Unit 1 Section A

Time-Conscious Americans

Teaching Plan


Students will be able to:

1. grasp the main idea of the text(Americans value time and save it carefully.)

2. master the key language points and grammatical structures in the text;

3. conduct a serious of reading, listening, speaking and writing activities related to the theme of the unit.

Warm-up exercises

1.Why do Americans like visiting fast-food restaurants?

2. Do you like fast-food? If you do, what’s the reason for this liking?

3. Are you time-conscious? State your idea on time.

4. Life is fast-paced today. Besides eating fast-food, people also use different kinds of time-saving devices, such as: fax, e-mail and mobile phone. What do you think of these time-saving devices?

Cultural Differences

Students and teachers need to be aware that the ethnocentric attitudes of writers are precisely the way cultural conflict is encouraged. Why is understanding a culture always the others’ responsibility? It is not possible that each culture could be made aware of different conventions? Both sides must work at rising above cultural differences and be willing to compromise…and, in both cases, most likely neither side has access to the cultural conventions of the other so blaming is not the answer. Educating is.

Global Reading

Outline of the Text:

Time is very precious to Americans. Many foreigners have the impression that everyone in the U. S. is likely to be in a rush and under pressure. They are always in a hurry when they walk, eat or do some shopping. They don’t like smiles, short conversations and small exchanges with strangers, since they consider these to be a waste of time. Leisurely business chats, which are quite common in some other countries, don’t exist here, because Americans start talking business very quickly. Consequently, many labor-saving devices are produced in order to save more time. Teleconference is a good way to settle problems without face to face conversation. It is taken a sign of skillfulness to solve a problem quickly.

Stucture of the Text:

Detailed Reading

Language study

A. New words and Expressions:

1. fall behind: 1) become bit by bit further behind

2) (with) fail to finish at the proper time

Eg. 1) fall behind in science 在科学方面落后

fall behind one’s competitors 落后于竞争对手

2) fall behind with the rent 拖欠房租

The student has been working hard for fear that he should fall behind.

这个学生一直很努力, 惟恐落后。

I’m falling behind with my work; I must try to catch up.

我工作拖下来了, 我得想办法赶上。


result inhave as a result; cause

result frombe caused by

v Acting before thinking always results in failing.

v The accident resulted in the death of two people

v Nothing has resulted from his efforts.

v The child’s illness resulted from eating unclean food.

3. abrupt adj. 1) (of behavior) rough 2) sudden and unexpected

eg. an abrupt attitude 无礼的态度

an abrupt change of policy 突然改变政策

an abrupt drop in oil prices 油价突降

当我询问她的新工作时, 她对我态度非常粗鲁。

When I asked her about her new job, she was quite abrupt with me.


The meeting came to an abrupt end.

4. much less (also still less) and even less likely

Eg. 她连水也不肯喝一口, 更别说留下吃饭了。

She wouldn’t take a drink, still/much less stay for dinner.

5. given (that) prep. taking into account

Notice that “given” is followed by a noun phrase, while “given that” is followed by a finite clause.

Eg. 看她对孩子们的兴趣,教书应是适合她的职业。

Given her interest in children, teaching should be the right career for her.

6. whereas conj. but, in contrast: while

Eg. 他们国家石油丰富, 而我们国家则一点也没有。

Their country has plenty of oil, whereas/ while ours has none.

7. in one’s eyes: in the opinion or judgment of someone

Eg. 在大家的心目中,专家总是对的。

The expert is always right in the eyes of everybody.

8. Compare: worth, worthy, worthwhile

worth It is worth (doing) sth.

worthy Sth. is worthy of + n. /being done /to

be done(be worthy of: merit, deserve)

worthwhile It is worthwhile doing/to do sth.

Eg. 这件事值得考虑。

The matter is worth consideration/considering.

The matter is worthy of consideration/being/to be considered.

It is worthwhile considering/to consider the matter.

B. Typical Patterns:

1. as if + 从句: as if 引导的方式状语从句,一般用虚拟语气

Eg. Time is treated as if it were something almost real.

2. be + increasingly

Eg.. 人们越来越意识到健康的重要性。

People are increasingly aware of the importance of being healthy.

3.······被认为是······ It is considered +adj.+to do sth.

Sb. /Sth. is taken as …

Eg. It is considered impolite to work too quickly.

It is taken as a sign of skillfulness or being competent to solve a problem.

Summary of the Text:

Americans are particularly concerned about time. They clearly realize that life is short and consider time a precious resource. Visitors may find that Americans are always in a rush and under great pressure in daily life. They don’t usually exchange smiles or brief conversations because they resent wasting time. Americans generally assess and inquire about others professionally rather than socially, so they start talking business directly without opening exchanges. In order to save time, Americans use quite a few labor-saving devices like telephones, faxes, or emails. Electronic communication is becoming more and more popular, while most personal visiting, which though pleasant, takes longer, is saved for after-work hours or for social weekend gatherings. In the US, unlike in some other countries, quickly solving a problem or fulfilling a job successfully is a sign of skillfulness or being


After Reading

1. Discussion

Work in small groups and discuss the following questions.

1) Why is time so important for the Americans?

2) How do Americans treat time?

3) What does speed mean to the Americans?

4) What is the American pace of life like?

2. Structured Writing:

1) Major writing technique of the text:

A Paragraph of General Statement Supported by Specific Details and Reasons

Take a closer look at some of the paragraphs of the article: the writer presents his statements first and goes on to support his statements with specific details. Then the writer will briefly tell us the reason. Now read Paragraph 3 of the reading passage again and have a look at the chart below.

A foreigner’s first impression of the U.S. is likely to be that everyone is in a rush—often under pressure. City people always appear to be hurrying to get where they are going, restlessly seeking attention in a store, or elbowing others as they try to complete their shopping. Racing through daytime meals is part of the pace of life in this country. Working time is considered precious. Others in public eating-places are waiting for you to finish so they, too, can be served and get back to work within the time allowed. You also find drivers will be abrupt and people will push past you. You will miss smiles, brief conversations, and small exchanges with strangers. Don’t take it personally. This is because people value time highly, and they resent someone else “wasting” it beyond a certain appropriate point.

2) Write a paragraph, which starts with a general statement that is supported by specific details and the reason. You may choose one of the following topics. One of the topics has a detailed outline that you can follow if you choose.

Detailed outline:

Topic: Protection of the environment has become a major concern of society.

Specific details: ① teachers and pupils, specific meetings, discuss the protection of environment

②City planners, environmental problems, into consideration

③Factories, reduce pollution, at a high cost

Reason: bad air and water pollution affect everyone, cities to survive, businesses to make a profit

Other topics

⑴ Time is a precious resource.

⑵ Computers are of great use to our daily life

⑶ English is becoming more important.


1. Finish the exercises in Section A.

2. Prepare for Section B.

Section B Culture Shock


Students will be able to:

1. grasp the main idea (the essence of writing is to explore culture shock )

2. master the key language points and grammatical structures in the text;

3. grasp the reading skill---- Reading for the main ideas in the paragraphs

Reading Skill ---- Reading for the main ideas in the paragraphs

The particular reading skill introduced for this unit is reading for the main idea in a paragraph. This skill is one of the most useful reading skills students can develop. Finding the main idea is necessary for the understanding of a piece of writing.

The main idea of a paragraph is usually stated by one of the sentences in the paragraph. The main idea sentence is commonly known as “a topic sentence” or “a topic statement”. It may appear in one of several places in the paragraph. Most frequently the first sentence of a paragraph states the main idea, as is clear from the following example taken from Reading Passage A:

Consequently, we work hard at the task of saving time. We produce a steady flow of labor-saving devices; we communicate rapidly through faxes, phone calls or emails rather than through personal contacts, which though pleasant, take longer—especially given our traffic-filled streets. We, therefore, save most personal visiting for after work hours or for social weekend gatherings. (Para.5, Reading Passage A, Unit 1)

Main idea: We work hard at the task of saving time.

However, the main idea sentence may also appear in other places: in the middle or at the end of a paragraph. Look at two more examples taken from Reading Passage A:

1. “We are slaves to nothing but the clock,” it has been said. Time is treated as if it were something almost real. We budget it, save it, waste it, steal it, kill it, cut it, account for it; we also charge for it. It is a precious resource. Many people have a rather acute sense of the shortness of each lifetime. Once the sands have run out of a person’s hourglass, they cannot be replaced. We want every minute to count. (Para. 2, Reading Passage A, Unit 1)

Main Idea: It (= Time) is a precious resource.

( In this paragraph the main idea appears in the middle of the paragraph.)

2. Americans believe no one stands still. If you are not moving ahead, you are falling behind. This attitude results in a nation of people committed to researching, experimenting and exploring. Time is one of the two elements that Americans save carefully, the other being labor. (Para. 1, Reading Passage A, Unit 1)

Main Idea: Time is one of the two elements that Americans save carefully, the other being labor.

(In this paragraph the main idea appears at the end of this paragraph.)

Do Exercise ⅪⅤ in the textbook:(at Page 16-17)

Comprehension of the Text

Ⅰ.Introductory Questions:

Choose the best answer to each of the following questions according to your understanding of the text. (p23)

Language Points:

desirable a. worth having, doing or desiring because it is useful, necessary, or popular

eg. It is most desirable that he should attend the convention.


fascinating a. interesting and able to attract

eg. People find her points quite fascinating. 人们发现她的观点很吸引人。

clash (with) vi. disagree seriously, come into argument or non-agreement state

eg. Their interests clashed with ours. 他们的利益与我们的相冲突

have difficulty (in) doing sth. 做某事有困难

eg.His English is very bad and I have great difficulty (in) understanding him.

他的英语很糟糕, 我很难听懂他。

Compare : familiar to / familiar with

Eg. 你熟悉棒球规则吗?

Are you familiar with the rules of baseball?


Larkin not only speaks Chinese well, but also is familiar with early Chinese history.

hostility n. strong reaction against; unfriendliness

eg. I have no hostility towards anyone. 我对任何人都没有敌意。

distress vt(usu. passive) cause great pain or suffering

n. 1)great pain, sadness, suffering

2)suffering caused by lack of money

3)a state of danger or great difficulty

Eg. The couple were distressed to find that their children had not returned.


1) The sick man showed signs of distress. 病人显出很痛苦的样子。

2) a company in funding distress 陷入资金短缺状况的公司

3) The policeman received a distress call, and saw two youths

attacking his colleague.

那警员接到一个求救电话, 发现两个青年正袭击自己的一名同事

rejection n. [C,U] refusing to accept, consider or use

eg. He keeps applying for jobs, but is given rejections only.


appreciate vt. understand and enjoy

eg. We all appreciate the holiday after a year of hard work.

经过一年的辛苦工作之后, 我们都十分珍惜这个假期。

alleviate vt ease; make sth. less severe

eg. alleviate pain 减轻疼痛

alleviate the loss of jobs 减缓失业问题

She alleviated the tiring waiting by counting the cars passing on the street.