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Fingernails Scraping Chalkboard Hate Explained (7th Novemebr, 2011)

Don’t you just hate the sound of fingernails scraping along a school chalkboard? The screeching sound gives many people goose bumps or makes their hair stand on end. Now scientists think they have found out why. Researchers from the Macromedia University for Media and Communication in Cologne, Germany say the reason the sound is so unpleasant is because it is at a similar frequency to human speech. Our ears are designed to make sounds at that frequency much louder, so the nails on chalkboard sound becomes much clearer to us than other sounds.

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Lead researcher professor Michael Oehler did a test where some listeners thought they were listening to strange music, and others were told they had to listen to different horrible sounds. The people professor Oehler told were listening to fingernails found the sound more unpleasant than those he didn’t tell. Professor Oehler measured heart rate and blood pressure to find out which sounds were the worst. The researchers found other sounds that people did not like, including a fork scraping across a plate and squeaking polystyrene.

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PHRASE MATCH


Match the following phrases from the article.
Paragraph 1


1.

Don’t you just hate

a.

bumps

2

goose

b.

that frequency

3.

makes their hair stand

c.

clearer to us

4.

the reason the sound

d.

on end

5.

make sounds at

e.

the sound

6.

becomes much

f.

is so unpleasant

Paragraph 2


1.

they were listening

a.

horrible sounds

2

they had to listen to different

b.

a plate

3.

sound more

c.

polystyrene

4.

heart rate and blood

d.

unpleasant

5.

a fork scraping across

e.

to strange music

6.

squeaking

f.

pressure


LISTENING GAP FILL


___________________ hate the sound of fingernails scraping along a school chalkboard? The ___________________ gives many people goose bumps or makes their hair stand on end. Now scientists think they ___________________. Researchers from the Macromedia University for Media and Communication in Cologne, Germany ___________________ the sound is so unpleasant is because it is at ___________________ to human speech. Our ears are designed to make sounds at that frequency much louder, so the nails on chalkboard sound becomes much ___________________ other sounds.
Lead researcher professor Michael Oehler did a test where some listeners thought they were ___________________ music, and others were told they had to listen ___________________ sounds. The people professor Oehler told were listening to fingernails found the sound ___________________ than those he didn’t tell. Professor Oehler measured heart rate and blood ___________________ out which sounds were the worst. The researchers ___________________ that people did not like, including a fork scraping ___________________ and squeaking polystyrene.


MULTIPLE CHOICE


Don’t you (1) ____ hate the sound of fingernails scraping along a school chalkboard? The screeching sound gives many people (2) ____ bumps or makes their hair stand on (3) ____. Now scientists think they have found out why. Researchers from the Macromedia University for Media and Communication in Cologne, Germany say the reason the sound is             (4) ____ unpleasant is because it is at a (5) ____ frequency to human speech. Our ears are designed to make sounds at that frequency much louder, so the nails on chalkboard sound (6) ____ much clearer to us than other sounds.
Lead researcher professor Michael Oehler did a test where (7) ____ listeners thought they were listening to strange music, and (8) ____ were told they had to listen to different horrible sounds. The people professor Oehler told were listening to fingernails (9) ____ the sound more unpleasant than those he didn’t tell. Professor Oehler measured heart (10) ____ and blood pressure to find out which sounds were the worst. The researchers found other sounds that people did not like, (11) ____ a fork scraping (12) ____ a plate and squeaking polystyrene.
Put the correct words from this table into the article.


1.

(a)

just

(b)

only

(c)

such

2.

(a)

chicken

(b)

goose

(c)

duck

3.

(a)

up

(b)

finish

(c)

end

4.

(a)

so

(b)

such

(c)

sew

5.

(a)

same

(b)

similarity

(c)

similar

6.

(a)

became

(b)

becomes

(c)

becoming

7.

(a)

whole

(b)

some

(c)

part

8.

(a)

others

(b)

other

(c)

another

9.

(a)

sound

(b)

found

(c)

round

10.

(a)

measure

(b)

ratio

(c)

rate

11.

(a)

including

(b)

plus

(c)

as well

12

(a)

cross

(b)

crossed

(c)

across


SPELLING


Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.


Paragraph 1

1.

oesgo bumps

2.

makes their hair tands on end

3.

the reason the sound is so nluanpseat

4.

human echesp

5.

much lorued

6.

much acrrele to us

 

Paragraph 2

7.

Lead eahcseerrr

8.

listening to taesgnr music

9.

listen to different rebilorh sounds

10.

heart rate and blood rpseseru

11.

which sounds were the trswo

12.

a fork scraping sosarc a plate


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER


Number these lines in the correct order.


(    )

a similar frequency to human speech. Our ears are designed to make sounds at that frequency much

(    )

louder, so the nails on chalkboard sound becomes much clearer to us than other sounds.

(    )

end. Now scientists think they have found out why. Researchers from the Macromedia University for

(    )

Lead researcher professor Michael Oehler did a test where some listeners thought they were

(    )

sound gives many people goose bumps or makes their hair stand on

(    )

horrible sounds. The people professor Oehler told were listening to fingernails found the sound more

1  )

Don’t you just hate the sound of fingernails scraping along a school chalkboard? The screeching

(    )

unpleasant than those he didn’t tell. Professor Oehler measured heart rate and blood

(    )

Media and Communication in Cologne, Germany say the reason the sound is so unpleasant is because it is at

(    )

pressure to find out which sounds were the worst. The researchers found other sounds that people did

(    )

not like, including a fork scraping across a plate and squeaking polystyrene.

(    )

listening to strange music, and others were told they had to listen to different


THE READING / TAPESCRIPT


With a partner, put the words back into the correct order.


1.

scraping     a     chalkboard     Fingernails     along     school.    

2.

sound     bumps     gives    many    The    people    screeching    goose.    

3.

out     found     have     they     think     Scientists     why.    

4.

human     to     frequency     similar     a     At     speech.    

5.

to     clearer     Much     sounds     other     than     us.    

6.

music    were    listening    Listeners    to     thought     strange     they.    

7.

sounds     listen     to     They     different     had     horrible     to.    

8.

and     rate     heart     measured     Oehler     pressure     blood.    

9.

worst     the     were     sounds     which     out     Find.    

10.

A     scraping     a     fork     across     plate.    


DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________


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

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________


WRITING


Write about noises for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________


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. NOISES: Search the Internet and find more information about noises. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about noises people hate. Include an imaginary interview with people you know. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
4. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
5. LETTER: Write a letter to a noise expert. Ask him/her three questions about noises. Give him/her three of your opinions on horrible noises. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

 

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