Basic English for Computing

EricH. Glendinning John McEwan

Teacher's Book

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3 Introduction
Unit 1 7 Everyday uses of computers
Unit 2 10 Types of computer
Unit 3 13 Parts of a computer
Unit 4 16 Keyboard and mouse
Unit 5 19 Interview: Student
Unit 6 22 Input devices
Unit 7 25 Output devices
Unit 8 28 Storage devices
Unit 9 31 Graphical User Interface
Unit 10 34 Interview: Computing Support Assistant
Unit 11 36 Networks
Unit 12 39 Communications
Unit 13 42 The Internet 1: email and news groups
Unit 14 45 The Internet 2: the World Wide Web
Unit 15 48 Interview: Website deslgner
Unit 16 51 Word processing
Unit 17 54 Database and spreadsheets
Unit 18 57 Graphics and multimedia
Unit 19 60 Programming
Unit 20 63 Interview: Analyst/Programmer
Unit 21 66 Languages
Unit 22 69 Low-level systems
Unit 23 72 Future trends 1
Unit 24 75 Future trends 2
Unit 25 78 Interview: IT Manager
Unit 26 80 Issues in computing
Unit 27 83 Careers in computing
Unit 28 86 Interview: Systems Manager
89 Tapescript INTRODUCTION

Introduction to the course

This course is intended for students of computing and information technology with an English level of beginner plus to lower-intermediate. In particular, targeted readers are secondary school and technical college students of 16+ who have studied general English for three years or more. The book is also intended for professionals who have not studied English formally for some time, and wish to refresh their knowledge of the language within the context of their specialism.

The specialist content is drawn from introductory syllabuses at senior secondary and technical college level, with additions to ensure that the most promising of future trends are covered. The content is graded both to match the usual sequence of presentation in the specialism, and to provide an introduction to computing for the teacher who may feel less at home with technical texts.

Objectives of the course

The course aims to develop students' language skills in the context of computing and information technology with emphasis on reading, listening, speaking, and writing - in that order. The language content has a number of strands: firstly, key points of grammar and key functions appropriate to this level are covered; secondly, language items important for decoding texts in the specialism are included (around 400 terms in computing and information technology are introduced); thirdly, language skills are developed as outlined below.


The skill of reading for information is developed by means of a wide range of practical reading tasks, based on a variety of authentic texts in the specialism. The texts are drawn from genres such as textbooks, newspapers, popular computing magazines, Internet newsgroups, screen displays, web pages, manuals, and advertisements.


The skill of listening for information is developed from a range of inputs, including interviews with students and professionals in computing and information technology, specialists describing aspects of hardware and software, simulated voicemail, and email attachments. In addition to listening for specific information, the listening activities aim to develop the skills of listening lor the main points in a description, explanation. or argument.


The course develops the students' ability to participate in simple exchanges of information and opinions in the context of the specialism. There is an emphasis on survival skills, such as strategies for coping with not understanding and not being understood.


Students learn to write simple instructions. descriptions, and explanations about topics in computing and information technology.

Course components and structure

The course consisists of three components: a Student's Book, an audio cassette, and this Teacher's Book.

The Student's Book

The Student's Book consists of twenty-eight units and a Glossary of computing terms and abbreviations.

Most units begin with a Tuning-in section, which contains short 'to make you think' warm-up tasks. These encourage students to think about the topic of the unit. to pool their knowledge of language and the specialism, and to start working co-operatively.


The main input of the unit follows in the Listening and Reading sections. which are often based round an authentic diagram or other visual. These sections introduce new content. and serve as a basis for skills development in the two areas.

They are usually followed by a Language work section in which key language items are explained. and then practised.

After the language work. there is usually a Problemsolving task. which is intended to create a need to use language in order to communicate with other students and as a comprehension check. The solution requires use of language. logic. and content from earlier texts.

Most units finish with either a Writing. or a Speaking task. or both. The function of the writing - for which suitable guidance is provided - is primarily to practise language items in extended contexts. Practice is also provided in writing simple instructions. descriptions. and explanations. Every fourth unit contains an information and opinion exchange task for pair practice. This is in addition to the speaking opportunities provided by the other sections. such as Tuning-in and Problem-solving.

Every fifth unit is built round authentic interviews with a student and with professionals in the specialism. Each of these units ( and 28) includes a section on new vocabularyComputing words and abbreviations. This contains tasks to help the student cope with organizing. remembering. and using appropriately their growing vocabulary of specialist terms and abbreviations. In addition. each of these sections summarizes the new words and abbreviations studied up to that point in the textbook.

The audio cassette

This consists of approximately 65 minutes of recorded material for the listening tasks. Most of the material is authentic. and comes from a wide range of sources.

The Teacher's Book

This book is intended to be used as a guide to help the teacher handle the course most effectively. It aims to provide technical support for the nonspecialist teacher. as well as guidance for teaching the language. The units contain teaching hints and suggestions for further exploitation of the material. and a Key for each of the tasks in the Student's


Book. Each unit begins with a short technical introduction which presents the unit topic to the teacher. explains the main issues in simple terms. and introduces some of the technical vocabulary.

Using the course

Some teachers of English for Specific Purposes worry about their own lack of knowledge of the specialism. the fact that they are not experts in the field. They should not be so concerned. What ESP teachers should aim to be is experts at language teaching. All ESP teachers. however. should have an interest at an amateur level in the specialism. The technical introductions to the units are designed to help non-specialists cope wilh the technical input of the course. but it is also worth reading round the subject as much as you can. Developing links with teachers of the specialism who can explain technical aspects to you - and may provide help in locating authentic materials for your teaching - is also a good idea. It is not difficult to keep up with developments in computing these days. Many national newspapers carry regular articles about computing. and some have special supplements on a weekly basis. There are often television programmes on related subjects. And of course your students can often help you.

Basic English for Computing takes a broadly communicative approach. with the addition of techniques such as problem-solving. a particularly appropriate technique for students of a subject which is very much concerned with finding solutions to problems. Most of the activities are designed for pair or group work. but there are also individual tasks for class-time and for homework. When the class are involved In pair or group activities. use the time to monitor their performance. Try not to interrupt too much. Make a note of any serious inaccuracies and deal with them at the end of the activity.


These tasks are best set as pair or group activities. ending with a teacher-led rou nd-up so that both language and ideas can be shared. Write the best ideas on the board. or use an overhead projector. so that the written form reinforces the spoken.


Most units contain a pre-listening task. These tasks usually consist of a small number of questions, often based on a diagram. Ideally, the students are able to answer a third of the questions from the data presented; they can make reasonable guesses about a further third; but are unable to make accurate guesses about the remainder. The reason for this structure is the following. The fact that the students are able to answer the easy questions is encouraging, and provides the incentive to continue with the task. The fact that they cannot answer the remaining two thirds of the questions supplies the reason for listening to the recording. They listen to check whether their guesses were correct, and to find the answers to the questions they could not answer. Because pre-listening tasks encourage the students to start thinking about and predicting the content of the text, they also make it easier for students to make connections between known information and new information from the text. Often, students are asked to pool their answers so that what they know about the subject can be shared; hence predictions about the content can be made more accurately.

Pre-listening tasks also serve to introduce important terms which the students will meet in the recording. However, the recording will also contain a number of words which are not familiar to your students. You should pre-teach a small number of these words which are important for an understanding of the text. Where a word can be inferred from context, you are advised not to preteach it, as students should develop this strategy for dealing with unfamiliar words. In most cases, the unfamiliar word can be ignored. Recognizing and ignoring irrelevant information is an important survival strategy in listening.

It is important to set the scene for your students before they listen. They should know how many speakers there are and what the context is. Encourage them to predict topics that will occur in the recording.

There are also things you can do to help students as they listen. The simplest way is to pause the recording at suitable points. This is done for you in the early units, but you can add additional processing or thinking time for students by increasing the number and length of the pauses. It

is normally a good idea to play the recording more than once. When the tasks are complete, it's important that students have an opportunity to hear the recording all the way through without interruption.

Although the Key gives as full answers as possible, it is not always necessary to insist on such complete answers from your students, nor is it necessary for them to write complete sentences. The focus in these tasks is on understanding not on production.


Most units contain a pre-reading task which has the same function as the pre-listening tasks described above.

Many of the tasks focus on developing the skill of scanning a text quickly for specific detail. To do this well, students must learn to ignore information which is not relevant to their task, and scan the text for clues which relate to the information they seek. Applying a little time pressure can help. If students are not given quite sufficient time to read word by word, they will develop more efficient ways of reading. Reading for main points is a more difficult skill to develop. Students must learn to ignore examples and fine detail. Defending their answers in groups or in whole class round-ups can help students identify what is important in a text.

Many of the reading tasks involve other skills, for example reading and note-taking, and reading and reporting. A common task of this kind - one which combines reading, note-taking, and speaking - is a 'jigsaw' read-and-report activity. In this kind of activity, students are asked to work in groups of three, to read one text each, and to note its maln points. Then theyare asked to exchange information with other students in their group, and to complete a table with information from all three texts. At this report stage, students may attempt to report in the mother tongue, or simply exchange notes with the other students in their group, Encourage them to do the reporting stage orally and in English so that all three skills are equally practised.

An alternative to a 'jigsaw' read and report for more advanced students is a 'triad' activity. Students work in groups of three, A, B, and C. Each has a separate role. A is the first speaker, B the reporter, and, C the judge. A's task is to report from their notes the main points of their text. B must listen


carefully and provide a brief oral summary. C must listen to both inputs and judge the accuracy of B's report, pointing out any changes, errors, or omissions. Students change roles three times so that each has a chance to play each part.

Most of the texts in group reading tasks are roughly equal in difficulty level. Where a text is easier or more difficult than the others, this is mentioned in the guide to the unit. You can direct these texts to the less and more able students in the group.

Reading aloud is rarely of value in the classroom but you may find the tapescripts of some of the easier listening texts, which involve more than one speaker, could be used for role plays or scripted interviews. The difference between them and the reading texts is that they are examples of authentic or semi-authentic spoken English.

Language work

Ways for presenting each language item are included in the guide to the units. Most of these rely on a straightforward presentation, involving writing on the board, and using key examples from the reading or listening texts. As far as possible, examples in the context of computing are used. You may have your own favourite way of presenting some of these items which you can substitute. The presentation is usually followed by two practice tasks. The first task is usually more controlled, and the second a freer and therefore more demanding activity. Depending on the level of your class, you may want to do these tasks orally in class, before the students write, or you may prefer to approach them as individual written exercises.


These tasks provide students with the opportunity to use and acquire language in a much less controlled way. The problems have been chosen to interest the students, and to allow them to use their knowledge of computing. The reading and listening texts in each unit, and from earlier units, should provide most of the English terms they need, and the Language work sections should provide the means of expression. You may wish to revise language you anticipate will be useful. In striving to communicate their solution to the problem to their partner or the other students in the group, students will make this language their own. Do not interfere too much unless communication has broken down completely. It is in making an effort to understand and be understood that language is best acquired.



As the book progresses, the Writing tasks move from very controlled to less controlled. Where you think your students need more help, do the task orally in class and set the writing as homework. There are many approaches to correcting written work. If you wish to experiment with peer correction where students mark each other's work, ask students to mark lightly with a pencil dot any item in their partner's work which they do not understand or think may be incorrect. Each student should then return the work to his or her partner. If the partner does not agree that there is a problem, you can then intervene.


The Speaking tasks are straightforward exchange activities. In the early units, they are mainly information exchange. but in the later units there are examples of opinion-exchange tasks. Like the Problem-sotvtna tasks, these activities provide opportunities for students to develop strategies for coping with not understanding and not being understood. In addition to the Aids to communication phrases presented in the earlier units. encourage your students to rephrase when they are not understood, and to think of ways round the problem of not remembering a key word.

Computing words and abbreviations

Train your students in good practice as regards vocabulary right from the beginning of the course. Get them to keep their own vocabulary notebooks in which they record not only the meaning of key terms in computing. but examples of their usage. Encourage students to spend a few minutes every day learning new words. Regular vocabulary tests are a stimulus for students to make the effort to do this. You can use these tasks in the textbook as vocabulary tests. They are spaced at five unit intervals and summarize the key terms presented in preceding units.

Present ways in which students can record and store their growing computing vocabulary. Encourage them to keep related words in the same part of their notebooks, and to list words with their common collocations, for example hard/floppy + disk, disk + drive. Simple crosswords and word games like 'hangman' are useful short activities to revise key vocabulary at the start of a lesson.


Everyday uses of computers

Most machines are designed to do one job. Computers are different: they are general purpose machines. By changing the program instructions, computers can be used to process information in very different ways. For example, a word processor program allows the computer to process text, a spreadsheet program enables the computer to perform calculations. a database program is used for searching and sorting records, and a browser program is used for looking at pages on the Internet (the Internet is the connection of computers from different parts of the world). Computers are therefore used in almost every type of work and are found almost everywhere. Computer equipment is known as hardware and programs and data are called software.

A variety of devices can be attached to a computer. Input devices are used to enter data into the computer for processing. An input device called a magnetic ink character reader (MICR) is used to read characters printed using magnetic ink. Magnetic ink characters are commonly found on bank cheques.

An optical input device called a barcode reader uses the reflection of a light beam to read a sequence of printed parallel bars called a barcode. The bars are of different thickness. and each sequence of bars represents a different number according to a standard code. Barcode labels are used to code items. Each item can be identified by a computer, using a barcode reader to scan the labels. Barcodes are used in industry. shops. and supermarkets for stock control and to allow a computer to look up the price of items being purchased.


By the end of this unit. students should be better at: asking and answering simple questions about computing

asking for help when they don't understand listening and scanning a text for general information.

They should be able to:

understand the difference between countable and uncountable nouns

use articles more accurately.

They should know and be able to use these words: barcode, barcode reader. calculate, computer. computing, control. memory, program, software.


Task 1

You might like to begin the class with a discussion about computers in the students'own lives. Put some simple questions up on the board, for example:

What kind of computer do you have/ use? ( I have/ use a ... )

Do you use a computer everyday? (Yes/ Sometimes/ No.)

What do you use computers for? (1 use computers for ... ing.)

Ask the students to go round the class and interview as many people as they can about their use of computers. It does not matter if they have difficulty making sentences: communication is the essential thing. Give them five minutes maximum and then ask for feedback, writing up the information on the board. For the task. ask them to work in pairs. Walk round the class helping them with the English words for the places that they might not know. If appropriate, teach How do YOIl say ... in English?


a petrol station c clothes shop e bank

b supermarket d bank

f airline


Task 2

Get the students to work in groups of three or four for this activity. Ask them to think of other places where they might find computer documents. and to make a list. Possible examples could be: theatre or cinema for tickets. garage for engine tests. hospital for lab results.


Task 3

This activity introduces the students to vocabulary which they will hear in the next task. Pre-teach any words that you think may be unfamiliar. such as wages and tills. then let the students do the matching individually or in pairs.


1d 2a 3c 4a 5c 6d 7b 8b

Task 4

Tell students not to worry about understanding every word. but to listen carefully for key words which will enable them to identify the place in each extract. Play the recording through several times. pausing as appropriate.


1d 2b 3a 4c


Task 5

This activity could be used to begin teaching the reading strategy of scanning. The students should scan for vocabulary items related to each of the places on the list. To help them get an idea of what they should be looking out for elicit. or have the students brainstorm. two or three related vocabulary items for each of the words. home. hospitals. etc .• and write them on the board.


hospitals, shopping, television advertising, banking, libraries, film-making


Language work

Talk through the explanation in the Student's Book. This is an area which can cause learners of English some uncertainty, and students will need a certain amount of practice before they feel confident with it. Explain that some nouns are uncountable because they name things which literally cannot be counted - these are usually abstract things (memory. speed. science. tec1lT1oloflY). Give the students the following example: we can count schools. teachers. and students. but we cannot count English. or mathematics. or computing. Get the students to suggest other examples like this. or give them more of your own.

Task 6

This activity will introduce them to the Glossary. so start by making sure the students know where it is in the book and how to use it. Ask them to do the exercise in pairs. and check if there are students who are experiencing particular difficulties with the concepts.


1 U 2 U 3 C 4 C 5 C 6 U 7 C 8 C 9 U 10 U

Task 7

Read through the explanation of articles alan. the. and plurals as a class. Get the students to do this activity in pairs. and to compare their answers with another pair when they've finished.


1 a 2 the 3 0 4 0

6 0 7 0 8 ~e 9 0

5 the

10 the

Aids to communication

Students may have already experienced the need for these particular expressions in order to ask questions in class. You may have actually taught some of them. but now is an opportunity to consolidate and practise. Model the pronunciation for the students and get them to repeat chorally or individually after you. Refer to this set of phrases frequently - whenever the students need to ask about language.



Get the students to do this activity in small groups. Monitor the discussions. and encourage students not to use their first language but to ask you for help in English. using the expressions practised above.


1 deSigners/engineers - to design new products or components

2 librarians/ students - to find a book in a library


Task 9

Ask the students to work on this preliminary matching task in pairs, and then to compare with other pairs. There is a certain amount of vocabulary recycling involved here, so they should be able to cope without too much support from you.


banks - control our money, factories - control machines, homes - provide entertainment and information, hospitals - look after patient records and medicines, shops - calculate the bill

Task 10

Ask students to work in pairs, and, if they seem confident. to complete the spaces without looking back at the unit. When they have done as much as they can. let them refer back to the appropriate parts of the unit to check.


1 calculate the bill 2 control machines 3 hospitals

4 controls our money

5 provide entertainment and information



Types of computer

A computer is a device that takes in data, processes it according to a program, and then outputs the processed data in some form. There is an increasing variety of computers of different sizes and designed for different purposes. One of the most important considerations when buying a computer is deciding how it is going to be used.

Computers can be divided into three broad categories: mainframe computers (mainframes), minicomputers (minis). and microcomputers (micros). Mainframes are large. powerful. expensive computers that are operated by a team of professionals and are designed to be used by many people at the same time. The most powerful mainframes are sometimes called supercomputers. Minicomputers are really cut-down mainframes and are no longer very common.

The most common type of computer is the microcomputer. Microcomputers are sometimes caIled personal computers. The abbreviation PC was originally used for microcompu ters produced by IBM Corporation. but it is now sometimes used for other types of personal computer. However, microcomputers produced by Apple Computers Incorporated are not normally referred to as PCs. There is a wide variety of microcomputers but two common types are desktop computers and portables. Desktops are small enough to sit on an office desk and are relatively cheap. They are becoming cheaper and more powerful and are often used for running multimedia programs, i.e. programs that contain some combination of text, sound, high quality graphics. animation. and video. Multimedia computers need to have a sound facility and usually have a CD-ROM drive.

There is an increasing variety of portable micros that can be grouped according to their size. They can usually be powered from batteries and are useful in many different situations. However. as computers get smaller. it becomes increasingly difficult to use them with a keyboard. One of the reasons that notebook portables are popular is because their screens and keyboards are just big


enough to use comfortably for word processing. They can also be powerful enough to be used for multimedia. The relative slze of some of the most common types of computers is indicated below. although there are other types that are not mentioned here and new types are currently being developed.

Supercomputers mainframes Minicomputers


microcomputers (personal computers)


laptops notebooks subnotebooks handhelds palmtops


By the end of this unit. students should be better at: listening for specific information

scanning a text in the form of a table.

They should be able to:

make comparisons using adjectives

use common phrases for agreeing and disagreeing.

They should know and be able to use these words: mainframe. multimedia. notebook. laptop. handheld. PC. minicomputer. monitor. modem.


Task 1

Ask the students to work in pairs or small groups and to brainstorm computer-related vocabularyall the words that they know to talk about computers. Write their suggestions on the board.

You could introduce an element of competition to the activity by awarding points for the number of original words each group can produce. The matching task could then be done individually or in pairs.


1 a 2c 3d 4b 5e 6f

Task 2

Elicit or give some examples. e.g. A journalist would use a laptop when he or she is travelling. Then get the students to work in pairs and give them five minutes to try and find as many examples of who would use each type of computer. Encourage students to ask you. in English. how to say the words that they need.

Key (other answers are possible)

mainframe and minicomputer -large companies. banks, government departments, universities

PC - offices for administration, home and leisure use laptop notebook and handheld - people who travel, businessmen, sales reps, reporters, politicians, etc.


Task 3

Begin by getting the students to read through the two lists of items. and answer any questions about vocabulary. Pause the cassette in the middle. if necessary. and check that the students have got the items in column 1. Then go on to the second half of the piece and column 2.


1 writing, games, Internet

2 sound, graphics, animation, video

Task 4

Make sure students understand that the recording they hear in this exercise is a continuation of the situation in 3 above. (See under Task 5 for key.)

Task 5

The students listen to the same piece again. this time to identify items recommended by the

assistant. This is more difficult as the students have to distinguish between an item being simply mentioned and its being recommended.


A multimedia notebook, subnotebook, handheld, printer, modem

B multimedia computer, notebook, printer, modem


Task 6

Pre-teach common and powerful if you think that your students will not know them. A useful approach to this activity would be to treat it as scanning practice. Encourage students to try and complete the exercise as quickly as possible by first identifying the key words in the questions. then scanning the notes for them. The part of the text containing the key word will usually contain the answer to the question.

1 microcomputers/PCs 2 subnolebook
3 notebook 4 mainframes
5 minicomputers 6 palmtop
7 mainframes/supercomputers 8 handheld Language work

To avoid confusion present the comparative and superlative structures separately, and be sure that students understand the difference in meaning between them. It is also best to teach the regular structures, before you present students with the exceptions (such as good, better. best).

Plenty of practice is the key to mastering comparative structures, so you may want to give the students. or ask them to suggest. other things to compare, such as countries France is bigger than England, Russia is the biggest country in the world, or sports teams. film stars, etc.

Task 7

Encourage the students who finish before the others to make up some computer-related comparative sentences of their own.



1 lighter 3 largest

5 more common 7 less powerful 9 faster

11 more expensive

2 heavier 4 smaller 6 better

8 less expensive 10 cheaper

12 powerful

Aids to communication

You could present this language by making statements, and getting individual students to agree or disagree with you, until the whole class gets the idea about the meaning and usage of the structures. For example, David, I think X is the best football team in the world, do you agree?, Maria, X make the best games software, do you agree? Try to ensure that each student in the class has the chance to agree or disagree with you. If a student disagrees with you, get them to give their own opinion.



With weaker groups, read through the descriptions as a class and explain any difficult vocabulary. They can also refer back to the text in Task 6 for information about different types of computers. Remind them to try and use the structures they have just learnt for agreeing and disagreeing with each other as they discuss solutions.



1 notebook/subnotebook/handheld 2 PC

3 mainframe

4 multimedia PC with modem


Task 9

This writing activity revises comparative structures and could be set as homework. Remind students that it might help them to review the Language work section before they begin.

1 largest 2 most powerful
3 smaller 4 most common
5 less powerful 6 smaller
7 largest 8 smaller
9 smaller 10 smallest 3

Parts of a computer

Most computers consist of an electronic central processing unit (CPU) to which are attached different input devices. output devices. and storage devices. The main parts of a desktop computer are enclosed in a box known as the system unit. This contains an electronic board called the motherboard that holds and connects together the main electronic components. These are shown in the table below.

Processor (microprocessor)

controls the system and processes the data

ROM {Read Only Memory)

stores the program instructions the computer needs to start up

RAM {Random Access Memory)

stores the data being processed

Cache memory

speeds up the processing

The motherboard usually has empty electronic connectors, called expansion slots, into which additional electronic boards (sometimes called expansion cards) can be plugged. This allows extra electronic components to be added. For example, more memory can be added by plugging memory boards (called SIMMS) into the memory slots. Sound facilities can be added by plugging a sound card into an expansion slot. This is one way of upgrading a computer. Another way is to replace the motherboard with a newer and better one. The system unit usually also contains a small speaker (or loudspeaker), the power supply, and some storage devices. These often include: a hard disk drive with a fixed disk that can store a very large amount of data: a floppy disk drive that uses removable floppy disks (diskettes); a CD-ROM drive that is used for reading CD-ROM disks (particularly in multimedia computers). Some other devices may be included in the system unit but most input and output devices are plugged into the back of the system unit using connectors known as ports.

Power is a function of both speed and capacity. The power of a computer depends on the combination of aU the components. When buying a computer. you can often choose between different components. r n particular, you can choose between different processor speeds. amounts of memory and hard disk sizes. Units of measurement commonly used in computing arc shown below.


Symbol Meaning



Hz cycles per second


byte (pronounced like bite)

b space for one character.

i.e. one letter. number, punctuation mark. symbol. or even a space


Hertz are measured using the decimal system but bytes are measured using the binary system. The values of the unit prefixes vary in these two systems as shown in the table below.

Unit Symbol Decimal System Binary System
kilo K 103 = 1000 21°= 1024
mega M IOn = 1000000 220::: 1048576
giga G 109 ::: 23°=
1000000000 1073741824 (MHz::: megahertz. Kb = kilobytes. Mb = megabytes. Gb::: gigabytes)



By the end of this unit, students should be better at: matching pictures of components to their English names and functions

listening for specific detail.

They should be able to:

make simple instructions

use sequence words.

They should know and be able to use these words and abbreviations: byte, kilobyte, megabyte, gigabyte. megahertz, motherboard, port, RAM, ROM, cache memory, expansion card.


Task 1

Photocopy the diagram of the inside of the PC onto a transparency and put it up on an overhead projector. (If you do not have an overhead projector, ask students to look at the diagram in their books. but to cover the vocabulary below.) Get students to brainstorm all the vocabulary they can. Write up the words on the board. When you have elicited as many words as the students can generate without any help, ask them to open their books and label the components in the picture.


1 h 2e 3f 49 5a 6d 7b 8c


Task 2

With more able groups, ask students to try and write their own definitions of the terms given before they look at the Glossary. They could work in pairs or small groups to do this. so as to pool their technical knowledge. (Use the Glossary for answers.)

Task 3

Check that students understand what they are listening for. In order to complete the table they have to identify the components as they are


mentioned. and write in the associated term of measurement for each one. Before attempting the exercise, revise the pronunciation of the terms of measurement from Task 2.


processor = Mhz, RAM = Mb, video memory = Mb. cache memory ~ Kb, hard disk = Gb


Task 4

This could be done in pairs or individually. Students should complete as much as they can before referring to the Glossary for help.



3 cache memory 5 ROM


4 expansion slots

Task 5

You may want to pre-teach the verbs add, remove, and fit before getting students to attempt this exercise. Get them to work in pairs to try and match the instructions with the pictures.


lc 2a 3e 4b 5d

Language work

Making instructions in English involves the use of the imperative or command form of verbs. The imperative has the same form of the verb as the infinitive (without to) and has no subject. Negative imperatives are made by adding do not (don't) in front of the verb. As instructions usually follow a specific sequence, sequence-markers -first, then, next, aiter that. finally, etc. are often used to indicate the correct order. When teaching these. which you can do with reference to the instruction sequence in Task 5 above, point out that after cannot be used on its own, as it can in many other languages. The construction the students should use is after that.

Task 6

Get students to work in pairs to select the appropriate verb for each instruction and put it in the correct form. When you are correcting the exercise, try to elicit more don'ts, such as Don't use a disk without virus checking it. Don't bring food and drink into the computer lab, Don't tell anyone your password to give them more practice with the negative form.


1 put 4 click

2 start 3 select

5 don't exit 6 select/click

Task 7

When the students have established the correct order of the instructions, get them to read out their sequenced list, using the appropriate sequencing expressions. Correct any pronunciation problems. Give them a few minutes to study the text closely, then tell them to close their books, and ask for volunteers to give the instructions in the right order from memory. If they get stuck, start putting up individual words from each sentence on the board to help them.


1 d 2b 3e 4c 5a 6f



Make sure the students know what a por: is. Remind them that they should be looking at the text for the specific information that they need to complete the task, and that it does not matter if they do not understand every word. Set a time limit for them to label the ports in pairs.


1a 2c 3e 4f 5c,d


Task 9

Depending on the level of the group, you may want to go over the exercise in class before setting the actual writing as homework. With more able groups, this would be a good opportunity to introduce the use of the relative pronoun which, and to practise the use of the indicatives this and these. Demonstrate these as ways of avoiding repetition in a text, and making it easier to read.



Keyboard and mouse

A computer can have a variety of input devices. This allows the user to control the computer in different ways, or to put different kinds of data into the computer. The most common input device is the keyboard. Another very common input device is the mouse. This is used to control the computer when the operating system has a graphical user interface. There are different types of mice but the one illustrated in this unit is very common.

The computer keyboard is an electronic device with keys arranged like earlier typewriter keyboards, but with extra keys. Because the output of the keys are controlled by the computer program, their function can vary. For example, the print screen key sometimes copies the screen to memory and sometimes copies it to a printer, depending on the program used. The arrangement of the keys varies but most desktop PCs have an extended keyboard with keys divided into sections including the main keyboard, the function keys. the editing keys, and the numeric keypad.

The connection of computers throughout the world is known as the Internet. This allows users to send electronic mail messages (email) to each other. Each user has his or her own unique email address. The email address is made up of two main parts, the user identifier. and the computer system identifier. For example:

[im.Smith @ ed.ac.uk

(user identifier) (computer system identifier)

The @ sign is used to separate these main identifiers. A dot is used to separate the parts of each identifier. Note that there is usually no dot at the end of an email address.

Linked document pages on the Internet form what is known as the World Wide Web (WWW or WelJ). Each webpage has its own unique address. Web addresses often. although not always, begin with 'http://www' . The two forward slashes are commonly read as double slash. A dot is used to separate each main part of an address. and slashes are used to separate sub-areas of the address.


For example: http://www.mlcrosystems.com/newproducts/ downloads


By the end of this unit. students should be better at: matching a spoken description with a diagram reading for specific detail and reading email addresses aloud

writing a simple description from notes provided.

They should be able to make affirmative and negative statements using the present simple.

They should know and be able to use these words: keyboard. key,fullction. cursor. numeric keypad. print screen, delete. display. full stop, comma, dot. slash.


Task 1

Treat this as a speed reading activity; give students one minute to match the items. For more able groups, write the abbreviations on the board and ask the students to produce the full forms. When you correct the exercise as a class. see how many other abbreviations - computer-related and general - the students can think of.


le 2a 3g 4f 5b 6d 7c


Task 2

Ask the class if they can name any of the sections of the keyboard. Accept any correct answers that the students volunteer. but do not write them up on the

board yet. The purpose of Task 4 is to identify these terms by the associated vocabulary from Tasks 1, 2, and 3 . See Task 4 for key.

Task 3

This is a very quick scanning activity - give the students one minute (or less!) to do it.

Task 4

The students hear a description of the keyboard that they have been looking at, and they have to label each of the four sections. They need to listen for and recognize the names of the various keys, and then link them with the four sections - main keyboard,function keys, editing keys, and numeric keypad. You may already have elicited some or all of these section names from the students in Task 2 above. If not, you can either put them on the board now, or see if they will be able to extract them from the recording themselves.


a function keys c editing keys

b main keyboard d numeric keypad


Task 5

Make sure the students cover the reading text for Task 6 whilst they are doing this exercise.


1 left 3 two

2 (rubber-coated) ball

4 rolls

5 mousemat or pad

Task 6

The students should check their answers in pairs.

Language work

The description of how the mouse works uses the Present simple tense. Explain that this is the tense used to describe actions that are habitual or always true. Write some more examples on the board, for example:

The lesson begins at 9.30 andfinishes at 11.00. ears in the UK drive on the left.

Computers use electricity.

We study English twice a week.

Elicit the difference between the singular and plural of the structure, l.e. that the's' on the end of the verb is used for the Singular. Try to elicit some more examples from the students before going on to introduce the negative form of the present simple using does not (often abbreviated to doesn't) for the singular, and do not (often abbreviated to dOTl't) for the plural. followed by the infinitive form of the verb.

Task 7

Make sure students know that they should correct the false statements by first negating them - This key doesn't move the cursor down - and then giving the correct statement- This key moves the cursor up. Get them to check their answers in pairs before correcting the exercise as a class.


1 Wrong - up 2 Wrong - left

3 Wrong - delete 4 Right

5 Wrong - down

6 Wrong - returns cursor to begining 7 Wrong - capital letters



For this activity, ask the students to work individually or in pairs and to write brief descriptions of the four functions as quickly as they can. If they can do this easily, ask them to write descriptions of the functions of any two other keys. This kind of task could also be set for homework.


1 This key moves the cursor up.

2 This key moves the cursor to the right. 3 This key deletes a character.

4 This key moves the cursor down.



Task 9

Students may be unsure about the English pronunciation of the letters. so take the opportunity to quickly revise the alphabet. before going on to talk about the names of the different symbols and punctuation marks. (The alphabet. like numbers. is a topic that needs to be constantly recycled in order for the students to feel really confident with it. and spelling games are a good way of revising vocabulary as well as being convenient warmers and end-fillers for lessons.) For the symbols exercise itself. ask students to work in pairs to try to complete the table. As a follow-up. and in preparation for Task 10. dictate some email addresses to the whole class. spelling them out letter by letter.


1 : colon

4 / forward slash

2 - tilde 5 @at

3 _ underscore 6 . dot or stop

Task 10

This pair-work exercise gives students the opportunity both to recognize symbols and letters when they hear them. and also to produce them themselves. Put a couple of email addresses on the board to begin with. and ask for volunteers to spell them out. Then get the whole class to do the activity in pairs. Walk round listening. and helping with pronunciation.



Task 11

This writing activity is the most demanding given so far. so prepare it thoroughly in class beforehand if you intend to set it as homework. Give the students time to study the table and encourage them to ask if there is anything they are not clear about. Then read through the opening paragraph of the text together and make sure students understand how the information in the table has been transferred to the full written version. Tell them to use this model to help them to shape their own text.


Interview: Student

This is thefirst of five units in which an interview with a 'real' IT user is the basis for all the activities in the unit.

To get a job in computing. you normally need to have a computing qualification of some kind. Students can study for a wide variety of computing qualifications.

After leaving school. students can study for further qualifications at a college of further education or a university If they have gained enough qualifications at school. they can study for a Higher Sationai Certificate (HNC) or Higher National Diploma (HND) at a college. or a Degree at a university Otherwise. they can attend college to study for a vocational qualification known as a General Vocational Qualification (GVQ). In these GVQ courses. students study a number of subject modules and need to gain a certain number of credits to progress to the next stage. Students can gradually progress through different levels of the G"Q to an HNC. HND. and even a university degree.

There is a wide variety of GVQ courses in computing including Information Technology (IT). Computing Support. and Programming. but students normally choose a courses that has an emphasis on either software and programming. computing support. or business computing. The G\,Q courses can be studied on a part-time or a fulltime basis.

Although it is mostly males that choose to do these courses. females are also strongly encouraged to participate. The female student in this interview is living in Scotland and is at a Scottish technical college of further education studying for a Level 3 General Scottish Vocational Qualification (GSVQ) in Information Technology. The course has a technical computer support bias and involves subjects like software support. hardware support. and networking. The Communications subject is not about technical communications systems. but is about human communication and interaction. The course involves visits to computing departments in commercial organizations. As in most colleges and

universities. there are a number of social activities for the students to enjoy. These are often organized by the Student Union, which is the official body run by students and representing the interests of students. This particular student also has a parttime job in the evening.


By the end of this unit. students should be better at: transferring information from a spoken text to a form

reading a college prospectus for detailed information.

They should be able to use Wh- questions in the Present simple.

They should know and be able to use these words and abbreviations: campus. timetable. information technology (IT). communications. numeracy. accounting. systems analysis. programming.


Task 1

Using the information above. give a brief overview of computing qualifications in Britain. Tell students that they are going to hear an interview with a student of Information Technology from a college of further education in Scotland. Begin by asking for ideas for the different subjects she might be studying. and put them up on the board. Set a time limit for students to scan the text for answers to the first two questions. After getting the feedback for questions one and two. elicit ideas from the class as a whole as to what they think the Communications and Numeracy units might involve.

Give students time to study the text in detail and to ask questions about new vocabulary. They will need much of this language throughout the unit.



1 GSVO Level 3 in information technology 2 one year

3 communication - human communication, use of language

numeracy - basic mathematics, problem-solving


Task 2

This is the longest text that the students have had to listen to so far. so remind them that, as usual. they do not need to understand every word of the spoken text, but should listen for the specific information required. Pause the tape as necessary.


They should have been able to find the answers to the first and second questions inTask 1.

Task 3

Direct the students' attention to the questions and play Part 1 of the interview again.


, fifteen students on the course now 2 three female students

Task 4

Revise days of the week and times. Give the students plenty of time to familiarize themselves with the timetable - they will also need it for the longer listening task below. Tell them to work on the questions in pairs, and walk round helping with vocabulary and any other difficulties they might be experiencing.


1 9 o'clock 4 K302

2 4.30 p.m. 3 Wendy Bright

5 1.30 to 2.30 p.m.

Task 5

Remind students that they can refer to the text on the facing page for a list of all the subjects that Lynsey studies, and how to spell them. Play the recording several times, pausing where appropriate


to give students time to write their answers. Get them to compare their work in pairs before going on to Task 6, but do not provide any answers yourself yet.


Monday - Period 2; Numeracy, Period 3: no class Tuesday - Period 1: Programming, Period 3: no class Wednesday - No classes but they sometimes visit companies

Thursday- Period 3: Hardware

Friday - Period 1; Networks, Period 3; IT in Business and Industry

Task 6

Ask for a volunteer to read the questions aloud, before playing the recording. and check if there is anything the students do not understand. Correct Task 5 and Task 6 together as a class before proceeding with the next activity.


1 communications 4

2 computer languages, like Pascal

3 they learn to use MSDOS and packages, like databases

4 there are no classes, but they sometimes visit


5 they find out about things inside the computer 6 how computers work linked together

7 write a report

Task 7

As above. Give the students enough time to read through the questions. Ask for a volunteer to read them aloud and check if there are any comprehension problems before you play the recording.

1 new students 2 Betty's Bar
3 football 4 organize discos
5 works in a hotel 6 no Language work

Read through the explanation in the text as a class for students to get the general idea. Then go back and read through each section again, eliciting examples of each type of question from the

students. For the who questions, get them to ask about other teachers at your establishment:

Who teaches mathematics? Who works in classroom 4?

If this is not appropriate. elicit questions about famous people, for example, sportsmen and women, singers, and actors:

Who is the captain of Real Madrid? Who is married to Tom Cruise?

For the where does and when does questions, you could elicit a question chain around the class, with students asking questions about where and when members of each other's families work and/or study.

Where does your father work? He works in a bank. When does he work? Every day of the week from nine to five.

When you have elicited at least one of these questions from every student in the class, go on to look at the other types of examples given in the Student's Book.


Get the students to work individually or in pairs to transform the sentences into questions. Remind them to pay attention to the use of do and does. according to whether the sentence is plural or singular. Go round the class and prompt students who are experiencing difficulties with the right question words.


1 What time do they start? 2 Where does she work?

3 Who teaches numeracy?

4 How long do they (the lessons) last? 5 When does she go on visits?

6 Where does she study?

7 How long does it (the course) last? 8 When does she write reports?

9 What do they (does the students' union) organize? 10 When (how often) does she work?


Task 9

If you set this writing activity for homework. you could begin the next lesson by getting students to talk about their timetables. One way of doing this would be to get a question-and-answer cham going round the class. where students have to answer one question about their timetable. and then ask another student a (different) question about his or hers.

What do you have on Monday at 9. 30? On Monday at 9.30. I have statistics. (To next student) What do you have 011 Friday at 12. 30?

On Friday at 12.30 I go home. etc.

H everyone in the class has a very similar timetable. you could make the activity more difficult by setting a time limit. say three seconds. lor the students to come up with the right answer.

Computing words and abbreviations

Task 10

This matching task is also a good revision exercise, since it features items from throughout the first four units. Encourage students to try and match the items from memory. They can refer to the Glossary or look back at Units 1 to 4 for the items they need help with. This might be a good moment to introduce word webs as a way of storing and learning sets of word collocations, since many of the words featured here are commonly used in more than one combination. e.g disk drive. floppy disk. hard disk, etc.


1f memory chip 3b function key 5a barcode

7c disk drive

2d power supply 4e expansion card 6h floppy disk

89 cache memory



Input devices

A variety of input devices can be connected to a computer to allow the user to input different kinds of data and to control the computer in different ways. Some common input devices and their functions are shown in the tables below:

Standard input device




Main input device controlling the computer and inputting text and numerical data.

Cursor control input devices




Common input device for use with a graphical user interface. The mouse has a ball underneath that is rolled on a mousemat.


It is like a mouse turned upside down. The trackerball remains in one position while the user rotates a small ball on top. Often used instead of a mouse on portable computers.

joystick A vertical lever allows the user to control the cursor precisely and at high speed. Particularly good for playing fast action games.

touchscreen The user interacts with the computer by lightly pressing their finger on a touch-sensitive area of . the monitor screen.


Optical input devices




It detects differences in reflected light. It can be used for drawing directly on the monitor screen or for reading printed optical characters or barcodes.

graphics tablet Used with a Iightpen for drawing.

The user draws on the tablet with a Iightpen as if they were drawing on a sheet of paper.

barcode reader A special kind of lightpen for reading barcodes. Barcodes are used to identify items for stock control and pricing.


Used to input text and graphics from a printed page.

digital camera Used to take pictures of an object.

The picture is stored electronically and can be edited using a computer.

Voice input device

Device Comments

microphone Used to input sound.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at making inferences from a text.

They should be able to describe the function of a device.

They should know and be able to use these words: trackerball, joystick, touchscreen, lightpen, lever, graphics tablet, scanner, digital camera, microphone.


Task 1

Get the students to work in pairs or small groups. They should pool their technical knowledge to try and identify what the eight input devices are, and to match them with the correct English term. When you correct the exercise as a class, make sure that everyone understands exactly what each device is and has an idea of its purpose.


a touchscreen

c barcode reader e microphone

g graphics tablet

b trackerball

d digital camera f joystick

h scanner

Task 2

Make sure the students understand that you do not want them to write sentences, just make lists. You could treat this activity as a game by getting the students to work in groups and setting a time limit for them to list as many different uses for each device as they can. The group with the greatest number of correct uses wins.



joystick barcode reader graphics tablet digital camera


computer games reads barcode labels drawing

like a film camera but can input photographs directly to a computer controls the cursor like a mouse inputs drawings, photographs, and texts

allows cursor to be controlled by

touching the screen.. . " .

inputs sound

trackerball scanner




Task 3

Before you play the recording get the students to identify the devices shown in the diagram - microphone, speech recognition board, monitor, etc., and ask someone to explain binary code.

Task 4

Play the recording through without stopping the first time, and tell the students not to write anything but just to listen and identify. The second time, pause after each piece of information to give the students time to make any necessary corrections.


1b 2e 3d 4a 5c



Get students to give examples of the sort of clues they should look for to help them decide which devices the texts refer to. For example: trackerball-look for ball and rolls

lightpen -look for draw and light

They should start off working individually, but when they have completed their tables, get them to compare their answers in pairs. Go over the answers as a class, and then get the students to fill in the gaps in the texts, and read the completed versions aloud.


1 joystick 3 lightpen

2 trackerball 4 scanner

Language work

There are many different ways to describe function. The four examples given here use a variety of grammatical structures.

The Passive voice is employed here in order to emphasize the importance of the object of the sentence, (and its use), over that of the subject (the user). This is because we are interested in the


function of the devices, what they are used for; not the identity of the people who use them.

The passive is formed with the verb to be in its appropriate form and the past participle of the main verb (in this case, use - used).

For example:



A microphone is used for inputting sound

Joysticks are used in computer games

A mouse is usedjor controlling the cursor

Barcodes are used in supermarkets for indicating prices

When you are going through this structure with your students, put plenty of examples on the board, and try to elicit more from the class. Do not forget to draw their attention to the ing ending on the verb after the prepositionfor.

Can is used in two different structures. The first is a conventional structure that the students should have no problems with:

You can use an X to ...

The second structure may appear strange to students at first, but it is easily transferable:

Using an X. you can ...

Give the students plenty of examples, and elicit examples from them.

Task 6

The students should now be familiar with the uses of all the input devices and will only need a few minutes for this exercise.


1f 2a 3b 4g 5e 6d 7c

Task 7

Students work individually or in pairs to make sentences to describe the use of each device. They should write the sentences down. When they have finished, go through the exercise with the whole class and elicit as many variations as possible for each sentence.



1 A joystick is used for moving the cursor rapidly. 2 Lightpens are used for drawing pictures on a

computer screen.

3 You can use a scanner to copy documents.

4 Using a digitial camera, you can produce photos

without film.

5 You can use a mouse to select from a menu. 6 A keyboard is used to input text.

7 A microphone is used to input sound.


Task 8

If students seem confident, put the list of uses up on the board, and get them to choose the best device for each situation from memory, with their books closed. They should work in pairs or small groups. Encourage them to try and carry out all discussion in English. Go round the class and help. If any groups get stuck, let them refer to the book for ideas. You could ask them to write their solutions down as part of the exercise, or to write them up afterwards for homework.

1 joystick 2 barcode reader
3 scanner 4 mouse
5 digital camera 6 microphone
7 keyboard Writing

Task 9

If you set this task for homework, study the diagrams with the students in class first. Go through the processes the diagrams represent and teach new vocabulary.

1 download 2 PC
3 change 4 print
5 website 6 display
7 expensive 8 processing
9 download 10 processing
11 better 12 scan 7

Output devices

It is common for people to spend long periods of time in front of a computer. This can be detrimental to their health unless they follow a few simple guidelines. It is important that they remain relaxed and comfortable and that they avoid eyestrain. To achieve this, they must have appropriate furniture, lighting, and computer equipment - and must make sure that it is positioned correctly. The term workstation is sometimes used to describe a very powerful desktop computer but in this unit it refers to the furniture and environment used for working with a computer.

A printer is avery common output device. It is used to print the computer output on paper. Colour printers are available but most printing is done using a mono printer that prints only in black. There are three main kinds of printers: dot-matrix, inkjet, and laser. Each type of printer has its own advantages and disadvantages.

A monitor is the most common type of output device. It displays the output from the computer on a screen. Because the user sees the computer in action using the monitor screen, the quality of the monitor can make a tremendous difference to the way the user interacts with the computer and feels about the computer. The display image on a monitor screen can be thought of as being made up of a series of dots. The quality of the image depends on a number of factors including:


Affected by

the number of dots

the resolution

the space between dots the aperture grill pitch (or dot pitch)

how often the dots are the refresh rate

refreshed by the beam

of light

the size of the dots

the size of the screen and the resolution

Although technical factors are discussed in this unit, subjective preferences are important when choosing a monitor. The only way to choose a good monitor is by trying to use it.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: reading monitor advertisements

listening and note-taking.

They should be able to use structures for giving advice in English.

They should know and be able to use these words: monitor, printer, dot-matrix, laser, inkjet, resolution, grill pitch.


Task 1

Draw a rough sketch of a workstation on the board, and get the students to brainstorm vocabulary to describe the different parts of it. Encourage them to include' easy' general English words like chair and window.

When you come to the matching exercise, remind students not to worry about vocabulary they are unsure of - they should be able to complete the activity successfully without understanding all the words.


a5 b7 c2 d6 e3 f4 g1'


Task 2

Ask someone from the class to tell you what the three different types of printer are called. Explain


that you are going to hear a recording about the differences between them. When the students are in their groups of three and it is established who is A, B, and C, study the table together as a class, and make sure students understand the headings. Before you play the recording, make sure students are clear that they are only listening for miormation about one type of printer. (Note that the text about the laser is the most difficult.)

Task 3

Before the students exchange information, elicit the question they should ask for each heading. Establish that the question for colour (not given) could be Can it print in colour? Whilst they are doing the exercise, go round the class monitoring for common mistakes or problems.


Task 4

Before you ask students to read the text, revise numbers, including the pronunciation of decimals, and how to talk about measurements. Explain that an inch is about 2.5 centimetres.

Get them to do the true/false comprehension exercise as individuals, and compare their answers in pairs afterwards. The following procedure is useful:

I Decide what are the key items in the eight statements, e.g. in number one monitors, twenty-

two inches, common. :

2 Scan the text to find any reference to these items, e.g. monitors occurs in the text under the heading price, where we also find the adjective common, and a selection of measurements.

3 Read the part of the text where the reference is in more detail and decide whether it agrees with the statement, e.g. twenty-two inches is not included in the list of measurements - we can conclude correctly that number one is, therefore, false.


1 F 2 F 3T 4T 5 F 6T 7 F 8T


Task 5

Give the students a minute to look at the table in the Student's Book. Elicit the questions that they would need to ask to obtain the information under each heading, e.g. What's the screen size? or How big is the screen? How much does it cost? etc. Then get them to do the pair-work exercise.

Language work

Make sure students are clear about what advice is. Introduce the first two structures, and explain the difference between them, i.e. I think you should is softer and less direct than Why don't you? Explain that adding a reason makes advice more effective, and then give lots of examples.

Why don't you get a new computer? Your old one is too slow.

I think you should buy a new printer. This one is too expensive to run.

Why don't you wlite down new vocabulary. Then you can revise it.

Invent a situation or a problem, e.g. Mario's very tired, and ask the class what advice they could give in this situation. For example:

I think you should go to bed early. Why don't you take some exercise? I think you should go out less.

Supply prompts if the students are not capable of generating the language themselves. Finally, ask everyone to write down a piece of advice for their partner.

Once students have got used to using the structures for giving positive advice, you can introduce and practise the negative structures fairly quickly. If the students are not already familiar with it, teach and practise the use of too.

Task 6

Tell students to use the language from Task 1 to help them suggest improvements for user of the workstation in the picture. Th{y should transform each of the imperative statements, e.g. Use afoot rest into an offer of advice with, if possible, a reason,

e.g. You should use afoot rest. Your chair is too high.

Get the students to do this in pairs, and go round the class helping where required. When they've finished, take some sample exchanges from around the group and invite comments from the other students.


Task 7

Elicit the names of the three different types of printer studied in Task 2. See how much the students can remember about them without looking at their books. Then get the students to work in pairs and, using the flowchart to help them, decide on the best type of printer for each of the people described. Give them the structure This person should buy an X because ... You could ask them to write their solutions down as part of the exercise, or to write them up afterwards for homework.


1 dot-matrix

3 colour laser 5 colour-inkjet

2 mono-laser 4 mono-inkjet



Before you begin this activity, revise comparative structures, or tell students to look back at the Language work section in Unit 2. The factual information about the printers is in the table they filled in for Task 2, but students should be quite familiar with it by now.

This text is based closely on the listening text (Task 3). When students have finished, play the recording again, and get students to correct their written work by listening to the recorded text.

1 cheapest 2 but 3 noisy
4 cheap 5 more 6 better
7 slow 8 expensive 9 best
10 faster 11 types 12 less
13 cost 14 much 27


Storage devices

The electronic memory inside a computer is of limited capacity and can only hold data when the computer is switched on. A storage device is used to store data that is not being processed and to save data when the computer is switched off. There are a variety of storage devices and storage media available. These include magnetic devices (e. g. floppy disk drives, hard disk drives, tape drives), optical devices (e.g. CD-ROM drives), and magneto-optical drives.

Disks have to be treated with care if you do not want to damage them or the data stored on them. Damage can be caused by physical strain, dust, smoke particles, fingermarks, sunlight, heat, and magnetism, depending on the type of media used. When in use, a disk rotates at high speed and a read/write head is brought very close to its surface. If the disk is removed when the drive is in use, the read/write head and the disk surface may be damaged. If extra labels are attached to the disk, it can very easily get stuck in the drive. In this case, it should not be removed forcibly in case the drive mechanism or the surface of the disk is damaged. A hard disk is particularly easily damaged because it contains more than one disk and read/write

head. The read/write heads are extremely close to the surfaces of the disks and the disks spin at a very high speed. Even a small smoke or dust particle can destroy the drive. It is therefore enclosed in a vacuum sealed case. If a hard disk suddenly fails completely. the disk is said to have crashed.

When comparing storage devices, the following factors have to be taken into account.

What is the storage cost per megabyte?

How fast are they at reading and writing data? What is their maximum storage capacity?

Are they used by the people you need to exchange data with?

Do they conform to a standard? Are they fixed or removable?

Are they read only or read and write? Do they use random or serial access?


It is important to keep backup copies of stored data. Magnetic tape is often used because it is very cheap and can hold extremely large amounts of data. It is common to use a backup scheme where a number of tapes are used in rotation.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: listening for specific information

reading a text for main points and reporting these orally.

They should be able to use linking words.

They should know and be able to use these words: floppy/hard disk drive, drive motor, read/write heads, sealed case, magneto-optical disk, magnetic tape.


Task 1

Try and elicit some rules for CD-ROM and floppy disk care from the students before they start the exercise.


1.1 2.1 3X· 4X 5.1 6.1 7 X 8X 9X

Note 7: Extra labels can come off and damage the disk drive.


Task 2

This brief vocabulary exercise will enable the students to visualize more effectively the description they are going to hear. Get the students to work individually or in pairs to match the vocabulary items with the labelled sections of the diagram. Check for comprehension of gap and sealed. Don't correct the task until you have completed Task 3.



Task 3

Pause the tape as required to give the students time to write.


1 d 2e 3c 4b 5f 6a

Task 4

Students might have the technical knowledge to answer these questions, but have difficulty generating the vocabulary (although some of it has already been given to them). Get them to work individually or in pairs to prepare written answerseither in note form or full sentences. Encourage them to use dictionaries to look up words they don't know. For a weaker group, you could put some key words on the board, such as, for example dust, fingerprints, sealed. Don't correct the task until you have completed Task 5.

Task 5

As usual, let the students listen to the recording more than once. Give them some time for corrections they might want to make to their original answers. Then ask for volunteers to read out their answers.


1 dust, smoke, fingerprint, hair 2 tiny

3 it's in a sealed case


Task 6

Ask students to close their books and give them a few minutes to make a list of different kinds of storage devices mentioned in the course so far. Then tell them to add to the list any other kinds of storage devices that they know about. Ask for feedback and put the words on the board.


Mentioned in this unit: CD-ROM, floppy disk, hard disk

Others: double density floppy, DVD, high density floppy, magneto-optical disk, magnetic tape, removable magnetic disks

Task 7

If the group is fairly able and motivated, get them to cover the text and see how much of the table they can complete from their own general knowledge before they do the reading activity. When students come to work in threes, you could photocopy the page and cut it into three sections. This would ensure that each students focuses entirely on his or her given texts and does not try to read the others. Give them as much time as they need to read their texts and to complete the related sections of their tables.


If you are working with an able group, give them a few minutes to learn the information in their texts. Check that there are no comprehension problems. Then tell students to put the texts aside, and that they are not allowed to look at them during the information exchange. Weaker groups will need to check information in their texts in order to answer questions about it, but emphasize that this is a speaking, and not a reading activity. Go through the question forms. Then start the information gap activity: they have to complete the missing information in their tables by asking other students questions.

Explain that they should also ask regarding any information they are not sure of, for example, any parts of the table they filled in just using their own general knowledge. When they have finished, put the table up on the board, and elicit the correct answers.

Medium Advantages Disadvantages
Floppy disk standard, portable slow, limited
cheap capacity
Fixed hard fast, large capacity fixed, cannot use
disk to transfer data
Removable fast, large capacity expensive,
hard disk can transferdata not standard, not common CD-ROM disk common, standard, read-only,

removable, large cannot change

capacity, cheap information, slow

removable, large expensive,

capacity, can be not standard

written on,


Magnetooptical disk

Magnetic tape

cheap, stores large slow, no random

amounts of data access


Language work

Linking words are essential in order to express anything more than the very simplest ideas. The words and phrases presented in this section are a collection of the most basic ones - but, because, so, however, therefore,for this reason. Introduce the items one by one, and provide plenty of examples of each. To provide practice in using linking devices, take the opportunity to revise examples from earlier units. Put some sentences on the board in two columns.



They are very powerful.

Large companies use mainframes.

Notebooks are easy to They are popular with

carry. salespeople.

Palmtops are very light. They are difficult to type with.

Get the students to link items from column A with items from column B, by adding either but, however, so, or because. Tell them to look for words in column A which are related to words in column B, and to think of what that relationship is. Between the fact that mainframes are very powerful and the fact that companies use them, for example, the relationship is one of result, the link word is because. Between the positive fact that palmtops are light and the negative fact that they are diffcult to type with, the relationship is contrast, the link word is but, and so on. This should make it easier for them to choose the appropriate word to link these ideas.

Task 9

This exercise is similar to the suggested practice exercise above. Remind students to look at the relationship between the ideas in the two halves of sentences that need to be linked, e.g. the relationship between cheap and slow in the first sentence is one of contrast, so the appropriate link word is but.

Key (other answers are possible)

1 but 2 but 3 so

4 but 7 but 10 but

5 however 8 but

11 therefore

6 so

9 Forthis reason



Task 10

Give the students as much time as they need to fill in the table, since it is a visual aid to understanding the text. Then get them to answer the questions.


TABLE 2 Tuesday 4 Thursday 5 Friday 1
7 Friday 3 8 Month 1 10 Month 3
QUESTIONS 1 Friday 2 2 Month 1
3 Thursday 4 Monday
5 Month 2 Speaking

Task 11

Prepare students for this exercise by revising large numbers. A good way of doing this is a simple number dictation round the class. Each student thinks of a number and says it aloud in turn whilst the other membersof the class write it down. Read the preparatory text together as a class, and make sure students know how to pronounce the units of capacity before you let them begin the pair work.


Graphical User Interface

An operating system is a group of programs that tell a computer how to perform basic functions, e.g, how to respond when a key on the keyboard is pressed, how to display a character on the monitor screen, or how to read and write to a disk. The operating system is started automatically when a computer is switched on. It is then used to start up and control other programs. The operating system determines how the user interacts 'with the computer. Some operating systems require the user to type commands, but an operating system with a graphical user interface (Gill) makes it easier for the user to control the computer. The most common type of graphical user interface is a WIMP (windows, icons, menus, pointer) system, such as Microsoft Windows or the Apple Mac operating system. It should be noted that the recycle bin icon used in the Microsoft Windows system has the same function as the trashcan icon used in the Apple Mac system, l.e, to access the program that stores deleted files, and allow them to be recovered.

When information has to be given to the user or information has to be input by the user, a window known as a dialog box is often used. Notice that the American spelling of dialog is commonly used in this context, although the British spelling dialogue is also found. Other American spellings such as disk and program are also commonly used in computing. Dialog boxes can contain a variety of elements to gather information from the user including: text boxes, drop-down list boxes, checkboxes, and command buttons. A Find dialog box is used to gather information from the user about the files they wish to find. Note that you can search for a piece of text in a file, or search for a file in a folder, but you search for a file on a disk.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: listening for specific detail

identifying definitions in a text.

They should be able to:

make definitions using defining relative clauses use simple phrases to discuss possibilities.

They should know and be able to use these words and abbreviations: Gil], Window, icon, pointer, menu, interface, dialog box, text box, checkbox, title bar, tab, recycle bin, arrow pointer, drag and drop.


Task 1

Before students begin this unit, draw or project an image of a standard computer screen onto the board. This could be your own computer screen or that of one of your students. Explain what a Gm, or graphical user interface, means. Elicit or teach the following basic vocabulary for what they see in front of them screen, window, and icons. Also establish that the bar at the top of the screen is the title bar and the buttons on it are tabs. Although they are dealt with in greater detail further on in the unit, if these five basic terms are clear in the students' heads from the beginning, they will find the tasks much easier. They can then go on to try and identify the icons in Tasks 1 and 2. Remind students that most icons have some resemblance to the things they represent.

Task 2

Students may already have identified some or all of these icons in Task 1. If so, try and give them clues to help them classify any remaining unidentified icons.


a keyboard c modem

e drawing program g printer


k network

b date and time d f h

recycle bin

mouse volume folder



Task 3

As always, the purpose of a preliminary prelistening task like this one is to create expectations for the students to 'check' when they do the listening task. With less able groups, revise title bar and tab (which you taught them at the beginning of the unit) before beginning the exercise. This will make it easier for them to identify the remaining features.

Task 4

Teach or revise the prepositions and prepositional expressions - at the top, near the top, at the bottom, between - before you play the recording. Pause in the appropriate places to give the students time to write their answers. Play the text a second time to allow for corrections.


1d 2b 3f 4a 5e 6c

Task 5

Give the students some time to attempt the next two tasks from memory and from their own understanding before playing the recording again for them to check and complete their answers.


1d 2a 3b 4c

Task 6


1d 2c 3a 4b


Task 7

This is a pre-reading task, which is intended to help make the following reading text more easily accessible. Give students a short time to study the diagram. Then ask for volunteers to show where each of the items is on the diagram.



With more able groups, or as a revision or follow-up exercise, you could give the students a certain amount of time to read the text, then ask them to produce the definitions themselves from memory, with their books closed. To make this easier, you could provide key words for each item, and ask the students to form sentences, e.g. menu =list, choices.


1 Menus give the user a list of choices.

2 The interface is the connection between the user and the computer.

3 A window is an area of the computer screen where you can see the contents of a folder, a file, or a program.

4 An active window is the one in use.

5 The pointer is the arrow you use to select icons or to choose options from a menu.

6 Icons are small pictures on the screen.They represent progams, folders, or files.

Language work

Before students look at the text, put the two sentences about icons on the board.

An icon is a small picture on a computer screen. An icon represents items such as floppy disks.

Ask students how you could express these two ideas in one sentence, without repeating the word icon. When you have elicited or taught the use of whichi.e. An icon is a small picture on a computer screen which represents items such asfloppy disks- go through the other examples together as a class. Get the students to read them aloud and write them down.

Task 9

This exercise gives students the opportunity to practise the use of which, and also recycles vocabulary from earlier units.


1d 2f 3h 4g 5i 6e 7b 8j 9c 10a

Task 10

Students may prefer to do this activity individually, but encourage them to compare their answers in pairs. Remind them that they can refer back to earlier tasks in the unit, and even earlier units to help them with vocabulary for their definltions. When they have finished, get them to compare their own definitions for these terms, with those provided in the Glossary.


Task 11

Teach the Aids to Communication phrases in the box at the top of page 41 before beginning this pairwork exercise. This gives students some useful phrases for offering their ideas in English, whilst working in pairs. A good way to do this might be to part draw the objects on the board, and ask students to guess what they are. Add features gradually so that they can refine their guesses. This will create the need for language with which to make guesses or tentative suggestions. Emphasize that they should try to use this language when they are working together!


1f 2g 3e 4b 5a 6d 7c


Task 12

The text revises important characteristics and features of a dialog box, and could either be done in class or set for homework. It is the first time that the students have been asked to write a piece of sustained prose, so make sure that they are quite clear about the facts. If necessary, go through the questions orally before they start writing. They should first write answers separately for each question, then think about ways in which they could be linked together to make a paragraph.

Key (other answers are possible)

The screen shows the ExitWindows dialog box.You use this box to close down and exit the Windows program.The dialog box contains two command buttons: OK and Cancel.You close down by clicking on the OK button.You return to the Windows program by clicking on the Cancel button.




Computing Support Assistant

Organizations that have a large number of computers normally have a technical support department of some kind. The computing support staff in these departments have a range of responsibilities, including the purchase and installation of computer hardware and software, setting up, managing and maintaining network systems, troubleshooting computing problems, and designing and adapting software. They also train users in the use of both equipment and software.

The person being interviewed in this unit is a Computing Support Assistant and is likely to be involved with basic troubleshooting problems. Problems can occur in any area but printing problems are very common. This is probably because printers are partly mechanical and the moving parts are more likely to give problems. The alignment and condition of the paper is important, and it is not uncommon for the paper to get stuck in the mechanism causing what is known as a paper jam.

General purpose office programs, such as word processors, spreadsheets, and databases usually have a large number of features, many of which are rarely used. Users often need help to find out how to operate these features. In PC systems it is also not uncommon for memory problems to occur, particularly if the user is using a large number of programs at the same time. Memory problems often cause the computer to stop functioning. When this happens, the computer is said to have hung or frozen, although the term frozen usually refers to the display screen.

It is important for the computing support staff to be able to communicate with users as well as keep up to date with current technical knowledge about hardware and software. Computing is changing at an accelerating pace and it is difficult for support staff to keep up with all the changes. Ways that this computing support assistant uses to keep in touch with developments include attending courses, using the Internet, and reading current magazines.



By the end of this unit, students should be better at listening to an interview for specific detail.

They should be able to use adverbs of frequency. They should know and be able to use the following words and expressions: freeze, crash, jam, paper jamming, virus, toner, support, support assistant, course.


Task 1

Ask students what are the most common problems they experience working with their own computers, and what they do about them. In a monolingual group, this discussion could take place in the mother tongue, with the teacher supplying a list of key phrases in English. Alternatively, ask the students to brainstorm in groups, all the words they know for describing computer problems. After you have got feedback from the original discussion, ask the students to list what kind of problems Anne, who works with non-computer specialists, might have to deal with.


Task 2

Get the students to look through the list of problems 1 to 9 and check these with the list you have established on the board. Explain any new vocabulary before doing the exercise.


1/ 2./ 3X 4v' 5X 6,1 U 8X 9X

l l



Task 3

Before starting the exercise, get students to close their books and brainstorm ways of how to keep up with new developments in computing. Put their ideas on the board, then get them to compare with the list in the Student's Book. Explain any new vocabulary before doing the exercise.


1X 2/ 3X 4.f 5.1 6.1 7 X

Language work

A good way to introduce adverbs of frequency is to write them d01<VD. the side of the board next to a scale, where, for example, always is 100%, sometimes 50%, and never 0%. This allows students to see clearly the place of the adverbs whose meanings are less absolute, and avoids confusion. Usually, for example, will go in on the scale at about 90%, above often, which should be at about 75%. Present the adverbs by giving lots of examples from everyday life, and eliciting similar ones from the students. Write their examples on the board.

Elicit the rule for the position of the adverb of frequency in a sentence. Tell students to look carefully at the sentences on the board. They should notice that adverbs of frequency come directly in front of the verb in most sentences, but they come directly after the verb to be.

Task 4

Less able students should do the exercise using the example sentence as a transferable model. and simply change the adverb of frequency in each case, e.g. There were usually problems with the printers. There were never problems with the monitors, etc. With more able students, try to elicit some alternative constructions, e.g. She sometimes had problems with the network. The network was sometimes a problem. Encourage students to use a variety of structures.

Key (other answers are possible)

There were always problems with printers. There were never problems with monitors. Occasionally cabling was a problem. Scanners were almost never a problem.

She sometimes had problems with the network. Spreadsheets occasionally were a problem.

There were sometimes problems with databases. Usually there were problems with word processing.

Computing words and abbreviations

Task 5

This revision exercise is a chance to recycle vocabulary from earlier chapters. Students should try to do the classification exercise without looking back in their books, and compare answers in pairs before correcting.



joystick lightpen scanner digital camera keyboard microphone

Output laser printer dot-matrix printer

inkjet printer monitor


floppy disk

fixed hard disk removable hard disk CD-ROM disk magneto-optical disk magnetic tape

Task 6

This is another useful revision exercise. When the students have completed the original matching activity, you could exploit this language in other ways. For example, tell students to close their books, and put the definitions up on the board, with the verbs missing. Get the students to copy them down, supplying the appropriate verbs themselves.


1 c 2a 3b 4f 5e 6h 7 g 8d



Weaker students may need additional support for this exercise. Let them have access to the tapescript of the interview at the beginning of the unit, and provide help in structuring their answers.

Key (other answers are possible)

Anne is a Computing Support Assistant. She helps with any problems people have with their computers. She likes all aspects of her job because it's varied. People have problems with the hardware, often with printers. They have problems finding options. Occasionally a computer freezes because of a memory problem. She keeps up with new developments by reading magazines, using the Internet, and going on/taking courses. She goes on courses on the operating system and on software.




It is common to connect computers together to form a network. This is usually done by connecting cables to an electronic board called a network interface card (NIC) in each computer. Networks make communication between users possible and allow software and hardware to be shared. They also make it easier to maintain and control a large number of computers. A network that is connected over a small area-e.g. one building-is called a local area network (LAN), and a network connected over a large area, e.g. different buildings, different cities, or even different countries, is known as a wide area network (WAN). The most common network arrangement is known as a client/server system. The main computers that provide a service on the network are called servers, and the other computers that use the services are called clients.

The physical arrangement of the network is known as the network topology. Three common topologies are known as star, ring, and bus. A star topology has each computer individually connected to a central hub. The hub may be the main server computer, but is more often an electronic device that is used for connecting all the computers together. A ring topology has all the computers connected in a closed loop, and a bus topology has all the computers connected to a main cable that is terminated at each end. A mesh topology, where every computer is connected to every other computer, is not commonly used. Most networks use a mixture of topologies since each arrangement has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Passwords are commonly used to restrict access to a network and keep the system secure. Each user of a network is given an account name and password, which determine what services are made available to them. Passwords are supposed to prevent unauthorized users, or hackers, from breaking into the system, so they must not be easy for outsiders to guess. At the same time, they should not be too difficult for the user to remember. Ideally, they should have a minimum of six characters, and be composed of a mixture of capital and small letters,


numbers, and symbols. Certain symbols have to be avoided because they have special meaning in computer systems. It is better not to use words in the dictionary or proper names, since some hackers use special computer programs which automatically try all the words and combinations of words in a computerized dictionary to try to discover or crack other users' passwords. It is also useful to change passwords frequently.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: scanning a text for information

matching diagrams with a spoken description linking information in text and diagrams to infer new information.

They should be able to make simple predictions using the structure If X happens, Y will happen:

They should know and be able to use these words and abbreviations: LAN, WAN, ring/bus/star topologies, hub, server, password, network.


Task 1

The diagram shows a typical LAN in a small health centre. Ask students to do this exercise individually, and compare their answers in pairs or groups. With a more advanced class, you could treat the exercise as a problem-solving activity. Put a Simplified version of the diagram up on the board. Draw boxes to represent the five rooms, but do not show any hardware or connections. Ask the students to work in groups and to decide what the doctors, receptionists, and practice manager would need in terms of hardware and connections. Get the groups to feedb ack their ideas to the class, before allowing them to compare their solutions with the diagram.


1 staff of a health centre: doctors, receptionists, and practice manager

2 five pes, a server, a laser printer, and a dot-matrix printer (for prescriptions, which require special paper)

3 checking patients' records, checking drug information and appointments, emailinq other practices, hospitals, and the local health board

4 making appointments, updating patient records, emailing

5 finance- practice accounts, salaries, etc.

Task 2

Give the students a short time to discuss this in pairs and then take some suggestions from around the class.


LANs are found in schools, colleges, hotels, department stores, businesses, etc. Some people even have their homes networked.


Task 3

Questions I and 2 can be answered from the diagram. Students can make a guess at 3 and 4. Get some feedback from the class on their ideas before letting them read the text in Task 4 to check their answers. See Task 4 for key.

Task 4

The texts here in 4 and in 5 are extracts from a guide to networks written for business people.


1 two or more computers linked togetherto allow users to share files, software, and hardware.

2 server, clients, hub.

3 LANs operate in limited areas. WANs operate across countries and continents.

4 easy communication and information sharing; allow expensive software and hardware to be shared.


This activity aims to develop inference skills. It requires students to combine text and visual information.


1 server

3 peripherals

4 hub

2 client


Task 6

Pre-teach mesh and bus by drawing the shapes on the board. Once students have realized that the name of each different type of topology is determined by its shape, they should find the matching task easier. Do not correct until students have done Task 7.

Task 7

Tell the students that they are now going to hear a description of three of the four topologies. Note that, as mentioned in the introduction to this unit, the mesh topology is not commonly used. It is therefore not described here.


1d 2c 3a 4b


Before you play the recording for a second time give the students some time to read through the six statements. Ask them to work in pairs and see how many statements they can match to a topology from memory, and by process of deduction. Then play the recording for students to complete their answers and check them.


1 ring 4 star

2 bus 5 ring

3 bus 6 bus

Language work

VVritetbreeacnons andtbreeconsequences on the board like this:



The cable fails.


You won't get access to the network.

You will lose the information.

The whole network willfail.

You don't use the right password.

You don't save your document.

Ask the students to link each action with its consequence. Mark the correct links on the board and demonstrate how we link an action and a consequence using if ... Then ask the students to link the other two examples in the same way. Underline, or get one of the students to underline, the verb forms, and elicit the rule about sequence of tenses - the action clause is in the present tense, the consequence clause in the future tense. Teach or revise the formation of the future tense, particularly the use of the short form of will-'ll (which is used more in spoken than in written English), and of will not 7." won't. As a preliminary practice exercise, ask students to complete these predictions:

If you don't study hard ...

If you spill coffee on the keyboard ... If you touch a live wire ...

Task 9

This task not only practises the language function that the students have just learnt (predicting consequences), but it also revises some of the topics from previous units in the book. Tell students to refer back to the relevant unit if they are not sure of the facts for any of the answers.


19 2e 3f 4h 5a 6c 7i 8b 9j 10d

Task 10

As in the previous exercise, the students may have to look back in the book to find information or the vocabulary they need.


1 ... the dialog box will close 2 If you don't select cancel ...

3 ... you will not/won't get access to the network 4 If there is a printer fault ...

5 '" it will damage your eyesight.



Task 11

Before the students start the task, pre-teach or revise character mixture, capita1letter, sma11letter, space, hyphen, dot, symbol.

This activity is best done in groups; then compare answers with the whole class. Disagreement will provide good opportunity for language use and acquisition. As a follow-up, ask students to devise a new password for themselves, and explain their choice.


1 no numbers

2 common name and too short 3 too short

4 dictionary word

5 not easy to remember 6 includes a dot

7 no capitals

8 good: correct length, mixture of numbers, capital and small letters, fairly easy to remember.


Task 12

Weaker students may need help with this activity. If you think your class will find it difficult, give them the beginning of each of the remaining sentences in the description.

1 The hardware consists of ...

2 There is a PC in each ... 3 The printers and

the server ...

More advanced students could be asked to find out about and write a description of the LAN in your college or university.

4 The receptionists use it for ...

S The doctors ....

6 The practice manager ...



Users often want to send messages from one network to another or to computers at the other side of the world. This can be done using a variety of communications links. Normal copper telephone wires can be used over short distances but shielded cable called coaxial cable or coax can be used for longer distances. However; coax has largely been replaced by even faster cable known asfibre optics or fibre optic cable. (Note that the American spelling of fibre isfiber.) Fibre optic cable uses glass fibres to conduct a beam of laser light. To transmit signals long distances around the world satellites are often used. The signal is transmitted and received by earth-satellite stations positioned at suitable locations over the earth's surface. Microwave transmissions are another means of transmitting signals from one microwave station to another.

An increasingly popular way of communicating using computers is voicemail. In this system, spoken messages are sent to a server computer where they are stored in areas called voice mailboxes. When the user connects to their mailbox they can listen to the stored messages.

Video conferencing is a more advanced form of communication by computer, which enables meetings to take place over long distances. Video cameras are used at each end of the communications link so that the participants can see and hear each other. The end of the link nearest a user is called Near End and the end of the link furthest from the user is called Far End. Each user has a keypad that enables them to control features of the system, for example to make or end a call, adjust the sound volume, and zoom the camera in to get close-up views, or zoom it back for a broader perspective. An additional display feature, called picture-in-picture, allows one image to be displayed inside another image.

When a piece of text is scanned using a scanner input device, an image of the text is input to the computer and displayed on the screen. It is not possible to change or edit the displayed text using a

word processor, however, because the image is graphical, not digital. An optical character recognition (OCR) program must be used to convert the text image into digital text characters thatcan be edited. To identify a scanned text character, the software compares the character image to stored data about the shape of standard characters. It is easier for the OCR software to recognize the scanned characters if they are printed using block capitals and are not too small. If a text is written in 'joined-up' writing, it is more difficult for the OCR to identify because there are extra lines and loops between the letters.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: listening and reading for detailed information explaining rules orally.

They should be able to describe procedures using the present passive.

They should know and be able to use these words: voicemail. video conjerencing, telephone lines, fibre optic cable, microwave station, earth satellite, relay, send, transmit.

Tuning in

Task 1

Before students look at the task, very briefly elicit some ideas from the class about the ways in which the San Francisco and Geo;rgia departments could communicate and share information. Then ask them to work individually or in pairs to match the list of items a-e with the diagram.


1 a.h 2b,g 3c,f 4d 5e


Task 2

Set a time limit and ask the students to work in pairs. They should try and write down as many organizations which use long-distance computer communications to exchange information as they can.


Examples: airlines, news agencies, weather forecasting, shipping lines.


Task 3

Elicit from the class what voicemail is. Find out if anyone knows what analogue and digital signals are before you let students look them up in the Glossary. You may also need to pre-teach caller and recipient. Note that on the diagram, analogue signals are shown by sine waves, and digital signals by square waves. When they have completed the matching task, ask the students to write a simple description of how a voicemail system works using only the diagram.


1b 2d 3a 4c

Task 4

This provides practice in listening for detailed information. Start by quickly revising telling the time, and give students some practice in reading times out loud, e.g. 8.15 - eight-fifteen or a quarter past eight, 8.30 - eight-thirty or half-past eight, 8.45 - eight-forty-five or a quarter to nine.

Make sure they have enough time to read the questions and that they understand the situation, e.g who is London and who is in Brussels, etc. before you play the recording.

Note that the message contains an email address. This topic is addressed in more detail in Unit 13, Task 9, but you might want to explain to your students, that the letters 'b.e' at the end of the address indicate Belgium.



1 One (for sales) 2 10.15 a.m.

3 there are no seats on the 8.30 flight so he won't be

on time

4 by plane 5 9.45 a.m. 6 10.30 a.m.

7 11.15 a.m. is possible if the traffic isn't bad but he makes the appointment for 11.30 a.m. to be safe 8 because after 8.30 a.m. he will be on his way to the airport (students will have to infer this from the information they are given)


The diagram shows a page from Lenny's organizer on his PC - appointments are made by clicking on the 'pages' with the mouse and adding the details and times. Students will probably be able to identify the problem of the meeting time immediately. Let them listen to the recording again to work out the details.


The 'problem' is that Lenny can't meet with John Bailes at 11.30 because he has another appointment at that time. In his message, John asks Lenny to email him by 8.30 if there is any problem. However, Lenny does not check his voicemail until9.00.This is too late to contact John, who will already be on his way to the airport.


Task 6

Check how much the students know about video conferencing. Your college or university may have this facility. Explain that the diagram shows the control pad for a video conferencing system. Ask the class to predict what sort of controls such a system would need, and write their predictions on the board. Pre-teach Near Bnd (the caller), Far End (the recipient), mute (silent, the microphone is switched off), and banner (screen message). Students can then read the text for the first time to check which of the controls they predicted are mentioned. On the second reading, they can scan the text to find the answers to questions 1 and 2.


1 a puts Near End, Far End, or both on mute

b controls the zoom in and out of the Far End camera

c selects numbers from the speed dial list d ends the call

2 aA bF cG dJ

Language work

Refer the students to the diagram of the police network in Task 1. Elicit the first few steps in sending a request for a suspect's record from S an Francisco to Savannah. Write these on the board in as simple terms as possible.

1 Apolice officer requests a record.

2 His or her computer sends the message to a microwave station.

3 The station transmits the request to the nearest


Ask the class to identify the action (the verb) in each step. Underline this. Explain that often when we are describing a process the action is more important than the person or thing doing the action. Rub out the agent in each step, and convert actions 1 and 2 into the Present passive.

1 A record is requested.

2 The message is sent to a microwave station.

Ask a student to change action 3 in the same way. Elicit the formation of the structure: the verb to be in the present tense (is, are), plus the past participle of the main verb. Point out that the past participle is normally formed by adding the suffix ed to the infinitive, but that there are many irregular verbs which do not take this form, e.g. send! sent, and they should make an effort to learn common irregular past forms.

Task 7

This is probably best done as an individual written task.


(send, relay, and transmit are almost interchangeable in many contexts in this exercise)

1 are requested 2 is sent

3 is relayed 4 is transmitted

5 is transmitted 6 is relayed

7 is sent


Using the information about San Francisco/Savannah communications at the beginning of this unit, the students should now be able to work together and discuss how records are sent. Do the activity orally first, eliciting the steps from the class. Then ask students to write their own descriptions of the process.


Task 9

Set a short time limit for the students to write down, in pairs. as many links as they can think of.

Key (other answers are possible)

WorldWide Web +to display texts, diagrams, and tasks

email-for student and teachers to communicate with each other

video conferencing -for live lectures, tutorials, and discussions

FTP (file transfer protocol) =for transferring or downloading files

Ask some pairs to talk through their descriptions and invite comment from the class.


Task 10

This task focuses on some of the problems of optical character recognition. for example when computers are used to process handwritten cheques. Students can revise ways of giving advice (See Unit 7). For example:

You should make the letters big. They're too smct1l. You should use simple shapes.

You shouldn't link characters.



The Internet 1:

email and newsgroups

when different networks are connected together. the combined network is called an internetwork or internet. The connection of networks throughout the world forms what is known as the Internet. Networks all over the world are connected to the Internet using electronic devices known as routers. The routers decide which route on the Internet a particular signal should take to get to its destination. Users often pay a monthly fee to a type of company known as an Internet service provider (ISP). to provide them with an Internet connection. A variety of services such as email and file transfer are made available to users on the Internet. These services are controlled using a system of server computers at various locations throughout the world.

Electronic mail. which has come to be known as email. is one of the most popular services on the Internet. Email allows users to send electronic messages to storage areas known as mailboxes on server computers where they can be read by other users. Each user has their own email address which determines where their email messages are stored. Every email address has two main parts separated by an ampersand symbol. Le, username@domain name. The domain name may be subdivided using dots. A typical email address might have the following components:

Username @ server . type of . country

or identifier name organization

Standard codes are used for the types of organization. although they may vary slightly from country to country. Not all email addresses use all the possible parts of the domain name. An email message has two main parts known as the header and the body of the message. The body contains the message itself. whilst the header reveals the identity of the recipient and of the sender. the date it was sent. and the subj ect title of the message. Email consists of plain text but other types of computer files, such as formatted text. spreadsheets, sound files, or video files can be attached to email


messages. These email attachments can then be opened and read using an appropriate program on the recipient's computer.

Groups of users that share a special interest can subscribe to free newsgroups on the Internet. Users subscribe by registering their email address. Subscribers can send plain text messages to a common area on a server computer where all the newsgroup members can read them. In this way. conversations about the special interest can take place between all the members of the group. The name of the news group is made up of different parts separated by dots and indicates the specialist area the subscribers are interested in. For example, newsgroup names that begin with alt indicate that they deal with alternative types of subjects, e.g.

alt. tasteless-jokes. N ewsgroup names beginning with rec deal with recreational subjects, e.g.

rec. chess. When you are replying to a message. it is common to include the original message with each line marked with a chevron (», and if you are replying to a reply. each line of the original text is marked with double chevrons (> ». In this way the correspondents can keep track of the conversation.


By the end of this unit. students should be better at: listening and reading for detail

making inferences.

They should understand the difference between the Past simple and Past continuous.

They should understand email addresses.

They should know and be able to use these words and abbreviations: router. server, hub, email. newsgroup, Internet service provider (ISP) , attachment, UFO (unidentifiedflying object).

Tuning in

Task 1

A warm-up discussion is unnecessary here, since Task 2 is a discussion task. Give the students a short length of time to do the matching, either individually or in pairs.


1 router

3 Internet Service Provider (ISP) 5 network

2 server

4 mainframe

Task 2

In addition to the uses mentioned in this unit, email and newsgroups (Usenet), students are likely to mention the World Wide Web which is covered in Unit 14. They may also mention uses not covered in these units, such as taking part in computer simulations (MUDS and MOOS), transferring files (FTP), and searching for files (gopher).

Note: U senet is the main Internet news group service. FTPis for transferring files. Gopher is a search engine for finding files.


Task 3

Point out some of the conventions of an email. They are less formal than many letters and resemble memos more than letters. Often there is no greeting (Dear ... ) ,although this example has one. Emails may include all sorts of attachments - audio, video, graphics. Point out that in this example the paperclip shows that there is an attachment.

Make sure that students are familiar with the oral expression of email addresses:gpark.ated.dot.ac. dot, uk, and so on.


1 John Eastleigh

2 j.eastleigh@gltech.ac.uk

3 people - G. Park, L. Price I and A. Perez 4 a party

5 15.35

6 a recording (sent as an attachment)

Task 4

Make sure you give students enough time to read through the questions and answer any queries about vocabulary before playing the recording. The language in the recording is colloquial and informal, that of a student talking to other students. Note kicking a ball about = playing football, get a team going = start a football team, and nothing fancy = informal. In addition to the questions set, ask your students what sort of course John is taking. They might be able to deduce that he is on an electronics course at a technical college.

last Monday 2 on Fridays, classes finish
at 2.30 instead of 4.15
3 'Desiqn and Make' 4 designing a security
alarm for his bike
5 he has no sense of 6 football
7 he's having a party 8 at his flat
9 Sandra Reading

Task 5

Elicit from the students or explain what Internet news groups are. Those given here are authentic groups which you and your students can sample if you have access to the Internet. Note that alt = alternative, rec = recreational.

Do the first one as an example. Students can do the others individually and compare in pairs or groups. When you have finished, ask students to suggest who would be interested in news groups d, g, i, and j.


1f 2a 3h 4c 5b 6e

Task 6

Pre-teach UFO (unidentified flying object), alien, and coastguard. In most newsgroup exchanges, respondents quote the section of the message they wish to comment on, marking the quote with chevron (» signs. Space has not permitted this here, but in all other respects these messages are typical of this news group. Get the students to do this exercise individually, and then compare answers in pairs.



1 alt.alien.visitors 2 Ron Sony

36th March 1998 at 05.39 4 Fargo (North Dakota)

5 a UFO

6 Ben andThelma

7 an experimental military plane

8 the object was not the usual shape of alien ships 9 three winged craft

10 looking for a missing fishing boat

Language work

Draw a horizontal line on the board to represent the time taken to fly from Dallas to Fargo. Write Dallas at one end and Fargo at the other. You can invent a take off time (e.g. 09.00) and landing time (11.30) and add these.

Using this simple diagram, you can show how the past continuous is used to provide a context for another action in the past.

Point to one end and say, He took off at nine o'clock. Point to the other and say, He landed at eleven-thirty. Then point to the whole line, saying, From nine to eleven-thirty, he wasflyingfrom Dallas to Fargo. Mark a cross on the line to represent the UFO sighting: He saw a UFO.

Then put it all together, 'itVhen he was flying from Dallas to Fargo, he saw a UFO.

Once the students have got the general idea, get them to give you examples, based on real-life scenarios, e.g. vllhenI was coming to class this morning ...

Task 7

This is best done as an individual written task. Remind students that see has the irregular past form saw.

1 was going 2 was flying
3 noticed 4 reported
5 described 6 saw
7 was heading 8 saw
9 was searching 10 crashed TaskS

Teach as and while. Then ask the students to do this as an individual written task.



(Note that the choice of structure depends on the information focus you choose.)

1 When/As/While he was flying from London to Edinburgh, he saw a UFO.

or He was flying from London to Edinburgh when he saw a UFO.

2 Her computer crashed when/as/while she was searching the Internet.

or When her computer crashed, she was searching the Internet.

3 When/As/While they were studying, a fire started in the Computer Lab.

4 When/As/While she was printing out her email, the printer developed a fault

or When the printer developed a fault, she was printing out her email.

5 When/As/While they were working on the computer, someone switched on the power. or They were working on the computer, when someone switched on the power.


Task 9

Read through the explanation of locka@pesto.co.uk with the students before they attempt the matching task. Point out that email addresses in the United States do not have a country name.

When you are going through the answers, get students to read the email addresses out loud.


1 c 2a 3e. 4b 5f 6h

7g (note absence of country name) 8d


Task 10

Ask your students to complete the from, date, to, and subject elements of their email. They can use real or imagined email addresses, provided they follow the conventions described in Task 9. If they have access to email, encourage them to send messages to each other in English.

Ask them first to write six sentences in answer to the questions in the task. Remind the students about linking ideas, so that they can transform the six sentences they write into two or three more complex sentences in their emails.


The Internet 2:

the World Wide Web

The connection of networks throughout the world forms the Internet which provides a range of different services, such as email, newsgroups, and file transfer. One of the newest and most popular services on the Internet is the World Wide Web which is commonly referred to as the Web, or simply as WWIi\T.

A web browser program provides a graphical user interface for the Internet allowing users to view linked documents called webpages. When a user clicks on a webpage link, or hyperlink, the browser fetches and displays the linked webpage. Linked webpages may be stored on different servers in different parts of the world. A set of hyperlinked webpages is known as a website. Web sites are available for an enormous range of topics, including news, sports, entertainment, education, and sale of goods.

Because there are so many websites on the Web, it is often difficult to find the information you are looking for. Special websites have been set up that use programs called search engines to search the Web for the information you need. Normally, you fill in a form on a search webpage to indicate what you are looking for and then click a search button to start the search engine. After searching the Web, it displays a webpage with hyperlinks to the websites that contain the information you are looking for. One of the most popular search engine web sites is called Yahoo. When you find a webpage that you want to return to, you can store a hyperlink to the webpage in a bookmark or favorites area of the browser. (Note US spelling of favorites. )When you want to return to the webpage, you only need to click on the appropriate bookmark.

Each webpage has a unique web address sometimes known as a uniform resourcelocator (URL). Web addresses often start with http://www, and each part of the web address is separated by a dot (.) or a slash (I). Http stands for hypertext transfer protacol, which is the standard way of communicating on the World Wide Web. A typical browser program has the following components:

Component Function

title bar displays the title of the current webpage

menu bar provides access to drop-down menus of program features

toolbar provides button icons for using the most common browser features

status bar gives information about the current status of the program

address box displays the current webpage address

A typical browser toolbar has a variety of buttons including the following:

Button Icon Function


displays the previous webpage


displays the next webpage


refreshes the currentwebpage display


goes to the first page set on the browser


goes to a web search engine


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: understanding search skills for locating information in English on the World Wide Web linking text and diagram using inferences

locating information on a web page.

They should be able to use the -ing form accurately. They should know and be able to use these words: browser, download, search engine, title bar, menu bar, toolbar, address box; link.



Task 1

This task develops a modern study skill ~ knowing how to best locate information in the World Wide Web. The techniques that students need to acquire are similar to those they would use to access information in more traditional resources such as libraries. Give the students a limited amount of time to do the activity in groups, then write the answers the groups propose on the board. Where there is disagreement, groups must justify their choice. If the class have access to the Internet, they should try to locate this information, perhaps for homework, and report back.


1 Health: Diseases, Drugs 2 Entertainment: Movies 3 Reference: Dictionaries

4 News and Media: Current events 5 Reference: Phone numbers

6 Science: Astronomy

7 Society & Culture: Religion

8 Business & Economy: Employment


Task 2

Treat this as a scanning exercise, and allow students a very limited time to scan the screens and match them with the titles of the webpages.


1 entertainment 3 education

2 news 4 sport

Task 3

Each page contains a number of clues which will help students make the correct match. Ask students to justify their choice, and list on the board the clues they use. In this way, you can make overt some of the strategies the more successful readers in the class employ. For example, text B contains words such as sport,jan,jootball, team, league, fixture, player, anyone of which will help students to make the correct match.


If students have Internet access, they can find these webpages or similar at:

www.cnn.com (This is a good site for more advanced students to improve their reading and listening comprehension.)

web. ukonline.co. uk/members/rw.sweet/ soccer www.nbc.com/entertainment www.ucmp.berkeley.edu


A news

C entertainment

B sport

D education

Task 4

Even if students are not familiar with a web browser screen, they should be able to identify most of these features. Address box and links are labelled on the screen. You can help them with the others by encouraging them to identify the features using their knowledge of general English: the menu bar offers a list of choices like a restaurant menu, the toolbar provides a selection of buttons to help you perform different tasks, and the title bar comes at the top of the screen like the title of an article. With an advanced class, mention other features not shown on this portion of the screen: scroll bar and status bar. The former is on the right-hand side of the screen and allows you to scroll through the page quickly. The latter is at the bottom of the screen and provides information on links in the page you are currently viewing.

You can find this page at www.cnn.comlEARTH.


1b 2a 3f 4d 5e 6c. 7g 8h


Task 5

As a pre-listening task, ask students to explain or guess the function of all ten of the toolbar buttons. The icons will help them. Don't comment on their answers until you correct Task 6. If you do the exercise orally in class, you could ask the students to write brief summaries of the functions of all the buttons as a follow-up exercise or for homework.



1 Stop 2 Favorites 3 Refresh

4 Back 5 Home

The functions of the other buttons are:

Forward: moves to the webpage. that was visited after the current webpage

Search: connects to a search engine website to allow the user to find web pages

Print: prints the current webpage

Font: changes the size of the characters on the screen Mail: starts the email program.

Language work

Demonstrate how -ing forms can act like nouns by making a simple substitution table on the board.


football Playing football is good exercise.
the Web Surfing the Web is very popular with
study Studying hard can be difficult.
shops Shopping online saves time. Elicit further examples from the class.

Explain the grammar rule that -ing forms are also used after prepositions.

Task 7

This is best done as an individual written task. Point out that with phrasal verbs, such as back up, keep up, it is the verb part, and not the preposition, which takes the -ing form, e.g. backing up, keeping up.


1 keeping up 3 backing up 5 finding

7 sending

9 finding

2 sending, receiving 4 linking

6 using, entering

8 becoming, learning 10 selecting


This activity requires good comprehension of the sentences and good knowledge of computers, so give the students plenty of time to do it. Ask them to do this orally in pairs; then write the answers. Students can ask the questions in any order. They may also add further examples of their own. For example:

B: How do you increase the speed of your computer? A: By adding more memory.


1 by using a search engine

2 by clicking with the mouse 3 by using the scroll bar

4 by selecting the Home button 5 by using the Favorites button 6 by joining a newsgroup

7 by adding more memory

8 by sending an attachment

9 by selecting the Stop button 10 by using the mouse


Task 9

Get the students to work in pairs and match items 1-10 with a-j. Some of the links are easier than others; encourage the students to go quickly through the lists finding' easy' links first, e.g. caring for your cat = www.petcat.co.uk. Stress that each pair does have a clue to making a link. Ask the students to compare their results with other pairs when they've finished. Finally, discuss the answers with the whole class and explain any links students are still unsure of. If time and facilities allow, your students could explore one of these sites and prepare a brief report to the class on what it contains.


1h 2f 3g 4d 5a 6i 7c 8j 9b 10e


Task 10

Get the students into small groups of three or four. Ask them to spend a few minutes discussing and agreeing the contents of their work first: they can use the CNN webpage as a model to give them ideas. They should then allocate tasks; if they write individually, make sure their work is checked by the others before the author writes it up as a finished product. For a college, the menu might include: courses.jactlities on campus, accommodation, student life, clubs and societies. For an example, try www.reading.ac.uk,





Interview: Website designer

Many companies now have a website to advertise their goods and services and provide information to their customers. It is therefore becoming important to have a website as good as your competitors.

A lot of work has to be done to create a good website. The individual webpages have to be created using a language called hypertext markup language or HTML, and the individual webpages have to be linked together using hyperlinks. It takes a combination of technical knowledge and artistic skill to make webpages look good. The layout of a sophisticated webpage might contain a combination of text, graphics, animation, and other multimedia elements.

Rather than creating a website yourself, you can pay a web designer to create the site for you. The web designer must first find out what information you want to provide on the website, and the target audience he or she is designing for. Depending on

. this information, the designer will decide what kind of information should be displayed on each webpage, and how these pages should be linked. Navigation icons may be displayed on each webpage to make it easier for users to move to different parts of the website. Every page must have a link that will let users move to another page.

However, if too many links are needed to get to a page, the user may decide it is not worthwhile. Pages have to be kept short enough so that the user does not have to do a lot of scrolling. Remember that it will take time and cost money to keep the website up to date.

Multimediafeatures make the page look nicer and more interesting, but they take longer for the user to browse. Some multimedia features also require the user to install additional programs known as add-ens, which work in the browser to enable the multimedia features to be used. Each webpage has to be downloaded from the web server before it can be displayed on the screen. It is therefore advisable to divide information into small sections to suit the display screen, save downloading time, and simplify


printing. The first page of a website should be simple and tell the reader who the website owner is. If links to other web sites are included, people are more likely to come back to your site.

Website designers like the one interviewed in this unit are experienced in creating websites that take all of these factors into consideration.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: understanding the main points of an interview using information from a listening text to write advice and rules

indicating something is important using has/have to and must.

They should know and be able to use these words: bookmark, website, and the common collocations of . the terms listed in Task 9.


Task 1

Elicit the good points of the webpage illustrated: the visuals and title are strong and arresting; there is not too much text on the opening page; an interesting quote is used to attract the reader's attention (discuss how the theatre can be both little (as regards its size) and big ( as regards how important it is). With a more advanced class, ask students to predict what sort of information will come after the opening page - performances and dates, layout of the theatre, booking information, etc.

Students c,e:n then discuss in groups what makes a good website in general, and give examples of good sites they know. If they have access to computing facilities, they can print off sample pages. Each group should report to the class. Make a board

summary of their criteria. The CNN site in Unit 14 is a good example if the students cannot think of a site of their own. Website addresses change but at the time of writing you can visit this site at www.ednet.co. uk/ ~ hillstreet/.


Task 2

The interviewee is an example of one of the new jobs - a website designer--created by developments in information technology. This interview is more difficult than the previous ones in the course. and you may need to give your students extra help. Discuss with the class what sort of people want web sites and what they use web sites for. Ask them how they would design a website.

Pre-teach behind the times. promotional material. aimed at. and update.

Pause the tape more frequently. if necessary after each question-and-answer exchange.


1 people who feel they have to imitate their competitors, people who have to distribute a lot of information free, e.g. colleges

2 It saves money on printing, postage, faxes, etc. 3 colleges and universities

4 all their promotional material 5 who the audience is

6 how much time and money they will spend on updating

Task 3

Pre-teach dead-end. revise, link. and scroll. Elicit examples of multimedia (used in Unit 2). e.g. graphics. sound, animations. Pause as for Task 2 if required. You can also divide the task up so that students listen for different answers. and then combine their answers to complete the task.

Note: Microsoft Explorer and Netscape Navigator are the two most common browsers. Users with lesssophisticated browsers may find it takes a very long time to download graphics. If the site depends on graphics. this can be very frustrating. Good website designers offer text alternatives.


1 dead-ends 2 four steps

3 too many links (to scroll through) 4 the page look nicer

5 less sophisticated browsers

Task 4

This short final section should not cause too many difficulties. Gateway and bookmark may be unfamiliar but can be worked out from context.


1 Yes

3 No

4 Yes

5 Yes

2 Yes


Students could attempt this before listening to the whole interview and then check their answers during the final listening. The key is given in Task 6.

Language work

You can use the cartoon in Unit 7. Task 6 - which shows a badly designed workstation - to provide examples of practice required by rule. law. or common sense. Give two or three examples and write them on the board. Examples 1. 3. and 4 on page 64 are suitable. Elicit further examples from the cartoon.

Task 6

This is best done as an individual written task.

Key A

You have to/must divide information into small sections.

2 You have to/must have a lot of links to other sites. 3 You have to/must start with a brief piece of information to attract the reader.

4 You have to/must update your page regularly.


You mustn't have a lot of links on one page.

2 You mustn't include graphics only to make it look nice.

3 You mustn't forget about readers with less sophisticated browsers.

4 You mustn't have pages with dead-ends.


Computing words and abbreviations

Task 7

You can use Tasks 7, 8, and 9 together as a vocabulary test on Units 11 to 15.


1 megabyte

2 compact disk- read only memory 3 Internet service provider

4 local area network

5 personal computer

6 random access memory 7 wide area network

8 single in-line memory module 9 optical character recognition

10 megahertz

Task 8


1 byte

3 hard disk drive 5 port

2 wide area network

4 random access memory


Task 9

Do one or two examples on the board. Write down the key word; then elicit collocations and write them before or after the key word. For example:

local-area network topology

wide-area terminal

server interface card


1 cache, main, random access, read only memory

chip, slot

2 dot-matrix, inkjet, laser printer cable, port 3 serial mouse button, mat, port

4 computer screen

5 arrow, editing, function, keyboard, pad, press 6 screen cursor control

7 computer monitor screen.


Task 10

In addition to the points listed in Task 6, these points from the recording could be included.

You must decide who it's aimed at.

You have to decide how much time and money to spend to keep the pages updated.


Word processing

A word processing program or word processor is used for creating and editing text documents. The program facilities can be accessed using a menu bar, although the most common tools can also be accessed using rows of button icons known as toolbars. The standard toolbar contains icons for the most frequently used facilities such as saving, printing, and spell checking. There are also icons for cutting, copying, and pasting, and for undoing any changes. The formatting toolbar has icons for formatting the text, i.e. changing the size and shape of text characters. For example, the user can align the text to the left or to the right, or can justify the text, i.e, have it aligned to both the left and right at the same time. Rectangular gricllines, which form what is known as a table, can be used to control the layout. A desktop publishing package gives more precise control of format and layout, and allows the user to prepare documents for printing by a professional printer.

A WIMP system uses dialog boxes to give information or to get information from the user. Note that the American English spelling dialog is often used in computing although the British English spelling dialogue can also be used. A dialog box is a window that opens on the display screen. It can contain various components, some of which are shown in the table below.



text box

allows the user to input text

drop-down list box allows the user to choose from a list that opens when clicked

command button starts a process

checkbox allows the user to choose True or False

One way to find a file on a computer system is to use the Find dialog box. Having indicated what they are looking for, using text boxes, drop-down list boxes, and checkboxes, the user clicks the Search command button. The Find facility then searches for the file and displays its path on the screen.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: listening for specific detail

comparing texts to detect differences

writing instructions.

They should be able to use the Present perfect passive.

They should know and be able to use these words: draft,Jont, bold, underline, justify, spelling checker, tab.


Task 1

As a lead-in, check how many of the class have used general purpose packages such as word processors, spreadsheets, and databases and what use they have made of them. Students can do this as a class survey by devising and administering a simple questionnaire. You can prepare the questionnaire on the board. It could look like this:

1 Have you ever used: a a word processor? b a spreadsheet? c a database?

2 If the answer is 'yes' to any of these questions, what have you used it for? .

3 Can you name any common software of this type?

Before you begin the actual exercise for Task I, preteachfont.


ld 2b 3f 49 5e 6a 7c



Task 2

Treat this as a pre-listening task. Students should be familiar with menu bar, title bar, and toolbar from Unit 14, Task 2, but write them up on the board and revise them if you think your students need it. Don't correct this task until Task 3 has been done,


1 b 2f 3d 4a 5g 6c 7 e

Task 3

This is a fairly straightforward text that should not present the students with many problems. Terms such as pull~down menu and icon should be familiar from Unit 9, but, write them up on the board and revise them if students seem to be having problems.

Task 4


1b 2c 3d 4g 5d



Treat this as a 'spot the difference' puzzle. Students should work first on an individual basis; then compare their answers in pairs. Although they should be able to identify all the changes, they will not be able to explain these changes in English. Use the opportunity to teach delete, insert, justify, spellcheck, underline.


1 Tabs have been inserted.

2 Letters have been changed from small to capitals. 3 Lines have been inserted.

4 The font has been changed to bold. 5 Words have been deleted.

6 Words have been underlined. 7 Spelling has been checked.

8 Words have been inserted.

9 Text has been justified.




spellcheck, boldface, underline, justify, insert, tabs, enter, delete

Language work

Use examples from Task 5 as input for your explanation. Begin by asking: What changes has Paul made? Elicit examples:

He's inserted tabs.

He's underlined words., etc.

Then confirm each correct answer like this:

Yes, tabs have been inserted.

Yes, words have been underlined.

Write all these examples on the board; then continue by asking: What other changes have been made?

Elicit more examples: The font has been changed., etc. Explain that we use the passive when we want to focus on the action. We use the present perfect passive when the action is in the recent past with a present result.

Task 7

This exercise provides students with some controlled practice of the new structure and is best done as an individual written task.


1 Tabs have been inserted.

2 The spelling has been checked.

3 Line spaces have been inserted or Lines have

been inserted,

4 The text has been justified.

5 The letters have been changed to capitals. 6 Words have been deleted.

7 Words have been inserted.

8 Words have been underlined, 9 Words have been italicized. '


This task provides less controlled practice of the same language point. In this case, it is not two drafts of a letter but two versions of a letter - standard replies to applicants for a post. Again, it is best done

as an individual written task in class or as homework, but make sure the task is clear by giving one or two examples.


The name has been changed. Fax has been changed to letter. The 14th has been changed to the 2nd.The job has been changed from Computing Support Officerto Computer Programmer. The post has been underlined. A tab has been inserted at the beginning ofthe second paragraph. Words have been deleted from the second paragraph. The font has been changed (from bold to italio).


Task 9

Pre-teach adjective pairs such as: strong - weak, formal- informal, sophisticated - plain, modern - old.fashioned.

Students should work in pairs. Emphasize that they should defend their choices in English, using the adjectives you have pre-taught. You can help them by providing a dialogue frame on the board.

A: Vvhich one do you think is best?

B: Thefirst one.

A: Why not the second one?

B: It looks too old-fashioned. It's not modern enough.

Students with access to word processors can try to create an advertisement of their own in English.


Task 10

Weaker students may need some extra help with this reading and writing exercise. They may not realize that the writing is largely a substitution exercise, and that the main framework for writing their own instructions is provided for them in the reading text. Point out that the instructions for using Find and Replace will be very similar to those for using Find, but will involve a few more steps.


1 Choose the Find and Replace command in the edit menu.

2 Type the text you want to find in the FindWhat text box, for example under.

3 Type the text exactly the way you want to find it. 4 Type the new word in the Replace text box, for example over.

5 If you want to find text that matches upper case and lower case with the way you type it, select Match Case.

6 If you want to find whole words only, select Find Whole Words Only. If not, you will find underline, underneath, etc.

7 Click on Find Next and the program will pause each time itfinds the words you want.

8 The found text is highlighted on the screen.

9 Click on Replace and the word will be replaced.


Task 11

Give the students time to study the diagrams of their toolbars and to work out which functions they are going to have to explain to their partners. Revise the structure What's itfor? (I think) ii's jor .. .inq, and elicit a few examples from the class. Then give students a few more minutes to work out what they are going to say.

During the activity the student who is listening should label the button the other student is talking about on his or her own toolbar.

When everyone has finished the exercise, ask for feedback. Write the best definitions of the functions on the board, or provide the ones given in the key below.

Key StudentA

1 New: it's for opening a new document.

2 Print: it's for printing the current document. 3 Copy: it's for copying a text to clipboard.

4 Drawing: it's for opening the drawings tool bar. Student B

1 Save: it's for saving the current document to disk. 2 Cut: it's for cutting/removing a text and inserting it

into the clipboard.

3 Undo: It's for undoing/reversing the last command.

4 Insert Table: it's for creating a table in a document.



Databases and spreadsheets

A database is used to store information so that it can be searched and sorted in various ways. Each item of information is stored in afield. A collection of related fields forms a record. Simple searches can often be created by allowing the user to type the required field information into a blank record, and pressing a search button. More advanced database programs usually use a query language known as SQL. This allows users to type statements using logical operators to specifying the search conditions.

Logical operator Meaning


both condition A and condition B are true


either condition A or condition B or both are true


condition A is not true

If you only know part of the field you are searching for, you can use special symbols, called wildcards, to represent combinations of characters. The actual wildcard symbols used vary from program to program.

A spreadsheet program is used for calculating formulae. It is made up of a grid or array of rectangular boxes called cells, as shown below.

3 The columns are labelled A, B, C ... and the rows of cells are numbered I, 2, 3 ... To refer to a particular cell, you use the column label followed by the row number. For example, the cell in the top left corner


of the spreadsheet is AI, the one to the right of it is BI, and the one belowitisA2. The cells can contain text, numbers, or formulae. The formulae are -Mitten using the cell references, e.g. to add the first three cells in the A column, you would use the formula AI + A2 + A3, or the sum function Sum(AI:A3), i.e. the sum of cells AI toA3. When a formula is assigned to a cell, the result of the formula is displayed in the cell rather than the formula itself. By varying spreadsheet values and formulae, different possible outcomes can be analysed.

Other common mathematical symbols used in formulae are shown in the table below.

Symbol Name Function
+ plus addition
minus subtraction
* multiply by ( or times) multiplication
! divided by division
% percent percentage Objectives

By the end of this unit, students should be better at: scanning a table for specific information

listening to formulae

writing brief explanations.

They should be able to use expressions of certainty.


They should know and be able to use these words:

database,field, record, search, condition, selection, rule, cell, row, column.jormula, the symbols from Task 7 and their meanings.


Task 1

Teach or revise the meaning of the termfield in the context of the activity. It means a category or item of information in a database. (See the technical introduction above for more details.) As a lead-in to the task ask the students for suggestions as to devising a simple database of your class. Get them to suggest the fields, for example: Surname, First Names, Date of Birth, Hobbies/Sports, etc. If time allows, students could collect the information by means of a class survey. When you come to do the task write the record from the Student's Book on the board. Elicit the possible fields it contains.


Name, Department, Occupation, Date of Birth, Salary. Other fields which might be useful are: Date of joining the company, Annual/eave, Sales Record, etc.

Task 2

Give the students a short time to complete this activity in pairs. To help them think of fields for a police computer database, tell them to focus on criminals and their activities rather than the activities of the police as a whole.


a national police computer- records of criminals will include: Names, Aliases, Appearance, Address, Crimes committed, Convictions, Way of operating, etc. a national driver and vehicle licensing centre: Driver, Address, Motoring offences, Vehicle Licence number, Description, etc.



Teach or revise the meaning of the term record in the context of the exercise. It means a collection of related fields in a database. (See the technical introduction above for more details.) This is a simple scanning exercise, but based on a table rather than a text.


1 five 2 eleven

3 Popocatapetl,Orizaba 4 Aconcagua, Chimborazo

Task 4

The database illustrated is a very simple one, but the principles used are the same for professional database packages. To answer the questions, for Task 4 and Task 5 students must combine information from the text and the illustration. With a weaker group, you should read through the text together as a class and check comprehension before letting them attempt the questions.


1 fields

2 conditions

3 'Height in metres' is greater than 5,000 4 Start the search of the database

5 eleven



1 'Status' is active

2 'Height in metres' is greater than 6,000 3 'Continent' equals South America

4 'Country' equals Ecuador

5 'Status' is active and 'Continent' equals South America and 'Height in metres' is greater than 5,500


Task 6

Check that students know what a spreadsheet is and what it is used for. Focus attention on the spreadsheet in the Student's Book and elicit where this one comes from and what it shows. Ask a few general questions about the spreadsheet so that the class understands how cell references work. For example:

How many days is thefastfood outlet open each week? Which day is the busiest day?

What information will be in Column D?

Tell students to ignore the first row: A, B, C, etc. and the first column, 1, 2, 3, etc. in calculating the rows and columns, as these are only to provide references for the cells.


1 five

2 nine

3 Tue (forTuesday)


Task 7

Write the symbols on the board and ask students to say what they mean. Most will be familiar from mathematics. Read out and ask them to write down a few formulae. You can use the examples on page 72 or make up new ones yourself, for example: =D4+B4, = C9*6.S%, etc. Then ask students to read out loud the formulae on page 72. With a good class, ask students to write formulae of their own and practise dictating them to their partners.


1 equals cell E3 times or multiplied by fifteen per cent

2 equals cell A 10 times/multiplied by cell 83

3 equals the sum of all the cells from 89 to 824 or equals sum 89 to 824

4 equals cell K12 divided by cell J12 5 equals cell 04 minus cell 84


Ask students to compare answers in pairs. If there is any dispute, play the recording again and pause at the disputed answer.


See tapescript

Language work

You can show degrees of certainty by means of a vertical scale on the blackboard +Iike a thermometer. Mark 100% at the top, then 75%, 50%, and 40% at suitable distances down the scale. Mark a positive (+) sign to the right of the scale and a negative sign ( -) to the left. Will and will not/ won't go at the 100% level, the former at the positive side and the latter at the negative side.

Enter will probably andprobably won't at around the 75% mark, may/might and may not/might not at the 50% mark, and will possibly andpossibly won't at around 40%. Note that in practice there is no difference between may and might as regards certainty.

Give examples to show the difference between the expressions. Ask students to say what the chances of damage are if you move the computer when it's switched on, stand on a CD-ROM, drop a monitor, etc.


Task 9

This is a problem-solving task.


1 You will find Brown and Brawn, you won't find Braun.

2 You will find the, tongue and true, you won't find


3 You will find 4th, you won't find 12th and earth.

4 You will find Paula and Paulo, you won't find Paul. 5 You will find Marie and Mary, you won'tfind Maria.

Task 10

This may promote disagreement as the choice of answer is to some degree subjective. If students disagree, ask them to defend their answers.

Key (other answers are possible)

may, will possibly

2 may, will possibly, will probably 3 may, will possibly, will probably 4 may, will possibly

5 may, will possibly, will probably


Task 11

If students are still having problems understanding how selection rules work, return to the example of your class database. Put a selection of records up on the board, and elicit examples of search results and the selection rules which would apply to achieve them.

Key (other answers are possible)

Occupation = student

2 Occupation = computing officer 3 sex = F.ANO. age <25

4 sex = M.ANO.age >25.ANO. occupation = student 5 First name = Arnold


Task 12

Give some examples to help your students get started. For example:

The driver's name to identify him/her if there's an accident.

The colour of the car tojinditif it's stolen.


Graphics and multimedia

A graphics package is used for creating and editing graphical images or drawings. This type of program usually has a set of icons called a toolbox to access the most commonly used graphics tools. It allows users to perform functions, such as creating shapes, scaling them to different sizes, rotating them, and filling them with colour. Simple drawings can be created using a combination of pre-defined shapes such as squares, rectangles, triangles, and ellipses.

Multimedia is a combination of text, graphics, animation, sound, and video. A popular multimedia encyclopaedia program created by the Microsoft Corporation is called Microsoft Encarta. The text displayed on the screen contains hyperlinks, Le. words that are linked to other text. When the user clicks on a link, the linked text is displayed on the screen. Encarta also has icons for displaying maps, charts, tables, pictures, sounds, animation, videos, and interactive activities.

Computers are general purpose instruments that . are controlled by programs. Present-day computers are electronic devices but the first computers were mechanical. They were replaced by electromechanical computers that used electrical mechanisms. The first electronic computers used electronic switches in the form of vacuum tube valves. Valves were later replaced by semiconductor transistors. The development of integrated circuits that contained millions of transistors in one small semiconductor chip enabled the development of microprocessors. This allowed much smaller computers, called microcomputers, to be introduced. The most common type of microcomputer is small enough to sit on an office desk and is often referred to as a desktop computer.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: understanding spoken instructions

reading and note-taking


They should be able to use time clauses with when, after, before, and until to indicate the sequence of actions in a process.

They should know and be able to use these words: graphics package,features, graphics hardware, tool palette, paint, draw, scale, rotate,jill.


Task 1

Remind the students, that as always, icons have some resemblance to the things they represent. Give them one or two examples to start them off. You may wish to revise shapes: polygon, rectangle, curve. For Task 3, students will also need to know square and triangle.


1m 2b 30 4g 5e 6i 7n 8j

Other icons are

a free-form select d pencil

h ellipse

I brush

c pick colour, f line,

k magnifier

p rounded rectangle.

Task 2

Get students to work in pairs, and set a time limit for them to draw up a list of as many occupations as they can think of that use graphic design software, and what they use it for.

Key (other answers are possible)

publishers and printers to design books, magazines, brochures, reports, etc.

advertising agencies to design advertisements

engineers to design new products and



to design new buildings and covert old ones

to demonstrate different colour combinations

to experiment with different designs

interior designers

fashion designers



Task 3

Ask students to predict the correct sequence of the diagrams. Then get them to give you instructions for drawing a simple house on the board. This picture dictation will help them anticipate the language used on the recording. If necessary, you can dictate a second simple shape to them for further practice.

Explain that there are two students speaking in the recording. One is explaining to the other how to use a graphics package to make a simple shape.

Remind students that the cursor can take the form of a gun-sight. See Unit 9, Task 11. You might also want to revise point, click, and drag, and explain what a dotted line is.


1 c 2e 3b 4f 5a 6d


Task 4

To orientate the students, explain that a desktop publishing software package allows the user to produce printout in the form of a newspaper - that is with text in columns, and including graphics and pictures.

Once students have completed this task, ask them to find further examples in newspapers, magazines, or advertising copy which may have been produced using these types of software.



2 graphics/paint

3 scanning (a digital camera could also be used) 4 spreadsheet

5 word processing

Task 5

Check that students understand the reasons given for each item of hardware, and are not simply matching and copying text they do not understand. For example, ask them to explain why a 2 I-inch monitor allows easy working. (Because it gives the


user the maximum amount of space to see what he or she is doing, e.g. cutting and pasting columns of text, manipulating images, etc.)


Hardware required m i croco m pute r with large hard disk and

large amount of memory laser printer

high resolution,

21-inch monitor


video digitiser


graphics need a lot of memory space

high quality, fast printout for easy working

to import photographs to capture video images

Task 6


1 word processing and graphics

2 pages can be laid out in columns, illustrations can be inserted, photographs and video images can be imported

3 because it relies on user making use of word processor and graphics software to prepare documents and illustrations

Language work

You can show time relationships graphically, which would be appropriate given the focus of this unit. Write the first six steps in the production of a graphic on the board, in jumbled order. Ask students to put them in the right sequence. Once this is done, revise sequence words (Unit 3, page16).

Explain that there is another way to show the time links between steps in a process. Demonstrate after and before links by drawing two boxes on the board with a plus sign between like this:

III + [2] 1 before 2

IIIl2l when 1, 2



III [2]

1 until 2

1 while 2

or while 1, 2

Show when links by making the two boxes touch, thus demonstrating that there is no time space between the actions. Show until links by drawing a vertical line between the boxes to demonstrate that one action limits the other. Although while links are not dealt with here, you can illustrate them by

drawing one box on top of another. showing that both actions occupy the same time space.

Task 7

Do the first example on the board to show that the repeated noun (text) becomes the pronoun it in the second clause. Give students the punctuation rule that a comma is used after the time clause when it comes first in the sentence.


1+2 After the text is typed in using a word processor, it is edited.

2+3 Before the text is spellchecked, it is edited.

3+4 After the text is spellchecked, line drawings are made using a graphics package.

5+6 After photographs are scanned in with a scanner, the first draft is completed.

6+7 When the first draft is completed, it is transferred to a page-makeup program.

8+9 Text and graphics are adjusted on screen until they all fit together well.

9+ 10 After they all fit together well, the finished document is printed on a laser printer.



Tell students to imagine what steps they would need to go through to transform picture 1 into picture 2. For each step. they need to identify which of the function of the graphics package they would need to use to carry it out. For example. in order to add anything onto the graphic. they would need to use the function draw graphics.

When they have completed this task. students can attempt to explain other advertisements in the same way.


1 rotate the graphic

2 change attributes (e.g. tiled roof) 3 draw graphics (add chimney)

4 scale the graphic (make it smaller) 5 add text


Task 9

This is quite a demanding task. so you may want to give your students a little extra help by telling them that after. before, and when are the only time words they need to use. They should start by looking at the pairs of sentences. and deciding which of the two events came first, or whether they happened simultaneously. When they have decided how they might link the pairs of sentences internally, they can then go on to look at links between the pairs.


Before electronic computers were developed, there were mechanical calculators similar in some ways to computers. AfterWorldWar 2 started, the first electromechanical computer was developed. After the war ended, Bell Laboratories developed the transistor. But ittook more than ten years before transistors replaced valves in computers. When integrated circuits were introduced in the mid-1960s, developments happened quickly. Afterthe first microcomputers came on the market in the mid- 1970s, desktop computing became a reality.




Computers are controlled by sets of instructions called programs. Programs are written by a person called a programmer using special languages called programming languages. Some expressions from the programming language used in the text in this unit are shown in the table below.

Expression Meaning

\ \ remark (a note for the programmer that is not processed)


shows the value of a variable on the display screen

CLS clears the display screen

END marks the end of a program

Programmers usually do a lot more than just write the program code. Their first task is usually to analyse the problem. so that they can design a system to deal with it. When they have designed a code for a system and tested it. they then have to create documentation. i.e. notes which explain the structure and logical steps of the program for future users and trainers. They have to be involved in the initial training of users. so that they can make changes to the program according to information obtained from the users. They sometimes use diagrams. calledflowcharts. to show the sequence of logical steps in a program. Flowcharts have . arrowheads to indicate the direction of program flow and special symbols to indicate different functions in the program.

It is very difficult to write a program without any faults. The errors. or bugs as they are commonly known. can be caused by a number of factors. and programs usually have to be debugged. Le. tested and altered to eliminate all the errors. before they are used.



By the end of this unit. students should be better at: making inferences from a spoken description writing a description of a flowchart.

They should be able to use problem and solution structures.

They should know and be able to use these words and phrases: stages in programming. symbols. and instructions inflowcharts. error types.


Task 1

This is a more technical unit. For information about programming. see the technical introduction above. Depending on the type of course they are following. you may find that your students' knowledge of programming goes beyond what is discussed in this unit. They will enjoy the opportunity to teach you more about itl The content and language in this unit also serve as an introduction to the interview in Unit 20.


1 analysing and defining the problem to be solved 2 designing the program

3 coding

4. testing

5 documenting

6 training the users

7 obtaining feedback from users.

Task 2

Omit this task with less able students. Students may have done a lot of this type of problem as part of their computing course. If not. give them the problem the interviewee in Unit 20 had to find a computer-based solution to - teaching numeracy skills to young adults who are not motivated by traditional classroom-based instruction. They need

numeracy skills to survive in the adult world - to make sure they're not cheated, to save, and to plan. Many of these young people have not enj oyed school and do not want to have formal classes in a classroom with a teacher. These facts will need to be taken into account when designing a computerbased teaching program for them.

Ask students who they would speak to and what sort of questions they would ask in order to analyse this problem.


Interview both learners and teachers to find out why these students have failed to learn number skills and how they prefer to study. Find out what number skills they have and how much they need to learn.


Task 3

The revision of shapes done in Unit 18, should help your students here. Draw the symbols on the board and ask them to identify their shapes. The new shapes are diamond and parallelogram, but the latter can be inferred.


a Start or Stop

c Operation or Process e Connector

b Input or Output d Decision

Task 4


1 start or stop 2 input or print

3 add, subtract, multiply, divide, make equal to

4 less than or greater than 5 nothing


The listening text is quite difficult as students have to infer the actual words which will appear in the symbols. Pre-teach any vocabulary you think they might not already know related to the actual structure of the flowchart, e. g route and path. Then, explain what sales tax is, and how it is calculated, and draw the flowchart on the board. Give them some time to study the flowchart closely, and get them to predict the missing instructions. When

they have listened twice, ask individual students to come out and complete one of the missing instructions on the board.

1 Start 2 Input initial cost (C)
3 Is C> 100? 4 (IfYes) Rate R = 15%
5 (If No) Rate R = 10% 6 Tax amount = C*R
7 Print out tax amount 8 Stop Reading

Task 6

For this jigsaw reading task. students will have to copy out the note-taking table on page 79 into their exercise books three times, one for each text. The task is designed to combine reading and note-taking practice with practice in making short oral reports. When they have completed their individual reading, try to ensure that they exchange information orally, in English, and do not simply show each other their notes.

Key Text A

Type of error Definition

System errors

Errors which affect the

computer or its peripherals.

Example You write a program which needs access to a printer but there is no printer present.

Ways to avoid or deal Write code to check

with this kind of error peripherals are present before data is sentto them.


Type of error Definition

Syntax errors

Mistakes in the programming language.

Typing PRNIT instead of PRINT.

Ways to avoid or deal Some languages contain a with this kind of error special command such as

debug which will report these




Type of error Definition

Logic errors

Mistakes in logic which allow the program to run but notto work properly.

10//Message 30 CLS

20 PRINT 'Hello' 40 END

Do a 'dry run', l.e. work through each line on paper to make sure it does what you wantitto do.


Ways to avoid or deal with this kind of error


Language work

Write the problem given in the Student's Book on the board:

Problem: get rid of logic errors.

Ask students to suggest a solution, and write the solutions they suggest on the board, underneath the problem.

Solution: hand-test the program.

Then demonstrate how to link the problem and the solution using the construction with by, plus the gerund, or the construction with to, plus the infinitive.

You can get rid of logic errors by hand-testing the program.

To get rid of logic errors, hand-test the program.

Give a couple more technical examples, for example:

Problem: connect a computer to a telephone line Solution: install a modem

You can connect a computer to a telephone line by installing a modem.

To connect a computer to a telephone line, install a modem.

To give the students some practice with the structure, write some problems, about language learning on the board and ask them to suggest solutions. For example:

remember new vocabulary

remember grammar rules

understand spoken English

Elicit possible solutions; then asks students to link problems and solutions.

Task 7

This gives the students the opportunity to practise the structures they have just learnt.


19 2i 3f 4h 5b 6j 7c 8a 9d 10e


Students should do this individually; then compare answers in groups. More than one solution is possible for each problem. Write alternative answers suggested by the class on the board.


Key (other answers are possible) 1 Virus check it before using.

2 Protect it with a password.

3 Back-up your data regularly.

4 Don't use the computer for too long a period without a break.

5 (See Task 1, Unit 7) Use a chair with proper back support.


Task 9

Unlike the other examples, there should be only one correct answer to 'using a payphone' unless there are more than one type in use in yOW; country. Ask one group to put their solution on the board. The others can suggest improvements and changes if any are needed. The completed flowchart can serve as the input to a writing exercise. Students can convert the flowchart into a set of instructions for tourists visiting your country.


Task 10

Talk through the description of the flowchart on page 78-9, as this serves as a model for this task. Then guide the class in making an oral description of the flowchart in Task 10. Finally, set the task as a writing exercise for completion in class or for homework.

Key (other answers are possible)

A 'start'symbol indicates where the prog ram begins. When the program has started, the number of weeks is input. A decision is then taken on which rate to charge.This depends on the number of weeks. If the number of weeks is less than or equal to two, the rate is 200. If it is less than or equal to four, the rate is 180. Otherwise the program follows the 'No' route and sets the rate at 160.The paths come back together at the 'connector'symboLThe bill is calculated by multiplying the number of weeks by the rate. A decision is then taken on other charges. If there are other charges, these are added to the bill.The bill is now printed out and !he program stops.


Interview: Analyst/Programmer

Computing jobs often include a mixture of duties. An Analyst/Programmer does some systems analysis and some programming. The person we hear being interviewed in this unit is part of a team working on the development of a computer program that will be used for teaching mathematics to young adults with numeracy problems. The program uses graphics and animation, and has a database to store information used in the mathematical problems.

Programs can be written in a variety of computer languages. The language chosen will depend on a number of factors including what system the program will run on, what the function of the program is, and the knowledge of the programmer. This analyst/programmer uses a variety of computer languages including C++ (C plus plus), HTML (HyperText Markup Language), JavaSclipt, VB (Visual Basic), and Delphi. Programs written using high-level languages are usually compiled, i.e. converted into machine code consisting of only Is and Os, by a program called a compiler. Sections of program code that are used often are stored together in a file called a library file. The Active Server system mentioned by the analyst/programmer is a system that allows webpages to be used for running small programs on the main server computer on a network,

An error in a computer program is often called a bug and the processes of finding and fixing errors is known as debugging. In this project, three types of programming errors are mentioned, i.e. compilation errors, linking errors, and logic errors. Logic errors sometimes occur at branches and loops in a program. A branch is a programming structure where two different paths can be followed, depending on whether a given condition is true or false.

Structure Action

IF condition processes the instructions

THEN instructions if the condition is true

A loop is a programming structure where a part of the program is repeated a fixed number of times or until a condition is met.



FOR condition instructions NEXT variabte

repeats the instructions a fixed number of times set by the condition and increases the variable by 1 each time the loop is completed

REPEAT instructions UNTIL condition

repeats the instructions until the condition is true


By the end of this unit students should be better at: making inferences from a diagram

listening to an interview for information stated and implied.

They should be able to choose correctly between the Present simple and the Present continuous inmost

.. -' ,.::~

instances. They should know and be able to use these words: debug, pilot, test, compilation, linking error, system error,branch,loop.


Task 1

This is a prediction task to help students with the first listening activity. Encourage the students to guess the answers, using clues from the computer screen shown in the Student's Book, and their own knowledge of computer graphics in games and teaching packages. Don't correct this exercise until students have done Task 2.



Task 2

Before the students listen to Part 1 of the recording, explain that Colin is showing the interviewee the fire engine screen shown in the Student's Book, and some of the subsequent pages in the package. When the interviewer says 'I like that, that's good' she is referring to the fire-engine graphics. The laughter is caused by the subsequent page, not reproduced in the Student's Book,' which shows the building destroyed by fire.

You can use this part of the recording as the basis for a role play, with one student as interviewer and one as the analyst/programmer. They can ask and answer questions about the fire-engine screen.


1 basic numeracy

2 adults who have problems with numeracy

3 entering your answer (calculating your answer is also acceptable)

4 the building burns down

5 the fire engine puts the fire out

Task 3

This section of the interview is quite long and contains difficult vocabulary. Prepare your students thoroughly.

1 Remind them of the points covered in Task 2 in Unit 19, where they discussed the problem of adults who have numeracy problems. The same problem is mentioned in this interview.

2 Elicit the three types of programming error that can occur: system, syntax, and logic, and ask students to explain them in simple English. Explain that the linking errors mentioned in the interview are system errors.

3 Pre-teach: stigma (for recognition only), stats (statistics), debug, pilot test, state of the art.

4 Encourage students to predict the answers to the questions before they listen. Write their best guesses on the board. You can correct or amend these when checking the answers.

Pause the tape as often as necessary. Break the interview after ' ... three or four machines as a pilot test', as there is a switch of topic in the next section, where Colin focuses on types of error.



1 People who had to learn to count again had a problem with being in a classroom with a teacher. 2 It allows the teacher to create groups. It provides statistics on students' performance.

3 The statistics tell the teacher how much the students have done, the time taken, and how often they've used the Help facilities.

4 You can't identify and remove mistakes from your own program.

5 The programs are tested by colleagues 'in-house' and schools through pilot-testing.

6 Colleagues try to 'break'the program. (They try to make it fail by testing it with 'extreme' data.)

7 They forgot that schools had lower-grade equipment than their own.The graphics looked horrible on school machines.

8 The types of errors he mentions are syntax, linking (= system), and loqic.

Task 4

Most of the questions relate to specific details in the interview, therefore pre-listening predicting is not helpful. However, you can ask the class to predict the answers to question 9. Remind them of the ways the Computing Support Assistant from Unit lOused to keep up with developments in her field. Question 8 provides preparation for Unit 21.

Pre-teach stressful, canteen, module, and manual (as in computer manual). When you correct this task, explain what Colin means by lose it in the last linethat if he stops work to go home, this breaks the creative flow. He may not be able to continue to work with the same creativity the next day.


1 yes, very

2 fixes the network 3 in the canteen

4 five

5 three are developers, two work on graphics 6 six months

7 because it divides into modules, database design, and database access

8 C++, HTML, JavaScript, Visual Basic

9 by subscribing to two magazines, buying Dr Dobb's Journa/from time to time, and using Microsoft Developer, which his company subscribes to

10 because he might not be able to work so well the next day

Task 5

Warn the students that they will have to listen particularly hard for some of the references, which are brief or indirect,


1,( 2,( 3X 4,( 5,( 6,( 7X

Language work

The language work in this section is designed so that students can work out for themselves the differences between the Present simple and the Present continuous, using examples from the interview. Provide further examples from your teaching context to help them make the right conclusions and to reinforce the rules. For example:

What are we doing now?

We're studying English right now.

(Present continous to describe actions going on at the moment.)

What do you do at break times? We study English every Tuesday.

(Present simple to describe routines, things that happen habitually, and things that are always true.)

Point out the difference between the long and the contracted form of the verb to be in the Present continous, e.g. I'm, you're, he's, she's, we're, they're versus I am, you are, he is, she is, we are, they are.

Task 6

This gives students the ability to explore and develop their understanding of the differences between the two present tenses.


1 I arn/l'rn working 3 does, get

5 use

7 subscribe

9 we are/we're developing

2 ask

4 we are/we're using 6 finish

8 I am/l'm trying

10 they are/they're doing

Task 7

This would be a suitable homework exercise, and will help you to identify students who still have problems in using the two present tenses.

Computing words and abbreviations


You can use Task 8 and Task 9 as vocabulary tests.


Word processing Databases Spreadsheets Graphics

font field cell tool
bold selection column paint
underline record formula draw
justify search row scale
spelling checker sort rotate
tab fill Task 9

Tell students that phrasal verbs, such as the ones in this exercise, are a distinctive feature of the English language, and that they should make an effort to learn them as they come across them. Encourage them to write the verbs they did not know the meaning of in their vocabulary books. Test these verbs again in another lesson.

1 burn down 2 keep up with
3 divide up 4 give up
5 find out 6 come across
7 puts out/will put out 8 come up
9 takes up 10 pick up Speaking

Task 10

Key Student A

In this program the value of times never reaches 1, therefore 'HELLO' will never be printed.

Student B

In this program the value of total will always be more than 0, and therefore the program will go on for ever. This is called an infinite loop.




Computer programs can be written in a v vide variety of computer languages. The two main types of computer languages are low-level languages and high-level languages. Low-level languages operate faster, but are more difficult to write. They include: machine code - which consists entirely of 1 s and Os assembly language - which uses mnemonics and numbers

High-level Ianguages are closer to human languages and are therefore easier to use. They include: C++ (C plus plus), Java, JavaScript, Visual Basic, and Delphi.

One of the easiest programming languages to use is called BASIC. Some of the expressions used in the BASIC language are shown in the table below.




remark (a note for the programmer)


shows the value of a variable on the display screen


waits for the user to input a value into a variable

DO WHILE condition repeats the instructions

instructions while the given condition is

LOOP true

marks the end of a program

All computer programs, however, have to be converted into low-level machine code to be understood by a computer. Some languages can be compiled by a compiler program, which converts the whole program into machine code at one time. Other languages are interpreted by an interpreter program which converts the program into machine code one line at a time, as each line is required by the processor. A compiled program only needs to be


compiled once, but an interpreted program needs to be interpreted every time it is used. Compiled programs are therefore faster than interpreted programs. Note that HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is not really a programming language, but is used for creating webpages.

BASIC uses the following mathematical symbols:

/ - divide by ** - raised to the power of

* - multiply by (times)


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: organizing information to explain systems/processes copying down accurately lines of program code.

They should be able to use simple reported speech to describe instructions.

They should know and be able to use these words: assembly language, machine code, high-level language, low-levellanguage, HyperText Markup, tag.


Task I

At first glance, it may seem that none of these extracts from programs mean anything! Don't panic. Your students will probably have seen examples of the different kinds of languages shown here and a second look will reveal that three of them contain some English words and that one of them (c) is simply an English sentence written over three lines. Ask your students to do this in pairs. Then compare rankings round the class.


1c 2a 3e 4d 5b

Task 2

Explain first that naturallanquaqe means a human language and that machine code is a language which only computers understand. The higher the level of language, the closer it is to natural language.


1c 2a 3e 4d 5b


Task 3

Give the students a short time to study the program, and discuss it in pairs; but do not ask them for their ideas until after they have listened to the recording.


It's a program to calculate the average of a series of numbers, for example test results.

Task 4

Before you play the recording, give students a little more time to study the program individually, and make predictions about what some of the missing items might be.



20 CLS



50 SUM=O








140 LOOP



170 END

Task 5

Students who have done a little programming should be able to identify these faults. Ask students

to work in groups of three. Each should attempt to explain in English to the others in his/her group one of the faults.


1 It does not allow you to use the number 999 as one of the set of numbers.

2 If the user only inputs one number before entering 999, the output will read "The average of the 1 numbers is 1':

3 If the first number you enter is 999, the program will crash because it will try to divide by zero.


Task 6

This is a less-controlled reading and note-taking activity combined with a reporting and note-taking activity as students exchange information on what they have read. Put a note-taking frame -like the one shown in the Key below - up on the board, and ask the students to copy it.

They first fill in the sections for the languages they have read about. They fill in the remaining sections by noting the main points provided by the others in their group. Try to ensure that at the reporting stage students do so orally and in English and do not simply allow their fellows to copy their notes.


Language Associated Type of Use

Language Language


Programming General and





Page description

Creating web pages


Programming WorldWide Web programs, small electronic devices


JeivaScript Java



Visual Basic

Programming General environment purpose applications




Programming General environment purpose programs


Task 7

This task requires an understanding of all six texts. You can set it as a group exercise where students answer only about the texts they read in Task 6; then combine answers to complete the task. Or you can set it as an individual task where students answer by drawing on their notes and by referring to all six texts as required.



2 JavaScript, VBScript 3 C++

4 programs can be easily adapted for use on many

different types of computer systems 5 HTML

6 HyperText Markup Language 7 Visual Basic, Delphi


Language work

This focuses on reported speech but in the context of screen messages. Do not go into such complexities as tenses and reporting verbs at this level. Keep it simple.

Elicit examples of screen messages from the class or write a selection on the board.

Please enter a number.

Do not attempt to log on without a password. Printer out of paper:

Do you want to exit (YIN)?

Demonstrate. how each screen message is reported. It requests you to enter a number.

It tells you not to log on without apassword. It iriforms you that the printer is out of paper. It asks you if you want to exit.


Do this orally first as a whole class activity to reinforce the language work and to demonstrate how articles have to be included.


1 It tells you to make sure the printer is switched on

before continuing.

2 It informs you the system is halted/has halted. 3 It tells you to press any key to continue.

4 It requests you to type the next number.


5 It tells you not to proceed.

6 It requests you to choose from the menu below. 7 It informs you (that) there is a non-system disk in

drive a.

8 It informs you (that) there is a paper jam.

Task 9

As for Task 8. Note the word order.


1 It asks you if you wish to continue.

2 It asks you what the drive letter of your hard disk is.

3 It asks you if you are sure you want to copy (the)

selected files.

4 It asks you if you want to virus check another disk. 5 Itasksyou if the printer is ready.

6 It asks you in which directory you wantto install the program.

7 It asks you if you want to delete (the) files.

8 It asks you if you are sure you wantto shut down the computer.


Task 10

Students must apply the information contained in the reading texts to provide the best solutions to these users' needs. They may also use information of their own about computer languages.



5 Visual Basic, Delphi

2 C++

4 JavaScript


Task 11

This is a simple conversion of notes to full sentences. Each language can be described in the same way as the example given on page 89.


Low-level systems

The main parts of a computer system consist of the processor, memory, input devices, output devices, and storage devices. The processor is the most important part of the computer. It is sometimes called the central processing unit or CPU, although the term CPU is sometimes used to mean the processor and the main memory together. The main components of the processor are shown in the table.



Arithmetic and Performs arithmetic functions Logic Unit (ALU) (e.g. + ,-) and logic operations (e.g. AND, OR) on the data.

Control Unit (CD) Synchronizes and controls all parts of the computer.


Small temporary memory areas that hold instructions and data that is needed immediately.


Connectors that carry signals between the processor and

other parts of the computer.

The three main ones are: the control bus, the data bus, and the address bus.

Processors follow a fixed sequence of steps, called the machine cycle, to process a program instruction.

Step Action Name
1 fetches the next instruction
from memory Instruction time
2 decodes the fetched (l-time)
3 executes the decoded
instruction Execution time
4 stores the result in memory Program instructions are normally executed one after another in order, but if something happens in the systems that needs urgent attention, an interrupt signal is sent to the processor. The processor determines the priority of the action and stops what it is doing at an appropriate time to deal with the problem, i.e, to service the interrupt.

A variety of number systems are used in computing. The binary system is made up of Is and Os, and is ideal for representing the on and off states of the electronic switches in a computer. Binary numbers can be converted to decimal numbers by multiplying the binary digits by their place values, and adding the results together. For example, the binary number 11 I has a value of (IX4) + (IX2) + (IXI) = 4+ 2+ I = 7. Decimal numbers can be converted to binary numbers by repeatedly dividing the decimal number by 2, and writing down the remainders in reverse order.

This is the most technical of all the units. Do not be tempted to omit it. It covers some of the most important aspects of how computers work and your students need the language covered. Prepare yourself by reading this introduction carefully. Remember, your students can be very helpful, and will take delight in explaining any paints you may not understand.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: listening and reading for specific detail

making an oral explanation.

They should be able to use linking words to contrast two ideas.

They should know and be able to use these words: decode, execute, execution,fetch, machine cycle.



Task 1

Set this as an individual task, and ask students to compare their answers in pairs. All the terms should be familiar from Units 3, 6, 7, and 8 - with the exception of plotter, which students can look up in the Glossary.


a processor b input


d storage e output

Task 2

Tbis is a good opportunity to revise the names of input, output, and storage devices taught in Units 1 to 8. Divide the board into three lists, one for each group of devices. Write answers from the class on the board to produce as comprehensive lists as possible. More advanced students could write a brief description of a computer system based on the diagram and including their examples from Task 2. They could begin:

A computer system consists of .

Examples of input devices are .

Key (other answers are possible)

Input: barcode reader, digital camera, graphics tablet, joystick, keyboard, lightpen, microphone, mouse, scanner, touchscreen, trackerball

Output: monitor, laser/dot-matriX/lnkjet printers, loudspeaker, plotter

Storage: CD-ROM, fixed/removable hard disk, floppy disk, magneto-optical disk, magnetic tape


Task 3

Treat tbis as a pre-listening task. Do not correct tbis exercise until you have played the recording.


On tbis first listening, students should listen only to check their answers to Task 3. They should ignore


information on the function of the ALU and how registers operate.


1 arithmetic and logic unit

2 a temporary storage area for instructions or data 3 makes the computer carry out each instruction of

a program in the right order and controls all hardware

Task 5

Pause the tape if necessary after each component is described.


1 arithmetic functions and logic operations 2 AND, OR, and NOT

3 the control unit

4 registers are for instructions or data required immediately

main memory is for data required in the near future

Task 6

Tbis serves as a pre-listening task for Part 2 of the recording. Students should be able to guess most of these questions from the diagram. Buses are mentioned in Part 1 of the recording.


1 To carry electrical signals between different parts

of the computer.

2 The data and control buses. 3 Data and instructions.

4 In one direction only.

Task 7

Write the table on the board and complete it with students' answers as you correct tbis task. There are not many examples of technical terms in computing using the prefixes unt and bi but remind students of binary.


Bus Uni/Bidlrectionei Links

Data Bidirectional CPU and memory

Address Unidirectional CPU and memory

Control Bidirectional CPU and other parts of the computer



Treat this as a pre-reading task. All of the questions can be answered from the diagram.

Task 9

Do not pre-teach new words for this text. Execute may be new. but its meaning can be inferred from context - it occurs six times. with the noun execution occurring once. The text itself teaches the meaning of fetch and decode. Once students have completed this task. ask them to draw and label the machine cycle from memory.


1 four

3 execute and store

2 instruction/I-time 4 instruction/I-time

Task 10

Set as an individual task for class-time or homework.


1 program instructions and data 2 register

3 moves it from memory to the ALU 4 in memory or a register

5 they are released to an output device or a secondary storage device

6 I-time plus E-time

Language work

The language work focuses on more examples of linking words (see Unit 8). Write the first pair of sentences (page 92) on the board. and underline bidirectional and unidirectional. Elicit suggestions for one word - other than and - which could link the two sentences. The answer you want is but. Show that whereas and in contrast can be used as alternatives. but point out that in contrast would normally start a new sentence.

Task 11

Do this orally; then set as an individual written task.

Key (there are other possible answers)

Dot matrix printers are noisy, but laser printers are quiet.

2 Floppy disks store small amounts of data, whereas hard disks store large amounts of data. 3 Handheld computers fit into your pocket. In contrast, supercomputers occupy a whole room. 4 High-level languages are easy to understand, whereas machine code is very difficult to understand.

5 Basic is a simple language, but C++ is complex. 6 Modern computers are powerful and relatively cheap. In contrast, older computers were less powerful and quite expensive.

7 An analyst analyses problems and finds solutions, whereas a programmerturnsthese solutions into computer programs.

8 A graphics package produces images and designs, but a word processor produces texts.


Task 12

This provides plenty of opportunity for coping with not understanding and not being understood. Divide the class in two. Each half prepares and rehearses one of the explanations. working in pairs. Then set the students to work in pairs. one from each half. to explain their respective problems to each other. Emphasize that this must be done entirely in English. Encourage students to use pen and paper as an aid to their explanation.


Task 13

This provides revision of the language work covered in Unit 18.

Key (other answers are possible)

. When a printer runs out of paper, an interrupt carries a signal to the CPU.

2 When the CPU receives the signal, it interrupts its tasks.

3 The CPU sends a message to the user after it saves. its current status in a special area of memory.

4 When the user reloads the paper tray, the processor returns to its previous state.



Future trends 1

Computing is relatively new and is developing at an increasingly fast rate. Because computers are general purpose instruments, they can be used in

. many different ways. It is impossible to predict with any certainty how computers will be used in the future, but some new developments have already taken place which are certainly likely to become more important in the future. Three important computing topics considered in this unit are robotics, virtual reality, and smart cards.

Robots in human form have often featured in science fiction. Robotic arms are commonly used for car manufacture, nuclear plants, and for bomb disposal. In the future, insect-sized robot micromachines (tiny mechanisms built on electronic chips) may be used as sensors or for doing work in very small spaces which are difficult to access. They may even be used inside the human body for drug delivery, curing common ailments.

Virtual reality (VR) is already used for games and entertainment. The user wears special headgear that projects 3-D images into their eyes, and special gloves to provide a sense of touch. It is likely that VR will be used in many ways in the future, including provlding a home shopping environment, and allowing premises to be guarded remotely. It is also likely to be used for air traffic control and for training doctors, allowing them to practise difficult operations safely. It might even be used for virtual travel. More speculatively, computers may be connected directly to the human brain using a direct neural tnierjace (DNY) to change the brain of the user, allowing them to do things they couldn't do before.

Smart cards are already being used for storing information about the user, for controlling access to facilities and as a means of providing money in an electronic form. Medical cards, which store information about the user's medical history, may become common; and banks are already experimenting with the use of smart cards. Smart cards will have a wide variety of uses and are likely to become very common in the near future.



By the end of this unit, students should be better at: listening for specific detail

reading for the main point of the text working out meaning from context.

They should be able to: make predictions using will and is/are going to.

They should know and be able to use these words and abbreviations: robot, robotics, 3-D, virtual reality, three-dimensional, smart card.


Task 1

These are fast-moving areas of computing and your students are likely to be able to suggest very recent developments.


Task 2

Treat the table as a pre-listening task and encourage students to guess the missing information. Then play the recording so that they can check their guesses and fill any remaining blanks. Pre-teach 3-D, three-dimensional.


Equipment Alternative name VR headset head-mounted



, shows graphics on a screen in front of

your eyes

VR glove data glove makes your hand feel pressure

VR mouse 3-D mouse, virtual to move around in

mouse virtual space

Task 3

Ask students to predict uses of virtual reality before they listen. Note their best ideas on the board.


Existing uses medicine entertainment design

Possible future uses

virtual travel- virtual holiday virtual experience

speak a new language or play an instrument


Task 4

This is a jigsaw reading activity. The texts are difficult, and students should not expect to understand every word. Encourage them to look for main points only and not to worry about fine details. Tell students to make three copies of the note-taking form at the beginning of the exercise. They should use the first copy to make notes from their own text, and the others to make notes about the remaining texts when they come to exchange information. With a less advanced class, ask the students to find one application only in each textalthough texts B and C in fact contain several. Many of the unfamiliar words can be ignored, e.g. incoherent, allergies, distraught (Text A), or can be worked out from context, e.g. warehouse, simulated (Text C).

With a more advanced class, you could use these texts for 'triads' - a reading, speaking, and notetaking activity. Students work in groups of three, A, B, and C. Each has a separate role. A is the first Speaker, B the Reporter, and C the Judge. A's task is to report from their notes the main points of their text. B must listen carefully and provide a brief oral summary. C must listen to both inputs and judge the accuracy of B's report, pointing out any changes, errors, or omissions. Students change roles three times so that each has a chance to play each part.

Key (other answers are possible)

Development Application/s

smart cards: medicard

a smart card containing patient information

computers in ambulances and hospitals can read the information it is working successfully now

robotics: micro-machine

sensors, gyros, and drug deliveryfor example to deliver drugs inside the body or repair machinery from the inside

micro-machines exist, but using robots in medicine is close to 'sci-fi',

virtual reality

1 choosing products in a virtual showroom

2 patrolling buildings without leaving an office

3 air-traffic control- using microlaser scanner glasses which give a 3-D effect

4 doctors can learn new procedures on simulated patients

all are 'under development' (4 is already being used) .


Development Application/s


Development Application/s


Task 5

Emphasize that this is a speaking activity, and that students should try and exchange information orally, not just read from their notes.

Language work

Will and going to are both used for predictions but note these differences:

1 When we add a condition (if ... ) we use will only.

For example: If you protect your files with a password, you won't have problems with unauthorized access.

2 When we talk about things which have been decided we use going to only. For example: We're going to replace these computers in May.

Ask the class:

What will happen in the future to computers? What changes will there be?

Write down their answers - more powerful, cheaper, smaller, disposable, built in to new homes, etc.


Then use these phrases to make complete sentences with will and is/ are going to. For example:

Computers are going to be cheaper. They will be more powerful.

Ask them to do the remaining examples in the same way. You can also use their predictions about virtual reality in Task 3 in the same way.

Task 6

Do this in groups or pairs. This task will give students a chance to exchange ideas and opinions rather than just information.


Task 7

Do at least one of these as a whole class activity. Direct students to Text C from Task 4 above for possible answers to the first question.

Key (other answers are possible)

1 blood type, allergies, drugs taken, medical history 2 name, address, date of birth, nationality

3 name, address, number oftimes you have used different facilities, best performance

4 name, address, account numbers, how much money is in the account




Do part of this as a whole class activity. Students can type up their report and send it to the head of your college. if your college does not yet have such a system.


Future trends 2

Computing is changing and developing at a very fast pace. Although it is impossible to predict the future with any certainty, one thing we can be sure of is that the hardware and software we will be using in twenty or thirty years time will be very different from what is in use today.

Videophones, electronic pets, and robots already exist - and may become more common in the future. The development of smaller computers and computing networks is making it easier for computers to be used in more situations. It is already necessary to have some computing skills for most jobs. Education will. use computing systems more in the future, but some people argue that increased use of machines is not necessarily a good thing, and will not lead to creative thinking or adequate interpersonal skills.

Increased ease of communication and the ability to easily store vast amounts of readily accessible information will change many aspects of our lives. These factors may create more centralized control and change the relations between countries. Three features of our daily lives that are certainly likely to be affected are health, shopping, and money.

The increased ease of communication made possible by computers is likely to have an important effect on the daily lives of physically disabled people. Miniature computers may be used to monitor our health, and the use of computer-controlled body implants is likely to develop to some extent, although it is difficult to know how far these developments will be accepted by society. 3-D virtual reality systems can be used on the Internet to make shopping easier, and smart cards may be used to provide an electronic money system.

Computers will open up many possibilities for mankind. Perhaps humans may one day travel to other planets and even discover other worlds. This unit, however, focuses on future developments in the specific areas of education, health, shopping, and money.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: expressing opinions

identifying main points and supporting points in an argument.

They should be able to use will and would correctly in predictions.

They should know and be able to use these words and abbreviations: disabled, implant, online, PIN.


Task 1

Encourage students to spend a few minutes thinking about their answers, and to consider what to say in defence of their predictions. If they predict that there will never be manned flights to Mars, for example, they should be able to say why. This will help them when they come to compare their views with other students in Task 2.

Task 2

There are no 'right' answers. These tasks provide an opportunity for students to exchange and defend opinions. By the time you use this task, some of the predictions may already be fact.


Task 3

Treat this as a pre-listening task. Once students have completed the exercise, divide the class in two. Ask one group to think of points in favour of making more use of computers in schools; the other must think of points against. Write their main points at opposite sides of the board.



1 palmtop computers

2 help with problems, provide information 3 Internet terminals

4 use email

5 integrated with nationwide research

Task 4

Pre-teach grid. Remind students that at this stage they should only note the main points, not the supporting argument. Warn them that the main point sometimes comes before the supporting argument, sometimes after. When you correct this task, compare the speaker's main points with those listed on the board.


1 Pupils will have access to a world of learning.

2 Pupils will becomefamiliarwith ITfrom an early age. Computer skills will help them when they leave school.

3 Email will develop communication skills and encourage an international outlook.

4 Teachers will have more time for their 'real' job of inspiring students.


This is a repeat of Task 4, but this time, students are asked to note the main points against IT developments in schools in the 21st century.


1 Easy access to massive amounts of information will not help pupils develop original ideas.

2 We will produce students who are not good at . communicating with others and working as a team.

3 The creation of a National Grid might lead to centralization.

4 It would be better to spend the money on teaching reading, numeracy, and taking pupils on field trips.

Task 6

With more advanced students you can ask them to combine their lists of main points and supporting reasons to write a short text, either in favour of or against greater usage of computers in schools.



Reasons for each main point in favour (numbers match the key to Task 4)

1 The resources available through the National Grid will be far greater than any school can provide.

2 All study and most jobs in the future will require computer literacy.

3 Email will allow pupils to communicate with pupils in another part ofthe UK and in different parts ofthe world.

4 It will free teachers from paperwork.

Reasons for each main point against (numbers match the key to Task5)

1 They will copy and paste text or download essays. 2 More time communicating with machines means

less time communicating with people.

3 All schools will have access to the same content and will do the same things.

4 Experience in the US has shown that greater use of computers has not raised school standards.


Task 7

Treat as a pre-reading task. Tell students to compile a list of their predictions in note form. You can ask groups to focus on one area only; then exchange opinions with another group. Alternatively, you can ask each group to look at all three areas.


A jigsaw read and report activity. Advise students not to worry if they do not understand all of the text. Do not pre-teach cholesterol (Text A), or aisle and boycott (Text B), as these are of marginal importance. Teach PIN - personal identification number - for Text C, as this is a useful term.


Development Date Details

body chips next miniature computers to decade monitor health, e.g. blood


within . correct ability to interact twenty with the world, e.g. vision years

in fifty shoppers will be able to scan

years supermarkets and click on

time goods they want

They will be able to get information and help online

computer shopping

electronic now


download money to a smart card and use it to buy goods and services use the Internetto check account and buy goods in any currency

coins and notes will disappear

not specified

Language work

Write these two sentences on the board:

People will be able to live on the Moon. People would be able to live on the Moon.

Explain the difference between them. Sentence 1 is a prediction. We are certain it will happen. Sentence 2 depends on circumstances. Write IF after Sentence 2. and elicit the circumstances which would make this possible. Write them on the board. For example.

... there was enough water. ... they had oxygen.

... there were regular .flights:' ... they could keep warm.

Task 9

Do some examples orally; then set for individual 'writing practice. The examples are drawn from Task 1 and the reading texts. Advise students that they must add articles and other words where required. When correcting. elicit the circumstances which would make these predictions possible.

Key (other answers are possible)

1 Computers would write their own software. 2 Implants would stimulate the muscles of the


3 A touchscreen would unfold from your wristwatch.

4 Smart clothes would alter their thermal


5 Robot pets would require no food.

6 Artificial lungs would help cancer patients. 7 People would be able to travel to Mars.

8 A body chip would correct poor vision.

Task 10

Set this for individual work in class-time or as homework.

Key (other answers are possible)

There would be fibre optic links between every house.

2 There would be paper-free education. 3 No money would be used.

4 There would be computers in every house, 5 There would be driver-less public transport.

6 There would be wall-size computer screens for entertainment.

7 Houses would be cleaned by robots.

8 There would be virtual doctors for medical advice.

Task 11

Set a target of at least five predictions per pair.


Task 12

This pair-work exercise should provide ample opportunity for developing strategies for coping with not understanding and not being understood . Only after students have exhausted their linguistic and para-linguistic repertoire should they exchange notes.


Task 13

Before the students start the exercise. elicit ideas which have already been mentioned in this unit and in Unit 23 =for example: body chips to correct hearing and sight. and implanted chips to stimulate muscles. Groups should report their ideas to the whole class. At the end. ask students to vote for the best ideas.


There cannot be an answer key but students may mention devices which already exist for the severely disabled. For example, computers that can be operated by moving the eyes or sucking and blowing on tubes.



Interview: IT Manager

The IT Manager being interviewed in this unit has seen a lot of developments in computing and expresses his views about future developments.

Electronic computers have only been around for a relatively short time. They started out as very big mainframe systems that consumed a lot of power, were unreliable, and needed a team of professionals to operate and maintain them. Mainframes are still in use however and have continued to be developed. Supercomputers such as the Cray computers are the most powerful type of mainframe available today. Smaller personal computers that consume a modest amount of power, are fairly reliable, and can be controlled and maintained by the user are now very common. The development of network systems using personal computers has encouraged the move away from centralized systems, controlled by a large mainframe, to the development of distributed systems, where various smaller computers share the workload and control the system. Computers are likely to continue to become faster, cheaper, and more efficient.

Some of the views expressed by the IT Manager include the following:

1 Speech recognition requires the use of very powerful systems that are only now becoming possible to produce. They will make a big change in computing and will inevitably encourage a lot more people to use computers in everyday situations.

2 Hyperlinked webpages are likely to be the type of computing interface that will become the standard for the future.

3 As networking develops, video conferencing is likely to become more common, although people will prefer to meet face-to-face where possible.

4 Although there is always some resistance to change, it is likely that computers will playa bigger role in teaching in the future. Teaching, however, requires human skills and is unlikely to

. be done entirely by computers.


5 It is difficult to find a good time to buy a computer because they are always being improved. Having a home computer entices you to continue working at home.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at listening to an interview for specific detail.

They should be able to use expressions of certainty to describe future developments in computing, and the Past passive to describe past developments.

They should know and be able to use these words and abbreviations: vacuum tubes, transistors, intergrated circuits (1Cs), develop, introduce, invent.


Task 1

Revise and practise saying dates. Dictate some dates to the students, and ask them to write them down. Then get every student to dictate a date that is significant to him or her to the class - ask them to explain why the date is important. Present students with the past passive forms of introduce and develop without presenting the tense formally. For example:

A: What happened in 19 84?

B: The first Apple Macintosh was introduced.


1 the first computer (1942)

2 the first minicomputer (1960) 3 the first IBM PC (1981)

Task 2

Combine the students' ideas on the board.


Task 3

Tom gives the dates of a number of developments in his own company. These dates are not the same as those listed in Task 1 as companies adopted the new technology at different times. Explain before students listen that Cray is a make of mainframe.

Key Date 1965

What happened

started in computing, transistorized computer

microprocessors came in

first PCs

enormous changes in hardware change from central to distributed computing

first Cray

1974 1980

through the 80s 1990

early 90s

Task 4

Pre-teach air-conditioning, peak, reliable, unreliable. Part 1 contains useful lexis on change: grow, growth, drop, lift off, mushroomed, enormous, staggering changes.


1 16 kilobytes

2 magnetic tape

3 a megawatt a year

4 newer machines used much less electricity and did not require air-conditioning

5 the number of staff dropped

6 it was very unreliable



1.1 2.1 3.1 4X 5.1 6.1 7.1 8X

Language work

Write the examples from the interview on page 104 on the board. Ask students to group Tom's prediction as certainJairly certain, and uncertain. Examples 1 and 2 fall in the first category, 3 and 5 in the second category, 4 in the third category. Expressing certainty is a matter of intonation as well as choice of modal verb or adverb. Although could often indicates uncertainty, in this example it

is combined with I think, and the speaker's intonation shows that he or she is fairly certain about this development. Go through the other expressions of certainty in each category; then ask students to say how certain they are about developments in the next ten years.


Complete this orally. Then set for an individual class-time task or for homework.

Computing words and abbreviations

Task 7

Once again you can use this task as a vocabulary progress test as it summarizes key lexis introduced in this and earlier units.

Computer Buses Number Machine
languages systems cycle
C++ address binary decode
Delphi control decimal execute
HTML data hexadecimal store
Visual Basic TaskS

This task provides practice in taking noun phrases to pieces to work out what they mean.


1 a machine which is the size of an ant

2 a display which is mounted on the head

3 instruction which is assisted by computers 4 a future which is based on IT

5 design which is aided by computers

6 manufacturing which is aided by computers

7 an operating system which is based on characters 8 a disk which is protected against writing


Task 9

Provide further practice of the past passive using the few regular verbs presented in Task 1; develop, invent, introduce.



Issues in computing

Because faults can develop in computer systems, it is important to keep copies of valuable data using a backup system. This is especially important in a network where many users are storing vast amounts of data.

N etworks also require security systems to control access. Login names and passwords are often used, but these may be combined with the use of plastic swipe cards containing a user identification number. Some computer systems use recognition systems that scan and identify characteristics of the user such as their fingerprints, facial features, voice, or eyes.

Computer crimes include:

1 hacking-unauthorized access to computer systems and tampering with other users data. 2 pirating, i.e. illegally copying and selling


3 intentionally attempting to spread viruses.

Viruses are programs that have been written to make a computer behave in an unexpected and' undesired way. Although they are often relatively harmless, they sometimes cause alot of damage. They are usually designed to remain hidden and dormant until a particular time, or until the user performs a particular action, such as pressing a particular combination of keys. They have a tendency to replicate themselves, and often attach themselves to other programs. It is common for a user to have a virus program on their disk without being aware of it.

Viruses can be found and removed by anti-virus programs, which scan disks and files looking for programming code that is known to belong to particular virus programs. When a piece of virus code is found, the viruscan be identified, and an appropriate program run to delete the virus code from the disk or file. Plain text email messages cannot contain a virus, but viruses can be carried in email attachments, i.e. files attached to email messages. Some viruses are much more common


than others and are often unknowingly downloaded from a network system such as the Internet. Care should be taken to check for viruses when using removable disks or when transferring files.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: listening and note-taking

predicting from text headlines.

They should be able to make rules and guidelines using always, never, and must, mustn't.

They should know and be able to use these words and abbreviations: activate, dormant, hacking, pirating, prevention, virus, anti-virus.


Task 1

Give students only a short time for this exercise. See which group or pair can come up with three solutions in the quickest time.


1 back them up regularly

2 prevent access with a password 3 prevent access with a password.

Task 2

Treat this as a pre-listening task as preparation for Task 3. Don't correct this exercise until the students have listened to the recording.


Task 3

Asks students to work in groups of three. One student in each group should listen and make notes on each of the three headings: "What you have, "What you know, "Who you are.

Students then combine their information to complete the table. An alternative approach is to ask two students to listen and the third to be the secretary. The listeners dictate what they remember to the secretary who fills in the table.


Access system What you have What you know Who you are


swipe card, active badge password

fingerprint, face, voice, retina recognition


Task 4

Treat this as a pre-reading task. Most students of computing know quite a lot about viruses. Pool their answers on the board.

Task 5


1 making computer viruses, hacking, pirating 2 flash = display briefly, gobbledegook=

meaningless rubbish, dormant= opposite of active, eradicate = remove totally

3 new viruses appear every month

4 see table:

Virus Effect

Yankee Doodle plays this tune every 8 days at 5pm

Cascade all the letters in a file fall to the bottom of the screen

Michelangelo Jerusalem B

turns data into nonsense erases any file you try to load

Language work

Elicit examples of guidelines for preventing and treating viruses. Write them on the board in their imperative form. Demonstrate how they can be

made stronger by using always and never. Then transform them using must and mustn't, as in the examples in the Student's Book. Provide further examples using the rules for CD-ROM and floppy disk care given in Task I, Unit 8 on page 34. If you can obtain a CD-ROM, demonstrate these examples:

Hold a CD-ROM by the edges.

Always hold a CD-ROM by the edges.

You must hold a CD-ROM by the edges.

Hold a CD-ROM betweenfinger and thumb. Never hold a CD-ROM betweenfinger and thumb.

You mustn't hold a CD-ROM betweenfinger and thumb.

Task 6


1 You must keep your network password secret. 2 You mustn't try to access other people's data. 3 You must make a backup copy of all your

important files.

4 You mustn't use commercial software without a licence.

5 You must check your email regularly.

6 You mustn't install software before it is viruschecked:

7 You mustn't re-use Web images from pages which have a copyright symbol.

8 You mustn't change other people's data without permission.

9 You mustn't believe every email message that warns you about viruses - some are scare stories. 10 You must virus-check an email attachment before opening it.

Task 7

Key (other answers are possible.) Always keep your password secret.

You mustn't use a password which is easy to guess.

2 Never add extra labels to a floppy disk.

You mustn't remove a disk from a drive by force. 3 Always make backups.

You must label your backups.

4 Always make sure the monitor is easy to see.

You must have a chairwith back support. 5 Always check a floppy disk.

You must update your anti-virus program regularly.

6 Never smoke when you use a CD-ROM drive.

Always hold a CD-ROM by the edges.




Before the students start the exercise, talk through each headline with them. Answer any questions about vocabulary, and encourage your students to predict the kind of story which will follow. Get them to suggest words that might appear in each story, and list them on the board.

The language of the articles is colloquial, e.g nab, villain, rather than technical, but there are sufficient clues in these newspaper extracts to enable your students to match title and text. Advise them that reading the title carefully and predicting the contents of the text which follows is a good way to start reading any text in their specialism.

Note that e is a myth. You cannot catch a virus by reading an email.

You can do so by only downloading an attachment without virus-checking it.


1d 2b 3a 4e 5c



Task 9

Your college will probably issue guidelines on student use of computers. With a more advanced class, ask your students to try to translate any rules which relate to unauthorized use. They will need your help as they are translating from their own language into the foreign language, but an occasional activity of this sort can be useful.


Careers in computing

Computers are used in a wide variety of work and there are many different types of jobs available in computing. Job adverts used in this unit include areas such as analysis and design, programming, maintenance and support, computer operation, and computer sales. The job titles used for a particular type of work vary, and there is a lot of overlap of responsibilities in the different computing jobs advertised. For example, ajob having the title of Analyst/Programmer includes a mixture of systems analysis and computer programming. Appropriate technical experience and qualifications are normally required, including a Higher National Certificate (RNC) , a Higher National Diploma (HND), a Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc), or a Master of Science degree (M.Sc). As with most jobs adverts, a variety of skills are required. These might include good communication skills, the ability to think logically and the ability to work under pressure. In some computing jobs, good colour vision is essential, and it may be necessary to have a current driving licence. Knowledge of common operating systems, computing languages and programs are often required. Common network operating systems include Unix, Novell Netware, and Microsoft Windows NT. Common programming languages include C, C++, Pascal, Java, Delphi, Visual Basic (VB), and HTML. Common programs include the integrated general purpose package called Microsoft Office, databases such as Oracle and Microsoft Access and a groupware product called Lotus Notes. Knowledge of hardware and networks systems, such as the Internet, and email systems is often required. The growth of the Internet has meant that a knowledge of using TCP/If' (Transmission Control Protocol/ Internet Protocol) is often required. This is the standard set of rules for communicating over the Internet. Above all, to get a job in computing, it is usually necessary to keep up with new technology, and have some knowledge of current systems.


By the end of this unit, students should be better at: reading and note-taking

making inferences from a listening text.

They should be able to use must have/be, and should have/be to describe job requirements.

They should know and be able to use these words: systems analyst, programmer, technical sales manager, network support person, hardware engineer, software designer.


Task 1

Remind them of jobs they already know the English terms for through the interviews in this book: computing support assistant, IT manager, analyst/programmer. Encourage them to ask you the English names of computing jobs they know in the

mother tongue. .

Task 2

Elicit reasons for choosing a career and provide key vocabulary as required, e. g. salary, promotion, demand, security, interesting.


Task 3

This is a jigsaw read and report activity. It is not easy to reduce these texts to main points as they are already almost in note form. Ask students to try to make notes which summarize sections of the text and to ignore details.


Key (other answers are possible)

Job Main responsibilities

Software engineer! designer

designs, writes, compiles, and tests systems and applications programs of all kinds

sells computer hardware, in addition may arrange support or training for customers

analyst programmer who maintains and updates a company's software and solves problems of users

creates software programs, may specialize in one aspect such as programming or cover all, may also provide support

researches, designs, and develops computer hardware and the computerized element of other


Network support maintains all aspects of networks

person including software, wiring, workstations, etc.

Computer salesperson

Computer systems support


Computer systems analyst programmer

Hardware engineer

Task 4

Emphasize that tbis is supposed to be a speaking activity, and encourage students to exchange information orally, and not simply show each other their notes.


Task 5

Before they listen, ask students to predict some of the words and phrases wbich these professionals might use. Write their predictions on the board. Help them further, by doing the first example together. Go through the tapescript and point out each phrase wbich helps identify the speaker as a Systems Analyst Programmer. For example, ... I write a program, carry out a ... study in the company, I have to ... make an analysis of their systems, etc.


1 Systems Analyst Programmer 2 Technical Sales Manager

3 Network Support Person

4 Hardware Engineer

5 Software Designer


Language work

Write on the board or elicit from the class the requirements for the job of Computer Network Support Person. Task 3, text 6 and Task 5, extract 3 will help. The full list is given on page 112. Ask students to separate the requirements into most important or essential, and less important or desirable. Demonstrate how must havelbe is used for requirements that are essential and should have!be for those that are desirable only.

Task 6

As practical follow-up to tbis task, students could be asked to find out the essential and desirable criteria for a job they would like to do in computing. They could research tbis by looking at job advertisements in computing magazines. Your college library may have a selection. In addition, the college career guidance service should be able to provide data on careers in computing wbich you could help them translate.

Key (other answers are possible) Essential

1 certificate in computing

3 able to put technical ideas into everyday language 4 able to persuade and negotiate

6 thorough understanding ofthe product 7 driving licence

8 high level communication skills

9 patient, persistent, and diplomatic Desirable

2 experience in the computer industry 5 qualification in marketing

10 able to work away from home


Task 7

Ask students to work in groups of three. They should first read the job advertisement carefully to make a list of the essential and desirable requirements for the post. Then each member of the group can read the details of one applicant to identify how closely the applicant matches the requirements of the post. He or she should report back to the group who must agree on the best candidate. In case of doubt, they can refer back to the applicants' details. This will encourage a very close reading.


No applicant matches exactly.The closest candidate is Applicant 2.



You can use tills CV as a basis for tills task. Go through each element.

Personal details

Helen Dickens 30 August 1976

5 B The Pleasance, Birminqham, BU13ST

Marital status: Single


Date of birth:


Education and qualifications

1995 -1999 Chamberlain College, Birmingham HND Information Technology Systems

1988 -1994 Abraham Wright Secondary School, Derby

A levels in Engineering and Mathematics.

Standard Grade English, French, Art, Physics

I amfamiliar with Unix and Windows operating systems and with many mainstream packages including Microsoft Office and Lotus Notes. I am also familiar with programming languages such as C, Java, and Visual Basic.

I have a clean driving licence. I qualified in 1994. Employment History

1999 - present Tester Fault Finder

E. G. International Electronics Limited, Faraday Industrial Estate, Birmingham

My duties are to test and repair electronic circuit boards for a wide range of customers.



May Bonhill, Personnel Manager, E.G. International Electronics Ltd. Birmingham BG4 7ZQ

College Harold Mills,

Head of IT Department, Chamberlain College, Birmingham, BU19TL





Interview: Systems Manager

It is common in adverts for computing jobs to require that the candidate have a knowledge of various computer operating systems and programs. Common terms used in the job advert in this unit are shown in the table below.


Program or System

VB (Visual Basic) a common Microsoft Windows general purpose programming language


a popular database program produced by Microsoft Corporation


a well known. powerful database program produced by a company of the same name


a standard query language used for specifying search criteria in database programs

The Systems Manager in this interview is in charge of the Technical Services Division of a large British brewery. He looks after existing computer systems. and is responsible for the development of new systems. One particular system mentioned in the interview involves service engineers recording details of repairs on portable computers. and later copying them to a central computer system to enable a stock control system to be maintained. Sophisticated. purpose-made computer programs are now usually purchased from professional programming companies. after careful checking and testing. rather than being created in-house. The cost of these programs is small compared to the system installation and maintenance costs. The system discussed in this unit is a mixture of old and new systems that must work together. There are contingency plans for maintaining the systems


through various kinds of disasters and crisis situations. The Systems Manager thinks that faster communications is more important to the company than bigger data storage. He also believes that despite faster information transfer using computers. paper will always be used.

Large mainframe computers are often run by a data processing department which has a number of sections that perform various functions including:

1 collecting the data to be processed

2 sorting the data into batches that are processed together

3 inputting the data.

4 maintaining and operating the mainframe computer

5 returning the output to the users


By the end of this unit. students should be better at: reading and understandingjob advertisements using verb tenses appropriately.

They should know and be able to use these words: apply for. applicant. division. qualifications. supervise.


Task 1

The job advertisement serves as preparation for Task 2 as the post advertised is for the same kind of job held by the interviewee. Pre-teach commission and enhance. Ask students to give reasons for their choice of answer. More advanced students could write a similar job advertisement based on the job descriptions in Unit 27. Task 3.


1 False: he/she will work as part of the management team

2 True: he/she will have a minimum offive years'


3 True: in a business environment

4 True: good communication skills are essential 5 True: should have a good knowledge of VB

6 False: would be an advantage, not essential

7 False: will work as part of a team


Task 2

Advise students only to listen for the information required by the questions. A section of the interview - the example of the operational systemcan be ignored, unless you wish to add extra questions of your own. Pre-teach infrastructure, shortlisted, and track-record.


1 Technical Services

2 existing systems and their running, maintenance and general order, systems infrastructure, new systems development.

3 a fault reported

b engineer informed

c fault investigated and fixed

d details recorded on a handheld terminal e details downloaded to a PC.

f details sent to company mainframe g activity recorded

h stock database adjusted i new parts ordered

4 because there is so much available now and people expect sophisticated systems - developing such systems in-house would take too long and be enormously expensive

5 a system that meets your needs, a company which is financially sound, and has a good trackrecord - a business partner

Task 3

Pre-teach contingency plan.

Key 1 many hundreds

2 to ensure they can interface

3 passwords, signatures, databasesarebad.:ed up and stored off site in a fireproof store

4 faster communications

5 there is no such thing and there neverwilbe

Language work

Task 4

This revises tenses taught in earlier units. Take the opportunity to diagnose any remaining problems with these tenses when you correct this task. You can also use this task and Task 5 as a revision test.


1 has worked

2 graduated, took

3 trained, was working 4 looks after

5 's/is developing 6 goes, is sent

7 are downloaded

8 be made, is tested

9 will/are going to get

10 will not/is not going to happen


This is a further revision exercise - this time of modal verbs taught in earlier units.

Key (other answers are possible)


3 may, might 5 should not 7 will

2 must not 4 should

6 must

8 should/must


Task 6

It is best to prepare for this by getting students to prepare their questions and answers with one partner and then change partners for the role play. This role play could be extended using other pairs based on the job descriptions in Unit 2 7, Task 3.



Task 7


1 data control clerks 2 data controller

3 data preparation supervisor 4 keyboard operators

5 computer operators

6 chief operator

7 media librarian

8 file library

9 data control clerk 10 computer user

Computing words

Tasks 8a and 8b

These tasks can be used as a final vocabulary test. 8afocuses on N+N combinations and 8b on common collocations in computing.



hardware engineer systems analyst file server

swipe card

voice recognition computer crime bulletin board electronic wallet

Key - 8b (Other answers are possible.)

analyse browse debug delete edit install

open run save select

data, needs, requirements

data, databases, webpages, websites hardware, programs, software

data, documents, files, folders, texts data, documents, files, texts, webpages databases, files, hardware, programs, software

databases, documents, files, folders programs, software

data, documents, files

data, files, folders, options


Unit 1 Everyday uses of computers

Task 4 Extract 1

We use a PC for writing letters, for playing games, to calculate our bills, and to connect with the Internet. Extract 2

We've got electronic checkout tills with barcode readers. They read a special barcode on almost everything we sell. They calculate the bill for the customer. At the same time they send information to a larger computer, so we always know exactly what we've got in the store.

Extract 3

We make washing machines and refrigerators. The machines we use to make them are controlled by computers. We also use computers to calculate our wages, to keep the accounts, and to look after all materials and parts.

Extract 4

Our terminal links to airline offices. If you want to fly anywhere in the world, we can tell you at once if there's a seat on the flight you want. We can supply you with the tickets and we can reserve your hotel- all by computer.

Unit 2 Types of computer


Task 3

Part 1

A: I'm thinking of buying a computer, and I need some advice.

B: OK. What do you want to use it for? A: For writing, maybe for games. I want it for the Internet.

B: For the Internet and games ... I recommend a multimedia computer.

A: What do you mean by a multimedia computer?

B: Well, it's more powerful than a basic computer. It's got sound and a CDROM drive. You can use it for high-quality graphics, animation, and video.

Part 2

A: What if I wanted ... I travel a lot, if I wanted something smaller, what's available?

B: There are portable computers. A multimedia notebook is probably best.

A: Is a notebook the smallest kind you can get?

B: No, you can getsubnotebooks and even smaller handheld devices. They're mostly used as organizers, as a diary, a 'to doIist, and that kind

of thing. But for writing and general use a notebook is better.

A: OK, I think I'll go for a notebook.

What other things do I need?

B: A printer ... and for the Internet, make sure you have a modem.

A: A modem?

B: Yes, it's a device for connecting your computer to a telephone line. You need it to connect to the Internet.

Unit 3 Parts of a computer Task 3

A: What about things like power and speed, that sort of thing? What do I look for?

B: Well, power depends on speed and capacity - the speed of the processor and the capacity of the memory and the hard disk.

A: The speed of the processor?

B: How fast the computer processes data. Speed is usually given in megahertz. The faster the processor, the more powerful the computer.

A: And capacity?

B: How much storage space there is in the computer. Capacity depends on how much memory there is, how big the hard disk is. You measure RAM and video memory in megabytes. You've also got cache memory. That's in kilobytes. Always look for the highest numbers.

A: What about the hard disk? .

B: Hard disk capacity is in gigabytes.

Get a big hard disk for multimedia. Audio and video files use enormous amounts of space. Once again, the higher the numbers, the more powerful the computer.

Unit 4 Keyboard and mouse

Task 4

The keys on a computer keyboard can be arranged in many different ways. The most common way on a desktop PC is called the extended keyboard. The diagram shows an extended keyboard. The keys are in four main sections. (pause)

The section known as the main keyboard has a key for each letter of the alphabet. It also has keys for the digits 0 to 9, punctuation marks like commas and full stops, and other common symbols.


Above the main keyboard.is a row of keys known as the function keys. This section includes the Escape key to the left and the Print Screen, Scroll Lock, and Break keys to the right. The functionkeyslabelledFl toF12 don't have fixed functions. You can program

them to perform different frmctjrus such as saving and printing. (pause)

To the right of the main keyboard is a section known as the editing keys. 'l1Jis group includes keys which insert and delete data. It also includes the CUl'S(][" keys, also called the arrow keys. These keys move the cursor around the screen.


To the far right of the main keyboard is the numeric keypad. This section has keys for the digits 0 to 9 and for common mathematical symbols like plus and minus. The keys are arranged like the keys on an electronic calculator. You use these keys to input numerical data.

Unit 5 Interview: Student

Task 2 Part 1

INTERVIEWER: Tell me first of all about the course. What's the course called?

LYNSEY: Information Technology 3. INTERVIEV.'ER: How many students are


LYNSEY: In my class? Th'TERVIEWER: Yes.

LYNSEY: Well, at the beginning



LYNSEY: But now there are fifteen. INTERVIEWER: How many are men and

how many women?

LYNSEY: Three girls and twelve boys. INTERVIEWER: How long does the

course last?

LYNSEY: A year.

INTERVIEWER: And it starts in August? LYNSEY: September, and it goes on till


Tasks 5 and 6 Part 2

INTERVIEV.'ER: Tell me about the timetable for your course.

LYNSEY: Well, on Monday I've got Communications 4. It lasts for two hours. Nine to eleven. Then it's Numeracy3.

INTERVIEWER: Numeracy. that's some kind of maths?

LYNSEY: Yes, but it's more logic ... problem-solving.

INTERVIEWER: And do you have a break between classes?

LYNSEY: Yes, a half-hour break between eleven and eleven-thirty.

INTERVIEWER: Do you have other classes in the afternoon?

LYNSEY: Not on a Monday. INTERVIEWER: What do you have on a


LYNSEY: Programming. INTERVIEWER: Is that ... Well, tell me . what it's about.


LYNSEY: We study computer languages like Pascal.

INTERVIEWER: SO, Tuesday after the coffee break, what do you have?

LYNSEY: I'm sure it's Hardware '" No, it's Software, Computer Software.

INTERVIBWER: What happens in the Software class?

LYNSEY: You learn to use MSDOS and packages like databases.

INTERVIEWER: Do you have a class on a Tuesday afternoon?

LYNSEY: No, and nothing on a Wednesday.

INTERVIE1o\TER: Nothing at all?

LYNSEY: No classes, but sometimes we visit companies. Tomorrow it's the Royal Bank ... to see how they use computers.

INTERVIEWER: What do you have on Thursday?

LYNSEY: Thursday, I'm not too sure.

Hardware is last thing, half-past two.

INTERVIEWER: What happens in Hardware?

LYNSEY: You find out about all the different things inside a computer. lJ.'ITBRVIEWER: What about Friday? LYNSEY: We've got Networks first thing. We learn how computers work connected together.

INTERVIE1o\TER: Anything on a Friday afternoon?

LYNSEY: That's IT in Business and Industry. It's applications. That's what our visit tomorrow is about. We have to write a report on each visit. Five or six pages long.

Task 7 Part 3

INTERVIEWER: You have a very busy time on this course but is there time for anything else? Is there a social side students can enjoy?

LYNSEY: There's football and there was a Students' Night in Betty's Bar for all the new students to get to know each other.

Il\'TERVIEWER: Is there a Students' Union?

LYNSEY: Yeah, on the main campus.

They organize discos, but I live out of town so I don't stay on at night, and I've got ajob two nights a week.

INTERVIEWER: What do you do? LYNSEY: I work in a hotel. I'm a waitress.

INTERVIE1o\TER: SO you work in a hotel part-time?

LYNSEY: Yes, just to make some extra money.

INTERVIE1o\TER: Do you want to work in catering after you graduate?

LYNSEY: No, it's the worst hours for the worst pay.


Unit 6 Input devices Task 4

Computers can listen to your voice and change what you say into a written message or into orders. Voice input is a great help to people who cannot use their hands. It also helps people like pilots who need their hands or eyes for

other tasks. .

There are five steps in voice input. Step 1: when you speak, you produce audio waves. A microphone changes these waves into electrical waves. That's Step 2. Inside the computer there's a speech recognition board. In Step 3, the speech recognition board processes the waves from the microphone to form a binary code for each word you say. A binary code is a pattern of zeroes and ones, for example, 01001100. Each word has its own code.

In Step 4, the computer compares the code with other codes in its memory to identify each word. When it finds the correct word, it displays it on the monitor screen. That's Step 5, the last step.

Unit 7 Output devices Task 2

There are three different types of printers. These are dot-matrix, inkjet, and laser printers; Basically, you get what you pay for. The more you pay, the better the printer.


Dot-matrix printers are the cheapest kind of printer, but their print quality is low and they are slow and noisy. They're cheap to run.


Pay a bit more for an inkjet and you get better quality and quieter operation, but inkjets are relatively slow and also expensive to run. They're a good choice for colour.


A laser printer gives you the best quality of output. It prints faster than either of the other TI\'O types of printer and it costs less to run than an inkjet. Great for black and white. Unfortunately, it costs almost twice as much.

Unit 8 Storage devices Task 3

Part 1

The hard disk drive inside your PC is like a filing cabinet. Instead of paper, it stores everything electronically, It can hold all the software that runs on your system and all your personal files. It's a

pretty important part of your computer.

A hard disk drive normally contains several disks. They're stacked on top of each other. There are five in the diagram. The drive motor spins the disks very quickly. It runs all the time your PC is in use.

There's a gap, a space, between each disk. We need the gaps so the read/write heads can move across the disks and reach all parts quickly. The head motor controls the read/write heads.

TaskS Part 2

The space between the head and the disk surface is tiny. Even smoke from a cigarette can cause a crash. A crash is what happens when the head touches the surface of the disk. To keep out dust and smoke, the drive is inside a sealed case.

Unit 9 Graphical User Interface

Task 4

This is a picture of a computer screen with one win dow open. The window contains a dialog box. This one is the Find dialog box. You can see the name on the title bar at the top of the screen. You use this dialog box to find files or folders.


Near the top of the window there are three tabs. The first tab is for searching by name and location. There are two other tabs: one for searching by date and the other for advanced searches. (pause)

To search for a file by name and location, you type the name of the file in the drop-down list box called Named. In this example, the user wants to find all the document files. Then you choose the folder to search in using another drop-down list box labelled Look in. Here the user wants to look in the folder called Personal on the C drive. So the first drop-down list box is for the name, and the second dropdown list box is for the location.


Between the Named and Look in dropdown boxes is a text box. In the text box you type any words which you want to look for. In this example, the user only wants documents with the word 'sport'.


You start the search by clicking on the Find Now command button. Other buttons stop the search, start a new search, or browse the drives.

Unit 10 Interview:

Computing Support Assistant


Task 2

Part I: Introduction

INTERVIEWER: What do you like most about your job?

At'<NE: I like, I like all aspects of the job.

It's good to ... , it's varied so there's lots of interest.

INTERVIEWER: Are you ever bored? ANNE: No, not really, because it's never the same things over and over again; it's different each time.


INTERVIEWER: What kind of problems are there? What kind of difficulties do people have?

ANNE: People have problems with the hardware, often with printers ... paper jamming. They also have problems finding options in the programs. Mostly with word processing.

INTERVIEWER: Are there any other hardware problems?

ANNE: Occasionally a computer freezes ... it hangs or freezes. It's usually a memory problem.

INTERVIEWER: Is it always the machine or is it sometimes the user?

ANNE: Sometimes it's the user. The printer isn't switched on, or there's no paper.

Task 3

Part 2: Keeping up to date INTBRVIEWER: How do you keep in

touch with what's new in computing? It's changing all the time.

ANNE: Yeah, by the time you read something, it's out of date. Magazines are good for finding out what's new on the scene. The Internet also has information about new developments.

INTERVIEWER: Do you ever go on courses?

ANNE: Yes, they're a good way to keep up.

INTERVIEWER: What kind of courses? ANNE: Well, operating systems change, so courses about the different functions on the operating system. And then there's the programs that people use, like the word processors and the spreadsheets and the databases. And the best way to understand them is by taking a course and trying them out yourself.

Unit 11 Networks

Task 7

Computers in a network can be connected in different ways, in

different topologies. The three basic ways of connecting computers are: a star, a ring, and a bus topology. (pause)

A star topology has a server computer at the centre and a separate cable connecting the server to each of the other computers in the network. The central server controls the flow of data in the network. If the central server fails, the whole network will fail. (pause)

In a ring topology, each computer is connected to its neighbour in a circle. The data flows in one direction round the ring. If a cable breaks or one of the computers fails, the whole network will be affected.


A bus topology has all the computers connected to a common cable. The data travels in both directions along the cable. If a computer fails, or we remove one from the network, it won't affect the other computers. Most networks are usually a combination of star, ring, and bus topologies to overcome some of these problems.

Unit 12 Communications


Task 4

ANSWERPHONE MESSAGE: Thank you for calling Taytron. The office is now closed, but if you'd like to leave a message after the tone, dial one for sales, dial two for maintenance, and dial three for all other enquiries.


JOHN BAILES: This is John Bailes with a message for Lenny Yang. I'm sorry to phone so late but I can't make our meeting at 10.15 tomorrow. There are no seats on the 8.30 flight. I've got a ticket for the 9.45 flight which lands at 10.30. If the traffic isn't too bad, I can be with you around 11.15, say 11.30 to be safe. So can we meet at half-past eleven tomorrow. If there's any problem, please email me tomorrow before 8.30. My address is "bailes@brandt.co.be". See you tomorrow.

Unit 13 The Internet 1: email and newsgroups

Task 4

Hi, I started my course last Monday. We've got classes every day from 8.45 until a quarter past four, apart from Fridays when we finish at). 3 O. We can use the computer lab then, so I've taken the chance to send this message. The course is OK so far. 'Design and Make' is the best class. We've got to construct a project of our own. I'm thinking of a security alarm for my bike.

Staff are fine apart from Maths- DD sense of humour-and I'm getting to know the rest of the class. '!1Jere's an indoor sports centre we can use at lunch-times, and a few of us have started kicking a ball about most days. We might get a team going.

Let me know how your course is going and how life is treating you. If you're free on the 17th, come over. I'm having a party at my flat. Nothing fancy. but you'll meet Sandra again.

Unit 14 The Internet 2: the World Wide Web

Task 6

I This button stops your browser downloading information. Maybe because it's taking too long, or you're bored, or you've made a mistake in the address.

2 Whenever you find a page on the Web that you like and want to visit again, you can save it with this button.

3 This button will get you a fresh copy of any document you're looking at. 4 Click your mouse on this button and your browser will re-load the last page you were at.

5 This button will take you back to the browser starting page.

Unit 15 Interview: Website designer


Task 2

Part I

INTERVIEWER: What kind of people want websites and why do they want websites?

SALADIN: People who feel they have to be on the Web because competitors are on the Web. They feel that not having a website is a sign of being behind the times.

INTERVIEWER: SO other people have got a website and therefore they have to have one, too?

SALADIN: Yes. The better reason is people who have information they would normally provide free -like brochures, application forms, anything that would normally be sent out by mail.

INTERVIEWER: SO it saves fax, postage ... SALADIN: Printing costs. I think it's particularly useful for colleges and universities.

Il\'TERVmW'ER: Why is that?

SALADIN: Because they tend to have a large amount of information to distribute.

INTERVIEWER: If a client comes to you and asks you for a webpage, how do you set about designing a page for a client?


SALADIN: The first thing I would ask for is all their printed promotional material. I would look at all that material and then discuss with the client how much of it to put on the Web. The most important thing is to decide who is the audience for this website, who's it aimed at.

INTERVIEVI1ER: Is there a danger of putting too much on?

SALADIN: There's certainly a danger of putting too much on. Also, the client has to make a clear decision about how much time or money they're going to spend to keep the pages updated.

INTERVIEWER: Aha, so it's not enough simply to have a page, you need regular maintenance of that page.

SALADIN: Right, so these are the first two questions - who is at aimed at and how often will it be updated?

Task 3 Part 2

SALADIN: Once we've decided what materials should be put on, there are a couple of basic principles to follow. One is that there should never be any dead-ends, you should never reach a page which has no ...

INTERVIEVI1ER: Ah, which doesn't go anywhere?

SALADIN: ... Which has no links to take you back to somewhere else. So that's one principle. And the other principle is to try to limit the number of steps that have to be taken from the main home page to any other page. I would normally aim for a maximum of four steps.

INTERVIEVI1ER: Do people give up if there are more than two or three links, they simply give up, is that a problem?

SALADIN: Some people will give up, others will just never find the information, there are too many diversions. Another principle is not to have too many links to scroll through on one page. If you have a page which has 150 links and you have to keep scrolling through them, people will give up ... they'll never find the links at the bottom.

INTERVIEWER: What about graphics, sound and animations, and all these multimedia features? What's your feeling about these?

sAi.ADIN: Always ask why is it there?

That's the first thing. And if it's there simply because it makes the page look nicer, think quite carefully about whether to put it there or not. The more of that sort of thing you have, the more time it will take to download the pages. Another factor to bear in mind is that there are still a lot of users with less sophisticated browsers than N etscape or Microsoft


Explorer, and if you make the use of the page dependent on graphics and so on, you'll exclude these users.

Th'TERVIEWER: So no dead-ends, no more than four steps from home, and pictures have to serve a serious purpose.

Task 4 Part 3

SALADIN: Another aspect of designing pages is to break the information into relatively small sections.

INTERVIEWER: Is that just because of the size of the screen, what you can see at one time?

SALADIN: It's partly that, but it's also to do with download time and printing. People can find they're printing forty pages of a document, most of which they don't want.

INTERVIEVI1ER: Is it a big temptation to add links to similar organizations? Is there strength in that, or is there a danger in that?

SALADIN: In most cases it's a big strength. Browsers who come across your page, if they discover that your page is a very good gateway to all sorts of interesting sites, will bookmark your page because they know it's a good way to get to all the other sites. If they're coming back to it, they're exposed to your message every time. One final point: it is useful to have on the front page something brief which catches the reader, which says 'this is who we are'.

Unit 16 Word processing Task 3

The diagram shows a Microsoft Word 97 screen display. The title bar at the top of the screen shows the program you're using and the name of the file, in this case Printer.

Below the title bar is the menu bar. The nine items on this bar each give access to a pull-down menu - File, Edit, View, and so on.

The standard to olb ar is next. It contains buttons for the most commonly used commands such as Open documents, Print, and Spellcheck. Each button contains an icon.

The formatting toolbar is below the standard toolbar. You use it to alter the font - that's the typeface - and the style of letters - bold, italic or underlined - and generally to alter the appearance of your document.

The bar at the bottom of the screen shows more information about the document you're working on. For example, it shows which page you're on. It's called the status bar. In this example, the user is on page 1.

Unit 17 Databases and spreadsheets



1 Cell D two (pause) equals B two plus C two.

2 Cell A seven (pause) Saturday.

3 CellB five (pause) one thousand and four.

4 Cell C seven (pause) six hundred and fourteen.

S Cell B nine (pause) equals sum B two toB eight.

6 Cell E two (pause) equals D two times seventeen point five per cent.

Unit 18 Graphics and multimedia


Task 3

Extract 1

MARK: Right. It's a very simple graphic. It's a square for the wall, a triangle for the roof, two small squares for windows, and a rectangle for the door.


MARK: Right, we'll start with a box shape, a square. Point with the cursor at the image you want in the toolbox. That's the rectangle. Click with your left mouse button. Now move the pointer to the screen.

ERIC: SO the cursor turns into that sort of gun-sight thing.

MARK: Yeah. Press and hold down Shift. Now drag the pointer to make the square the size you want. Keep your finger on the left button. Then let go.

Extract 2

MARK: Now you want another square for a window. Just the same way. Point with your cursor, click with the left button, and hold Shift down.

Extract 3

MARK: Say you want the next square to be exactly the same as that one, right? Click on the Select box and then drag your cursor over the first window. Make sure it's all included. Now go into the Edit menu. Click on Copy; then on Paste. See how the second window appears? Now click on it and drag it into the house. You can get rid of the dotted lines by clicking outside them.

Extract 4

MARK: Now you want a door. So you go back to the rectangle. Click with your left mouse button, drag the 'rectangle to the size you want and

release the button.

ERIC: You don't need Shift? MARK: No, that's for squares, not rectangles.


ERIC: We want a triangle next. MARIC Click on Polygon. That gives

you any angled shape. Start at one corner of the house and draw one side of the roof. Then click on the opposite corner and the lines join up by themselves.

Extract 6

BRIC: It's a bit steep.

MARIe OK, we can rub it out easily.

Click on Eraser. Your cursor becomes a little square. You can erase the first roof and make a lower one.

Unit 19 Programming


Task 3

Part 1

The circle is a CONNECTOR symbol. It appears when two separate paths through a process come together. It's always empty. You don't find any text, numbers, or symbols in it. Just the circle.

The parallelogram is the INPUT or OUTPUT symbol. It looks like a rectangle with two sloping sides. We use it when data has to be input or output. It contains words like Input or Print.

The ellipse is the START or STOP symbol. It looks like a rounded rectangle. It's used at the beginning and end of a flowchart, so it will contain the word Start or the word Stop.

The diamond shape is the DECISION symbol. It's used whenever a decision has to be made. Often it contains comparison functions such as less than or greater than. It has a Yes or True branch at one corner and a No or False branch at another.

The ordinary rectangle is the OPERATION or PROCESS symbol. It indicates the kind of operation. It will contain words like add, subtract, multiply, divide or make equal to.

Task 5 Part 2

This is a flowchart for calculating a tax, called sales tax, which is charged when you buy certain things. The flowchart begins 1>I1th a Start symbol. Then you input the initial cost of the item. We'll call the initial cost C.

Next there's a decision. There are two rates of tax, 15% and 10%. The program must decide which rate to use. We'll call the rate R.

R depends on the initial cost. If the cost is greater than 100, the program follows the Yes route and sets the tax at 15%. Otherwise, the program follows the No route and sets the tax at 10%.

The two different paths, or routes, come together again at the connector symbol and continue along the same route. Then there's an operation. Sales tax is calculated by multiplying the cost, C, by the rate, R. Finally the amount of tax is printed out and the program stops.

Unit 20 Interview: Analyst! Programmer

Task 2

Part 1

INTERVIEWER: Who's it for?

COLIN: Basically for young adults with number problems.

INTERVIEWER: Oh, I like that, that's good.

COLIN: (reading from the screen) The fire is 5.4 kilometres away. The fire engine has gone this far. How far is the fire now?

llNTERVIEWER: There's a calculator. COLIN: Yes, you use the calculator to type in your answer.

INTERVIEViER: It doesn't do the calculation for you?

COLIN: No ...

INTERVIEWER: ... but it makes it a bit more interesting.

COLIN: Yes. And if you get it wrong ... the building burns down. (Oh nol) But, if you get it right, there's an animation of the fire engine putting the fire out. (Oh, I see.) The fire engine moves along and a spout of water appears on the screen. The next picture is the building without a mark on it. (Gosh.)

Task 3 Part 2

COLIN: We found with some people that there was a lot of stigma about learning how to count again.

INTERVIEWER: Almost as bad as not being able to read?

COLIN: Yes, the problem for them was being in a classroom with a teacher. So we designed a program they could use themselves at their own speed.

INTERVIEWER: How do they use it? COLIN: In a computing lab. The machines are networked. One contains the data store and an administrative package for the teacher.

INTERVIEWER: What's in the administrative package?

COLIN: It allows the teacher to create groups and add students to groups, and it also has stats on theii performance. (Oh, right.) Every time a student accesses a module, it records how much they've done, how long they've been at it, and how many times they've called Help.

INTERVIEWER: How did you test it? This is an important part of programming, isn't it?

COLm: Oh, yes. We test the code inhouse. You can't debug your own code - you need someone else to look at it. So you give it to a colleague and they try to break it. After that we test the program in schools - three schools with three or four machines as a pilot test.

INTERVIEWER: What sort of problems come up?

COLIN: Well, with Dante the graphics caused a lot of problems. Because we were working with state of the art machines, we forgot that schools don't have the same technology. Our graphics looked horrible on a lowergrade machine. We had to rescan and start programming for the simplest machine.

INTERVIEWER: What about syntax errors?

COLIN: Syntax errors are typos, generally. If you type PRINT and you hit I too many times, you get PRIJJJNT. The compiler will catch that. That's the first kind of error, compilation errors. The second type are linking errors.

INTERVIEWER: Linking errors?

COLm: A linking error:is when you refer to something that isn't there. For example, a line of code in a . library. When you use the same function over and over again, you don't write it each time. You refer to a library on the drive. Then you're down to the third type, logic errors. They happen when you're not awake, when you're not thinking properly. For example, you can make the program repeat a section of code until a condition is reached. And if you never reach that condition, it will run and run and run for ever.


Task 4

Part 3

INTERVIEWER: Is programming quite stressful?

COLIN: Very. ButI'm often asked to fix something on the network. So that gives me a break. We never spend a whole day, 9 to 5, programming. It's impossible.

INTERVIEWER: Do you work on paper at . all?

COLIN: Yes, at the design stage it's better to get as far away from computers as you can. We've got a canteen and we go through to the canteen with a pad of paper and cup of coffee and work it out.

INTERVIEWER: You say 'we'. Do you work as part of a team?

COLIN: Yes, there's myself and three developers, and two who work on graphics. Dante would have been impossible for one person to write. It


took us six months to develop it properly. It was quite a good project because it was easy to divide up the work. There were the modules to do, the database design, and the database access. There was the client interface and the student interface so people were assigned to different sections.

INTERVIEWER: How many computer languages do you normally work in?

COLIN: Normally? C plus plus, we're using Active Server pages which involves HTML and JavaScript. You can use VB, Visual Basic, but if you use Visual Basic you're tying yourself to Microsoft and we want anybody to be able to run our programs. And Dante was written in Delphi.

INTERVIEWER: How do you keep up?

Things are changing amazingly quickly.

COLIN: I subscribe to two magazines, PCPro and Byte. I also pick up Dr Dobb's Iournal when I can. Oh, and at work we subscribe to Microsoft Developer. We get two CDs from them four times a year. It's basically an electronic library with manuals. articles. and everything you need.

INTERVIEWER: This must take up your free time as well as work time.

COLIN: Yeah. it does. but I enjoy it. especially at the end of the day when things are beginning to go well. I hate it when you've got to go home. because you might lose it the next day.

Unit 21 Languages


Task 4

line ten. rem averages line twenty. CLS

line thirty. print. open quotes. type nine nine nine to indicate end of data. close quotes

line forty. print

line fifty. sum equals zero

line sixty. counter equals zero

line seventy. print. open quotes. please enter a number. close quotes

line eighty. input number

line ninety. do while number is not equal to nine nine nine

line one hundred. sum equals sum plus number

line one hundred and ten. counter . equals counter plus one

line one hundred and twenty. print. open quotes. please enter the next number, close quotes

line one hundred and thirty. input number

line one hundred and forty. loop line one hundred and fifty. average equals sum divided by counter

line one hundred and sixty. print. open quotes, the average of the numbers is colon. space. close quotes. semi-colon, average

line one hundred and seventy. end


Unit 22 Low-level systems

Tasks 4 and 5 Part I

The Central Processing Unit. the CPU. has three main parts: the Control Unit. the Arithmetic and Logic Unit. and Registers. These components are connected to the rest of the computer by buses.

The Arithmetic and Logic Unit. ALU for short. performs arithmetic functions such as ADD and SUBTRACT. and logic operations such as AND, OR. and NOT.

The Control Unit makes the computer carry out each instruction of a program in the right order and controls the operation of all hardware. including input and output devices and the other parts of the CPu.

Registers are temporary storage areas for instructions or data. They work under the direction of the control unit. They hold the instructions or data immediately required for an operation. whereas main memory stores data required in the near future. Registers work at high speed.

Tasks 6 and 7 Part 2

A bus is a group of parallel wires which carry electrical signals between different parts of the computer. Some buses are bidirectional. They allow data to flow in either direction. Most computers have three main buses: the data bus. the address bus. and the control bus.

The data bus is a bidirectional bus. It carries data and instructions from the memory to the CPU and from the CPU to memory.

The address bus is a unidirectional bus. Data flows one way only. It carries addresses from the processor to memory. The addresses identify places in the memory where data or instructions may be found or stored.

The control bus is bidirectional. It carries instructions to and from the CPU and other parts of the computer. It's a collection of lines which carry different signals. For example. the clock line carries a signal from the clock chip to synchronize the operations of the processor.

Unit 23 Future trends 1

Task 2 PartI

Virtual reality (VR) means using 3-D graphics to create an imaginary world. or virtual world, which surrounds the user.

You need special equipment to use VR. A VR headset or head-mounted display shows graphics on a screen in front of your eyes. As you turn your head. the picture on the screen moves around too. so it feels as if you are in a 3-D world. A dataglove, or VR glove. is a glove with pressure pads which make your hand feel as if it's picking up objects or touching surfaces. You use a kind of mouse called a VR mouse. 3-D mouse. or virtual mouse to move around in virtual space.

Task 3 Part 2

Virtual reality is already being used in many ways - in medicine. entertainment. and design. But VR is not yet very realistic. As techniques improve. though, VR could seem so real that you could live a virtual life - having many of your experiences through VR. For example, virtual travel systems could take you on a virtual holiday, letting you experience other parts of the world through a VR headset.

Some people even think that VR headsets might be replaced by DNI - Direct Neural Interface - that would stimulate your brain cells to give you a virtual experience. A brain implant would work in a similar way, but would give you special skills. like being able to speak a new language or play an instrument. without having to learn it.

Unit 24 Future trends 2

Task 4 Part I

In the near future all schools and libraries will be linked together to form aN ational Grid for Learning - just like the electricity grid which connects all consumers. Each pupil will have a palmtop linked to the school network and to the Internet. All pupils from the age of nine will have email accounts. All communications between the Department for Education and schools will be by computer links. Learning and administration will be paper-free. The advantages are obvious. Pupils will have access to a world of learning. The resources available through the Grid will be far greater than anyone school can provide.

In addition. all pupils will become familiar with information technology at an early stage in their school life.

• Their computer skills will help them when they leave school and enter college or go into work. All study and most jobs in the future will require computer literacy. These developments will equip our pupils for an IT-based future.

Email will allow pupils to communicate easily with other pupils in different parts of the country and in different parts of the world. It will develop communication skills and encourage an international outlook.

Finally, by freeing teachers from paperwork, IT will give teachers more time for their real job of inspiring

. students.

Task 5 Part 2

There are real dangers in making school education so dependent on computers.

Easy access to online resources will not help pupils to develop original ideas. Instead, they will simply copy and paste text from online encyclopaedias or even download complete essays. More time communicating with machines means less time to communicate with real people. We will produce students who are not good at communicating their ideas to others and working as part of a team. Another danger is that the National Grid might lead to centralization. What I mean is that all schools will have access to the same centrally produced content and will do the same things. We need to encourage schools to develop their own ideas.

Experience in the US has shown that greater use of computers has failed to raise educational standards in schools. Instead of buying computers, it's far better to spend the money on teaching reading and numeracy, and on 'handson' field trips.

Unit 25 Interview: IT Manager

Tasks 3 and 4

Part I Past developments

TOM: I started in computing in 1965 on an ICT 1904 which was a transistorized machine. Prior to that we shared with another company an old valve machine. The 1904was a multi-programming machine with no disks and 16k of memory.

INTERVIEWER': 16kl Was it punched card input?

TOM: Paper tape input and output.

Magnetic tape drives ... which we had a lot of trouble with. So I was lucky enough to get into the early stages of computing and see the developments from there.

INTERVIEWER: When did things really begin to lift off here? When did you see the most rapid growth?

TOM: Eh, oh dear, well, that started from 1974 when microprocessors

came in. Then 1980 brought a big step forward in computing power with thefirstPCs, and it's just mushroomed since then. Through the eighties there were enormous changes in hardware as more efficient, faster, smaller machines came in. There were staggering changes just in the electrical load. We were dropping by around a megawatt a year in consumption if you took into account the air-condttioning as well as the machine.

INTERVIEWER: Of course, they had to be in air-conditioned rooms.

TOM: As the computers became more powerful, we used less and less power.

INTERVIEvVER: And did the number of staff involved grow?

TOM: No, it dropped. At the peak we had about, there were about forty of us, but machines got more reliable.

INTERVIEWER: Were they very unreliable at first?

TOM: Oh yes, the early days were difficult because the hardware was unreliable. Four hours between crashes. Constant battles with the suppliers. It wasn't until 19 8 0 that we got really reliable machines. Now, of course, we have things like Crays.

INTERVIEWER: When did you get the first Cray?

TOM: Oh, it must have been in the early nineties, I suppose.

INTERVIEWER: What's the most Significant date for you?

TOM: 1990 I see as a significant date. 1990 was the change from central computing to distributed computing. PCs on desks rather than central mainframes.

Task 5

Part 2 Future developments INTERVIEWER: What do you think is

going to happen in the next few years? What do you think will be the big developments in computing?

TOM: I think speech recognition could be big. I think people who don't have very good keyboard skills 'will want to look at speech recognition. We're going to live in the Web browser environment a lot more.

INTERVIEWER: Does that mean shared software of all kinds?

TOM: Yes, I think it means that you'll ... you'll access multiple applications through a common interface, based on the sort of Web technology. On the other hand, so much effort is being put into what we're doing now that change is going to be difficult. People are not going to want to change unless there's some good reason for doing so. We're really achieving what most people want to do at the moment. People can send email, they can do their word processing, and

things like that. A lot of the new releases are based on just commercial pressure. The companies have to keep on ... , like motor cars, they have to have the latest model. Often there's no significant change. In general, things will get cheaper and faster which will improve performance and make software more efficient.

INTERVIEWER: What about video conferencing and that sort of thing?

TOM: Well, we have it already. It's OK, if it saves you ajourney overseas it's maybe all right, but if it saves you going across town you wouldn't bother. You'd rather go out and see somebody face to face.

INTERVIEWER: Teaching, are there any developments there?

TOM: Computer teaching is still difficult, I think. It's good for reinforcing, it's good for practising, it's good for working on your own. ButI don't see computers replacing good teaching. That's still going to be required. Computer teaching may be used more but I don't see it replacing courses.

Unit 26 Issues in computing


Task 3

How can you protect your computer from unauthorized access? Various ways have been developed to ensure that only the right people can access a system. We can divide these methods into three groups: what you have, what you know, and who you are.

What you have

You may have a plastic card, a swipe card. to get into rooms where there are computers. In some companies, workers wear an active badge, an ill card with an embedded chip. which signals where the wearer is at any time. The company knows immediately if an employee enters a computer room.

What you know

Computers are often protected by passwords. You have to know the correct password to enter the system, in the same way that you have to know your personal identification number to get money out of a bank cash machine.

Who you are

Every individual is unique. Some security systems use individual body characteristics. For example, your computer can be protected by a fingerprint recognition system. The computer will only respond when it reads your unique fingerprint. A new product called Pacelt uses face recognition to protect individual files. It will only give access to a file if your


face matches stored pictures of authorized users. However, beards and spectacles can cause problems. Voice recognition and identification by the retina of the eye are other means to protect access.

Some systems use a combination of these groups. For example, an ill card and a password.

Unit 27 Careers in computing



1 .

Before I write a program, I have to carry out a feasibility study in the company. The aim is to see whether a new program would be better than the methods they use at present. I have to observe what the users do, speak to them, and make an analysis of their systems. It's very important to speak to the actual users, not just the managers.


My job is to persuade customers that it's worth investing in new computer systems or extending the systems they already have. But it's not enough simply to sell the systems. We have to keep in touch after the sale and make sure things are working well, and to provide any backup the client needs. That's the only way to build up trust with a customer and to get new orders. It's a very competitive market.


I'm called out if there's a fault on the network. We try to solve the problem by phone at first, but if that doesn't work, we have to go and look for ourselves. It could be anything: the software, the server, even the cabling. Sometimes the problem is the user! You have to be good at working out where the problem is.


It's my job to tryout new components before they're used in our computers. It's not only how well the components work that matters, they also have to meet health and safety requirements. I need to write reports and make recommendations on my findings. If problems arise after the components have been installed, I'm the person who has to find the solution.


I have to change the specifications for a system into a logical sequence that can be programmed. The language I choose for coding will depend on various factors such as what type of program it is, and where it's going to be used. A lot of testing has to be done and I use the feedback to decide where improvements can be made.


Unit 28 Interview:

Systems Manager

Tasks 2 and 3

Part 1

INTERVIEWER: What sort of company do you work for?

BILL: I work for the largest brewer in the UK.

INTERVIEWER: And how long have you worked for them?

BILL: I've been there for almost twentyfive years.

lNTERVlEWER: And what's your post there? What's your job title?

BILL: I'm a Systems Manager. INTERVIEWER: And what are your

duties? ..

BILL: Basically. I look after the systems for the Technical Services division. Technical Services make sure that the beer gets into the glass in good condition.

INTERVIEWER: OK, so what are your specific duties?

BILL: I'm responsible for existing systems and their running, maintenance, and general order. I'm responsible for the systems infrastructure we use - networks, PCs, and other devices- and I'm responsible for new systems development.

INTERVIEWER: Can you give me an example of a system?

BILL: Yes, here's an example of an operational system. We have 2,600 pubs and 350 service engineers. If the beer dispenser stops working in a pub, that's a serious matter for the publican. He or she rings in with the fault. That's logged on the system. We telephone an engineer who goes to the pub, investigates the fault and fixes it, and records details of what he's done on a handheld device he carries with him. The details of all the work he's done that day are downloaded to a PC at the end of the day. and then sent up in the middle of the night to our mainframe system and processed there. The activity is recorded, and the parts used, and how long it took. Our stock database is adjusted, and new parts ordered to make up stock where necessary. Everything is handled by one system.

INTERVIEWER: You're also responsible for developing new systems.

BILL: Nowadays we tend to buy packages or have packages modified to our requirements.

INTERVIEWER: Why do you buy in systems and not produce them inhouse?

BILL: It's now standard procedure to buy in. When I started, we would always write our own. But there's so much available now and people expect a high standard of sophistication from a system.

In-house development would take too long and be enormously expensive.

INTERVIEWER: How do you choose a system?

BILL: If you're looking for a system, you see what the market has to offer and you make up a shortlist. You get the shortlisted companies in to make presentations. In addition to a system that meets your needs, you're looking for a company which is financially sound and has a good track-record, and can take you to sites with satisfied customers. You're looking really for a business partner. It's a long-term relationship. The fact that you spend fifty to sixty thousand pounds on the software is almost immaterial compared with the investments you're going to put into your own company, in getting the system commissioned and configured, and working and documented, and everything else.

Part 2

mTERVIEWER: How many systems do you have running?

BILL: In the whole Beer Division there are many hundreds of systems.

INTERVIEWER: It must be enormously complicated, because you'll have programs of all sorts of ages.

BILL: Yes, we have some systems twenty years old. One problem I have is to ensure that old and new systems can interface.

INTERVIEWER: How do you protect your systems?

BILL: Everything is on the mainframe and it's all backed up. It's all protected. You can't just go along and change something. It's a protected environment. There are passwords. You need several signatures to change anything. The databases are backed up on cartridges and taken off site to a fireproof store. There are contingency plans and disaster plans so that even if there was a nuclear strike we could be back in business in a couple of weeks.

INTERVIEWER: What about the future?

Do developments on the hardware side make any difference to your systems?

BILL: Well, you can hold more information online than you could before. You can have much more history, bigger files, but what is making much more difference to our company is faster communications. We have our own internal email system and there are links from there into the Internet.

• INTERVIEWER: SO the future for you is faster information flow.

BILL: Yes- which means you don't need to have so many bits of paper.

INTERVIEWER: SO a paper-free office? BILL: There's no such thing and there never will be.

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