UNIT 7 The Fun They Had Teaching Objectives Enable students to understand the theme, the gist and the implications of the article; Enable students to know how the article is organized; Enable students to get some knowledge about the general grammatical rules and functions Enable students to be aware of the relationship between the theme and the rhetoric means; Sensitize students to the stylistic features of the text. Main tasks for this lesson The theme of the article Structural analysis of the article Introduction to some grammatical knowledge Important language points Exercises Teaching Methods and Teaching Aids Tapes; reading; asking and answering; discussion; explanation; homework, etc. Time allotment for this lesson 2 lessons for tape listening & group reading and discussion 2 lessons for detailed explanation of important language points of the article 2 lessons for the exercises Additional Information about The Author and Text Isaac Asimov, the author of the text, is an American biochemist and author. He was born in the former USSR on January 2, 1920. He was taken to the United States at the age of 3 and brought up in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from Columbia University in 1939, and got his Ph. D. in the same university in 1947. He taught biochemistry at Boston University, but he is most widely known for his science fiction. Some of his best-known works are I, Robot, published in 1950 and The Foundation Trilogy, published in 1951 -1953. Text Explanations Text I Analysis This narrative story centers around a very old book about school and involves two main characters -- Margie and Tommy. The text can be divided into three main parts. The first part, the first paragraph, serves as the background of the story. The second part, from Paragraph 2 to Paragraph 30, is the major portion of the story, with a conversation between the two leading characters running through most of it. This part tells us that Margie, a girl who is aged 11 in 2157, always hates school because her teacher is a mechanical one and she has to learn at regular hours and put her homework and test papers in the slot. And through the talk with Tommy, Margie gets to know about the kind of school where human beings served as teachers hundreds of years ago. The last part, covering the last five paragraphs, tells us something about the schoolroom and the mechanical teacher. Besides, it describes Margie's psychological activities: how wonderful the old school was and how fortunate the school kids were and what great fun they had. This part also reveals indirectly how children in the future may dislike school with a mechanical teacher only and how they wish to have human teachers teaching them. 1 ) What does the narrative text tell us? 2) From the text what can we see about education in the distant future'? Al: The text tells us that Margie, a girl who is aged 11 in 2157, always hates school because her teacher is a mechanical one and she has to learn at regular hours and put her homework and test papers in the slot. It also tells us how she is envious of kids who studied together, experienced great fun, and had human teachers hundreds of years ago. A2: From the text we can gain a general picture of future education: The television screen contains as many as a million books. Words just move the way they are supposed to on a screen. Instead of having human teachers, children have only mechanical teachers. They have to learn at regular hours and put their homework and test papers in the slot. The text indirectly tells us that children in the distant future wish to have human teachers instead of mechanical ones and hope to study as kids did hundreds of years ago. Paragraph 1 Analysis This paragraph, which serves as the background of the story, tells us the exact date on which the story occurs, the name of the leading character, and the real book around which the story evolves. The following questions may be raised: 1 ) When did the story happen? 2) What did Margie write in her diary on the night of May 17, 2157? Al: The story happened on May 17, 2157. A2: On the night of May 17, 2157, Margie wrote in her diary, "Today Tommy found a real book !" Language Work 1. head (1) lead; be at the front of; be at the top of The president's car headed the procession. She will head the cast. This canyon heads the list of natural attractions. (2) be in charge of; take charge of The Commission of Inquiry headed by the president of the Board of Trustees is investigating the case. The sales director heads a team of 20 representatives. 2. diary (a book containing) a daily record of the events in a person's life Did you keep a diary while you were traveling in Europe? Are you reading my diary again? Paragraphs 2-31 :: These paragraphs may be considered to constitute the second part of the narrative text. This part is the longest and most important portion of the story, with a somewhat long conversation between the two leading characters running through most of it. This part informs us that Margie, a girl who is eleven years old in 2157, always strongly hates school, for her teacher is a mechanical one and she has to learn at regular hours and place her homework and test papers in the slot. And through the talk with Tommy, a boy who is 13 in the year of 2157 and who is familiar with the book about school hundreds of years ago, Margie gets to know about the kind of school where human beings served as teachers centuries ago. The following questions may be raised for discussion: 1 ) What is the conversation concerned with? 2) Why does Margie hate school? Al: The conversation was concerned with a very old book about the old kind of school with human teachers that existed centuries ago. PO,: Because the mechanical teacher gives her frequent tests. She has to put her homework and test papers in the slot. She always has to write them out in a punch code. They made her learn when she was six years old, and the mechanical teacher calculates the marks in no time. It is always on at the same time every day except Saturday and Sunday. And she has to learn at regular hours. 3. crinkly - having many thin folds; (of hair) curly My shirts were all crinkly when I got them out of the suitcase. Her hair is a bit crinkly, which makes her look much prettier. 4 .and it was awfully funny to read words that stood still instead of moving the way they were supposed to -- on a screen. and it was very amusing to read words that were motionless instead of moving the way they ought to -- on a screen be supposed to ,. ( 1 ) have a duty or responsibility to do sth. Everybody is supposed to bring a bottle to the party. You are not supposed to smoke in here. (2) be generally considered to be; have the reputation of being I haven't seen it myself, but it is supposed to be a very good film. 5. screen ( 1 ) a surface on which a cinema film is shown We sat at the front, very close to the screen. She first appeared on the screen ten years ago. (2) the front glass surface of an electrical instrument, esp. a television on which pictures or information appear Using this apparatus, you can change the text on screen. This popular show will be back on your screens again next year. 6. When you're through with the book, you just throw it away, 1 guess. When you have finished reading the book, you merely cast it away, I believe. through ( 1 ) in at one side, end, or surface, and out at the other; all the way The guard at the gate wouldn't let us through. Does this train go right through to London? (2) from the beginning to the end; to completion Have you read the letter right through? You should read the article through before you translate it. throw away : get rid of ( sth. not wanted or needed); discard You should throw away all those junks. Don't throw those used trousers away. You can still wear them when necessary. 7. plenty (1) pron. a large quantity or number; enough or more than enough "Do you need any more money? .... No, we have $ 200 and that's plenty." If you want some chairs, there are plenty more in here. (2) ad. quite; to quite a large degree; very I am plenty hungry. I need to have a big meal at once. 8. scornful : showing contempt for; showing strong and sometimes angry disrespect towards sb. or sth. that is regarded as worthless His scornful laugh greatly embarrassed me. His scornful dismissal of the democratic process showed that he did not support it. 9. What's there to write about school? !: This is a rhetorical question, which calls for no answer. A positive rhetorical question is negative in meaning. The rhetorical question here means: There is nothing at all to write about school. 10. mechanical (1) of or moved, worked, or produced by machinery That factory manufactures a variety of mechanical products. Being a mechanical genius, that man is at home in mechanical applications. (2) done without thought or feeling; (done) from habit rather than will He was asked the same question so many times that his answer became mechanical. He greeted me in a mechanical way by using mechanical compliments. 11. sorrowfully : sadly; in a sad manner; feeling or showing sadness, grief or unhappiness over loss or wrong-doing The woman cried sorrowfully for her misfortune. The little woman said sorrowfully that she had been deceived. 12. send for the County Inspector : ask sb. to request the County Inspector to come to inspect the mechanical teacher inspector : an official who inspects something A ticket inspector got on the train. As a tax inspector, he is highly responsible for his work. 13. dial : the face of an instrument, such as a clock, showing measurements by means of pointer and figures; the wheel on an old-fashioned telephone with numbered holes for the fingers, which is moved round when one makes a telephone call 14. slot : a long straight narrow opening or hollow place, esp. in a machine or tool Put a coin into the slot of tile vending machine, and you can get a cup of coffee. There is a mail-slot in thc door and you can put a note or letter in it. 15. a punch code : a computer system of words, letters, numbers, etc. 16 .... the mechanical teacher calculated the mark in no time. : ... the computer which served as a teacher immediately worked out the mark.calculate : find out or make a firm guess about ( esp. an amount), esp. by using numbers They use a computer to calculate the cost of wages as a percentage of the company's income. The government has to calculate the likely effects on revenues of a big drop in the oil price. in no time : very quickly; immediately; at once We will have that leak fixed in no time. 17. disappointed : (about, at, in with) unhappy at not seeing hopes come true Since he lost the election, he has become a disappointed man. He was deeply disappointed at losing the race My parents will be disappointed if I fail the exam. I was disappointed to hear that they were not confing. 18. She had been hoping they would take the teacher away altogether.: She had been hoping they would move or carry the mechanical teacher to another place once for all. Here the teacher was a computer, which was large and black and ugly, with a big screen on which all the lessons are shown and questions asked. 19. superior (1) of a higher rank or class; better in quality or value Of the two books, this one is superior to that one. (2) of high quality This is a very superior make of car. Superior goods are very popular among the customers. 20. stupid - In the text, the word stupid, which is used as a noun, means a stupid person, a silly or foolish person. However, the word stupid is normally used as an adjective, and as such it means "silly or foolish, either generally or in particular." A stupid person has stupid ideas and behaves stupidly. It was stupid of you to turn it upside down without closing the lid. I think you were stupid not to accept his offer. 21. loftily - haughtily; in a manner that shows one is better than other people When I asked for help, he just smiled loftily and turned away. That man behaves loftily and tums down any request for help. 22. pronounce - (1) make the sound of a letter, a word, etc. In the word "knew," letter "k" is not pronounced. How do you pronounce your name? (2) declare, esp. officially or after consideration The doctor pronounced the man dead. The priest said, "I now pronounce you man and wife." 23. regular - ( 1 ) happening or appearing with the same amount of time or space between each one and the next; not varying His pulse is not very regular. Plant the seeds at regular intervals. (2) happening, coming or doing something again and again at the same times each day, week, month, etc. We keep regular working hours. Mr Smith is a regular customer of the small store. 24. smart - (l) neat and stylish in appearance You look very smart in that new shirt. What a smart new suit you have! (2) clever, quick in thinking If he is as smart as he says, why did he fail in the test? He screamed out a warning not to touch the electric wire. 27. adjust - change slightly, esp. in order to make right or suitable for a particular purpose or situation You can adjust the color on the TV by turning this knob. He adjusted himself very quickly to the heat of the country. 28. fit - be the right size or shape; be suitable for This dress does not fit me. Will your key fit the lock? Your theory .fits all the facts. 29. nonchalantly - indifferently, coldly, not feeling excited He reacted nonchalantly to my suggestion. He treated me nonchalantly when I visited him. 30. whistle - make a high clear sound by forcing air through a narrow hole formed by the lips to make music or as a signal to draw attention, or by forcing air or steam through a whistle She whistled to her dog and it came running. The referee whistled and the game began. The old steam train whistled as it approached the station. 31. tuck - take the edge or end of a garment, a piece of material, etc. and put or push it into a desired or convenient position, usu. a narrow space; put esp. sth. flat into convenient narrow space for protection, safety, etc. Tuck your shirt into your trousers. He had a hook tucked under his arm The countrywoman tucked the money into the top of her sock for the sake of safety. Paragraphs 31-35 Analysis These paragraphs, the last part of the text, tell us something about the schoolroom and the mechanical teacher. Besides, Margie's psychological activities are also described. She was thinking about how nice the old school was and how the school kids must have loved it in the old days; she was meditating on how fortunate they were and what great fun they had. What's more, this part reveals indirectly how children in the distant future dislike school with a mechanical teacher only and how they wish to have human teachers teaching them. The questions below may be put forward: 1 ) What do you know about the schoolroom and the mechanical teacher? 2) What was Margie thinking about? Al' The schoolroom was right next to Margie's bedroom, and the mechanical teacher was always on at the same time everyday except Saturday and Sunday. It asked Margie to insert her homework and test papers into the slot. A2: She was thinking about the old school they had when her grandfather's grandfather was a little boy. "All the kids from the whole neighborhood came, laughing and shouting in the schoolyard, sitting together in the schoolroom, going home together at the end of the day. They learned the same things, so they could help one another on the homework and talk about it. And the teachers were people. Margie was thinking about how the kids must have loved it in the old days. She was thinking about the fun they had." 32. light up - (1) ignite; (cause to) start to burn; give light to The fire won't light up. The stage was lit up by several powerful spotlights. (2) cause to become bright with pleasure or excitement. Suddenly, a smile lit up her face when she heard the news. Her face lit up with joy when she saw him coming. 33. arithmetic - the science of numbers; the adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, etc. of numbers; calculation by numbers The little girl got full marks in the arithmetic quiz. 34. fraction - (in mathematics) a division or part of a whole number The boy is very good at adding fractions. The girl does not know how to do these fractions. 35. insert - put or place sth. in (to) sth. else He inserted a key into a lock, unlocked the door, and opened it. Several amendments have been inserted into the contract. 36. proper - ( 1 ) right, correct, suitable She is too ill to be nursed at home; she needs proper medical attention at a hospital. (2) (paying great attention to what is) socially correct or acceptable That short dress is not really proper for this formal occasion. 37. sigh - an act or sound of sighing We all heaved out a sigh of relief when we heard that we were safe. 38. neighborhood - a group of people and their homes forming a small area within a larger place such as a town; community We live in a neighborhood with a school nearby. KEY TO EXERCISES Text Comprehension I. Decide which of the following best states the author's purpose of writing. II. Judge, according to the text, whether the following statements are true or false. 1. F. The statement is false because it happened on May 17, 2157 as is stated in Paragraph 1. 2. T. Refer to Paragraphs 3 and 11. 3. F. This is a false statement, for the County Inspector must be a computer technician as is depicted in Paragraph 12. 4. T. Refer to Paragraph 17. 5. F. The statement is not true, for the conversation was going on at Margie's home. 6. T. Refer to Paragraphs 33 and 35. III. Answer the following questions 1. Refer to Paragraphs 2 and 3. A "real book" is a very old book in which stories of a school are printed on yellow and crinkly pages. 2.Refer to Paragraphs 3 and 4. They must be using telebook as is mentioned in the text. 3.Refer to Paragraph l 1. She hates school because she has been doing worse and worse in her tests of geography. 4. Refer to Paragraphs 13. She was disappointed because she had been hoping they would take the teacher away altogether. 5. Refer to Paragraph 32. It gave Margie an arithmetic lesson on the addition of proper fractions. 6. Refer to the whole text. The schools of Margie's days give classes on net assigning homework by computer software programs while students in old days went to school to attend their lessons given by human teachers. Besides, they were having lessons in classrooms experiencing interactiveness, friendliness and team spirit instead of taking lessons alone at home as Tommy and Margie do. IV. Explain in your own words the .following, sentences taken from the text, 1. Her mother asked the County Inspector to come over. 2. The mechanical teacher finished the calculation of the mark very quickly. 3. Tommy looked at Margie with an air which suggested he knew far better about school than others. 4. A teacher, a computerized teacher on net, has to be changed slightly so as Io be suitable for each boy and girl to learn from. Structural Analysis of the Text Refer to Paragraphs 33 and 35. She was thinking about the old school they had when her grandfather's grandfather was a little boy. All the kids from the whole neighborhood came, laughing and shouting in the schoolyard, sitting together in the schoolroom, going home together at the end of the day. They learned the same things, so they could help one another on the homework and talk about it. And the teachers were people, not machines. Margie was thinking about how the kids must have loved it in the old days. She was thinking about the fun they had. Vocabulary Exercises I. Explain the italicized part in each sentence in your own words. 1. have finished reading 2. by looking from behind his shoulder 3. is capable of providing 4. sent a message asking for the assistance of 5. disassembled the machine/computer teacher 6. didn't like/want to II. Fill in each blank with one of the two words from each pair and note the difference of meaning between them. 1. Funny is a very informal word, focusing mainly on whatever results in laughter because of oddness, abnormality, or inappropriateness. Interesting refers to something that attracts people's attention, usually because it is exciting, unusual and deserves their observation and study. a. Funny b. interesting c. interesting d. funny 2. Still suggests an unruffled or tranquil state, and often refers to a moment of calm between periods of noise and movement, and during this moment there is no sign of activity. Silent simply means becoming speechless or being without noise; it does not necessarily suggest serenity or motionlessness. a. silent b. silent c. still d. still 3. Dispute is often used as a transitive verb, meaning to say that something is incorrect or untrue, to fight passionately for control or ownership of something. Argue usually refers to a reasoned presentation of views or to a heated exchange of opinion; very often when used intransitively, it is followed by prepositions like "with," "for/against," "about," etc. a. dispute b. arguing c. disputing d. arguing 4. Usual is applied to whatever recurs frequently and steadily, referring to natural happenings as well as to occurrences based on the customs of the community or the habits of an individual, while regular emphasizes a conformity to the established or natural order of things, referring to events that happen often, or events that have equal amounts of time between them, so that they happen at the same time, for example, each day or each week. a. usual b. usual c. Regular d. regular III. Choose a word or phrase that best completes each of the following sentences. 1. D 2. A 3. B 4. B 5. A 6. C 7. C 8. B IV. Fill in the blank in each sentence with a word or phrase taken front the box in its' appropriate form. 1. in no time 2. crinkly 3. scornful 4. neighborhood 5. awfully 6. adjusting 7. tuck 8. nonchalantly 9. punched 10. fit V. Pill in the blank in each sentence with an appropriate form of the given capitalized word in the parenthesis'. 1. It's quite pointless to ask him again. He'll never agree. 2. No, this is not an original; it's a good reproduction, though. 3. We'd better go by train. The car is too unreliable for such a long journey. 4. Thanks to your generosity we have now collected the money we need. 5. Jenny has sent me a very apologetic letter explaining why she didn't do what she promised. 6. You must realize that such disobedience cannot be tolerated. Grammar Exercises I. Note the italicized parts in the following sentences. Pay attention to the use of definite, indefinite and zero articles in these sentences. II. Complete the following sentences with a/an or the. 1. the, the 2. a 3. a, a, / 4. a 5. the 6. /, the III. Put iii the where necessary. 1. /,/,/ 2. / 3. the,/ 4. the,/ 5. /,/ 6. The 7. / 8. the, the 9. the, / 10. / IV. Choose the correct noun phrase from the underlined parts of the following sentences. 1. Light 2. a noise 3. very good weather 4. bad luck 5. president 6. The vegetables 7. war 8. All the books 9. coffee 10. poetry V. Make sentences Of your own after the sentence given below, using the "It ... to do some- thing" pattern, i.e. starting each of your sentences with it as the formal subject, and postponing the infinitive phrase used as the real subject. Translation exercises Translate each of the following sentences into English, using the word or phrase given in the bracket. Inflect the word or phrase where necessary. 1. Yesterday a government delegation headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs arrived in South Africa and began a three-day friendly visit to the country. 2. It is awfully funny and splits your sides with laughter to observe these caricatures which satirize social ills. 3. Computers are one of the most useful teaching aids, for all your lessons as well as all the questions asked and all the answers provided can be shown on a screen. 4. As soon as his mother fell ill suddenly the day before yesterday, Xiao Zhang sent for a doctor, who came and diagnosed and treated his mother. 5. He failed in the college entrance examination last year, but he did not feel disappointed. Instead, he continued to study hard, passed the examination successfully and became a student in a famous university this year. 6. There are many English words that this middle school student cannot pronounce correctly. Therefore, he has to make great effort to learn the phonetic symbols well and acquire standard English pronunciation. 7.In this new era marked by knowledge explosion and information explosion, we have to pursue constant study and take particular care to renew our knowledge. Only thus, can we become adjusted to the requirements of our specialized work. 8. With his shirt tucked into the top of his trousers and a leather bag tucked under his arm, the boy looked just like a boss. 9. Although she is only eight years old, the little girl is already very good at calculating fractions. No wonder her parents feel very proud of her. 10. All the neighborhood have heard about the news, but you haven't. Don't you think it is very strange?