• In the United States, students are encouraged to show their own opinions and even to disagree with their professors. Professors usually give their opinions with a little room for alternative viewpoints. At times, they will present both sides of an argument and show why they prefer one interpretation. If a student argues skillfully for an alternative viewpoint, a professor will almost never lower the student’s grade.
• In the United States, independent thinking is a highly valued skill that is developed in schools. U.S. education tends to have less rote activities and more interpretational activities than educational systems of many other countries. • United States’ professors and teachers expect
students to ask questions for clarifi cation or to show a different point of view. If students have doubts, it is their responsibility to ask for clarifi cation. If students do not ask questions and participate actively in class discussions, U.S. teachers will generally give them a lower grade. • In some cultures, students are expected to
absorb information that the professors present and then restate this information on exams or in papers. Students may be taught to believe that they are not experts, so it is not their job to have opinions. Rather, their job is to fi nd what experts say and report it. This can lead to problems with plagiarism in a U.S. context.
1. trend 2. image 3. export 4. benefited
5. establishing 6. ethnic 7. region
8. dominate 9. media
Interacting with Others
Students in the United States are often required to participate interactively with each other as part of class and lab work. Activities such as the two that follow will help students to become more comfortable working together in pairs and small groups. The activities will also require students to scan for some of the information, giving practice in an important skill. The second activity will also help them learn how to show disagreement in socially acceptable ways.
5 Guided Academic Discussion
• Group the students in pairs. If some of your students speak the same language and some different languages, try to make the pairs as culturally diverse as possible.
• You may want to ask students to scan the article for evidence that would prove or disprove the true/false statements. This reinforces the skill of scanning. At least mention that this is a common use of scanning—to have read something and have an idea of what was said in an article but to need to go back and check something.
• Direct students to discuss their reactions to these statements, not their opinions of the veracity of the statements.
7 Structuring an Argument: Weakest to
• Persuasive writing is an important skill that will transfer to persuasive speaking. This activity aims to improve these skills. Explain the concept of persuasive writing as writing that is trying to change the mind of the reader or to make the reader agree with the author.
• Go over the instructions and remind students that some experts think English is more direct in its style of argument.
• After the students have completed the activity, go over it as a class.
Position 1. A, F, D; Position 2. E, C, B
Note: there may be some disagreement within the order but there should be no disagreement as to which argument each idea supports.
• The aim of this activity is to help students organize and process information in a reading passage. Students sometimes understand the information in a reading in a general way but are not clear how some bits of information relate to others.
• Copy and distribute Black Line Master 7 “Using a T-Chart to Map Pros and Cons” on page BLM 7 of this book.
• This type of graphic organizer is not only helpful for reading comprehension but can also be a useful prewriting strategy.
6 Expressing Opinions
• Divide students into small groups. • Read the directions with the students. • Tell students to work together to answer the
questions and to take notes on their answers. If there is disagreement within a group, have students note both sides of the argument. To help keep students focused on the task, you may tell students that you will collect their notes at the end of the activity.
• Remind students about respectful ways of showing disagreement. Write two columns on the board, one headed with the words acceptable ways of showing disagreement and the other with disrespectful ways of showing disagreement. List ways under each heading.
• Circulate among the groups and assist students or check their answers.
• Avoid showing a preference for one argument or another in this debate. There are no right or wrong answers here, only opinions.
• If time permits, have the students come back together and discuss the answers as a whole class.
Making Use of Academic Content
Activities such as the one that follows are very similar to the type of activities that students may be called upon to perform in higher education in the United States. Persuasive writing is a key academic task in many disciplines.
Structuring an Argument: Weakest to Strongest Point
An argument essay requires students to support their asssertions. This can be a weakness in some students’ writing.
Student Book pages 90–103PA R T
• Go over the instructions here carefully. These
instructions are true for many standardized vocabulary tests.
• When fi nished, go through the answers and
distractors and explain or have students explain why they do not work for the answer.
• After students have completed the Practice section, review the initial instructions, pointing out examples from the questions.
1. B 2. D 3. D 4. A 5. C 6. B
Cultivating Critical Thinking
Activities such as the one that follows will enable students to use information and to approach problems in a critical manner. A critical approach is vital for higher education in the United States.
8 What Do You Think?
• This activity is designed to promote spoken communication and is best done in small groups. You can approach the activity in one of two ways: Have a student read the passage aloud to the class and make sure there are no vocabulary or grammar questions. Or you can have the students read the passage in their groups and then go over any questions before they begin.
• Alternatively, you may wish to use these questions as an opportunity for a debate. Assign students to argue on one side or the other of the questions. Give them time to prepare their answers and then give limited time to argue their points in front of the class.
• The aim of this activity is to have students practice persuasive writing.
• The activity above can be done as persuasive writing and turned into an interesting out-of-class assignment.
• Have students break into pairs and work together on the questions from Activity 8, What Do You Think? You can choose to have them answer either one question or the entire set.
• Tell them to be sure to back up their opinions with supporting details.
• Once the assignment is complete, you may choose to have students read their papers to the class. Allow for some debate.
• Write the details of the assignment on a handout or the board.
❑ When is the fi rst draft due? ❑ When will the fi nal paper be due?
❑ How much time will students have to revise with
partners? What length paper do you want?
❑ Do you have a minimum number of references
❑ Are you grading the partners for their critiques?
• Although it is time consuming, it is a good idea to collect partners’ comments in order to see what type of feedback they are giving. In this way, you can make sure that they are paying as much or more attention to global issues as to mechanics. Also, depending on students’ cultures, they may feel uncomfortable giving too much positive or negative feedback. Based on the feedback you see, discuss this issue with the class.
• Read the directions aloud. Have students check vocabulary they have learned. Point out that this should be vocabulary they could easily use in speaking or writing. Then have students check the strategies they know how to use. Have them put a plus sign (+) next to strategies that they are very comfortable using and a minus sign (–) next to those that they are less comfortable using.
• Put students in small groups. Have students discuss any words that they have not checked. Encourage students to check a dictionary if necessary.
• Ask students to fi nd an activity related to each strategy in the chapter.
• This may be assigned as homework if you prefer.
1 Making Connections
• The goal of this activity is for students to use the Internet in English as a research tool.
• Remind students how to do effective Web searches and remind them of the importance of evaluating their sources.
• Read the instructions with the students. • Let students know their timeline for doing this
assignment as well as what you expect of them. • After they have completed the assignment, have
students discuss their successful and unsuccessful search strategies. Ask students to include the addresses of the websites they used to conduct online searches or to print copies of the pages.
Responding in Writing
2 Writing Practice
• The aim of this activity is to give students practice in supporting an argument.
• Make sure students understand the types of variations that the options in the parentheses allow in each topic. You may want to allow them to change option 3 to an architectural structure in their native country or city.
• Give students some instruction on how to critique a partner’s paper. One useful technique is to have them write about one thing that they liked, one thing that they had a question about, and one thing that could be improved. Encourage students to pay attention to global issues such as organization and meaning rather than to work on mechanics such as spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
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