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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Facebook and MySpace

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Date: Nov 8, 2007
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THE ARTICLE

Facebook and MySpace start 'hyper-targeting'

The world of advertising is set to change as social networking sites open up their pages to advertisers. The sites Facebook and MySpace are now seemingly locked in a battle to win over advertisers by offering them exclusive access to visitors’ pages on their websites. Both sites will allow companies to place targeted adverts based on the information their users have provided in their profile. There is a huge amount of data for advertisers to aim at, including geographical details, hobbies, employment, likes and dislikes and a whole world more. This opens up enormous potential for advertisers for what is now being called ‘hyper-targeting’. The sites have calmed fears that private information might be used. MySpace has assured its users that only data they choose to be made public will be available to advertisers.

The social networking sites have hundreds of millions of users, half of whom logon to their personal pages on a daily basis. The sites allow people to connect with others across the globe and are now an important part of people’s lives. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described how his new ads would work: "It's no longer just about messages that are broadcast by companies, but increasingly about information that is shared between friends,” he said. Zuckerberg described how advertisers will also use Facebook to advertise: "The core of every user's experience on Facebook is their page and that's where businesses are going to start as well," he explained. He added: "The first thing businesses can do is design a page to craft the exact experience they want people to see." Companies such as Coca Cola, Microsoft and Sony have already signed up.

WARM-UPS

1. SOCIAL NETWORKING: Walk around the class and talk to other students about social networking online and offline. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

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

advertising / battles / website adverts / personal profiles / private information / Internet users / connecting / messages / website pages / online experiences

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. PRIVATE INFORMATION:  Are you happy to put your personal information online? With your partner(s), discuss what kind of personal and financial information on the left you would put on the sites on the right.

  • Name
  • Age / Date of birth
  • Credit card number
  • Address
  • Photo
  • Marital status
  • Chat rooms / Discussion boards
  • Amazon.com
  • Social networking sites
  • Online bank
  • Your own personal website
  • A guestbook

4. WEB OPINIONS: Which of these opinions do you agree and disagree with? Discuss with your partner(s).

  • Social networking sites are only for people with poor social skills.
  • One day we will never need to leave the house – Life will be online.
  • The Internet will be the most dangerous thing in our lives.
  • Someone will steal the identity of a world leader and do bad things with it.
  • People should go back to writing letters. E-mails make us lazy.
  • Social networking will help bring peace to the world.

5. ADVERTISING: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘advertising’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think social networking sites are dangerous. Students B think the opposite. Debate this with your partners. 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.

Social networking sites will ban adverts on all of their pages.

T / F

b.

MySpace is in a battle to win advertising space on Facebook’s site.

T / F

c.

Social networking site ads will target people’s personal information.

T / F

d.

MySpace and Facebook will not target private information.

T / F

e.

About ten percent of social networking users logon every day.

T / F

f.

Info that is shared among friends will play a part in the new ads.

T / F

g.

Businesses will also design pages on MySpace and Facebook.

T / F

h.

No multinational company has signed up to advertise on the sites.

T / F

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

1.

locked

a.

huge

2

battle

b.

identical

3.

allow

c.

air

4.

enormous

d.

guaranteed

5.

assured

e.

create

6.

connect

f.

encounter

7.

broadcast

g.

entwined

8.

core

h.

link

9.

craft

i.

heart

10.

exact

j.

let

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

1.

The world of advertising is

a.

their users have provided

2

… seemingly locked in a battle

b.

are broadcast by companies

3.

targeted adverts based on the information

c.

public will be available

4.

This opens up enormous

d.

of millions of users

5.

only data its users choose to be made

e.

to win over advertisers

6.

The social networking sites have hundreds

f.

user's experience

7.

The sites allow people to connect with

g.

potential for advertisers

8.

It's no longer just about messages that

h.

they want people to see

9.

The core of every

i.

set to change

10.

craft the exact experience

j.

others across the globe

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

The world of advertising is __________ to change as social networking sites open up their __________ to advertisers. The sites Facebook and MySpace are now seemingly __________ in a battle to win over advertisers by offering them exclusive access to visitors’ pages on their websites. Both sites will allow companies to __________ targeted adverts based on the information their users have provided in their profile. There is a huge amount of data for advertisers to __________ at, including geographical details, hobbies, employment, likes and dislikes and a whole world more. This opens up enormous __________ for advertisers for what is now being called ‘hyper-targeting’. The sites have __________ fears that private information might be used. MySpace has assured its users that only data they __________ to be made public will be available to advertisers.

 

 

 

aim
pages
choose
set
calmed
place
locked
potential

The social networking sites have hundreds of __________ of users, half of whom logon to their personal pages on a daily __________. The sites allow people to connect with others across the globe and are now an important part of people’s __________. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described how his new ads would work: "It's no longer just about messages that are __________ by companies, but increasingly about information that is __________ between friends,” he said. Zuckerberg described how advertisers will also use Facebook to advertise: "The __________ of every user's experience on Facebook is their page and that's where businesses are going to start as well," he explained. He added: "The first thing businesses can do is design a page to __________ the exact experience they want people to see." Companies such as Coca Cola, Microsoft and Sony have already __________ up.

 

 

core

basis
signed
broadcast
craft
millions
shared
lives

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

The world of advertising ___________________ social networking sites open up their pages to advertisers. The sites Facebook and MySpace are now ___________________ battle to win over advertisers by offering them exclusive access to visitors’ pages on their websites. Both sites will allow companies to place targeted ___________________ information their users have provided in their profile. There is a ___________________ for advertisers to aim at, including geographical details, hobbies, employment, likes and dislikes ___________________. This opens up enormous potential for advertisers for what is now being called ‘hyper-targeting’. The sites have calmed fears that private information might be used. MySpace has assured ___________________ its users choose to be made public will be available to advertisers.

The social networking sites have hundreds of millions of users, ___________________ to their personal pages on a daily basis. The sites allow people to connect ___________________ globe and are now an important part of people’s lives. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described how ___________________: "It's no longer just about messages that are broadcast by companies, ___________________ information that is shared between friends,” he said. Zuckerberg described how advertisers will also use Facebook to advertise: "The ___________________ experience on Facebook is their page and that's where businesses are going to start as well," he explained. He added: "The first thing businesses ___________________ page to craft the exact experience they want people to see." Companies such as Coca Cola, Microsoft and Sony ___________________.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

social

network

 

 

 

 

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

  • set
  • locked
  • profile
  • world
  • calmed
  • public
  • whom
  • globe
  • broadcast
  • core
  • craft
  • signed up

STUDENT SOCIAL NETWORKING SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about social networking in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

DISCUSSION

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

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What do you know about MySpace and Facebook?

c)

What do you think that in today’s world, new companies can become household names overnight?

d)

What do you think of social networking?

e)

Would you prefer to network online or offline?

f)

Do you think there is too much advertising in the world?

g)

Would you be happy that companies are targeting your personal information?

h)

What do you understand by the term ‘hyper-targeting’?

i)

Do you believe websites when they say they will keep your personal information safe?

--------------------------------------------------------------------

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think most of the world will be online social networkers one day?

c)

What do you think of the speed with which we can now communicate with each other across the globe?

d)

Is the Internet an important part of your life?

e)

Would you want the information you share between your friends to be used to target adverts?

f)

Facebook says the targeted ads will be exactly those that users might want to see. What do you think of this?

g)

Are you interested in seeing how this new advertising system will work?

h)

What questions would you like to ask Mark Zuckerberg?

i)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

CORRECT WORD: Put the correct words from a–d below in the article.

The world of advertising is (1) ____ to change as social networking sites open up their pages to advertisers. The sites Facebook and MySpace are now seemingly (2) ____ in a battle to win over advertisers by offering them exclusive access to visitors’ pages on their websites. Both sites will allow companies to (3) ____ targeted adverts based on the information their users have provided in their profile. There is a huge amount of data for advertisers to aim (4) ____, including geographical details, hobbies, employment, likes and dislikes and a whole world more. This opens up enormous (5) ____ for advertisers for what is now being called ‘hyper-targeting’. The sites have   (6) ____ fears that private information might be used. MySpace has assured its users that only data they choose to be made public will be available to advertisers.

The social networking sites have hundreds of millions of users, half (7) ____ whom logon to their personal pages on a daily (8) ____. The sites allow people to connect with others across the globe and are now an important part of people’s lives. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described how his new ads would work: "It's no (9) ____ just about messages that are broadcast by companies, but increasingly about information that is shared between friends,” he said. Zuckerberg described how advertisers will also use Facebook to advertise: "The (10) ____ of every user's experience on Facebook is their page and that's where businesses are going to start as well," he explained. He added: "The first thing businesses can do is design a page to (11) ____ the exact experience they want people to see." Companies such as Coca Cola, Microsoft and Sony have already signed (12) ____.

1.

(a)

set

(b)

settle

(c)

set up

(d)

set out

2.

(a)

shut

(b)

keyed

(c)

locked

(d)

closed

3.

(a)

placing

(b)

placed

(c)

plaice

(d)

place

4.

(a)

in

(b)

at

(c)

to

(d)

of

5.

(a)

patents

(b)

portal

(c)

potential

(d)

potent

6.

(a)

calmed

(b)

claimed

(c)

clammed

(d)

clamped

7.

(a)

for

(b)

of

(c)

at

(d)

with

8.

(a)

basics

(b)

basic

(c)

base

(d)

basis

9.

(a)

length

(b)

long

(c)

longer

(d)

longing

10.

(a)

core

(b)

apple

(c)

pip

(d)

peel

11.

(a)

hobby

(b)

craft

(c)

skill

(d)

talent

12.

(a)

out

(b)

with

(c)

over

(d)

up

WRITING: 

Write about social networking for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

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 about MySpace and Facebook. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. SOCIAL NETWORKING: Make a poster about Internet sites that require you to upload personal information. Highlight the dangers of this. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all include similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about social networking and its benefits and dangers. Include imaginary interviews with parents and site CEOs.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down new words and expressions.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Mark Zuckerberg. Ask him three questions about his site. Give him three pieces of advice on how to make it better. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. F

c. T

d. T

e. F

f. T

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

locked

a.

entwined

2

battle

b.

encounter

3.

allow

c.

let

4.

enormous

d.

huge

5.

assured

e.

guaranteed

6.

connect

f.

link

7.

broadcast

g.

air

8.

core

h.

heart

9.

craft

i.

create

10.

exact

j.

identical

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

The world of advertising is

a.

set to change

2

… seemingly locked in a battle

b.

to win over advertisers

3.

targeted adverts based on the information

c.

their users have provided

4.

This opens up enormous

d.

potential for advertisers

5.

only data its users choose to be made

e.

public will be available

6.

The social networking sites have hundreds

f.

of millions of users

7.

The sites allow people to connect with

g.

others across the globe

8.

It's no longer just about messages that

h.

are broadcast by companies

9.

The core of every

i.

user's experience

10.

craft the exact experience

j.

they want people to see

GAP FILL:

Facebook and MySpace start ‘hyper-targeting’

The world of advertising is set to change as social networking sites open up their pages to advertisers. The sites Facebook and MySpace are now seemingly locked in a battle to win over advertisers by offering them exclusive access to visitors’ pages on their websites. Both sites will allow companies to place targeted adverts based on the information their users have provided in their profile. There is a huge amount of data for advertisers to aim at, including geographical details, hobbies, employment, likes and dislikes and a whole world more. This opens up enormous potential for advertisers for what is now being called ‘hyper-targeting’. The sites have calmed fears that private information might be used. MySpace has assured its users that only data they choose to be made public will be available to advertisers.

The social networking sites have hundreds of millions of users, half of whom logon to their personal pages on a daily basis. The sites allow people to connect with others across the globe and are now an important part of people’s lives. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg described how his new ads would work: "It's no longer just about messages that are broadcast by companies, but increasingly about information that is shared between friends,” he said. Zuckerberg described how advertisers will also use Facebook to advertise: "The core of every user's experience on Facebook is their page and that's where businesses are going to start as well," he explained. He added: "The first thing businesses can do is design a page to craft the exact experience they want people to see." Companies such as Coca Cola, Microsoft and Sony have already signed up.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - c

3 - d

4 - b

5 - c

6 - a

7 - b

8 - d

9 - c

10 - a

11 - b

12 - d

 

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