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Unit 7 Means of communication


1 Skim reading

Quickly read this article and list three different ways we communicate with each other.

Exam training

Ordering points In the exam you may be asked to put the points from a text in order. Follow this approach:

  1. Quickly read the text for general understanding.
  2. Read the first paragraph carefully and read points a-g. Put the points which appear in the paragraph in order. There may be several points in each paragraph.
  3. Read the second paragraph carefully and read the points you haven't numbered. Match the points to the paragraph.
  4. Continue reading each paragraph and matching until all the points have been numbered.

Getting your Message Across

From a smile and a wave to a message on the Internet, communication keeps us in touch with each other and the rest of the world.

Communication is the sending of messages from one living thing to another. It is part of the process of staying alive and of surviving. In the animal kingdom, most communication is connected with survival. Animals use scents, sounds and actions to show their young how to behave, or to protect themselves against predators*. For example, when an angry cat arches its back and opens its claws it means 'keep your distance'!

Like animals, human beings also use non-verbal methods of communication. Sometimes we do this more than we realise. When your parents read your school report, they may not need to say anything to show you how they feel. The way they hold the report and the look on their faces immediately tells you if they are delighted, surprised, disappointed or angry.

In fact facial expressions and gestures have always been a powerful way of communicating and many expressions have the same meaning all over the world. For example, people smile when they are happy or frown when they are sad. Equally, showing your open hands is widely recognised as a sign of peace, while raising a clenched fist can be a sign of anger or aggression. However, some gestures may have different meanings in different places. A friendly sign in one culture might be impolite in another - so take care!

Another way of showing your feelings is through touch or sounds that aren't words. Sighs and groans can show that you are bored, depressed or frustrated; laughter usually tells people that you are amused or delighted; and screams indicate that you are frightened. Handshakes, kisses and hugs are different ways of greeting people. And hugs and kisses can be signs of affection and love.

Many animals have specially adapted body parts which help them to communicate visually. A stag* for example has dangerous antlers* to warn off predators. In contrast, human bodies are not specially developed in this way. However, what we wear can say a lot about us. Business people and politicians usually wear expensive suits in order to appear serious, people in the entertainment industry wear glamorous outfits, and teenagers might wear designer jeans and pierce their noses. So when you meet someone for the first time, remember, it's not just what you say that makes an impression, but also what you wear and what you do!

The Young Oxford Book of The Human Being, David Glover

* predator = an animal that kills and eats other animals
* stag = a male deer
* antlers = horns on the head of the male deer

2 Ordering points

Read the article carefully and number the points in the order in which they appear.

1 f Animals use different ways of communicating to defend themselves.

2 d Animals and humans sometimes communicate in a similar way.

3 e You can guess people's feelings by looking at their faces.

4 d Some actions have similar meanings in different countries.

5 b In some countries you need to be careful about non-verbal communication.

6 c Animals have changed themselves physically in order to communicate.

7 a We use clothes to tell people about ourselves.

3 Meanings

A The expressions 1-5 are in the article. Match them with their meanings a-e.

1 keeps us in touch (line 2)

2 is widely recognised (line 24)

3 take care (line 28)

4 specially adapted (line 36)

5 to warn off (line 38)

a change something for a specific purpose

b to threaten someone or something

с think about what you are doing

d accepted around the world

e stay in contact with someone

1 keeps us in touch - stay in contact with someone

2 is widely recognised - accepted around the world

3 take care - think about what you are doing

4 specially adapted - change something for a specific purpose

5 to warn off - to threaten someone or something

B Now answer these questions.

1 Which language do you think is the most widely recognised?

2 Which of your old school friends or penfriends do you keep in touch with?

3 What type of things do your parents warn you about?

4 Why is it necessary to take care when you travel abroad?

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Unit 1. BORN TO BE BRILLIANT. Reading. In the mind's eye.
Unit 1. BORN TO BE BRILLIANT. Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs with more than one meaning.
Unit 1. BORN TO BE BRILLIANT. Grammar. Modals. Remember + ing or to-inf.
Unit 1. BORN TO BE BRILLIANT. Writing descriptions. Travel and sightseeing.

Unit 2. THE WRONG MAN. Reading. A sense of identity.
Unit 2. THE WRONG MAN. Vocabulary. Crime. Match the people with the definitions.
Unit 2. THE WRONG MAN. Grammar. Present simple, present continuous and present perfect.
Unit 2. THE WRONG MAN. Writing a profile. Words describing appearance.

Unit 3. TIMES PAST. Reading. BRINGING the past to life.

Unit 3. TIMES PAST. Vocabulary. TV programmes.
Unit 3. TIMES PAST. Grammar. Regular and Irregular Verbs.
Unit 3. TIMES PAST. Writing a Talk. The Millenium Dome.

Unit 4. SMALL BEGINNINGS. Reading. The man who really founded New York.
Unit 4. SMALL BEGINNINGS. Vocabulary. Nouns, verbs, adjectives.
Unit 4. SMALL BEGINNINGS. Grammar. The Future. Will.
Unit 4. SMALL BEGINNINGS. Writing a letter of complaint.

Unit 5. FAME AND FORTUNE. Reading. A dream come true? How winning a lottery can affect your life?
Unit 5.  FAME AND FORTUNE. Vocabulary. Prepositions. Money.
Unit 5.  FAME AND FORTUNE. Grammar. Modals. Language patterns: verb + noun/pronoun + infinitive with to.
Unit 5.  FAME AND FORTUNE. Writing a composition. The Lottery.

Unit 6. TAKING RISKS. Vocabulary. Phrasal verbs with take.
Unit 6. TAKING RISKS. Grammar. Relative pronoun. Who, whom, which or that Quiz. Purpose and result. Language patterns: verb + direct object + (to) do.
Unit 6. TAKING RISKS. Writing a biography.

Unit 7. MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. Reading. Getting your Message Across.
Unit 7. MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. Vocabulary. Adjectives ending in -ed an -ing. Feelings. Body language.
Unit 7. MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. Grammar. Present perfect and past simple; present perfect simple and continuous; the passive.

Unit 8. WHAT IF ... ? Reading. Poets and pop stars.
Unit 8.  WHAT IF ... ? Vocabulary. Words to do with poetry and music.
Unit 8.  WHAT IF ... ? Grammar. Conditionals. The verbs tell, talk, say and speak.
Unit 8.  WHAT IF ... ? Writing a discursive composition. An ideal job.

Unit 9. TRAVELLERS' TALES. Reading. A trip to America.
Unit 9. TRAVELLERS' TALES. Vocabulary. Describing a journey.
Unit 9. TRAVELLERS' TALES. Grammar. Past simple, past continuous or past perfect? Reflexive verbs.
Unit 9. TRAVELLERS' TALES. Writing a story. My holiday nightmare.

Unit 10. THE RIGHT CHOICE. Reading. DANGER: woman at work.
Unit 10. THE RIGHT CHOICE. Vocabulary. Negative prefixes. Phrasal verbs give up • get on • turn down • take on • fit in
Unit 10. THE RIGHT CHOICE. Grammar. Reported Speech. Direct and indirect objects.
Unit 10. THE RIGHT CHOICE. Writing a job application.