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June 18, 2009

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Homer Simpson Now On GPS Systems

Homer Simpson is the latest voice people can download for their car navigation systems. A new “voice skin” of Homer giving directions is available for $12.95. The voice is that of Dan Castellaneta, the same actor who plays Homer in the TV show. Simpsons fans can listen to Homer "woohoo" and "d'oh!" as they drive around the streets. The recordings will delight Homer enthusiasts as he adds his own, unique commentary. Users will hear Homer giving directions such as: "Take the third right. We might find an ice cream truck! Mmm... ice cream." The software is only available for the TomTom GPS systems. The company teamed up with Fox, owners of The Simpsons, to launch the new driving aid.


TomTom president Jocelyn Vigreux said: “With Homer Simpson’s voice helping people to navigate their trip, TomTom customers will not only travel safely and with less stress, but will also be highly entertained along the way.” TomTom’s GPS kits offer up to 70 preloaded voices in 36 languages, but Homer only speaks in English. Homer becomes the seventh celebrity voice in TomTom’s catalogue. It may be a few years, however, before there are versions of Homer speaking in Chinese, Russian or Arabic. The marketing director at TomTom, Chris Kearney, said he would like more celebrity voices but there are problems getting permission. There are illegal websites where you can download Arnold Schwarzenegger and George W. Bush giving directions.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. DIRECTIONS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about directions. 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.

 

The Simpsons / American cartoons / downloads / woohoo / ice cream / software / GPS / navigating / traveling safely / highly entertained / catalogues / celebrity / permission

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

3. VOICES: Do different voices have different effects on you? Complete this table with your partner(s). Talk about what you wrote to your partner. Change partners and share what you heard.

Voice

How it makes you feel

Why?

Your own

 

 

Your teacher’s

 

 

Your nation’s leader’s

 

 

George W Bush’s

 

 

Mickey Mouse’s

 

 

Homer Simpson’s

 

 

4. GPS: Students A strongly believe GPS / car navigation aids are dangerous because drivers look at them and not at the road; Students B strongly believe GPS is the best invention since the wheel.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. CARTOONS: What are your favourite cartoons? Rate these and share your ratings with your partner: 10 = I love totally love this; 1 = I absolutely hate this. Change partners and share your ratings again.

  • The Simpsons
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Tom and Jerry
  • The Powerpuff Girls
  • South Park
  • Superman
  • other _______________________
  • other _______________________

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

Cartoon character Homer Simpson’s voice is on a car navigation aid.

T / F

b.

The voice of Homer is computer generated and not a real person.

T / F

c.

Homer Simpson will help drivers find ice cream.

T / F

d.

The Homer Simpson software works on all car navigation systems.

T / F

e.

A company president says Homer will be entertaining for drivers.

T / F

f.

The TomTom GPS system has 70 different voices on its software.

T / F

g.

Drivers can also listen to Homer Simpson speaking Chinese or Arabic.

T / F

h.

George W. Bush allowed his voice to be used for GPS systems.

T / F

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

1.

latest

a.

fans

2

available

b.

prohibited

3.

enthusiasts

c.

distinctive

4.

unique

d.

greatly

5.

launch

e.

offered

6.

trip

f.

most recent

7.

highly

g.

editions

8.

versions

h.

the go-ahead

9.

permission

i.

introduce

10.

illegal

j.

journey

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

1.

the latest voice people can download

a.

TomTom GPS systems

2

the same actor who plays

b.

directions

3.

The recordings will delight

c.

up with Fox

4.

The software is only available for the

d.

their trip

5.

The company teamed

e.

Homer in the TV show

6.

helping people to navigate

f.

voice in TomTom’s catalogue

7.

up to 70 preloaded voices in

g.

for their car

8.

Homer becomes the seventh celebrity

h.

in Chinese

9.

versions of Homer speaking

i.

Homer enthusiasts

10.

George W. Bush giving

j.

36 languages

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Homer Simpson is the latest voice people can ____________ for their car navigation systems. A new “voice skin” of Homer ____________ directions is available for $12.95. The voice is that of Dan Castellaneta, the same actor who ____________ Homer in the TV show.  Simpsons fans can listen to Homer "woohoo" and "d'oh!" as they drive ____________ the streets. The recordings will delight Homer enthusiasts as he adds his own, ____________ commentary. Users will hear Homer giving directions such as: "____________ the third right. We might find an ice cream truck! Mmm... ice cream." The software is only ____________ for the TomTom GPS systems. The company teamed up with Fox, owners of The Simpsons, to launch the new driving ____________.

 

 

 

Take
around
giving
available
unique
download
aid
plays

TomTom president Jocelyn Vigreux said: “With Homer Simpson’s voice ____________ people to navigate their trip, TomTom customers will not only travel safely and with less ____________, but will also be highly entertained ____________ the way.” TomTom’s GPS kits offer up to 70 preloaded voices in 36 languages, but Homer only speaks in English. Homer becomes the seventh ____________ voice in TomTom’s catalogue. It may be a few years, however, before there are ____________ of Homer speaking in Chinese, Russian or Arabic. The ____________ director at TomTom, Chris Kearney, said he would like more celebrity voices but there are problems getting ____________. There are illegal websites where you can download Arnold Schwarzenegger and George W. Bush giving ____________.

 

 

marketing
celebrity
directions
helping
versions
permission
stress
along

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the gaps.

Homer Simpson ______________________ people can download for their car navigation systems. A new “voice skin” of Homer giving directions is available for $12.95. The voice is that of Dan Castellaneta, the same actor ______________________ the TV show.  Simpsons fans can listen to Homer "woohoo" and "d'oh!" as they drive around the streets. The recordings will delight Homer enthusiasts as ______________________ commentary. Users will hear Homer ______________________: "Take the third right. We might find an ice cream truck! Mmm... ice cream." The software is ______________________ TomTom GPS systems. The company teamed up with Fox, owners of The Simpsons, ______________________ aid.

TomTom president Jocelyn Vigreux said: “With Homer Simpson’s voice helping ______________________ trip, TomTom customers will not only travel safely and with less stress, but will also ______________________ along the way.” TomTom’s GPS ______________________ preloaded voices in 36 languages, but Homer only speaks in English. Homer becomes the seventh celebrity voice in TomTom’s catalogue. It ______________________, however, before there are versions of Homer speaking in Chinese, Russian or Arabic. The marketing director at TomTom, Chris Kearney, said he would ______________________ voices but there are problems getting permission. There ______________________ you can download Arnold Schwarzenegger and George W. Bush giving directions.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

voice

skin

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • skin
  • actor
  • woohoo
  • unique
  • truck
  • aid
  • trip
  • way
  • languages
  • versions
  • problems
  • illegal

STUDENT DOWNLOAD SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about downloading 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 ‘download’?

c)

What kind of things do you like downloading?

d)

Do you think it’s OK to look at a car navigation system while driving?

e)

Are you good at giving directions?

f)

How are you at finding your way around new towns and cities?

g)

What do you think of Homer Simpson and The Simpsons?

h)

When would you say “woohoo”?

i)

Which voice would you like to help you navigate?

j)

What are the good and bad things about car navigation systems?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think Homer Simpson’s voice will help people drive more safely?

c)

Do you agree that driving is stressful?

d)

What do you do to entertain yourself in the car?

e)

Do you think it’s a good idea to have celebrity voices in car navigation software?

f)

Do you think celebrities should use their voices for more things?

g)

What other things can you think of to make driving safer?

h)

Who do you think has the best voice in the world?

i)

Would the voice of George W. Bush make you do things better?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Homer Simpson?

LANGUAGE

Homer Simpson is the (1) ____ voice people can download for their car navigation systems. A new “voice skin” of Homer (2) ____ directions is available for $12.95. The voice is that of Dan Castellaneta, the same actor who (3) ____ Homer in the TV show.  Simpsons fans can listen to Homer "woohoo" and "d'oh!" (4) ____ they drive around the streets. The recordings will delight Homer enthusiasts as he adds his own, (5) ____ commentary. Users will hear Homer giving directions such as: "Take the third right. We might find an ice cream truck! Mmm... ice cream." The software is only available for the TomTom GPS systems. The company teamed    (6) ____ with Fox, owners of The Simpsons, to launch the new driving aid.

TomTom president Jocelyn Vigreux said: “With Homer Simpson’s voice helping people (7) ____ navigate their trip, TomTom customers will not only travel safely and with less stress, but will also be (8) ____ entertained along the way.” TomTom’s GPS kits offer up to 70 preloaded voices (9) ____ 36 languages, but Homer only speaks in English. Homer becomes the seventh celebrity voice in TomTom’s catalogue. It may be a few years, however, (10) ____ there are versions of Homer speaking in Chinese, Russian or Arabic. The marketing director at TomTom, Chris Kearney, said he would like more celebrity voices but there are problems (11) ____ permission. There are illegal websites (12) ____ you can download Arnold Schwarzenegger and George W. Bush giving directions.

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

1.

(a)

latest

(b)

last

(c)

late

(d)

lately

2.

(a)

given

(b)

giving

(c)

gave

(d)

gives

3.

(a)

player

(b)

playing

(c)

plays

(d)

play

4.

(a)

has

(b)

was

(c)

wasn’t

(d)

as

5.

(a)

uniquely

(b)

cliques

(c)

clique

(d)

unique

6.

(a)

in

(b)

down

(c)

up

(d)

to

7.

(a)

to

(b)

at

(c)

on

(d)

with

8.

(a)

highest

(b)

highly

(c)

higher

(d)

high

9.

(a)

by

(b)

on

(c)

in

(d)

of

10.

(a)

before

(b)

early

(c)

sooner

(d)

ahead

11.

(a)

gets

(b)

gotten

(c)

got

(d)

getting

12.

(a)

what

(b)

where

(c)

when

(d)

who

WRITING: 

Write about The Simpsons 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 Homer Simpson. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. DOWNLOADS: Make a poster about downloads. What can we download? What’s illegal? What isn’t? What laws are there? Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. GPS: Write a magazine article about GPS systems. Include imaginary interviews with people who agree and disagree with them.

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 Homer Simpson. Ask him three questions about his life. Give him three pieces of advice on how he can become rich and famous. 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.

T

g.

F

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

latest

a.

most recent

2

available

b.

offered

3.

enthusiasts

c.

fans

4.

unique

d.

distinctive

5.

launch

e.

introduce

6.

trip

f.

journey

7.

highly

g.

greatly

8.

versions

h.

editions

9.

permission

i.

the go-ahead

10.

illegal

j.

prohibited

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

the latest voice people can download

a.

for their car

2

the same actor who plays

b.

Homer in the TV show

3.

The recordings will delight

c.

Homer enthusiasts

4.

The software is only available for the

d.

TomTom GPS systems

5.

The company teamed

e.

up with Fox

6.

helping people to navigate

f.

their trip

7.

up to 70 preloaded voices in

g.

36 languages

8.

Homer becomes the seventh celebrity

h.

voice in TomTom’s catalogue

9.

versions of Homer speaking

i.

in Chinese

10.

George W. Bush giving

j.

directions

GAP FILL:

Homer Simpson now on GPS systems

Homer Simpson is the latest voice people can download for their car navigation systems. A new “voice skin” of Homer giving directions is available for $12.95. The voice is that of Dan Castellaneta, the same actor who plays Homer in the TV show.  Simpsons fans can listen to Homer "woohoo" and "d'oh!" as they drive around the streets. The recordings will delight Homer enthusiasts as he adds his own, unique commentary. Users will hear Homer giving directions such as: "Take the third right. We might find an ice cream truck! Mmm... ice cream." The software is only available for the TomTom GPS systems. The company teamed up with Fox, owners of The Simpsons, to launch the new driving aid.

TomTom president Jocelyn Vigreux said: “With Homer Simpson’s voice helping people to navigate their trip, TomTom customers will not only travel safely and with less stress, but will also be highly entertained along the way.” TomTom’s GPS kits offer up to 70 preloaded voices in 36 languages, but Homer only speaks in English. Homer becomes the seventh celebrity voice in TomTom’s catalogue. It may be a few years, however, before there are versions of Homer speaking in Chinese, Russian or Arabic. The marketing director at TomTom, Chris Kearney, said he would like more celebrity voices but there are problems getting permission. There are illegal websites where you can download Arnold Schwarzenegger and George W. Bush giving directions.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - b

3 - c

4 - d

5 - d

6 - c

7 - a

8 - b

9 - c

10 - a

11 - d

12 - b

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