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Unit 7 Learning about English

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1 Unit 7 Learning about English
Text A The Glorious Messiness of English

2 Objectives To grasp the main idea and structure of the text
To understand some idiomatic English usages mentioned in the unit To know about the history of English To master key languages points and grammatical structures in the text

3 Pre-reading tasks Listen to the recorded passage and
answer the following questions: What is the passage about? What examples are given to illustrate the messiness of the English language? Are you sure of all the idiomatic usages listed below?

4 Pre-reading tasks--- do you know these idiomatic usages?
ship by truck / send cargo by ship noses that run / feet that smell a slim/fat chance a wise guy / a wise man overlook / oversee hot / cold as hell burn up / burn down fill in a form / fill out a form go off / go on

5 Pre-reading tasks Suggested answers:
English is a great language, but it is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, neither pine or apple in pineapple and no ham in a hamburger. 3. Omitted. (Refer to page 307 or consult dictionaries for better understanding of the idioms mentioned in the passage.)

6 Messiness of English English muffin French fries

7 Messiness of English Sweetmeats are __________. candy
Sweetbreads are __________. People drive on a ___________. People ________ on a driveway. candy meat parkway park

8 Messiness of English visible invisible start end
When stars are out they are ________. When lights are out they are _________. I wind up my watch to ________ it. I wind up my speech to ________it. visible invisible start end

9 Messiness of English For example, a group of letters that is pronounced one way in one word cannot be depended on to be pronounced the same way in other words. "-ough-" "thought," "though," "through," and "enough"

10 Introductory remarks As we discover from the previous exercise, an
English word may have multiple meanings. Likewise, several different words may be pronounced in the same way. For example, I knew a student who, upon hearing the title of Helen Keller’s famous essay Three Days to See, translated it into 《海边三日》. Considered in this perspective, English is really messy. However, according to Text A, this is also a major merit of English.

11 Text organization --- switch in tense
Scan the first sentence of each paragraph in the text to find out where the present tense is switched to the past tense and where the present tense is resumed. Para 4 How did the language of a small island off the coast of Europe become the language of the planet…? Para 17 That tolerance for change also represents deeply rooted ideas of freedom.

12 Text organization --- grasping the main idea(Ex.1, P.214)
Paras1-3 Massive borrowing from other languages is a major feature of the English language. Paras4-16 Tells about the history of the English language from the Indo- European parent language to modern English. Paras17- Tolerance, love of freedom, 19 and respect for the rights of others --- these qualities in the English-speaking people explain the richness of their language.

13 Cultural Notes--- History of English
The roots of English English began as a west Germanic language which was brought to England by the Saxons around 400 A.D. Old English was the spoken and written language of England between 400 and 1100 A.D.


15 Cultural Notes--- History of English
Many words used today come from Old English, including man, woman, king, mother, etc. But Old English was very different from modern English and only a few words can be easily recognized. In the 9th and 10th centuries, when Vikings invaded England, Old Norse words, e.g. sky, take and get and many place names, entered the language.

16 Cultural Notes--- History of English
From the Norman Conquest (1066) until the late 12th century English was replaced as the official language by Norman French, though English was still used by the lower classes.

17 Cultural Notes--- History of English
English from about 1300 to 1500 is known as Middle English. It was influenced by French and also Latin in vocabulary and pronunciation. French brought many words connected with government, e.g. sovereign, royal, court, legal and government itself. Latin was the language of religion and learning and gave to English words such as minister, angel, master, school and grammar.

18 Cultural Notes--- History of English
Literature began again to be written in English during this period. One of the most famous Middle English works is Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

19 Cultural Notes--- History of English
The development of Modern English Modern English developed from the Middle English dialect of the East Midlands and was influenced by the English used in London, where a printing press was set up by William Caxton in 1476. English changed a great deal from this time until the end of the 18th century. During the Renaissance, many words were introduced from Greek and Latin to express new ideas, especially in science, medicine and philosophy. They include physics, species, encyclopedia and hypothesis.

20 Cultural Notes--- History of English
In the 16th century several versions of the Bible helped bring written English to ordinary people. The Elizabethan period is also famous for its drama, and Shakespeare’s plays were seen by many people.

21 Cultural Notes--- History of English
By the 18th century American English was established and developing independently from British English. After colonists arrived in the US new words began to be added from Native American languages, and from French and Spanish.

22 Cultural Notes--- History of English
20th century English During the 19th and early 20th century many dictionaries and books about language were published. New words are still being added to English from other languages, including Chinese (fengshui) and Japanese (karaoke). Existing words gain new senses, and new expressions spread quickly through television and the Internet.

23 Cultural Notes--- History of English
English is now an international language and is used as a means of communication between people from many countries. As a result the influences on the English language are wider than ever and it is possible that World English will move away from using a British or American standard and establish its own international identity.


25 Cultural Notes---Viking
Viking: A member of a 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 settled on the Scottish islands and in areas of eastern England, and the Danish king Canute ruled England from 1016. The Vikings were feared as violent and cruel, but they were also noted for their skill in building ships and as sailors. They had an important influence on English culture and the English language.

26 Cultural Notes---Norse
Norse: the official language of Norway. Old Norse was the Germanic language of Norway and its colonies down to the 14th century. It is the ancestor of the Scandinavian languages and is most clearly preserved in the saga literature of Iceland.


28 Cultural Notes---Norman
Norman: 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 The Normans took control of the country, a process known as the Norman Conquest. They used many of the existing Anglo-Saxon methods of government of the state and the church, but added important aspects of their own and made government much more effective. 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.

29 Cultural Notes--- Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar (100-44BC): the best-known of all the ancient Roman leaders, and the first one to land in Britain with an army. He did this twice, in 55 and 54 BC, although Britain did not become part of the Roman Empire until nearly a hundred years later.

30 Cultural Notes--- William Caxton
William Caxton (c ): the man who set up the first printing firm in Britain. He printed his first book in 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.

31 Cultural Notes--- Winston Churchill
1965): a politician who is remembered as one of Britain’s greatest statesman. He was the son of the Conservative politician Lord Randolph Churchill and his American wife Jennie. As a young man he served as a soldier in India and Egypt,

32 Cultural Notes--- Winston Churchill
and as a journalist in South Africa, before entering politics. Churchill became Prime Minister and Minister of Defence in His radio speeches during World War II gave the British people a strong determination to win the war, especially at times of great crisis. Examples of Churchill’s phrases still often quoted today are “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat”, and “This

33 Cultural Notes--- Winston Churchill
was their finest hour”. The Conservative Party led by Churchill lost the election of 1945, but he became Prime Minister again from 1951 to 1955 when he retired, aged 80. When he died in Jan.1965 he was given a state funeral.

34 Cultural Notes--- Otto Jesperson
Otto Jespersen ( ): Danish philologist, grammarian, and educationist. He promoted the used 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 ( ).

35 Language study corrupt (L7): cause errors to appear in
-- The Academy ruled that such foreign expressions were not permitted, as they ~ed the language. cause to act dishonestly in return for personal gains -- To gain more profits, the businessman tried every means to ~ the officials in the local government. -- _________________ ~ed Hu Changqing. Power and wealth

36 Language study ban (L8) vt. forbid (sth.) officially ~ sth.
~ sb. from sth. / doing sth. -- Spitting/Smoking is banned in all public places. -- Tom was banned from driving for six months after being caught speeding again. n. ~ on sth. -- There is a ban on spitting/smoking in all public… -- Tom received a ban on driving…

37 Language study invent (L9):
make or design (sth. that has not existed before); create (sth.) -- Linus Torvalds invented Linux at the age of twenty one. give (a name, reason, etc. that doesn’t exist or is not true) 这部小说中的人物都是杜撰出来的。 All the characters in the novel are ~ed. Cf.: invent, discover

38 Language study tolerance (15): (followed by of/for)
the quality of allowing other people to say and do as they like, even if you don’t agree or approve of it 我认为学生之间相互包容尤其必要,因为他们生活和学习都在一起。 --I think ~ between students is extremely necessary since they live and study together. 他是个极为宽容的人。 -- He is a man of great tolerance.

39 Language study the ability to bear sth. painful or unpleasant
--Human beings have limited ~ to/of noise. -- People have no ~ for _______. (social injustice, terrorism) zero-tolerance -- People have zero-tolerance for spitting. (violence/corruption)

40 Language study establish (L49): cause to be, set up
-- The bank helps people wanting to ~ their business. place or settle sb./oneself in a position, an office, etc. ~ sb./oneself as -- They are rapidly ~ing themselves as the market leader.

41 Grammatical structures
…so they invent a word, balladeur, which French kids are supposed to say instead… (L9-10) be supposed to : If something is supposed to be done, it should be done because of a rule, instruction, or custom. --You are supposed to report it to the police as soon as possible. 我不该跟你谈这件事。 --I’m not supposed to talk to you about this. ( Refer to pp for more practice.)

42 Post-reading tasks --- identifying important historical events in the development of English
Scan paras 4 – 16 and find out events that have had a great impact on the formation of today’s English. Paras 4-9 The introduction of the Indo-European language --- ________ language of English Paras 10-11 ____________ came to settle in Britain and brought Anglo-Saxon words --- Old English the parent Germanic tribes

43 Post-reading tasks --- identifying important historical events in the development of English
Para 12 The Christian religion enriched English with words from _____________ Para 13 __________ from Scandinavia came with words from ____________ Para 14 __________________ – French influence Greek and Latin The Vikings Old Norse The Norman Conquest

44 The American revolution
Post-reading tasks identifying important historical events in the development of English Para 15 The European __________________ and ________________ brought many new words from Latin and Greek Para 16 ____________________ --- the emergence of a new variety --- American English Renaissance the printing press The American revolution

45 Post-reading tasks--- Rhetorical devices
Oxymoron(矛盾修辞法) An oxymoron puts two contradictory terms together to puzzle the reader, luring him/her to pause and explore why. The title “ The Glorious Messiness of English” is one good example. Can you think of another example? a living death / tearful joy

46 Post-reading tasks --- interpretation of the title
How do you understand the title The Glorious Messiness of English? How does the author define it in the text? Hint: (Para 3) That happy tolerance, that willingness to accept words from anywhere, explains the richness of English and why it has become, to a very real extent, the first truly global language. (L15-17)


48 Post-reading tasks--- essay questions
What do you think has made English “the first truly global language”? How do you understand Jespersen’s remark “The English language would not have been what it is if the English had not been for centuries great respecters of the liberties of each individual…”? Give reasons.

49 Remember to --- SEE YOU! review the text
bring your listening book for class next week get prepared for your quiz on extensive reading. SEE YOU!

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