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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?
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

Text A

   The Glorious Messiness of

                   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.
“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:


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
Cultural Notes:


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
   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
   We believe film of violence would corrupt young
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.)
  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)
  The government is considering a total ban on cigarette
   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.)
  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
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.
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
  The planet Pluto was discovered in 1930.
6. fascinating: of great interest or attraction
   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
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)
   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
  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.
   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)
   There is absolutely no necessity for you to be involved in
   the project.
   The reached an agreement on the necessity of educational
9. arouse: provoke (a particular feeling or attitude)
   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
10. surrender: give in (followed by to )
   Examples: After several weeks of severe attacks,
   Afghanistan’s Taliban forces surrendered to the North
   After the bombs fell on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the
    Japanese surrendered.
   We’ll never surrender to terrorism despite the terrorist
Language study
11. virtually: for the most part, almost
    It’s virtually impossible to tell the imitation from the
    real thing.
    It has been raining virtually non-stop for the past several
12. invade: enter with armed forces
    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
  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
  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
Language study
15. systematic: done according to a system
   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)
   These ideas descend from those of the ancient
   The Japanese are thought to be descended from tribes
    from the north of China.
Language study
17. establish:
    (1) cause to be, set up
    The school was established in 1905 by an Italian
    The bank helps people wanting to establish their
    (2) place or settle sb./oneself in a position, an office, etc.
        (used in the pattern: establish sb./oneself as)
    She established her fame as an actress.
Language study
18.drift: move or go somewhere in a slow casual way
   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
   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 )
   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
   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
   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
23.alternative: one of two or more possibilities (followed by
   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
   The school authorities plan to modify the school
   The computer programmers tried to modify the design of
   the software to make it suitable for commercial
   (1) make rich or richer
   That once coastal village has been enriched by the profits
   from tourism.
   The development of oil fields enriched many Arabian
Language study
  (2) improve
  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
   Both Tom Jones and Wuthering Heights are classics.
   His manual on botany has become a classic among
Language study
27.source: a place from which sth. comes or is obtained
   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
   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
Language study
29.strictly speaking: if one uses words, applies rules, etc. in
                       their exact sense
   He’s not strictly speaking an artist; he is more of a
   Strictly speaking she was not qualified for the job. But
   we employed her because of he honesty. a (very real, certain, etc.) extent: to the degree
   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
   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:
   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
   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.)
   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

                   Massive borrowing from other languages
 1       1-3       is a major feature of the English language.

                   Tells about the history of the English
 2       4 -16     language from the Indo-European parent
                   language to modern English.

                   Tolerance, love of freedom, and respect for
                   the rights of others—these qualities in the
 3      17-19      English-speaking people explain the
                   richness of their language.
Text Organization:                                                      back

Paras                                Content
         The introduction of the Indo-European language---the parent
         language of English
         Germanic tribes came to settle in Britain and brought Anglo-Saxon
         words---Old English
         The Christian religion enriched English with words from Greek and
  13     The Vikings from Scandinavia came with words from Old Norse

  14     The Norman Conquest--- French influence

         The European Renaissance and the printing press brought many
  15     new words from Greek and Latin
         The American revolution--- the emergence of a new variety---
  16     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
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
16. shift: change or move from one position or direction to
    Example: The wind shifted from east to north.
17. substantial: large in amount; considerable
    Example: Her contribution to the discussion is
Language study
18. economic: of an economy or economics
    Example: It is not always economic for buses to run on
19. professional: of or belonging to a profession
    Example: The doctor was accused of professional
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

                   The globe spread of English over the past
 1       1-4       40years has been remarkable.

                   There are three factors contribute to this
 2       4 -16     spread of English.

                   The future of the English language is
 3      17-19      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
Anglo-Saxon words                                 Greek and Latin words
by Germanic tribes
                                                  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
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

  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.
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.

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
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
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
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
1. give way to        2. predict        3. substantial
4. integrate         5. in transition   6. aspect
7. professional       8. genuine        9. economic 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
Comprehension Check
Choose the best answer for each of the following:

1.How many people are learning English across the
  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_______.
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
  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

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