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June 6, 2009

PRINT:  WORD | PDF (13-page handouts)
LISTEN: MP3 (2:00 - 937KB)
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People Fear Personality Transplants

Many people believe that when an organ transplant takes place, parts of the donor’s personality travels with the organ. This is according to new research into people’s opinions of organ donation. Professor Bruce Hood from the UK’s Bristol University told a neuro-science conference that most people are strongly against receiving an organ from a killer. His test volunteers said they’d be very happy to receive an organ from a “good” person. Professor Hood said some of his patients believed they now had a part of the personality of their organ donors. He said this even included things like the memories and experiences of the donor. Other research has found that one in three organ transplant patients believe they have some aspects of their donor's personality.


Britons generally have a very positive attitude to organ donation. However, Professor Hood says his findings show many people are superstitious about transplants. He said this is natural because even the most logical people have many kinds of superstitions. He described a British teenager who was given a heart transplant against her will. She was afraid that she would be "different with someone else's heart". Professor Hood said: “Most people were repulsed by the thought of receiving a transplant from a murderer.” He added: “Essentially they believe they will somehow take on the characteristics of the donor.” Scientists say there is no proof that personality travels with a donated organ.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. PERSONALITY: Walk around the class and talk to other students about personality. Change partners often. Sit with your first 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.

 

people’s beliefs / transplants / conferences / volunteers / memories / experiences / positive attitude / superstitions / teenagers / heart transplant / murderers / proof

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

3. ORGANS: What organs would you donate / receive? Complete this table with your partner(s). Talk about what you wrote. Change partners and share what you heard.

Organ

Donate?

Receive?

Why?

Heart

 

 

 

Eyes

 

 

 

Face

 

 

 

Kidney

 

 

 

Brain

 

 

 

Skin

 

 

 

4. DONORS: Students A strongly believe all citizens of a country should be organ donors; Students B strongly believe people should be able to choose if they want to be an organ donor or not.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. PERSONALITY TRANSPLANT: What parts of your personality would you like to change? Talk about how and why with your partner. From whom would you like that part of your personality transplanted?

  • ability to love
  • anger management
  • stress
  • sense of humour
  • intelligence
  • artistic ability
  • creativeness
  • inner strength

6. FEAR: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘fear’. 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.

Doctors have found a way to transplant people’s personalities.

T / F

b.

A professor said people wouldn’t mind receiving the heart of a killer.

T / F

c.

People who receive new organs say they share the donor’s memories.

T / F

d.

Most donor patients believe they have some of the donor’s personality.

T / F

e.

The professor said very few people are superstitious about transplants.

T / F

f.

The professor said the most logical people are the most superstitious.

T / F

g.

A British teenager received a new heart even though she didn’t want it.

T / F

h.

Scientists have evidence that personality accompanies donated organs.

T / F

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

1.

takes place

a.

murderer

2

opinions

b.

evidence

3.

receiving

c.

view

4.

killer

d.

told of

5.

aspects

e.

beliefs

6.

attitude

f.

conclusion

7.

findings

g.

happens

8.

described

h.

features

9.

will

i.

getting

10.

proof

j.

wish

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

1.

This is according

a.

by the thought

2

most people are strongly

b.

of their donor's personality

3.

a part of the

c.

superstitious about transplants

4.

one in three

d.

to new research into people’s opinions

5.

they have some aspects

e.

that personality travels

6.

a very positive

f.

against receiving an organ from a killer

7.

many people are

g.

transplant against her will

8.

given a heart

h.

organ transplant patients

9.

Most people were repulsed

i.

attitude to organ donation

10.

there is no proof

j.

personality of their organ donors

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Many people believe that when an organ transplant ____________ place, parts of the donor’s personality travels with the organ. This is ____________ to new research into people’s opinions of organ donation. Professor Bruce Hood from the UK’s Bristol University told a neuro-science conference that most people are ____________ against receiving an organ from a killer. His test volunteers said they’d be very ____________ to receive an organ from a “good” person. Professor Hood said some of his patients believed they now had a ____________ of the personality of their organ donors. He said this even included things like the ____________ and experiences of the donor. Other research has found that one in ____________ organ transplant patients believe they have some aspects of their ____________ personality.

 

 

 

part
happy
according
three
takes
donor's
memories
strongly

Britons generally have a very ____________ attitude to organ donation. However, Professor Hood says his ____________ show many people are superstitious about transplants. He said this is ____________ because even the most ____________ people have many kinds of superstitions. He described a British teenager who was given a heart transplant against her ____________. She was afraid that she would be "different with someone else's heart". Professor Hood said: “Most people were repulsed by the ____________ of receiving a transplant from a murderer.” He added: “Essentially they believe they will ____________ take on the characteristics of the donor.” Scientists say there is no ____________ that personality travels with a donated organ.

 

 

natural
positive
proof
will
findings
somehow
logical
thought

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the gaps.

Many people believe that when an organ transplant ____________________ the donor’s personality travels with the organ. This is according to new research ______________________ organ donation. Professor Bruce Hood from the UK’s Bristol University told a neuro-science conference that most people ____________________ receiving an organ from a killer. His test volunteers said they’d be very happy to receive an organ from a “good” person. Professor Hood said some of his patients ____________________ a part of the personality of their organ donors. He said this even included ____________________ and experiences of the donor. Other research has found that one in three organ transplant patients believe they have ____________________ donor's personality.

Britons generally have a ____________________ to organ donation. However, Professor Hood says his findings show many people are superstitious about transplants. He said this is ____________________ most logical people have many kinds of superstitions. He described a British teenager who was given a heart transplant ____________________. She was afraid that she would be "different with someone else's heart". Professor Hood said: “Most people ____________________ the thought of receiving a transplant from a murderer.” He added: “Essentially ____________________ somehow take on the characteristics of the donor.” Scientists say there is no ____________________ travels with a donated organ.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

organ

donor

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • place
  • opinions
  • conference
  • happy
  • memories
  • aspects
  • positive
  • natural
  • will
  • thought
  • believe
  • proof

STUDENT ORGAN DONATION SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about organ donation 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.

ORGAN DONATION 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 term ‘organ donation’?

c)

Would you be willing to donate your organs after you die?

d)

Do you carry an organ donor card?

e)

Do you think parts of a donor’s personality is transplanted along with the organ?

f)

Would you accept a killer’s heart if you needed a heart transplant?

g)

Do you think people should be able to choose the donor if they need a transplant?

h)

Do you think it’s possible for memories of the dead donor to be transferred to the new patient?

i)

Do you think organ donation is a good thing?

j)

What do you think of the idea of a brain transplant?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do people in your country have a positive attitude towards transplants?

c)

Do you have any superstitions about transplants?

d)

Are you superstitious?

e)

What do you think of giving someone a transplant against their will?

f)

Would you like a personality transplant?

g)

Which person would you like a personality transplant from?

h)

What would you worry about if you needed a heart transplant?

i)

Would you have a transplanted animal organ if it saved your life?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Professor Hood?

LANGUAGE

Many people (1) ____ that when an organ transplant takes place, parts of the donor’s personality travels with the organ. This is according (2) ____ new research into people’s opinions of organ donation. Professor Bruce Hood from the UK’s Bristol University told a neuro-science conference that most people are (3) ____ against receiving an organ from a killer. His test volunteers said they’d be very happy to receive an organ from a “good” person. Professor Hood said some of his patients believed they (4) ____ had a part of the personality of their organ donors. He said this even included things like the (5) ____ and experiences of the donor. Other research has found that one (6) ____ three organ transplant patients believe they have some aspects of their donor's personality.

Britons generally have a very (7) ____ attitude to organ donation. However, Professor Hood says his findings show many people are superstitious (8) ____ transplants. He said this is natural because even the most logical people have many kinds of superstitions. He (9) ____ a British teenager who was given a heart transplant against her will. She was afraid that she would be "different with someone (10) ____  heart". Professor Hood said: “Most people were repulsed by the thought of receiving a transplant from a murderer.” He (11) ____: “Essentially they believe they will somehow take on the characteristics of the donor.” Scientists say there is no proof that personality (12) ____ with a donated organ.

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

1.

(a)

believe

(b)

beliefs

(c)

believing

(d)

believes

2.

(a)

at

(b)

in

(c)

to

(d)

on

3.

(a)

strong

(b)

strongly

(c)

strength

(d)

strengthen

4.

(a)

known

(b)

knew

(c)

know

(d)

now

5.

(a)

memorize

(b)

memorial

(c)

memories

(d)

remember

6.

(a)

in

(b)

at

(c)

by

(d)

on

7.

(a)

positive sign

(b)

positives

(c)

positively

(d)

positive

8.

(a)

for

(b)

about

(c)

from

(d)

around

9.

(a)

description

(b)

describing

(c)

described

(d)

describes

10.

(a)

else’s

(b)

else

(c)

other’s

(d)

others

11.

(a)

addition

(b)

added

(c)

additionally

(d)

add

12.

(a)

commutes

(b)

vacations

(c)

holidays

(d)

travels

WRITING: 

Write about organ donation 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 organ donation. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. TRANSPLANTS: Make a poster about the different kinds of organ donations. Describe the success stories. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. KILLER’S HEART: Write a magazine article about a person in need of a transplant deciding whether or not to have a killer’s heart. Include imaginary interviews with the person and the person’s family.

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 Professor Hood. Ask him three questions about organ transplants. Give them him three suggestions about what to tell patients worried about transplanted personality. 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.

F

e.

F

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

takes place

a.

happens

2

opinions

b.

beliefs

3.

receiving

c.

getting

4.

killer

d.

murderer

5.

aspects

e.

features

6.

attitude

f.

view

7.

findings

g.

conclusion

8.

described

h.

told of

9.

will

i.

wish

10.

proof

j.

evidence

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

This is according

a.

to new research into people’s opinions

2

most people are strongly

b.

against receiving an organ from a killer

3.

a part of the

c.

personality of their organ donors

4.

one in three

d.

organ transplant patients

5.

they have some aspects

e.

of their donor's personality

6.

a very positive

f.

attitude to organ donation

7.

many people are

g.

superstitious about transplants

8.

given a heart

h.

transplant against her will

9.

Most people were repulsed

i.

by the thought

10.

there is no proof

j.

that personality travels

GAP FILL:

People fear personality transplants

Many people believe that when an organ transplant takes place, parts of the donor’s personality travels with the organ. This is according to new research into people’s opinions of organ donation. Professor Bruce Hood from the UK’s Bristol University told a neuro-science conference that most people are strongly against receiving an organ from a killer. His test volunteers said they’d be very happy to receive an organ from a “good” person. Professor Hood said some of his patients believed they now had a part of the personality of their organ donors. He said this even included things like the memories and experiences of the donor. Other research has found that one in three organ transplant patients believe they have some aspects of their donor's personality.

Britons generally have a very positive attitude to organ donation. However, Professor Hood says his findings show many people are superstitious about transplants. He said this is natural because even the most logical people have many kinds of superstitions. He described a British teenager who was given a heart transplant against her will. She was afraid that she would be "different with someone else's heart". Professor Hood said: “Most people were repulsed by the thought of receiving a transplant from a murderer.” He added: “Essentially they believe they will somehow take on the characteristics of the donor.” Scientists say there is no proof that personality travels with a donated organ.

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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