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About the book


About the book, and changes in the New Edition 8

1 The computer 1 Introduction 1 What is a computer? 16 Focus A Contextual reference 21 2 History of computers 23 Focus B Suffixes 29
  2 Description 3 Characteristics 36 Focus C Organizing information 42 4 Computer capabilities and limitations 46 5 Hardware and software 52 Focus D Prefixes 58
  3 Kinds of computers 6 Mainframes 64 Focus E Listing 69 7 Minicomputers 72 8 Microcomputers 77 Focus F Making comparisons 83
2 Computer components 4 The processor 9 The Central Processing Unit 94 Focus G Time sequence 99 10 The Control Unit and the Arithmetic-Logical Unit 102 Focus H Giving examples 107




2 Computer components 5 Memory 11 Primary and secondary memory 111 Focus I Adding information 116 12 Types of memory 119 Focus J Giving an explanation or a definition 124
6 Input and output devices 13 Cards, readers and keyboards 129 Focus K Classifying 136 14 Tapes and tape drives 141 15 Disks and disk drives 148 Focus L Contrasting 257 16 Printers 160 17 Terminals 769 Focus M Cause and effect 176
3 Data processing 7 Programming 18 Steps in problem solving 186 19 Computer arithmetic 191 20 Flowcharting 197 21 Programs and programming languages 207 Focus N Making predictions 214
8 Computer-related topics 22 Time sharing versus batch 218 23 Careers 224

Projections Extended reading passage 229 Glossary 233


About the book

explaining, defining, classifying, predicting, etc. Secondly, it teaches students reading skills such as locating information, finding the main idea of a text, and following the development of an argument. And thirdly, it provides the reader with up-to-date basic information about computers and how they operate, through the subject matter presented in each reading passage. The texts cover a wide range of topics: from the memory to computer arithmetic, from program design to on-line processing.


What changes are there in this New Edition?

Because computer technology is developing so rapidly, some of the information in English for Computer Science, although only published in 1984, was already out of date by 1986.

You will find these changes in the New Edition:

1 The reading passages have been revised and facts corrected wherever necessary. The changes occur in Units 8 Microcomputers; 11 Primary and Secondary Memory; 13 Cards, Readers and Keyboards (new title); 18 Steps in Problem Solving and 21 Programs and Programming Languages. The exercise types remain the same, with appropriate adjustment of vocabulary and numbering. All Focus sections - teaching grammar and vocabulary - remain unchanged.

2 The final section, Projections, has been developed into a longer reading passage. This covers the newest applications of computer technology and gives students an opportunity to read extensively.

3 The accompanying Answer Book has been revised.

4 There is now a listening cassette for use as a pronunciation guide with the New Edition of English for Computer Science. It contains all the reading passages together with the pronunciation of all the terms listed in the Glossary.

What willstudents learn from this book?

A growing number of students of computer science and people working with computers have an immediate and specific need to acquire a reading knowledge of computer science in English.

To read effectively in a second or foreign language requires both an understanding of the grammar and vocabulary of that language and also the development or application of reading skills. This book helps students in three main ways. Firstly, it provides exercise material on formal aspects of language, such as grammar and vocabulary. The fourteen Focus sections present and practise language functions most readily associated with the English used in computer science:

Whois the book intended for?

English for Computer Science has been written for people who are studying computer science or related subjects in universities, colleges and technical schools, and also for in-company training programs where computer personnel need to improve their understanding of English.

The book can easily be used for self-study by individuals who want to make use of computers privately or for their careers. In this case the accompanying Answer Book will provide the necessary guidance. We would suggest as a study method that the student working alone should always attempt to answer the questions before turning to the Answer Book. You can check your answers at the end of each exercise or at the end of a whole unit, but don't be tempted to work with the Answer Book open! Several short study sessions per week are more useful than one long period. Try to do some revision of previous units at least once a week.

If English for Computer Science is used purely as a reading course, it should take between 45-60 hours to complete the work, depending, of course, on the students' proficiency in English. However, the book could equally well be used as an integral part of a course which also includes listening, speaking and writing. In that case the course would, necessarily, be considerably longer.

How much computer science must the teacher know?

Since the book is written with the assumption that many readers will have little or no previous knowledge of computer science, it follows that the teacher need not have much technical background in the field. It is advisable, however, that the teacher understands the concepts and terminology introduced in each unit in order to be as much a resource person as possible, to answer queries that may arise in class or at least to direct the students to the appropriate place to find an answer. This type of dialogue and exchange ensures real communication in the classroom, where the students understand that the teacher doesn't have to know


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