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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on David Beckham's Marriage

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David Beckham to defend marriage in court


 
 

Date: Oct 20, 2005
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:23 - 162.8 KB - 16kbps)
 
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THE ARTICLE

Real Madrid soccer star David Beckham and his wife, former Spice Girl Victoria, are going to court to defend their image and marriage. The Beckhams are angry that a British tabloid newspaper printed a story that their “happy marriage” was a lie. The News of the World wrote an article saying the Beckhams are just pretending to be happily married to make more money from their “Beckham brand”. The newspaper said the marriage was really “on the rocks” because of a relationship David had with another woman. He strongly denies this.

The newspaper article suggested that the Beckhams’ huge income depended on their public image. It said the couple tried to convince the public that their marriage was happy to get more advertising contracts. The article also said David almost had a nervous breakdown because of arguments with his wife. A lawyer for the newspaper commented on the high profile marriage, asking: “Is it unhappy, [full] of rows and tensions because of David Beckham’s infidelity, or is it happy? We say unhappy.” The Beckhams, meanwhile, insist they are a happily married couple.

WARM-UPS

1. CELEBRITY MARRIAGE: You are now married to a celebrity. Decide who your famous partner is. Walk around the class and talk with the other “husbands and wives” about life married to a celebrity. What are the good and bad things about being married to someone famous?

2. “ON THE ROCKS”: Which of the following things would put a happy marriage “on the rocks”? Talk about them with your partner. Rank them in order of most serious. Which can you forgive? How many times?

____  Your partner goes to the movies with another man / woman.

____  Your partner sleeps with another man / woman.

____  Your partner becomes an alcoholic and gambler.

____  Your partner spends too much money.

____  Your partner wants to spend more time with his/her mother than with you.

____  You disagree over how to raise your children.

____  One of you wants children, the other doesn’t

____  Your partner stops telling you he/she loves you

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

Real Madrid / David Beckham / Spice Girls / tabloid newspapers / happy marriages / relationships / public image / nervous breakdowns / arguments / happiness

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

4. DAVID BECKHAM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with David Beckham. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

5. TABLOID OPINIONS: In pairs / groups, talk about what you think of these opinions on tabloid newspapers:

  1. I don’t understand people who buy tabloids – they’re full of lies.
  2. Tabloids print the news we want to hear – about celebrities and stars.
  3. There is very little news in tabloids.
  4. Editors of tabloid newspapers should go to prison for printing lies.
  5. Tabloids are fun.
  6. People have a right to know about the lives of celebrities and stars.
  7. The tabloids and paparazzi caused the death of Princess Diana.
  8. Only people with no intelligence buy tabloids.

6. BECKHAM SEARCH: Find out what other students know about David and Victoria Beckham. After you have finished, sit with your partner(s) and share and talk about what you found out.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

David Beckham will defend the idea of marriage in a court.

T / F

b.

Beckham and his wife will sue a British tabloid newspaper.

T / F

c.

The newspaper said the Beckhams were pretending to be married.

T / F

d.

The newspaper article reported David had another woman.

T / F

e.

The article said the Beckhams’ incomes depended on their image.

T / F

f.

The tabloid suggested David was on the edge of a breakdown.

T / F

g.

The tabloid’s lawyer believes the Beckham’s marriage is unhappy..

T / F

h.

The Beckhams insist they are a happily married couple.

T / F

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

a.

soccer

enormous

b.

former

in trouble

c.

defend

unfaithfulness

d.

“on the rocks”

rejects

e.

denies

ex

f.

huge

persuade

g.

convince

football

h.

rows

swear

i.

infidelity

arguments

j.

insist

protect

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

a.

going

denies this

b.

defend

really “on the rocks”

c.

the marriage was

married couple

d.

another

article

e.

He strongly

their image

f.

newspaper

breakdown

g.

advertising

to court

h.

had a nervous

profile marriage

i.

high

woman

j.

a happily

contracts


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the gaps in the text.

David Beckham to defend marriage in court

Real Madrid soccer star David Beckham and his wife, ________ Spice Girl Victoria, are going to court to ________ their image and marriage. The Beckhams are ________ that a British tabloid newspaper printed a story that their “happy marriage” was a ________. The News of the World wrote an ________ saying the Beckhams are just pretending to be happily married to make more money from their “Beckham ________”. The newspaper said the marriage was really “on the ________” because of a ________ David had with another woman. He strongly denies this.

 

 

lie
rocks
angry
former
relationship
article
defend
brand

The newspaper article suggested that the Beckhams’ ________ income depended on their public ________. It said the couple tried to ________ the public that their marriage was happy to get more advertising ________. The article also said David almost had a ________ breakdown because of ________ with his wife. A lawyer for the newspaper commented on the high profile marriage, asking: “Is it unhappy, [full] of rows and tensions because of David Beckham’s ________, or is it happy? We say unhappy.” The Beckhams, meanwhile, insist they are a happily married ________.

 

 

nervous
infidelity
image
contracts
couple
huge
arguments
convince

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

David Beckham to defend marriage in court

Real Madrid soccer star David Beckham and his wife, _______ Spice Girl Victoria, are going to court to _______ their image and marriage. The Beckhams are angry that a British tabloid newspaper _______ a story that their “happy marriage” was a _______. The News of the World wrote an article saying the Beckhams are just pretending to be _______ married to make more money from their “Beckham brand”. The newspaper said the marriage was really “on ____ ______” because of a relationship David had with another woman. He strongly _______ this.

The newspaper article suggested that the Beckhams’ ______ income depended on their ______ image. It said the couple tried to convince the public that their marriage was happy to get more advertising _________. The article also said David almost had a __________ breakdown because of arguments with his wife. A lawyer for the newspaper commented on the high profile marriage, asking: “Is it unhappy, [full] of rows and __________ because of David Beckham’s infidelity, or is it happy? We say unhappy.” The Beckhams, meanwhile, __________ they are a happily married couple.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 “TABLOID” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about tabloids, gossip and celebrities.

  • 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:

  • former
  • image
  • angry
  • pretending
  • rocks
  • strongly
  • huge
  • convince
  • nervous
  • lawyer
  • infidelity
  • happily

DISCUSSION

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

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. What do you think of David and Victoria Beckham?
  3. What do you think of tabloid newspapers?
  4. How would you feel if your private life was in the newspapers every day?
  5. Do you think there should be strict rules for tabloids to tell the truth?
  6. What do you least or most like about tabloids?
  7. Do you believe everything you read in the newspapers?
  8. What would you do if someone lied about you in public?
  9. Do you know any couple whose relationship is on the rocks?
  10. Why are people so interested in celebrities and gossip?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What do you think about what you read?
  3. Do you think it’s possible that David and Victoria are just pretending?
  4. What problems do you think celebrity marriages have?
  5. Do you think people who read tabloids every day lack intelligence?
  6. Do you row and argue a lot?
  7. Who do you think will win this trial?
  8. What would you do if your partner was unfaithful to you?
  9. Describe the happiest married couple you know?
  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

MARRIAGE ADVICE: Take turns in giving advice to an unhappy husband or wife (Student A). Choose a question and asks for advice. Student A is never happy with the advice and tells Student B (the marriage counselor) what is wrong with it. Student B must try again with new advice.

  1. What should I do if I think my marriage is on the rocks?
  2. Why should I stay with him/her when I don’t like him/her?
  3. Why does he/she make me every time he/she speaks?
  4. Have I married the wrong man/woman?
  5. Why doesn't he/she ever clean the house?
  6. What do I do about his/her infidelity?
  7. How can I love a man/woman who is always so selfish?
  8. How do I convince him/her to have kids?
  9. What do I do if I think my husband/wife is not attractive anymore?
  10. Why does he/she argue with me every time I talk about money?
  11. Why am I so afraid to talk to him/her?
  12. Why can't he/she stop visiting his/her mother every day?
  13. Why am I ten times more affectionate than he/she is?
  14. Why do we keep having the same arguments?
  15. Why can't I forgive him/her for the bad things he/she has done in the past?
  16. When I plan something, why does he/she always say it is a waste of time?
  17. Why does my whole life feel like a 'to do' list?
  18. Why do I want to date every attractive man/woman I see on the train?

Change partners and tell each other the different advice you gave and received

Choose several of the above questions and agree on the best advice.

Repeat the above by role playing unhappy husbands and wives.

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. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information on the Beckhams. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. MARRIAGE GUIDANCE: Create an information poster explaining your ideas for a long-lasting and happy marriage. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all think of similar ideas?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to David and Victoria Beckham. Tell them what you think of this court case. Show what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. T

e. T

f. T

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

soccer

football

b.

former

ex

c.

defend

protect

d.

“on the rocks”

in trouble

e.

denies

rejects

f.

huge

enormous

g.

convince

persuade

h.

rows

arguments

i.

infidelity

unfaithfulness

j.

insist

swear

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

going

to court

b.

defend

their image

c.

the marriage was

really “on the rocks”

d.

another

woman

e.

He strongly

denies this

f.

newspaper

article

g.

advertising

contracts

h.

had a nervous

breakdown

i.

high

profile marriage

j.

a happily

married couple

GAP FILL:

David Beckham to defend marriage in court

Real Madrid soccer star David Beckham and his wife, former Spice Girl Victoria, are going to court to defend their image and marriage. The Beckhams are angry that a British tabloid newspaper printed a story that their “happy marriage” was a lie. The News of the World wrote an article saying the Beckhams are just pretending to be happily married to make more money from their “Beckham brand”. The newspaper said the marriage was really “on the rocks” because of a relationship David had with another woman. He strongly denies this.

The newspaper article suggested that the Beckhams’ huge income depended on their public image. It said the couple tried to convince the public that their marriage was happy to get more advertising contracts. The article also said David almost had a nervous breakdown because of arguments with his wife. A lawyer for the newspaper commented on the high profile marriage, asking: “Is it unhappy, [full] of rows and tensions because of David Beckham’s infidelity, or is it happy? We say unhappy.” The Beckhams, meanwhile, insist they are a happily married couple.

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Copyright © 2005 by Sean Banville