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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan - New York Taxis - by Sean Banville

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Nissan To Make Future New York Taxis (7th May, 2011)


 

The Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has been chosen to supply the vehicles for the new official taxi of New York City. The city’s mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that Nissan's NV200 model of minivan had won his competition for the "Taxi of Tomorrow". The contract is for a period of ten years and starts in 2014. Nissan will supply about 13,000 of the new yellow taxi cabs, which are sure to be as iconic as all previous models. The yellow cab has been one of New York’s most recognizable icons since 1967, which is when the colour was introduced. Nissan beat designs from US car maker Ford and Turkish company Karsan. The winning design was based on the opinions of 23,000 New Yorkers who were asked to help choose the new vehicle.


The new design has many features that should make it a winner for all those who use it. First off, there is plenty of room for four passengers and their luggage. The glass roof should also appeal to passengers as they can get a better view of New York’s skyline. There are also sliding doors to reduce traffic accidents from doors that swing open, air-conditioning that passengers control, reading lights, and an on-board mobile phone charging station. Perhaps the biggest factor in the decision was the car’s fuel economy. Mr Bloomberg said: "If they prove successful, they could lead New York to start using all electric NV200s… [which] would be a big step toward cleaning our air, improving public health and shrinking our carbon footprint."


WARM-UPS

1. TAXIS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about taxis. 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.

 

car manufacturers / taxis / competition / contract / iconic / winning designs / opinions / winner / passengers / luggage / traffic accidents / fuel economy / carbon footprint

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

3. IMPROVEMENTS: How to improve them. Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Improvements needed

Why?

Taxi fares

 

 

Taxi drivers

 

 

Luggage space

 

 

Availability

 

 

Taxi ranks

 

 

Functions inside

 

 

4. TRANSPORT: Students A strongly believe taxis are the best way to get around a city; Students B strongly believe not.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. FEATURES: Which of these would you like to see in a taxi? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • wi-fi
  • coffee maker
  • headphones
  • change machine
  • glass roof
  • sliding doors
  • more legroom
  • better fuel economy

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

Nissan has been chosen to make the official taxis for New York.

T / F

b.

New York City awarded Nissan a decade-long contract.

T / F

c.

New York City mayor has ordered 30,000 of the new Nissan taxis.

T / F

d.

Nissan beat three other car makers to get New York’s taxi contract.

T / F

e.

The new taxi will have a glass roof so passengers can see New York.

T / F

f.

Passengers will not be able to change the temperature inside the cabs.

T / F

g.

People will be able to recharge their mobile phones inside the taxis.

T / F

h.

New York’s mayor said he would use the Nissan taxis for decades.

T / F

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

1.

manufacturer

a.

thoughts

2

supply

b.

point

3.

iconic

c.

provide

4.

previous

d.

decreasing

5.

opinions

e.

sufficient

6.

features

f.

maker

7.

plenty of

g.

earlier

8.

appeal to

h.

symbolic

9.

factor

i.

interest

10.

shrinking

j.

characteristics

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

1.

supply the vehicles for

a.

since 1967

2

The contract is for a

b.

the new official taxi

3.

be as iconic as

c.

economy

4.

New York’s most recognizable icons

d.

make it a winner

5.

based on the opinions

e.

all previous models

6.

many features that should

f.

cleaning our air

7.

an on-board mobile phone

g.

footprint

8.

the car’s fuel

h.

period of ten years

9.

a big step toward

i.

of 23,000 New Yorkers

10.

shrinking our carbon

j.

charging station

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has been (1) ____________ to supply the vehicles for the new (2) ____________ taxi of New York City. The city’s mayor Michael Bloomberg has (3) ____________ that Nissan's NV200 model of minivan had won his competition for the "Taxi of Tomorrow". The (4) ____________ is for a period of ten years and starts in 2014. Nissan will supply about 13,000 of the new yellow taxi cabs, which are sure to be as (5) ____________ as all previous models. The yellow cab has been one of New York’s most recognizable icons since 1967, which is when the colour was (6) ____________. Nissan beat designs from US car maker Ford and Turkish company Karsan. The winning design was (7) ____________ on the opinions of 23,000 New Yorkers who were asked to help choose the new (8) ____________.

 

 

 

contract
based
announced
vehicle
chosen
iconic
introduced
official

The new design has many features that should make it a (9) ____________ for all those who use it. First off, there is (10) ____________ of room for four passengers and their luggage. The glass roof should also (11) ____________ to passengers as they can get a better view of New York’s skyline. There are also sliding doors to reduce traffic accidents from doors that (12) ____________ open, air-conditioning that passengers control, reading lights, and an on-board mobile phone (13) ____________ station. Perhaps the biggest factor in the decision was the car’s fuel (14) ____________. Mr Bloomberg said: "If they (15) ____________ successful, they could lead New York to start using all electric NV200s… [which] would be a big step toward cleaning our air, improving public health and (16) ____________ our carbon footprint."

 

 

prove
plenty
swing
winner
economy
shrinking
appeal
charging

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

The Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has _______________________ the vehicles for the new official taxi of New York City. The city’s mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that Nissan's NV200 _______________________ won his competition for the "Taxi of Tomorrow". The _______________________ of ten years and starts in 2014. Nissan will supply about 13,000 of the new yellow taxi cabs, which _______________________ as all previous models. The yellow cab has been one of New York’s most recognizable icons since 1967, which is when _______________________. Nissan beat designs from US car maker Ford and Turkish company Karsan. The winning design was based on the opinions of 23,000 New Yorkers who were asked to help _______________________.

The new design has many features that _______________________ for all those who use it. First off, there is plenty of room for four passengers and their luggage. The glass roof _______________________ passengers as they can get a better view of New York’s skyline. There are also sliding doors to reduce traffic accidents from _______________________, air-conditioning that passengers control, reading lights, and an on-board mobile phone charging station. Perhaps the biggest _______________________ was the car’s fuel economy. Mr Bloomberg said: "If _______________________, they could lead New York to start using all electric NV200s… [which] would be a big step toward cleaning our air, improving public health and _______________________ footprint."

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

official

taxi

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • chosen
  • announced
  • period
  • iconic
  • since
  • opinions
  • features
  • appeal
  • sliding
  • control
  • fuel
  • carbon

STUDENT TAXIS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about taxis 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.

TAXIS 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 ‘taxi’?

c)

What do you like and dislike about taxis?

d)

What are taxis like in your country?

e)

Do you think being a taxi driver is difficult?

f)

Do you have a good “taxi story”?

g)

What do you think of New York’s yellow cabs?

h)

Why do you think New York’s taxis are yellow?

i)

Do you think New York should have chosen an American car maker?

j)

What do you know about Nissan?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

How could taxis be improved?

c)

Do you think taxis are expensive?

d)

What do you think of the glass roof idea so you can see the city better?

e)

Is it important to have the control for the air conditioner?

f)

How high-tech should taxis be?

g)

What would life be like without taxis

h)

Do you think taxi drivers are good drivers?

i)

What should taxis do to reduce their carbon footprint?

j)

What questions would you like to ask mayor Michael Bloomberg?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

The Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has been (1) ____ to supply the vehicles for the new official taxi of New York City. The city’s mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced that Nissan's NV200 model of minivan had won his competition for the "Taxi of Tomorrow". The (2) ____ is for a period of ten years and starts in 2014. Nissan will supply about 13,000 of the new yellow taxi cabs, which are sure to be as iconic as all (3) ____ models. The yellow cab has been one of New York’s most recognizable icons since 1967, which is when the colour was (4) ____. Nissan     (5) ____ designs from US car maker Ford and Turkish company Karsan. The winning design was based (6) ____ the opinions of 23,000 New Yorkers who were asked to help choose the new vehicle.

The new design has many (7) ____ that should make it a winner for all those who use it. First off, there is plenty of room for four passengers and their luggage. The glass roof should also (8) ____ to passengers as they can get a better view of New York’s skyline. There are also (9) ____ doors to reduce traffic accidents from doors that swing open, air-conditioning that passengers control, reading lights, and an on-(10) ____ mobile phone charging station. Perhaps the biggest factor in the decision was the car’s fuel economy. Mr Bloomberg said: "If they (11) ____ successful, they could lead New York to start using all electric NV200s… [which] would be a big step toward cleaning our air, improving public health and (12) ____ our carbon footprint."

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

1.

(a)

chosen

(b)

choice

(c)

choosing

(d)

chose

2.

(a)

contact

(b)

contract

(c)

compact

(d)

contrast

3.

(a)

previously

(b)

previews

(c)

previous

(d)

prevalent

4.

(a)

introduces

(b)

introduction

(c)

introducing

(d)

introduced

5.

(a)

won

(b)

gained

(c)

victory

(d)

beat

6.

(a)

at

(b)

in

(c)

on

(d)

up

7.

(a)

features

(b)

futures

(c)

futuristic

(d)

feathers

8.

(a)

appall

(b)

appeal

(c)

apparel

(d)

appraise

9.

(a)

coping

(b)

stinging

(c)

sliding

(d)

foaming

10.

(a)

board

(b)

broad

(c)

bored

(d)

beard

11.

(a)

remove

(b)

grove

(c)

shove

(d)

prove

12.

(a)

shirking

(b)

shrinking

(c)

smirking

(d)

skimming

WRITING

Write about taxis 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 New York’s taxis. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. TAXIS: Make a poster about taxis for tomorrow. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. NISSAN’S TAXI: Write a magazine article about Nissan’s taxi. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it being the new New York taxi.

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 New York’s mayor. Ask him three questions about the Nissan taxi. Give him three ideas on how to make taxis better for passengers. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

T

c.

F

d.

F

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

manufacturer

a.

maker

2

supply

b.

provide

3.

iconic

c.

symbolic

4.

previous

d.

earlier

5.

opinions

e.

thoughts

6.

features

f.

characteristics

7.

plenty of

g.

sufficient

8.

appeal to

h.

interest

9.

factor

i.

point

10.

shrinking

j.

decreasing

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

supply the vehicles for

a.

the new official taxi

2

The contract is for a

b.

period of ten years

3.

be as iconic as

c.

all previous models

4.

New York’s most recognizable icons

d.

since 1967

5.

based on the opinions

e.

of 23,000 New Yorkers

6.

many features that should

f.

make it a winner

7.

an on-board mobile phone

g.

charging station

8.

the car’s fuel

h.

economy

9.

a big step toward

i.

cleaning our air

10.

shrinking our carbon

j.

footprint

GAP FILL:

Nissan to make future New York taxis

The Japanese car manufacturer Nissan has been (1) chosen to supply the vehicles for the new (2) official taxi of New York City. The city’s mayor Michael Bloomberg has (3) announced that Nissan's NV200 model of minivan had won his competition for the "Taxi of Tomorrow". The (4) contract is for a period of ten years and starts in 2014. Nissan will supply about 13,000 of the new yellow taxi cabs, which are sure to be as (5) iconic as all previous models. The yellow cab has been one of New York’s most recognizable icons since 1967, which is when the colour was (6) introduced. Nissan beat designs from US car maker Ford and Turkish company Karsan. The winning design was (7) based on the opinions of 23,000 New Yorkers who were asked to help choose the new (8) vehicle.

The new design has many features that should make it a (9) winner for all those who use it. First off, there is (10) plenty of room for four passengers and their luggage. The glass roof should also (11) appeal to passengers as they can get a better view of New York’s skyline. There are also sliding doors to reduce traffic accidents from doors that (12) swing open, air-conditioning that passengers control, reading lights, and an on-board mobile phone (13) charging station. Perhaps the biggest factor in the decision was the car’s fuel (14) economy. Mr Bloomberg said: "If they (15) prove successful, they could lead New York to start using all electric NV200s… [which] would be a big step toward cleaning our air, improving public health and (16) shrinking our carbon footprint."

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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