Thursday, 29 December 2011

Objective Proficiency p 90. Science and Technology. Extra Speaking.

1. MONOLOGUE. Prepare a talk of AT LEAST 5 minutes on the subject. You may use the pictures above and the contents below if you wish:

 "The future belongs to young people who know where the knowledge is, how to get it, how to think about it, and how to turn it into better work, better products, better lives."
Rexford Brown, Executive Director, P.S. 1 Charter School and Urban Learning Communities, Inc.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of Web 2.0 sites? What about Web 3.0 sites? In what ways can misinformation spread? How can people broadcast information nowadays? Can we rely on traditional media or do you think that newspapers and television often convey misconstrued and biased information? What about the radio? Do news sources give us verifiable and non-biased information? In what ways can MOOCs  change higher education? How can they help us? Is gamification helping young people? or hurting them? How is m-learning impacting the students of today? Do you think that with the technological and methodological advancements teachers will be rendered obsolete in the near future? What are the advantages and disadvantages of using a flipped classroom methodology in adult education?

You may make some notes for your talk to take into the exam. These should not exceed five lines.


In this part of the test, the examiner will ask you some questions about issues related to the TOPIC. Remember that you are expected to have a conversation as natural as possible and give full answers. This part of the examination will last AT LEAST 5 minutes. You will not see the questions below.



1. Do you think that there is a threat of potential cyberattacks that can disrupt IT services across the globe? How can we protect our computers and smartphones? Do you keep a backup copy of important files?
2. What social changes have been brought about by new technologies?
3. What cutting-edge technology should your dream airport have?
4. What technology is all the rage among your friends?
5. To what extend do ubiquitous computing and wearable technology share the vision of interweaving technology with the everyday life making technology pervasive?
6. In what ways are the new generations more tech-savvy than the older generations? Who is the techiest member of your family?
7. How can we be more wary of phishing emails, pharming websites and hackers? Can you think of other scams? Which can be the consequences of being too gullible?
8. Do you think landline phones may one day disappear?
9. If you had the possibility to only work from your house via a computer, would you do it? 
10. What are the benefits and drawbacks of social networking sites like Facebook?  
11. Have we raised a generation of pirates?

1 Monologue
Picture 1

cyberbully: /ˈsaɪbəbʊli/ a person who uses messages on social networking sites, emails, text messages, etc. to frighten or upset somebody. E.g. Fortunately, the victim reported the cyberbully to the moderator and the offensive messages were removed from the message board.

cyberbullying: /ˈsaɪbəbʊliɪŋ/ the activity of using messages on social networking sites, emails, text messages, etc. to frighten or upset somebody. E.g. The school provides guidance for parents on how to deal with issues such as cyberbullying.

netiquette: the rules of correct or polite behaviour among people using the Internet.

troll: a message to a discussion group on the Internet that somebody deliberately sends to make other people angry; a person who sends a message like this. 

More vocabulary about the internet

surf the Net/Internet to use the Internet. E.g. I was surfing the Net looking for information on Indian music.

ego-surfing: the activity of searching the Internet to find places where your own name has been mentioned.

silver surfer: an old person who spends a lot of time using the Internet

browse (something) (computing) to look for or to look at information on a computer, especially on the Internet or a specific website. E.g. I spent the whole evening just browsing on the Internet. I browsed the website for information about the event but didn’t find anything useful.

hook up: to connect somebody/something to a piece of electronic equipment, to a power supply or to the Internet. E.g.  Check that the computer is hooked up to the printer. A large proportion of the nation's households are hooked up to the Internet. 

lurk: to read a discussion in a chat room, etc. on the Internet, without taking part in it yourself.

netizen: a person who uses the Internet a lot

webhead: a person who uses the Internet a lot

the Deep Web: the part of the World Wide Web that cannot be searched using a standard search engine because the data is protected by passwords or special codes. E.g. The biggest weakness of the Deep Web is also its greatest strength: it's really hard to find anything. 

the Dark Web: the part of the World Wide Web that you can only get access to with special software, allowing users and website owners to remain secret, used especially for criminal activities. E.g. Dealers are also selling drugs through the Dark Web. 

Picture 2

magnifying glass: She is examining the screen under a powerful magnifying glass. She is peering at it through her magnifying glass.

peer: to look closely or carefully at something, especially when you cannot see it clearly.

obsolete: /ˈɒbsəliːt/ no longer used because something new has been invented. Out of date. E.g.
obsolete technology. With technological changes many traditional skills have become obsolete.

obsolescent: /ˌɒbsəˈlesnt/ becoming old-fashioned and no longer useful.

obsolescence: /ˌɒbsəˈlesns/ the state of becoming old-fashioned and no longer useful. E.g. products with built-in/planned obsolescence (= designed not to last long so that people will have to buy new ones).  

Text: /tekst/ to send somebody a written message using a mobile/cell phone. E.g. Text me when you're on your way. Kids seem to be texting non-stop these days. I'll text you the final score.


More vocabulary about phones

Hands-free set / kit: Sp. manos libres

Missed call: Sp. llamada perdida.

send s.o. a missed call/give s.o. a missed call/ missed call s.o./ drop call s.o./ prank s.o./ give s.o. a prank call/ one bell s.o./ call s.o. and hang up: Sp. dar un toque 

Phone charger: Sp. cargador de batería

Low battery

Dead battery

Touch screen: noun(computing) a computer screen which allows you to give instructions to the computer by touching areas on it.

turn on/set airplane, vibrate or silent/mute mode. If you could all mute your phones, that'd be great. You may unmute your phones now.

There’s no signal / reception/ out of range: Sp. no hay cobertura

To be breaking up: when a person who is talking on a mobile/cell phone breaks up, you can no longer hear them clearly because the signal has been interrupted. Sp. se va el sonido, la voz; se corta la conversación.

Cut off: to interrupt somebody who is speaking on the telephone by breaking the connection. E.g. We were cut off in the middle of our conversation.

Engaged/ busy:  The line is busy.

Handset: 1. Mobile phone; 2. The part of a desktop telephone that contains the speaker and the microphone.

swipe (something) (on/across something) to move your finger quickly across the screen of an electronic device such as a mobile/cell phone or small computer in order to move text, pictures, etc. or give commands. E.g. Switch on the phone and swipe your finger across the screen to unlock it.

smiley: a simple picture or series of keyboard symbols :-) that represents a smiling face. The symbols are used, for example, in email or text messages to show that the person sending the message is pleased or joking.

emoticon: /ɪˈməʊtɪkɒn/ a short set of keyboard symbols that represents the expression on somebody’s face, used in email, etc. to show the feelings of the person sending the message. For example :-) represents a smiling face (when you look at it sideways). 

Picture 3

Block: if you want to stop someone from contacting you, you can block them. E.g. When you block someone, they can't see your profile or posts.


More vocabulary about Social Networking

Log in/on: to perform the actions that allow you to begin using a computer system. E.g. You need a password to log on.

Log out/off: to perform the actions that allow you to finish using a computer system. E.g. Log out before switching the computer off.

Sign up: E.g. sign up to our social media.

Befriend/bɪˈfrend/ befriend somebody to become a friend of somebody, especially somebody who needs your help. E.g.  Shortly after my arrival at the school, I was befriended by an older girl. When did it become normal to befriend people you don’t know on Facebook?

Add a friend: E.g. add me as a friend on facebook.

Defriend or unfriend: to remove somebody from a list of friends or contacts on a social networking website. E.g. If a Facebook friend suddenly becomes your boss, do you unfriend them? Young adults are more likely to unfriend.

Reportto tell a person in authority about a crime, an accident, an illness, etc. or about something bad that somebody has done. E.g. Please keep in mind that reporting something to Facebook doesn't guarantee that it will be removed. You can report inappropriate content on facebook and they will take it down. Report someone I reported him on Facebook for being annoying. I reported a p

Friend request: E.g. should you accept a friend request from someone you don't know?

Mutual friend: We have some mutual friends on facebook.

Update: to give somebody the most recent information about something; to add the most recent information to something. E.g. Update your status by telling others what you're doing right now.
Can you see my latest status update on Facebook?

Feed: (N) a special feature on a blog, news website, social networking website, etc. that allows you to see new information that has been added without having to visit the website. E.g. News Feed is the constantly updating list of stories in the middle of your Facebook home page.  

Poke: (V) to quickly push your fingers or another object into somebody/something.  In Facebook it is a mechanism for getting someone's attention. E.g. I Facebook poked Wendy two hours ago, but she hasn't poked me back yet!

Poke: (N) the action of quickly pushing your fingers or another object into somebody/something. In Facebook it is a mechanism for getting someone's attention. E.g. Have you ever received a poke from someone on Facebook?

like something if you like something on a social networking service, news website, blog, etc. you show that you agree with it or that you think it is good by clicking a special button. E.g. By the next morning, over twenty of my friends had liked my new profile picture. Over seven hundred Facebook users have already liked the company’s website.

Like (N) if something on a social networking service, news website, blog, etc. receives a like, it means that somebody has shown that they agree with it or think it is good by clicking a special button. E.g. The band now has thousands of likes.

Comment: (V) comment (on/upon something) to express an opinion about something. E.g. Thanks everyone who commented on my blog.

comment (about/on something) something that you say or write which gives an opinion on or explains somebody/something. E.g. Please email us or leave a comment on our website.

Share: E.g. many followers shared my status update. 

follow: to choose to regularly receive messages from a person, company, etc. E.g. I don’t follow many celebrities on Twitter any more. 

follower: a person who chooses to regularly receive somebody’s messages. E.g. a celebrity with thousands of followers on Twitter. 

followee: a person, company, etc. whose messages people choose to receive regularly. E.g. I often use Twitter recommendations to select new followees.  

tweet: (N) a message sent using the Twitter social networking service. E.g. He started posting tweets via his cell phone to keep friends and family updated on his progress. He sends too many tweets

tweet: (also twitter) (V) tweet/twitter (something) to send a message using the Twitter™ social networking service. E.g. He tweeted that he was very busy. 

retweet: if you retweet a message written by another user on the Twitter social networking service, the message can be seen by all of the people who regularly receive messages from you. E.g. I retweeted a tweet from a friend about it. That tweet got retweeted over 500 times.

twitterer: /ˈtwɪtərə/ n (also twitter user) a person who posts messages on the Twitter website.

hashtag: a word or phrase with the symbol ‘#’ in front of it, included in some messages sent using the Twitter social networking service so that you can search for all messages with the same subject. E.g. I often use hashtags to search for trending topics.

Facebook: (V) 1 to communicate with someone by using the Facebook™ website. E.g. Noticing her healthy hair in a picture the other day, I Facebooked her a compliment. 2 to search for information about someone by using the Facebook™ website. E.g. My curiosity about Lloyd became overwhelming, and within five minutes I had facebooked him and found out where he lived on campus.

Location: E.g. turn off location if you do not want to advertise your whereabouts. 

ghost: /ɡəʊst/ to end a relationship by simply disappearing, without any explanation; to do this to someone. End a personal relationship with (someone) by suddenly and without explanation withdrawing from all communication. E.g. Being “ghosted” is one of the toughest ways to be dumped. I didn't want to ghost her, so we ended up having ‘the talk’ and it was horrible.

Monologue: questions

Web 2.0: a second stage in the development of the World Wide Web, involving ways of sharing information such as blogs and wikis. It is a term used to describe how the internet has changed in recent years to facilitate greater sharing of personal information and user-operated design. E.g. On the one hand a Web 2.0 site may allow users to interact and collaborate with each other. They can access information about a wide range of topics on Web 2.0 sites. They offer information and data from all over the world. On the other hand, it is necessary to develop skills to evaluate what you find. When you use a research or academic library, the books, journals and other resources have already been evaluated by scholars, publishers and librarians. Inaccurate information can be misleading or even dangerous (health information for example). 

The term Web 3.0 (the “semantic Web”) describes sites where computers will be generating raw data on their own.

raw data: not yet organized into a form in which it can be easily used or understood. E.g. This information is only raw data and will need further analysis.

For Web 1.0 and 2.0, the Internet is trapped within the physical walls of the computer, but as more devices become connected to the Web, such as smartphones, cars, and other household appliances, the Internet will be set free and become omnipresent. Devices will be able to exchange data among each other and even generate new information (e.g. how anticipates what music the user may enjoy based on their previous song selections).  The Internet will be able to perform tasks faster and more efficiently, such as search engines being able to search for the actual individual users interests, and not just for the keyword typed into search engines.  We are not there yet, but we will someday soon, and educators must be prepared because Web 3.0 technology will truly move the classroom beyond the basic lecture and take it to new exciting territories!

If we make a decision based on wrong or unreliable information,…

Misinformation can spread fast via /ˈvaɪə/ social networks.

Twitter lets you broadcast information about 

We are aware that the media, mainly the newspaper and television, conveys (communicates) misconstrued (misinterpreted) and biased information to a gross (total) population about many events.

We have relied on many newspapers and news sources for years to give us verifiable and non-biased information. These days though it seems…  


MOOC: /muːk/ the abbreviation for massive open online course (a course of study that is made available over the Internet, usually without charge, to a very large number of people).

gamification /ˌɡeɪmɪfɪˈkeɪʃn/ the use of elements of game-playing in another activity, usually in order to make that activity more interesting. E.g. The supermarket chain has started using gamification to make food shopping online fun. Gamification is no stranger to the education industry, as I'm sure many of us remember our teachers turning classroom learning into games.

gamify /ˈɡeɪmɪfaɪ/ to use elements of game-playing in another activity, usually in order to make that activity more interesting. E.g. We gamified the online survey by awarding virtual rewards at the end of each section. A gamified classroom engages students while allowing them to learn better. 


m-learning /ˈem lɜːnɪŋ/ (also mobile learning) a system of learning that uses mobile devices such as mobile/cell phones, small computers and tablets that can be carried, etc. so that people can learn anywhere at any time. 


Flipped classroom: In a flipped classroom model, students watch online lectures, collaborate in online discussions, or carry out research at home and engage in concepts in the classroom with the guidance of the instructor. Flipped Learning is a  pedagogical approach in  which direct instruction moves  from the group  learning space  to the individual learning  space, and the resulting  group space is transformed  into a dynamic, interactive  learning environment where  the educator guides students  as they apply concepts and  engage creatively in the  subject  matter. In a flipped classroom students are doing the lower levels of cognitive work (gaining knowledge and comprehension) outside of class, and focusing on the higher forms of cognitive work (application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) in class, where they have the support of their peers and instructor. This model contrasts from the traditional model in which “first exposure” occurs via lecture in class, with students assimilating knowledge through homework; thus the term “flipped classroom.” 
E.g. In a flipped classroom problems may arise if students come unprepared.

More vocabulary related to the media 
the media: 
[uncountable + singular or plural verb] the main ways that large numbers of people receive information and entertainment, that is television, radio, newspapers and the Internet. E.g. the news/broadcasting/national media. The trial was fully reported in the media. The media was/were accused of influencing the final decision. Any event attended by the actor received widespread media coverage. He became a media star/sensation for his part in the protests. 

the mass media: /ðə ˌmæs ˈmiːdiə/ sources of information and news such as newspapers, magazines, radio and television, that reach and influence large numbers of people. E.g. the relationship between politics and the mass media.

binge-watch: to watch several episodes (= separate parts) of a television series or programme, one after another. E.g. We binge-watched an entire season of Breaking Bad on Sunday. 

algorithm: /ˈælɡərɪðəm/ a set of mathematical instructions or rules that, especially if given to a computer, will help to calculate an answer to a problem. E.g. Music apps use algorithms to predict the probability that fans of one particular band will like another.

personalisation:  (also personalization) the process of making something suitable for the needs of a particular person. E.g. Some of the newest internet businesses offer a higher level of personalization than in the past.

couch potato: a person who spends a lot of time sitting and watching television.

a situation in a story, film/movie, competition, etc. that is very exciting because you cannot guess what will happen next, or you do not find out immediately what happens next. E.g. The first part of the serial ended with a real cliffhanger. Tonight’s vote on European policy threatens to be a cliffhanger.

square-eyed: If you say someone is or will go square-eyed, you mean they are watching too much television. E.g. You'll go square-eyed if you sit in front of that TV any more!

fake news: false reports of events, written and read on websites. E.g. Many of us seem unable to distinguish fake news from the verified sort. Fake news creates significant public confusion about current events. 

keep abreast of something
to make sure that you know all the most recent facts about a subject. E.g. It is almost impossible to keep abreast of all the latest developments in computing. I like to keep abreast of current affairs. It’s important to keep abreast with the latest legislation.  How important is it to keep abreast of the news?

keep up with something:
to learn about or be aware of the news, current events, etc. She likes to keep up with the latest fashions. I try to keep up with the news, but it's a daunting task.

no news is good news
(saying) if there were bad news we would hear it, so as we have heard nothing, it is likely that nothing bad has happened.

broadcast, broadcast, broadcast
The concert will be broadcast live (= at the same time as it takes place) tomorrow evening.
The local radio broadcasts information for the residents.


2. Teacher's questions
Question 1
cyberattack: /ˈsaɪbərətæk/ the act of trying to damage or destroy a computer network, computer system or website by secretly changing information on it without permission. E.g. Fourteen people were arrested for launching a cyberattack on the company’s website.

backup (computing) a copy of a file, etc. that can be used if the original is lost or damaged. E.g. Always make a backup of your work. A backup copy.
backup: [uncountable, countable] extra help or support that you can get if necessary. E.g. The police had backup from the army. We can use him as a backup if one of the other players drops out. A backup power supply.
Question 2

Bring sth about: to make something happen. Cause. E.g. social changes that have been brought about by new technology. 


Question 3

The cutting edge (of something): the newest, most advanced stage in the development of something. Sp. lo más nuevo, lo último. E.g. working at the cutting edge of computer technology.

Question 4

be all the rage: (informal) to be very popular and fashionable. E.g. Fax machines in cars are all the rage in California.

Question 5

ubiquitous /juːˈbɪkwɪtəs/ seeming to be everywhere. Very common. E.g. With ubiquitous computing, wearable technology share the vision of interweaving technology into the everyday life, of making technology pervasive.

Wearable Technology: clothing and accessories incorporating computer and advanced electronic technologies.Sp. Wearable Technologies like Google Glass and Smartwatches are on the rise in personal and business use.

interweave, interwove, interwoven: to twist together two or more pieces of thread, wool, etc. E.g. The blue fabric was interwoven with red and gold thread. Figurative: E.g. The problems are inextricably interwoven (= very closely connected).

Pervasive: existing in all parts of a place or thing; spreading gradually to affect all parts of a place or thing. Sp. generalizado, dominante, penetrante. E.g. a pervasive smell of damp. Her influence is all-pervasive (= it affects everyone and everything). A sense of social change is pervasive in her novels. The increasingly pervasive subculture in modern society. Facebook is so pervasive that it has become the main target of parents’ angst

angst noun[U] (from German) a feeling of anxiety and worry about a situation, or about your life. Sp. angustia, preocupación. E.g. songs full of teenage angst.

commonplace: /ˈkɒmənpleɪs/ done very often, or existing in many places, and therefore not unusual. E.g. Computers are now commonplace in primary classrooms.


Question 6

tech-savvy: well informed about or proficient in the use of modern technology, especially computers. E.g. today’s tech-savvy consumers. Kids are pretty tech-savvy these days.

Savvy: /ˈsævi/ practical knowledge or understanding of something. E.g. political savvy.

techie (also techy) /ˈteki/ a person who is expert in or enthusiastic about technology, especially computers. E.g. many techies are often too busy to eat properly.


Question 7

hack: to secretly find a way of looking at and/or changing information on somebody else’s computer system without permission. E.g. hack into something He hacked into the bank's computer. hack something They had hacked secret data.  

phishing: the activity of tricking people by getting them to give their identity, bank account numbers, etc. over the Internet or by email, and then using these to steal money from them.

pharming: the practice of secretly changing computer files or software so that visitors to a popular website are sent to a different website instead, without their knowledge, where their personal details are stolen and used to steal money from them

gullible: /ˈɡʌləbl/ too willing to believe or accept what other people tell you and therefore easily tricked


Question 8

retronym: /ˈretrəʊnɪm/ a new name that is given to something that has existed for a long time, in order to distinguish it from a more modern development. E.g. The list of retronyms includes acoustic guitar, manual typewriter, silent movie and landline phone.

Question 11

pirate: a person who makes illegal copies of DVDs, computer programs, books, etc., in order to sell them. E.g. a pirate editionSoftware pirates.

pirate something to copy and use or sell somebody’s work or a product without permission and without having the right to do so. E.g. pirated computer games. Jones was accused of having pirated the scientist’s work. 

More vocabulary related to science and technology

New Technologies

Electronic commerce: commonly known as e-commerce or e-comm, is the buying and selling of products or services over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks.

E-business: e-commerce.

Newsgroup: /ˈnjuːzɡruːp/ a place in a computer network, especially the Internet, where people can discuss a particular subject and exchange information about it.


sleek: having an elegant smooth shape. Sp. elegante. E.g. a sleek yacht. The sleek lines of the new car. Travel in style with a sleek laptop.

bug: a fault in a machine, especially in a computer system or program.

crash: (N) a sudden failure of a machine or system, especially of a computer or computer system. E.g. A systems crash in the morning and a bomb scare in the afternoon provided enough excitement for one day. 

crash: (V) crash (something) if a computer crashes or you crash a computer, it stops working suddenly. E.g. Files can be lost if the system suddenly crashes. 

freeze, froze, frozen: when a computer screen freezes, you cannot move any of the images, etc. on it, because there is a problem with the system.


scroll: to move text on a computer screen up or down so that you can read different parts of it. E.g. Use the arrow keys to scroll through the list of files. Scroll down to the bottom of the document.  


E-pal: (also e-friend): a person that you make friends with by sending emails, often somebody you have never met. E.g. She now has e-pals all over the world.

email: (V) to send a message to somebody by email. E.g. email (somebody) Patrick emailed me yesterday. Email something (to somebody) I'll email the documents to her. Email somebody something I'll email her the documents.

trash: E.g. To delete an email, you can move it to Trash

spam/junk mail: advertising material sent by email to people who have not asked for it

CC: carbon copy (to) (used on business letters and emails to show that a copy is being sent to another person) E.g. to Luke Peters, cc Janet Gold.

BCC: blind carbon copy (to) (used on emails or business letters to show that a copy is being sent to another person whose name and address cannot be seen by the other person or people who receive it).

snail mail: used especially by people who use email to describe the system of sending letters by ordinary mail.

Websites and Blogs

Often websites and blogs publish information that…

Google: to search for something on the Internet, especially using the Google™ search engine. E.g. Last week, with the new year on the horizon, I Googled the top ten resolutions to help me prepare my answer for the question of the day. Having Googled my symptoms, I feared the worst.

As online identity became more significant, being googleable (=found when entered as a Google™ search) was considered desirable, which in turn gave us the quality of googleability (=a measure of how easy it is to find someone or something by googling) and the potential to be ungoogleable.
a blog post/entry

label (V)

label (N)

embed: E.g. embed videos

embed code

stream something (computing) to play video or sound on a computer by receiving it as a continuous stream, from the Internet for example, rather than needing to wait until the whole of the material has been downloaded. E.g. You can stream the song for a single listen. The programme was streamed on the Web 24 hours a day. He live streamed his party.


White goods

white goods: large pieces of electrical equipment in the house, such as washing machines, etc.

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