Підручник Англійська мова 9 клас для спеціалізованих шкіл з поглибленим вивченням англійської мови - Л.В. Калініна - Генеза 2017 рік

Unit 6 Your media literacy

6.3. The Thumb Generation

Word Bank

Phrase Bank

Communication Box

• index;

• calculation;

• to diversify;

• to adapt;

• digit.

• obsession with something;

• to be under something’s thumb;

• to stick out like a sore thumb;

• to be plugged in online;

• to be all fingers and thumbs;

• to keep one’s finger on the pulse;

• to keep one’s fingers crossed;

• to do a cherished activity;

• to process / retain/ input information;

• to access internet services;

• to cause physical alterations;

• to format an outline.

• As a general rule of thumb

I. Go Ahead!

In pairs, look at the picture and match the fingers to their names.

1. The index finger

2. The little finger

3. The middle finger

4. The thumb

5. The ring finger

Say which finger(s) you use:

- to point at something?

- to count?

- to turn over pages?

- to dial a phone number?

- to press the remote control button?

- to text a message?

- to type?

Example: I use my thumb to press the remote control button.

II. Reading

Read two articles (A, B) from technology magazines about the thumb generation1 and say which of them is about:

1 modern technology and communication

2 modern technology and the human body

1 The thumb generation is the generation born after 1985, which as teens and adolescents communicated by the use of mobile devices such as cell phones. Because wireless mobile devices are small, the thumbs are generally used to type.


Use of hand-held technologies, such as mobile phones and palm computers, has caused a physical mutation in the under-25s, according to new research.

The change affects those who have grown up with hand-held devices capable of text messaging, emailing and accessing internet services. Experts claim it proves technology is causing physical alterations that previously happened over generations.

‘The relationship between technology and the users of technology is mutual: we are changing each other,’ said Dr. Sadie Plant, author of the study and founder of the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit at Warwick University. Discovering that the younger generation has taken to using thumbs in a completely different way and are instinctively using it where the rest of us use our index fingers is particularly interesting.’

Dr. Plant noted how, while those less accustomed to mobile phones used one or several fingers to access the keypad, younger people used both thumbs ambidextrously, barely looking at the keys as they made rapid entries. ‘They used the absolute minimal movement,’ she said. ‘Simply exerting pressure with the thumb rather than tapping at the phone.

‘There are many ways to input information into these devices, but for some reason young people under 25 most often choose to use their thumbs over any other digit. There is no question that choice is having a clear effect on their physicality: thumbs are the new fingers.’

Plant even found the Japanese under-25s referred to themselves as oya yubi sedai - the thumb generation, or thumb tribe. As their thumbs become stronger and more dexterous, Plant found that the thumb tribe is using its favourite digit for other tasks that are traditionally the finger’s job, such as pointing at things or ringing doorbells.


Recently, Channel 4 commissioned some research into the relationships that young people aged 12-24 have with technology. Some top-line stats may surprise you about the average 12-24 year old (or not, if you are one):

• They personally own 8 devices (including mp3 player, PC, TV, DVD player, mobile phone, stereo, games console, and digital camera);

• They frequently conduct over 5 activities whilst watching TV;

• 25% of them agree that “I’d rather stay at home than go on a holiday with no Internet or phone access”;

• A quarter of young people interviewed text or IM (instant message) friends they are physically with at the time. And the first thing the majority of them do when they get home is turn on their PC .

Yet, despite living such a ‘connected’ life, kids these days still find technology a means to an end - primarily meeting up with their friends, watching television and listening to music. Above all, youth’s obsession with technology is around communication. One young teenage girl admitted “I talk to my friend and MSN (instant message) her at the same time.” In fact, a full 34% of those asked said that they texted friends they were with at the time.

These activities seem to be making up for not spending as much physical time with their friends as they’d like - which seems to be most of the time. On the weekends, when typical young adults have the most free time, they are still spending more time hanging out with their mates and watching television than any other activity - the difference is that this generation tends to be engaging with their connected devices a lot more whilst doing those cherished activities.

Across Cultures: The UK

Warwick - a town on the River Avon in central England. It is famous for castles from the Middle Ages and the Cybernetic Culture Research Unit.

III. Language Track

Read the idiomatic expressions with the words finger and thumb with correct sentence stress and practise the sounds /f/ and /θ/.

Say which of the expressions can be used to refer to:

a) a rough figure or method of calculation, based on practical experience;

b) someone being different from everyone;

c) using your hands in an awkward or careless way;

d) hoping that something will happen the way you want;

e) always knowing about the most recent changes or developments in a particular situation or activity;

f) controlling someone completely.

1. Read the statements which have been left out. Decide which article each of them may belong to and what information they add to them. Develop the ideas.

• The study, carried out in nine cities around the world, shows that the thumbs of the younger generation have overtaken their fingers as the hand's most muscled and dexterous digit.

• 'The fact that our thumbs operate differently from our fingers is one of the main things that defines us as humans.

• The report is called A Beta Life.

• In Japan, the trend was particularly marked.

• The average person surveyed was doing 5 simultaneous actions whilst they watched television these days; and the majority of those actions involved communicating at some level.

• They have on average 123 friends on their social network spaces.

2. Answer the questions about Article A.

• How are younger people’s fingers changing?

• How does this change occur?

• What functions can be performed with thumbs?

• Do you belong to the thumb tribe?

3. In groups, argue for and against living a connected life. Fill in the word-roses.

Living a connected life

1. Form adjectives / adverbs with a negative meaning and use them in your own sentences.

Example: accustomed - unaccustomed

My mum is unaccustomed to typing text messages on her mobile phone.
















Complete the instructions

• If you want to change the meaning of some adjectives, use... Example: comfortable - uncomfortable

If you want to use one and the same objects with two or more adjectives, follow...

Example: a nice big screen

2. Read the sentences and paraphrase them, as in the example.

Example: It is hard to predict technological trends.

Technological trends are unpredictable.

1. The mobile is fast becoming an important prop in the social life of 20-year-olds.

2. More and more young men are trying to impress girls with the advanced technology of their phones.

3. Technological progress is hard to avoid.

4. It is not possible to turn digital immigrants into digital natives.

5. Some top-line statistics may surprise you about the average 12-24 year old (or not, if you are one).

6. TV is still young people’s most popular way to consume media.

3. Give a short description of the pictures suggested using the following adjectives.


soft dark red

big heavy modern

well-equipped light

grey digital



Example: Not long ago I bought a modern new mp3 player.

IV. Communication Track


a) Look at the pictures of handheld devices and describe the ways you can use them for a better life, choosing the suitable information from the box.

trying to impress others with the advanced technology of your phone;

meeting up with your friends;

watching television;

listening to music;

living a connected life;

diversifying communication;

developing multitasking skills.

b) In pairs, match the people in the photos to their opinions on technology and comment on them, following the pattern.

a) “Sometimes our kids - and the community at large - make us feel like Tom Hanks in the 2004 The Terminal. We simply go from gate to

gate trying to get on the next technology plane to fly to our destination.”

b) “We are all thumbs! We take, send, receive photos...we IM; we surf the online video sites...we email people; we download ringtones and music.”

c) “Classrooms need to adapt to serve students who are plugged in online as never before. Students can use the devices they know and trust to take a more active - and hopefully more effective - role in processing and retaining information.”

d) “Young people are immersed in technology in a way that is different from earlier generations who grew up with calculators or even Apple II Plus computers. Their ability to access information is far greater than ever before.”


A: I say, ... , I believe that technology ... and ... .

B: I can’t imagine my life without ... .

A: Me neither. Mum says that ... .

But it is so ... .

B: Exactly. I find it amazing that Steve Jobs ... .

A: Yet, it’s true that ... . Our teachers, by the way, ... and ... .

B: I’m not that positive about it. As a general rule of thumb, ... should not

A: But I’d rather ... than ... .

B: Still, I find technology means to an end that is ... .

Above all, my obsession with ... is all around ... .

A: So you admit that ... .

B: I do. Don’t you?

3. In the whole class, have a questions-and-answers session about the impact of technology on your life.


a) Before you listen

You are going to listen to a medical news report. Read the key words below and try to predict what could have happened to a schoolboy who spent too much time playing computer games.

• arm injuru;

• strain;

• pain;

• bruising;

• hand cure;

• reddenning of the skin.

b) While you listen

Listen to the medical news report and say what warning in relation to computer games it contains.

• ‘nintendonitis’;

• pain;

• hand care;

• epidemic proportions.

c) After you listen

Say what measures you should take to avoid any computer-induced injury.


a) Before you write

If you want to put ideas and facts together in an orderly way, format an outline correctly.

An outline is an orderly way of putting ideas and facts together to show how they are related to each other.

There are two main methods of formatting an outline: a topic outline or a sentence outline.

A topic outline shows the main points in short phrases while a sentence outline shows the same points as complete sentences.

There is a standard format for outlining, with the main divisions and the second / third/ forth level divisions for additional details, if any.

• Brainstorm with your friends what information an outline for a report on the relationships that kids aged 12-24 have with technology can contain.

• Make up a list of words and phrases you’ll use in a topic outline.

b) While you write

Follow the format of an outline.

How to Format an Outline Correctly

I. (The main divisions are indicated by Roman numerals I, II, III etc.)

A. (The second level subdivisions are indented and placed under the Roman numeral using capital letters: A, B, C etc.)

B. ...

1) (Arabic numbers 1, 2, 3 etc. are used to show supporting details at the third level)

2) ...

a) (If additional details are needed, they are shown in lower case letters: a, b, c etc. at a forth level)


II. ...

A. ...

B. ...

1) ...

2) ...

a) ...

b) ... etc.

At Home: In your WB, write an outline for a report on the relationships that young people aged 12-24 have with technology. Use Article B for reference.

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