The
1,000 IDEAS
e-Book

Breaking News English

HOME  |   DONATE  |  000s MORE FREE LESSONS
 
 

 

E-mail this lesson to someone who would like to use it in classroom or study with it.

Follow this site on Facebook.

 

000's more free lessons.

   

 


 
 

Date: Oct 28, 2005
Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:50 - 216.3 KB - 16kbps)
 
1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

Japanese courts have meted out a strangely lenient sentence to a business tycoon who was once listed in Forbes magazine as the world’s richest man. Yoshiaki Tsutsumi was found guilty of insider trading and falsifying his company’s share records by a court in Tokyo. Presiding judge Tsutomu Tochigi said: “The impact on society of crimes by such leading Japanese companies is very serious”. Judge Tochigi then proceeded to hand out a sentence wholly incommensurate with the gravity of the crime expressed in his summing up. He fined Mr. Tsutsumi a paltry $43,000 – chicken feed to someone of his vast wealth – and sentenced him to 30 months in prison, suspended for four years. It is highly unlikely Tsutsumi will serve any of that time.

Tsutsumi’s fall from grace has been swift, although he does not quite prove the adage “the bigger they are, the harder they fall,” judging from his light court sentencing. The judge said he was not sent to prison because he has already been socially ostracized. Tsutsumi is the former chairman of Kokudo Corporation, the core firm of the Seibu railway group, with holdings in construction, hotels, resorts and a baseball team. He is one of Japan's most powerful industrialists and has close connections to many of the country’s leading politicians. In September 2004, Tsutsumi lied about his stake in his company and fabricated hundreds of non-existent shareholders. The subsequent sale of shares from his shady dealings lined his own pockets to the tune of $180,000,000.

WARM-UPS

1. BUSINESS PERSON: Choose a person from the world of business. You are now that person. Walk around the class meeting the other “business people”. Introduce yourselves and chat about your lives, achievements, business and current projects. What do you like about the business world?

2. FAMOUS TYCOONS: Below is a list of famous tycoons. What do you know about them? Walk around the class and ask other students about them. After you have finished, sit down and share your findings. What interesting things did you find out?

  • Bill Gates (Microsoft)
  • Mohamed Al Fayed (Harrods)
  • Richard Branson (Virgin)
  • Roman Abramovich (Chelsea FC)
  • Anita Roddick (Body Shop)
  • Martha Stewart (lifestyle guru)
  • Hugh Hefner (Playboy)
  • Yoshiaki Tsutsumi (Industrialist)

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

Japanese courts / court sentences / leniency / tycoons / chicken feed / prison sentences / holdings / construction / industrialists / lies / shareholders / shares

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

4. TYCOON: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “tycoon”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

5. SECRETS: What are the secrets to success? How do you become a business tycoon? In pairs / groups, talk about how important you think the following are. Rank them in order of most likely to make someone a tycoon.

___ Coming from a rich family

___ Being in the right place at the right time

___ University education

___ Entrepreneurial genius

___ Ideas

___ Ruthlessness

___ Hard work
___ Ability to lie and deceive

___ Luck
___ Ambition

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think a business tycoon whose illegal actions profit him $180,000,000 should go to prison. Students B strongly believe business leaders should not go to prison for lying about the financial affairs of their companies. Change partners often.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

A business tycoon paid a gang to help him escape from a prison.

T / F

b.

The world’s former richest man has been found guilty of fraud.

T / F

c.

The tycoon received a hefty fine and prison sentence.

T / F

d.

The tycoon apologized and says he now wants to feed chickens.

T / F

e.

The tycoon proves that “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”.

T / F

f.

He avoided prison because he had already been socially ostracized.

T / F

g.

His close connections to many leading politicians helped him in court.

T / F

h.

His shady dealings helped him further line his own pockets.

T / F

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

a.

meted out

peanuts

b.

lenient

unethical

c.

falsifying

at odds

d.

incommensurate

bogus

e.

chicken feed

light

f.

fall from grace

saying

g.

adage

demise

h.

ostracized

awarded

i.

non-existent

snubbed

j.

shady

fabricating

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

a.

courts have meted

grace has been swift

b.

found guilty of insider trading and

lined his own pockets

c.

a paltry

suspended for four years

d.

chicken feed to

ostracized

e.

30 months in prison,

$43,000

f.

Tsutsumi’s fall from

someone of his vast wealth

g.

the bigger they are,

non-existent shareholders

h.

socially

out a strangely lenient sentence

i.

fabricated hundreds of

the harder they fall

j.

his shady dealings

falsifying his company’s share records


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

WHICH WORD? Strike through the incorrect choice in each of pair of italicized words.

Tycoon avoids prison over shares scam

Japanese courts have meted / bleated out a strangely lenient / lending sentence to a business tycoon who was once listed in Forbes magazine as the world’s richest man. Yoshiaki Tsutsumi was found guilty of outsider / insider trading and falsifying his company’s share records by a court in Tokyo. Presiding / Presidential judge Tsutomu Tochigi said: “The impact on society of crimes by such leading Japanese companies is very serious”. Judge Tochigi then proceeded to hand out a sentence wholly incommensurate with the gravity / depravity of the crime expressed in his summing up / down. He fined Mr. Tsutsumi a paltry $43,000 – peanuts / chicken feed to someone of his vast wealth – and sentenced him to 30 months in prison, suspended for four years. It is highly unlikely Tsutsumi will serve / service any of that time.

Tsutsumi’s fall from grace / prayer has been swift, although he does not quite prove the bandage / adage, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall,” judging from his light court sentencing. The judge said he was not sent to prison because he has already been socially pesticide / ostracized. Tsutsumi is the former chairman of Kokudo Corporation, the core / bore firm of the Seibu railway group, with holdings / helpings in construction, hotels, resorts and a baseball team. He is one of Japan's most powerful industrialists and has close connections to many of the country’s leading politicians. In September 2004, Tsutsumi lied about his steak / stake in his company and fabricated hundreds of non-existent shareholders. The subsequent sale of shares from his shady / luminous dealings lined his own pockets to the tune / tunic of $180,000,000.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Tycoon avoids prison over shares scam

Japanese courts have _______ ____ a strangely _________ sentence to a business tycoon who was once listed in Forbes magazine as the world’s richest man. Yoshiaki Tsutsumi was found guilty of insider trading and ___________ his company’s share records by a court in Tokyo. ___________ judge Tsutomu Tochigi said: “The impact on society of crimes by such leading Japanese companies is very serious”. Judge Tochigi then proceeded to hand out a sentence wholly ___________ with the gravity of the crime expressed in his summing up. He fined Mr. Tsutsumi a ___________ $43,000 – chicken feed to someone of his ___________ wealth – and sentenced him to 30 months in prison, suspended for four years. It is highly unlikely Tsutsumi will serve any of that time.

Tsutsumi’s fall from ___________ has been swift, although he does not quite prove the ___________ “the bigger they are, the harder they fall,” judging from his light court sentencing. The judge said he was not sent to prison because he has already been socially ___________. Tsutsumi is the former chairman of Kokudo Corporation, the core firm of the Seibu railway group, with ___________ in construction, hotels, resorts and a baseball team. He is one of Japan's most powerful industrialists and has close connections to many of the country’s ___________ politicians. In September 2004, Tsutsumi lied about his stake in his company and ___________ hundreds of non-existent shareholders. The subsequent sale of shares from his ___________ dealings lined his own pockets to _____ ________ _____ $180,000,000.

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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. WHICH WORD? In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. 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 “FRAUD” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about business fraud and suitable punishments.

  • 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:

  • meted out
  • insider
  • impact
  • wholly
  • paltry
  • unlikely
  • grace
  • adage
  • ostracized
  • holdings
  • stake
  • tune

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 are feelings towards the sentencing?
  3. What sentence would you have given Mr. Tsutsumi?
  4. Do you think rich and famous people always receive more lenient sentences?
  5. Do you think rich and famous people should receive more lenient sentences?
  6. Do you think the judge’s words were contradictory to his sentencing?
  7. How do you think Mr. Tsutsumi feels about the sentencing?
  8. What sentence would Mr. Tsutsumi have received in your country?
  9. What famous fraud cases have taken place in your country?
  10. Do you prefer chicken or peanuts?

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. How serious do you think insider trading and falsifying company records are?
  4. What impact does fraud have on society?
  5. Do you think fraudsters are serious criminals?
  6. Do you think the $43,000 fine is chicken feed?
  7. Is being “socially ostracized” an acceptable basis to give a more lenient sentence?
  8. If an ordinary person committed a major fraud, do you think they would also receive such a lenient sentence?
  9. Do you agree with the adage, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall”?
  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

FRAUD: You are part of a new committee to decide on clear sentencing rules for business fraud. In pairs / groups, write how serious you think the fraud is in the middle column and your punishments in the right hand column.

FRAUD

SERIOUSNESS

PUNISHMENT
 

Corporate accounting scandals

 

 

Credit card fraud

 

 

False advertising

 

 

Identity theft

 

 

Forgery of documents or signatures

 

 

Phishing

 

 

Change partners and compare and discuss your ideas.

Decide together on ways of protecting against or eliminating fraud.

Give a presentation on your points to the rest of the class. Vote on the best one.

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 famous frauds. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. FRAUD: Make a poster describing one kind of fraud. Describe the measures that need to be taken to eliminate it. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write similar things?

4. LETTER: You are a prisoner serving a five-year prison sentence for a relatively minor fraud. Write a letter to the presiding judge in the Tsutsumi case and tell him what you think of the suspended sentence. 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. F

e. F

f. T

g. ?

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

meted out

awarded

b.

lenient

light

c.

falsifying

fabricating

d.

incommensurate

at odds

e.

chicken feed

peanuts

f.

fall from grace

demise

g.

adage

saying

h.

ostracized

snubbed

i.

non-existent

bogus

j.

shady

unethical

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

courts have meted

out a strangely lenient sentence

b.

found guilty of insider trading and

falsifying his company’s share records

c.

a paltry

$43,000

d.

chicken feed to

someone of his vast wealth

e.

30 months in prison,

suspended for four years

f.

Tsutsumi’s fall from

grace has been swift

g.

the bigger they are,

the harder they fall

h.

socially

ostracized

i.

fabricated hundreds of

non-existent shareholders

j.

his shady dealings

lined his own pockets

WHICH WORD?

Tycoon avoids prison over shares scam

Japanese courts have meted / bleated out a strangely lenient / lending sentence to a business tycoon who was once listed in Forbes magazine as the world’s richest man. Yoshiaki Tsutsumi was found guilty of outsider / insider trading and falsifying his company’s share records by a court in Tokyo. Presiding / Presidential judge Tsutomu Tochigi said: “The impact on society of crimes by such leading Japanese companies is very serious”. Judge Tochigi then proceeded to hand out a sentence wholly incommensurate with the gravity / depravity of the crime expressed in his summing up / down. He fined Mr. Tsutsumi a paltry $43,000 – peanuts / chicken feed to someone of his vast wealth – and sentenced him to 30 months in prison, suspended for four years. It is highly unlikely Tsutsumi will serve / service any of that time.

Tsutsumi’s fall from grace / prayer has been swift, although he does not quite prove the bandage / adage, “the bigger they are, the harder they fall,” judging from his light court sentencing. The judge said he was not sent to prison because he has already been socially pesticide / ostracized. Tsutsumi is the former chairman of Kokudo Corporation, the core / bore firm of the Seibu railway group, with holdings / helpings in construction, hotels, resorts and a baseball team. He is one of Japan's most powerful industrialists and has close connections to many of the country’s leading politicians. In September 2004, Tsutsumi lied about his steak / stake in his company and fabricated hundreds of non-existent shareholders. The subsequent sale of shares from his shady / luminous dealings lined his own pockets to the tune / tunic of $180,000,000.

TOP



 
 


 
 

Copyright © 2004-2005 by Sean Banville | Links | About | Privacy Policy