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Cambridge University Press’s mission is to advance learning, knowledge and research worldwide. Our IB Diploma resources aim to: • encourage learners to explore concepts, ideas and topics that have local and global significance • help students develop a positive attitude to learning in preparation for higher education • assist students in approaching complex questions, applying critical-thinking skills and forming reasoned answers.


Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid, Cape Town, Singapore, São Paulo, Delhi, Tokyo, Mexico City Cambridge University Press The Edinburgh Building, Cambridge CB2 8RU, UK Information on this title: Š Cambridge University Press 2013 This publication is in copyright. Subject to statutory exception and to the provisions of relevant collective licensing agreements, no reproduction of any part may take place without the written permission of Cambridge University Press. First published 2013 Printed in the United Kingdom by Latimer Trend A catalogue record for this publication is available from the British Library ISBN 978-1-107-65422-8 Paperback Cambridge University Press has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third-party internet websites referred to in this publication, and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

This work has been developed independently from, and is not endorsed by, the International Baccalaureate (IB).

Contents Introduction


Section 1: Core Chapter 1 Unit 1.1 Unit 1.2 Unit 1.3 Unit 1.4

Communication and media The Internet Gaming Blog Assessment: The written assignment (standard level)

1 2 18 28 34

Chapter 2 Unit 2.1 Unit 2.2 Unit 2.3 Unit 2.4

Global issues Ending poverty Global warming Speeches Assessment: The interactive oral activity

43 44 56 69 73

Chapter 3 Unit 3.1 Unit 3.2 Unit 3.3 Unit 3.4

Social relationships Minorities and education Partners for life Letter writing Assessment: Paper 1

81 82 96 107 113

Section 2: Options Chapter 4 Unit 4.1 Unit 4.2 Unit 4.3

Cultural diversity Migration Third culture kids Essay writing

135 136 151 163

Chapter 5 Unit 5.1 Unit 5.2 Unit 5.3 Unit 5.4

Customs and traditions Pilgrimage School uniform Guidelines Assessment: The individual oral

170 170 183 192 195

Chapter 6 Unit 6.1 Unit 6.2 Unit 6.3 Unit 6.4

Health Alternative medicine Beauty and health Writing a news report Assessment: The individual oral

203 203 216 233 237

Chapter 7 Unit 7.1 Unit 7.2 Unit 7.3 Unit 7.4

Leisure Great hobbies Extreme sports Brochures Assessment: Paper 2 – Written productive skills (Section A)

240 241 252 265 268

Chapter 8 Unit 8.1 Unit 8.2 Unit 8.3 Unit 8.4

Science and technology Future humans Animal testing Official report Assessment: Paper 2 – Written productive skills (Sections A and B) (higher level)

277 278 289 298 302 iii

CONTENTS Section 3: Literature (higher level) Chapter 9 Unit 9.1 Unit 9.2 Unit 9.3 Unit 9.4

Building blocks of fiction (higher level) Plot and conflict Characters and setting Book review Assessment: Written assignment (higher level)

310 310 319 327 330

Chapter 10 Unit 10.1 Unit 10.2 Unit 10.3 Unit 10.4

Storytelling Point of view and narration Speech and tense Transcribed interview Assessment: Written assignment (higher level)

335 335 344 349 352

Glossary Acknowledgements


357 363

Introduction Who is this coursebook for? This coursebook is for students taking the English B course for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme. As English B meets a Group 2 requirement for the IB Diploma, students are non-native speakers of the English language. Unlike students who take English ab initio, as English B students you will have had significant exposure to the English language already and will feel competent in understanding and communicating in English. The aim of the course is to develop language skills, to help you become more proficient in the English language. Students who are following other English language acquisition courses may also find this coursebook useful, as it contains many text-handling, discussion and writing exercises. English B can be taken at both standard and higher levels. Before registering for one or the other, it is important to know the expectations of both teachers and examiners for each level.

Standard level As far as language proficiency is concerned, you will be able to understand the main points of a variety of texts in English. You will be able to write different kinds of texts, although your writing may not be perfect and your sentence structures may be simple. You can handle situations where spoken English is required, although you may require preparation and help.

Higher level As far as proficiency is concerned at higher level, you will be able to understand the main ideas of more complex texts about topics that may be more abstract in nature. You will be able write a variety of texts, although your writing may contain some errors. You will be able to interact with native speakers with some degree of fluency and spontaneity. The ability to produce clear and persuasive arguments is also tested in the English B course at higher level.

What is this English B coursebook about? The main aims of the English B course are skill-based, focusing on language proficiency and fluency. So how is the IB English B course different from any other language acquisition course? For the IB, coursework should aim to develop intercultural understanding, provide for multiple perspectives and spread awareness of social differences. The texts and activities in this coursebook have been carefully selected and designed to meet these aims of the IB.



Topics The IB has outlined specific ‘core’ topics that must be studied in the course. The IB has also presented a range of ‘options’ from which teachers may choose. Within the core and for each option, several aspects or topics are suggested in the official Language B guide. The first two units of every chapter in this coursebook explore topics that relate closely to these suggested IB topics. Because you are only required to study two of the five options, you may feel that three of the chapters in this coursebook are not relevant for your studies. However, you will notice that the texts for each of the options (Chapters 4–8) are versatile and may be used for various study purposes. For example, the text on genetically modified crops (Text 8.2) in the ‘Science and technology’ option, may be used for ‘Global issues’, which is a core topic for all. The texts in this coursebook are relevant for 16–19-year-olds who study in international contexts or have a broad outlook on the world. The activities and assignments encourage you to engage with language closely. They also allow you to develop your own opinions about the topics and debates being explored.

Text types As you develop your language skills through the study of various topics, you will be exposed to a wide range of ‘text types’, from brochures to speeches. Part of this course is about learning which forms of language are appropriate in certain contexts. How are news reports different from official reports? How are speeches different from essays? These kinds of questions are asked in the third unit of every chapter, where a unique text type is introduced and explored in depth, with samples and activities.

Literature The last two chapters of this coursebook offer support for those who are taking the English B course at higher level. The activities and texts in these

Literature (higher level)

Room by Emma Donoghue

Options • Customs and traditions – Pilgrimages – School uniform

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

• Science and technology – Future humans – Animal testing

Core • Communication and media – The Internet – Gaming

• Global issues – Ending poverty – Global warming

A possible two-year higher level course based on the content of this coursebook


• Social relationships – Minorities and education – Partners for life

INTRODUCTION chapters explore key concepts that you can apply to the two literary works that you are reading in class. Even though the selection of works for your class may be different from those introduced in these chapters, the activities and ideas will help you appreciate literary concepts and features that are relevant to any works that you are reading. The diagram on the previous page shows a possible higher level course outline, which reflects the content of this textbook.

How is this course assessed? Your work will be both internally and externally assessed. The work assessed externally, by an IB examiner, consists of Paper 1, Paper 2 and a written assignment. The work assessed by your teacher consists of two forms of oral assessment: the individual oral and the interactive oral. You will receive a final grade from 1 to 7 points, where 1 is a failing grade and 7 is excellent. As in all forms of IB assessment, you will be awarded a certain number of marks for your internal and external exams. ‘Grade boundaries’ will then be created after each exam session to determine how many points (1–7) you earn. These grade boundaries will be different for standard level and higher level. Here is a brief overview of the various forms of assessment and their weighting in your overall mark.

External assessment Paper 1 (25%)

Common to SL/HL



Based on the core

4 non-literary texts

5 (more challenging) texts, one of which is literary

Productive skills

Based on an option

Section A on an option

1 hour 30 minutes

Write one task using one text type (possibly essay)

Write one task using one text type (no essay)

Receptive skills Text-handling exercises 1 hour 30 minutes

Paper 2 (25%)

250–400 words

250–400 words Section B on a core topic Personal response to a stimulus (quote, claim or question) 150–250 words

Written assignment (20%)

In class, handwritten In second year 3–4 (nonconsecutive) hours

Based on the core Three stimulus texts from teacher

Based on one literary work 500–600 words

300–400 words

150-word rationale

100-word rationale




Internal assessment Both SL and HL Individual oral (20%)

Based on the options Based on a stimulus photograph In second year Presentation and discussion with teacher 15-minute preparation 3–4-minute presentation 5–6-minute discussion Recorded by teacher Marks may be moderated by the IB

Interactive oral (10%)

Based on the core Three classroom activities assessed by teacher, one of which is based on a visual or audio stimulus No specified time limit

This coursebook offers examples of all forms of examination, including specimen exam papers with sample student responses, written assignments and transcripts of oral exams. Specimens and samples can be found in the last unit of each chapter. These have been written by an experienced examiner for the purpose of guiding you towards successful results. In order to gain the most benefit from these samples, it is suggested that you become familiar with the official IB assessment criteria for Language B. It is recommended that you apply the criteria to the samples of student work before reading the ‘examiner-style comments’ which follow them. The outlines of each form of assessment given below, including the overview of assessment criteria, are based on the official Language B guide. These outlines are intended for quick and easy reference, and do not differentiate between standard and higher levels. The official document should be consulted for a more detailed understanding.

Paper 1: Receptive skills Paper 1 is a test of reading comprehension. At standard level, you will read four texts of roughly 300–400 words, based on topics that relate to the core. At higher level, you will read five texts of a similar length, one of which may be literary, all of which also relate to the core. Of the non-literary texts at both standard level and higher level, you can expect a range of different text types, which are explored in the third unit of every chapter of this coursebook. They include reviews, letters and transcribed interviews. Keep in mind that texts at higher level will be more challenging than those at standard level. In the Paper 1 exam, you will answer a range of questions or ‘texthandling exercises’. These text-handling exercises are similar to those found throughout this coursebook. They include, among others, gap-filling,


INTRODUCTION true/false and matching exercises. Because your answers will be considered either correct or incorrect, there are no assessment criteria for this exam. Paper 1 counts for 25% of your final IB grade and is externally assessed. In this coursebook, you can find a specimen Paper 1 for standard level on page 114 and a specimen Paper 1 for higher level on page 122.

Paper 2: Productive skills Section A At both standard level and higher level, Paper 2 assesses your ability to write a 250–400-word text in response to a writing task. There will be five writing tasks in the exam, one relating to each of the five options. As you will have studied only two of the options, you can choose one of two writing tasks. A writing task will ask you to produce a particular type of text, for example a brochure or a speech, in a certain context. You are not assessed on your factual knowledge, but on your ability to use language accurately and appropriately, to organise your ideas coherently and to use the conventions of a particular text type. These skills are reflected in the assessment criteria (below) for Section A. Paper 2 counts for 25% of your final grade and is externally assessed by an IB examiner. You can find a specimen Paper 2 for standard level and a sample student response on pages 269–272 of this coursebook.

Assessment criteria for Section A Summary of descriptors

Marks available

Criterion A

Language For maximum marks you must use English effectively and accurately. Your ability to use a range of vocabulary and complex sentence structures is tested.


Criterion B

Message For maximum marks you must develop and organise relevant ideas in a coherent and effective way, including supporting details.


Criterion C

Format For maximum marks you must use stylistic and structural conventions that are characteristic of the text type required by the task.




Section B for higher level While all of the above information about Section A is relevant for higher level students, within the 1 hour 30 minutes you are also required to write a personal response to a stimulus statement or question that relates to the core topics. This 150–250-word response, also known as Section B, should explore all aspects of the stimulus and provide a reasoned argument. Notice from the criteria that at higher level you will have a total of 45 marks between Section A and Section B, which will count towards 25% of your final IB grade. Paper 2 is externally assessed at higher level. You can find a specimen Paper 2 for higher level, including a sample student response to both sections A and B, on pages 305–308 in this coursebook. ix

INTRODUCTION Assessment criteria for Section B Summary of descriptors

Marks available

Criterion A

Language For maximum marks you must use English effectively and accurately. Your ability to use a range of vocabulary and complex sentence structures is tested.


Criterion B

Argument For maximum marks you must develop your ideas methodically and convincingly. Your response should be coherent, organised, engaging and relevant to the stimulus.




Written assignment: Receptive and productive skills The main requirement of the written assignment is similar at both standard level and higher level. In the second year of your course, you will write a text in response to another text or texts. Your teacher will give you 3–4 hours to complete this assignment, in an in-class, examstyle situation, which does not have to be held in one sitting. You may also use a dictionary and reference material during this time. Your written assignment will be accompanied by a rationale, which explains to the examiner how you have achieved the aim of your assignment. While the nature of this assignment and rationale is similar at both standard level and higher level, the parts of the course on which they are based are different. At standard level, your teacher will supply you with three different, unseen stimulus texts, of 300–400 words each, about a core topic. In response to these texts you will formulate a response, using a particular text type. For example, after reading a brochure on energy efficiency, a news article about global warming and a blog about solar panels, you may decide to write a letter to a politician, encouraging higher subsidies for those who want to invest in solar panels. You must use one of the text types from the standard level column in the table opposite. At higher level, you will respond to a literary work that you have read. You may write a letter from one character to another character within a novel. You may write a speech as if you were a character in a literary work you have read. Or you may decide to write an interview with a character. Your task must use one of the text types from the higher level column of the table. Notice the key differences between the standard level and higher level written assignments: standard level students may write an essay and higher level may students may write a proposal.


INTRODUCTION Possible text types for standard level written assignment

Possible text types for higher level written assignment

• Article • Blog/diary entry • Brochure, leaflet, flyer, pamphlet, advertisement • Essay • Interview • Introduction to debate, speech, talk, presentation • News report • Official report • Review • Set of instructions • Written correspondence

• Article • Blog/diary entry • Brochure, leaflet, flyer, pamphlet, advertisement • Interview • Introduction to debate, speech, talk, presentation • News report • Official report • Proposal • Review • Set of instructions • Written correspondence

Both standard level and higher level written assignments test receptive and productive language skills. The written assignment counts for 20% of the final IB grade and is externally assessed. A sample standard level written assignment can be found on pages 39–41 of this book. A sample higher level written assignment can be found on pages 35–56.

Assessment criteria for the written assignment Summary of descriptors

Marks available

Criterion A

Language For maximum marks you must use English effectively and accurately. Your ability to use a range of vocabulary and complex sentence structures is tested.


Criterion B

Content For maximum marks you have to meet the aims that you set yourself in your rationale. Assignments must be clearly organised. Standard level students have to make effective use of the stimulus texts. Higher level students must show an effective connection to the literary work.


Criterion C

Format For maximum marks you must use stylistic and structural conventions that are characteristic of the text type required by the assignment.




Individual oral In the final year of your course, your teacher will present you with two photographs with captions, each of which is connected to a particular


INTRODUCTION option that you have studied in class. After selecting one, you will have 15 minutes to prepare an oral presentation and conversation on the photograph that you choose. In a 3–4-minute presentation, you will describe the photograph and how it relates to the coursework that you studied. You may: ■ offer an interpretation or analysis of the photograph ■ comment on various cultural values that are expressed in the photograph ■ use the photograph to comment on a wider topic or debate that you explored in class. After these first 3–4 minutes, your teacher will engage in a 5–6-minute discussion with you, which will require you to interact spontaneously. Questions may ask you to clarify points that you made earlier or open up the conversation to explore new topics. Your teacher may encourage you to express your opinion or ask you to make a cross-cultural comparison. Your presentation and discussion will be recorded, and a recording may be sent to an IB moderator. Although your teacher assesses your performance according to the criteria below, your marks may be moderated by the IB. You are assessed on your ability to produce, receive and interact in the English language. While the guidelines for the individual oral are the same at standard and higher level, the descriptors are more rigorous at higher than at standard level. You must have an ‘excellent command of the spoken language’ to earn 10 out of 10 marks at higher level: a ‘very good command of the spoken language’ will suffice at standard level. The individual oral counts for 20% of your final grade. You can find the transcript of a sample individual oral on pages 198–201 in this coursebook, which has been assessed according to the criteria below.

Assessment criteria for individual oral Summary of descriptors

Marks available

Criterion A

Productive skills For maximum marks you must have a command of the spoken language, meaning your vocabulary is varied and appropriate, your intonation enhances communication and your production of language is fluent and spontaneous.


Criterion B

Interactive and receptive skills For maximum marks you have to be able to express simple and complex ideas and maintain a conversation coherently.




Interactive oral activity During your studies of the core topics, your teacher will ask you to do at least three interactive oral activities. These may be group presentations, role-playing performances, spontaneous discussions or formal debates. You can decide on a format together with your teacher. Although there is no required format or time limit, your teacher will need to hear you speak xii

INTRODUCTION and interact with at least one other classmate long enough to assess you according to the criteria below. At least one of your interactive orals has to be based on a listening activity, meaning that you respond to a news announcement, song, speech or any other form of media stimulus. This stimulus, like all material used for interactive orals, should allow you to express your understanding of core topics and any aspects of an anglophone culture that you have studied. The marks from your best interactive oral will be submitted to the IB for a maximum 10% of the final grade. Your work will be assessed by your teacher or teachers, internally, using the following assessment criteria.

Assessment criteria for interactive oral Summary of descriptors

Marks available

Criterion A

Productive skills For maximum marks you must have a command of the spoken language, meaning your vocabulary is varied and appropriate, your intonation enhances communication and your production of language is fluent and spontaneous.


Criterion B

Interactive and receptive skills For maximum marks you have to be able to express simple and complex ideas and maintain a conversation coherently.




How to use this coursebook The purpose of this coursebook is to supplement and support your school curriculum and encourage further discussion. The variety of texts and activities serves as a starting point for you and your class. The specimen exams, sample student responses and examiner-style comments should offer you guidance and not prescribed models. The coursebook is organised into three main sections: ■ the core (Chapters 1–3) ■ the options (Chapters 4–8) ■ literature (Chapters 9 and 10). The units in each chapter either explore a particular topic, a text type or a form of IB assessment. While the material in this coursebook is relevant to all parts of your curriculum, it is not intended that you study the units of the coursebook sequentially, from the beginning to the end. However, the nature of your course may require you to skip from chapter to chapter or from unit to unit. The coursebook contains several special features, which are designed to add to your learning experience. These are outlined below.

Activities The numbered activities form the basis of this coursebook. Within each unit, it is recommended you follow the activities in the order that they xiii

INTRODUCTION appear, because many activities build on answers from previous activities. There is a range of activities, from text-handling exercises to discussion points. Activities appear in a consistent structure throughout each unit. ■ ‘Getting started’ activates existing knowledge about a topic and makes you familiar with relevant vocabulary. ■ ‘Exploring texts’ contains text-handling exercises, vocabulary-building activities and reading/comprehension questions. ■ ‘Form and meaning’ explores grammar and sentence structures from the texts studied, and allows you to apply these structures to new sentences and situations. ■ ‘Discussion’ encourages you to think and talk about the bigger issues that are raised in the texts with classmates. ■ ‘Writing’ presents several assignments, some longer than others, that ask you to apply some of the skills required in assessment. ■ ‘Higher level extension’ includes a range of activities that are built around an additional text on same theme or topic. These texts and activities are more challenging than those that precede them.

Features In this book you will find a variety of features to help support your learning. These are listed below. The features are colour-coded for easy reference, so that you can always find the help you need. ■ Features coloured Green are related to the core IB requirements (for example, Theory of Knowledge, Extended Essay). ■ Features coloured Blue are to support your learning as you work through the book (for example, Word banks). ■ Features coloured Orange provide support for exam preparation (for example, Tips).


Word bank

Word bank

Text and context

Text and context

As you learn about various topics or themes, it is useful to know some subject-specific vocabulary. The words in the word bank, which are presented at the beginning of each unit, give you an indication of what the unit will be about. You can find these words in bold upon their first appearance in the texts and activities in each unit. Activities will help you learn how to use these words in the right context. Definitions of these words are given in the glossary at the back of this coursebook.

After almost every source text you will find a ‘text and context’ feature which gives you background information about the text and explains the context-dependent vocabulary of the text.


Extra If you are interested in exploring a particular topic or text further, ideas for presentations, research projects and group activities have been provided for you here. These may be used by higher level students or they may give you ideas for interactive oral activities.

Reading strategy The ‘reading strategy’ feature gives you ideas on how to approach texts in general. Although these activities are applied to specific texts in this coursebook, you may find them useful for other texts in and out of class.

Tip You will also find a ‘Tip’ feature, which offers you advice on how to prepare for your exams. The tips often comment on the sample student responses, or connect to activities throughout the coursebook, in order to help you focus on assessment.

Learner profile As a student of the IB Diploma Programme, you are aware of your role in shaping a better world. The IB believes that school is about more than just academic learning or the acquisition of a language. At the ‘core’ of the Diploma Programme, there are several elements to help you acquire international mindedness. The learner profile, Theory of Knowledge, the extended essay, and CAS (Creativity, Action and Service) should all be integrated into your learning experience. In order to facilitate this, related features have been introduced in this coursebook. These features include questions and activities to make you think further about the defining traits of an IB learner. Their relevance to the texts in this coursebook should provide you with much to discuss in class. Remember, IB learners strive to be:


Reading strategy


Learner profile

■ Inquirers ■ Knowledgeable ■ Thinkers ■ Communicators ■ Principled ■ Open-minded ■ Caring ■ Risk-takers ■ Balanced ■ Reflective.




CAS – Creativity, Action and Service


EE – Extended Essay


What can you learn by helping others? How might some of your afterschool activities benefit others? How can you create something to improve your surroundings, or even the world? These are the kinds of question we ask in CAS. The relevance of CAS to the various texts and activities has been made explicit through the use of features throughout this coursebook.

For your IB Diploma you have to write a 3000-word essay on a topic that you have researched and explored on your own. Formulating a question, doing the research and writing the essay all require a level of focus and an amount of guidance. The extended essay features in this coursebook show you how several topics and texts can be used to set you in the right direction.

TOK – Theory of Knowledge How do you know what you know? This question, which is the guiding question for TOK, asks you to become more aware of how knowledge is gained and shared. In the context of Language B, it asks you to think critically about your sources of information and to explore the connection between culture and language. TOK relates to language acquisition in many ways, which are explored further in the TOK features that appear throughout this coursebook.

Now over to you! As you study English B in the IB Diploma Programme, remember that your English course is what you make of it. This coursebook can only go so far in teaching you English. Like anything worth achieving, your results will depend on hard work and commitment. This coursebook is meant to open a few windows on the anglophone world, but it is up to you to take a longer look inside.


Chapter 1

Communication and media In the four units of this chapter you will: ■ explore texts about the Internet ■ learn more about the effects of video games ■ come to understand the conventions of blogging ■ become familiar with the requirements for the written assignment at standard level (SL).

This is the first of three chapters that cover the ‘core’ of your course, which is required for all Language B students. The three topics of the core are: 1 Communication and media (Chapter 1) 2 Global issues (Chapter 2) 3 Social relationships (Chapter 3).

The words ‘communication’ and ‘media’ both describe very large areas of study. Advertising, marketing, public relations and even law are just a few fields that require effective communications. Imagine all the forms of communication that you experience in an average day – watching TV, listening to a friend’s story or studying at school. Everyone seems to have a message to tell, whether it is to persuade, inform or entertain. People have a need to communicate. As we discuss these various forms of communication, it is clear that every message is delivered through a medium (plural ‘media’). You may listen to the news on the car radio, watch football on TV and study from a textbook. There is a relationship between content (news, football and school work) and form (radio, TV and textbook). No-one understands this better than broadcasters, publishers and record companies. These bearers of information and entertainment are often referred to as the media. We live in a world that is changing quickly, thanks to developments in technology. Both ‘media’ and ‘the media’ are developing rapidly. A telephone does more than make phone calls, and a telephone provider offers more than calls on a landline. Music videos can be viewed on multiple devices on demand, not just on a TV monitor, according to the programming of a music network. As we study recent developments in media and communication, we cannot ignore the role that the Internet has played in these changes. Now that so many people are connected to the Web, it has become easier to find information, publish our thoughts or purchase something, all very quickly. In Unit 1.1, you will explore how the Internet has changed our lives and discuss related topics such as security, censorship and the quality of information. In Unit 1.2, you will examine several texts about video games and their effects on users. Video games have also changed: violence has become more pervasive, markets have sprung up both on and off line, and educators have discovered their value. In brief, gaming is a serious study. In Unit 1.3, you will explore the structural conventions of blogs. Although this type of text is difficult to define, it is possible to see certain trends among bloggers. Learning more about blogs will help you in your exams, as you may be asked to write a blog entry for your written task or on Paper 2. Learning how to blog may be a skill which you can benefit from beyond the realms of school or college. 1

CHAPTER 1 In the final unit of this chapter, you will be introduced to the written assignment. Standard level students must write a written assignment about a topic from the core. Two samples of written assignments are provided, based on the texts from this chapter. These samples should give you a sense of what examiners expect. Finally, you should come away with an understanding of the path that leads to the assessment and feel more confident about these core topics from the Language B syllabus. See Chapters 9 and 10 for higher level written assignments.

Unit 1.1 The Internet The Internet has changed the way we live, do business and learn. While it has become more difficult for politicians to keep secrets, it has also become easier for a friend to share an embarrassing picture of you with the rest of the world! The first text in this unit invites you to think about what life would be like without a connection to the World Wide Web. In fact, there are many questions to ask when considering the importance of the Internet, such as the security of personal data (Text 1.2), online censorship (Text 1.3) and the quality of research (Text 1.4). These texts and activities are starting points for discussion, which you can then develop further by asking more questions and exploring other texts. Perhaps unexpectedly, through your studies of the Internet, you will find yourself studying the wider issues of humanity.

Getting started 1.1 Imagine you had to live for one week without the Internet. How

Word bank • World Wide Web • database • device • connectivity • Ethernet • cache • gadget • social networking

• netizen • security • malware • phishing • privacy • Internet Protocol (IP) address • surfing

would your life be different? You may want to use words and phrases from the following table to respond to this question. If I could not access the Internet

I would not be able

If I couldn’t check my email

it would be impossible

During a week without the Internet

to chat with my friends. to check my homework. to see what’s going on in the news.

If I were not allowed to go online If the Internet had been disconnected for a week

1.2 At the top of the next page is a list of companies in the information

technology (IT) business. For each company or ‘brand’, say which word comes to your mind first. Do not give yourself too much time to think about your word association before moving on to the next one. When you have finished this activity, compare your list of words with those of a classmate. Why do you think you have made those associations with these companies? Discuss what each company and its products mean to you.


Unit 1.1 The Internet a Apple


b MSN/Windows Live

g Microsoft


Pirate Bay

h Facebook

d Wikipedia e







1.3 The Internet has changed the way we learn, do business and plan our lives. With the arrival of this technology come several basic questions about how societies are organised. Below are three Internet-related questions that you can discuss with classmates, friends or family. There are no wrong or right answers to these questions: only informed answers that you should support with examples from your own life or with reference to other sources. You can use vocabulary from the word bank in your discussions. a Will the rise of the Internet mean the death of traditional

businesses and media, such as bookstores, cinemas, theatres and publishing houses? Predict what you think will be ‘alive’ and what will be ‘extinct’ in 20 years’ time, by copying and completing the table below. Still alive in 20 years

Extinct in 20 years

LPs (long play records) PDFs (Portable Document Format)

cassette tapes phone books

b Is the Internet making us smarter or more lazy-minded? Do we

benefit by having access to more knowledge, or are we becoming lazier and less critical of what we read? (In the higher level extension we will return to this question.) c

Are we using the Internet, or is the Internet using us? In other words, are we actively using the Internet to socialise and spread ideas, or are we becoming numbers in a greater database that advertisers and governments can use?

Exploring texts

T ip The three questions asked in Activity 1.3 could be used as practice Paper 2, Section B questions for higher level students. After a discussion on these questions, write a 150–250-word response to one of them.

1.4 Before you read Text 1.1, look at the list of words below. Group them into categories and label these categories with notes on what they have in common. You may want to work with a classmate and you may have to look up the meaning of some of these words. technology










social engagement










1.5 Use the words from Activity 1.4 to predict what you think Text 1.1 will be about. After reading the article, come back to these predictions. Were you right or wrong in your predictions?

CAS How effectively is your school using the Internet to organise reports, activities and homework? Is there an online tool that you use? How could you contribute to effective communications at your school by supporting existing technologies or introducing new ones? As a CAS project, you and others could help spread awareness about such online tools by training classmates, giving presentations and writing evaluations.



Reading strategy Predicting the content of a text is a good way to engage with it. Activity 1.4 gives you some words to help you make a prediction. The title of Text 1.1, Offline: day one of life without Internet, is another good indication of what the text will be about. Based on the title, predict what you think the main ideas of this text will be. After reading the text, go back and check to see if your prediction was correct.

Text 1.1

Offline: day one of life without Internet Dear Diary,






I just spent 24 hours entirely without the Internet for the first time I can remember in my adult life. I think there are two kinds of people who live with technology constantly in their face: people who freak out when they’re forcefully separated from their devices or connectivity connectivity, as if their arm has been cut off, and people who feel really chill when they’re forcefully separated from their devices or connectivity, as if they’ve been let out of prison. I’ve spoken to many of both kinds as I’ve prepared for leaving the Internet, and thankfully I fall in the latter camp. I’ve lost my phone for weeks at a time before (in my pre-iPhone days), and let my current dumbphone run out of charge numerous times, and I always feel at peace knowing nobody can call me and demand anything of me. I know it’s really frustrating for people who do want to reach me, and I’m always in danger of missing out on a party or failing to make a rendezvous, but overall I feel like it’s a positive. The moment I reached down and unplugged the Ethernet cable from my computer, I felt like school was out for the summer, and the simultaneous relief and boredom that last bell brings. I stood up, and I realized that I’d been anticipating this moment for ages, but for some reason I hadn’t made any plans. It was a stark contrast to the hectic day I’d just experienced, which had culminated in a 3-hour, ultra-insane livestream of myself playing StarCraft and Minecraft simultaneously while Skyping with friends and playing jams in I stood up, stretched, and then played local-multiplayer video games in the office for a couple hours, naturally. All that was missing was a beanbag and string cheese and I would’ve been 12 again.

Unit 1.1 The Internet [5]

[6] [7] [8] [9]








To get my PC rig home I took a cab. Since Jordan, one of our video producers, was following me with a camera, recording this momentous evening, my cab driver asked me what we were shooting. “Oh, I’m leaving the Internet for a year,” I said. “Why?” he asked. It was a good question, and he didn’t seem to find my answer very interesting. Our conversation ended there. At home I listened to records with my roommate and the peaceful boredom continued. I found myself really engaging in the moment, asking questions and listening closely, even more than if I’d just closed my computer or locked my phone, because I knew neither of those things could demand anything of me. Not tonight, and not for another 364 nights. My first major temptation came the next morning, when I pulled out my iPad. I had forgotten to turn my iPad’s Wi-Fi off for about five minutes after midnight, so I knew there were postdisconnect tweets cached on there. They’d be about me. They would stoke my ego, or maybe deflate it. I was very curious. I deleted the app, tweets unseen. In fact, I’ve been keeping my internet-reliant apps in a folder on my iPad, so I deleted all of those. I’ll miss you most of all. I went into the office a couple times for various errands, and heard snippets of news, but didn’t stay long. I’ll let the secondhand information stream start some other day. I heard something about a “BlackBerry 10” and something about Diet Coke that I plan on searching for in the next issue of my daily paper. More interesting to me was hearing Joshua Kopstein talk about some of his first-hand experiences that day with the Occupy Wall Street crowd. I guess I’m a bit of a first-hand fanboy right now. I spent much of the day catching up with a friend from out of town. He’s actually a major authority on limiting phone-based distraction. He doesn’t text, and his phone is often off. While I had to field a bunch of calls the whole time we were hanging out, he wasn’t interrupted a single time by any of his gadgets gadgets. It’s almost intimidating to have someone be that attentive to you. The whole day was really refreshing. All my internet-based social engagement the day before had been about how what I was doing was “brave” or “insane” or “inspirational” or a “publicity stunt” or “stupid” or “a waste of everyone’s time,” as if I was planning on going on a hunger strike or basejumping off the Empire State Building. But while hanging out with a fellow Luddite, it felt like my undertaking is the perfectly natural thing. I haven’t settled into a rhythm yet. In fact, I haven’t even made a new schedule for myself. I’ve done a little writing, a little reading, and a lot of chilling. I don’t really know what the next days and weeks are going to look like. All I know is that so far I’m loving it. Paul Miller will regularly be posting dispatches from the disconnected world on The Verge during his year away from the Internet. He won’t be reading your comments, but he’ll be here in spirit.

Text and context • String cheese (paragraph 4) is popular in the United States. You can pull strings of it before eating it. • ‘Dumbphone’ (paragraph 2) is jokingly referred to as the opposite of a ‘smartphone’, which has Internet capabilities. • The cache on one’s computer is the storage of information, such as passwords, which can be called up by the computer for future requests. • Occupy Wall Street (paragraph 12) was a movement that started in New York in 2011, where angry citizens demonstrated against banks and businesses that were believed to promote social and economical inequality. • Base-jumping (paragraph 14) is an illegal sport in which people jump off buildings or structures with a parachute. • Luddites (paragraph 14) were a group of workers in the clothing industry in the 19th century. They protested violently against the machinery that replaced them during the Industrial Revolution.

Paul Miller, The Verge, 2012



Learner profile Risk-takers IB learners are encouraged to be risk-takers. As the poet T.S. Eliot once claimed: ‘Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go’. How might Paul Miller’s year without Internet involve certain risks? What does he stand to gain by switching off his devices? Is this a kind of risk that you would be willing to take? Why or why not?

1.6 Words a–m listed below are taken from Text 1.1. Match these words with a synonym from the box. The words in the list appear in the same order as in Text 1.1.

attraction, expect, film, frighten, chore, small bit, busy, answer, at the same time, liberation, end, important, reduce a simultaneous b relief c


d hectic e




g shoot h temptation

TOK In TOK we ask ourselves how knowledge is gained. One way we learn is through experience. What do you think Paul Miller will learn by living for a year without the Internet? His method of research (‘going native’) is sometimes used in the social sciences, such as anthropology. Do you think you could learn the same lessons as Paul Miller, without actually living for a year without the Internet?









m intimidate

1.7 Fill the gaps in the sentences below using words from expressions

found in Text 1.1. The sentences are based on the expressions as they appear in the text. a I’m annoyed by loud advertisements that are constantly in your

_____. b There are two kinds of people: optimists and pessimists.

Fortunately I _____ into the first camp. c

I have been looking forward to this big moment for _____.

d Our weekend in the country was in _________ contrast to our busy

city lives. e

Please don’t give me too many compliments. You’re _______ my ego.


I discovered this to be true through _________________ experience.

g We hadn’t talked in such a long time. It was nice to _______ up.

1.8 Answer the following comprehension questions with reference to Text 1.1.

a What did Paul Miller do after he unplugged the Ethernet on his

computer? b What did the cab driver think of his plan to live without Internet? c

How was the author’s evening at home with his roommate different from his usual evenings at home?

d Where does Paul Miller work? What kind of work does he do? e

What did Paul Miller do while hanging out with his friend from out of town?


In the days leading up to Paul Miller’s experiment, what kind of responses did he receive from people about his choice to live without the Internet?

g How does Paul Miller plan to live without the Internet?


Unit 1.1 The Internet 1.9 Return to Activity 1.1 which asked you how you would live for a

week without Internet access. After reading Text 1.1, do you think you would change your answer to that question?

1.10 Text 1.2 is an article about the Internet and the security of personal

information in India. Scan the article quickly to find answers to the following questions. Your answers can be very short. You could even turn the activity into a class competition! a Of those interviewed, how many said they could not go for a day

without the Internet? b Who conducted the survey? c

How did Paul Miller survive his year without Internet? Read more from his diary entries on The Verge website and present a presentation in class called ‘5 lessons that can be learned from a year without Internet’, in which you refer to Paul Miller’s experiences. Try to find out more about other experiments of a similar nature to support your presentation.

On average, how many Internet-connected devices do Indians own?

d Of those interviewed, how many were happy with basic security of

information on their devices? e


What can users of mobile devices do to protect their data?

Reading strategy You may be surprised to see that Activity 1.10 asks you not to read Text 1.2 carefully. Instead, you are asked to read the article quickly to pick out a few key facts or statements. This kind of activity, known as ‘scanning’, is something we do regularly when looking for information. When reading on the Internet, scanning is common practice.

T ip During the Paper 1 exam, you may be asked to scan texts for short answers to questions. Before you scan the text, underline the key words in the question. For example, if the question asks, ‘On average, how many Internet-connected devices do Indians own?’ you should underline ‘devices’. This will help you focus on finding the relevant answer.

Netizens in India



Text and context • Norton (paragraph 2) is an antivirus software company. • ‘Netizen’ (paragraph 4) is a combination of two words: ‘Internet’ and ‘citizen’. • Malware (paragraph 5) is short for ‘malicious software’, a kind of virus that gathers sensitive information on a personal computer and sends it to a third party. • Phishing (paragraph 5) is a way of getting information, such as usernames, passwords or credit card details, from users by pretending to be a trustworthy website.

Text 1.2

Indians value personal information most [1]

TOK In TOK we ask ourselves, ‘How do we know?’ Language is one way of acquiring knowledge. As you study different types of texts, you will need to ask critical questions about how writers use language to persuade, inform or entertain. Text 1.2 claims to inform us about Internet use in India. However, we learn that the survey on which the article is based is sponsored by Norton, an antivirus software company. Is the text, therefore, ‘biased’, meaning that it favours a particular viewpoint? What language may suggest that its purpose is to sell antivirus software? It is important to consider the source of information when critically analysing it.




MUMBAI: A survey of Indian net-users has thrown up several interesting trends. Of all activities, the respondents said they would miss doing workrelated tasks the most if left without an Internet connection. Social networking was the second most important task, while “convenience of life” activities like paying bills and shopping online came third. In fact, 83% of users said they couldn’t live without the Internet for more than 24 hours. According to Norton, which conducted the survey, the need to stay constantly connected is a new trend among Indian net surfers. In an almost fantastic finding, three out of four respondents to the survey said they would rather give up $1 million than grant a stranger full access to their computers. “Indian netizens clearly place a high value on their personal information,” said David Hall, Norton’s senior product manager, Asia Pacific. He pointed out that 40% of India’s online community had declared that they value



their financial information the most, followed by 35% who place a premium on their online accounts, including email and social networks. The survey – conducted using a sample size of 500 respondents between the ages of 18 to 64 years – also concluded that Indian users own an average of 2.8 devices that are connected to the Internet. “While the people interviewed used multiple devices to be online, half of them had little or no understanding of online security solutions that are available to them,” Hall said. And while 60% of users are content with basic security, the antivirus expert said it wasn’t enough to protect them from the advanced malware and phishing attacks that their devices are exposed to on a daily basis. “We advise people to change their passwords regularly. That’s the least they can do to make sure their information is safe,” he adds. “As far as mobile devices are concerned, setting up password protection and software that can help you remotely lock your phone are two ways you can keep your private data protected.” Mahafreed Irani, Times of India, 29th March 2012

1.11 On the next page are five groups of four words. The words taken from

Text 1.2 have been underlined. From each set of four words, select the ‘odd one out’ – the word that does not belong. This word may or may not be the underlined word from the text.


Unit 1.1 The Internet thrown up (paragraph 1)

a i










grant (paragraph 3)










covered up




are exposed to (paragraph 5)


b i

d i

are content with




highly value





fantastic (paragraph 3)

place a premium on (paragraph 4)


consider important

1.12 Much of the information in Text 1.2 is based on a survey that was taken among 500 people in India. What kinds of question do you think were included in this survey? Based on the evidence given in this article, write at least five questions that were asked of the 500 respondents.

Form and meaning In Activity 1.1 of this unit, you were asked how your life would be different if you did not have access to the Internet. Internet users in India were asked a similar question, as you read in Text 1.2. The respondents ‘said they would miss doing work-related tasks the most if left without an Internet connection’. This kind of sentence is called a ‘conditional’. While there are several kinds of conditional, we will focus on the ‘future unreal conditional’, where we describe an unreal event (such as cutting off the Internet connection) in the future. This consists of two parts (or clauses): an ‘if’ clause and a ‘would’ clause. Notice that the ‘if’ clause takes the past simple verb, such as ‘left’. The ‘would’ clause can also use ‘could’ (from ‘can’) or ‘might’ (from ‘may’). Here are a few examples: ‘If’ clause

‘Would’ clause (or ‘could’ or ‘might’)

If left without an Internet connection,

businesses could compete more effectively in global markets.

If Eastern Africa had better Internet access,

they would miss doing work-related tasks the most.

If only I had a faster connection,

I might be able to watch streaming video.

1.13 The following sentences are missing a clause. Make up your own

clause to complete the following sentences, using the future unreal conditional. a If we still had dial-up, … b If there were no censorship of the Internet, … c

… then I might be able to work from home.

d … then citizens would be more informed voters. e

If our city introduced free wireless, …


… students might not listen to their teachers anymore.

g If the public library ceased to exist, …



Discussion 1.14 What kinds of measures do you take to ensure that the information

on your computer is safe? How important is privacy to you? Here is a survey that you can take together with your friends and classmates. Compare your answers with those of others and see how much your security matters to you. Discuss with classmates the importance of each question, and your final score. How applicable are the following statements to you? (5 is ‘very applicable’ and 1 is ‘not applicable’.) Add up your score to see how safe you are, using the key below. 5




a It is easy to find me online with a quick search. b I download applications and files from file-sharing sites. c Anyone can see my profile on social networking sites. d People can ‘tag’ me in pictures on social networking sites. e I use the same password for everything. f

I never bother with spam filters.

g Firewall? What’s that? h I make use of the Internet a lot in my everyday life. i

All my files are on a memory stick that I carry with me everywhere I go.


I can’t be bothered to back up my files.

k I use wireless hotspots. l

Learner profile Knowledgeable Part of being an IB learner is being knowledgeable. If you are spending a significant amount of time online, it helps to be knowledgeable about both the risks and the opportunities involved. For example, social networking can help you connect to friends, but you are also giving advertisers information about yourself, which may or may not bother you. How knowledgeable are you about the risks and benefits of living your life online?


I rarely update software.

Your results 12–20 21–30

You are safe from hackers, spyware and other risks. Your files are protected, your profile is unknown and privacy is important to you. You know how to protect your identity and files, but you can’t always be bothered to do so. You value security and often take measures to keep your computer somewhat clean.


You may be at risk of losing personal data, even though you are aware of the measures that you can take to protect yourself.


You don’t mind living on the edge a little. Your data could be stolen by hackers or lost in the laundry, but you are easy going.


Future employers just have to Google you to see last weekend’s embarrassing pictures. You may wake up one morning to find your bank account empty. And your computer is subject to total meltdown.


Unit 1.1 The Internet 1.15 Here are several quotes about the Internet. What is each quote saying about the Internet? Which are true and which are false? Why? Discuss your answers with classmates.

a ‘The Internet is becoming the town square for the global village of

tomorrow.’ – Bill Gates b ‘Getting information off the Internet is like taking a drink from a

fire hydrant.’ – Mitch Kapor c

‘The Internet is just a world passing notes in a classroom.’ – Jon Stewart

d ‘The Net treats censorship as a defect and routes around it.’ – John

Gilmore e

‘The Internet is like alcohol in some sense. It accentuates what you would do anyway. If you want to be a loner, you can be more alone. If you want to connect, it makes it easier to connect.’ – Esther Dyson


‘The Net is a waste of time, and that’s exactly what’s right about it.’ – William Gibson

1.16 Are new media making us lazier and less social? It is said that there is some truth in every joke. How do you think this cartoon comments on the ‘true’ nature of people and modern media?

1.17 Twitter is a medium that has changed the way many people

communicate. Tweets are messages that consist of no more than 140 characters. People ‘follow’ other people on Twitter, meaning that you subscribe to a feed of information from that person. In the short history of Twitter, people have communicated and shared some remarkable situations. What would you tweet in the following situations? You may want to read some tweets before trying to write your own. a You want to ask someone to marry you. b You have just discovered ice on Mars. c

You are a journalist abroad and have just been arrested in a riot. You want your embassy to help you.


CHAPTER 1 d You have just witnessed a plane crash. e

You would like to tell someone that they have received the job they applied for.


You have just raised a large sum of money for a good cause.

1.18 Text 1.3 reports on freedom of speech in Zambia. Here is a list

of words that do not appear in the article, but are relevant to a discussion about the Internet and political freedom in Zambia. Look up the meanings of any unfamiliar words in this list. Explain how each word is relevant to the situation in Zambia, according to the article. Refer to the text in your answers. transparency







Extra Zambia is not the only country where citizens’ online activity can be monitored and certain websites are sometimes blocked. Find out what governments in one or more of the following countries are doing to filter information on the Internet and keep track of users’ online activities. You may want to check out the Reporters Without Borders website to learn more about these countries. Present your findings to classmates and give specific examples. • Australia • Ethiopia • India • Singapore • United Arab Emirates • United States of America

Text 1.3

Zambian government intensifies crackdown on Internet users The PF government has heightened its Internet crackdown on citizens who use it to discuss matters that affect them. But the crackdown on the Internet may land the Zambian government in trouble as it risks being listed as one of the Internet enemies. The government, through its secret service, is now monitoring


and gathering Internet Protocol (IP) addresses of people who regularly comment on political matters on popular news websites or social media like Facebook and Twitter. For example, the Zambia Media Forum, a private discussion group, has been invaded by state agents who are passing on details of group members to the state.

Unit 1.1 The Internet Zambia Media Forum is a discussion group whose members are mostly Zambian journalists and Civil Society activists. Some of the members work for government and parastatal companies. Last week, at least three members of the Forum were interrogated by OP agents from their respective offices. Earlier last week, the government gave security agencies over K5 billion to destroy independent news websites in Zambia. Sources in the police and telecommunication industry revealed that the government wants Zambian Watchdog and any other independent news websites destroyed as soon as possible. The project was launched last week on Monday and, so far, the police have visited all Mobile and Internet Service providers to see how they can help in the scheme. Some police officers have been sent to China, Europe and USA to learn how to hack websites and

to learn how such websites are operated. Sources say the government is unhappy with the readily and freely available information on the Internet, which has rendered government media almost useless. But the onslaught by the PF government on Internet media and social networks may cost the government on the international scene. Reporters Without Borders is an organisation that, among other things, monitors and documents how government abuses citizens who use the Internet. It publishes a list of Internet enemies and this list is useful to donors to determine where their money goes. For Zambians who are being victimised by the Zambian government for using the Internet, you can make a complaint to Reporters Without Borders. The Zambian Watchdog is in the process of submitting a complaint too.

1.19 Is each of the following statements on Text 1.3 true or false? Write out justifications for your answers.

Text and context • The Patriotic Front (PF) is the ruling political party in Zambia at the time this coursebook was published. • ‘Parastatal’ companies are owned partially or entirely by a government. • Reporters Without Borders or Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) is a non-governmental organisation that supports freedom of the press around the world. • RSF publishes a list of ‘Enemies of the Internet’ every year. These are countries that systematically repress Internet users.

a The Zambian government keeps track of what people write about

the government. b The Zambian government has publicly announced that it will

destroy independent news sites. c

Since independent information has become available online, Zambians have stopped believing government media.

d China, Europe and the USA are helping the Zambian government

destroy websites. e

Reporters Without Borders has blacklisted Zambia for Internet censorship.


The authors of this text have contacted Reporters Without Borders about the Zambian government.

T ip Giving ‘justifications’ for your answers to true/false questions is useful practice for Paper 1, where you will be asked to do this. A justification can be a quotation from the text.



TOK In TOK you learn about ethics. One theory of ethics suggests that for every human right, there is a corresponding duty to uphold it. For example, if you believe that musicians have the right to earn a living, then there is a corresponding duty not to download their works illegally. For each of the topics in Activity 1.20, discuss both the rights and the duties that are questioned.

1.20 Are there examples of ‘positive’ censorship of the Internet? Why

might it be good to block certain websites, monitor certain content or regulate certain online organisations? Below is a list of topics to consider in a group debate or a discussion with a classmate on the subject ‘Freedom of speech online’. One side should make the case for Internet censorship, while the other puts the case against it. a pornography

d piracy

b hate speech


national security



trade secrets


Writing 1.21 Text 1.3 encourages Internet users to file complaints to Reporters

Without Borders if they feel that they are being harassed or censored. After researching the situation in Zambia further, or learning more about Internet censorship in another country, write a letter of complaint to Reporters Without Borders. Be sure to include specific examples of filtering, monitoring or censorship that are occurring in the country that you have studied. You can write as a ‘netizen’ of that country.

1.22 Text 1.2 invites you to consider the importance of safety and privacy online. Write a guide or list of tips for users of the Internet. Explain what measures can be taken to ensure the security of personal information and privacy online. More information on writing guidelines can be found in Unit 5.3 (page 192).

EE If you decide to write your extended essay on a Language B topic, you have three categories to choose from: 1 Language, 2 Culture and society and 3 Literature, all of which will be explored in these extended essay (EE) features throughout this coursebook. For example, on the topic of the Internet, you may decide to write an essay on language, about how the Internet has introduced new vocabulary into our everyday (offline) lives. Your research question may read, ‘How has the Internet corrupted or contributed to the English language?’ You may find that one of David Crystal’s books or articles on this subject is a good source of inspiration.

1.23 Imagine you were to write an opinion piece today about the future of

the Internet and information technology. What would you predict? Be sure to refer to the importance of technology in education, business and government. In your piece try writing one or two sentences that use the future unreal conditional (Activity 1.13 page 9). For example, you could start a sentence with: ‘If entire cities had free wireless everywhere, then …’.

Higher level extension 1.24 Before reading Text 1.4, discuss its title, ‘Google is making you

dumber’. On the one hand, this search engine has made it so easy to obtain information, that you might become less critical and less inclined to think for yourself. On the other hand, it has made information more easily accessible to everyone, and has been a means of empowerment for many people. Text 1.4 expands on both viewpoints. What arguments can be made to agree or disagree with the title? Copy the table below and make an inventory of your opinions. ‘Google is making you dumber’ Pro



Unit 1.1 The Internet 1.25 Several words have been removed from Text 1.4. Decide where you

think the following words fit into the gaps in the text. You may have to look up their definitions first. Your teacher may be able to provide you with a copy of the text to work with. a stimulate



b advocate









d disseminate e


m acknowledge



n nuggets

g avenues

o emphasise

h superficial

Text 1.4

Google Is Making You Dumber The search engine giant has so much information and is making it so easy for us to obtain it, that it discourages traditional (1) of learning such as studying, doing one’s own field work, and taking classes. Pro or con?


by Jakob Nielsen, PhD, Nielsen Norman Group

I have a very popular Website, so why do I continue to write books? And why do I stick with an even older medium and gather people around the flickering light of the campfire (okay, slide projector) to speak to them in person at an annual conference? I do it because old media are highly (2) to the Web for learning about complicated topics. The Web fragments information into tiny (3) that can be digested during a two-minute visit to a Website. Google (GOOG) is your (4) when you wish to ascertain an obscure fact, such as when King Christian IV built the Round Tower in Copenhagen. Searching for “Christian IV year Round Tower built” brings up the correct answer (1642) in the summaries for the top two search hits. No need to click through. Google has built the perfect answer engine by repurposing the labors of millions of authors. But what about going beyond surface facts to deeper knowledge? What was the relative strength of the various European navies during the Renaissance, and how have they influenced the (5) of North Atlantic islands? Sure, there are articles about these topics on the Web, and you can find some of them with Google, but to really understand how these issues are connected and how developments hundreds of years ago continue to influence modern societies, you must read a book. 15

CHAPTER 1 Our studies show that users spend less than two minutes visiting a Website. Google encourages such (6) visits to multiple sites because it makes it so easy to find additional places to surf. It’s not worth the (7) of digging into any one site when there are so many other tantalizing options one click away. Websites must be simple to survive under Google’s rule. But since Google creates superficial surfing, ng we need something else for learning. The Web is not a great learning environment, and we should (8) this fact, and (9) other media for deep understanding.


by David Alan Grier, PhD, George Washington University

Google makes us more intelligent. Anything that gives us easy access to the vast and ever-changing body of knowledge is bound to (10) us and make us think more deeply about the world. To claim Google makes us dumber, implies that other projects that widely (11) information, such as the Carnegie Libraries of the late 19th century and the Works Progress Administration (WPA) rural-life projects of the 1930s, logically could be criticized on the same grounds. At the same time, we must remember Google was never intended to improve all aspects of intelligence — nor was it designed to make us more creative or more rational or better able to (12) information. Google creators, Sergy Brin and Larry Page, wanted their invention to (13) common judgments rather than advanced intelligence. They wanted to build a system that organized information according to its popularity among the people and organizations that contribute to the Internet. While the results from other ways of searching for information are often amusing and expand users’ horizons, Brin and Page wrote, “They are often frustrating and consume precious time.” If Google is based on common judgment and simple popularity, how can it help but make us smarter? It raises the standard for research. It makes it harder for us to (14) uninformed opinions and promote ill-conceived plans. When a quick Google search reveals something that you have not considered or undermines your basic ideas, it lets you know you have not done enough work. Nonetheless, does Google sometimes fail us? Definitely. Does it provide all the information that we will ever need? Of course not. Google may not turn us all into geniuses, but it will at least keep some of us from looking like (15) ., May 2007

1.26 Return to Activity 1.24, where you listed the arguments both for and

against the statement, ‘Google is making you dumber’. Check off the arguments that were mentioned in Text 1.4 and add any that you had not listed.


Unit 1.1 The Internet 1.27 Before doing this activity, put Text 1.4 to one side so that you cannot

look at it. You have 30 minutes to write a 150–250-word response to the following stimulus: ‘Google has so much information and is making it so easy for us to obtain it, that it discourages traditional avenues of learning, such as studying, doing one’s own field work, and taking classes.’ You may recognise this statement from Text 1.4. If you want to restate any ideas from Text 1.4 in your response, you may. This is not a test of your originality! Rather, you should focus on writing a coherent piece that uses language effectively. Perhaps you can remember how the authors of Text 1.4 stated their viewpoints by using language effectively?

1.28 Find out more about Sergy Brin and Larry Page. What were their

intentions when creating Google? To what extent have they accomplished these goals? What criticisms are made of Google today? After reading about Google and its founders, hold a ‘press conference’ in which you or another classmate are interviewed in the role of either Sergy Brin or Larry Page. Try to answer all questions as if you were those people.

T ip Activity 1.27 is the type of question that might appear in Section B of Paper 2 at higher level (see pages 302–4 for more detail). You can practise this form of assessment under different conditions. In this activity, you have the option of restating familiar ideas, so that you can focus on the form of your writing. Also notice that the stimulus is a controversial statement. You may find it helpful to practise with statements similar to this.

TOK The aim of TOK is to develop critical thinking skills. Define the following TOK terms and explain their relevance to the cartoon above. • critical thinking • wisdom • knowledge • certainty • authority workshop • reliability


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