Sunday, May 3, 2015

Practicing comparisons with smart watch reviews

In my post of April 12th, I wrote about a debate my students had about the impact the smart watch will have on our lives in comparison to smart phones. Since my telecommunications students liked focusing on this particular topic, I decided to use texts about smart watches for some language work.

My part-time engineering students (who are working full time) often have to give business presentations in which they have to describe alternative product choices and compare advantages and disadvantages of those products. I wanted to give my students more practice in using language for these functions in English. I have found that reviews of smart watches are very useful for this. There is a lot of disagreement about which smart watch is best, and a lot of information available about their respective features.

As an example of a text that provides useful language, I will refer to the Smart Watch Review: Reviews and Comparisons that's on the website "Top Ten Reviews."

The link:

The page also has bar graph comparisons of the overall rating, and a chart comparing features of design. These visuals provide very good practice in language describing information in graphs – which students also need when given business presentations.

Examples of linking words/phrases that provide comparison:
  • Smartphones, on the other hand, should be used to crank out long emails, read articles or watch videos on the mobile web. 
  • Instead, they act as an extension, offering you quick snippets of information. 
  • They not only tell time, they also make a statement. 
  • The perfect smartwatch shouldn't just look good, it needs to fit your wrist well and be comfortable, too. 
  • Nearly every smartwatch tracks your steps, but not all have heart rate sensors. Also, most do not have a built-in GPS chip, so if you want to map out runs, you still need to run with your phone. 
  • Some smartwatches even have built-in storage for music. 
  • Most run Google's Android Wear software, but others have their own operating system. 
  • For instance, an Android Wear smartwatch will not work with an Apple iPhone, and vice versa, the Apple Watch won't work with an Android device. 
  • Some watches have an AMOLED (active-matrix organic light-emitting diode) display while others have a full analog face with a smaller screen … 
  • Even screen shapes vary; some are round while others are square. 
  • Since you will be wearing your watch practically every day, you want one that suits your style. 
  • You can instantly see your pace and quickly switch songs (even though your phone is in your pocket) without having to stop. 
  • Three top smartwatches … stood out in comparison to other smartwatches, mostly due to their design, battery life and wide range of features.

Examples of comparatives and superlatives:

  • The best smartwatches reduce the number of times you remove your smartphone … 
  • The obvious goal of smartwatches is helping to make your day easier, … 
  • However, the biggest complaint with smartwatches is the battery life. 
  • It's even more irritating when you check the time only to be greeted with a black screen. 
  • The best smartwatches should last an entire day – minimum. 
  • … nor was the methodology provided to any of the manufacturers in more detail than is available through reading our reviews. 
  • A good smartwatch makes a person's day easier.

There are many websites, articles and graphics available on the internet that compare not only smart watches, but many other devices as well. So other choices of topic can be made for students in different areas of engineering.

No comments:

Post a Comment