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: Mar 7, 2008
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: 2:04 - 486.1KB - 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

Study doubts aromatherapy’s effects

A new study has cast doubts on the effects and benefits of aromatherapy. The research is from Ohio State University in the USA. It says that despite the popularity of the therapy around the world, there is very little scientific data to show that it works. Researchers found that many of the oils used in aromatherapy had little or no effect on their 56 volunteer test subjects. In some cases, plain water made the volunteers feel better than the oils. The team’s leader, professor Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, suggested that people should question whether aromatherapy products do what manufacturers say they can do, especially for pain relief. She said: "I don't think [they] do harm….I just don't think that [these products] do good in the ways that they suggest they do." She cautioned people to "keep [this] in mind before spending a lot of money on [aromatherapy].”


 
 

Aromatherapy has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, especially in India. It has become increasingly popular in the West and is enjoying a boom. Even Britain’s Prince Charles, a keen believer in the therapy, persuaded the British government to offer it as part of the UK’s health system. Professor Kiecolt-Glaser tried to test whether scents worked in the same way as drugs work. She looked at the two most common oils that are used in aromatherapy, lemon and lavender. Aromatherapists say lemon oil improves our mood, while lavender helps to reduce stress and make us sleep better. Her research concluded that neither smell had any positive impact on the body. One of the volunteers was surprised at the findings and said she would not stop buying the oils. "I know when I smell something like lavender, I feel more relaxed," she said.

WARM-UPS

1. SMELLS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about smells – nice and not nice, good and bad. 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.

 

casting doubts / benefits / popularity / therapy / oils / volunteers / pain relief / medicinal purposes / booms / health systems / lemon / stress / positive impact

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

3. OIL MEDICINE: You have a new job. You have to tell people what health benefits are contained in the aroma / scent of these oils. You know nothing about the oils but you get paid lots of money. With your partner(s), make up the things you will lie to people about. Change partners and share your ideas.

Oil

Main health benefits

Especially good for people with…

coconut

sunflower

olive

grapefruit

peppermint

rose

patchouli

vanilla

4. ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE: Talk with your partner(s) about these “alternative” medicines/therapies. Change partners and share your findings.

  • aromatherapy
  • homeopathy
  • acupuncture
  • Chinese medicine
  • reiki
  • Pilates
  • hypnotherapy
  • yoga
  • massage therapy
  • other ___________________

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

6. QUICK ROLE PLAY: Students A strongly believe that smelling natural oils can cure our body of different problems; Students B strongly believe that smells cannot make us better. 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.

A US study has said aromatherapy has absolutely no benefits.

T / F

b.

There is very little data available on the effects of aromatherapy.

T / F

c.

A researcher suggested consumers should think before they oils.

T / F

d.

The researcher said many of the oils actually harm the body.

T / F

e.

Indian people began using aromatherapy a few decades ago.

T / F

f.

Britain’s Prince Charles is a fan of aromatherapy.

T / F

g.

Lavender oil can help keep us awake for long periods of time.

T / F

h.

A volunteer said she would continue to buy her favourite oils.

T / F

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

1.

doubts

a.

warned

2

despite

b.

smells / aromas

3.

cases

c.

enthusiastic

4.

harm

d.

uncertainties

5.

cautioned

e.

healing

6.

medicinal

f.

state of mind

7.

keen

g.

regardless of

8.

scents

h.

beneficial

9.

mood

i.

damage

10.

positive

j.

instances

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

1.

A new study has cast

a.

I feel more relaxed

2

despite the popularity

b.

show that it works

3.

very little scientific data to

c.

popular in the West

4.

water made the volunteers feel

d.

impact on the body

5.

She cautioned people to keep

e.

doubts on the effects

6.

used for medicinal

f.

believer in the therapy

7.

It has become increasingly

g.

better than the oils

8.

a keen

h.

this in mind

9.

neither smell had any positive

i.

of the therapy

10.

when I smell something like lavender,

j.

purposes

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

A new study has __________ doubts on the effects and benefits of aromatherapy. The research is from Ohio State University in the USA. It says that __________ the popularity of the therapy around the world, there is very little scientific data to __________ that it works. Researchers found that many of the oils used in aromatherapy had __________ or no effect on their 56 volunteer test subjects. In some cases, plain water made the volunteers feel better than the oils. The team’s leader, professor Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, suggested that people should __________ whether aromatherapy products do what manufacturers say they can do, especially for pain __________. She said: "I don't think [they] do harm….I just don't think that [these products] do good in the ways that they __________ they do." She cautioned people to "keep [this] in __________ before spending a lot of money on [aromatherapy].”

 

relief
despite
little
mind
cast
show
suggest
question

Aromatherapy has been used for medicinal __________ for thousands of years, especially in India. It has become increasingly __________ in the West and is enjoying a __________. Even Britain’s Prince Charles, a __________ believer in the therapy, persuaded the British government to offer it as part of the UK’s health system. Professor Kiecolt-Glaser tried to test whether __________ worked in the same way as drugs work. She looked at the two most common oils that are used in aromatherapy, lemon and lavender. Aromatherapists say lemon oil improves our __________, while lavender helps to __________ stress and make us sleep better. Her research concluded that neither smell had any positive impact on the body. One of the volunteers was surprised at the findings and said she would not stop __________ the oils. "I know when I smell something like lavender I feel more relaxed," she said.

 

mood
 keen

popular
reduce
purposes
buying
scents
boom

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

A new study _________________________ effects and benefits of aromatherapy. The research is from Ohio State University in the USA. It says _________________________ the therapy around the world, there is very little scientific data to show that it works. Researchers found that many of the oils used in aromatherapy _________________________ their 56 volunteer test subjects. In some cases, plain water made the volunteers _________________________. The team’s leader, professor Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, suggested that people should question whether aromatherapy products do _________________________ can do, especially for pain relief. She said: "I don't think [they] do harm….I just don't think that [these products] do good in the ____________________________." She cautioned people to "keep [this] in mind before spending a lot of money on [aromatherapy].”

Aromatherapy has been __________________________ thousands of years, especially in India. It has become increasingly popular in the West _________________________. Even Britain’s Prince Charles, a keen believer in the therapy, persuaded the British government _________________________ the UK’s health system. Professor Kiecolt-Glaser tried to test whether scents _________________________ drugs work. She looked at the two most common oils that are used in aromatherapy, lemon and lavender. Aromatherapists say lemon oil improves our mood, while lavender helps to reduce stress ______________________. Her research concluded that neither smell had any positive impact on the body. One of the volunteers was _________________________ and said she would not stop buying the oils. "I know when I smell something like lavender, I feel more relaxed," she said.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

aroma

therapy

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • cast
  • despite
  • 56
  • question
  • do good
  • mind
  • purposes
  • boom
  • keen
  • scents
  • reduce
  • I know

STUDENT SMELLS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about smells 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 ‘aromatherapy’?

c)

Have you ever tried / Would you like to try aromatherapy?

d)

How do you think aromatherapy works?

e)

The study in the article that says aromatherapy doesn’t really work. What do you think of this?

f)

Do smells make you feel better?

g)

What are your favourite smells?

h)

Which is better, the smell of freshly baked bread or freshly brewed coffee?

i)

Do you think smells and aromas have healing powers?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Don’t you think aromatherapy works if it has been used in India for thousands of years?

c)

What do you think of Prince Charles speaking up for aromatherapy?

d)

Do you think the oils do what the manufacturers say they do?

e)

Shopping malls use scents to make us feel happier and therefore shop more? What do you think about this?

f)

What do you think of “alternative” medicines and therapies?

g)

What aromas help you study English better?

h)

What smells from childhood can you remember?

i)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

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

A new study has (1) ____ doubts on the effects and benefits of aromatherapy. The research is from Ohio State University in the USA. It says that (2) ____ the popularity of the therapy around the world, there is very little scientific data to show that it works. Researchers found that many of the oils used in aromatherapy had little or (3) ____ effect on their 56 volunteer test subjects. In some cases, plain water made the volunteers (4) ____ better than the oils. The team’s leader, professor Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, suggested that people should question whether aromatherapy products do what manufacturers say they can do, especially (5) ____ pain relief. She said: "I don't think [they] do harm….I just don't think that [these products] do good in the ways that they suggest they do." She cautioned people to "keep [this] (6) ____ mind before spending a lot of money on [aromatherapy].”

Aromatherapy has been used for (7) ____ purposes for thousands of years, especially in India. It has become increasingly popular in the West and is enjoying a boom. Even Britain’s Prince Charles, a keen believer (8) ____ the therapy, persuaded the British government to offer (9) ____ as part of the UK’s health system. Professor Kiecolt-Glaser tried to test whether scents worked (10) ____ the same way as drugs work. She looked at the two most common oils that are used in aromatherapy, lemon and lavender. Aromatherapists say lemon oil improves our mood, while lavender helps to (11) ____ stress and make us sleep better. Her research concluded that neither smell had any positive impact on the body. One of the volunteers was surprised (12) ____ the findings and said she would not stop buying the oils. "I know when I smell something like lavender, I feel more relaxed," she said.

1.

(a)

caste

(b)

casts

(c)

caster

(d)

cast

2.

(a)

despite

(b)

spite

(c)

in spite

(d)

respite

3.

(a)

not

(b)

no

(c)

nothing

(d)

none

4.

(a)

feeling

(b)

felt

(c)

feel

(d)

feels

5.

(a)

by

(b)

to

(c)

for

(d)

the

6.

(a)

under

(b)

in

(c)

on

(d)

inside

7.

(a)

medicines

(b)

medicate

(c)

medic

(d)

medicinal

8.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

by

(d)

with

9.

(a)

him

(b)

it

(c)

them

(d)

they

10.

(a)

for

(b)

as

(c)

on

(d)

in

11.

(a)

increase

(b)

worsen

(c)

reduce

(d)

help

12.

(a)

at

(b)

for

(c)

to

(d)

a lot

WRITING: 

Write about smells 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 out about aromatherapy. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. AROMAS: Make a poster about your favourite aromas and/or your least liked smells. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. AROMATHERAPY: Write a magazine article about the effects of aromatherapy. Include imaginary interviews an aromatherapist and someone who tried aromatherapy without success.

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

5. LETTER: Write a letter to professor Janice Kiecolt-Glaser. Ask her three questions about aromatherapy. Give her your thoughts on aromatherapy. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

doubts

a.

uncertainties

2

despite

b.

regardless of

3.

cases

c.

instances

4.

harm

d.

damage

5.

cautioned

e.

warned

6.

medicinal

f.

healing

7.

keen

g.

enthusiastic

8.

scents

h.

smells / aromas

9.

mood

i.

state of mind

10.

positive

j.

beneficial

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

A new study has cast

a.

doubts on the effects

2

despite the popularity

b.

of the therapy

3.

very little scientific data to

c.

show that it works

4.

water made the volunteers feel

d.

better than the oils

5.

She cautioned people to keep

e.

this in mind

6.

used for medicinal

f.

purposes

7.

It has become increasingly

g.

popular in the West

8.

a keen

h.

believer in the therapy

9.

neither smell had any positive

i.

impact on the body

10.

when I smell something like lavender,

j.

I feel more relaxed

GAP FILL:

Study doubts aromatherapy’s effects

A new study has cast doubts on the effects and benefits of aromatherapy. The research is from Ohio State University in the USA. It says that despite the popularity of the therapy around the world, there is very little scientific data to show that it works. Researchers found that many of the oils used in aromatherapy had little or no effect on their 56 volunteer test subjects. In some cases, plain water made the volunteers feel better than the oils. The team’s leader, professor Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, suggested that people should question whether aromatherapy products do what manufacturers say they can do, especially for pain relief. She said: "I don't think [they] do harm….I just don't think that [these products] do good in the ways that they suggest they do." She cautioned people to "keep [this] in mind before spending a lot of money on [aromatherapy].”

Aromatherapy has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years, especially in India. It has become increasingly popular in the West and is enjoying a boom. Even Britain’s Prince Charles, a keen believer in the therapy, persuaded the British government to offer it as part of the UK’s health system. Professor Kiecolt-Glaser tried to test whether scents worked in the same way as drugs work. She looked at the two most common oils that are used in aromatherapy, lemon and lavender. Aromatherapists say lemon oil improves our mood, while lavender helps to reduce stress and make us sleep better. Her research concluded that neither smell had any positive impact on the body. One of the volunteers was surprised at the findings and said she would not stop buying the oils. "I know when I smell something like lavender I feel more relaxed," she said.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - b

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - d

8 - a

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

Back to the top

Help Support This Web Site

Sean Banville's Book


Copyright © 2004-2008 by Sean Banville | Links | About | Privacy Policy