Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Group 401V Second Semester Test

Full text: LINK to article on the newspaper's site. LINK to article in PDF format.

When you have finished reading the article, go here for the test. Please finish the test by Monday, May 22. Judy and I must give your results to Larisa Viktorovna by May 23.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Billionaires speaking to graduates


(Link to original article and gallery on Forbes site. Download PDF files here: Pages 1-3. Page 4 with questions and vocabulary.)

Items for discussion:
  1. Summarize the contents of this article in one or two sentences.
  2. How is the content organized?
  3. What are the roles or purposes of the links and gallery within the article? Are they helpful?
  4. Of all the points made in the article, which will you remember the longest?
  5. Do all of the commencement speakers agree with each other? Is any of the advice actually wrong?
  6. Here in Russia, on similar occasions, would the speakers make similar points? Would they make different points than those made by the speakers in this Forbes article? Which pieces of advice in the article seem most typically American to you? Which seem universally valid to you?
  7. The writer includes her e-mail address and Twitter handle in her biography. If you were to write to her, what would you say about this article? (What did she do well, and what could she have done to make her article better?)
Words and expressions:

words of wisdom
host, a host of
core, to one’s very core
loss, to overcome a loss
to be defined by
standout (noun)
a whole lot
to impart
to revolve around
to oust, to be ousted
the odds, to overcome the odds
time and time again
hand in hand, to go hand in hand
to drop out
to pursue
trial and error
to echo (transitive and intransitive)
to head up
to drop (intransitive)
to give back
breathing space
to hazard (a prediction, a guess)
to get crazy
drive (noun)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Why the movie business is in trouble


(Link to the article on Variety's site, with all charts and graphics. Link to PDF version of article.)

This is a long text, and we suggest that you concentrate mostly on the first half of the article, before the author gets into details about the negotiations with specific companies and studios. The last couple of paragraphs are also important.

Here are some questions for discussion:
  1. Overall, what does this article seek to provide the reader?
  2. How does the author organize his analysis? What are the major elements, and how does he arrange them?
  3. What are the two major challenges facing the film industry?
  4. Who are the two “sides” mentioned on page two, second column (“At the very least the two sides are talking.”) Why are their interests supposedly in conflict?
  5. Do you have personal experiences or observations concerning this analysis?
  6. What argument or insight will you remember from this article after you have forgotten the details?
  7. Who is the author’s intended audience?
Which of these words and expressions are new to you?

scared stiff
to usher in
to dazzle
to scramble (intrans.)
existential dread
to release
to come to pass
to pull it off
to choreograph
“cover my ass”
smart money
to be put off
to dry up
slate financing
virtual reality
box office
tax credit

to greenlight
bottom line
grand bargain
to fade
to prop up
to condition
impulse buy
to tinker (with)
to kibosh
to wade (into)
on demand, on-demand
exhibition chain
stiff spine
to interface (with)
screen count
to hit
to cannibalize
to grandfather
to invite to the table
to differentiate
to reboot
diminishing returns
to snap up