Table of Contents.
Unit 1. Sports and Leisure Activities …..………………………………………....……4
Unit 2. Life and Achievements of Famous Athletes and Musicians ………….…16
Unit 3. Operation of Electrical Equipment ……………………………………….......33
Unit 4. Computer and Technology in Our Lives …………………………………….42
Unit 5. Transportation, Quality, Rentability and Use ……………………………….62
Unit 6. Natural Resources and the Promotion of Conservation ……….…..……..76
Unit 7. Causes, Effects and Prevention of Environmental Pollution ………….....93
Vocabulary Workshop. Roots, Suffixes and Prefixes……………………………...112
Appendix on Writing ……………………………………………………….……………121
Appendix on Prepositions …………………………………………………………...…127
Appendix on Irregular Verbs ……………………………………………………...……129
UNIT 1.SPORTS AND LEISURE
In this unit, you will know about the
Olympic Games, soccer and other sports.
You will practice how to ask others
information on sports‘ preferences.
Therefore, you will learn about different
sports and the items to play them.
1. To use the context of the reading to deduce meaning of unfamiliar language.
2. To identify main points and details on stories and factual texts.
3. To classify the different sports presented using descriptive language.
4. To transfer the information read to written form of a paragraph referring to past,
present and future events.
5. To express ideas, interests, feelings and concerns related to the topics.
6. To use descriptive narrative language to make brief passages about the topics.
A Sports Chart
Costa Rican Basketball Season
The Olympic Games
Writing a narrative paragraph
A Sports Chart
Adapted from http://esl.fis.edu/vocab/q12m/1esl15.htm
Try to guess the meaning of the items each sport makes use.
you have to kick a ball into a net
you have to hit a ball over a net with your hands
you have to hit a ball over a net with a racquet
you have to throw a ball through a net
you have to hit a shuttlecock over a net with a racquet
you have to hit a ball into a hole with a club
you have to hit a ball into a net with a stick
you have to hit balls into holes on a table
you have to hit a ball over a net on a table
you try to score a home run
You will find some prepositions‘definitions in the Appendix on Writing.
Exercise 1.Completion. Complete the following statements with the corresponding sport.
1. You have to hit a ball into a net with a stick when playing _________________.
2. You have to kick a ball into a net when playing __________________.
3. You have to hit a ball over a net with your hands when playing__________________.
4. You have to throw a ball through a net when playing_____________________.
5. You have to hit a ball over a net on a table when playing_________________.
6. You have to hit a ball into a hole with a club when playing ___golf____________.
Net = the goal in soccer, hockey, etc.
Hit = To come into contact with forcefully
Hole = An opening or perforation
Ball = A spherical object or entity
Throw = To discharge into the air
Goal = The finish line of a race
Team = A group on the same side
Shuttlecock = equipment for playing the
game of badminton
Game = A competitive activity or sport
Soccer is a ball game played by two teams. The ball is advanced with the feet, that‘s why
the sport is also called football. As not to confuse it with other variants of football, e.g.
American football, rugby, or Gaelic football, the official name of this sport is association
football (after the London Football Association). But English native speakers usually just
call it soccer, football, footie, footy or footer.
Object: The object is to score goals.
Players: Each team has 11 players:
a goalkeeper (also called goalie) who tries to block the shots by the opposing team
the fullbacks (defense) who try to prevent the opposing team from scoring goals
the halfbacks (or midfielders) who play both offense and defense
the forwards (or strikers) who try to score goals for their team
Duration: The game is played in two halves of 45 minutes each. At halftime the teams
Playing: Except for the goalie and at throw-ins, players must not touch the ball with their
hands or arms. They can, however, use any other part of the body.
Scoring: A goal is scored when the ball has crossed the goal line between the posts and
under the crossbar.
Exercise 1. Long Answer. Answer the questions below briefly.
1. Why football is called that way? What other name it has? How do English call it
2. How a score is made in football? ________________________________________
3. How long is a complete football game without extra time? Give the length in
4. What is the basic rule regarding touching the ball? _________________________
Exercise 2. Matching. Match the meanings of the participants of the football game to their
1. The goal keeper (also called goalie)
( ) who play both offense and defense.
2. The forwards (or strikers)
( ) who try to score goals for their team.
3. The fullbacks (defense)
( ) who tries to block the shots by the
4. The halfbacks (or midfielders)
( ) who try to prevent the opposing
team from scoring goals.
Exercise 3. Free answer. Answer yes or no according to your interests. Explain yourself.
1. Do you like watching football games on TV? What would be the best football game?
Exercise 4. Creation. Use the format of the following questions to create your own
questions. You just have to change the sport or leisure activity you have studied so far.
1. Do you like playing chest?
_____Do you like playing basketball?_________
2. Are you a good tennis player?
3. Are you good at basketball?
4. Do you know how to play golf?
5. Have you ever played tennis?
6. What do you think of boxing?
7. Which do you prefer, baseball or volleyball? __________________________________
Exercise 5. Short Answer. Answer the following questions according to your likes and
What sport do you do?
What is your favorite soccer player? _____________________________________
Who is your favorite athlete/team? ______________________________________
Do you like to exercise?
Exercise 6. Writing. Write a paragraph narrating / explaining / describing how football is
played. Check the Appendix on Writing for further information on writing.
Leisure activities are activities that are not mandatory; they are done for the pleasure
gotten when doing them during the free time. Some common leisure activities are
gardening, walking the dog, art-crafting, visiting friends and relatives and eating out.
Others activities are visiting touristic places such as national parks, reserves or any other
place where people can be surrounded by nature such as public parks, mountains and
vantage points. Also, people like attending to cultural events such as art festivals, concerts
and dance presentations during their free time. Besides, people pass their time attending
the theater, the cinema and art galleries when they want some visual entertainment.
Others like to remain at home, relaxing, cooking, watching TV and/or listening to music.
Leisure = Freedom from time-consuming duties, responsibilities, or activities
Pleasure = A source of enjoyment or delight
Vantage point = a place from which something can be viewed, the city for example.
To attend = To be present at
Entertainment = Something that amuses, pleases, or diverts, especially a performance or
Exercise 1. Writing. Answer in a paragraph-like form the following question: What leisure
activities will you do during your next free time? Use your imagination, and the dictionary if
necessary. Start giving a general idea of the type of activities you like (main idea), then
mention the specific activities and then give examples of what you WILL do (supporting
sentences and details). Restate the reason for doing them as a conclusion. Use the
auxiliary for showing a future activity (verb) ―will‖, always before the verb.
Costa Rica's Basketball Season Tips Off
Retrieved from http://www.ticotimes.net/dailyarchive/2010_03/0304103.cfm
Costa Rica's premier basketball league tipped off Tuesday night, as all eight
national teams were in action for the first round of the Torneo de Copa, the league's
annual tournament. The first national basketball league was created in 1975; the
Superior Basketball League (LBS), which began its fifth season Tuesday, was
created in 2005. Over the course of the next five weeks, the eight teams in the LBS
will compete to be the tournament's champion, to be crowned the first week of April.
The teams competing for the Cup are:
The Ferretería Brenes Barva – The Heredia-based favorite to win the
tournament and league
Kolbi Liceo of Costa Rica – Considered a top challenger for the title
University of Costa Rica (UCR)
Ferretería Boston – from the southern zone city of Pérez Zeledón
San Luis Gonzaga – Cartago based squad
USJ ARBA – Second year team based in San Ramón, Alajuela
Cartago – first year in top division
In the first round of games Tuesday, Barva, the favorite to win the tournament,
trounced UCR 83-57 at the UCR gym in San Pedro. In other action, ARBA crushed
San Luis Gonzaga 94 to 52 and Cartago eked past Boston Pérez Zeledon 60-59.
Escazú and Kolbi Liceo will play their first round game on March 21.
The eight teams in the tournament are grouped into two divisions of four teams
each. In the first round, teams in each division play each other twice for a total of six
games. At the completion of the first round, the top two teams from each division
advanced to the semifinals, where they will play a best-of-three series. The winners
of the two semifinal series will play a best-of-three series in the finals of the
competition. The finals are scheduled to begin the week of April 5. The second
round of games is scheduled for Friday night.
Exercise 1. Short answer. Write a brief answer to the following questions on the previous
reading on Costa Rican basketball.
1. What is the name of the basketball league tournament? ____________________.
2. When the champion of the tournament will be crowned?____________________.
3. When was the first national league created? ________________________.
4. When was created the Superior Basketball League (LBS)? ____________.
5. How many basketball teams does the LBS have for this tournament?___________.
6. How many divisions are created? __________________.
7. How many times do the champion team play until the end? ______________.
8. Where is the San Luis Gonzaga High School located? __________________.
9. Who is the favorite to win the league from Heredia? ____________________.
10. Where is Ferretería Boston team from? ______________________________.
11. Who is considered most likely to win? _______________________________.
Exercise 2. Free Answer. Answer the following questions according to what you think
1. Do you like practicing sports? Which ones?
2. What do you know about the relationship between practicing sports and health?
3. Do you think all athletes are supported? Are some athletes more supported than
others in Costa Rica?
Taken from http://www.ego4u.com/en/read-on/animals/olympic
The Olympic Games, the world‘s most important sporting competition, take place every
four years. The Olympic motto is ‗citius-altius-fortius‘ (faster-higher-stronger).
Ancient Olympic Games
There are many legends surrounding the origins of the Olympic Games; according to one
legend, the Games were founded by Heracles (= Hercules in Roman mythology).
Historically the first Ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC. Every fourth
year, they took place in Olympia in honor of the Olympian Gods. The prizes for the
champions were wreaths from a sacred olive tree that was said to have been planted by
When the Romans conquered Greece, the Games were also introduced in the Roman
Empire. In 393 AD, however, Emperor Theodosius thought that the ‗pagan cult‘ could
threaten the Christian religion and therefore banned the Games ending a thousand-year
period of Olympic Games.
Modern Olympic Games
The French Baron Pierre de Coubertin is the initiator of the modern Olympic Games. He
wanted to bring nations closer together and have them compete in sports rather than fight
in wars. Thanks to the efforts of Coubertin and his supporters, the first modern Games
took place in 1896 – in Athens, the actual birthplace of the Olympics.
Coubertin‘s idea of bringing the nations closer together is symbolized in the Olympic flag:
its rings represent the five continents of the world and the colors (blue, black, red, yellow,
green, white) were chosen such that they contained the flag colors of all countries
participating in the games at the time the Olympic flag was created.
Months before the Olympics actually take place, the Olympic Flame is lit in Olympia and
relayed to the host city where, at the opening ceremony, the last runner lights the Olympic
fire. Another highlight of the opening ceremony is the parade of the competitors.
There are Olympic Summer Games, Olympic Winter Games and Paralympic Games. The
Winter Games take place two years after the Summer Games. The Paralympic Games are
an event for athletes with physical and mental disabilities – they are held shortly after the
Olympic Games, at the same venues.
At the first modern Olympic Games, 245 athletes from 13 nations competed in 10 different
sports. Now more than 10,000 athletes from about 200 nations compete in 28 summer
sports and 7 winter sports. The sports on the Olympic program might change, however.
Over the years, the IOC has added new sports (e.g. beach volleyball, snowboarding,
curling) and struck out others (e.g. golf, rugby, tug of war).
The Olympic Games did not take place in 1916 due to World War I and in 1940 and 1944
due to World War II.
Ring = A small circular band, generally
Motto = A brief statement used to express
made of precious metal
a principle, goal, or ideal
To relay = An act of passing something
B C = before the Christian era
along from one person, group, or station
A D = anno domini; (used in dates to
mean after the birth of Jesus Christ)
Wreath = A ring or circlet of flowers,
boughs, or leaves
Country = A nation or state
To conquer = To defeat or subdue by
Lit = past tense of light = To make
force, especially by force of arms
Thought = past tense of ―think‖
Parade = An organized public procession
To threaten = o be a source of danger to;
on a festive or ceremonial occasion
Venues = The scene or setting in which
To ban = To prohibit, especially by official
something takes place
Exercise 1. Unique Choice. Select the option that better completes the statement.
1. The Olympic Games are:
B) a sacred olive tree
C) the world‘s most important sporting competition
D) the Olympian Gods
2. Who did ban the games after one thousand years of Olympic Games?
A) The Romans
B) The Greeks
C) The Christian religión
D) Emperor Theodosius
3. When and where did the first modern games take place?
A) In 1999 in Costa Rica
B) In 1896 in Athens
C) In 1986 in Greece
D) In 776 B.C. in Olympia
4. What does the Olympic flag represent?
A) The five continents of the world
B) The colors blue, black, red, yellow, green and white
C) Coubertin‘s idea of bringing the nations closer together
D) All countries participating in the games
Exercise 2. Short answer. Answer the following games according to the reading ―The
1. What does the Olympic motto ―citius-altius-fortius‖ mean?
2. What is the name of the Baron initiator of the modern Olympic Games?
3. Did the Roman conquerors introduce the Olympic Games into their Empire?
4. Where the Olympic flame is lit?
5. Who lights the Olympic fire?
6. When do the Winter Olympic Games take place?
7. What are the Paralympic Games?
8. How many athletes were at the first Olympic Games?
9. How many nations competed in the first Olympic Games?
10. How many athletes compete nowadays in the Olympic Games?
11. From about how many countries the athletes come to participate nowadays?
UNIT 2. LIFE AND ACHIEVEMENTS OF FAMOUS ATHLETES AND
In this unit you will learn about some famous athletes and musicians from Costa Rica. You
will learn about them in order to understand the cultural richness in our country. Then, you
will be able to identify, describe and contrast among them. Besides, achievements and
bibliographies of several musicians and athletes will help you answer questions related to
the musicians‘ and athletes‘ lives.
1. To summarize information recognizing the relevant points in a reading.
2. To identify points of view of the musicians and athletes.
3. To identify and describe musicians and athletes.
4. To be able to initiate conversations on sports by asking and giving information.
5. To deduce the meaning of unfamiliar language using the context and grammatical
6. To transfer information read to written form.
7. To write paragraphs using simple descriptive language, and referring to past, present
and future actions and events.
8. Performing simple familiar tasks that require some elementary linking of sentences
and structuring of ideas.
9. To adapt the language to deal with specific situations.
Texts on the Costa Rican athletes Nery Brenes and Claudia Poll
Description of Costa Rican music.
Interview with famous Costa Rican band: Evolución
Analysis of different aspects of cultures
Comparison of characteristics of musicians and athletes
Development of knowledge on the language
Different information eliciting exercises
Claudia Poll (Olympic Gold Medalist)
In Costa Rica, Claudia Poll Ahrens is not only a living legend, but also the sportswoman of
the century. This twenty-seven year-old who learned to swim twenty years ago, has
earned three world records as well as several medals in the Olympics. Her fame and
accomplishments aren‘t limited to the small country of Costa Rica or even to Central
America, since she appears in known sports magazines and programs as one of the
world‘s best swimmers.
Who is Claudia Poll Ahrens the person? She was born in Managua Nicaragua on
December 21, 1972, but she acquired her Costa Rican citizenship on september 23, 1993
because of her long residence in the country. Poll started her swimming lessons in Cariari
(Alajuela) at the age of seven, and since then there has been no stopping her. She trains
for hours each day, starting before dawn, and even after achieving world records and
medals, she strives to improve her technique. Her long time trainer, Francisco Rivas, has
been responsible in large part for her success. Rivas also trained Claudia‘s sister, Sylvia
Poll, who was an impressive swimmer that obtained Costa Rica‘s first medal in the
Olympics. Claudia Poll possesses an amazonic figure, being 1.91 meters tall (6.37 feet)
and weighing 71 kilos. Apart from being blessed with an impressive body, a perfect
technique and an unyielding discipline, Claudia obtained a degree in Business
Administration and is currently working in the Administrative Department of the Cariari
Swimming Association. Claudia Poll would like to keep combining her two careersBusiness Administration and Sports- in the future, and although she‘s received numerous
job offers, she‘s taking her time to consider them.
Claudia Poll‘s brilliant career began in 1989 when she entered the ranking because of her
seven records in the Central American and Caribbean Competition. After this year, she
earned medals and broke records in Venezuela, the United States Open, and in the Pan
Pacific Competition in Kobe, Japan. The climax of her efforts came in the Atlanta Games
of 1996, where she defeated the German world champion, Franziska van Almsick, thus
winning the first Olympic Gold Medal for Costa Rica. In total, Poll has broken and
established three world records, the first one in Brasil (1995), the second and third ones in
Sweeden in 1997. In total, this outstanding swimmer has participated in 837 swims, 169
competitions and has obtained 621 medals and forty five trophies. Furthermore, she‘s
established 139 records- 50 national, 19 Latin American, 63 international, 3 world records
and 4 in World Cups. The numbers speak for themselves about this young athlete‘s
Despite her extensive and impressive career, Poll has plans for further competitions. Poll
and her trainer plan to participate in less meets until the Sydney Olympics in 2000. This
incredible swimmer has acquired more than medals and trophies during her two decades
of dedication to this sport, since she claims that swimming has taught her many other
things: ― To have discipline, patience and constancy are all important things that I have
learned. I also learned to win, but the most important thing is that I learned to not win. My
experiences gave me the opportunity to create bonds of friendship, to travel to different
countries and to discover other cultures‖. Poll possesses an outstanding list of swimming
successes, but she‘s also lucky to maintain a mental strength and determination that
promise to yield future victories.
To swim = To move through water by means of the limbs, fins, or tail
Records = The known history of performance, activities, or achievement
Medals = A flat piece of metal stamped with a design or an inscription commemorating an
event or a person, often given as an award
To train = To prepare physically, as with a regimen
Dawn = The time each morning at which daylight first begins
To improve = To raise to a more desirable or more excellent quality or condition, to better
Achievement = Something accomplished successfully, especially by means of exertion,
skill, practice, or perseverance
Career = A chosen pursuit; a profession or occupation
Ranking = A listing of items in a group, such as schools or sports teams, according to a
system of rating or a record of performance
Trophy = A prize or memento, such as a cup or plaque, received as a symbol of victory,
especially in sports
Success = The achievement of something desired, planned, or attempted
To learn = To gain knowledge, comprehension, or mastery of through experience or study
To discover = To learn something about
Strength = The state, property, or quality of being strong
To yield = To give forth by or as if by a natural process, especially by cultivation
Exercise 1. Long Answer. Answer with a complete statement (subject + verb + Object) the
following questions on Claudia Poll.
1. Where is Claudia from?
2. Where was Claudia born?
3. Who is Claudia Poll?
4. How long does she train?
5. Where and at what age did Claudia start her swimming lessons?
6. How tall is Claudia Poll?
Exercise 2. Short Answer. Answer with the most appropriate words from the reading.
1. What occupation does Claudia perform besides swimming?
2. How many records did Claudia Poll have before entering the rankings?
3. In which countries Claudia has earned medals and broke records?
4. Where and when did she win the first Costa Rican gold medal?
5. Where and when has she won other world‘s records?
6. How many medals does she have obtained?
7. How many trophies does she have been awarded?
8. How many records and where does Claudia Poll have established?
Exercise 3. Writing. Summarize Claudia Poll‘s bibliography in terms of achievements
(medals, trophies, awards, records, learned things, job offers). Remember to narrate
the dates and to use different verb tenses accordingly (past, present or future).
Exercise 4. Writing. Describe Claudia Poll physically, mentally and how she is
defined. Include also her place of birth, nationality, age and careers.
Exercise 5. Writing. Explain what do you think of Claudia Poll?
Compare and Contrats Transitions
like, similar to, also, unlike, similarly, in the same way, likewise, again, compared to, in
contrast, in like manner, contrasted with, on the contrary, however, although, yet, even
though, still, but, nevertheless, conversely, at the same time, regardless, despite, while, on
the one hand … on the other hand.
Against the Odds: Nery Brenes
Free adaptation from http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7493000.stm
Ranked between 12 and 15 in the world
Best time: 45.01 in 2007 (World record 43.18)
In action: 18th August, Olympic 400m Round 1
Nery struggled for years to get the funding to race professionally. Nery struggled for years to
get the funding to make the best of his talent. He almost gave up the sport so he could get a
job to support his family. But the government finally stepped in to give him a grant, and now
he has several private sponsors. "It's so hard here. To get money, you need to be a
superstar or something", he said. In spite of his situation, when Nery came fourth in the
World Indoor Championships in Valencia in March this year, he gave his $8,000 prize
money to deprived families from Limon. "Along with being world champion, and to help my
family, my dream is to build a school here for poor children", he said. When people got to
know where I practiced; where I'm from, they were like, 'He's got talent'. I was like the new
kid on the block. "Now, he's an idol for the kids here".
Run-down athletics track
Nery now trains full time in the Costa Rican capital, San Jose. He returns to visit the rundown sports centre in Limon where he trained for 9 years. ―This is where I first started
practicing when I was 12-years-old. It was so hard. I had a lot of injuries. But then I went to
Osaka last year and I ran 45.01 and people were like, 'Who is this guy?‖ Extraordinary!
His coach, Walter Salazar, says that Nery is shorter and lighter than most 400m runners but
says he has "one of the fastest finishing kicks in the world". Since he spotted his talent five
years ago, Walter has taken charge of Nery's training program. In the run up to the
Olympics, he makes him practice two or three times a day, every day of the week. With his
Olympic test just around the corner, three of these sessions are a grueling series of 12 100
meter sprints, with a break of less than two minutes between each one.
Nery sears down his final 100 meter sprint in 10.4 seconds. His average time is about 11.4
To struggle = to be strenuously engaged with a problem, task, or undertaking
Funding = a sum of money or other resources set aside for a specific purpose
Give up = to desist from; stop
Support = to provide for or maintain, by supplying with money or necessities
Sponsor = one who assumes responsibility for another person or a group during a period
of instruction, apprenticeship, or probation
Deprived = marked by deprivation, especially of economic or social necessities
Coach = a person who trains or directs athletes or athletic teams
Fast = allowing rapid movement or action
Grueling = physically or mentally demanding to the point of exhaustion
Exercise 1. Matching. Match the sentences of the left with the words on the right.
1. Nery Brenes‘ place of birth
( ) 45.01 in 2007
2. Nery Brenes‘ coach‘s name
( ) $8,000
3. Nery Brenes‘ rank in the world
( ) Limon
4. Nery Brenes‘ sponsor
( ) between 12 and 15
5. Nery Brenes‘ prize in the World Indoor Championship
( ) 11.4 seconds
6. Nery Brenes‘ best time in a 400 meter race
( ) the government
7. His average time in a 100 meter race
( ) Walter Salazar
Exercise 2. Complete Answer. Answer the following questions from what you understood
from the reading. Paraphrase, do not transcribe.
1. Why Nery Brenes is considered the ―New kid on the block‖?
2. Why does Nery Brenes think he was not sponsored before?
3. What is the dream of Nery Brenes along with being a world champion?
4. Why did he almost give up racing?
5. For how long did Nery Brenes practice in Limon?
6. At what age did he start practicing?
7. What characteristics does Nery Brenes have in comparison to other 400 runners?
Exercise 4. Writing. Write a comparison paragraph between Claudia Poll and Nery
Brenes. You can write about these and more themes: records, achievements, places
of living, efforts, time dedication, coaches‘ names, ages, experiences, rankings,
concerns. Check the Appendix to get some contrasting expressions.
Exercise 5. Drawing. Draw the two athletes, Nery Brenes and Claudia Poll.
Music of Costa Rica
Adapted from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music_of_Costa_Rica
The music of Costa Rica is diverse. The National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica has
existed since the early 1900s. It offers worldwide performances as well as seasonal
concerts usually held in the National Theater, a replica of the Opera of Idaho. Often
performs giving concerts in the White House USA, to the Kings of Spain, have held
concerts with Luciano Pavarotti, the Royal family of Japan, etc. Proudly, also performs in
the regional areas and underdeveloped countries, teaching classical music. The National
Symphony Orchestra has various CD's.
Though its music has achieved little international credit, Costa Rican popular music genres
include: an indigenous calypso scene which is distinct from the more widely-known
Trinidadian calypso sound, as well as a thriving disco audience that supports nightclubs in
cities like San José. American and British rock and roll and pop are very popular and
common among the youth (especially urban youth), while dance-oriented genres like soca,
salsa, merengue, cumbia and Tex-Mex have an appeal among a somewhat older audience.
The Caribbean coast shows a strong African influence in the complex percussion rhythms
like sinkit. Like its northerly neighbors in Central America, the marimba is a very popular
instrument, and Costa Rican marimba music is very popular. In modern times, groups like
Cantares have helped to popularize Costa Rican folk music, and were a leading part of the
New Costa Rican Song movement.
Costa Rica's pre-Columbian population has contributed a large part of the country's folk
heritage; include rare musical scales, certain ceremonial songs and ocarinas. The
Guanacaste region, in the Peninsula of Nicoya, is home to the best-known folk traditions.
Along the Atlantic coast, the African musical heritage is more pronounced, and AfroCaribbean music like rumba, calypso and reggae are popular.
In most of Costa Rica, ancient instruments like ocarinas are being replaced by international
instruments like accordions and guitars. There are still folk styles, even outside of
Guanacaste, such as the Talamanca Canton's Danza de los Huelos and the Boruca's
Danza de los Diablitos. Guanacaste is the major center for Costa Rican folk music,
especially pre-Columbian styles like the Danza del Sol and Danza de la Luna of the
Chorotega, who also popularized the ancient quijongo (a single-string bow and gourd
resonator) and native oboe, the chirimia.
In the late 1980s some local artists and bands became famous for having their own style
and original material, such as José Capmany, Café con Leche and Inconsciente Colectivo;
some of them had fans from outside of Costa Rica, like Editus, a Grammy winning
contemporary jazz ensemble. At around that time a popular Latin genre developed, chiquichiqui (a mixture of merengue, cumbia and other latin rhythms along with afro-pop
influences) as it was known, led by bands such as Los Hicsos and La Banda. After losing
popularity around the 90's, chiqui chiqui has resurfaced and established itself as one of the
most popular and recognizable music among Costa Ricans, thanks in part to the release of
CD re-editions of many classic hits.
From the late 90's to present time, there has emerged a newer local rock style led by bands
such as Gandhi, Evolución, Tango India, Suite Doble, Alma Bohemia, and Kadeho, all of
which have been accepted positively by Costa Rican youths. There are Metal bands, like
Grecco, Arsenal, December's Cold Winter, Sight of Emptiness, Slavon, Eternal, Respirando
un Nuevo Día and PICHA , to name but a few. Also bands venturing into Reggae and Ska
are popular, one example is Mekatelyu and Michael Livingston.
Malpaís, a band emerging from the Guanacaste-area, is one of the central bands of the
Costa Rican rock and music scene of today, mixing traditional Costa Rican folk and Latin
music with jazz and rock and has met great success in Costa Rica and surrounding
For all the fanfare of rock, electronic or world music, Latin music is somehow the most
common music genre in some specific sectors, and visitors will find that most Costa Ricans
of certain generations favor Latin music (Cuban, Mexican and Colombian).
Youth = Young people considered as a group
Ancient = Of great age; very old.
Folk = the traditional and typically anonymous music that is an expression of the life of
people in a community
Own = Of or belonging to oneself or itself
Exercise 1. Completion. Fill in the blanks with the words in the following chart.
Dance, Marimba, Rock and Roll and Pop, 90‘s, Pre-Columbian, African, National Symphony
Orquestra, calypso, Danza de los Diablitos, 1980‘s.
1. The original style and material of some bands started in the ___________.
2. The _______________________________ existed since 1900.
3. ______________________________ music are very popular among young people.
4. Genres such as salsa, soca, meringue and cumbia are ________ oriented.
5. The Caribbean costs show a strong ______________ influence in rhythms.
6. A very popular instrument in Costa Rica and Central America is the _____________.
7. ____________________music contributed to the folk music heritage.
8. The African heritage is pronounced in Afro-Caribbean music such as ____________.
9. The ______________________ is a good example of folk music.
10. Local rock style emerged from the ____________ to present time.
Exercise 2. Filling a Chart. Write some of the exponents (bands) of each kind of music
developed in Costa Rica.
Type of music
Band or musicians
1. Classical music
2. Rock and Roll music
3. Chiqui- chiqui music
4. Reggae music
5. Jazz music
6. Metal music
7. Folk and latin music
Exercise 3. Free Answer. Answer according to tour opinion.
1. What can you do if the preferences in music are different between you and a friend?
2. You visit Boruca and the Danza de los Diablitos start. Do you participate in it?
3. You are in a party and only chiqui-chiqui music is played. What do you do?
Great exponents of national Rock and Roll music:
Origin San José, Costa Rica
Year Album information
Rock en Español
1997 Música Para Sentir (English: Music
Music of Costa Rica
2001 Absorbiendo la Magia (English:
Years active 1997 - Present
Absorbing the Magic)
Balerom (voice and guitar)
2004 Dígalo (English: Say It)
2005 Sentimiento Antisocial (1998 Demo
Soundalikes) (English: Anti-social feeling)
2007 Amor Artificial (English: Artificial
Evolución, (English: Evolution) a band that hails from San José, Costa Rica, started out in
1997. Their members originated in the underground alternative rock movement that struck
the country in the early 90's. They released "Musica para Sentir" (1997) their first album and
quickly caught on to the local rock festivals. An immediate fan-favorite band, they released
Absorbiendo la Magia (2001). Their break-through album "Mundo de Fantasia" (2003) was
one of the top selling albums in Costa Rica for that year. Their video for "Voy por Ella" had
huge success and great national exposure. "Digalo" (2004) helped consolidate the band's
fan base and exposure through several videos for this album. In 2005 released "Sentimiento
Antisocial" an album sound-alike of demos from 1995-1998. Two of the bands members,
Balerom and Moldo are now also solo artists.
Their latest album, "Amor Artificial" (2007) became the 3rd bestselling album in Costa Rica
in 2007, and it was released mid-year. This album shows a more mature band, with much
more musical diversity and great melodical tunes.
Exercise 1. Completion. Complete the following summary with words from the reading.
Evolución is a 1) _________________ band from 2)_________________ that started out in
3)_______. The members of the band are 4) ____________, 5) _____________ and 6)
_____________. Balerom is the 7) ____________ and plays the 8) _____________, while
9) ___________ plays the bass, and 10)_____________ is the drummer. The first CD is
named 11) ____________________________, it was released in 12) _________. With a
little more fame in their side, they released 13) __________________________ CD to the
public in 2001. The following album, 14) ___________________________, made them
advance in their careers.
From this CD, they presented the video of the song 15)
_______________________ in 2003, making the band more exposed due to its great
success. In 2004, they made available 16) _________________________ from which they
presented some videos to the public. In 17) __________, Evolución 18) ______________
the CD called ―Sentimiento Antisocial‖ which is an album that sounds like the music they
made during the year 19) ______________. Their 20) __________ album was released in
the midst of 2007 and it was named 21) _________________________. They say this last
album is more 22) _____________ and has more 23) ______________ diversity.
Nowadays, 24) ____________ and 25) _________________ are solo artists.
Exercise 2. Free Answers. Answer the following questions according to what you know, your
likes and interests.
1. What is the best Rock and Roll band you have ever heard?
2. What is your favorite type of music?
3. What is the best national band you have listened to?
4. What was the last concert you attended?
5. Do you play any instrument? Which?
6. Do you like to sing? Where?
7. What is your favorite band?
Virtual Interview to Evolución (Moldo, Wash and Balerom)
Made in the second week of March via e-mail to my persona for this anthology
1. What kind of music do you like to listen to the most? Why?
Balerom: - In life one goes through stages... a song may seem to be perfect at one moment
and out of place at another. But, I like to listen to the most music that makes me remember
my life as a child. I had very pleasing moments as a boy and of course in general, my life
has been rewarding in all its stages. I like to remember the good things life has given to me.
Moldo: - I enjoy the silence the most. This way I can listen clearly to what my head is telling
me, through music I hear in my head.
Wash: - I like to listen to all types of music; for example rock, blues, jazz, reggae, etc. In fact
I consider myself a music collector. At this moment I like listening to music from the 80's and
back. I think that most of the music that is being done today doesn't have that much feeling
2. What is it about this instrument that attracted you? Describe, please.
Balerom: -The electric guitar and the acoustic one are opposite Universes that meet, like
love and passion in a peaceful battle... pleasure is a consequence of two Universes in
harmony. Success is achieved when a feeling is released from a soul to be shared with
humanity. The guitar can express both day and night... it was something natural to me.
Moldo: - The fact that you can play rock and roll with my instrument is what attracted me. My
mother liked to listen to The Beatles, and me too.
Wash: - I am in charge of playing the drums. I chose this instrument because my brother
was a drummer too and I used to watch him play all the time. This made it a lot easier for
me. Playing drums is also a good way to leave any worries behind and definitely a good
3. What type of music do you enjoy playing the most? Why?
Balerom: - I like to play original music... music with identity. Genre is not a big issue for me. I
like all genres... for me it´s more about the message, the lyrics and the reason why an artist
picks up a guitar or a microphone. Music is a media that can be used to make the world a
better place or to disguise reality.
Wash: - I enjoy playing all kinds of music because music liberates the soul.
Moldo: - Even though I like listening to all types of music I do not necessarily know how to
play all of them, for example Latin music. Rock (with all its branches) is what I usually play
and what I enjoy the most. Why? Because this is the music I grew up with.
4. Which athlete and which musician do you admire? Why?
Balerom: - I admire many athletes... each and every one of them. One athlete I admire a lot
is Laird Hamilton, one of the best surfers in the world... not only for all he has given to the
sport but also because he has always been an extreme surfer who surfs for the right
reason... pleasure! Same thing happens with music... one has to do it for the right reasons
and enjoy. More than musicians I admire brilliant minds and amazing talents. People who
have passed away and yet continue making a difference in this world.
Moldo: - I admire Tom Waits and Robi Draco Rosa, because they make the most beautiful
music. I admire Silvia and Claudia Poll because of their dedication and achievements.
Wash: - I am not that much into sports but any athlete that perseveres to reach a goal
deserves all my respect, for example Lance Armstrong.
5. Have you awarded any prize during your careers? Examples? Have you attained
other achievements? Which ones?
Balerom - The only prize that has had meaning to me in terms of my career is the one my
fans have given me... when they sing my songs, for example. More than a prize, it is a
blessing, a reward for my soul. That is what has kept me going.
Moldo: - I won the ACAM prize for best songwriter in rock, 2008, along with my band mate
Balerom, for the songs contained in the album "Amor Artificial".
Wash: - Maybe not an award but it was a big step for the band to be the opening act for the
Red Hot Chili Peppers here in Costa Rica. For me it was a literally a dream come true. That
show introduced us to a whole new audience that eventually became part of our fan base.
Underground = Hidden or concealed;
To release = To make known or available
Fact = A real occurrence; an event
Break-through = To make a sudden,
To enjoy = To receive pleasure or
Exposure = Appearance in public or in the
To grow up = To become an adult
To pass away = To die
Pleasure = Amusement, diversion, or
To sing = To vocalize songs or selections
Exercise 1. Completion. Complete the chart with the particularities of each member of
Favorite type of Why
they Favorite type Athlete
music to listen liked
their of music to musician they prizes
to, explain why instruments
play, explain admire,
that Because of the
remembers him pleasure gotten
as a child or the from playing
good things in instruments
Exercise 2. Writing. Write in your own words the differences among the members of the
band Evolución regarding to instruments, likes, points of view, rewards, etc. Check the
Appendix on writing if necessary.
In this unit you will learn to identify and describe different electrical appliances
in English, to make suggestions, to give instructions and to ask for
information about the usage of a specific appliance.
1. To initiate
information read into
written or visual form
3. To express decisions
4. To paraphrase from
5. To perform tasks that
structure of ideas
6. To identify important themes, including ideas, emotions and opinions as
7. To identify main points and details in familiar contexts
8. To write paragraphs of about three/four creative sentences
Common electrical appliances used in Costa Rica
How to use an iPod
Usage of electrical Appliances
Look at the appliances in the box below. Think about which of them you have in your
house. They are electric appliances and their use is specific, but in general they make our
life easier and more comfortable. Some are household appliances, some are not.
Refrigerator, Telephone, Radio, Television, VCR (Video Cassette Recorder), Oven,
Microwave oven, Headphones, Walkman, Computer, mouse, keyboard, data traveler,
CD Player, Rice cooker, Washing Machine,
recorder, Cassette tape recorder,
Laptop computer, Tape
HiFi/Stereo, VCD, Nintendo, Play Station, Wii, iPad,
mixer, blender, iron, flashlight, lamp, juicer, dicer, fan, stove, air conditioner, vacuum
cleaner, printer, scanner, toaster, headphones, loudspeakers, joystick, karaoke, etc.
Exercise 1. Vocabulary. Identify and write the appliances you see in the following picture.
Write the names right below each item.
Mixer = batidora
Blender = licuadora
Iron = plancha
Flashlight = foco
Dicer = cortadora
Fan = ventilador
Stove = cocina
Speakers = parlantes
Exercise 2. Vocabulary. What other appliances can you see here? Identify them and write
then name below its picture.
Exercise 3. Matching. Match the items of the left with the purposes of the right. So each
item goes with a purpose statement.
1. An iron
( ) warms the food by means of microwaves
2. A blender
( ) reproduces the sound loud enough
3. A stove
( ) reproduces sound, music
( ) print information or pictures onto pages
( ) allows just you to listen to sounds from a reproducer
6. Microwave oven
( ) press wrinkles from fabrics/clothes
( ) mix ingredients until they are one liquidized mixture
( ) provide heat (either electric or gas) to cook food
( ) allows you to talk to others even when far away
How to Use an iPod?
Looking for iPod instructions? Easily learn how to use an iPod.
The iPod is the most popular mp3 player sold today. Yet despite what the ads would have
you think, it's not that easy to use. First of all, it does not come with a printed manual, so
the first thing a newbie would ask is "Where are the iPod instructions?"
If you're not a newbie and want to get started check out the following instructions:
Here's what you basically have to do to get your iPod working fast Step 1 - Download the latest iTunes version from the Apple's official site.
Step 2 - Install iTunes on your local computer.
Step 3 - Add you mp3 music library to iTunes main playlist.
If your iPod is empty and you only want to use it on one computer:
Step 4 - Connect your iPod to your computer and let it sync automatically to your new
If your iPod is not empty and you don't want to lose the songs you've already got installed,
look at these instructions for your iPod:
Step 4 (again) - Go to the iTunes options and change the settings for your iPod to manual.
Step 5 - In manual mode - every new song you want to from your computer to your iPod...
just drag the mp3 file from your music library onto your iPod icon and you're done!
Step 6 - don't forget to eject your iPod before disconnecting the device from your
There's so much more you can do with your new ipod. You can create playlists, add
photos and album covers, play games, rip your own CDs directly to your iTunes library...
Mp3 player = reproductor de mp3
Despite = a pesar de
Ads = A notice, such as a poster or a paid announcement in the print, broadcast, or
electronic media, designed to attract public attention or patronage
Easy = posing no difficulty
Newbie = One that is new to something, especially a novice at using computer technology
or the Internet
Download = To transfer (data or programs) from a server or host computer to one's own
computer or device
The latest = Something that is the most recent or current of its kind
Install = To connect or set in position and prepare for use
Library = A collection of such materials, especially when systematically arranged
Playlist = A list of musical selections for broadcast or performance
Connect = To plug in (an electrical cord or device) to an outlet
Sync = make synchronous and adjust in time or manner
Empty = Holding or containing nothing
Lose = To be unsuccessful in retaining possession of
Change = To cause to be different
Settings = The position, direction, or way in which something, such as an automatic
control, is set
Drag = o move (a pointing device, such as a mouse) while pressing down on one of its
File = A container, such as a cabinet or folder, for keeping papers in order
Forget = To be unable to remember (something)
Eject = To throw out forcefully; expel
Add = To join or unite so as to increase in size, quantity, quality, or scope
Rip = To copy (audio or audio-visual material from a CD or DVD)
Device = computer hardware that is designed for a specific function
Exercise 1. Picture Reaction. Answer the following questions in the form of a paragraph:
What does a dog do with an iPod? What is the dog listening to? What is the favorite music
of dogs? How is the dog? And any other question that comes to your mind.
Exercise 2. Free Answer. Answer the following questions according to what you think and
1. Do you know how to use an iPod?
2. Do you like how technology advances?
3. Do you think Costa Ricans should get an iPod? Why?
4. Do you know where the iPod was created?
5. What do you think of a person that does not know to use an iPod?
Exercise 3. Vocabulary. Use the vocabulary for the use of electrical devices.
1. You can use the mouse to _____________ items from one file to another.
2. In a computer you can download music from Internet or _______ from other CD.
3. If your unplugged computer is running out of battery, you better _____________ it,
so you don‘t lose any file.
4. After the playlist has sounded, don‘t forget to _____________ the CD and store it.
Read the following dialogue on using an iPod. Pay attention on how the questions and the
answers are given.
Josefina – Hi Marcelo!
Marcelo – Hi Josefina! How are you?
Josefina – I am good, thanks! And you?
Marcelo – I am great! What is going on? You got a new iPod?!
Josefina – Oh, yes! But I have a problem; the guy who sold it to me did not give me any
instructions. Do you know how to use it?
Marcelo – Yes, I had my own.
Josefina – What happen with yours?
Marcelo – Guess what? It was stolen.
Josefina – I am sorry, that happens. Anyway, can you help me out?
Marcelo – Sure! What do you want to do?
Josefina – I want to include new songs into the playlist.
Marcelo – It is pretty easy. Pay attention. First you have to download the latest iTunes
version from the Apple‘s site. Second, you have to install iTunes to your computer. Do you
have a computer?
Josefina – Yes, I do.
Marcelo – Perfect! Then, you have to add your mp3 library to the iTunes main playlist.
Josefina – And after that?
Marcelo – After that depends on if you have already music in the iPod that you don‘t want
to lose or not. Do you have music already in?
Josefina – Yes, it came with a beautiful song that I don‘t want to lose. I usually just connect
it to the computer and let it sync automatically.
Marcelo – Ok, that is all right if you only want to use it on the computer.
Josefina – Mmm, I think I am getting it. Would you tell me more? Please!
Marcelo – Yes. After you have added your mp3 library to the iTunes list, the next step is
going to the iTunes options and change settings.
Josefina – Is that difficult?
Marcelo – Not at all. It is pretty easy. You change settings for your iPod to manual option.
Josefina – Sounds good!
Marcelo – Now, in manual mode, just drag, with the mouse, each song you want from your
computer to the iPod, from your music library to the iPod icon. And finally, very important
not to forget, is ejecting the iPod before disconnecting the device from the computer.
Josefina – Thank you Marcelo!
Marcelo – Bye bye! newbie.
Exercise 4. Writing. Write a expository paragraph in which you connect the steps for
using an iPod without losing the songs already there. Go from step 1 to step 6. The
connectors are: first, second, third, then, after that, at that time, next, and finally.
Exercise 5. Matching. Match the questions of the left with the answers of the right.
1. How can I turn on the computer if there is no electricity? ( ) Yes, it works as any other.
2. Would you tell me how this video camera works? ( ) Sure! You just have to put a coin.
3. Do you know how to call from this payphone? ( ) Try to turn it on as usual, if it has
battery it will work.
Electricity: High Voltage in Germany and Europe
Adapted from http://www.german-way.com/electric.html
If you want to bring any electrical appliances or devices from America to German or
Europe, think twice. While rechargeable electronics (laptop computers, cameras, iPods,
etc.) usually present few problems, you need to know a lot more about large appliances,
TV sets, stereos and anything else that doesn‘t run on batteries.
First, the standard household electrical outlet in most of Europe—including Austria,
Germany, and Switzerland—packs a wallop of 220-240 volts, twice the standard
household voltage in North America. A normal 110/120-volt electrical appliance designed
for use in the US, Canada, or Mexico will provide a nice fireworks display, complete with
sparks and smoke, if plugged into a European outlet without a voltage converter.
Second, North American and European electrical plugs are like square pegs in round
holes—literally. A German plug has two round prongs, and a German electrical outlet has,
quite logically, two round holes for a receptacle.
If you absolutely must have those US appliances or devices, it can be done, but you need
to be aware of the problems involved, as well as the pros and cons of various solutions.
To bring = traer
Wallop = golpazo
Voltage = voltaje
Sparks = chispas
Smoke = humo
To plug = conectar
Without = sin
Be aware of = estar al
Exercise 1. Complete Answer. Answer in your own words what you understood from the
1. What is the difference in the voltage among America and Europe?
2. What could happen if you plug an American device into a German receptacle?
3. What should you beware of if you bring large electrical appliances to Europe?
UNIT 4. COMPUTER AND TECHNOLOGY IN OUR LIVES
In this unit, you will be able to get acquainted with the use of computers, Internet and
many other forms of technology that are present in our lives. You will see that technology
is everywhere and that has changed human life in Costa Rica and in English speaking
countries. You will learn to compare the past, the present and the future in regards to
technology. Your opinions on this issue will be very important.
1. To summarize information
2. To identify main points and details of
3. To transfer information from written
and visual form into written
4. To express ideas, opinions, feelings and concerns
5. To draw conclusion from extended texts
6. To identify important themes
7. To write paragraphs using simple descriptive language and referring to past,
present and future events
8. To apply grammar structures correctly
What is technology?
History of some technological devices
Developing the automobile
Different elicitation exercises from readings
What is Technology?
According to Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, technology is the ―Application of knowledge
to the practical aims of human life or to changing and manipulating the human
environment. Technology includes the use of materials, tools, techniques, and sources of
power to make life easier or more pleasant and work more productive. Whereas science is
concerned with how and why things happen, technology focuses on making things
happen. Technology began to influence human endeavour as soon as people began using
tools. It accelerated with the Industrial Revolution and the substitution of machines for
animal and human labour. Accelerated technological development has also had costs, in
terms of air and water pollution and other undesirable environmental effects‖.
1. How much time do you spend at your computer? How about listening to CDs or the
radio? Watching TV? When was the last time you used a microwave oven?
2. Try to imagine going through a day without these items. They all make use of
technologies developed in the 20th century.
This activity lets you go back through the century to find out when everyday items such as
these first appeared in homes.
Technology at Home
Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/tryit/tech/indext.html
1900: There are over one million telephones in the U.S. at the turn of the century -still, this works out to fewer than two phones for every 100 people. To make a call, an
operator manually plugs wires into a switchboard to connect two phones
1905: Almon Brown Strowger, an undertaker, develops a switching system that is
controlled by a dial on the telephone. Users can now dial directly to another phone without
the assistance of an operator. Although Bell Telephone Laboratories installs Strowger's
new system in many locations, switchboard operators are still used well into the second
half of the century.
1937: Introduced in 1937, the "300" model telephone offered a built-in bell in its
1967: Telephones with push buttons and touch-tone dialing appear in homes in
selected areas around 1967.
1900: An icebox is used in 1900 to keep food cool. Your friendly local
iceman delivers blocks of ice several times a week.
1913: The first electric refrigerators are sold to the home market in 1913,
although their sales won't climb until the 1920s. These fridges use a motor and a
compressor to remove heat from the cabinet's interior.
1931: Freon, a gas developed by Thomas Midgley, Jr. a year earlier, is
mass produced by the Kinetic Chemical Corporation starting in 1931. Although it will later
be identified as harmful to the Earth's ozone layer, its non-toxic, non-flammable properties
make it a safe alternative to the gases used in refrigerators.
1995: In addition to being energy efficient (a repercussion of the 1970s
enerGy crisis), new refrigerators no longer use ozone-harming CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons,
1946: Television quickly becomes a part of American life starting around
1946. One year before, there were fewer than 10,000 TV sets. By 1950, there are 6
million. By 1960, there will be almost 60 million.
1953: NBC transmits the New Year's Day Tournament of Roses Parade in
color in 1953, but it is not until 1966 that the three networks broadcast all their prime time
programs in color. In 1972, only half the households in the U.S. have a color television.
1975: Sony's Betamax, a VCR (video cassette recorder) selling for $1300,
is introduced to the home market in 1975. VHS decks, which make their debut in 1977,
1910: Crystal radio receivers are available to the public. Manufactured by the de
Forest Radio Telephone Company, these kits are geared for amateur radio enthusiasts.
1919: The superheterodyne radio, developed by Edwin Armstrong, is
sold to the general public. The radio uses vacuum tubes to amplify and tune in signals.
1950: In response to an increasing interest in high-fidelity sound, FM
(frequency modulation), gains popularity in the 1950s. FM was perfected in 1933 by Edwin
Armstrong. The first FM broadcasts aired in 1940; by 1960, FM stations will begin to
broadcast in stereo.
1955: The Regency is introduced in 1954. The first lightweight, portable radio, it
uses recently-developed transistors instead of tubes. In 1955, Sony's popular version of
the transistor radio is made available to the public.
1980s: The 1980s see miniature AM/FM radios that are incorporated into
1945: Tupperware containers become available in retail stores in 1945, but
consumers have little confidence in the plastic containers. In 1951 Tupperware products
are removed from retail shelves and instead sold through "Tupperware parties." Sales take
1965: Microwave ovens are sold to the general public, although they won't see
widespread use until the early 1980s. Microwave ovens designed for commercial use have
been around since 1947.
1980s: The sale of microwave ovens take off throughout the 1980s. These
ovens offer digital readouts, push button controls, and turntables to help cook food evenly.
1947: Tape recorders, like the Brush model, appear in homes in 1947. These
recorders use magnetic plastic tape, which was developed in Germany in 1930.
1955: Stereo tape recorders are sold to the home market in 1955.
1963: Tape recorders using compact cassettes are introduced. Compact cassettes
offer high-fidelity sound in a small, easy-to-use format.
1980: The Sony Walkman appears in homes and on hips across the country.
1975: The Altair 8800, a build-it-yourself computer kit, appears in U.S. homes
in 1975. Complete with an Intel 8080 processor and 256 bytes (not kilobytes) of memory, it
can run BASIC programming language.
1977: A revolution in computing begins in 1977 when the first fully
assembled personal computer, the Apple II, is made available to the public. Within twenty
years, two out of five households will have a computer.
1989: Making use of LCD (liquid crystal displays) and ever smaller
components, laptop computers see more and more use in the late 1980s.
1994: Spurred by the introduction of Mosaic, interest in the World Wide Web
rapidly takes off starting in 1994. Within four years, an estimated 30 million people
(including you) are browsing the Web.
Exercise 1. Drawing. Draw a computer as it looks in year 2010.
Exercise 2. Fill the Chart. Identify the main details and the dates for each technological
Main details during development
Adapted from http://www.livinginternet./i/ii_summary.htm
The collection of people, hardware, and software ¬- the multiaccess computer together
with its local community of users -- will become a node in a geographically distributed
computer network. Let us assume for a moment that such a network has been formed.
- J.C.R. Licklider, Robert Taylor, The Computer as a Communication Device, 1968.
The conceptual foundation for creation of the Internet was largely created by three
individuals and a research conference, each of which changed the way we thought about
technology by accurately predicting its future:
Vannevar Bush wrote the first visionary description of the potential uses for
information technology with his description of the "memex" automated library system.
Norbert Wiener invented the field of Cybernetics, inspiring future researchers to
focus on the use of technology to extend human capabilities.
The 1956 Dartmouth Artificial Intelligence conference crystallized the concept that
technology was improving at an exponential rate, and provided the first serious
consideration of the consequences.
Marshall McLuhan made the idea of a global village interconnected by an electronic
nervous system part of our popular culture.
In 1957, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik I, triggering US President
Dwight Eisenhower to create the ARPA agency to regain the technological lead in the
arms race. ARPA appointed J.C.R. Licklider to head the new IPTO organization with a
mandate to further the research of the SAGE program and help protect the US against a
space-based nuclear attack. Licklider evangelized within the IPTO about the potential
benefits of a country-wide communications network, influencing his successors to hire
Lawrence Roberts to implement his vision.
Roberts led development of the network, based on the new idea of packet switching
invented by Paul Baran at RAND, and a few years later by Donald Davies at the UK
National Physical Laboratory. A special computer called an Interface Message Processor
was developed to realize the design, and the ARPANET went live in early October, 1969.
The first communications were between Leonard Kleinrock's research center at the
University of California at Los Angeles, and Douglas Engelbart's center at the Stanford
The first networking protocol used on the ARPANET was the Network Control Program. In
1983, it was replaced with the TCP/IP protocol invented Wby Robert Kahn, Vinton Cerf,
and others, which quickly became the most widely used network protocol in the world.
In 1990, the ARPANET was retired and transferred to the NSFNET. The NSFNET was
soon connected to the CSNET, which linked Universities around North America, and then
to the EUnet, which connected research facilities in Europe. Thanks in part to the NSF's
enlightened management, and fueled by the popularity of the web, the use of the Internet
exploded after 1990, causing the US Government to transfer management to independent
organizations starting in 1995.
Exercise 1. Complete Answer. Answer the following questions based on the reading but in
your own words.
1. What is Internet?
2. Who created the Internet? Mention their creators‘ mayor interests briefly.
3. What was the main reason why Internet was created?
4. What caused that Internet became public (independent organizations)?
The Internet gives rise to the World Wide Web
The 1957 launch of the satellite Sputnik revealed the technological capabilities of the
Soviet Union, and Cold War rivalry encouraged the United States to gear up. President
Eisenhower established the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), an organization
including many of the nation's leading scientists. They developed the first successful
American satellite in less than two years. In 1969 ARPA began to focus on
communications technology, including computer networks, especially those that could
suffer partial outages and still work -- in a military situation, for example. ARPA
researchers were located at universities and research organizations around the country,
and in the early 1970s, the network connecting researchers at these far-flung campuses
became the ARPAnet.
In the early 1980s, local area networks (LAN) were being used in business and industry,
and other large scale networks were built using the same protocols as ARPAnet. The
National Science Foundation established the most important of these in the U.S. In the late
1980s it developed five supercomputer centers that universities and researchers could
share time on. They created regional networks to make connections to the main computer
more efficient. This created a "chain" of computers that connected each one to the center
but also to every other "link" in the chain. That connection to others in the system became
as useful as access to the main computer.
Meanwhile in Europe, researchers at CERN (the European Laboratory for Particle
Physics) were struggling with their own computer networking problems. Throughout the
communication between computers very complex. In 1980, Tim Berners-Lee, a consultant
at CERN, wrote a program called "Enquire-Within-Upon-Everything," enabling links to be
made between any point in the system. Nine years later Berners-Lee wrote "Information
Management: A Proposal:" Instead of standardizing the equipment or software, they
created standards for data, and a universal addressing system. That way any document
on the Internet could be retrieved and viewed. In 1990, CERN was the largest Internet site
in Europe. Over the next year or two, the proposal was circulated and revised, resulting in
an initial program being developed that was dubbed the World Wide Web. At least one
expert has called the Web a "side effect of CERN's scientific agenda." In 1992, the World
Wide Web was demonstrated and distributed, and browser software was released
throughout and beyond CERN. That November there were about 26 reliable Web servers.
All you needed to use the Web was a browser. The early browsers were functional but not
especially "user-friendly." A young programmer at the National Center for Supercomputing
Applications (NCSA) named Marc Andreesen created a new graphical Web browser. This
was pleasing to the eye and easy to use -- just point-and-click. Users didn't need to know
any programming or even any Internet addresses. It also made it fairly simple for users to
add their own material to the Web. Andreesen and his coworkers called this browser
Mosaic, and released free versions for Windows and Macintosh in August of 1993. Interest
in the Web -- especially commercial interest -- exploded with the arrival of Mosaic. By
October there were more than 200 Web servers, and at the end of 1993, Mosaic was
being downloaded from NCSA at a rate of 1,000 copies per day. By June 1994, there were
1,500 Web servers.
In July 1993, there were 1,776,000 hosts in 26,000 domains; by July 1996, there were
12,881,000 hosts in 488,000 domains. In July 1996, there were 3,054 Internet service
providers and projections of Web user sessions rising to 15.79 billion in the year 2000.
"The Web reminds me of early days of the PC industry. No one really knows anything. All
experts have been wrong."
(Steve Jobs in Wired, February 1996)
Exercise 1. Writing. Write a paragraph where you summarize the origin and development
of the World Wide Web. Make use of the past tense appropriately.
DARPA / ARPA
Defense / Advanced Research Project Agency
DARPA's ability to adapt rapidly to changing environments and to seek and embrace
opportunities in both technology and in processes, while maintaining the historically proven
principles of the Agency, makes DARPA the crown jewel in Defense R&D and a unique
R&D organization in the world.
- DARPA Over the Years, August 1997.
In 1957, only twelve years after publication of Arthur C. Clarke's seminal paper describing
the idea of satellites, the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, Sputnik I, beating the
United States into space. This meant that the USSR could theoretically launch bombs into
space and then drop them down anywhere on earth. The American military became highly
In 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower appointed MIT President James Killian as
Presidential Assistant for Science and created the Advanced Research Projects Agency
(ARPA) to jump-start U.S. technology and find safeguards against a space-based missile
attack. The US military was particularly concerned about the effects of a nuclear attack on
their communications infrastructure, because if they couldn't communicate, they wouldn't
be able to regroup or respond, thereby making the threat of a first strike by the Soviet
Union more likely.
To meet this need, ARPA established the IPTO in 1962 with a mandate to build a
survivable computer network to interconnect the DoD's main computers at the Pentagon,
Cheyenne Mountain, and SAC HQ. As described in the following pages, this initiative led
to the development of the ARPANET seven years later, and then to the NSFNET and the
Internet we know today. ARPA also funded some of the early networking research done by
Lawrence Roberts, who later became the ARPANET Program Manager.
ARPA had unique authorization and direction to make quantum jumps in technology using
any means they believed appropriate. For example, they had the unusual mandate to use
research before it had been peer-reviewed, since the peer-review process prevented
mistakes but slowed down progress. It worked -- within 18 months of its creation ARPA
developed and deployed the first US satellite.
Exercise 1. Writing. Identify the main idea of the text. Then develop it with details and
finally comment on it. Grammar is taken into account. You can use simple pattern
Network = A system of computers interconnected by telephone wires or other means in
order to share information. Also called net
Browser = A program that accesses and displays files and other data available on the
Internet and other networks
Research = Close, careful study
To switch = To exchange
Wide = Extending over a great distance from side to side
Outages = A temporary suspension of operation, especially of electric power
Business = Commercial, industrial, or professional dealings
Management = The person or persons who control or direct a business or other enterprise
Peer-review = is the process of subjecting an author's scholarly work, research or ideas to
the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field
Reread your email before sending, spell-check, and never send an email while angry.
You can send an email in five basic actions: (1) press <ctrl>-n to create a new email, (2)
type the message, (3) enter the subject, (4) enter the addressee's email address, (5) send.
However, first make sure that you have followed the three email sending commandments:
Reread. Always reread your email and make sure it doesn't contain anything
inappropriate that you don't mind being recorded for all time and passed on to others Many
people have mistakenly assumed that their email will remain private, with rapid and
Spell-check. You should set your program to automatically spell-check before
sending. It is easy to make spelling mistakes when typing fast that makes your email hard
to read and understand. An email with spelling errors gives the impression that you don't
care about the addressee enough to take the time to do an automatic spell-check. You can
also activate the spell-check manually at any time with most email client programs.
Be calm. Never send an email message when you're angry -- you will always regret
it later. Before widespread use of email, a person had to stay mad long enough to get a
pad of paper and pen, write a letter full of ill-advised words, find the person's address,
address the envelope, and then walk or drive to the nearest post office box. However,
there is no equivalent time buffer with email which can be sent within minutes or even
seconds of becoming angry. Remember that an email can be saved, printed, and
forwarded to others across the Internet. Be careful about leaving permanent evidence of
your temper, or you will surely find an opportunity to regret it.
Commandments = mandamientos
Spell = deletrear
Should (not) = (no) debería
Never = nunca
Mistake = error
Angry = enojado(a)
Careful = cuidadoso(a)
Before = antes
To forward = remitir
Subject = tema
Exercise 1. Writing. Write in a paragraph-like form on the following themes
1. The 5 steps for sending an e-mail. Use the instruction transitions studied before
(after that, first, then, second, etc).
2. Explain the three commandments you should take into consideration when sending
an e-mail. Write why you should not do it and what you should do instead.
Autonomous Cars Could Be Future of Auto Industry
Adapted from http://www.motherproof.com/lifestyle-trends/story/Autonomous-Cars-Could-Be-Future-of-Auto-Industry/
Nov 12 2008 by Sherrice Gilsbach
Technology is being developed to enable cars to drive themselves, but are we ready to
relinquish control? Ninety percent of car crashes are caused by driver error, Robert Lange,
GM‘s executive director of vehicle safety, said at a recent automotive technology
conference, Convergence 2008, in Detroit.
Autonomous cars are being developed. We already have technology that allows cars to
maneuver themselves on freeways, said Chris Urmson, assistant research professor in
robotics for Carnegie Mellon University. But the challenge is getting these cars to handle
more complex roadways and obstacles that occur in urban driving. Urmson said that even
though urban areas are more difficult to navigate, we should see cars that can drive
through these areas autonomously in the next 10 years.
But how will they do it? Basically, sensors will be placed in several areas of our cars; some
cars already use sensors for automatic cruise control, park assistance and back-up
warnings. The sensors will communicate the car‘s location and relation to other obstacles
(cars, curbs, pedestrians, etc.) to an on-board computer. This computer will be tied to the
vehicle‘s operating systems such as steering, braking and acceleration to control its
reaction to these surrounding objects. It sounds simple enough.
Would you feel more secure in a world of computer-aided driving? Do you know how many
autonomous technologies are already in your vehicle?
To enable = To supply with the means, knowledge, or opportunity
To relinquish = To put aside or desist from
A crash = A collision
Autonomous = Not controlled by others or by outside forces; independent
To cruise = To travel at a constant speed
To assist = To give help or support to
Exercise 1. Short Answer. Answer the following questions.
1. How much percentage of the crashes are for human error?
2. Is there already technology to allow cars to maneuver themselves? __________.
3. If so, what is the challenge of these cars?
4. What will the new sensors do in autonomous cars?
5. How will the inventors create the autonomous cars?
Exercise 2. Completion. Complete the following statements with information from the
1. Technology is being developed to ______________ cars to drive themselves.
2. _________________ cars are being developed.
3. According to Chris Urmson, we could expect to see the autonomous cars in about
4. Some current cars already have sensors for _______________________________,
__________________________________ and ____________________________.
5. The autonomous car‘ s ____________________ will be tied to the operation
Exercise 3. Free Answer. Do you think drivers could relinquish control over their cars?
UNIT 5. TRANSPORTATION, QUALITY, RENTABILITY AND USE
In this unit you will be able to predict the message of the readings, to identify
the main points of view from texts and to transfer information from them into the
How do you think countries can reduce congestion on the roads?
1. To predict the content of some texts
2. To identify points of view in a reading
3. To draw conclusion from the texts
4. To identify details from the text
5. To write short pieces of information to express information and opinion
Means of transportation
Traveling to Montezuma
Transportation in Costa Rica ...by Infocostarica Staff
Transit Law Stalled
Why Change from Gasoline Engines?
Comparison of the physical characteristics of means of transportation
Identifying, classifying, describing and comparing means of transportation
Discussion of possible solutions to current problems related to transportation
Adapted from http://iteslj.org/questions/transportation.html
* Are there speed limits in your country? If so, what is the average speed limit?
* At what age does the average person obtain a driver's license?
* Can you ride a motorcycle?
* Do you drive a car often?
* Do you have a bicycle?
o If so, when did you get it?
o How much did it cost?
o How often do you ride it?
o What color is it?
* Do you have a car? If not, does your family have a car?
* Do you have a driver's license? If so, when did you get it?
* Do you often ride public transportation during rush hour?
* Do you often use public transportation?
* Have you ever been in a traffic accident?
* Have you ever been stopped for speeding?
* Have you ever ridden a horse? How about a motorcycle?
* What is your favorite kind of car? Why?
* What kind of transportation do you use most often?
* What's your favorite form of transportation?
* When was the last time you rode a bus?
* Would you like to go on a cruise? Why or why not?
* Do you sometimes take a taxi (cab)?
Some useful information before reading
You can travel (to go from one place to another, as on a trip; journey)…
on roller skates
Traveling to Montezuma
Every time I go to Montezuma, Puntarenas, I have to use several means of transportation.
The first I use is the taxi cap service. I take a taxi for going from my house to the Coca
Cola bus stop. There, the bus to Montezuma leaves. For me, traveling by taxi is very
comfortable as the seats are usually soft and ample. But it may be expensive; I have to
pay 2000 colones from my house to the bus stop. However, it is fast traveling; I spend less
than 10 minutes getting to the Coca Cola. When I arrive to the bus stop, I have to buy the
tickets inside the Coca Cola market. They are cheap; it is such a long trip to the beach.
Then, in the bus, when I sit, I realize that my seat is not as comfortable as the taxi‘s one,
but it is not that bad. This is a new bus. It seems safer to me traveling by a new bus than
by an old one. After a short journey up to Puntarenas, I jump out of the bus to get into the
ferry. The travel on the ferry is very fresh but noisy. You can always hear the engines that
power the ferry. However, the ferry is the most reliable mean to get to the Gulf of Nicoya.
It is nice going on the ferry; it is usually clean. The restrooms, though moving, are clean
as well. After a while, at the gulf shore, all passengers must get in to the bus again in a
fast way, so the bus does not leave you there. Now, on the bus, it can get hotter than
before. The beach is near. Even when the roads may have some potholes, the view is
refreshing to the sight, especially when you get to Montezuma. It is simply marvelous!
There is no other place like Montezuma!
Exercise 1. Matching. Match the adjectives to their opposites.