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Date: Jun 18, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (2:13 - 260.1 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

Hollywood actress Katie Holmes grew up a starry-eyed lass wanting to marry dashing movie star Tom Cruise. Her dream came true on June 17 when Tom popped the question at the most romantic of settings – the Eiffel Tower. It is a fitting conclusion to the whirlwind romance that has set Hollywood gossipmongers’ tongues ablaze. Ever since Tom and Katie announced they were an item in April, the tabloids have hardly been able to contain their speculative sensationalism. The scandal sheets have had a field day casting all kinds of aspersions on the authenticity of the Cruise-Holmes liaison. Less reputable columnists have suggested the romance is nothing short of a publicity stunt to elevate Holmes to stardom.

At a Paris press conference announcing his engagement, Tom only had eyes for his new leading lady. She was only too happy to show off her gigantic diamond engagement ring to picture-hungry photographers. On his happiness, Tom told reporters: “Today is a magnificent day for me. I’m engaged to a magnificent woman.” He also dreamily stated: “I’m so happy I just can’t restrain myself.” This rekindled memories of Tom’s boyish proclamation on a recent Oprah Winfrey show. He punched the floor with both fists yelling, “I am in love. I am in love.” This is uncharacteristic behavior for Tom. He had previously been very guarded in revealing his emotions during his 10-year marriage to Nicole Kidman and his 3-year fling with Penelope Cruz.

WARM-UPS

1. BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE: In pairs / groups, talk about which actors and actresses are the most beautiful in the world. Is anyone more beautiful than Katie Holmes or more handsome than Tom Cruise? Are Hollywood actors the best looking? Are there better looking people in the studios of Bollywood, Korea, Hong Kong, South Africa or Brazil?

2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

Hollywood / movie stars / dreams coming true / marriage proposals / Eiffel Tower / gossip / diamonds / paparazzi / magnificent men and women / love / secrets

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

3. DIAMOND RINGS: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with diamond rings. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

4. PROPOSALS: Talk with your partner(s) about the best way to propose / be proposed to. Agree on a score from 1 – 10 (10 is best) for each of the following. Try talking to both male and female students. And then talk about reality and what happened to you / might happen to you regarding proposing.

  1. At the Eiffel Tower.
  2. In moonlight.
  3. With champagne.
  4. And chocolates and strawberries.
  5. The guy down on one knee.
  6. A rented string quartet playing slushy music in the background.
  7. A huge diamond engagement ring at the ready.
  8. Fireworks when she/he says yes.
  9. A stroll along the Champs Elysees.
  10. A penthouse hotel suite after.

5. TOM’S MOVIES: Talk about these Tom Cruise movies. Is he a good actor?

War of the Worlds (2005), Collateral (2004), The Last Samurai (2003), Minority Report (2002), Vanilla Sky (2001), Mission: Impossible II (2000), Magnolia (1999), Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Jerry Maguire (1996), Mission: Impossible (1996), Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), The Firm (1993), A Few Good Men (1992), Far and Away (1992), Days of Thunder (1990), Born on the Fourth of July (1989), Rain Man (1988), Cocktail (1988), The Color of Money (1986), Top Gun (1986)


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

Tom Cruise has proposed to film 8 more Mission Impossible movies.

T / F

b.

A dream has come true for a Hollywood actress.

T / F

c.

A Hollywood romance set gossip columnists’ tongues on fire.

T / F

d.

Tom Cruise is marrying Katie Holmes to rescue her acting career.

T / F

e.

Katie Holmes eagerly displayed her diamond engagement ring.

T / F

f.

At a press conference, Tom said Katie was a munificent woman.

T / F

g.

Tom Cruise recently punched Oprah Winfrey and yelled at her.

T / F

h.

Tom has always been very open with the press about his love life.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

a.

starry-eyed

taletellers

b.

dashing

secretive

c.

gossipmongers

slurs

d.

a field day

declaration

e.

aspersions

idealistic

f.

engagement

liaison

g.

restrain

great pleasure

h.

proclamation

betrothal

i.

guarded

handsome

j.

fling

contain

3. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

a starry-eyed

were an item

b.

dashing

day

c.

whirlwind

movie star

d.

announced they

revealing his emotions

e.

had a field

happy to…

f.

Tom only had

lass

g.

only too

restrain myself

h.

I just can’t

memories

i.

rekindled

romance

j.

guarded in

eyes for his new leading lady

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the correct spaces.

Tom Cruise proposes in Paris

Hollywood actress Katie Holmes grew up a ________-eyed lass wanting to marry ________ movie star Tom Cruise. Her dream came true on June 17 when Tom ________ the question at the most romantic of settings – the Eiffel Tower. It is a ________ conclusion to the whirlwind romance that has set Hollywood gossipmongers’ tongues ________. Ever since Tom and Katie announced they were an item in April, the tabloids have hardly been able to ________ their speculative sensationalism. The scandal sheets have had a field day ________ all kinds of aspersions on the authenticity of the Cruise-Holmes liaison. Less ________ columnists have suggested the romance is nothing short of a publicity stunt to elevate Holmes to stardom.

 
  dashing
reputable
contain
fitting
starry
casting
popped
ablaze

At a Paris press conference announcing his engagement, Tom only had ________ for his new leading lady. She was only too happy to show off her ________ diamond engagement ring to picture-hungry photographers. On his happiness, Tom told reporters: “Today is a magnificent day for me. I’m engaged to a magnificent woman.” He also ________ stated: “I’m so happy I just can’t ________ myself.” This rekindled memories of Tom’s ________ proclamation on a recent Oprah Winfrey show. He punched the floor with both fists ________, “I am in love. I am in love.” This is uncharacteristic behavior for Tom. He had previously been very ________ in revealing his emotions during his 10-year marriage to Nicole Kidman and his 3-year ________ with Penelope Cruz.

  gigantic
yelling
fling
eyes
guarded
restrain
boyish
dreamily

 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘diamond’ and ‘ring’.

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the gap fill. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT MARRIAGE PROPOSAL SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about marriage proposals and betrothals.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • starry-eyed
  • popped
  • tongues
  • an item
  • sensationalism
  • stardom
  • eyes
  • picture-hungry
  • magnificent
  • rekindled
  • uncharacteristic
  • fling

 DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. Were you excited when you saw this headline?
  2. Did you automatically want to read the article?
  3. Do you like Hollywood news (or news of other movie stars)?
  4. What is your opinion of Tom Cruise?
  5. What do you think of this whirlwind romance and courtship?
  6. Do you think they’ll both live happily ever after - together?
  7. Is a diamond engagement ring necessary?
  8. Have you ever been so happy you couldn’t restrain yourself?
  9. Are you guarded about revealing your feelings for other people or would you yell, “I am in love” for the whole world to hear?
  10. Would it be risky to marry a Hollywood superstar?

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. Can you relate to Katie Holmes’s starry-eyed dreams of wanting to marry a famous actor?
  3. Where do you think is the best place to pop the question?
  4. What do you think of Hollywood gossipmongers and scandal sheets?
  5. Do you think it’s the real thing for Tom and Katie or might it be a publicity stunt?
  6. Have you ever fallen in love with (or met) someone magnificent?
  7. Do you think Tom is a good actor?
  8. Who do you like better, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz or Katie Holmes?
  9. What are your present starry-eyed dreams?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

THE ULTIMATE PROPSOAL: In pairs / groups, decide on what is needed to make the greatest marriage proposal ever. Everything must be perfectly romantic (?). Write notes on what you agree in the table below.

FACTORS

  THE ULTIMATE CONDITIONS
 

Country / Place

 

Time of day

 

Where (under a palm tree, in a restaurant…)

 

Food involved?

 

A ring?

 

Music?

 

Words spoken?

 

Down on one knee?

 

One other special, special idea

 

  • Change partners and explain what you discussed with your previous partner(s).
  • With your new partners combine your conditions to make a newer, super-improved ultimate marriage proposal plan.
  • Return to your original partner and talk about the changes you made to your original proposal.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Tom Cruise proposes in Paris

Hollywood actress Katie Holmes grew up _ ______-____ ____ wanting to marry dashing movie star Tom Cruise. Her dream came true on June 17 when Tom ______ ___ ______ at the most romantic of settings – the Eiffel Tower. It is a fitting conclusion to the
________ _________ that has set Hollywood gossipmongers’
_______ _______. Ever since Tom and Katie announced they were an item in April, the tabloids have hardly ____ ____ __ _______ their speculative sensationalism. The scandal sheets have ___ __ _____ ___ casting all kinds of aspersions on the authenticity of the Cruise-Holmes liaison. ____ __________ __________ have suggested the romance is nothing short of a publicity stunt to elevate Holmes to stardom.

At a Paris press conference announcing his engagement, Tom
____ ___ ____ ___ his new leading lady. She was ___ ___ ______ __ show off her gigantic diamond engagement ring to picture-hungry photographers. On his happiness, Tom told reporters: “Today is a magnificent day for me. I’m engaged to a magnificent woman.” He also dreamily stated: “I’m so happy I ____ ____ _______ _______.” This rekindled memories of Tom’s ______ _____________ __ a recent Oprah Winfrey show. He punched the floor with both fists yelling, “I am in love. I am in love.” This is _______________ ___________ for Tom. He had previously been very ________ __ ___________ his emotions during his 10-year marriage to Nicole Kidman and his __-_____ ______ ____ Penelope Cruz.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. THE ENGAGEMENT: Search the Internet and find more information on the whirlwind romance and engagement of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. TOM CRUISE: Create a profile on Hollywood actor Tom Cruise. Include different categories other than his acting (his religious beliefs, his youth, his romances, etc). Show your profiles to your classmates in your next lesson. Did everyone have the same categories and information?

4. DIARY / SCHEDULE: Imagine you are the boyfriend or girlfriend of a superstar actor. Write the entry in your diary / journal for one day in your romance.  Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. T

d. F

e. T

f. F

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

starry-eyed

idealistic

b.

dashing

handsome

c.

gossipmongers

taletellers

d.

a field day

great pleasure

e.

aspersions

slurs

f.

engagement

betrothal

g.

restrain

contain

h.

proclamation

declaration

i.

guarded

secretive

j.

fling

liaison

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

a starry-eyed

lass

b.

dashing

movie star

c.

whirlwind

romance

d.

announced they

were an item

e.

had a field

day

f.

Tom only had

eyes for his new leading lady

g.

only too

happy to…

h.

I just can’t

restrain myself

i.

rekindled

memories

j.

guarded in

revealing his emotions

GAP FILL:

Tom Cruise proposes in Paris

Hollywood actress Katie Holmes grew up a starry-eyed lass wanting to marry dashing movie star Tom Cruise. Her dream came true on June 17 when Tom popped the question at the most romantic of settings – the Eiffel Tower. It is a fitting conclusion to the whirlwind romance that has set Hollywood gossipmongers’ tongues ablaze. Ever since Tom and Katie announced they were an item in April, the tabloids have hardly been able to contain their speculative sensationalism. The scandal sheets have had a field day casting all kinds of aspersions on the authenticity of the Cruise-Holmes liaison. Less reputable columnists have suggested the romance is nothing short of a publicity stunt to elevate Holmes to stardom.

At a Paris press conference announcing his engagement, Tom only had eyes for his new leading lady. She was only too happy to show off her gigantic diamond engagement ring to picture-hungry photographers. On his happiness, Tom told reporters: “Today is a magnificent day for me. I’m engaged to a magnificent woman.” He also dreamily stated: “I’m so happy I just can’t restrain myself.” This rekindled memories of Tom’s boyish proclamation on a recent Oprah Winfrey show. He punched the floor with both fists yelling, “I am in love. I am in love.” This is uncharacteristic behavior for Tom. He had previously been very guarded in revealing his emotions during his 10-year marriage to Nicole Kidman and his 3-year fling with Penelope Cruz. 

 

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