Progress in technology (expression orale ES, S, Techno)

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Unit 1 - | Corpus Sujets - 1 Sujet Progress in technology  

Séries ES, S et technologiques • Expression orale






Sujet d’oral • L’idée de progrès

expression orale • Séries ES, S, technologiques

> Présentez cette notion à partir du travail fait en classe pendant l’année.

La présentation

Pistes de recherche

Le progrès dans le domaine de la technologie est sans doute celui qui nous concerne le plus quotidiennement dans notre vie personnelle, et bon nombre d’exemples ont pu être abordés en classe, sans compter l’expérience de chacun. Il suffit ici de présenter des exemples concrets et pertinents, aptes à illustrer le thème, afin d’ouvrir le débat et de prouver ainsi sa capacité à réagir et dialoguer sur le sujet.

Vocabulaire utile

Whether it be… or… (qu’il soit … ou …)  to preoccupy (préoccuper)  to witness (être témoin de)  it is fair to say (il est juste de dire que)  to be affected by (être touché par)  let us consider (considérons)  in a first instance (en premier lieu)  to assess /ə'ses/ (estimer, évaluer)  noteworthy /‌'nəʊtwɜːðɪ/ (notable)  it is safe to say that (on peut affirmer que)  device /dɪ'vaɪs/ (appareil)  to tend to (avoir tendance à)  a burning issue /'ɪʃuː/ ou /'ɪsjuː/ (une question brûlante)  concern (préoccupation)  nothing short of (rien de moins que)  to overwhelm (submerger, bouleverser)  to sort through (faire le tri)  reliable /rɪ'laɪəbl/ (fiable)  to fall into a trap (être pris au piège).


Vocabulaire utile

Mod-cons pour modern conveniences (le confort)  a cheat /tʃiːt/ (un tricheur)  savvy /'sævɪ/ (qui a de la jugeote).




Progress is a term that covers a multitude of issues whether they be social or technological, artistic or domestic. But perhaps the interpretation which preoccupies us the most is the progress in technology which has revolutionalised our everyday lives. We are confronted with these changes on a daily basis and have perhaps witnessed more changes in the last 20 years than our ancestors did in over 200!


  • It is fair to say that every aspect of our lives is affected by technology. Let us consider then, the way in which it affects the average person on the street. In a first instance regarding the domestic sphere and home life followed by the ever increasing resources available for education and learning, before finally assessing the changes in personal relationships and communication.
  • So, our home lives and the time shared between housework and leisure is perhaps one of the most noteworthy changes in our everyday lives. We studied a document from The Guardian in class that explained how domestic appliances have changed the way we spend our time. In fact, I think it is safe to say that in the last 50 years we have significantly reduced the time spent doing chores thanks to labour-saving devices such as vacuum cleaners and washing machines. Indeed we have much more time available for professional and leisure activities. Taking this idea further and towards another aspect of progress, these devices have also changed the role of women in society. They have more time available to do other, more enjoyable things than housework! You would think, logically, that this would include spending time with their friends and families but often this is not the case.
  • Moving on then, to our personal lives, technology has fundamentally changed our relationships and the way we communicate with others. More and more people tend to send a text message rather than pick up the phone to call a friend. We can keep up to date with old and new friends on their facebook or twitter pages rather than actually meeting up to talk face to face. Indeed, the increasing use of technology is reducing the instances of contact with others: we are spending more time with our virtual relationships than real-life ones. Of course the danger with this is we never know how much truth there is in the information we read about people. Privacy and information exchanged on the internet is indeed a burning issue at the moment. Many people put details and information onto blogs or other websites without thinking about who will be able to read them. Blogs that replace diaries and online chat rooms that replace cafés open up our lives up to the rest of the world in a very worrying way.
  • Another major concern then is the access to information presented by technological progress. A high school student for instance who no more than 20 years ago would have researched papers in a library and no doubt reached for an encyclopedia or a dictionary as a means of reference material can now access all this information at the touch of a button from almost any location. The amount of information available is nothing short of overwhelming. In fact, research no longer consists in finding the information but instead in sorting through it. With the quantity of information available on the internet it is often difficult to judge how reliable it is. In March 2012, a French teacher was in the news describing how he tricked his students into showing how little they knew about using the internet for research. He was able to publish false articles on the net without any opposition and his students fell into the trap and copied and pasted the ‘information’ believing it to be real but without cross-referencing or checking how reliable it was. This is just one of the dangers.


Times change, we know that, but the rate at which technology has progressed over a very short period of time is quite frightening! Our lives have been totally transformed at every level. The issue we have to face then is how to moderate our use of technology and accept the fact that there are perhaps as many negative aspects to it as there are positives ones. Our task is to incorporate it into the way we live and work without letting it take over our lives.


Voici les questions qui pourraient être posées par l’examinateur lors de l’entretien.

>Before we continue the debate on technological progress, you mentioned in the first part of your presentation that technology was an important part of our domestic life and had changed the role of women in society. Can you tell me more about that

Yes, of course! What I meant was that until the 1950s women used to spend hours and hours cleaning and washing and preparing meals, whereas today there are so many household appliances that save them time and energy. Every house today has various mod-cons that make light work of what used to be very time-consuming tasks. In addition to this, men are much more willing to share the workload and therefore men and women can spend more time on leisure activities.

>By leisure activities do you mean going out and doing sport or watching TV and playing computer games

Of course leisure activities can include both those kinds of things. Personally I think our lives are governed by technology, in every aspect, leisure included. I mean I am confronted with technical issues every day of my life! I mean from the moment I wake up and I warm myself a cup of hot chocolate in the microwave to listening to my iPod on the way to school, checking the online service at school to see my school marks, playing games online with friends and even setting the alarm on my phone to wake me up the next morning!

>And do you think you have been educated enough about the ‘dangers’ that you mention to use these forms of progress wisely I mean, do you copy and paste your homework like the example you gave earlier

No! Of course not! I must admit that I use Wikipedia and Google very regularly and Reverso helps when I’m doing my English or Spanish homework but I don’t think I’d ever be stupid enough to copy something word for word. I mean that would be considered plagiarism wouldn’t it! I’m not a cheat but I know friends who sometimes go too far.

>So, would you ever consider using a paper dictionary or doing research in the library as previous generations used to

Well, I guess, now and again I do think about it… But it is so much more convenient to just look it up on the internet when I get home or even on my smartphone between lessons.

>Fair enough! But moving on, what else do you use your smartphone for What about this constant use of virtual methods of conversation You talk about the dangers of sharing information over the internet and losing actual contact with people in favour of virtual communication. Are you guilty of these things

To be honest, it’s all a question of time. It’s so much quicker and easier to send a text message than call someone: you just ask the question you want to ask and they answer you instead of getting into a long-winded conversation about random things! As for Facebook and things, I’m really careful about what I put online. We had some courses about it at school and it really scared me to think about how some people can take advantage of us online. I only let my friends access my photos and my profile for example and if I don’t accept just anyone to be my friend online.

>Well, it sounds like you’re quite savvywhen it comes to the dangers of the net. I hope your friends have the same ethics as you. Let’s wrap up this discussion now. Thanks for being so honest with me!