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Unit 1

Getting the Big Picture

Unit 1
Objectives

Getting the Big Picture

In this unit, you will: ? get to know some important tips for note-taking; ? learn about a few important steps that lead to full comprehension of a lecture; ? listen to a lecture about genetically modified food and practice using the tips for note-taking; ? try to note down key information in an exchange of academic propositions.

Part One: Improving Your Note-taking Skills
Activity A: pre-view questions 1. What do you listen to in English? For what purposes? 2. What methods do you use to assist comprehension when listening? 3. What must you write down in your notes for a lecture? 4. What does a listener need to do in order to comprehend a lecture? Activity B: different purposes and methods for listening Task 1 Listen to a collection of selected listening texts, and decide on text type, your purpose for listening, and method you often use. Add more details and support your ideas with illustrations. Type of text Purposes Methods weather forecasts find out weather;________ listen for details; ________ news reports keep up to date with world listen for gist; ________ advertisements ________ not much attention unless details needed recipes details to cook a dish listen for details; take notes; ________ phone calls find out who calls and why take notes; can repeat; _______ speeches find out rules ignore some parts; ________ presentations ________ carefully remember details; take notes extract main argument and details; take notes; lectures get information & ideas review notes later________ Activity C: reading on effective note-taking Tips for Effective Note-taking Academic listening usually involves trying to follow a lecture or discussion in English and writing adequate notes on it. There is also a need for you to be aware of the way lectures are organized, the particular kind of language that is used in lectures and making sure you know the language. The most important skill is to learn to recognize the structure of lectures—the main points and subsidiary points. You need to practice:
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? Listening skills: skimming—listening to obtain gist; scanning—listening to obtain specific information; ? Note-taking skills: recognizing lecture structure—understanding relationships in the lecture; selective extraction of relevant points to summarize text. ? The most effective order of activities when taking notes is: listen, think, understand, paraphrase, and then write. Here are some tips to follow: ? Strive to understand the big picture of the lecture. Don't waste time writing down details and copying tables or illustrations that can be found in the book and copied later. ? The lecturers usually repeat and paraphrase information, so make a guess if you miss some information. Don’t give up listening. ? Avoid writing in full sentences. Instead, use abbreviation, shorthand or symbols to save time (e.g.: gov’t for government). And be consistent in your use of abbreviation, shorthand and symbols. ? Write on your own notebook paper. There is not enough space to take notes on outlines or handouts provided by the instructor. Skip lines or leave empty spaces for adding information, clarifying information, or writing down your reflections. ? Try to link new ideas with past lectures and personal experience. When possible, interpret the lecture into your own words. Task 1 Work out a table of Dos and Don’ts for effective note-taking based on the passage you’ve just read. DOS DON’TS 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

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8. 9. 10.

Activity D: signals for main ideas and structure A signal word or expression shows the connection between what is being said and the wider context. It enables us to trace the development of ideas in the lecture and offers us a clue to organize our notes. There are a variety of signal types. Some of them help us identify the main ideas and move structure of a lecture. Some examples: ? ? ? ? ? ? The topic of today’s talk is... There are three main features. Firstly... Let’s now move on to... Another category is... To sum up...

Task 1 Can the following help identify main ideas and move structure? Check the ones you think can serve as the signals. The first one has been done as an example. (√ ( ( ( ( ( ) We’ll examine two contrasting opinions about... ) The last point I’m going to make is... ) It’s a very confusing picture. ) I’m going to start by... ) Here are some explanations. ) As you all know, …

Task 2 Listen to a lecture about modern art. Check the signals you hear. ( ( ( ( ( ( ) Today we’re going to talk… ) I’ll be discussing… ) We’ll take a look at… ) Then I’ll describe… ) I’m going to start by… ) First of all, … ( ( ( ( ( ( ) The next type… ) Now I’m going to move on to… ) Another purpose of art is… ) One typical example is… ) To give you some examples… ) Let’s take a look at another…

Task 3
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Step 1: Listen to the lecture “Four Things to Do to Understand a Lecture” while reading the signals. Observe how these signals help you grasp the ideas and structure. Now there are four things The first thing is There are other features For one thing Now the next thing And finally The next thing is Two sources of knowledge The third thing is Let me give you two reasons For one thing And another reason And there are two types of (predictions) Now the last thing is There are again two reasons The first one is And the second reason is

Step 2: Listen again. Take notes according to the above layout. Four things to do to understand a lecture 1. Note the parts that carry meanings words stress intonation ...

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Step 3: Compare the layout in step 1 and your notes in step 2. Note how the signal and the content complement each other. Signals enable us to identify main/sub topics and help us organize our notes, but they are not likely to be the words we note down. The things we write down are what follow the signals.

Part Two: Listen and Practice Note-taking Skills
Activity A: reading on GM Food Genetically modified (GM) foods and genetically engineered crops have become a controversial and heated topic over the last several decades, with no likely end to the debate in sight anytime soon. The term itself is used to describe food crops that have been modified through a specific range of techniques, which ultimately give the crops completely new or improved qualities. These qualities could include improved resistance to pests or they may involve increasing the nutritional value of the food. For some, the concept of a genetically modified food can seem very unusual, primarily because it is seen as meddling with nature. However, the uses are thought to be beneficial to humans for a number of reasons. By genetically modifying foods, technologists can insert the gene from one organism into another organism that does not normally carry that gene. The organism's genes may be sourced from one or more other organisms, depending on the desired effects. One example is the use of bacteria. If a specific kind of bacteria had a protein that could eliminate the larvae from insects, the use of genes from this bacteria into a crop can mean that the crop has a natural resistance to that insect. In this way, farmers can reduce costs and improve crop yields by handling pests without having to use toxic pesticides and herbicides. If you consider the struggles of growing crops each year, only to have all of the farmer's hard work destroyed by uncontrollable pests or weather conditions, you can begin to appreciate how some people strongly support the use of genetically modified food. However, the process is not without controversy.
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As you read more about the process of genetic modification, you will begin to learn that the consequences are not always positive ones. When changes are made to an organism, the results are not always completely predictable, which in some cases could cause issues to human health or the health of the environment and delicate ecosystem. For instance, there is the potential for allergies to occur when foods are genetically modified. If you were severely allergic to peanuts and a gene from peanuts was inserted into an apple, you might eat the apple thinking that there is no allergy issue. Yet, you could suffer from a major immunological reaction as a result of the genetic modification. On the other side of the issue are those who cite global problems such as poverty. By improving the nutritional quality of a food—for instance, increasing a nutrient in a staple food for a specific country—the idea is that micro nutrient deficiencies can be alleviated. In the same light, others believe that instead of genetic modification, we should be focusing on ways to simply improve access to a broad range of nutritious foods. Additional issues relating to genetically modified food include the concern that this technology could negatively impact the environment. The biodiversity in the environment is a real issue that could be affected by the production of genetically modified foods.
Source:http://www.geneticallymodifiedfoods.co.uk/what-are-genetically-modified-foods.html

Task 1 The following words are taken from the article you’ve just read. Choose 5 of them to make statements about GM Food in your own words. resistance (resistant) protein uncontrollable controversial allergic (allergy) alleviate bacteria yields predictable issue poverty negative nutritional (nutrition/malnutrition) pesticides and herbicides potential ecosystem nutrient biodiversity

Task 2 Step 1: Orally translate the following paragraph into English. 今天我要向大家介绍一下 GM food 以及人们对 GM food 或赞成或反对的一些观点。GM food 一直是个很有争议的话题。那些对 GM food 持赞成观点的人认为该项技术可以以更少 的成本提供更多的食物,从而缓解贫困国家的饥饿问题。而另一些人提出不应把 GM food 看做单纯的农业问题,它涉及到政治、社会、环境等方面。他们担心,这项技术会引发不 可预见的后果。另外,一些学者还指出,GM food 不会成为缓解贫困国家现存问题的途 径,相反它会使问题更严重。实际上,一些贫困国家本身就反对这项技术。看来对 GM food 利与弊的探究在未来的几年都仍将是个热门论题。

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Step 2: Improve your translation with the expressions given in brackets. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 今天我要向大家介绍一下 GM food 以及人们对 GM food 或赞成或反对的一些观点。 (for and against) GM food 一直是个很有争议的话题。(controversial / contentious issue) 那些对 GM food 持赞成观点的人认为该项技术可以以更少的成本提供更多的食物,从 而缓解贫困国家的饥饿问题。(in favor of) 而另一些人提出不应把 GM food 看做单纯的农业问题,它涉及政治、社会、环境等方 面。(involve) 他们担心,这项技术会引发不可预见的后果。(set off, predictable) 另外,一些学者还指出 GM food 不会成为缓解贫困国家现存问题的途径,相反它会使 问题更严重。(approach, alleviate, existing, accentuate) 实际上,一些贫困国家本身就反对这项技术。(be opposed to) 看来对 GM food 利与弊的探究在未来的几年都仍将是个热门论题。 (inquiry into, strengths and weaknesses, topical, years to come)

Activity B: listening for the big picture Task 1 Listen to the beginning part of the lecture, and answer the questions. 1. What is the topic of the lecture? _______________________________________________________________ 2. What does the speaker say to introduce the topic?

3.

What do you predict the speaker will say about the topic? Write three predictions below. 1) 2) 3) _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

4.

The speaker gives a list of things he’s to cover that indicates the organization of th e lecture. What signals help the speaker do so? ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

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5.

In the lecture, he is going to talk about: 1) 2) 3) 4) _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________

Task 2 Listen and take notes. Topic: _______________________________________________ Topic signals: _________________________________________ Big picture/outline: 1 ____________________________________________________ 2 _____________________________________________________ 3 _____________________________________________________ 4 _____________________________________________________ Big picture lecture language: _______________________________________________ Subtopic 1 Gene revolution: _________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________ Subtopic 2: _________: _____________________________________________________________

Subtopic 3: Arguments for GM foods: 1) 2) 3) ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

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___________________: 1) 2) 3) ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________________

Subtopic 4: Comments: ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________

Part Three: Tasks for Academic Communication
Activity A: tips on discussion strategies—showing interest Active participation in group discussion includes paying attention and letting the person who is speaking know that you are interested. You can show this with appropriate body language and verbal expressions. Read the following list of body languages that can help show interest during a discussion and try to add others to the list. ? Make eye contact with the speaker. ? Write down an idea you think is interesting or important. ? Nod your head when something is important or when you want to show that you understand or agree. ? _________________________________________________________________ ? _________________________________________________________________ ? _________________________________________________________________ Some expressions, words, and phrases are also used to show interest during a group discussion. For example: ? Uh huh. ? That's interesting. ? Wow!
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? I get it. ? I see.

Task 1 Practice showing interest during a discussion on “Which do you think is more important when choosing food, nutrition or pleasure”. Keep the discussion going until everyone has had a chance to practice showing interest in the discussion. Activity B: tips on discussion strategies—agreeing and disagreeing During a group discussion, you might want to agree with someone and build on his point, or disagree with him and explain why. To agree or disagree with someone, you may say:
? I agree with… ? That's a good point… ? I agree with ________'s point. ? S/he's right. ? I think … has the right idea.

Or ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? I can see your point, however, ... That's a good point, but ... I see what you're getting at, but ... I'm afraid I don't agree… I'm sorry, but I have to disagree… I disagree with… No, I don't think that's true… Perhaps you're right about…, but I can't agree with you on…

Task 1 Practice agreeing or disagreeing in a group discussion on “Breakfast, necessary or not”. Keep the discussion going until everyone has had a chance to practice using the language for agreeing and disagreeing. You may find the suggested ideas below helpful for your discussion. ? ? ? ? ? gives you energy gives your bodies nutrition makes you mentally and physically efficient wastes time makes you sleepy

Task 2 Discuss the following topics about GM food in a group. Remember to use the phrases for agreeing and disagreeing.

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1. 2. 3.

The lecturer mentioned that GM food is a hotly debated issue. Do you think most people are familiar with and concerned about GM food in daily life? According to the lecture, what is the evidence to support each argument for and against GM food? Look back at your notes and decide whether there is another idea in the lecture that you find important or interesting. Tell your group about it and support your argument.

Task 3 Divide the class into two groups, one for, and the other against the use of GM food. Present your ideas and arguments to the class one after another but don’t repeat a previous argument. Note down briefly, on the whiteboard, the arguments for each side. Then have a debate on “Genetically modified food: a blessing or a curse” to practice agreeing or disagreeing.

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