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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Banknote Printers - by Sean Banville

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Bidding War Begins for Top Banknote Printer (7th December, 2010)


 

A French banknote printer is attempting to buy its UK rival in a move that has upset the British company. France’s Oberthur made a cash offer for De La Rue, the world’s largest maker of banknotes. Its shares immediately jumped 30 per cent at the news. De La Rue’s board members have refused to consider the offer and have called it "highly preliminary and opportunistic". Analysts predict there will now be a bidding war in which Oberthur, or one of its other rivals, could offer more than $1 billion for the British printer. De La Rue's chairman, Nicholas Brookes, said that his board had "no hesitation" in rejecting Oberthur's bid. He said the offer was way too low and "does not begin to reflect De La Rue's fundamental value". He added there were “attractive medium and long-term prospects for the company."


De La Rue, despite having a French name, is very English. It was founded in 1813 by Thomas La Rue, who set up a business as a stationer and printer. His company moved into the production of postage stamps in 1860 and banknotes in 1896. More recently it won the contract to print biometric British passports. Its website says: “De La Rue is the world's largest commercial security printer and papermaker, involved in the production of over 150 national currencies and a wide range of security documents.” It continues: “De La Rue also pioneers new technologies in government identity solutions for national identification, driver's licence and passport issuing schemes.” The company employs approximately 4,000 people in 24 countries.


WARM-UPS

1. BANKNOTES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about banknotes. 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.

 

printers / rival / cash offer / board members / opportunistic / chairman / hesitation / stationer / postage stamps / biometric passports / currencies / driver’s licences

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

3. MONEY: What are the pros and cons of these? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Pros

Cons

Banknotes

 

 

Coins

 

 

Credit Cards

 

 

e-Money

 

 

Mobile phone money

 

 

Cheques

 

 

4. CASHLESS: Students A strongly believe a cashless society is best; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. COLLECTING: What things are best to collect for a hobby? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • banknotes
  • coins
  • postage stamps
  • art
  • autographs
  • fossils
  • matchboxes / matchbooks
  • trading cards

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


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

A British banknote printer wants to buy its French rival.

T / F

b.

The British banknote maker is the world’s biggest.

T / F

c.

Board members of the British company are in talks with the French.

T / F

d.

The British firm’s chairman said the French offer wasn’t high enough.

T / F

e.

The company De La Rue was founded in France in 1813.

T / F

f.

The company started as a printer and office supplies seller.

T / F

g.

De La Rue makes banknotes for more than 100 countries.

T / F

h.

The company has over 24,000 people working for it across the world.

T / F

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

1.

rival

a.

straight away

2

upset

b.

mirror

3.

immediately

c.

basic

4.

fundamental

d.

established

5.

prospects

e.

breaks new ground

6.

founded

f.

competitor

7.

commercial

g.

variety

8.

range

h.

angered

9.

pioneers

i.

around

10.

approximately

j.

deal

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

attempting to buy

a.

30% at the news

2

made a cash

b.

new technologies

3.

Its shares immediately jumped

c.

way too low

4.

the offer was

d.

issuing schemes

5.

medium and long-term

e.

its UK rival

6.

It was founded

f.

of postage stamps

7.

His company moved into the production

g.

national currencies

8.

over 150

h.

offer for De La Rue

9.

De La Rue also pioneers

i.

prospects for the company

10.

passport

j.

in 1813 by Thomas La Rue

 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

A French banknote printer is ____________ to buy its UK rival in a move that has upset the British company. France’s Oberthur made a cash ____________ for De La Rue, the world’s largest maker of banknotes. Its shares immediately ____________ 30 per cent at the news. De La Rue’s board members have ____________ to consider the offer and have called it "highly preliminary and opportunistic". Analysts ____________ there will now be a bidding war in which Oberthur, or one of its other rivals, could offer more than $1 billion for the British printer. De La Rue's chairman, Nicholas Brookes, said that his board had "no ____________ " in rejecting Oberthur's bid. He said the offer was way too low and "does not begin to ____________ De La Rue's fundamental value". He added there were “attractive medium and long-term ____________ for the company."

 

 

 

predict
jumped
reflect
attempting
prospects
hesitation
offer
refused

De La Rue, ____________ having a French name, is very English. It was founded in 1813 by Thomas La Rue, who ____________ up a business as a stationer and printer. His company moved into the production of postage stamps in 1860 and banknotes in 1896. More ____________ it won the contract to print biometric British passports. Its website says: “De La Rue is the world's largest ____________ security printer and papermaker, involved in the production of over 150 national ____________ and a wide range of security documents.” It continues: “De La Rue also ____________ new technologies in government identity solutions for national identification, driver's licence and passport ____________ schemes.” The company ____________ approximately 4,000 people in 24 countries.

 

 

recently
employs
pioneers
despite
commercial
set
issuing
currencies

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

A French banknote printer is attempting _______________________ move that has upset the British company. France’s Oberthur made a cash offer for De La Rue, the world’s largest maker of banknotes. _______________________ jumped 30 per cent at the news. De La Rue’s board members have refused to consider the offer and have called it "highly _______________________ ". Analysts _______________________ a bidding war in which Oberthur, or one of its other rivals, could offer more than $1 billion for the British printer. De La Rue's chairman, Nicholas Brookes, said that his board _______________________ rejecting Oberthur's bid. He said the offer was way too low and "does not begin to reflect De La Rue's fundamental value". He added there were “_______________________ long-term prospects for the company."

De La Rue, _______________________ French name, is very English. It was founded in 1813 by Thomas La Rue, _______________________ as a stationer and printer. His company moved into the production of postage stamps in 1860 and banknotes in 1896. _______________________ the contract to print biometric British passports. Its website says: “De La Rue is the world's largest commercial security printer and papermaker, involved in the production of over 150 _______________________ a wide range of security documents.” It continues: “De La Rue _______________________ technologies in government identity solutions for national identification, driver's licence and _______________________.” The company employs approximately 4,000 people in 24 countries.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

bank

note

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • attempting
  • cash
  • jumped
  • predict
  • hesitation
  • long
  • despite
  • moved
  • recently
  • national
  • solutions
  • approximately

STUDENT BANKNOTES SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about banknotes 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.

BANKNOTES 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 ‘banknote’?

c)

What do you think of your country’s banknotes?

d)

Do you think banknotes are a good idea?

e)

What problems are there with banknotes?

f)

How would you redesign your country’s banknotes?

g)

What kind of security do you think exists in a banknote printer?

h)

Are you interested in company takeovers like this?

i)

What do banknote designers need to think about?

j)

Which do you prefer, banknotes or coins (and why)?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you know about your country’s banknotes?

c)

When do you think banknotes will eventually disappear?

d)

How hard do you think it is to forge banknotes?

e)

What do you think the biggest value banknote should be?

f)

Should each country print its own banknotes, instead of a British company printing them for 150 countries?

g)

What might banknotes be like in the future?

h)

The UK says ‘notes’ the USA says ‘bills,’ which is best (and why)?

i)

Do you think there should be a single world currency?

j)

What questions would you like to ask a banknote designer?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

A French banknote printer is attempting to buy its UK (1) ____ in a move that has upset the British company. France’s Oberthur (2) ____ a cash offer for De La Rue, the world’s largest maker of banknotes. Its shares immediately jumped 30 per cent at the news. De La Rue’s board members have refused to consider the offer and have called it "highly preliminary and opportunistic". Analysts (3) ____ there will now be a bidding war in which Oberthur, or one of its other rivals, could offer more than $1 billion (4) ____ the British printer. De La Rue's chairman, Nicholas Brookes, said that his board had "(5) ____ hesitation" in rejecting Oberthur's bid. He said the offer was (6) ____ too low and "does not begin to reflect De La Rue's fundamental value". He added there were “attractive medium and long-term prospects for the company."

De La Rue, (7) ____ having a French name, is very English. It was founded in 1813 by Thomas La Rue, who set (8) ____ a business as a stationer and printer. His company moved into the production of postage stamps in 1860 and banknotes in 1896. More recently it (9) ____ the contract to print biometric British passports. Its website says: “De La Rue is the world's largest commercial security printer and papermaker, involved (10) ____ the production of over 150 national currencies and a wide range of security documents.” It continues: “De La Rue also (11) ____ new technologies in government identity solutions for national identification, driver's licence and passport issuing (12) ____.” The company employs approximately 4,000 people in 24 countries.

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

1.

(a)

rivalry

(b)

rivals

(c)

rival

(d)

rivalled

2.

(a)

took

(b)

made

(c)

did

(d)

had

3.

(a)

predict

(b)

predicts

(c)

prediction

(d)

predictions

4.

(a)

at

(b)

to

(c)

on

(d)

for

5.

(a)

not

(b)

non

(c)

no

(d)

never

6.

(a)

wait

(b)

weigh

(c)

way

(d)

why

7.

(a)

spite

(b)

despite

(c)

respite

(d)

spiteful

8.

(a)

up

(b)

down

(c)

along

(d)

over

9.

(a)

beat

(b)

won

(c)

victory

(d)

defeated

10.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

at

(d)

by

11.

(a)

pioneering

(b)

is pioneered

(c)

pinion

(d)

pioneers

12.

(a)

screens

(b)

screams

(c)

steams

(d)

schemes

WRITING

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

3. BANKNOTES: Make a poster about banknotes around the world. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. BIDDING WAR: Write a magazine article about the bidding war between De La Rue and Oberthur. Include imaginary interviews with the chairman of both companies.

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 the chairman of De La Rue. Ask him three questions about his company. Give him three ideas on how to win the bidding war. 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.

F

d.

T

e.

F

f.

T

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

rival

a.

competitor

2

upset

b.

angered

3.

immediately

c.

straight away

4.

fundamental

d.

basic

5.

reflect

e.

mirror

6.

founded

f.

established

7.

contract

g.

deal

8.

range

h.

variety

9.

pioneers

i.

breaks new ground

10.

approximately

j.

around

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

attempting to buy

a.

its UK rival

2

made a cash

b.

offer for De La Rue

3.

Its shares immediately jumped

c.

30% at the news

4.

the offer was

d.

way too low

5.

medium and long-term

e.

prospects for the company

6.

It was founded

f.

in 1813 by Thomas La Rue

7.

His company moved into the production

g.

of postage stamps

8.

over 150

h.

national currencies

9.

De La Rue also pioneers

i.

new technologies

10.

passport

j.

issuing schemes

GAP FILL:

Bidding war begins for top banknote printer

A French banknote printer is attempting to buy its UK rival in a move that has upset the British company. France’s Oberthur made a cash offer for De La Rue, the world’s largest maker of banknotes. Its shares immediately jumped 30 per cent at the news. De La Rue’s board members have refused to consider the offer and have called it "highly preliminary and opportunistic". Analysts predict there will now be a bidding war in which Oberthur, or one of its other rivals, could offer more than $1 billion for the British printer. De La Rue's chairman, Nicholas Brookes, said that his board had "no hesitation" in rejecting Oberthur's bid. He said the offer was way too low and "does not begin to reflect De La Rue's fundamental value". He added there were “attractive medium and long-term prospects for the company."

De La Rue, despite having a French name, is very English. It was founded in 1813 by Thomas La Rue, who set up a business as a stationer and printer. His company moved into the production of postage stamps in 1860 and banknotes in 1896. More recently it won the contract to print biometric British passports. Its website says: “De La Rue is the world's largest commercial security printer and papermaker, involved in the production of over 150 national currencies and a wide range of security documents.” It continues: “De La Rue also pioneers new technologies in government identity solutions for national identification, driver's licence and passport issuing schemes.” The company employs approximately 4,000 people in 24 countries.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - c

2 - b

3 - a

4 - d

5 - c

6 - c

7 - b

8 - a

9 - b

10 - a

11 - d

12 - d

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