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Arabic in First Non-English Web Addresses (8th May, 2010)


 

The international organization that controls website names has allowed non-English characters for the first time. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved websites from three Arab nations to use Arabic in Internet URLs. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries in the world that can use their own scripts in Internet addresses. ICANN says this is the first step in allowing more scripts in web addresses. Next in line for approval are Chinese, Tamil and Thai. The new system is part of a plan to make the Internet more global. Until this new change, anyone making a website had to use English in the address, even if they didn’t understand the language.

One of the first websites with an Arabic address is the Egyptian Ministry of Communications. Its spokesman Tarek Kamal told the Associated Press that the new system was a "milestone in internet history". He added: "This great step will open up new horizons for e-services in [Arabic]. It will boost the number of online users…and enable Internet services to [break into] new [markets] by eliminating language barriers." Website makers will be able to create Arabic addresses that are read from right to left. Arabic only makes up one per cent of all the content on the Internet. However, Arabs make up five per cent of the world population and Arab web surfers have increased by 2,000 per cent in the past ten years.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. WEBSITES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about websites. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

organization / website names / Internet / Arabic script / approval / new systems / communications / milestones / horizons / boost / language barriers / web surfers

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. MILESTONES: What are the milestones in Internet history? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Milestone

How important?

How good?

e-mail

 

 

music downloads

 

 

iPhone

 

 

Google

 

 

Facebook

 

 

YouTube

 

 

4. FUTURE: Students A strongly believe in 20 years the Internet will be totally different from today; Students B strongly believe it’ll be pretty much the same.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. SCRIPTS: Which of these scripts would you like to be able to read? Rate these and share your ratings with your partner: 10 = would love to be able to read this; 1 = zero interest. Change partners and share your ratings again.

  • Chinese
  • Russian
  • Arabic
  • Greek
  • Japanese
  • Thai
  • Hindi
  • Hebrew

6. Internet: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘Internet’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

There is no organization that looks after web addresses.

T / F

b.

There are three Arab nations that can make websites in Arabic.

T / F

c.

The article says there are another thirty scripts waiting to be approved.

T / F

d.

Only high-level English speakers could make websites in the past.

T / F

e.

The very first website with an Arabic address was the Associated Press.

T / F

f.

An Egyptian said the new addresses would increase Arabic e-services.

T / F

g.

New addresses will still have to be written and read from right to left.

T / F

h.

The number of Arab surfers has risen by over 1,000% in 10 years.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

allowed

a.

waiting

2

scripts

b.

getting rid of

3.

in line

c.

representative

4.

web addresses

d.

significant event

5.

global

e.

URLs

6.

spokesman

f.

permitted

7.

milestone

g.

material

8.

boost

h.

alphabets

9.

eliminating

i.

increase

10.

content

j.

international

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

The international organization that

a.

barriers

2

ICANN has approved websites

b.

Internet more global

3.

the first countries in the world that can

c.

controls website names

4.

Next in line for

d.

horizons for e-services

5.

a plan to make the

e.

approval

6.

One of the first websites with

f.

internet history

7.

the new system was a milestone in

g.

from three Arab nations

8.

open up new

h.

from right to left

9.

eliminating language

i.

use their own scripts

10.

Arabic addresses that are read

j.

an Arabic address

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

The international organization that ____________ website names has allowed non-English characters for the first time. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has ____________ websites from three Arab nations to use Arabic in Internet ____________. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries in the world that can use their own ____________ in Internet addresses. ICANN says this is the first ____________ in allowing more scripts in web addresses. Next in ____________ for approval are Chinese, Tamil and Thai. The new system is ____________ of a plan to make the Internet more global. Until this new change, anyone ____________ a website had to use English in the address, even if they didn’t understand the language.

 

 

 

URLs
making
step
controls
scripts
part
approved
line

One of the first websites with an Arabic ____________ is the Egyptian Ministry of Communications. Its spokesman Tarek Kamal told the Associated Press that the new system was a "____________ in internet history". He added: "This great ____________ will open up new ____________ for e-services in [Arabic]. It will boost the number of online users…and enable Internet services to [____________ into] new [markets] by eliminating language barriers." Website makers will be able to ____________ Arabic addresses that are read from right to left. Arabic only makes up one per cent of all the ____________ on the Internet. However, Arabs make up five per cent of the world population and Arab web ____________ have increased by 2,000 per cent in the past ten years.

 

 

content
milestone
create
address
break
step
surfers
horizons

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The international organization that controls website names has _______________________ for the first time. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved websites from three Arab _______________________ in Internet URLs. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries in the world that can _______________________ Internet addresses. ICANN says this is the first step in allowing more scripts in web addresses. _______________________ are Chinese, Tamil and Thai. The new system _______________________ the Internet more global. Until this new change, anyone making a website had to use English in the address, _______________________ understand the language.

One of the first websites _______________________ the Egyptian Ministry of Communications. Its spokesman Tarek Kamal told the Associated Press that the new system was _______________________ history". He added: "This great step will _______________________ for e-services in [Arabic]. It will boost the number of online users…and enable Internet services to _______________________ by eliminating language barriers." Website makers will be able to create Arabic addresses that are read from right to left. Arabic only _______________________ of all the content on the Internet. However, Arabs make up five per cent of the world population and Arab web surfers have increased _______________________ past ten years.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘web’ and ‘site’.

web

site

 

 

 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • controls
  • three
  • own
  • line
  • plan
  • until
  • ministry
  • history
  • boost
  • barriers
  • content
  • past

STUDENT WEBSITES SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about websites in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

WEBSITES DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘website’?

c)

What do you think of non-English scripts being used in website addresses?

d)

Can you explain how the Internet works?

e)

Why do you think Arabic was the first non-Latin script to be used?

f)

Do you think the Internet needs to be more global?

g)

Would you like to make your own website? What would it be on?

h)

What are the differences between websites and blogs? Which do you prefer?

i)

Do you think having so many scripts in URLs will be confusing?

j)

Do you get fed up so much of the Internet is in English?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

How big a milestone do you think this is in Internet history?

c)

What are the good and bad things about websites?

d)

Have you used translation websites? What do you think of them?

e)

What language barriers have you experienced on the Internet?

f)

Do you think the Internet will be in one language one day?

g)

What e-Services do you use?

h)

What’s your favourite website and why?

i)

How important are websites to you?

j)

What questions would you like to ask the boss of ICANN?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The international organization that controls website names has allowed non-English characters (1) ____ the first time. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved websites from three Arab nations to use Arabic in Internet (2) ____. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries in the world that can use their (3) ____ scripts in Internet addresses. ICANN says this is the first step in allowing more scripts in web addresses. Next in (4) ____ for approval are Chinese, Tamil and Thai. The new system is part of a plan to make the Internet more (5) ____. Until this new change, anyone making a website had to use English in the address, (6) ____ if they didn’t understand the language.

One of the first websites with an Arabic address is the Egyptian Ministry of Communications. Its spokesman Tarek Kamal told the Associated Press that the new system was a "(7) ____ in internet history". He added: "This great step will open up new (8) ____ for e-services in [Arabic]. It will boost the number of online users…and enable Internet services to [break (9) ____] new [markets] by eliminating language (10) ____." Website makers will be able to create Arabic addresses that are read from right to left. Arabic only makes up one per cent of all the (11) ____ on the Internet. However, Arabs make (12) ____ five per cent of the world population and Arab web surfers have increased by 2,000 per cent in the past ten years.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

by

(b)

at

(c)

from

(d)

for

2.

(a)

URLs

(b)

WWW

(c)

MP3s

(d)

Webs

3.

(a)

down

(b)

own

(c)

town

(d)

mown

4.

(a)

circle

(b)

square

(c)

line

(d)

cross

5.

(a)

globally

(b)

globalization

(c)

global

(d)

globe

6.

(a)

never

(b)

even

(c)

evens

(d)

ever

7.

(a)

stone

(b)

kidney stone

(c)

stones

(d)

milestone

8.

(a)

horizons

(b)

horizontal

(c)

horizon

(d)

horizontally

9.

(a)

onto

(b)

into

(c)

up to

(d)

so to

10.

(a)

letters

(b)

exams

(c)

study

(d)

barriers

11.

(a)

constant

(b)

word

(c)

content

(d)

languages

12.

(a)

up

(b)

in

(c)

on

(d)

over

WRITING

Write about websites for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about websites. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. WEBSITE: Make a poster about your favourite websites. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. MY LANGUAGE: Write a magazine article about your language. Include imaginary interviews with people who think it should be more important in the world.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of the Internet. Ask him/her three questions about the web. Give him/her three of your opinions on how to make it better. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

F

d.

F

e.

F

f.

T

g.

F

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

allowed

a.

permitted

2

scripts

b.

alphabets

3.

in line

c.

waiting

4.

web addresses

d.

URLs

5.

global

e.

international

6.

spokesman

f.

representative

7.

milestone

g.

significant event

8.

boost

h.

increase

9.

eliminating

i.

getting rid of

10.

content

j.

material

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

The international organization that

a.

controls website names

2

ICANN has approved websites

b.

from three Arab nations

3.

the first countries in the world that can

c.

use their own scripts

4.

Next in line for

d.

approval

5.

a plan to make the

e.

Internet more global

6.

One of the first websites with

f.

an Arabic address

7.

the new system was a milestone in

g.

internet history

8.

open up new

h.

horizons for e-services

9.

eliminating language

i.

barriers

10.

Arabic addresses that are read

j.

from right to left

GAP FILL:

Arabic in first non-English web addresses

The international organization that controls website names has allowed non-English characters for the first time. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has approved websites from three Arab nations to use Arabic in Internet URLs. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are the first countries in the world that can use their own scripts in Internet addresses. ICANN says this is the first step in allowing more scripts in web addresses. Next in line for approval are Chinese, Tamil and Thai. The new system is part of a plan to make the Internet more global. Until this new change, anyone making a website had to use English in the address, even if they didn’t understand the language.

One of the first websites with an Arabic address is the Egyptian Ministry of Communications. Its spokesman Tarek Kamal told the Associated Press that the new system was a "milestone in internet history". He added: "This great step will open up new horizons for e-services in [Arabic]. It will boost the number of online users…and enable Internet services to [break into] new [markets] by eliminating language barriers." Website makers will be able to create Arabic addresses that are read from right to left. Arabic only makes up one per cent of all the content on the Internet. However, Arabs make up five per cent of the world population and Arab web surfers have increased by 2,000 per cent in the past ten years.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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