Unit 1 Communication Problems
In-Class Reading Speaking Different Languages
5 为了充分表达她们的感受，女人们往往会把事实夸大一点以引起注意，并使用各种最高级、隐喻以及笼统的概括。男人可能会错误地从字面上来理解这些用语。他们误解了女人想要表达的意思，便常常以不赞同的态度来回应她们。下面列有十种容易被误解的抱怨，同时也列出了男人如何回应，表示不赞同。容易被误解的十种抱怨女人这样说： 男人这样回应： “我们从来不出去。” “ 不对啊，我们上周还出去过呢。” “所有人都无视我的存在。” “ 我敢肯定有人关注你。” “我太累了，我什么也干不了了。” “ 要是你不喜欢自己的工作，那就辞职吧。” “我想忘掉一切。” “ 我觉得没有什么可忘掉的。” “家里总是乱七八糟。” “ 并不总是这么乱的。” “再也没人听我说话了。” “ 我不正在听你说嘛。” “什么都不对劲儿。” “ 你是说这都是我的错？” “你不再爱我了。” “ 我当然爱你，要不我干吗还在这儿。” “我们老是匆匆忙忙。” “ 没有啊，周五我们就很轻松。” “我需要更多的浪漫。” “ 你是说我不够浪漫？”
6 可以看出，习惯把语言用来传达事实和信息的男人们，从“字面”上去理解女人的话是多么容易产生误解。同时可以看出，男人的回答又是怎样引起争吵的。含糊的、缺乏爱心的沟通是男女之间的最大问题。女人们在交往中的第一大抱怨就是“我觉得没人听我说话。” 7 即使这种抱怨也会被误解。
3 同样，两个发音相似的英语单词也给一位想从洛杉矶飞往加利福尼亚奥克兰市(Oakland)的乘客带来了麻烦。他的问题始于洛杉矶机场。他以为听到自己航班的登机广播了，于是走向登机门，出示了机票，登上了飞机。起飞20分钟后，这位先生开始担心了。奥克兰位于洛杉矶的北面，可飞机似乎在向西飞行，他朝舷窗外一看，看到的却是一片汪洋大海。“这趟航班是飞往奥克兰(Oakland)的吗？”他向乘务员询问。乘务员倒吸了一口凉气，答道：“不，我们正飞往奥克兰(Auckland)，新西兰的奥克兰(Auckland)。” 4 由于英语中许多词发音相近，误会对讲英语的人来说已是司空见惯了，但这种误会并不是每次都导致高速公路关闭或旅客错飞到别的大陆这样的后果。大多数误会都没这么严重。每天，讲英语的人之间都会问诸如“你是说70还是17 ？”，“你是说能来还是不能来？”之类的问题。对把英语作为第二语言的人来说，近音词特别容易混淆。 5 一天早晨，当一位定居美国的朝鲜妇女到办公室时，她的老板问她：“你有没有收到过一只盘子？”“没有??”她一边回答，一边纳闷老板究竟是什么意思。她是在办公室工作的，老板为什么会问起盘子的事？整整一天，她始终琢磨不透这个奇怪的问题，但她又不好意思去问老板。下午五点，当她正准备下班回家时，老板对她说：“明天请准时上班，今天早上你迟到了15分钟”。她回答说：“对不起，我的车发动不起来，再则，??”，她突然停住，笑了起来。这会儿她明白了，老板不是问她“是否收到过一只盘子”，而是问她“是否起晚了”。
6 不只是英语有近音词，其他语言中也有会引起误会的词，特别是对外国人来说。 7 奥克兰(Auckland)听成了奥克兰(Oakland)。“起晚了(up late)”变成了“一只盘子(a plate)”。当近音词造成误会时，也许最好的做法是一笑了之并从中吸取教训。当然有时候很难做到一笑了之。那位要去加利福尼亚的奥克兰却去了新西兰奥克兰的旅客不会有笑的雅兴。然而，那样一场误会最终结果也不错，航空公司为他免费提供了在新西兰的食宿和返回加利福尼亚的机票。“不错”，这位客人后来说道，“我一直想看看新西兰。”
Part One Preparation
1. Saying Things Sincerely or Sarcastically STEP ONE
1 C (Sincerely) 2 A (Sarcastically) 3 D (Sincerely) 4 B (Sincerely) STEP TWO Sample Picture 1
It is matched with Line C, because it can be seen from the picture that the man is splashing some dirty rainwater onto the lady?s dress.
Line C is sincere because the man in the picture is making an apology to the lady. W: Oh, My goodness! What have you done to my new dress?
M: Ah, I?m awfully sorry. I didn?t mean to make such a beautiful lady angry. I should have been more careful!
W: Angry? No, I?m not angry. I can just put it in the washing machine when I get home. Picture 2
It is matched with Line A, because the moon is in the sky and the man pointing at his watch tells us it is very late at night.
Line A is sarcastic, for the man in the picture is obviously angry with the lady. W: I?m back, honey. M: Er, finally!
W: You seem so worried. Why?
M: Why should I be worried about you? It?s already past midnight.
W: Don?t worry. I won?t get lost so easily. I?m not an unsophisticated young girl. Picture 3
It is matched with Line D, for the boy pushing the bike is just back from a ride.
Line D is sincere, because from their dialog we can see they are good friends and the boy must have had the owner?s permission to use the bike.
Boy A: Here?s your bike. It?s so kind of you to loan me your new bike.
Boy B: You?re welcome. You can use it whenever you want. Did you find it easy to ride? Boy A: Not really. Maybe I need some more practice. Picture 4
It is matched with Line B, because it can be seen from the picture that the lady is addressing an office boy who has hurt his wrist.
Line B is sincerely said, for the boy still comes to work even with an injured hand. W: You?re late to work. You had a doctor?s appointment, didn?t you? M: I?m sorry for being late. But how did you know that?
W: I guess it?s the doctor who bandaged up your hand. Are you all right?
M: Today?s my unlucky day! I had my hand hurt and my cell phone broken in a traffic accident. Teaching tips
In order to be sarcastic, Americans adjust their vocal tone by speaking flat, lengthening their vowel sounds and perhaps creating a facial expression.
? Tone of voice: When communicating, the way the words are spoken may be more important than what is actually being said. The tone of voice can indicate whether a speaker is sincere or sarcastic, casual or impassioned, serious or humorous, and confident or uncertain. For instance, sarcasm occurs when the speaker pitches a stressed syllable lower than the other words in the sentence. For example, the pitch of the word “great” in sentence “Great weather, huh?” changes depending on whether you?re being sincere or sarcastic.
? Volume and speed of voice: A loud voice or speaking quickly may be a sign of excitability or urgency. Slow or soft speech may indicate a relaxed attitude or uncertainty. To put emphasis on what is being said, speakers may also effectively slow their speech or pause, and they may raise or lower their voices.
? Facial expressions: Smiles, frowns and other facial expressions can be used to express our feelings. For example, both eyebrows lifted can mean surprise or excitement, whereas a single lifted eyebrow may indicate sarcasm or disbelief. 2. English-Chinese Telephone Chains
Here are a few messages for your reference. You can have your own messages as well. 1. John is 17 years old, a freshman majoring in business management. 2. Forty boys and 14 girls have entered the English Speaking Contest.
3. Professor Wang used to teach physical education at a university in Austria. 4. I can?t stand him any longer because he tends to lose his temper easily.
5. I talked to an Italian girl in my class about her math homework on Thursday. Teaching tips
Activity: English-Chinese Telephone Chains Duration: About 15 minutes
Aim: Practice listening, pronunciation, and translation
Introduction: This activity not only entails listening, pronunciation and translation skills, but also enables students to be aware of misunderstandings in daily communication, such as message delivering.
Preparation: In this activity, the 8-10 students of each group should be seated in a line or circle for the message to pass from one to another without being heard by others in the group. And the message can be chosen either by the teacher (or made up by the first student in each group). Remember that the rest of the group should have no idea about the message in advance.
Procedure: Make sure that students have a clear understanding of the goal and rules. The first student of each group will get an English message from the teacher, translate it into Chinese and whisper the Chinese version to the second student. The second student is supposed to translate it back into English and whisper it to the third student. This continues down the line until the message gets to the last student. Each student can only say “Can you please repeat that?” one time. When the message reaches the end of the chain, the student must speak out loud. In a big group you can send the message two ways and find out which team comes closest to the original message. Oftentimes the message will be completely different when it reaches the end. Try to find out where the chain broke!
The point of this activity is not winning; rather, it is to see if the last student can say the message correctly. The interesting thing about this activity is that usually the last student never says the
message correctly. It is also fun to hear the message all scrambled up, which naturally leads the students into cases of misunderstanding in the After-Class Reading passage.
Depending on students? proficiency in English, the difficulty of this activity can be adjusted. If the teacher aims to favor the demands of students with a relatively low level of English, it is advisable to make slight alterations as follows. The class will be divided into groups of 8-10 students.
The first student of each group will be given a message by the teacher. The message should be whispered from one person to the next. The last person should repeat the message aloud. The group that gets the message through with the fewest changes wins. 3. Enjoying a Joke Sample
In the joke, the problem is that the boy always took what the man said literally. In fact, when the man asked “Where does this road go?”, he expected that the boy would tell him that the road went or led to a certain place. But instead, the boy didn?t know what the man meant or he meant to tease the man and his answer seemed irrelevant. The same thing happened with the question “How far is it to the next town?”. Therefore, the reader may think the boy is stupid. But surprisingly, the boy?s last remark was very clever: “I know I don?t know much, and I may be a fool, but at least I?m not lost.” This made the man seem stupid.
Part Two Reading-Centered Activities
Post-Reading Reading Comprehension
1. 1 different 2 problems 3 communication 4 translator 5 trust
6 acceptance 7 exaggerate 8 superlatives 9 metaphors 10 generalizations 11 unsupportive 12 literally 13 rethink 14 translate 2. 1 F 2 T 3 F 4 T 5 T 6 F 7 T 8 T 9 T 10 T 3. Sample
? (At the dinner table)
W: Dear, to be honest, how does the food taste?
M: I want to say it?s delicious to please you. But to be honest, it is a bit salty. W: I?m gaining weight. Dear, what can I do?
M: Try to eat less fat. You should keep yourself slim like Mrs. Smith.
W: I know Mrs. Smith is slimmer and prettier. Why didn?t you marry her instead? (After dinner)
W: Dear, we haven?t gone shopping for years.
M: Really? Last Sunday, we did and you bought a lot of things. I can?t believe you forget things so quickly.
? (A man and a woman dating in a park) W: I feel a little chilly. M: Do you?
(The man takes off his coat and puts it on the woman.) W: We haven?t been together for a long time.