Number Notation

During today’s talk you will need to write down many numbers. Some of these will be expressed as whole numbers, some as percentages, some as fractions, and some as ratios. Let’s do a little practice before the lecture. Here are some examples: If you hear "thirty-seven mil­lion," you should write this whole number as 37 mill. If you hear "three fourths" or "three quarters," you should write this fraction as 3/4. If you hear "one out of six," you should write this ratio as 1:6. If you hear "thirteen point four percent," you should write this percent­age as 13.4%. Let’s practice.








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Follow-up: Check your answers with your teacher by saying each one as you write it on the board.

1. Rhetorical Cues

Lecturers usually use rhetorical cues to help their listeners follow the lecture. A rhetorical cue is a word or even a sentence that lets us know that some important information is coming or that a new subtopic or point is being introduced. Look at these rhetorical cues, and decide in which order you will probably hear them in today’s lecture. Order them from first (1) to fifth (5).

__ a. Another way of looking at the population…

___ b. Today we’re going to talk about population…

__ c. First of all, let’s take a look…

__ d. Now, to finish up…

__ e. Before we finish today…

Follow-up: Discuss your answers as a class.

Q A. First Listening

Listen for general ideas. After a brief introduction, the lecturer lists his three subtopics. He then goes on to discuss each one individually. As you listen, write down the three major subtopics in the spaces labeled ST1, ST2, and ST3. Take down details you have time for, but make sure you take down the subtopics.






Follow-up: Now check your major subtopics with your teacher.

Q B. Further Listening

While listening again, write down necessary relevant details below the main subtopic to which they belong. Remember to use proper number notation to save time.

Follow-up: Check your notes. If you missed important information or have doubts about your notes, (1) verify them by asking a classmate questions to fill the gaps in your notes or (2) listen to the lecture a third time. When verifying your notes with a classmate, do not show each other your notes,* ask specific questions to get the information you need.

Examples: • In what regions do most people in the United States live?

• What percentage of the population is black?

• Did the lecturer say there were 6 million more women than men in the U. S. population?

This is also a good time to check to see if the lecturer answered your Predictions questions about the lecture.

<w) A. Accuracy Check

Listen to the following questions, and write short answers. Use your notes. You will hear each question one time only.

1. ——————————————————————————————–










Follow-up: Check your answers with your teacher. If your score is less than 70 percent, you may need to listen to the lecture again or rewrite your notes so that you can understand and retrieve the information in them.

B. Oral Activities

1. Review

In pairs, use your notes to reproduce sections of the lecture. Student A will present the introduction and subtopic 1, including details, to Stu­dent B. Student В will present subtopics 2 and 3 with details to Student

A. Check what you hear against your notes. If you don’t understand or you disagree with what you hear, wait until your partner finishes. Then bring your notes into agreement by seeking clarification, as follows:

• Excuse me. I didn’t hear your percentage for Americans of Asian origin. Could you repeat it, please?

• I don’t think I agree with what you said about the five most popu­lous states. I think the five most populous states are….

• I’m afraid my notes are different from yours. …

If your class is multinational, prepare a short oral report about the population of your country, covering the points below. Work with the other students from your country.

If your classmates are all from your country, discuss the population of your country as a class. Discuss these points:

• the size of the population and where it is distributed geographically

• the most populous regions or cities

• whether the population in your country is increasing or decreasing and why

C. Collaboration: Summary

In groups of three, with one member acting as secretary, write a one – paragraph summary of the lecture on population. Use the questions be­low to decide which information to include. Write the answers in com­plete sentences in paragraph form, but limit your summary to 125 words.

• What is the present U. S. population?

• What are the percentages of the different races that make up the U. S. population?

• Which regions and states are the most populous? Is the population more rural or urban?

• Why are there more women than men? How much higher is women’s life expectancy than men’s?

• Is the average age of the population increasing or decreasing?

Follow-up: Exchange summaries with at least one other group. Check if the other group has summarized the lecture in a similar fashion.

D. Pursuing the Topic

The following are recommended for a closer look at the population of the United States:


WWW, census. gov

This Web site has hundreds of tables and some interesting articles from the 2000 census. Besides more information about the cate­gories discussed in the lecture, you can find information on the composition of families, marital status, and employment of U. S. residents.

Any contemporary encyclopedia in English. Look up "United States," and find a section that interests you. For example, you could choose among population, rural and urban life, history, geography, and climate.

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