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Date: Jan 10, 2008
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: 2:06 - 491.2KB - 32kbps
Online Test: Recreate the text in this online test.

1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

Victoria Beckham worst-dressed celeb

Victoria Beckham's plan to wow Hollywood with her style took a turn for the worse yesterday. Ms Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice from the pop band the Spice Girls, was named by the 85-year-old fashion guru Richard Blackwell as 2007's Worst Dressed Celebrity. The acid-tongued critic Mr Blackwell designed dresses for Hollywood’s rich and famous in the 1950s and 60s and started compiling his lists of the world’s best and worst-dressed stars in 1960. They are now greatly looked forward to, or perhaps not in Ms Beckham’s case, by Hollywood’s dedicated followers of fashion. Mr Blackwell said Posh wore “one skinny-mini monstrosity after another”. His attack on Posh comes exactly a decade after he put the Spice Girls at number one of his list, saying they were "the only spices on the planet that have no taste".


 
 

Ms Beckham moved to Los Angeles last year, when her footballer husband David signed up with the LA Galaxy team. She quickly made friends with stars such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and ventured into the fashion industry. Posh launched her own denim and accessories collections in an attempt to become a global brand. She has also appeared on US TV shows and has written a book on style, called “That Extra Half An Inch: Hair, Heels And Everything In Between”. The second-worst-dressed woman was another Brit, troubled singer Amy Winehouse. Mr Blackwell said Britney Spears would also have made this year’s list but he felt it was “inappropriate…when her personal life is in such upheaval”. The best-dressed female celebs included Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie.

WARM-UPS

1. CLOTHES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about clothes, fashion and style. 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.

 

plans / wow / style / gurus / critics / lists /  the 1960s / monstrosities / taste / footballers / making friends / stars / fashion industry / global brands / celebs

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

3. TO WOW: What do you think of the verb ‘wow’? Talk with your partner(s) about your plans this year (make them up if you need to) to wow these people. What do you think they would say if you carry out your plans?

  • yourself
  • your parents
  • your partner
  • your best friend
  • your English teacher
  • someone you really like at school/work
  • the world
  • other ________________________

4. FASHION PARADE: Have a quick class fashion parade. Stand in a circle. Discuss with your partners the fashion of other classmates. Change partners often and share what you talked about.

5. FASHION GURUS: You are a fashion guru. Talk with your ‘fashion guru’ partner(s) about what these people would look best wearing at these places:

  • your country’s leader
  • Queen Elizabeth II
  • Britney Spears
  • George W Bush
  • Harry Potter
  • Nelson Mandela
  • the beach
  • at a dinner
  • at the cinema
  • in bed
  • at a televised awards ceremony
  • at home on the weekend

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

7. QUICK ROLE PLAY: Student A strongly believes people should think carefully about what they wear and take pride in their appearance; Student B strongly believes fashion and clothes are a waste of time. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

Victoria Beckham wanted to impress Hollywood with her style.

T / F

b.

An up-and-coming fashion critic voted her Worst Dressed Celebrity.

T / F

c.

The fashion guru said Ms Beckham looked like a monster.

T / F

d.

This is the first time she has received an attack on her fashion.

T / F

e.

Victoria followed her husband to LA so he could further his career.

T / F

f.

Victoria Beckham and Tom Cruise didn’t start a business together.

T / F

g.

The runner up for being worst dressed celebrity was also British.

T / F

h.

Britney Spears was not on the 2007 Worst Dressed Celebrities list.

T / F

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

1.

wow

a.

expert

2

a.k.a.

b.

chaos

3.

guru

c.

joined

4.

acid-tongued

d.

start

5.

exactly

e.

set out

6.

signed up with

f.

amaze

7.

ventured

g.

unsuitable

8.

launch

h.

nasty

9.

inappropriate

i.

also known as

10.

upheaval

j.

precisely

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

1.

Victoria Beckham's plan to wow

a.

for the worse

2

took a turn

b.

was another Brit

3.

The acid-tongued

c.

of fashion

4.

dedicated followers

d.

with the LA Galaxy team

5.

Posh wore one skinny-mini monstrosity

e.

into the fashion industry

6.

her footballer husband David signed up

f.

critic

7.

ventured

g.

after another

8.

an attempt to become

h.

life is in such upheaval

9.

The second-worst-dressed woman

i.

Hollywood with her style

10.

her personal

j.

a global brand

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Victoria Beckham's plan to ________ Hollywood with her style took a ________ for the worse yesterday. Ms Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice from the pop band the Spice Girls, was named by the 85-year-old fashion guru Richard Blackwell as 2007's Worst Dressed Celebrity. The ________ -tongued critic Mr Blackwell designed dresses for Hollywood’s rich and famous in the 1950s and 60s and started ________ his lists of the world’s best and worst-dressed stars in 1960. They are now greatly looked forward to, or perhaps ________ in Ms Beckham’s case, by Hollywood’s dedicated ________ of fashion. Mr Blackwell said Posh wore “one skinny-mini monstrosity after ________”. His attack on Posh comes exactly a decade after he put the Spice Girls at number one of his list, saying they were "the only spices on the planet that have no ________ ".

 

not
turn
compiling
taste
another
wow
followers
acid

Ms Beckham moved to Los Angeles last year, when her footballer husband David ________ up with the LA Galaxy team. She quickly made friends with stars such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and ________ into the fashion industry. Posh launched her own denim and accessories collections in an ________ to become a global brand. She has also appeared on US TV shows and has written a book on ________, called “That Extra Half An Inch: Hair, Heels And Everything In Between”. The second-worst-dressed woman was ________ Brit, troubled singer Amy Winehouse. Mr Blackwell said Britney Spears would ________ have made this year’s list but he felt it was “inappropriate…when her personal ________ is in such upheaval”. The best-dressed female celebs ________ Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie.

 

ventured signed
life
attempt
also
included
style
another

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Victoria Beckham's plan to wow Hollywood with her style ________________ worse yesterday. Ms Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice from the pop band the Spice Girls, was named by the 85-year-old fashion guru Richard Blackwell as 2007's Worst Dressed Celebrity. The ________________ Mr Blackwell designed dresses for Hollywood’s rich and famous in the 1950s and 60s and started ________________ of the world’s best and worst-dressed stars in 1960. They are now greatly looked forward to, ________________ Ms Beckham’s case, by Hollywood’s ____________________ fashion. Mr Blackwell said Posh wore “one skinny-mini ________________ another”. His attack on Posh comes exactly a decade after he put the Spice Girls at number one of his list, saying they were "the ________________ planet that have no taste".

Ms Beckham moved to Los Angeles last year, when her footballer husband David ________________ LA Galaxy team. She quickly made friends with stars such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and ________________ fashion industry. Posh launched her own denim and accessories collections in an ________________ a global brand. She has also appeared on US TV shows and has written ________________, called “That Extra Half An Inch: Hair, Heels And Everything In Between”. The second-worst-dressed woman was another Brit, ________________ Amy Winehouse. Mr Blackwell said Britney Spears would also have made this year’s list ___________________ “inappropriate…when her personal life is ________________”. The best-dressed female celebs included Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

rich

famous

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • turn
  • 85-year-old
  • acid
  • not
  • monstrosity
  • planet
  • signed
  • stars
  • global
  • inch
  • personal
  • Nicole Kidman

STUDENT CLOTHES SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about clothes 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 springs to mind when you hear the word ‘celebrity’?

c)

Would you like to visit Hollywood?

d)

Do you think fashion is important?

e)

What do you think of Victoria Beckham being named Worst Dressed Celebrity?

f)

What do you think Victoria Beckham thinks of being named Worst Dressed Celebrity?

g)

Are you well-dressed of badly-dressed?

h)

Do you think lists like the ones Richard Blackwell compiled are good?

i)

When was the last time things took a turn for the worse in your country?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you think life would be like living in Hollywood and making friends with the stars?

c)

What sort of industry would you like to venture into?

d)

What do you think the title of Victoria Beckham’s book means? Would you like to read it?

e)

Who do you think are the world’s worst and best-dressed people?

f)

What do you think of what I’m wearing right now?

g)

Can you think of any monstrosities or embarrassing items of clothing you wore when you were younger?

h)

What questions would you like to ask Victoria Beckham?

i)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

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

Victoria Beckham's plan to wow Hollywood with her style took a (1) ____ for the worse yesterday. Ms Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice from the pop band the Spice Girls, was (2) ____ by the 85-year-old fashion guru Richard Blackwell as 2007's Worst Dressed Celebrity. The acid-tongued (3) ____ Mr Blackwell designed dresses for Hollywood’s rich and famous in the 1950s and 60s and started compiling his lists of the world’s best and worst-dressed stars in 1960. They are now (4) ____ looked forward to, or perhaps not in Ms Beckham’s case, by Hollywood’s dedicated followers (5) ____ fashion. Mr Blackwell said Posh wore “one skinny-mini monstrosity after another”. His attack on Posh comes (6) ____ a decade after he put the Spice Girls at number one of his list, saying they were "the only spices on the planet that have no taste".

Ms Beckham moved to Los Angeles last year, when her footballer husband David signed (7) ____ with the LA Galaxy team. She quickly made friends with stars such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and ventured (8) ____ the fashion industry. Posh launched her (9) ____ denim and accessories collections in an attempt to become a global brand. She has also appeared on US TV shows and has written a book (10) ____ style, called “That Extra Half An Inch: Hair, Heels And Everything In Between”. The second-worst-dressed woman was (11) ____ Brit, troubled singer Amy Winehouse. Mr Blackwell said Britney Spears would also have made this year’s list but he felt it was “inappropriate…when her personal life is in (12) ____ upheaval”. The best-dressed female celebs included Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie.

1.

(a)

turning

(b)

turnaround

(c)

U-turn

(d)

turn

2.

(a)

naming

(b)

nameless

(c)

named

(d)

name

3.

(a)

critical

(b)

critic

(c)

criticize

(d)

critique

4.

(a)

greatly

(b)

greater

(c)

greatness

(d)

greatest

5.

(a)

without

(b)

with

(c)

of

(d)

from

6.

(a)

precision

(b)

precise

(c)

exact

(d)

exactly

7.

(a)

for

(b)

up

(c)

down

(d)

of

8.

(a)

into

(b)

onto

(c)

unto

(d)

to

9.

(a)

down

(b)

own

(c)

gown

(d)

town

10.

(a)

from

(b)

at

(c)

on

(d)

in

11.

(a)

another

(b)

other

(c)

the other

(d)

also

12.

(a)

many

(b)

so

(c)

most

(d)

such

WRITING: 

Write about style 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 Victoria Beckham. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. STYLE: What is style? Make a poster about style in different areas (fashion, furniture, food…). Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. CRITIC: You are a fashion critic. Write a magazine article about style and fashion in your country. Include (imaginary) interviews with a top fashion designer and a good friend of yours.

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

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Victoria Beckham. Ask her three questions about her thoughts on being named Worst Dressed Celebrity. Give her three suggestions on what she should do to wow her critics. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. F

d. F

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

wow

a.

amaze

2

a.k.a.

b.

also known as

3.

guru

c.

expert

4.

acid-tongued

d.

nasty

5.

exactly

e.

precisely

6.

signed up with

f.

joined

7.

ventured

g.

set out

8.

launch

h.

start

9.

inappropriate

i.

unsuitable

10.

upheaval

j.

chaos

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Victoria Beckham's plan to wow

a.

Hollywood with her style

2

took a turn

b.

for the worse

3.

The acid-tongued

c.

critic

4.

dedicated followers

d.

of fashion

5.

Posh wore one skinny-mini monstrosity

e.

after another

6.

her footballer husband David signed up

f.

with the LA Galaxy team

7.

ventured

g.

into the fashion industry

8.

an attempt to become

h.

a global brand

9.

The second-worst-dressed woman

i.

was another Brit

10.

her personal

j.

life is in such upheaval

GAP FILL:

Victoria Beckham worst-dressed celeb

Victoria Beckham's plan to wow Hollywood with her style took a turn for the worse yesterday. Ms Beckham, a.k.a. Posh Spice from the pop band the Spice Girls, was named by the 85-year-old fashion guru Richard Blackwell as 2007's Worst Dressed Celebrity. The acid-tongued critic Mr Blackwell designed dresses for Hollywood’s rich and famous in the 1950s and 60s and started compiling his lists of the world’s best and worst-dressed stars in 1960. They are now greatly looked forward to, or perhaps not in Ms Beckham’s case, by Hollywood’s dedicated followers of fashion. Mr Blackwell said Posh wore “one skinny-mini monstrosity after another”. His attack on Posh comes exactly a decade after he put the Spice Girls at number one of his list, saying they were "the only spices on the planet that have no taste".

Ms Beckham moved to Los Angeles last year, when her footballer husband David signed up with the LA Galaxy team. She quickly made friends with stars such as Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and ventured into the fashion industry. Posh launched her own denim and accessories collections in an attempt to become a global brand. She has also appeared on US TV shows and has written a book on style, called “That Extra Half An Inch: Hair, Heels And Everything In Between”. The second-worst-dressed woman was another Brit, troubled singer Amy Winehouse. Mr Blackwell said Britney Spears would also have made this year’s list but he felt it was “inappropriate…when her personal life is in such upheaval”. The best-dressed female celebs included Nicole Kidman and Angelina Jolie.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 -c

3 - b

4 -a

5 - c

6 - d

7 -b

8 - a

9 - b

10 -c

11 - a

12 - d

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