New means of communication (séries générales LV2)

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Unit 1 - | Corpus Sujets - 1 Sujet New means of communication  

Séries générales • LV2



Idée de progrès



Amérique du Nord • Juin 2013

Séries générales • LV2

Text 1

Teenagers’ Internet socializing not a bad thing

Good news for worried parents: all those hours their teenagers spend socializing on the Internet are not a bad thing, according to a new study by the MacArthur Foundation.

“It may look as though kids are wasting a lot of time hanging out with new media, whether it’s on MySpace or sending instant messages,” said Mizuko Ito, lead researcher on the study, “Living and Learning With New Media.” “But their participation is giving them the technological skills and literacy they need to succeed in the contemporary world. They’re learning how to get along with others, how to manage a public identity, how to create a home page.”

The study, conducted from 2005 to last summer, describes new-media usage but does not measure its effects.

“It certainly rings true that new media are inextricably woven into young people’s lives,” said Vicki Rideout, vice president of the Kaiser Family Foundation and director of its program for the study of media and health. “Ethnographic studies like this are good at describing how young people fit social media into their lives. What they can’t do is document effects. This highlights the need for larger, nationally representative studies.”

Ms. Ito, a research scientist in the department of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, said that some parental concern about the dangers of Internet socializing might result from a misperception.

“Those concerns about predators and stranger danger have been overblown,” she said. “There’s been some confusion about what kids are actually doing online. Mostly, they’re socializing with their friends, people they’ve met at school or camp or sports.”

The study, part of a 50 million project on digital and media learning, used several teams of researchers to interview more than 800 young people and their parents and to observe teenagers online for more than 5,000 hours. Because of the adult sense that socializing on the Internet is a waste of time, the study said, teenagers reported many rules and restrictions on their electronic hanging out, but most found ways to work around such barriers that let them stay in touch with their friends steadily throughout the day.

“Teens usually have a ‘full-time intimate community’ with whom they communicate in an always-on mode via mobile phones and instant messaging,” the study said.

Tamar Lewin, november 20, 2008,

Text 2

Generation gap: texts vs emails

“Excuse me for one second,” Jessica said as she pursued Lalitha into a more executive-looking suite at the back of the house.

“I’m a young person,” he heard her say there. “OK I’m the young person here. Do you get it ”

Lalitha: “Yes! Of course. That’s why it’s so wonderful you came down. All I’m saying is I’m not so old myself, you know.”

“You’re twenty-seven!”

“That’s not young ”

“How old were you when you got your first cell phone When did you start going online ”

“I was in college. But, Jessica, listen –”

“There’s a big difference between college and high school. There’s an entirely different way that people communicate now. A way that people my age started learning much earlier than you did.”

“I know that. We don’t disagree about that. I really don’t see why you’re so angry at me.”

“Why I’m angry Because you have my dad thinking you’re this great expert on young people, but you’re not the great expert, as you just totally demonstrated.”

“Jessica, I know the difference between a text and an e-mail. I misspoke because I’m tired. I hardly slept all week. It’s not fair of you to make so much of this.”

“Do you even send texts ”

“I don’t have to. We have BlackBerrys, which do the same thing, only better.”

“It’s not the same thing! God. This is what I’m talking about! If you didn’t grow up with cell phones in high school, you don’t understand that your phone is very, very different from your e-mail. It’s a totally different way of being in touch with people. I have friends who hardly even check their e-mail anymore. And, if you and Dad are going to be targeting kids in college, it’s really important that you understand that.”

“OK, then. Be mad at me. Go ahead and be mad. But I still have work to do tonight, and you need to leave me alone now.”

Jessica returned to the kitchen, shaking her head, her jaw set.

“I’m sorry,” she said.

Jonathan Franzen, Freedom, 2010.


Text 1

1 Line 1: “Good news for worried parents”.

What is the good news about Explain briefly.

2 Explain in your own words how the journalist came to that conclusion.

>Focus on the first two paragraphs.

3 What are the benefits of using social networks Justify your answer by giving at least three quotes.

>Focus on the passage from line 21 to the end.

4 What is generally the parents’ first opinion about social networks Give two elements.

5 Explain in your own words what “full-time intimate community” means (line 36). (30 words)

Text 2

1 What are the names of the characters talking in this passage

What do we learn about their ages

2 1. Why does one of the characters insist so much on their age difference

2. Pick out at least three quotations from the text showing this difference between them.

3 Explain in your own words why the difference between an e-mail and a text message is so important for one of the characters.

Both texts

1 Analyse the “generation gap” regarding new media (use of social networks, cell phones, etc). Illustrate with quotations from both texts. (50 words)

2 Comment on the use of italics in text 2. What do they reveal about the character’s state of mind (30 words)

3 Which character wins the argument in text 2 (50 words)

4 Text 1, lines 13-14: “new media are inextricably woven into young people’s lives”. Explain in your own words what the journalist means and show how it can apply to text 2. (40 words)


> Les candidats des séries ES et S traiteront I’un des deux sujets au choix. (200 mots, +/-15 mots)

Les candidats de la série L devront obligatoirement traiter les deux sujets. (300 mots au total, soit 150 mots pour chaque sujet, +/-10 mots)

1 To what extent do you think social networks can improve our lives Discuss and illustrate with examples.

2 Ms. Mazuko Ito (text 1) is running a research on modern media. She is interviewing a young person together with his or her parents. Imagine the conversation.

Texte 1

La source

Fondé en 1851, The New York Times est l’un des plus célèbres quotidiens américains. Il totalise à lui seul cent douze prix Pulitzer, ce qui témoigne de la qualité de ses investigations.

Pour en savoir plus :

Le thème

Une étude récente tend à démontrer que, contrairement aux idées communément admises, l’utilisation des réseaux sociaux et messageries instantanées web par les adolescents n’est pas uniquement négative. En effet, cette pratique leur permet d’acquérir les connaissances informatiques qui leur seront nécessaires dans leur vie professionnelle. Elle leur donne aussi l’occasion d’apprendre à gérer l’image qu’ils donnent à voir d’eux-mêmes. Ainsi, les arguments avancés à l’encontre de ces réseaux, comme la perte de temps ou le risque d’y faire des rencontres dangereuses, ne semblent plus seuls pertinents face aux bénéfices de cette activité. Il faudrait cependant conduire sans doute une étude plus large qui puisse affiner les résultats et se centrer sur les effets produits.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

To socialize, l. 2 (s’entretenir, se fréquenter)  as though, l. 4 (comme si)  to waste, l. 4 (perdre)  to hang out, l. 4 (ici, passer du temps)  skills, l. 8 (compétences)  to get along, l. 9 (s’entendre avec)  it rings true, l. 13 (ça a l’air vrai)  to weave into, l. 13 (entremêler)  to highlight, l. 19 (souligner)  overblown, l. 26 (exagéré)  digital, l. 29 (numérique).

Texte 2


Jonathan Franzen (né en 1959), romancier américain, publie des articles dans le magazine The New Yorker. Il a gagné le prix Pulitzer avec son roman The Corrections. Il est également connu pour ses articles d’opinion sur différents sujets de société dont Twitter, qu’il considère comme un média irresponsable, et les e-books, qui ne s’inscrivent pas dans la durée.

Pour en savoir plus :,9171,2010185,00.html

Le thème

Une dispute oppose une jeune fille, Jessica, et une jeune femme de vingt-sept ans, Lalitha, qui semble avoir une grande influence sur le père de la jeune fille – serait-elle d’ailleurs la compagne de ce dernier  Lalitha semble s’être targuée précédemment de bien connaître les jeunes, tandis que Jessica cherche à lui démontrer que, malgré l’écart d’âge relativement faible, la différence est bien là : les « vrais » jeunes considèrent le téléphone portable comme un média plus important que le mail – et effectivement, Lalitha avoue ne jamais envoyer de sms, car elle a un Blackberry.

Vocabulaire utile à la compréhension

College, l. 11 (l’université)  a text, l. 20 (un sms)  her jaw set, l. 35 (la mâchoire serrée).

Les points de convergence

Les deux textes ont pour thème les nouveaux moyens de communication et leur succès auprès des jeunes. Article pour l’un, roman pour l’autre, ils montrent comment ces nouveaux médias sont perçus par les parents et les jeunes adultes leurs aînés, lesquels n’ont pas grandi avec les textos et réseaux sociaux. Le premier texte souligne que le point de vue des adultes sur leur usage est généralement négatif. Le second met en scène une femme d’une vingtaine d’années qui prétend comprendre les jeunes et s’oppose en fait à l’adolescente avec laquelle elle discute à ce sujet.

Le sujet d’expression 1

Pistes de recherche

Si les réseaux sociaux comportent effectivement des inconvénients (addiction, perte de temps, intrusion dans la vie privée, intimité dévoilée, happy slapping, harcèlement…), ils comportent aussi des avantages. Encore faut-il être prévenu contre certains de leurs excès ou dangers. Concernant Facebook, on peut noter parmi ses avantages qu’il est facile d’y entrer en contact avec quelqu’un qu’on connaît peu, qu’on a rapidement accès à ses goûts et ses activités, que la messagerie instantanée y est pratique et permet de discuter tout en faisant autre chose, que c’est un média commode enfin pour faire passer une information à un groupe de personnes ou demander de l’aide (par exemple si l’on a besoin d’un objet que l’on n’a pas chez soi). Quant à Twitter, il permet d’entrer en communication avec des personnages publics ou de rester en contact avec ses stars favories. En tous cas, avoir un usage intelligent de ces nouveaux médias permet d’en limiter les inconvénients pour en conserver essentiellement les avantages.

Vocabulaire utile

To keep in touch with (rester en contact avec)  to get in touch with (entrer en contact avec)  to find out about (s’informer sur)  to bring together (rassembler)  connectedness (le fait d’être connecté, relié)  harrassment (harcèlement)  to disclose (dévoiler).

Le sujet d’expression 2

Pistes de recherche

Ms Ito pourra demander au jeune qu’il interroge à quelle fréquence il utilise ces médias (internet, télé par câble…), pour quoi faire et comment, dans quelle mesure cela a un impact sur sa vie, si cela améliore ou détériore sa vie sociale. Elle pourra demander aux parents de réagir aux propos de leur enfant, et de dire si eux-mêmes utilisent ces médias.

Vocabulaire utile

To disseminate information (distribuer l’information)  celebrity gossip (des ragots sur les stars)  to seek (rechercher)  the internet (internet)  privacy (la vie privée)  the « digital divide » (le fossé numérique entre riches et pauvres)  database (base de données).



Text 1

Attention !

News est indénombrable. Le verbe qui l’accompagne doit donc être au singulier.

1 The good news is that the use of social networks by teenagers also has advantages.

2 A study has been conducted that shows that new media usage has positive effects on teenagers’ lives.

3 It makes teenagers technologically literate, for instance they learn “how to get along with others” (l. 9), “how to manage a public identity” (l. 10), “how to create a home page” (l. 10).

4 First, they think that their teenage kids spend too much time socializing, and therefore that it is a waste of time. Second, they think it’s a potential danger, as they may meet predators or strangers.

5 It refers to a teen’s group of friends with whom they can keep in touch at any time. They send texts all day long – even during lessons as their phones are never switched off!

Text 2

1 1. The two characters talking are called Jessica and Lalitha.

2. Lalitha is twenty-seven. Jessica is younger than her, she must be a teen­ager as she is still in high school.

2 1. Jessica insists on it to show that it makes a difference in the way people communicate, depending on what age they started using cell phones and going online.

2. “I’m the young person here” (l. 3-4).

“I’m not so old myself you know.” “You’re twenty-seven!” (l. 6-7).

“A way that people my age started learning much earlier than you did” (l. 13-14).

3 For Jessica, e-mails are old-fashioned, outdated. Texts are what young people send and check regularly, because it is their way of keeping in touch with their friends.

Both texts

1 Older people are not so familiar with new media usage. Therefore they tend to consider it as a waste of time and to see its dangers (“parental concern about the dangers of Internet socializing”, text 1 l. 21-22) rather than the advantages it presents regarding connectedness. Moreover, they use e-mails and not texts, which creates a lack of understanding in their children’s use of cell phones (“your phone is very, very different from your e-mail”, text 2 l. 28).

Uniquement pour les candidats de la série L

2 The use of italics reveals that Jessica is irritated and angry at Lalitha. She thus emphasises the age difference between them, to show that it does matter.

3 Jessica wins the argument, since Lalitha aborts the conversation abruptly, asking her to leave.

4 For young people today, new media is all they have ever known! They get cell phones at a younger and younger age: even a small age gap of ten years or so can make a really big difference to their habits and understanding of these media.


1 Guidelines

Even though social networks are often blamed for many reasons, in particular because they are time-consuming and their use may lead to a replacement of real links by virtual relationships, we can still find ways our everyday life is improved by them.

First of all, they enable us to keep in touch with our friends, or to get in touch quickly with someone we’ve just met, whose phone number or whereabouts we don’t have. This way, it’s very easy to find them and send them an instant message to get in touch.

Second, it may be useful to hear from our favourite celebrity, or to talk to him or her directly, via Twitter for instance. It makes us feel closer to them.

Third, it is very convenient to let our friends know about what is going on in our lives, or to know in real time what is going on in theirs. If someone has a problem, they can ask for help and get it as quickly as possible.

To conclude, it’s by using social networks intelligently that we can find ways to improve our lives, and not to spoil or waste it.