Annexe 1. Studying technical texts
This work consists in choosing texts concerned with computing from professional sources, and doing the work assigned for each type of text. You must choose and study three types of texts:
An advertisement for a computer product,
A description of a new software or hardware product,
A theoretical text on some aspect of computer science.
The work should be done in groups of three people.
1. Advertisement for a computer product
Using one text you have chosen for your group, you must produce and record an oral advertisement together for the product. This advertisement should be about 30 seconds long. After you have prepared the ad and practised it with the teacher, you will record it on an audio cassette with a technician in the audiovisual service.
2. A description of a new product
Using this text, you will prepare an oral presentation of the product. This presentation should be about 2-3 minutes long and will be given without notes and using one transparency. Each person in the group must do an individual presentation and each should choose a different text. The length of this text should be 1/2 to 1 page.
3. A theoretical computer text
A theoretical text is a text which deals with a subject such as solving a programming problem, choosing or organizing a computer system, etc. You should choose one text (2-3 pages long) for the group. The work on the text is in two parts. First you will make one vocabulary list per group for the text. The form of this list will be given to you later. Next, you must write a summary of this text. Each person in the group will write an individual summary in class at the same time. Instructions for the summary will also be given to you later.
You will receive an individual mark for the work done on each text. The marks will be averaged to give you one mark for the module.
Annexe 2. Studying an advertisement
Before you prepare your oral advertisement, try to find the following information in the written version:
I. Type of advertisement:
- The public it is aimed at;
- Name of the product;
IV. Form of the advertisement
Your radio ad should be about 30 seconds long and contain the following parts:
Make sure you pronounce numbers, the names of units (Mhz, lb, etc.) and acronyms correctly. And mind your intonation!
Annexe 3. Description of a computer product
Using this text, you will prepare an oral presentation of the product. This presentation should be about 2-3 minutes long and will be given without notes and using one Power Point slide or a transparency. Each person in the group must do an individual presentation and each should choose a different text. The length of this text should be 1/2 to 1 page.
Complete information on the product should include:
- Name of product;
- Name of manufacturer;
- Generic name (what it is);
- Function (what it does);
- Price (if given);
- Main features and specifications (how it works);
- Test results, author’s opinion (if given).
On your transparency, you should put information that will help the audience to understand what the product is, key words which will help you remember what you want to say and any difficult vocabulary you are going to use. Be sure it doesn’t contain too much information and is easy to read.
After your slide has been corrected, you should prepare the Power Point slide or print the text (type size at least 14) which we will photocopy onto a transparency.
Annexe 4. A vocabulary list for technical texts
The purpose of this list is to help you understand the meaning of your text and how it is constructed. You will therefore include not only words you don’t know, but also some that are already known. You must give in the list the day you write the summary of the text in class (be sure to obtain an extra copy of the text for this purpose).
Include the following types of words/expressions in your list:
1) Subject-related words/expressions:
a) Computer vocabulary (including acronyms);
b) General vocabulary related to the main theme of the article.
Choose at least 8 of each type of word for your list.
2) Words causing comprehension problems such as:
a) Words which can be used in different grammatical categories: V/N, V/Adj, etc.
b) Phrases which are difficult to understand because of their syntax:
Break down the phrase that is difficult to understand into its grammatical components and show the relations between the parts.
c) Expressions which can have a double meaning;
d) Cultural references.
3) All words/expressions used to structure the text should be circled in the text you hand in with your list:
Ex: although, moreover, etc.
b) Coherence words / phrases:
Ex: the latter, Such are the problems of, etc.
Words outside these categories should not be listed. They are unlikely to be necessary to the comprehension of the article.
II. Form of the list
1) The words / expressions in « content 1 » and « content 2 » should be listed in the order that they appear in the text. Each entry should contain the following things:
a) The word / expression in capital letters as it appears in the text;
b) The grammatical category in English for individual words (verb, noun, preposition etc.). If a word is slang or used colloquially, you should also indicate this.
c) The type of expression (idiom, double meaning, cultural reference, etc.) for other entries.
The indications in ’b’ and ’c’ should be given for the word / expression as it is used in the text.
d) A brief definition or explanation in English of the word / expression as it is used in the text;
e) A brief translation of the word / expression as it is used in the text.
The words in « content 3 » do not need to be listed but they must all be circled in the text.
A copy of the text with these words / expressions underlined and/or circled must be given in with the list.
III. Using the vocabulary in your summary of the text
The words in « content 1 » are the technical word list and some of them should be used in your summary.
The expressions in « content 2 » should be used with care. They are often difficult to understand and are not necessary for the presentation. And you can often use an easier word or expression.
Colloquial expressions and expressions with double meanings should not be used.
The words/expressions in « content 3 » should be given particular attention as they are sure to be found in other texts. They will help you organize your summary.
Annexe 5. Preparation for writing a summary
After you have read your theoretical text, do this exercise. It should help you to prepare to write your summary.
1. Give the references for your text: title, author, source.
2. Give the main theme of the text.
3. Give adjacent themes of the text.
4. Separate the text into several parts.
5. Write one sentence giving the main idea of each part.
6. Follow the reasoning of the author through the text:
- First the author says... / presents... / gives... / asks if...;
- Then the author...;
- Then he...;
- Finally, the author...
7. In one sentence, give the main conclusion of the text.
If you write complete sentences to do this exercise, your summary will be almost finished. Your final summary should be about 250 words long (count the words and mark the number on your paper!).