Foreign language teaching and research press hebei university



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  • Unit 6 Less is more
  • use the key language to discuss why people are reluctant to let options go
  • 1
  • apply the reading skill – reading between the lines
  • 2
  • conduct a cause-and-effect analysis
  • 3
  • apply the translation skill – conversion
  • 4
  • write a report on decision-making
  • 5
  • Objectives
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Presenting your project
  • Section A Door closer, are you?
  • Project of the unit
  • Lead-in
  • Project forecasting
  • Step 1
  • Watch the video clip and discuss the following questions in pairs.
  • Talking about online shopping
  • Task
  • 1. What is the main idea of this video clip?
  • 2. What advantages of online shopping are mentioned in the video?
  • 3. What tips are offered to ensure a safe and enjoyable shopping experience online?
  • Project of the unit
  • What is the main idea of this video clip?
  • The video clip offers several tips on online shopping.
  • 2. What advantages of online shopping are mentioned in the video?
  • Online shopping is convenient and offers a world of choices.
  • What tips are offered to ensure a safe and enjoyable shopping experience online?
  • Setting a budget; finding out the must-have features; comparing products and prices; finding coupons, discounts and free shipping; using credit card.
  • Project of the unit
  • Reference answers:
  • Convenience 方便
  • Lower costs 便宜
  • Efficiency 高效
  • Diversity 多样
  • Step 2
  • Advantages:
  • List advantages and disadvantages of online shopping.
  • Project of the unit
  • Low efficiency 效率低
  • More fakes 假货多
  • Color difference 色差
  • Wrong size 尺码不对
  • Delivery costs 邮费
  • Disadvantages:
  • Step 3
  • Work in groups and discuss the following questions.
  • Project of the unit
  • 1. Why is online shopping both efficient and inefficient?
  • 2. Do you think the diversity online shopping offers reduces efficiency to some extent?
  • Project of the unit
  • 1. Why is online shopping both efficient and inefficient?
  • When shopping online, you save your time on the way to the department store or shopping mall. That’s why it is efficient.
  • When shopping online, you will face a world of choices. If you have no clear purpose, you will waste your time on it. What’s more, online shopping has its own disadvantages like more fakes, color difference or wrong size which make you hesitate when shopping online. You may worry about this and that and end up buying nothing but wasting much time. That’s way it is inefficient.
  • Reference answers:
  • Project of the unit
  • 2. Do you think the diversity online shopping offers reduces efficiency to some extent?
  • It depends on the shopper. But in most cases, more choices will cost the shopper more time, and the shopper may spend more time buying nothing.
  • Project of the unit
  • Project forecasting
  • Lead-in
  • Please get prepared by doing the following activities.
  • With the development of society, the options are increasing. Is more always better than less when making choices? Given multiple choices, are people rational when they need to make decisions on which one to pick up? Find the answer from the text. By the end of this unit you are expected to make a report on the following topic:
  • Is online shopping more efficient?
  • Project of the unit

Inspiring your thoughts

  • Global understanding
  • The experiment in the text reveals one of the weaknesses of human beings: It’s hard to bear seeing opportunities slip away. When there are too many choices in life, people usually feel less happy and more depressed.
  • In the text, the author analyzes the underlying reasons why people are reluctant to let options go, using various writing methods such as cause and effect.
  • Scan the text and discuss in pairs what’s the author’s answer to the question: Is more always better than less?
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • Task
  • Global understanding of the text
  • Step 1
  • Divide the class into five groups.
  • Group 1: Read Paras. 1-3 and tell the class how the author begins the topic.
  • Group 2: Read Para. 4 and tell what is the function of this paragraph.
  • Group 3: Read Paras. 5-9 and tell what is the method and the result of the experiment.
  • Group 4: Read Paras. 10-12 and tell what is the main idea of this part.
  • Group 5: Read Paras. 13-14 and tell what is the author’s conclusion of the topic.
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • Step 2
  • Figure out the structure of the text.
  • Group 1: The author starts with a question about what Xiang Yu would do when facing rival options. This naturally leads to the next two paragraphs about the story.
  • Group 2: Para. 4 serves as a transition from the ancient story of Xiang Yu to the modern story of the students at MIT.
  • Group 3: The experiment was done through a computer game. The result reveals the real cause of the students’ irrational behavior: to avoid the immediate pain of watching options close.
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • Group 4: This part suggests how we can balance our lives by reducing unnecessary options.
  • Group 5: The author’s conclusion of the topic is that when we focus our energy and attention in a more concentrated fashion, we feel happier and more satisfied.
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • Detailed understanding
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • Read the text again and answer the following questions.
  • 1) Why did General Xiang Yu order his troops to crush their cooking pots and burn their sailing ships when crossing the Zhang River?
  • 2) What’s the purpose for Dr. Ariely’s experiment done at MIT?
  • 3) What’s the winning strategy when playing the computer game?
  • 4) Why are the corresponding costs often less obvious in life than in the experiment?
  • 5) What is the message the author wants to send out from this text?
  • Task 1
  • Detailed understanding of the text
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • Why did General Xiang Yu order his troops to crush their cooking pots and burn their sailing ships when crossing the Zhang River?
  • He was imposing on his troops a necessary sacrifice to achieve victory over their opponents. By doing this, the soldiers would be more determined and concerned on the battles.
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • 2) What’s the purpose for Dr. Ariely’s experiment done at MIT?
  • The purpose is to investigate seemingly irrational human behavior when making a decision, such as the tendency for keeping multiple options open.
  • 3) What’s the winning strategy when playing the computer game?
  • Students should quickly check all the doors and keep clicking on the one with the highest cash. They should absolutely ignore the vanishing doors.
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • 4) Why are the corresponding costs often less obvious in life than in the experiment?
  • Because in life the doors are closing slowly, not like the ones on the computer in the experiment, people don’t really see the opportunities actually vanishing away little by little.
  • 5) What is the message the author wants to send out from this text?
  • People can obtain pleasure and satisfaction by focusing their energy and attention in a more concentrated fashion. They will have more with fewer, carefully chosen options.
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • What do you think about General Xiang Yu’s order to his troops?
  • 2) What’s your opinion about Dr. Ariely’s experiment?
  • 3) In what way is General Xiang Yu’s order similar to Dr. Ariely’s experiment?
  • 4) In reality, why are people reluctant to see their options vanish?
  • 5) How do you understand the English saying “Less is more”?
  • Read the text again and answer the following questions.
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • Task 2
  • Critical thinking
  • What do you think about General Xiang Yu’s order to his troops?
  • • Surprising but very strategic and visionary.
  • • Reflection of his unique foresight and wisdom.
  • • Knowledgeable about winning battles.
  • • Experienced in fighting with enemies.
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • 2) What’s your opinion about Dr. Ariely’s experiment?
  • • Interesting and thought-provoking.
  • • Reflect students’ mentality.
  • • Meaningful and valid.
  • • May not be convincing to some people.
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • 3) In what way is General Xiang Yu’s order similar to Dr. Ariely’s experiment?
  • • Both consequences are surprising.
  • • Both are about choices and decision-making.
  • • Both have to do with strategies.
  • • Both focus on human’s mentality.
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • 4) In reality, why are people reluctant to see their options vanish?
  • • Afraid of losing potential opportunities.
  • • Too greedy and too ambitious.
  • • Over-confident about their real capacity.
  • • More choices, better chances.
  • Inspiring your thoughts
  • 5) How do you understand the English saying “Less is more”?
  • • Fewer options, more focused concentration.
  • • Fewer choices, better quality.
  • • Everything has two sides.
  • • Too much greed ends up with nothing.
  • Inspiring your thoughts

Enhancing your skills

  • Structure analysis
  • Language highlighting
  • Language focus
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Match the words and expressions with their meanings.
  • Step 1
  • Task 1
  • Learning new words and expressions
  • option
  • be featured in
  • investigation
  • revolve around
  • fluctuate
  • factor
  • be measured in
  • respective
  • an official attempt to find out the truth
  • one of several things that influence or cause a situation
  • change frequently
  • be judged or accessed by something
  • belonging separately to each of two or more people or things previously mentioned
  • be included as an important part
  • sth. that you can choose in a particular situation
  • have sth. as a main subject or purpose

When employees participated in the problem-solving process, they were much more willing to __________ solutions to the problems.

  • When employees participated in the problem-solving process, they were much more willing to __________ solutions to the problems.
  • 2) According to the news, a strong police force has been placed between the two ______ groups in the village to prevent fighting and killing.
  • 3) Although personally we believe this to be of only secondary importance, its potential role in _____________ innovative acts cannot be ignored.
  • motivate rival implement
  • Step 2
  • Fill in the blanks with the following words in the box.
  • implement
  • rival
  • motivating
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning

4) Though many things have been changed culturally, there is a commitment and sense of responsibility that have not yet been _________ in today’s society.

  • 4) Though many things have been changed culturally, there is a commitment and sense of responsibility that have not yet been _________ in today’s society.
  • 5) Western nations have older and shrinking populations since they entered the 21st century and their ____________ birth rates have also posed problems.
  • 6) She didn’t want to marry him and was _________ against him because he had only a bachelor’s degree and didn’t meet her expectations for marriage.
  • prejudice discard fluctuate
  • fluctuating
  • discarded
  • prejudiced
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning

7) The president is in trouble and will have to work very hard to ______ his credibility after people discovered that he was not telling the truth.

  • 7) The president is in trouble and will have to work very hard to ______ his credibility after people discovered that he was not telling the truth.
  • 8) To study a number of subjects in the humanities has been both enjoyable and __________, providing me with a new and different perspective on the world in which we live.
  • 9) People are concerned about the environment issue because air and water pollution not only affects everyone’s health but also makes it difficult for businesses to ________ .
  • 10) Instead of envying successful people, I made it my mission to ___________ the mysterious causes of their success.
  • enlighten restore profit investigate
  • enlightening
  • restore
  • investigate
  • profit
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • Task 2
  • Detailed learning of key vocabulary
  • 1. rival (Para. 1)
  • a. (only before noun) used about a person or group that competes against sb. or sth. else 竞争的;对抗的
  • Translation:
  • 敌对集团之间爆发了激烈的战斗。
  • Fierce fighting broke out between the rival groups.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • 1. rival (Para. 1)
  • n. [C] a person, group, or organization that you compete with in sport, business, a fight, etc. 对手;竞争者
  • Translation:
  • 良好的国际社会关系使该公司具备了超过其对手的竞争优势。
  • Having good international contacts gives the company a comprehensive advantage over its rivals.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • n. [C] 1. sb. who you try to defeat in a competition, game, fight, or argument(竞争、比赛等的)敌手,对手
  • Translation:
  • 他是个很强硬的辩论对手。
  • He was a tough opponent in debate.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • 2. opponent (Para. 3)
  • n. [C] 2. sb. who disagrees with a plan, idea, or system and tries to stop or change it 反对者
  • Translation:
  • 建议削减国防开支的主要反对者会在今天的晚些时候见面。
  • Leading opponents of the proposed cuts in defense spending will meet later today.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • rival, opponent
  • rival 和 opponent 都可以用作名词,都可以表示“对手”,但两者有区别。
  • 2. opponent 指在某次竞赛或某个场合直接面对的对手。
  • He’s the best opponent I’ve come across this season, a great player.
  • 他是我本赛季遇到的最出色的对手,一位了不起的运动员。
  • 1. rival 指在同一领域中为相同目标相竞争或相匹敌的对手。
  • The United States’ biggest rival in technological advancement is Japan. 在技术进步方面,美国最大的对手是日本。
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • rival, opponent
  • 3. opponent 不能用作动词, rival 可用作动词,表示“竞争;与…相匹敌”
  • Ships can’t rival aircraft for speed. 轮船在速度方面无法与飞机匹敌。
  • Rival or opponent?
  • The two students _______ each other for the scholarship.
  • rivaled
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • 3. motivate (Para. 3)
  • vt. make sb. feel determined to do sth. or enthusiastic about doing it 激励;激发…的积极性
  • Translation:
  • 该公司的利润分红计划旨在激励员工努力工作。
  • The company’s profit-sharing plan is designed to motivate its staff to work hard.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • 4. validate (Para. 3)
  • vt. (fml.) prove that sth. is true or correct, or make a document or agreement officially and legally acceptable 证实;使生效;使合法化
  • Translation:
  • 许多科学家对接受这个研究结果犹豫不决,决定等该结果被今后的研究证实后再说。
  • Many scientists hesitate to accept the outcome and decided to wait until the results of the study are validated by future research.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • 4. validate (Para. 3)
  • validation n. [C, U] 验证;确认
  • Translation:
  • 我们必须权衡这些因素,选择一个合适的验证和确认策略。
  • We had to weigh these factors and select an appropriate strategy for verification and validation.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • 5. enlighten (Para. 4)
  • vt. (fml.) give sb. information about sth. so that they understand more about it 启发;指导;教导
  • Translation:
  • 他最新的小说旨在娱乐和启发读者。
  • The object of his most recent novel is to amuse and enlighten the readers.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • 5. enlighten (Para. 4)
  • enlightening: a. 具启发性的
  • Translation:
  • 附在我新电脑中的说明书对如何操作这个电脑没啥指导作用。
  • The instruction manual that came with my new computer wasn’t very enlightening about how to operate it.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • v. 1. state very firmly that sth. is true, when other people do not believe you 坚持说;力言
  • Translation:
  • 被告坚决声称他从没靠近过犯罪现场。
  • The defendant protested that he had never been near the scene of the crime.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language learning
  • 6. protest (Para. 7)
  • v. 2. come together to publicly express disapproval or opposition to sth. 公开反对;抗议
  • Translation:
  • 妇女团体走上街头,抗议由于性别而造成的不平等报酬。
  • Groups of women took to the streets to protest against unequal pay based on their gender.
  • Learn the meaning of the suffix and transform the following words.
  • Before
  • After
  • -ize / ise:
  • a suffix that is used to transform a noun or an adjective into a verb
  • equal
  • memory
  • summary
  • special
  • equalize/equalise
  • memorize/memorise
  • summarize/summarise
  • specialize/specialise
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language highlighting
  • Task 3
  • Word formation
  • used to say that if a particular activity increases, another change happens as a result“越…,越…”
  • The more I observed, the more different categories I discovered.
  • Translation:
  • 我观察得越多,发现的不同类别就越多。
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language highlighting
  • The rule was the more money you earned, the better player you were, given a total of 100 clicks. (Para. 6)
  • Sentence analysis
  • Task 4
  • Close doors is a metaphor which means to say “no” or refuse to do something. Marriage is a good example when talking about closing doors of options in order to open windows of opportunity. We tell others that we are married and close the door to new relationships. Doing so makes marriage successful.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language highlighting
  • Language appreciation
  • Task 5
  • In marriage, we create a situation where we promise ourselves not to keep options open. We close doors and announce to others we’ve closed doors. (Para. 10)
  • Language highlighting
  • Language learning
  • Structure analysis
  • A cause-and-effect essay
  • Enhancing your skills
  • Language focus
  • Enhancing your skills
  • A cause-and-effect essay
  • Task
  • Focusing on a cause-and-effect essay
  • Each day you face situations that require cause-and-effect analysis. Some are daily events; others mark important life decisions. When you analyze causes, you ask the question why. When you analyze effects, you ask the question what. Very often, causes have a single effect while multiple effects may be the result of one single cause.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • A cause-and-effect essay
  • Analyze Para. 7.
  • Step 1
  • They would probably protest that they were clinging to the doors to keep future options open, but, according to Dr. Ariely, that isn’t the true factor.
  • Comment
  • As a result, they wasted so many clicks rushing back to the vanishing doors that they lost money in the end.
  • Effect
  • Cause
  • Nevertheless, they hurried to click on the lesser doors before they vanished, trying to keep them open.
  • Enhancing your skills
  • A cause-and-effect essay
  • Analyze Para. 8.
  • Step 2
  • In the experiment, the price was easily measured in lost cash. In life, the corresponding costs are often less obvious such as wasted time or missed opportunities.
  • Comment
  • Cause
  • … the students’ desire was to avoid the immediate, though temporary, pain of watching options close. “Closing a door on an option is experienced as a loss, and people are willing to pay a big price to avoid the emotion of loss,” …
  • Therefore, we can develop an essay following the structure:
  • An essay = cause + effect + comment (optional)
  • Or
  • An essay = effect + cause + comment (optional)
  • Enhancing your skills
  • A cause-and-effect essay
  • Review the expressions of transition used in a cause-and-effect essay.
  • Step 3
  • Enhancing your skills
  • A cause-and-effect essay
  • When introducing causes and effects, remember to use appropriate transitions to achieve coherence. The following ones are very common:
  • Causes: because of, as a result, caused by, result from, the reason is that …, for, due to, since
  • Effects: cause, result in, thus, therefore, consequently, as a result

Presenting your project

  • Presenting your ideas
  • Organizing your ideas

Project of this unit

  • Reporting on:
  • Is online shopping more efficient?

Project of this unit

  • Requirements and procedures
  • Employ as many words and expressions as possible we have learned in this unit and follow the structure of a report writing.
  • Prepare your report after class and present it to your group members in class and have peer review.
  • Polish your writing based on your group members’ evaluation.
  • One member from each group will be chosen to present the group’s report to the whole class.
  • Limit your report within 10 minutes.

Presenting your project

  • 1. Is online shopping really efficient?
  • 2. What are the factors that cause inefficiency of shopping online?
  • 3. Does efficiency of online shopping vary with different majors, genders or age groups?
  • 4. What is the correlation between efficiency and diversity of online shopping?
  • Step 1
  • Work in pairs and discuss the following questions.

Presenting your project

  • Work in groups and design a questionnaire for your report. You should consider:
  • What aspects do you want to report about online shopping?
  • What questions can provide data for the aspects you want to report?
  • The questions on the following pages could be your reference.
  • Step 2
  • Conduct a survey on online shopping.
  • Your major is ____.
  • You are a ____.
  • A. boy B. girl
  • You are a ____.
  • A. freshman B. sophomore C. junior D. senior
  • Have you ever shopped online?
  • A. Yes. B. No.
  • 5. How often do you shop online?
  • A. Always. B. Sometimes. C. Seldom. D. Never.
  • Presenting your project
  • 6. How many hours will you spend on online shopping each week?
  • A. Above 5 hours. B. 3-5 hours. C. 1-3 hours. D. Less than 1 hour.
  • 7. You choose to shop online BECAUSE it ____.
  • saves time B. saves money C. offers more options
  • D. provides home delivery service
  • 8. What items would you like to buy online?
  • A. Books. B. Electronics. C. Clothes. D Skin care. E. else.
  • 9. What is your favorite provider?
  • A. Taobao. B. Tmall. C. Jingdong. D. Dangdang. E. else.
  • Presenting your project
  • 10. What is your biggest worry when shopping online?
  • A. Color difference. B. Wrong size. C. Fakes. D. Poor quality.
  • 11. How many times do you try shopping online but end up buying nothing?
  • Always. B. Sometimes. C. Seldom. D. Never.
  • 12. How long does it cost to buy an item over the Internet?
  • 5 hours. B. 3-5 hours. C. 1-3 hours. D. Less than 1 hour.
  • 13. Do you think online shopping costs more hours than you have expected?
  • A. Yes. B. No.
  • Presenting your project
  • 14. Why does online shopping cost more hours than you have expected? Because ____.
  • A. it offers more options B. you have more worries
  • C. you tend to buy more things than you have planned
  • D. you think there is always a better option ahead
  • 15. All factors considered, which shopping style do you think is more efficient?
  • A. Online shopping. B. Store shopping. C. It depends.
  • Presenting your project
  • Presenting your project
  • Step 3
  • Each group should find at least 20 respondents to do the survey. Complete your group report with the data you get.
  • Findings
  • Data analysis
  • Causes and effects
  • Words and expressions
  • Presenting your project
  • Step 4
  • Use visual aids in your report.
  • The visual display of information is vital to the communicator. As you develop your report, visual aids can help in organizing ideas, strengthening the impact of messages, and clarifying important concepts or associations. Three types of chart are very common in displaying data. They are pie chart, bar chart and line chart.
  • Presenting your project
  • A pie chart is a simple, circular illustration that is divided into several segments to show part-to-whole comparison. It can effectively show only a few broad divisions.
  • Presenting your project
  • A bar chart can quickly compare quantities. It also can make a quick comparison by multiple bar / column graphs.
  • Presenting your project
  • A line chart is a “trendy” way to show a continuous picture of trends or changes over time. Avoid having too many lines on the chart.
  • Presenting your project
  • Step 5
  • Follow appropriate report rules.
  • • Say it accurately.
  • In your report, provide accurate data to impress your audience.
  • • Say it clearly.
  • In your report, use various transitions to guide your audience.
  • • Say it appropriately.
  • In your report, inform the audience in a polite way.

Criteria for self-evaluation and peer-evaluation

  • Criteria
  • Comments
  • clear topic
  • complete content
  • logical structure
  • good words and sentences
  • merits worth learning
  • things to be improved
  • Presenting your project


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