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新进阶3 综合Unit 2

New Progressive College English Book III UNIT 2 Conspicuous Consumption

新进阶3 综合Unit 2

UNIT 2 Conspicuous Consumption

1. Teaching Objectives:

Students will be able to

A. Have a thorough understanding of the text contextually and linguistically

B. Talk about the conspicuous consumption of luxury goods

C. Conduct group discussion centering on the “fuerdai” phenomenon in China

D. Become familiar with expository writing

2. Time Allotment:

1st Period: Lead-in Activities (Warm-up activities; Discussion about the topic)

2nd Period: Global-reading (Text: Approaching the theme; analyzing the text organization) 3rd Period: Detailed reading (Understanding the Text A in a deeper level, analyzing difficult sentence structures)

4th Period: Detailed reading Activities (Learning new words, summarizing good usage) 5th Period: Comprehending Reading 1 (Skimming the text, explaining the difficult sentences of the Text, doing sentence translation))

6th Period: After-reading Activities (Viewing and Listening; Speaking; Assignments)

3. Teaching Procedures:

3.1 Lead-in Activities

Step 1. Warm-up activities

Ask Ss to listen to a song and fill in the missing words in the lyrics.

Have Ss work in pairs. One student asks the other the questions in Opener, the other answers. Then switch roles.

Method: PPT, communicative approach.

Step 2: Discussion about the topic

Introduce the topic of the unit to Ss either in English or Chinese: Sometimes people buy things just for the purpose of showing that they are richer, or have better taste than others. Expensive brand-name goods can serve this purpose, and are often wanted precisely because they are expensive. Whether spending money in this way is good, bad or simply silly is something we are going to explore.

Method: Using task-based language teaching method, communicative approach.

3.2 Global reading

Step 1. Approaching the theme

Ask Ss to take a look at the Culture Notes, or ask them to do some further reading before class about the idiom “keep up with the Joneses”, its origins and its social impact, etc.

Guide Ss to explore the text to fide the meaning and origin of the expression “keep up with the Joneses”, how this phenomenon came into being, and what we should do to rid ourselves of the pressure of keeping up with the Joneses.

Method: PPT; communicative approach.

Step.2 Analyzing the text organization

The teacher tells students that the text can be divided into three parts which have been given in the Text Organization. Then students should summarize the main idea of each part and compare notes with each other.

新进阶3 综合Unit 2

Method: skimming and scanning, communicative approach

3.3 Detailed Reading

3.3.1 Procedure

1) Students are asked to read the passage carefully again and for each paragraph (sometimes

two-three paragraphs), invite students to answer questions related difficult sentences and understanding of each paragraph.

2) Help Ss find out the good usage in the text and underlined them.

3) Learn new words in details.

Purpose: Further understand the text and train scanning ability to learn difficult sentence structures as well as new words and expressions.

Method:Reading the text together; Using task-based language teaching method, reading approach, communicative approach, grammar-translation approach.

Step 1. Questions related difficult sentences and understanding of each paragraph. Paras.2

Q. Where does the phrase “Keeping up with the Joneses” come from?

A: It comes from a cartoon strip of the same title launched by Pop Momand in 1913.


Q: Why were we not aware of what the Joneses were doing prior to the late 1880s?

A: Prior to the late 1880s, mass media was not born. We were only concerned about making our own living.


Q: What was the ready solution provided by magazines in order for us to catch up with the Joneses?

A: The ready solution was to buy products that were advertised.


Q: Where do true happiness and joy come from, if they are not anything money can buy?

A: True happiness and joy come from within.


Q: What are we supposed to do to stop keeping up with the Joneses?

A: Instead of buying into the message that we’re not good enough, we should have positive self-regard. We should realize we don’t have to buy things to impress others.

3.3.2 Language Focus Difficult sentences:

1) I’d love to say that need vanished when the last episode of that comic strip ran, but alas, it seems to have only gotten worse. (Para. 2)

I would like to say that need disappeared when the comic strip came to an end, but it seems that things have turned from bad to worse instead.



2) Prior to the late 1880s, most of us were so busy trying to make a living that we didn’t care what the Joneses were doing, nor did we know, for that matter. (Para. 4)

Before the late 1880s, most of us were bu sy trying to make a living. We didn’t care what the Joneses were doing, and we didn’t know either.

19世纪80年代末以前,我们多数人都在忙于生计,既不关心、也不知道邻居们在做些什么。3) And much of that assessment was, and still is, based on a perceived lack of things we’re told we should want or have. (Para. 4)

And much of that evaluation was, and still is, based on a feeling that we are short of things we ought to have because of the messages from the mass media.


4) Because ultimately, you decide if you’re going to buy into this idea that you’re not good enough. (Para. 7)

Because in the end, you determine whether you’re going to accept the notion that you’re not good enough.


5) So it’s time to take some pressure off your self and stop trying to keep up with the Joneses — or anyone else for that matter. (Para. 8)

So it’s time to rid yourself of the pressure/free yourself from the pressure and stop trying to keep up with the Joneses. Nor should you try to keep up with anyone else.


6) If you can’t put a cap on it, you’re chasing the wind. (Para. 9)

If you can’t put a limit on what you desire, you are undertaking a meaningless task that will lead you nowhere.


7) Think of the moments you look back on as your fondest memories. Would you trade those for a pile of cash? (Para. 9)

Think of the moments you look back on as your warmest memories. Would you exchange them for a pile of cash?


Inverted Word Order(倒装语序)

Inverted word order is often used in the following cases:

1)when a sentence begins with a negative word, such as “not”, “never”, “hardly”, “seldom”, etc.

2)when a sentence begins with an “only” expression, such as “only before”, “only after”, “only

when”, “only if” ect.

3)when an adverbial of place such as “up the hill”, “down the valley”, etc. is put at the

beginning of a sentence. Difficult words and phrases

1) strive for: make great efforts to achieve or obtain (sth.) 努力,力求

e.g. We strive for perfection but sometimes have to accept something less than perfect.


2) be content with: be satisfied with (sth.), not wishing for more 对…满意;对…感到满足

e.g. Brexit shows that many British are no longer content with the EU as it is.


I’d be content with a modest income.


3) keep up with: move or progress at the same rate (as sb./sth.) 跟上

e.g. Wages are failing to keep up with inflation.


4) derive from: have (sth.) as a starting-point, source or origin; come from 源自;源于

e.g. Thousands of English words derive from Latin.


Our ideas of various colors and materials derive from experience.


5) poke fun at: make fun of 嘲弄,开玩笑

e.g. Many late night comedy shows poke fun at politicians.


6) vanish: vi. pass out of sight, especially quickly; disappear 消失;突然不见

e.g. We ran out after the thief, but he had vanished without a trace.


7) episode: n. one of a series of scenes or stories constituting a literary work 片段,插曲

e.g. What do you think of the final episode of the TV series that was aired last night?


It was an episode in his life that he’d like to forget.


8) core: n. the central and most important part of sth. 核心

e.g. A desire for justice is at the core of his arguments.


9) come into being: 形成;产生

e.g. A booking contract between a hotel and a guest may come into being in several different ways.


We do not know exactly when the universe came into being.


10) open up: cause (sth.) to open 展开,打开

e.g. The sales manager wants to open up new markets in the Far East.


11) for that matter: as far as that is concerned 就此而言,在这一问题上

e.g. Do not talk like that to your mother, or to anyone else for that matter.


12) uncertain: a. not completely certain; not known or definite 不确定的;不确知的

e.g. She’s uncertain whether to go to New Zealand or not.


Torn apart by war, the country now faces a very uncertain future.


13) perceive: vt. become aware of (sth. or sb.) 感知到,意识到

e.g. New technology is perceived by some people to be a threat to employment.


14) out of date: no longer fashionable 过时的;不再流行的

e.g. That radio looks so out of date.


15) vicious: a. acting or done with evil intentions 恶意的

e.g. The police said that this was one of the most vicious attacks they’d ever seen on a helpless victim.


16) guilt: n. a feeling of having done sth. wrong or failed in an obligation 内疚,不安

e.g. He suffered deep feelings of guilt about/at/for/over exposing his children to danger.


Her husband’s death left her with an overwhelming sense of guilt.


17) most of all: to a greater degree than anyone or anything else 尤其是

e.g. What I want most of all is to spend more time with my little daughter.


18) put it best/well/cleverly...: express (a thought or comment) in a good/clever way 极好地/很好地/巧妙地表述

e.g. The professor put it best when he said, “How you look tells the world how you feel.”


19) attribute sth. to sb./sth.: regard sth. as being caused by 把…归因于;把…归咎于

e.g. He liked to attribute his success to a “lucky break”.


Her teachers attributed her learning difficulties to emotional problems.


20) ultimately: ad. in the end; finally 最后;最终

e.g. Technological advances could ultimately lead to even more job losses.


The way you arrange plants in your garden is ultimately a matter of personal preference.


4. Comprehending Reading 1

Teacher calls students’ attention to the title of the text, asks them to make a guess as to what this article is about.

List some items and ask Ss to divide them into necessities and luxuries, according to their understanding. The list may include items such as satellite TV, high-speed internet access, sport utility vehicles, cosmetic surgery, professional quality home gym equipment, hourly paid domestic cleaning and cooking services, second homes, trips abroad, etc. Ask Ss to briefly explain the reasons for their division.

Ask Ss to list some factors that drive conspicuous consumption in China. Ss may refer to the

“Why We Do It” section in the text.

Teacher guides students to skim the text before doing the task in Comprehending Check for Reading 1.

Teacher asks students to go trough the text. For each paragraph, teacher asks one student to pick sentences he/she has difficulty understanding. Encourage other students to offer their interpretations. Teacher may provide help when need arises. Then do the task in Translation.

5. After Reading

5.1 Viewing and Listening

Teacher introduces Viewing & Listening to the class: Buffett & Gates Go Back to School is an interview program in which multi-billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates answer questions from business students on a variety of issues. One student asks them how they ensure that in such a materialistic society as America, their children value things that aren’t material and things that will truly make them happy in the end. Now let’s see what Buffett & Gates have to say.

Teacher briefly explains the new words before playing the video and asks students to fill in the blanks. Teacher may play the video for two or three times for students to do the exercise and check their answers.


Divide Ss into groups ensuring that there is a mix of views within each group. Ss are supposed to exchange their opinions on the topic.

5. 3 Assignments:

1. Read the text in Reading 2 and finish the exercises

2. Write an expository writing

3. Preview the next unit.