), Netcast (Net + broadcast,网络播放), Netiquette
   (Net + etiquette, 网规), Netizen (Net + citizen, 网民,), Netpreneur (Net + entrepreneur, 网络企业
   家 ), Webcam (Web + camera, 网 络 摄 像 机 ), Webcasting (Web + broadcasting,网 播 ),
                                                                           络 放
   Webliography (Web + bibliogrpahy, 网络书目), Webnomics (Web + economics, 网 经 ), Webzine
                                                                         络 济
   (Web + magazine, 网 络 杂 志 ), e-tailing (electronic + retailing,电 零 ), e-zine (electronic +
                                                                  子 售
             子 志
   magazine,电 杂 )

中山大学南方学院大英部                                                           全新版大学英语二册教案 Unit 4

Ⅲ. Cultural Notes
1. the Internet: an international computer network for the exchange of information. It was originally
  used mainly in the academic and military worlds but has since become available to the large and
  increasing number of people with personal computers. Other services, e.g. the World Wide Web, are
  available through it.
         The Internet is changing our lives and a parallel universe is rapidly emerging online. Today
   there’s scarcely an aspect of our life that isn’t being upended by the torrent of information available
   on the hundreds of millions of sites crowding the Internet, not to mention its ability to keep us in
   constant touch with each other via electronic mail. The Internet is saving companies billions of
   dollars in producing goods and serving the needs of their customers. Nothing like it has been seen
   since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when power-driven machines began producing
   more in a day than men could turn out in nearly a year. The Internet and e-commerce are viewed as a
   global megatrend along the lines of the printing press, the telephone, the computer and the
         You would be hard pressed to name something that isn’t available on the Internet. Consider:
   books, health care, movie tickets, baby clothes, stocks, real estate, toys and airline tickets. American
   kids today are so computer savvy that it virtually ensures the United States will remain the unchal-
   lenged leader in cyberspace for the foreseeable future. Most kids use computers to play games and
   have email chats with friends.
         What’s clear is that, whether we like it or not, the Internet is an ever-growing part of our lives
   and there is no turning back.
2. NBC (the National Broadcasting Company): the first of the original three US national
   broadcasting companies. It was established in 1926 by Radio Corporation of America as two groups
   of radio stations. The first NBC television channel opened in 1940. The company is now owned by
   General Electric. Its main offices are at Rockefeller Center in New York.
3. PBS (the Public Broadcasting Service): (in the US) a television system that broadcasts programs to
   an association of local stations which use no television advertisements and do not make a profit. It
   was established by the Public Broadcasting Act and is supported by money from the US Government,
   large companies and the public. PBS is known for the high quality of its programs.
4. ABC (the American Broadcasting Company): one of the original three major television networks
  in America. It began in 1943 as the Blue Network of six radio stations. ABC is now owned by the
  Walt Disney Company .

Ⅳ. Language Study

1. virtual: 1) created and existing only in a computer

中山大学南方学院大英部                                                              全新版大学英语二册教案 Unit 4

  Examples: I can visit a virtual store and put what I want in my basket at the click of a mouse button.
               Some people spend too much time escaping from reality into the virtual world conjured
               up on their computer screens.
           2) being or acting as what is described, but not accepted as such in name or officially
  Examples: Our deputy manager is the virtual head of the business.
               Now that the talks have broken down, war in the region looks like a virtual certainty.
2. interpret: 1) understand (sth. said, ordered, or done)
   Examples: They are worried that the students might interpret the new regulation as a restriction of
                 their rights.
                 She interprets the dream as an unconscious desire to be young again.
               2) give or provide the meaning of, explain
   Examples: How do you interpret his refusal to see us?
                 This dream can be interpreted in several different ways.
               3) translate what is said in one language into another
   Examples: I am terribly sorry, but I don’t understand a word. Could you interpret for me?
                 No one in the tour group spoke Spanish so we had to ask the guide to interpret.
3. tone: a particular quality or intonation of the voice
  Examples: From the tone of her voice I could tell she was very angry.
               Suddenly he laughed again, but this time with a cold, sharp tone.
4. stretch: (cause to) become longer, wider, etc. without breaking
  Examples: My working day stretches from seven in the morning to eight at night.
               The child stretched the rubber band to its full extent.
5. submit: give (sth.) to sb. so that it may be formally considered (followed by to)
  Examples: You should submit your reports to the committee.
               I am going to submit an application for that job in Microsoft.
               Peter submitted his plans for the new town square to the local government.
6. edit: revise or correct
    Examples: Jack is busy editing Shakespeare’s plays for use in schools.
                 John didn’t finish editing the annual report until the end of last month.
7. email: electronic mail
    Examples: Young people like to keep in touch with their friends via email.
                 I received an email from my student yesterday.
   vt. send an email to
    Examples: I will email you the instant I get the news.
                 She’ll email me a question before she calls so I can think it over in advance.
8. communicate: contact sb. in any way, esp. by speaking to them, writing to them or calling them
  (followed by with)

中山大学南方学院大英部                                                              全新版大学英语二册教案 Unit 4

  Examples: Some young people depend heavily on email to communicate with each other.
                 They have been divorced for years and never communicated with each other.
9. the Internet: the worldwide network of computer links which allows computer users to connect with
  computers all over the world, and which carries electronic mail
  Examples: Whether we like it or not, the Internet is an ever-growing part of our lives.
                 You can take online courses and earn your degree via the Internet whenever and
                 wherever you want to.
                 It’s believed the Internet was born in 1969 when two computers at the University of
                 California, Los Angeles were connected by a 15 foot cable.
10. relationship: state of being connected
    Examples: What is the relationship between language and thought?
                  The scientist had a good working relationship with his American colleagues.
11. at times: sometimes
    Examples: She has been away from her home for about a year. At times she wishes she had never
                  He went on listening to her, at times impatient and at times fascinated.
12. take in: absorb (sth.) into the body by breathing or swallowing
     Examples: The earth takes in heat and light from the sun.
                   Fish take in oxygen through their gills.
13. data: information, usu. in the form of facts or statistics that you can analyze
    Examples: This data is stored on the network and can be accessed by anybody.
                 The data is still being analyzed, so I can’t tell you the results.
14. spit: send (liquid, food, etc.) out from the mouth (used in the pattern: spit sth. (out) (at/on/onto
     Examples: The baby spat its food out on the table.
                   He took one sip of the wine and spat it out.
15. on line: connected to or controlled by a computer (network)
   Examples: Our system is on line to the main computer.
                 The largest online institution is the University of Phoenix, with some 1000 students
                  today and hopes of reaching 200,000 students in 10 years.
16. symptom: 1) sign of the existence of sth. bad
   Examples: High interest rates are a symptom of a weak economy.
                 They regard the increase in crime as a symptom of a more general decline in moral
                   2) change in the body that indicates an illness
    Examples: A cold, fever and headache are the usual symptoms of flu.
                  If the symptoms persist, it is important to go to your doctor.

中山大学南方学院大英部                                                             全新版大学英语二册教案 Unit 4

17. nightmare: a terrifying dream
    Examples: Tom didn’t eat fish because it gives him nightmares.
                  Watching horror films gives me nightmares.
                  I had a nightmare about falling off the skyscraper.
18. conversely: in a way that is opposite to sth.
    Examples: $1 will buy 100 yen worth of Japanese goods. Conversely, 100 yen will buy $1 worth of
                  American goods.
                  You can add the fluid to the powder or, conversely, the powder to the fluid.
19. but then: yet at the same time
    Examples: The failure of China’s soccer team looks inevitable. But then, anything can happen in
                 Mary performed better than the others in the final exam; but then, she spent much
                  longer on it than they did.
20. jar: have a harsh or an unpleasant effect (used in the pattern: jar sth., jar on sbJsth.)
   Examples: You shouldn’t have too many colors in a small space as the effect can jar.
                 The loud bang jarred my nerves.
                 Her squeaky voice jarred on me.
21. suck in: (usu. passive) involve (sb.) in an activity, an argument, etc., usu. against their will (used in
     the pattern: suck sb. in/into sth.; suck in)
    Examples: I don’t want to get sucked into the debate about school reform.
                 Some teenagers don’t want to get involved with gangs, but they find themselves getting
                 sucked in.
22. keep up with: learn about or be aware of (the news, etc.)
    Examples: Carrie likes to keep up with the latest fashions.
                 He didn’t bother to keep up with the news. His only concern was to study.
23. Work moves into the background: Work becomes secondary to me.
24. in sight: 1) visible
    Examples: It was early in the morning and there wasn’t anyone in sight on campus.
                 As the train pulled into the station my parents standing on the platform were soon in
              2) likely to come soon
    Examples: Two months passed, and victory was not yet in sight.
                  The end of the economic nightmare is still nowhere in sight.
                  A solution to the problem of environmental pollution now seems in sight.
25. remark: thing said or written as a comment
    Examples: The principal of the school made some remarks about educational reform at the

中山大学南方学院大英部                                                              全新版大学英语二册教案 Unit 4

                  Mr. Smith approached us and made a couple of remarks about the weather.
                  His rude remark about my book jarred on me.
26. emotional: 1) of the emotions
    Examples: She is grateful to him for his emotional support while she was in trouble.
                  It’s quite difficult to handle emotional problems.
                  2) having emotions that are easily excited
    Examples: Marie got very emotional when we parted, and started to cry.
                  It’s said that the Italians are more emotional than we are.
27. cue: anything that serves as a signal about what to do or say (followed by to / for)
    Examples: When he started to talk about the finances, that was our cue to get up quietly and leave.
                  When I nod my head, that’s your cue to give flowers to him.
                  Mr. Clinton’s excitement was the cue for a campaign.
28.1 say a line: I type a line on the screen.
29. routine: a fixed and regular way of doing things (often adjectival)
   Examples: The job is really just a dull series of fairly routine tasks. I don’t think you’ll take it.
                 He established a new routine after retirement.
30. rely on/upon: depend confidently on, put trust in
   Examples: Nowadays we rely increasingly on computers to control the flow of traffic.
                 Some children relied heavily on the advice of their parents.
31. abuse: wrong or bad use or treatment of sth./sb.
    Examples: The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a report on drug abuse and
                 The policemen are making an investigation of child abuse.
32. restore: bring back to a former condition (used in the pattern: restore sth.; restore sb. to sth.)
   Examples: Law and order will be quickly restored after the incident.
                 Winning three games restored their confidence.
                 Doing sports every day restored the old man to good health.
                 The deposed king was restored to power.
33. arrange: prepare or plan (used in the pattern: arrange sth.; arrange to do sth.; arrange for sb./ sth.
  to do sth.)
    Examples: Her marriage was arranged by her parents.
                 Let’s arrange to have a dinner together some time before we graduate.
                 I have arranged for a taxi to pick us up at 8:00 a.m.
                 I could arrange for you to come along with us if you like.
34. flee: run away (from) (used in the pattern: flee from/to; flee someplace)
  Examples: The customers fled from the bank when the alarm sounded.
                During the war, thousands upon thousands of Afghans fled the country.

中山大学南方学院大英部                                                           全新版大学英语二册教案 Unit 4

               Up to five million political refugees have fled to other countries.
35. interview: 1) a meeting at which a journalist asks sb. questions in order to find out their news
     Examples: In an exclusive interview with our reporter, the film star revealed some of his personal
                 Radio interviews are generally more relaxed than television ones.
                2) a formal meeting at which sb. applying for a job is asked questions, as a way of
                   judging how suitable they are
     Examples: I have been asked to go for an interview for a project I applied for at Harvard
                 She has had a couple of job interviews, but no offers.
     Examples: As a journalist, he interviewed many government officials.
                 After the press conference, the journalist interviewed the UN Secretary General about
                 the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
                 I will be interviewed next week for the Chief Executive’s job.
36. appointment: an arrangement to meet or visit sb. at a particular time (followed by with)
   Examples: You can’t see the president of the university unless you make an appointment.
                 I’ve made an appointment to see my tutor tomorrow.
37. click: press or release a mouse button rapidly, as to select an icon (followed by on)
    Example: When shopping online, you just click the mouse and order what you want to buy.
38. tune: a series of musical notes that is pleasant and easy to remember
    Examples: She whistled a happy tune all the way home.
                He was humming a merry tune while cooking.


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