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Encyclopaedia Britannica Ends Print Edition (17th March, 2012)


 

Encyclopaedia Britannica, the world’s most famous set of reference books, has decided to stop printing its 32-volume collection. The decision ends a 244-year history of the iconic printed edition. Instead, it will focus on its online version and try to fend off competition from other web-based encyclopaedias. The company has recently launched a digital encyclopaedia for iPads and other tablet devices. Officials said the end of the physical books had been foreseen for many years, although they played down the impact of Internet sites. Britannica president Jorge Cauz said: “This has nothing to do with Wikipedia or Google…This has to do with the fact that now Britannica sells its digital products to a large number of people.”

Encyclopaedia Britannica was first brought out in 1768 in Scotland. It moved its headquarters to Chicago in 1935. It sold door-to-door for generations, selling more than seven million sets. Sales plummeted with the advent of CD-ROM encyclopaedias and then the Internet. Web-based resources can be updated overnight, whereas it takes Britannica a decade to produce a new version. It was last printed in 2010 and there are still 4,000 sets left, selling for $1,395 each. Mr Cauz admitted that: “In many instances doing a keyword search in an online resource is simply a lot faster then standing up looking at the index of the Britannica and then finding the appropriate volume.”

WARM-UPS

1. ENCYCLOPAEDIA: Walk around the class and talk to other students about encyclopaedia. 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.

 

encyclopaedia / reference / volume / online version / tablet devices / foreseen / headquarters / door-to-door / generations / updated / admitted / keyword search

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. REFERENCE: Where is the best source of information? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Source

Pros

Cons

Books

 

 

Wikipedia

 

 

Teachers

 

 

Newspapers

 

 

Google

 

 

Word of mouth

 

 

4. BOOKS: Students A strongly believe companies will not publish books in the future; Students B strongly believe they will.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
5. DIGITAL END: Which of these things are (would you be) sad to see end and go digital? Rank them and share your rankings with your partner. Put the sadest at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • books
  • banknotes and coins
  • vinyl records
  • newspapers
  • homework
  • tickets
  • photographs
  • museum paintings

6. VOLUME: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘volume’. 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.

A set of Encyclopaedia Britannica contains 32 volumes.

T / F

b.

Encyclopaedia Britannica is over 200 years old.

T / F

c.

The company has also decided to end the online version of its product.

T / F

d.

The president said no one could have predicted the end of the books.

T / F

e.

Encyclopaedia Britannica originally started in England

T / F

f.

Over seven million sets of Encyclopaedia Britannica have been sold.

T / F

g.

The last print run of the encyclopaedia will be in the summer of 2012.

T / F

h.

The company president suggested it is faster to look for things online.

T / F

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

1.

set

a.

edition

2.

volume

b.

HQ

3.

version

c.

effect

4.

foreseen

d.

modernized

5.

impact

e.

start

6.

headquarters

f.

collection

7.

advent

g.

predicted

8.

updated

h.

suitable

9.

left

i.

book

10.

appropriate

j.

remaining

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

1.

the world’s most famous set

a.

off competition

2.

a 244-year history of the iconic

b.

plummeted

3.

try to fend

c.

printed edition

4.

… had been foreseen

d.

down the impact of…

5.

they played

e.

search

6.

It sold door-to-door for

f.

overnight

7.

Sales

g.

of reference books

8.

Web-based resources can be updated

h.

volume

9.

doing a keyword

i.

for many years

10.

finding the appropriate

j.

generations



 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING


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


Encyclopaedia Britannica, the world’s most famous (1) ____________ of reference books, has decided to stop printing its 32-volume collection. The (2) ____________ ends a 244-year history of the iconic printed edition. Instead, it will focus on its online version and try to (3) ____________ off competition from other web-based encyclopaedias. The company has recently (4) ____________ a digital encyclopaedia for iPads and other tablet devices. Officials said the end of the physical books had been (5) ____________ for many years, although they played (6) ____________ the impact of Internet sites. Britannica president Jorge Cauz said: “This has (7) ____________ to do with Wikipedia or Google…This has to do with the fact that now Britannica sells its (8) ____________ products to a large number of people.”

 

 

nothing
decision
foreseen
digital
set
launched
down
fend

Encyclopaedia Britannica was first (9) ____________ out in 1768 in Scotland. It moved its (10) ____________ to Chicago in 1935. It sold door-to-door for generations, selling more than seven million sets. Sales (11) ____________ with the advent of CD-ROM encyclopaedias and then the Internet. Web-based resources can be updated (12) ____________, whereas it takes Britannica a decade to produce a new version. It was last printed in 2010 and there are still 4,000 sets (13) ____________, selling for $1,395 each. Mr Cauz admitted that: “In many instances doing a keyword (14) ____________ in an online resource is simply a lot faster then standing up looking at the (15) ____________ of the Britannica and then finding the (16) ____________ volume.”

 

 

search
headquarters
overnight
appropriate
brought
plummeted
index
left

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps


Encyclopaedia Britannica, the world’s most famous ____________________ books, has decided to stop printing its 32-volume collection. The decision ends a 244-year history of the ____________________. Instead, it will focus on its online version and try to fend off competition from other web-based encyclopaedias. The company has ____________________ digital encyclopaedia for iPads and other tablet devices. Officials said the end of the physical books had ____________________ many years, although they ______________________ of Internet sites. Britannica president Jorge Cauz said: “This has nothing to do with Wikipedia or Google…This has to ______________________ now Britannica sells its digital products to a large number of people.”
Encyclopaedia Britannica was ____________________ in 1768 in Scotland. It moved its headquarters to Chicago in 1935. It sold door-to-door for generations, selling more than seven million sets. ____________________ the advent of CD-ROM encyclopaedias and then the Internet. Web-based resources can be updated ____________________ it takes Britannica a decade to produce a new version. It was last printed in 2010 and there are still 4,000 ____________________ $1,395 each. Mr Cauz admitted that: “In many instances doing a keyword search in an online resource ____________________ faster then standing up looking at the index of the Britannica and then finding ____________________.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING


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

reference

book
 
 
 

  • 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:

  • most
  • instead
  • launched
  • years
  • impact
  • nothing
  • out
  • door
  • overnight
  • decade
  • last
  • index

ENCYCLOPAEDIA SURVEY


Write five GOOD questions about encyclopaedia 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.


 
 

ENCYCLOPAEDIA 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 ‘encyclopaedia’?

c)

What are your earliest memories of encyclopaedias?

d)

Do you think paper-based encyclopaedias are important?

e)

What’s your image of Encyclopaedia Britannica?

f)

What do you think of Encyclopaedia Britannica ending its printed version?

g)

Which is better, Encyclopaedia Britannica’s online resource or Wikipedia?

h)

Where do you go to search for information?

i)

Would you like to own a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica?

j)

Do you think Encyclopaedia Britannica can fend off the competition?


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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you know about Encyclopaedia Britannica?

c)

Do you prefer looking for information in books or online?

d)

What do you think of the Encyclopaedia Britannica’s selling price?

e)

What’s your favourite encyclopaedia?

f)

What do you know about the word ‘encyclopaedia’?

g)

Do you think all books and libraries will be digital in the future?

h)

What advantages are there of a physical encyclopaedia over a digital one?

i)

Do you think it’s sad a 244-year history is coming to an end?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Britannica president Jorge Cauz?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE


Encyclopaedia Britannica, the world’s most famous (1) ____ of reference books, has decided to stop printing its 32-volume collection. The decision ends a 244-year history of the (2) ____ printed edition. Instead, it will focus on its online version and try to fend (3) ____ competition from other web-based encyclopaedias. The company has recently (4) ____ a digital encyclopaedia for iPads and other tablet devices. Officials said the end of the physical books had been (5) ____ for many years, although they played down the impact of Internet sites. Britannica president Jorge Cauz said: “This has (6) ____ to do with Wikipedia or Google…This has to do with the fact that now Britannica sells its digital products to a large number of people.”
Encyclopaedia Britannica was first brought (7) ____ in 1768 in Scotland. It moved its headquarters to Chicago in 1935. It sold door-to-(8) ____ for generations, selling more than seven million sets. Sales plummeted (9) ____ the advent of CD-ROM encyclopaedias and then the Internet. Web-based resources can be updated overnight, (10) ____ it takes Britannica a decade to produce a new version. It was last printed in 2010 and there are still 4,000 sets (11) ____, selling for $1,395 each. Mr Cauz admitted that: “In many instances doing a keyword search in an online resource is simply a lot faster then standing up looking at the index of the Britannica and then (12) ____ the appropriate volume.”
Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

set

(b)

settle

(c)

settee

(d)

setting

2.

(a)

ironic

(b)

irony

(c)

iconic

(d)

icons

3.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

up

(d)

off

4.

(a)

lynched

(b)

launched

(c)

lunched

(d)

launcher

5.

(a)

prediction

(b)

forecasting

(c)

prophesy

(d)

foreseen

6.

(a)

none

(b)

not

(c)

nothing

(d)

no

7.

(a)

up

(b)

out

(c)

off

(d)

over

8.

(a)

door

(b)

house

(c)

room

(d)

hall

9.

(a)

with

(b)

over

(c)

as

(d)

to

10.

(a)

moreover

(b)

however

(c)

whereas

(d)

so

11.

(a)

remain

(b)

right

(c)

here

(d)

left

12.

(a)

founding

(b)

finding

(c)

finds

(d)

funding


 
 

WRITING


Write about encyclopaedia 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 Encyclopaedia Britannica. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
3. ENCYCLOPAEDIA: Make a poster about encyclopaedia. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
4. THE END: Write a magazine article about the end of the printed Encyclopaedia Britannica. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it.
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 Britannica president Jorge Cauz. Ask him/her three questions about is encyclopaedia and Wikipedia. Give him/her three of your opinions on them. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

T

c.

F

d.

F

e.

F

f.

T

g.

F

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

set

a.

collection

2.

volume

b.

book

3.

version

c.

edition

4.

foreseen

d.

predicted

5.

impact

e.

effect

6.

headquarters

f.

HQ

7.

advent

g.

start

8.

updated

h.

modernized

9.

left

i.

remaining

10.

appropriate

j.

suitable

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

the world’s most famous set

a.

of reference books

2.

a 244-year history of the iconic

b.

printed edition

3.

try to fend

c.

off competition

4.

… had been foreseen

d.

for many years

5.

they played

e.

down the impact of…

6.

It sold door-to-door for

f.

generations

7.

Sales

g.

plummeted

8.

Web-based resources can be updated

h.

overnight

9.

doing a keyword

i.

search

10.

finding the appropriate

j.

volume

GAP FILL:

Encyclopaedia Britannica ends print edition

Encyclopaedia Britannica, the world’s most famous (1) set of reference books, has decided to stop printing its 32-volume collection. The (2) decision ends a 244-year history of the iconic printed edition. Instead, it will focus on its online version and try to (3) fend off competition from other web-based encyclopaedias. The company has recently (4) launched a digital encyclopaedia for iPads and other tablet devices. Officials said the end of the physical books had been (5) foreseen for many years, although they played (6) down the impact of Internet sites. Britannica president Jorge Cauz said: “This has (7) nothing to do with Wikipedia or Google…This has to do with the fact that now Britannica sells its (8) digital products to a large number of people.”
Encyclopaedia Britannica was first (9) brought out in 1768 in Scotland. It moved its (10) headquarters to Chicago in 1935. It sold door-to-door for generations, selling more than seven million sets. Sales (11) plummeted with the advent of CD-ROM encyclopaedias and then the Internet. Web-based resources can be updated (12) overnight, whereas it takes Britannica a decade to produce a new version. It was last printed in 2010 and there are still 4,000 sets (13) left, selling for $1,395 each. Mr Cauz admitted that: “In many instances doing a keyword (14) search in an online resource is simply a lot faster then standing up looking at the (15) index of the Britannica and then finding the (16) appropriate volume.”
LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - c

3 - d

4 - b

5 - d

6 - c

7 - b

8 - a

9 -a

10 - c

11 - d

12 - b

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