Unit 4 Text A College Pressures
I. Teaching Objectives
1. To make clear the writer’s purpose to write the text and the ideas that writer desire to convey
2. To grasp the key words and phrases.
3. To master the skills of writing and reading in this unit.
1) To master the writing technique the author uses in this text---LISTING
2) To master an important skill in active reading---making predictions (anticipating the
writer’s next point )
II. Teaching Content
1. Lead-in Activities
2. Text Organization
3. Skill Learning in Writing and Reading
4. Language Points( key words, phrases and difficult sentences)
5. Grammar Focus (Independent elements)
6. Guided Practice (exercises, oral practice and group work)
III . Teaching Process
1. Warm-up Questions
1) What kind of college pressures are you suffering from?
2) What do you think of them?
3) How to deal with them?
2. Text Organization
Part I (Paras.1-5) Introduction
Para1 telling us that the author is a master of a college and is in a good position to describe
what the students think about.
Paras.2,3 present a picture that students today are afraid of risk and goal-obsessed.
Para4 explains why university students are so worried about their future.
Para5 (transitional paragraph) expresses the idea that today’s students, in the face of
American social values, are under four kinds if pressure.
Part II (Paras.6-14) Listing what the four pressures are.
economic pressure, parental pressure,
peer pressure and self-induced pressure.
Part III (Paras.15-17) Conclusion
Para15 general description of students today.
Paraas.16,17 what the author has done to the students and the result.
3. Skill Learning in Writing and Reading
1) The major wring technique the author uses is LISTING.
One of the aims of Text A is to explain the types of pressure that the author sees affecting
students. He starts his section of his article with a simple list of the four kinds of pressure he
I see four kinds of pressure working on college students today: economic pressure,
parental pressure, peer pressure, and self-induced pressure.
Then in the next several paragraphs, he explains each kind of pressure in detail.Making
predictions---anticipating the writer’s next point---is an important skill in active reading. To
predict every detail is impossible, because a writer may surprise us with unexpected ideas,
just anticipate the general direction the author is going. Making predictions while you read
keeps your mind alert and involved with the text; it’s a way to double-check your
comprehension of what you’ve read so far; and it can be a great aid to understanding what
comes next.(Remember: being 100% accurate in your predictions isn’t as important as the
process of making predictions based on alert and active reading.)
4. Language Points
1) their piercing cries in the dead of night---the sharp and clear shouts of some students in the
still of the night. (para.1)
A piercing sound or voice is high-pitched and very sharp and clear in an unpleasant way.
I was aroused from my sleep by a piercing scream.
The couple at the next table had piercing voices and we couldn’t help overhearing.
2) how to get through the rest of their lives (para.1)
get through--- manage to live through (a period of time during which something unpleasant is
How do they ever get through Siberian winters?
They helped me to get through those miserable days.
3) change jobs, change careers, change whole attitudes and approaches. (para.2)
Someone’s career is the series of jobs that they have in their life, esp. in the same area of work.
So, if a teacher quits teaching in one school and starts teaching in another, he changes his
jobs, but if he quits teaching at all and starts running a business, he changes his career.
4) They want a map…they can follow directly to… a prepaid grave. (para.2)
Paraphrase ---They want ready information about how they can get through the rest of their lives
without any difficulty.
5) enjoy each segment of their education as an experience in itself… (para.3)
in itself---in its own nature; intrinsically
The design was not in itself bad.
The plan wasn’t illegal in itself, but it would lead to some doubtful practices.
6) to trip and fall ---to stumble and fall; to err and fail (para.3)
trip---knock one’s foot against something when waling and lose balance so that one falls or
She tripped over a stone.
He tripped and fell, tearing a hole in his trousers.
7) not)the end of the world---(not) a complete disaster. (para.3) Example:
You must realize that failing one exam is not the end the world.
8) In the presence of such a potent state religion, the young are growing up old. (para.4)
potent---a. powerful, strong, forceful or effective.(sth that is powerful due to some hidden quality or virtue)
Farmers are still a potent political force in France.
He drowned in the hotel swimming pool after drinking a potent mix of whisky, gin and vodka.
state religion---religion of a country; nationwide belief
old---a. having much experience or practice; sensible , mature or wise.
The little girl is old beyond her years.
9) day of reckoning---time when a person pays or when he is punished for things that he has done wrong. (para.6)
We tried to put off the day of reckoning.
The day of reckoning has come for him.
Cf. reckon and calculate
Reckon usually connotes simpler mathematical processes, esp. such as can be carried on in one’s
head or aided by the use of a counting device.
Calculate is usually preferred when highly advance, complex processes are followed with
precision and care and when the result arrived at is not readily proven by measuring.
She reckoned the number of eggs laid by the hens during the month.
The cost of the damage caused by the recent storms has been calculated at 300 million yuan.
10). Society hasn’t yet caught up with this fact (para.6)
catch up with ---reach (and sometimes overtake )(sb who is ahead); (in competition, trade, standard, etc) become equal to
Will Western industry ever catch up with Japanese innovations?
They haven’t caught up yet with the latest styles..
11) Along with economic pressure goes parental pressure. (para.7) (Note: inverted order is
go along with ---be found together with
Failing health often goes along with old age.
Increased unemployment has gone along with rising prices all over the world.
12) as if they were going to the dentist--- as if they were going to suffer. .(para.7)
13) The story is almost funny ― except that it’s not. (para.13)
Paraphrase ---The story sounds somewhat funny, but in fact it’s not funny.
except that---(used to introduce a statement which states or implies something contrary to the preceding one ) only that, but that
It couldn’t have happened except that it did.
She would have protested except that she was afraid.
14) Will I get everything done?= Will I be able to get everything done? (para.13)
Will here is used to indicate ability or capacity.
This tree will live without water for three months.
The bucket will hold five gallons of water.
15) That’s only half of their story. (para.15)
Paraphrase --- That’s only part of the situation with the students.
only half the story/ part of the story /not the whole story---there are more details that need to
be known in order understand the situation.
What he told us yesterday is only half the story; there are more people concerned in this affair than
he knows about.
These figures gave only part of the story.
16) a mixed bag of achievers--- a group of successful people in all professions. (para.16)
a mixed bag--- a thoroughly varied mixture (of people or things.)
Jane invited a mixed bag of people to her party.
The songs on this record are quite a mixed bag.
17) they…knew all along that it was what they wanted to do. (para.17)
Paraphrase ---they …knew from the very beginning that it was the profession they wanted to
18) get where they are by a circuitous route, after many side trips. (para.17)
Paraphrase --get into their present profession through many turns, in a roundabout way.
19) allow the hand of God or chance to lead them down some unforeseen trail (para.17)
Paraphrase --allow their future careers to be decided by fortune or luck with no preplanning.
5. Grammar Focus
1)An independent element conveys the speaker’s comment on the form or content of what he is
Strictly speaking, nobody is allowed in here.
Quite simply, he wants to move to a better climate.
Most probably, they have already finished it. 2) Independent elements are usually functioned by adverbs/adverbial phrase, prepositional
phrases, adjectives/adjectival phrases, non-finite verb phrases, clauses etc.
honestly, hopefully, oddly enough, happily for us all;
in my opinion, to our regret, as a matter of fact;
sure (enough), even more important, worse still;
to be sure;
what is even more remarkable, etc. 3) Independent elements are often set off by comas or dashes.
6. Guided Practice
1) Answer questions with students’ imagination: (Page 108)
a) The giggest difference between today’s university students and those ten or twenty years
b) Before I started my studies, I didn’t expect that being a student would mean…
c) If I were the Minister of Education, I’d… 2) Group discussion
a) our college pressures
b) our worries about the future
c) “bad guys” responsible for college pressures
d) the “Right” way to get ahead
7. After-class Assignments
1) Review Text A
2) Do exercises:
Structure (Ex. VIII, p.110)
Cloze (Ex. IX, p. 110)
Translation (Ex. X & XI, p. 112)
Text B College Lectures: Is Anybody Listening?
1. originally modeled on German ones.---in early day s copying the patterns of German colleges and universities.
2. any changes that result either are largely cosmetic or make a bad situation worse.--- any
changes brought about by the studies and reports either are to a great extent superficial or cause
even greater or more serious problems.
3. too seldom challenged--- very rarely questioned or disputed.
4. The time is long overdue for us to abandon the lecture system and turn to methods that
really work.----We should have abandoned the lecture system and adopted really effective
teaching methods long, long ago.
overdue---a. having passed time when due or expected; needed or expected for some time but not
yet having been done.
The baby is two weeks overdue. (i.e . still not born two weeks after the expected date of birth)
Improvements in the mass transit system are long overdue.
5. years of watching television have shortened their attention span---watching television all
the years has made them unable to concentrate long enough.
6. enhance the value of a lecture---make a lecture more instructive and informative.
7. fail to attract the beginner’s naïve question that could have triggered a fruitful line of
thought---be unable to make beginners ask questions which, though simple and showing lack of
experience, could have inspired an effective way of thinking.
a line of thought/action/reasoning ---a way or method of doing sth or thinking about sth. 8. conspire with them to keep the lecture system alive and well---work together with
administrators to carry on the lecture system vigorously.
be alive and well---be active; still exists
Traditional Chinese operas are still alive and well.
The book, published 30 years ago, is alive and well and making money for its author.
9. with no one the wiser---with no one being more informed or more knowledgeable than before.
If you say that no one is any the wiser after an event or an explanation or that someone is none
the wiser or no wiser after it, you mean that they know or understand no more about it than they
did before the event took place or before
I read the article, but I’m no wiser.
Even after listening to his explanation, I’m none the wiser. Nobody in the village will be any the wiser.
10. lectures give some students an opportunity to sit back---during lectures some students get a chance to sit relaxed doing nothing.
If you sit back while something is happening, you relax and do not become actively involved in it.
All that you have to do is sit back and enjoy the fun.
Are you going to sit back and left me do everything?
11. the university scene---the campus life.
A scene is a particular activity or aspect of life and all the things that are associated with it.
A newcomer on the fashion scene
This is a growing feature of the business scene in all advance industrial countries.
12. a setting that rightly values tradition for its own sake--- a situation that gives tradition due consideration for its own benefit.
13. lectures too frequently come at the wrong end of the students’ educational
careers.---lectures are often scheduled for the wrong period of the students’ academic studies.
14. learn to listen before they can listen to learn---develop the skill of listening actively before they can learn by listening.