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Curs limba engleza - the media. communication




A.               LEAD IN

1.                How is communication different now from what it was a) 20 years ago; b) 50 years ago; c) 150 years ago; d) 1000 years ago?

2.                What new communication devices do you think will be invented in the next 25 years?

3.                The Internet is among the most important inventions of the 20th century. What are its main uses? What do you, as a student, use it for?

4.                However there is no such thing as perfection. Can you think of some negative aspects of the Internet?

B.                READING OBJECTIVE


Itís time to make some big decisions, so the Google guys are putting on their white lab coats that they wear whenever they talk with their employees about new products. Google paid crazy money to attract top talents and this is the recruitsí chance to show the investments were worth it. For a few hours teams of engineers will come forward with their best ideas, hoping to impress the most powerful men in Sillicon valley.

After eight years in the spotlight running a company that Wall Street values at more than $100 billion, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are still in their early 30s.

Page, 33 has a Muppetís voice and a rocket scientistís brain. He grew up in Michigan, obsessed with inventing things. In college he built a functioning ink-jet printer out of lego pieces. Pageís father was a computer science professor and his mother taught computer programming. When he isnít working, Page spends his time staying fit (his latest passion is windsurfing) and playing with his gadgets. Born in Russia and raised in Washington, Brin 32, is no less clever. He has also been precocious all his life. His father teaches applied probability and statistics at the University of Maryland; his mother works for NASA. Besides computers, Brinís other love is gymnastics, and he studied flying trapeze at a circus school in San Francisco.

Brin and Page meant to name their creation Googol (the mathematical term for the number 1 followed by 100 zeroes) but someone misspelled the word as Google. They raised money from professors and venture capitalists, and moved off campus to turn Google into a business. Perhaps their biggest stroke of luck came when they tried to license their technology to other search engines, but no one met their price, and they built it up on their own.

Spending a day at the Google headquarters in Mountain View , California is a unique experience. Set up in 1998in a Silicon Valley garage Google developed in an amazing rhythm. Googleís search engine Ė devised by Brin and Page when they were Ph.D candidates at Stanford Ė was better than the rest and, without any marketing, spread by word of mouth. Search became Google; google became a verb. The world fell in love with the fun, effective, fast technology and its boy-wizard founders. Ultimately, the company even found a business model Ė advertising Ė and last year made a profit of nearly $1.5 billion on revenue of $6.1 billion.

Can Google cope with the huge success? Its biggest challenge seems to be itself and the handling of the huge communication empire it has become. Only the future will give us an answer.

Reading comprehension

1. How was Google born ?

2. Where does the name ĎGoogleí come from ?

3. How does the text describe the two Google founders ?

4.     Which is the main source of income for Google ?

C.                VOCABULARY

1. In the following table write down the new words in the text above as well as their meaning (and translation into Romanian, if necessary). Then use these words in sentences of your own.



2. Try to find as many words as you can generate from the same root as decision, employee.

3. a) Paraphrase the following expressions from the text:

spread by word of mouth __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

venture capitalists __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____

pay crazy money __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ___

attract top talents __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ __

b) Explain the following:

Silicon Valley __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

Wall Street __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ __

NASA __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ __

4. What does the term mass-media mean?Should it be followed by a singular or a plural verb?

5. Translate into Romanian paying attention to the underlined expressions:

A newspaper usually contains news reports, an editorial, business news, cultural news, sports reports and sometimes a letters page, horoscope and ads.

A popular or tabloid newspaper focuses more on sensation than real news whereas a quality newspaper is more interested in real and important news. A tabloid usually has a smaller format than a quality paper, it has larger headlines and shorter stories and in Britain it prefers stories about film stars, violent crimes and the royal family.

A journal is the name usually given to an academic magazine. A colour supplement is a magazine which comes out once a week (often on Sundays) as an addition to a newspaper. A comic is a magazine usually for children or teenagers with lots of picture stories and cartoons.

5.     What is the job of the following people involved in the media?

a foreign correspondent __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ___

an editor __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ___

a publisher __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____

a columnist __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

a critic __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

a reporter __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____

a camera operator __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ___

6.     Choose a newspaper (preferably an English one) and complete the following sentences:

The main story today is about __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ___

The editorial is about __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____

There are readersí letters on page __ __ and they deal with the following topics __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ___

The most interesting article is about __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____

There is some scandal on page __ __, a crossword on page __ __. A cartoon on page __ __ and some ads on page __ __ .

The most interesting business story is about __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ___ and the largest sports article is about __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____ .

The most striking photograph shows __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____ .

There are advertisements for __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ .

D.               GRAMMAR


1. How do the sentences in the following pairs differ:

a) in terms of form? __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ .

b) in terms of meaning? __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____ .

The Liberal Party won the elections. / The elections were won by the Liberal Party.

A group of students will carry out the project. / The project will be carried out by a group of students.

Nobody has lived in that country house for years. That country house hasnít been lived in for years.

2. The second sentence in each pair above is in the Passive. What does the underlined structures consist of? Can you generalise?

3. Now write the passive form of the following verbal structures and sentences:




Will write

Have written

Had written

Will have written

Am writing

Was writing




Will build

Have built

Had built

Will have built

Are building

Were building

c) They often invite many people at their place.

d) They invited many people at the party.

e) They will invite us to their wedding.

f) He has invited me to a movie.

g) She had already invited everybody else when she phoned me.

h) We are refurbishing the house.

i) The maid was making the coffee when the guests arrived.

j) Most people know a foreign language.

k) People must park their cars here.

l)The kids made Tom captain of the team.

m) They will fix my car tomorrow.

n) He had found your money in the thiefís pocket.

o) The authorities promised us immediate help. (two possible variants)

p) After graduation they offered him a very well paid job. (two possible variants)

q) The journalists were taking an interview to the movie star when the bomb exploded. (two possible variants)

4. Say what these headlines mean. Use complete sentences as in the examples.


There was a fire in a disco in London and six people were killed.









5. Change these sentences into passive voice.

Ex.: They are building a bridge near here.

A bridge is being built near here.

a)     Someone left a note on the desk.

b)     They didnít send the telegram.

c)     Some people saw him walking down the hill.

d)     Someone was repairing your car this morning.

e)     Where did they see him for the last time?

f)      How many times did he shoot the President?

g)     They performed ďHamletĒ at the National Theatre.

h)     Someone took him to hospital.

i)       Nobody has used this room for years.

j)      Can you do it by next Tuesday?

k)     Where did they take John?

l)       When will they sign the contract?

m)   We heard nothing about it for years.

n)     They found the lock broken.

o)     Someone warned him not to swim.

p)     They will employ about a hundred people.

q)     Some students are going to paint the walls.

r)      They have drawn up the plans of the house.

s)     They spent all their money on a scruffy car.

t)      They will send for a doctor.

u)     What do they call this place?

v)     How can we avoid such an accident?

w)   Has anybody solved the problem?

x)     Where are they building the new factory?

y)     When did he take this photograph?

6. Put the following into the passive voice, as in the example.

Ex.: People say that this house is haunted.

This house is said to be haunted.

They found that the machine was in order.

It was found that machine was in order.

a)     People know Mamaia as a holiday resort.

b)     People generally assume that money brings happiness.

c)     People believe that he is not guilty.

d)     Newspapers report that someone has tried to kill her.

e)     People will assume that someone helped me to escape.

f)      Someone has pointed out how important the matter is.

g)     Some officers suggested that the enemy plane should be shot down.

h)     Everyone believed that the war would end soon.

i)       Nobody knew that there was oil in the area.

j)      Everyone hopes that she will recover soon.

k)     Someone has reported that the place talks in Geneva have been broken off.

l)       People feel that there should be a new law about terrorism.

7. Put the following into active voice as in example.

Ex.: The fire in the lounge hasnít been lit yet. (He)

He hasnít lit the fire in the lounge yet.

a)     The TV will be tested when itís been repaired. (Mr. Jones)

b)     The doctor should have been called up earlier. (We)

c)     The children have all been put to bed. (She)

d)     Why werenít you told about this yesterday? (The manager)

e)     The launching of the rocket was delayed by half an hour. (Bad weather)

f)      The shop wasnít insured against fire. (She)

g)     Are such cars still being made? (They)

h)     The crop will be ruined unless something is done very quickly. (we)

i)       The food couldnít be eaten. (No one)

j)      Closed-circuit television is used in the shop to spot shop-lifters. (They)

k)     Where was this photograph taken? (You)

l)       The old Town Hall had been demolished when I left the town. (They)

8. Put the verbs in brackets into a suitable tense in the passive voice.

a)     The house __ ____ ____ ____ (paint) next year.

b)     The visitors __ ____ ____ ____ (tell) to wait in the lounge five minutes ago.

c)     My car__ ____ ____ ____ (repair) now.

d)     A new bridge __ ____ ____ ____ (build) here next year.

e)     His family__ ____ ____ ____ (kill) during the last war.

f)      That car __ ____ ____ ____ (not-sell) yet.

g)     They __ ____ ____ ____ (see) in the park an hour ago.

h)     Their problems __ ____ ____ ____ (not-solve) yet.

i)       This letter__ ____ ____ ____ (answer) already.

j)      That wire must not __ ____ ____ ____ (touch).

k)     We__ ____ ____ ____ (follow) for the last two hours.

l)       His old radio cannot __ ____ ____ ____ (repair).

E.                LANGUAGE IN USE

Describing things

You may often have to describe an object, or a piece of equipment or a machine or gadget to people. You may need to do this because your listener is unfamiliar with the object, or because you cannot think of the name for it.

In describing an object we often have to answer question like these:

What size is it?

What shape is it?

What colour is it?

Whatís it made of?

What does it look like?

Whatís it used for?

How does it work?

Tasks: 1. Decide how would answer these questions in describing the objects around you in the classroom. Are there any other important questions missing from the list?

2. Have you recently bought any new electronic devices? / devices for your computer? Describe them to your classmates.


A.               LEAD IN

1.                Is there any newspaper/magazine that you buy regularly? Motivate your answer.

2.                Is there any television programme that you never miss? Explain.

3.                Why do you think the press (and the media in general) are called the fourth power in a state? (by the way, which are the other three?)



I remember it well. There was a time in the past when I could go to lunch without having to answer calls from my boss, my wife, my children and my bank manager. There used to be a time when notions such as peace and privacy actually had a literal meaning. And when there was somebody you didnít want to speak to, never mind the reasons, you had the freedom not to answer. Excuses were easy: I was out, I was sleeping, the phone was off the hook, and so on; Itís all changed now. None of those old defences work. The callers simply ask you something like ďbut didnít you see my unanswered calls on your mobile?Ē Just think about this phrase for a moment: to see someoneís unanswered calls. No running away from it, youíd have to be deaf and blind not to get in touch with a person. And even then, if youíve got oneof those mobile phones with vibration alert, you are still in trouble.

Iím not a technophobe, Iím really not. But life has proved I was tragically wrong about mobile phones. ĎItís just a temporary fashion, itíll go awayĒ, I used to say. That was fifteen years ago. The people that walked around in the streets talking on those clumsy-looking devices were few and they looked ridiculous to everyone else. Now itís the other way round. If you donít have a mobile phone youíre the strange guy and the others look at you as though youíre walking around without any trousers.


Both scientific and sociological research clearly indicate that, although the Internet has changed the way people work, the more old-fashioned ways of communication are not being threatened by the new technologies.

According to statistics, a person who uses the Net at home to send and receive e-mails talks on the phone for 19 minutes on Sunday Ė just one minute and a half less than someone who does not use the Internet.

Psychologists say it has to do with how impersonal the Internet is, as opposed to the much greater capacity of the human voice to convey a personís emotions. ďOnly the greatest writers can put their feelings on paperĒ, he says, ďand when people talk to friends or relatives they want them to know how they feelĒ.

Things are very different at workplace. It is estimated that corporate telephone usage in the UK has fallen by more than 40%) since 1995, indicating that the Internet is seen as a more effective way to communicate with colleagues or with business partners.

Reading comprehension

1. According to the first text, why are mobile phones such stressing devices?

2. How has the way mobile phones owners are perceived changed in time?

3.Why do psychologists think that telephone usage will continue to remain high?

4.                What communication means do companies prefer?

C.                VOCABULARY

1. In the following table write down the new words in the text above as well as their meaning (and translation into Romanian, if necessary). Then use these words in sentences of your own.



1.       Fill in the blanks with say, tell , chat, speak, talk, discuss:

a)       He __ ____ ____ ____ he wanted to leave earlier.

b)      He __ ____ ____ ____ me he wanted to leave earlier.

c)       We really have to __ ____ ____ ___ this matter over.

d)      I couldnít follow the teacher as he __ ____ ____ _____ too quickly.

e)      The baby cannot __ ____ ____ __ yet.

f)        I really like __ ____ ____ ___ with my friends on the phone.

2.       In pairs try to write as many means of communication as you can. Which are the oldest? Which are the most recent?

4. You surely use a PC almost every day. Can you name its most important hardware component parts ?

5. How is a mobile phone (AE cell phone) different from a fixed telephone? Describe.

6. What means of communication might be described by the following phrases:

intrusive, disturbing when trying to relax __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ __

limited, only sends brief messages __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ___

impersonal, does not communicate meaningfully __ ____ ____ ____ ___

slow, takes days to reach destination __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____

efficient, you can be reached wherever you are __ ____ ____ ____ _____

artistic, can used customised paper __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ __

can send sounds or pictures __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

makes use of special messaging language __ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____

7.     Complete the following key to the text messaging language. You are free to add as many words and signs as you want. Then send a message to somebody in the class.

Standard English Text messaging


Are you





Oh I see

Please call me



To, too

Want to





Be right back

Emotion†† sign




8. Fill in with: information, language, report, discussion, conversation, speech, words.

a)       dead / colloquial __ ____ ____ ____ ____

b)      damaging / informative __ ____ ____ ____ __

c)       animated / heated __ ____ ____ ____ _____

d)      kind / profound __ ____ ____ ____ _____

e)      political / rousing __ ____ ____ ____ ___

f)        confidential / pertinent __ ____ ____ ____ ____ __

g)       informal / intellectual __ ____ ____ ____ ___

Now use one adjective from each pair to complete each of the sentences:

a)       The factory was closed after the publication of the __ ____ ____ _____ report.

b)      The coach gave a __ ____ ____ ___ speech to his team.

c)       Thank you for your __ ____ ____ _____ words.

d)      Iím sorry but I really canít reveal such __ ____ ____ ____ ___ information.

e)      You must avoiding __ ____ ____ _____ language when writing a university essay.

f)        The students had a __ ____ ____ ____ __ discussion on text messaging which is one of their favourite pastimes.

g)       Despite his lack of formal education he was perfectly capable of engaging in __ ____ ____ ____ __ conversation.



1. Adjectives preceding nouns should be used in a certain rather fixed order:

Determiner: the, a/ an, his, my, this, those, each, every, etc

Feeling, attitude: nice, charming, delightful, awful, annoying, exhausting, difficult, etc

Size: big, small, little, tall, short, thin, fat, long, etc

Age: new, young, old, etc

Shape: round, square, etc

Colour: red, light blue, dark brown, green, black, etc

Origin: Chinese, French, European, etc

Material: wooden, silk, leather, brick, etc

Purpose: economic, politic, etc

Now add 2 Ė 5 adjectives from the list above in front of the following nouns:

a) jacket__ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ __

b) trip __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

c) car __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

d) house __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____

e) decision __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ___

2. Put the adjectives in brackets in the correct order:

a) He was happy to get the (latest, English, weekly) __ ____ ____ ____ _____ newspaper.

b) I love this (old, bright, gold, Italian) __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ___ ring that I have from my grandma.

c) They bought a (kitchen, oval, big, glass) __ ____ ____ ____ ____ table and __ ____ ____ ____ ___ (wooden, six, brown) chairs.

d) The visitors admired the (beautiful, late medieval, stone, French) __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ __sculptures in the castle.

e)We were advised to follow the (long, winding, dusty, mountain) __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ __path if we wanted to reach the chalet.

3. There are some adjectives in English that form rather fixed expressions together with a noun they follow such as :court martial, secretary general, notary public. Use them to translate the following sentences:

a) Contractele de vanzare cumparare trebuie incheiate in prezenta unui notar public.

b) Curtea martiala a decis sa il declare nevinovat.

c) A fost numit secretar general al organizatiei.

4. Not only verbs require sometimes obligatory prepositions; there are also adjectives that behave in a similar way. Together with your desk mate try to fill in the blanks with the correct preposition and remember the structures obtained:

a) They were pleased __ _____the welcome party organized for them.

b) You are responsible __ _____ all our problems.

c) I feel so sorry __ _____ you!

d) Sheís very fond __ _____ her family.

e) Iím interested __ ____ __ Economics.

f) We have run short __ ____ __ bread, go and buy some.

g) Are you aware __ ____ __ what youíve done?

h) Heís very angry __ ____ __ us.

i) They werenít at all surprised __ ____ __ the news.

j) Soon youíll get accustomed __ ____ __ business terminology.

k) Your sister is so different __ ____ __ you!

l) It was so rude __ ____ __you to tell something like that!

m) Children are becoming addicted __ ____ __ computers these days.

m)   Are you afraid __ ____ ___ dogs?

5. Rewrite the following sentences using the possessive genitive of the noun in brackets in the place of the possessive adjective.

Ex.: The speech lasted three hours.

It was a three-hour speech.

a) Itís not more than a ride of ten minutes from your house.

b) Have you got the ďDaily MailĒ of today?

c) They stole jewels that were worth one million dollars.

d) It was a journey of 500 kilometres.

e) They carried the weight of a hundred pounds.

f) He bought silk that was worth five hundred pounds.

g) She has a baby of six months.

h)There was a delay of two hours.

i) Iíll buy tobacco worth ten dollars.

j)They were given a break of ten minutes.


Telephoning. Making and changing arrangements.

1. Complete the following conversations with phrases from the list below:

Dialogue 1:

A: __ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____

B: Good morning! Could I speak to Ms. Reynolds, please?

Dialogue 2:

A: I need Mr. Stevensí number, please.

B: __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

Dialogue 3:

A: __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ___

B: Yes, hold the line one moment and Iíll put you through.

Dialogue 4:

A: Iím afraid heís in a meeting at the moment.

B: __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____

Dialogue 5:

A: __ ____ ____ ____ ____ ____ _____

B: Mihai Ionescu from Flamingo electronics.

a) OK. Iíll call back later. Thank you.

b) Hello, RB Advertising. Can I help you?

c) Just a moment, sir. Iíll look it up for you.

d)Hello. Extension 4521, please.

e) Whoís calling, please?

2. Unscramble the sentences below so as to obtain three coherent telephone conversations:

Dialogue 1:

__ __ A: Oh, good morning, Miss Smith!

__ __ B: Mr. Hartley? Good morning!

__ __ A: Good. See you the. Good bye.

__ __ B: Iím ringing to remind you about the meeting tomorrow. 10 a.m., at your office as arranged?

A: 10a.m., thatís right.

Dialogue 2:

__ __ A: Right. Iím looking forward to seeing you. goodbye.

__ __ B: Oh, hello, Mr. Williams, nice to hear from you!

__ __ B: Iím afraid I canít today. What about tomorrow?

__ __ A: Hello! Ms. Lester? This is Tom Williams speaking, from RB Advertising.

__ __ A: I called to see if we can discuss a business proposition that our company wishes to make.

__ __ B: Yes, 1 p..m. is OK. See you tomorrow.

__ __ A: Actually I hoped we could meet and talk about it. How about me coming to your office later today?

__ __ B: I see. Could you be more specific?

__ __ A: Tomorrow will be fine. Letís say 1 p.m., if itís suitable for you, too.

Dialogue 3:

__ __ A: Would it be possible for you to meet us on Tuesday afternoon instead?

__ __ B: Hello, John Andrews speaking,from Durham Building.

__ __ A: Hello, Mr. Andrews.

__ __ A: Iím calling on behalf of my boss. He is very sorry he wonít be able to meet you this afternoon.

__ __ B: OK, Iíll be waiting for your call. Good bye, then.

__ __ B: Let me check my diaryÖ Iím afraid I canít. What about Wednesday morning?

__ __ B: Oh, I see.

__ __ A: Wednesday morning is all right. However Iíll call you back later on to confirm.

__ __ A: Thank you. Goodbye.

3. Together with your desk mate imagine a few short telephone conversations in which: a) you ask for an extension; b) you want to speak to someone but the line is busy / the person is not in the office; c) you make an arrangement to meet someone tomorrow at 4 p.m.; d) you try to change an arrangement already made.

F.                WRITING. DISCUSSION

1. How have modern communication means changed our lives?

2. Buy two different magazines connected to a field you are familiar with ( computers, fashion, fishing, sport, etc). Compare them in terms of quality, topics, target audience, attractiveness, etc and present your findings in a report.

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