linguapress

 Linguapress.com  Advanced level reading resources Intermediate reading resources English grammar online Language games and puzzles
English reading resources
Linguapress for mobiles - home page English Grammar Free advanced level resources Free inter­mediate level resources
linguapressIntermediate English
on your mobile
Linguapress for Mobiles


The story of Silicon Valley 

 If old America was made in New York or Detroit, modern America is made in Silicon Valley. But what is "Silicon Valley", where is it? And why is is where it is?

San Jose
San José,in the heart of Silicon Valley
     It is not made of silicon; and it is not a river valley; but forgetting that, Silicon Valley is probably the most famous valley in the world. Although it is not the place where the first computer was built (that was Manchester, England), Silicon Valley, near San Francisco,  was the birthplace of the modern computer industry.
    For this, we can say thankyou to scientists at the universities in California, and to the Hippies of the 1960's.
    It was in the nineteen-sixties that American "youth culture" really began. California, of course, already existed; but the Sixties Generation rediscovered it.
    At the time there were really two different forms of youth culture; the "Beach Boy" culture on the one hand, and the anti-establishment hippies and radical students on the other hand; and they all dreamed of California.
    For the Beach Boys, that meant southern California, where they could sing about surfing and cars; for the Hippies and radicals, it meant San Francisco, "flower power" and revolutionary new ideas. The campuses at Berkeley and Stamford, near San Francisco, were hot-beds of new ideas, new technology, new culture, and new ways of living. 
   
    When they finished university, many of the best students did not look for jobs with big companies like Ford or Exxon. Instead they wanted to be free and run their own operations.... and stay in California, not far from San Francisco. Silicon Valley is thus a group of small towns, including Palo Alto and San José,  a few miles south of San Francisco.
    The high-technology industry was already present around San Francisco. Intel had been founded in 1968, and in the same year the first computer mouse was built at Stamford University. In 1970, Xerox opened a research center in Palo Alto. There were also other electronics companies, like Hewlett Packard, and Fairchild, the world's first "semiconductor" company.
    Then, in 1976, an electronics student called Steve Jobs started a small computer company in his garage; he gave it the same name as the Beatles' record company: Apple.
    Very soon,  more  companies, like Seagate and Google appeared. "Silicon Valley" had arrived. There was even a sort of primitive Internet connecting many addresses in Silicon Valley, called the Arpanet.

    Today, Silicon Valley is still the home of the computer industry; it is still full of high technology, but it is not the only center for high-tech in the USA.  Today here are computer firms all over the USA.... and all over the world; but Silicon Valley still has the largest concentration of high-tech companies and research centers.
   
    Microsoft, the world's biggest high-tech company, is not based in Silicon Valley. It is further north, near Seattle in the state of Washington



Word guide
WORDS
birthplace: the place where a person is born - youth: young people - on the one hand: on one side - anti-establishment: people who reject the "established" system of society - radical: very different, revolutionary - run: organise - company: firm. .


Return to Linguapress site index


Printing: Optimized for A4 printing from the Firefox browser
Copyright
© Linguapress.  Do not copy this document to any other website
Copying permitted for personal study, or by teachers for use with their students

   

Student Worksheet

Silicon valley... Where is it, and why is it where it is ?

Here are the answers to some questions. Using information from the text, make up possible questions to fit the answers. As you will notice, some of the questions use question words, others do not.

Where.....
    In Manchester, England
Where ....
    In Silicon Valley, near San Francisco.
Who ...
    The Beach Boys.
Did the best students....
    No, they preferred to stay in California.
When .....
    In 1968
Where...
    In Palo Alto
When ....
    In 1976.
What...
    It was a sort of primitive Internet.
Is.....
    No, there are high-terch firms all over the USA now.
Where ......
    Further north, in Seattle.


Ideas for teachers and students

Silicon valley

Student worksheet exercise: questions.
For information on how to form questions in English, see http://linguapress.com/grammar/question-structure.htm


Language point:

Pay attention to the use of passives and compound-nound, which are common features of technical writing. For example:
It is not made of...
The first computer was built
Intel had been founded ...
Silicon valley  / computer industry  /  youth culture  /  sixties generation  /  flower power  /  high-technology industry,  etc.


Other ideas?
EFL teachers: Help develop this resource by contributing extra teaching materials or exercises.
Click here for further details

This teaching resource is © copyright Linguapress  2015.
Revised 2015 . Originally published in Freeway, the intermediate level English newsmagazine.
Republication on other websites or in print is not authorised

Linguapress; home Découvrez l'Angleterre (en français) Discover Britain



A Linguapress.com
easy intermediate English resource

Target readers : teenagers, young adults

A selection of other resources in graded English
from Linguapress
Selected pages
Intermediate resources :
Dialogue : Talking about fashion
Dialogue : Fast food, OK ?
Sport: The story of football and rugby
Big red London buses
USA: Who was Buffalo Bill?
Technical : Car of the future ? 
More: More intermediate reading texts  
Advanced level reading :
USA : America's Amish
Who killed Martin Luther King?
USA - Discovering Route 66
People : Stephen Hawking
Music :  The story of the Blues
More: More advanced reading texts  
Selected grammar pages
Online English grammar
Nouns in English
Word order in English
Reported questions in English
Miscellaneous
Language and style 
Word stress in English
The short story of English




CopyrightCopyright notice.
Free to read, free to use, free to print, but not free to copy to another website

Teachers are free to reproduce these resources on paper for use with their classes, and students are free to print out personal copies of materials from Linguapress.com.

Updated 2015 from an article originally published in Horizon, the Easy-intermediate level English newsmagazine.
Photo public domain

 In schools declaring the source of copied materials to a national copyright agency, Linguapress easy-intermediate level resources should be attributed to "Horizon" as the source and "Linguapresss" as the publisher.
Multicopiage en France: en cas de déclaration CFEDC par l'établissement, document à attribuer à "Horizon", éditeur "Linguapress"..




 


Linguapress.com -
Free EFL reading resources



European law requires us to inform you that like most websites Linguapress uses cookies. To remove this message click   or otherwise click for more details