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Grade: 9th
Level: intermediate
Topic: up-to-date technology
Equipment: handouts (texts from the Trend UK article), a tape “Matrix intermediate”, cards for listening,
Time: 40 minutes
Objectives: By the end of the lesson students will be able to discuss technological advances.
Aims: - to develop speaking skills;
- to develop reading for scanning;
- to develop listening for specific information.
Methods and steps
Patterns of
Warm up: Thanks to modern gadgets our life is becoming easier. There are so
many devices invented to help us. Can you name any of them and describe their
Whole class
2 -3
Controlled: You can see a list of modern appliances to the left and their
function to the right. Let’s match the gadget with its function.
Audio book
locate your position if you are lost
train your abdominal muscles
Body belt
read while walking
Universal remote control
speak on the phone while driving
Hands free headset
use all your household appliances
sitting on the sofa
Whole class
With the help of…you can…
You will be able to…if you have a…
5 min
Semi-controlled: These are two extracts from articles describing innovations
helping peoples. Can you explain what they are and how they work?
“…new smart textiles mean it’s now possible to embed a recording
device in the fibres of our clothing and carry on with life, safe in the
knowledge that our vital signs are being transmitted to a medical
Whole class
“…people are talking, we don't have a microphone near them, we
can just have a microphone in the space. We pick up reverberated
speech and we try to extrapolate from that what's happening in the
Let’s divide into to groups. Each group has got an article. The first one reads
After having read each team tells about the device described and another team
should complete the chart:
It is useful because…
5 min
Group work
We can go without it because…
Now we are going to listen to a talk about lifestyle in the future and complete
the notes.
 cleans your home automatically.
 knows the difference between untidiness and_____.
Computerized washing machine
 cleans clothes with_____.
 compared to a conventional machine it works_____.
 can change _____of tables and chairs.
 is able to choose music, _____and change the lightening.
Virtual reality machine
 can be used at work.
 can be used for playing _____ computer games.
2 min
Do you think these gadgets are useful or not? Why?
Whole class
Free: Are their any other problems in different spheres of our life that can be
solved with any new inventions? Let’s try to invent in groups and describe
some devices that can help us.
Group work
Ideas: 1) Is it difficult to read SMS while walking? A special earphone
connected with your mobile phone will pass the text straight to your ears. You
ask how it works? Oh,…
2) You and your friends are in a jolly crowd but you’ve got some secrets that
you don’t want to share with everybody? A little bug will pass your silent
thoughts into the mind of your friend who possesses the same device. It works
Intelligent fibres
According to the British Heart Foundation, in the UK someone has a heart attack every two minutes. Each
year, 65,000 people are diagnosed with the condition. In the past continuous monitoring to detect cardiac
disease has been a cumbersome process. But new smart textiles mean it’s now possible to embed a
recording device in the fibres of our clothing and carry on with life, safe in the knowledge that our vital signs
are being transmitted to a medical professional.
Dr Dewar Finlay and Dr Chris Nugent at the University of Ulster are researching how new technology can be used to make
patient monitoring better and have worked with Smart textile manufacturer Sensatex, to help them develop their technology for
the healthcare market. As Dr Nugent points out, ‘if you can put health monitoring into clothes everything is in place without
having to resort to complicated instructions about where to place sensors on different parts of the body. There's also the issue
of patient empowerment where they can take control of the monitoring in the home environment and cut down on the input
required from the healthcare profession’.
Heartbeat sensors
Dr Finlay explains, ‘a number of companies are developing smart textiles to capture signals prompted by our bodies. We want
to use this technology to measure the electrocardiogram (ECG), the electrical signals generated by our heartbeat. The
garment looks like an ordinary t-shirt that you can buy from the shops but at certain locations there are conductive fibres
woven into it enabling signals to be recorded from the surface of the body.’
Health alert
Continuous collection of heart rate or temperature levels from a person on a portable device and sending
it wirelessly is now technologically possible. It already has applications in sports performance monitoring.
Dr Nugent adds, ‘we have been particularly interested in using such techniques to determine where we
should place sensors in order to record the most useful information. The best way to do this is to employ
intelligent computer systems to analyse the large amounts of data that can be recorded and so any
abnormality can be identified quickly.’
For the home user this means developing a system that can lets us know whether we’re well or not. Those with heart
conditions can really say, ‘been there and got the t-shirt’!
Intelligible speech
Have you ever stood in a train station or departure lounge desperately struggling to hear the public
announcement? If we could only tune out the noise around us the information might actually be audible. A
new system for testing how sound behaves in the ‘real-world’ means buildings could be designed for better
acoustics without removing the people!
Music to our ears
Led by Prof. Trevor Cox at the University of Salford, the acoustic engineering team are developing computer software which
can test how sound behaves in indoor environments. The traditional way to measure room acoustics is to make a big noise, fire
a starting pistol or create a loud bang. You can't do this while people are around. Their aim is to create an industry standard
system, accessible to building designers in which music played at an average level of audibility, or even ordinary conversation,
can be sound-tested.
Prof. Cox’s background in physics and music fuels his research. Already recognised by the music industry for his sound
diffuser innovations, his mission is to make music sound more beautiful and speech intelligible. He explains, ‘If you go to a
room like a cathedral you can hear sound echoing around, you get a sense of what the room is doing rather than what the
speaker is doing. That's the process we're looking at to extract the key acoustic parameters.’
Isolating echo
Cox continues, ‘Say people are talking, we don't have a microphone near them, we can just have a
microphone in the space. We pick up reverberated speech and we try to extrapolate from that what's
happening in the room. We already know that if there's someone on the telephone and they walk into the
bathroom or the kitchen, you can hear the voice on the telephone change because there's extra
reverberation coming from the room.’ The approach is to isolate snippets of sound, analyse their decay
and create a model of the environment’s effect on sound.
As well as contributing to better acoustic design of busy public spaces such as transport hubs, Cox sees their acoustic
parameter research improving the ability of hearing aids to handle reverberant conditions. Currently funded by the EPSRC, he
adds, ‘We'd be more than happy for it to be used and to make a difference in design.’
noun [C]
a small piece of information, news, conversation, etc
I kept hearing snippets of conversation.
(from Cambridge Learner's Dictionary)
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