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Date: December 8, 2008
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Audio: 1:56 - 905KB - 64kbps
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THE ARTICLE

Oprah Winfrey most powerful woman

Oprah Winfrey has been named the most powerful woman in entertainment. This is according to the entertainment trade publication The Hollywood Reporter. She jumped up from the number six spot, which she occupied in 2007. Her rise to the top may be due to the influence she had on the US Election in November 2008. Analysts reckon her support of Barack Obama brought him over one million votes. The Hollywood Reporter's chief editor Elizabeth Guider explained: "The decision to place Oprah at the top of the list was based on her dizzying array of Oprah-branded media and her immense cultural influence," she said. TIME magazine listed Winfrey as one of the 100 people of the twentieth century.


 
 

Oprah Winfrey is a household name in many parts of the world. Her rags-to-riches life is an incredible success story. She is a self-made woman who became the world’s first black billionaire in 2004. Winfrey owns her own production company Harpo (’Oprah’ spelt backwards), which made $345 million in profit in 2007. She is perhaps most famous for her chat shows. The "Oprah Winfrey Show" began in 1986 and has been one of the world’s most-watched programmes ever since. Winfrey's entertainment empire covers TV, magazines, book clubs and online shopping. She is also extremely well known for her charity work. She is set to launch her own TV channel, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), which will reach 70 million homes.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. POWER: Walk around the class and talk to other students about power. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your partner(s) and share your findings.

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

 

being powerful / entertainment / jumping up / rise to the top / influence / decisions / household names / rags to riches / success stories / chat shows / charity work

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

3. MY INFLUENCE: Would you like to have influence? What would you do if you had a lot of influence? Complete the table below. Share what you wrote with other students. Decide as a class who would best use their influence.

Influence on…

How I’d use my influence

Why

Movies

 

 

My culture

 

 

Politicians

 

 

Education

 

 

World Leaders

 

 

My family

 

 

4. RAGS TO RICHES: Students A strongly believe we all have the ability to become billionaires; Students B strongly believe only a tiny, tiny proportion of us have the ability to make ourselves rich. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. WELL KNOWN: What would you like to be well known for? Write four things below. Talk about these things with your partner(s). Change partners and discuss what you talked about.

  • ___________________________
  • ___________________________
  • ___________________________
  • ___________________________

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


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

Oprah Winfrey won a competition testing the strength of celebrities.

T / F

b.

Winfrey had an influence on the 2008 US Election.

T / F

c.

Oprah bought Barack Obama over a million votes in the election.

T / F

d.

TIME magazine said Oprah was one of the 20th century’s top people.

T / F

e.

Oprah was born into a very rich family.

T / F

f.

Oprah reversed the letters of her given name for her company name.

T / F

g.

The Oprah Winfrey Show is the most successful show in TV history.

T / F

h.

Oprah may soon be in 70 million living rooms via her own TV network.

T / F

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

1.

trade

a.

get to

2

rise

b.

believe

3.

reckon

c.

huge

4.

array

d.

started

5.

immense

e.

variety

6.

incredible

f.

very

7.

began

g.

industry

8.

empire

h.

amazing

9.

extremely

i.

organization

10.

reach

j.

elevation

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

1.

the most powerful woman

a.

for her chat shows

2

the influence she had on the

b.

influence

3.

She jumped up from the

c.

watched programmes

4.

her immense cultural

d.

household name

5.

the 100 people of

e.

in entertainment

6.

Oprah Winfrey is a

f.

number six spot

7.

’Oprah’ spelt

g.

her own TV channel

8.

She is perhaps most famous

h.

the twentieth century

9.

one of the world’s most-

i.

backwards

10.

She is set to launch

j.

US Election

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Oprah Winfrey has been __________ the most powerful woman in entertainment. This is __________ to the entertainment trade publication The Hollywood Reporter. She jumped up from the __________ six spot, which she occupied in 2007. Her rise to the top may be __________ to the influence she had on the US Election in November 2008. Analysts __________ her support of Barack Obama brought him over one million votes. The Hollywood Reporter's chief editor Elizabeth Guider explained: "The __________ to place Oprah at the top of the list was based on her dizzying array of Oprah-branded __________ and her immense cultural influence," she said. TIME magazine __________ Winfrey as one of the 100 people of the twentieth century.

 

due
listed
number
decision
reckon
named
media
according

Oprah Winfrey is a __________ name in many parts of the world. Her rags-to-riches life is an incredible success __________. She is a self-made woman who became the world’s first black billionaire in 2004. Winfrey __________ her own production company Harpo (’Oprah’ spelt backwards), which __________ $345 million in profit in 2007. She is perhaps most __________ for her chat shows. The "Oprah Winfrey Show" began in 1986 and has been one of the world’s most-watched programmes ever __________. Winfrey's entertainment empire covers TV, magazines, book clubs and online shopping. She is also extremely well known for her __________ work. She is set to launch her own TV channel, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), which will __________ 70 million homes.

 

famous
owns
reach
charity
household
story
made
since

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Oprah Winfrey has __________________ most powerful woman in entertainment. This is according to the entertainment trade publication The Hollywood Reporter. She __________________ number six spot, which she occupied in 2007. Her __________________ be due to the influence she had on the US Election in November 2008. Analysts __________________ of Barack Obama brought him over one million votes. The Hollywood Reporter's chief editor Elizabeth Guider explained: "The decision to place Oprah at the top of the list was based on __________________ of Oprah-branded media __________________ cultural influence," she said. TIME magazine listed Winfrey as one of the 100 people of the twentieth century.

Oprah Winfrey is a __________________ many parts of the world. Her rags-to-riches life is an incredible success story. She is a self-made woman __________________ world’s first black billionaire in 2004. Winfrey owns her own production company Harpo (’Oprah’ __________________), which made $345 million in profit in 2007. She is perhaps most famous for her chat shows. The "Oprah Winfrey Show" began in 1986 __________________ the world’s most-watched programmes ever since. Winfrey's entertainment empire covers TV, magazines, book clubs and online shopping. She is also extremely __________________ charity work. She is set to launch her own TV channel, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), __________________ 70 million homes.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

success

story

 

 

 

  • 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 how they were used in the text:

  • named
  • six
  • due
  • reckon
  • decision
  • 100
  • household
  • first
  • 345
  • 1986
  • empire
  • 70

STUDENT POWERFUL WOMEN SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about powerful women 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.

OPRAH WINFREY 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 ‘powerful’?

c)

Who do you think is the most powerful woman in entertainment?

d)

Do you think it’s interesting and useful to have these lists?

e)

Would you like to be powerful?

f)

What do you know about Oprah Winfrey?

g)

Who are the most powerful women in your country?

h)

Who has the biggest cultural influence in your country?

i)

How do you think Oprah will feel about being named the most powerful woman in entertainment?

j)

Do you think Oprah should have been on TIME magazine’s list of the most important people of the 20th century?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What would life be like if you were a household name?

c)

What kind of rags-to-riches story would you like to have?

d)

What name would you give to your own company?

e)

Do you like watching chat shows?

f)

Why do you think chat shows are so popular throughout the world?

g)

What kind of charity work would you like to get into?

h)

What kind of list might you top?

i)

Do you know of any other success stories?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Oprah Winfrey?

LANGUAGE

Oprah Winfrey has been named the most (1) ____ woman in entertainment. This is according to the entertainment trade publication The Hollywood Reporter. She     (2) ____ up from the number six spot, which she occupied in 2007. Her rise to the top may be due (3) ____ the influence she had on the US Election in November 2008. Analysts reckon her support of Barack Obama brought him (4) ____ one million votes. The Hollywood Reporter's chief editor Elizabeth Guider explained: "The decision to (5) ____ Oprah at the top of the list was based on her dizzying array of Oprah-branded media and her immense cultural influence," she said. TIME magazine listed Winfrey (6) ____ one of the 100 people of the twentieth century.

Oprah Winfrey is a household name in many parts of the world. Her rags-to-riches life is an incredible success story. She is a self-(7) ____ woman who became the world’s first black billionaire in 2004. Winfrey owns her (8) ____ production company Harpo (’Oprah’ spelt backwards), which made $345 million (9) ____ profit in 2007. She is perhaps most famous for her chat shows. The "Oprah Winfrey Show" began in 1986 and has been one of the world’s most-watched programmes (10) ____ since. Winfrey's entertainment empire covers TV, magazines, book clubs and online shopping. She is also (11) ____ well known for her charity work. She is (12) ____ to launch her own TV channel, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), which will reach 70 million homes.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

powerful

(b)

powerfully

(c)

power

(d)

powers

2.

(a)

jumps

(b)

jumper

(c)

jumped

(d)

jump

3.

(a)

for

(b)

to

(c)

on

(d)

at

4.

(a)

up

(b)

one

(c)

more

(d)

over

5.

(a)

placing

(b)

placement

(c)

place

(d)

placed

6.

(a)

as

(b)

for

(c)

by

(d)

from

7.

(a)

makes

(b)

making

(c)

make

(d)

made

8.

(a)

owns

(b)

own

(c)

ownership

(d)

owner

9.

(a)

if

(b)

at

(c)

in

(d)

from

10.

(a)

ever

(b)

even

(c)

never

(d)

every

11.

(a)

extremity

(b)

extremely

(c)

extremes

(d)

extreme

12.

(a)

seat

(b)

sit

(c)

sat

(d)

set

WRITING: 

Write about powerful women 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 more about Oprah Winfrey. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. OPRAH WINFREY: Make a poster about the different areas of Oprah’s business empire. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. RAGS TO RICHES: Write a magazine article about a person who rose from rags to riches. Include imaginary interviews with that person.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Oprah. Ask her three questions about her successful life. Give her your three ideas on what she could do to expand her business empire. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are a powerful person. Write a diary entry about one day in your life. How do you affect your culture? Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

T

c.

F

d.

T

e.

F

f.

T

g.

F

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

trade

a.

industry

2

rise

b.

elevation

3.

reckon

c.

believe

4.

array

d.

variety

5.

immense

e.

huge

6.

incredible

f.

amazing

7.

began

g.

started

8.

empire

h.

organization

9.

extremely

i.

very

10.

reach

j.

get to

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

the most powerful woman

a.

in entertainment

2

the influence she had on the

b.

US Election

3.

She jumped up from the

c.

number six spot

4.

her immense cultural

d.

influence

5.

the 100 people of

e.

the twentieth century

6.

Oprah Winfrey is a

f.

household name

7.

’Oprah’ spelt

g.

backwards

8.

She is perhaps most famous

h.

for her chat shows

9.

one of the world’s most-

i.

watched programmes

10.

She is set to launch

j.

her own TV channel

GAP FILL:

Oprah Winfrey most powerful woman

Oprah Winfrey has been named the most powerful woman in entertainment. This is according to the entertainment trade publication The Hollywood Reporter. She jumped up from the number six spot, which she occupied in 2007. Her rise to the top may be due to the influence she had on the US Election in November 2008. Analysts reckon her support of Barack Obama brought him over one million votes. The Hollywood Reporter's chief editor Elizabeth Guider explained: "The decision to place Oprah at the top of the list was based on her dizzying array of Oprah-branded media and her immense cultural influence," she said. TIME magazine listed Winfrey as one of the 100 people of the twentieth century.

Oprah Winfrey is a household name in many parts of the world. Her rags-to-riches life is an incredible success story. She is a self-made woman who became the world’s first black billionaire in 2004. Winfrey owns her own production company Harpo (’Oprah’ spelt backwards), which made $345 million in profit in 2007. She is perhaps most famous for her chat shows. The "Oprah Winfrey Show" began in 1986 and has been one of the world’s most-watched programmes ever since. Winfrey's entertainment empire covers TV, magazines, book clubs and online shopping. She is also extremely well known for her charity work. She is set to launch her own TV channel, OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network), which will reach 70 million homes.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - c

3 - b

4 - d

5 - c

6 - a

7 - d

8 - b

9 - c

10 - a

11 - b

12 - d

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