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Doctors Separate Twins Joined at Head (19th September, 2011)


 

Doctors in the U.K. have successfully separated a pair of Sudanese twins who were born with the tops of their heads joined together. The 11-month-old baby girls, Rital and Ritag Gaboura, had four different operations over four months. They are now doing well in a London hospital and are expected to make a full recovery. The rare condition that joined their heads happens once in about 2.5 million births. Surgery to separate them can be extremely dangerous as surgeons have to cut the brains and deal with the major flow of blood between the two brains. Such operations can leave significant neurological damage, although that does not appear to be the case with Rital and Ritag.

The charity Facing the World, which helps disfigured children, helped the twins receive the operation they needed. The charity’s spokeswoman Sarah Driver-Jowitt described just how successful the surgery was: “Within days the twins were back on the general ward interacting and playing as before," she said. Lead surgeon Dr David Dunaway said: "Incidences of surviving twins with this condition are extremely rare. The task presented innumerable challenges and we were all very aware of our responsibility to the family and these two little girls." Another expert surgeon in this field, Dr James Goodrich, said: "So far the results have been exceptional. I think both kids will do quite well."


WARM-UPS

1. TWINS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about twins. 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.

 

doctors / pair of twins / operations / full recovery / rare condition / brain / damage / charity / spokeswoman / surviving / extremely rare / innumerable challenges / results

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

3. TWINS: What (is it / would it be) like to be a twin? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

For

Good things

Not so good things

clothes

 

 

personality

 

 

friendship

 

 

playing tricks

 

 

family

 

 

school

 

 

4. PERFECT SURGERY: Students A strongly believe all surgery will be 100% successful in the future; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. CHARITY: Which would you give your money to? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • children
  • disaster victims
  • medical research
  • Greenpeace
  • the World Wildlife Fund
  • Amnesty International
  • historic sight restoration
  • abandoned pets

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

Doctors have separated twin boys who were joined at the head.

T / F

b.

The twins had been joined for 11 years.

T / F

c.

There is over a one-in-ten-million chance of being joined at the head.

T / F

d.

The operation to separate the twins left no serious damage.

T / F

e.

The twins got their operation with the help of a charity.

T / F

f.

It took weeks for the twins to come out of intensive care.

T / F

g.

The doctor said it was rare for twins to survive this condition.

T / F

h.

A specialist in the field believes the twins will be just fine.

T / F

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

1.

separated

a.

specialist

2

operations

b.

seem

3.

expected

c.

surgeries

4.

rare

d.

occurrences

5.

appear

e.

unconnected

6.

disfigured

f.

countless

7.

incidences

g.

uncommon

8.

innumerable

h.

extraordinary

9.

expert

i.

believed

10.

exceptional

j.

impaired

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

1.

successfully separated a pair

a.

of our responsibility

2

The rare condition that

b.

damage

3.

the major flow of blood

c.

days

4.

significant neurological

d.

of Sudanese twins

5.

that does not appear

e.

between the two brains

6.

disfigured

f.

do quite well

7.

Within

g.

joined their heads

8.

extremely

h.

children

9.

we were all very aware

i.

to be the case

10.

I think both kids will

j.

rare

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Doctors in the U.K. have (1) ____________ separated a pair of Sudanese twins who were born with the tops of their heads joined together. The 11-month-old baby girls, Rital and Ritag Gaboura, had four different operations (2) ____________ four months. They are now doing well in a London hospital and are                (3) ____________ to make a full recovery. The rare                 (4) ____________ that joined their heads happens once in about 2.5 million births. Surgery to separate them can be                   (5) ____________ dangerous as surgeons have to cut the brains and (6) ____________ with the major flow of blood between the two brains. Such operations can leave (7) ____________ neurological damage, although that does not (8) ____________ to be the case with Rital and Ritag.

 

 

 

deal
condition
over
significant
appear
successfully
expected
extremely

The charity Facing the World, which helps (9) ____________ children, helped the twins (10) ____________ the operation they needed. The charity’s spokeswoman Sarah Driver-Jowitt          (11) ____________ just how successful the surgery was: “Within days the twins were back on the general ward (12) ____________ and playing as before," she said. Lead surgeon Dr David Dunaway said: "Incidences of (13) ____________ twins with this condition are extremely rare. The task presented innumerable                (14) ____________ and we were all very aware of our responsibility to the family and these two little girls." Another  (15) ____________ surgeon in this field, Dr James Goodrich, said: "So far the (16) ____________ have been exceptional. I think both kids will do quite well."

 

 

challenges
surviving
receive
results
described
disfigured
expert
interacting

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

Doctors in the U.K. have _____________________ a pair of Sudanese twins who were born with the tops of their _____________________. The 11-month-old baby girls, Rital and Ritag Gaboura, had four different operations over four months. They are now doing well in a London hospital and are expected to _____________________. The rare condition that joined their heads happens once in about 2.5 million births. Surgery to separate them can _____________________ as surgeons have to cut the brains and deal with the _____________________ between the two brains. Such operations can leave significant _____________________, although that does not appear to be the case with Rital and Ritag.

The charity Facing the World, which _____________________, helped the twins receive the operation they needed. The charity’s spokeswoman Sarah Driver-Jowitt described just how _____________________ was: “Within days the twins were back on the general ward _____________________ as before," she said. Lead surgeon Dr David Dunaway said: "Incidences of surviving twins with this _____________________ rare. The task presented innumerable challenges and we were all very aware of our responsibility to the family and these two little girls." Another _____________________ field, Dr James Goodrich, said: "So far the results _____________________. I think both kids will do quite well."

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

separate

twins

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • born
  • months
  • rare
  • 2.5
  • flow
  • case
  • helps
  • spokeswoman
  • general
  • rare
  • expert
  • results

STUDENT TWINS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about twins 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.

TWINS 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 ‘surgery’?

c)

What do you think about what you read?

d)

What do you think about the ability of surgeons who performed the operations?

e)

How do you think their parents feel?

f)

How will the successful operation change the twins’ lives?

g)

What (do you think it’s like / is it like) to be a twin?

h)

How do you think the surgeons felt during the operations?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What three adjectives would you use to describe this article and why?

c)

Would you prefer to read good news stories like this or bad news stories?

d)

Can you imagine what the “innumerable challenges” were?

e)

Why do you think some twins are conjoined?

f)

What message would you like to give the twins?

g)

Have you ever had surgery?

h)

What questions would you like to ask the surgeons?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

Doctors in the U.K. have (1) ____ separated a pair of Sudanese twins who were born with the tops of their heads joined together. The 11-month-old baby girls, Rital and Ritag Gaboura, had four different operations (2) ____ four months. They are now doing well in a London hospital and are (3) ____ to make a full recovery. The rare condition that joined their heads happens once (4) ____ about 2.5 million births. Surgery to separate them can be extremely dangerous as surgeons have to cut the brains and deal with the (5) ____ flow of blood between the two brains. Such operations can leave significant neurological damage, although that does not (6) ____ to be the case with Rital and Ritag.

The charity Facing the World, which helps disfigured children, helped the twins    (7) ____ the operation they needed. The charity’s spokeswoman Sarah Driver-Jowitt described just (8) ____ successful the surgery was: “Within days the twins were back on the general ward interacting and playing as before," she said. Lead surgeon Dr David Dunaway said: "Incidences of surviving twins with this condition are extremely (9) ____. The task presented innumerable challenges and we were all very aware (10) ____ our responsibility to the family and these two little girls." Another expert surgeon in this (11) ____, Dr James Goodrich, said: "So far the results have been (12) ____. I think both kids will do quite well."

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

1.

(a)

successfully

(b)

success

(c)

successes

(d)

succeeded

2.

(a)

about

(b)

over

(c)

through

(d)

under

3.

(a)

expectation

(b)

expects

(c)

expected

(d)

expect

4.

(a)

on

(b)

over

(c)

under

(d)

in

5.

(a)

majorly

(b)

majority

(c)

majors

(d)

major

6.

(a)

reappear

(b)

appearance

(c)

appear

(d)

apparent

7.

(a)

receive

(b)

revive

(c)

review

(d)

reverie

8.

(a)

what

(b)

how

(c)

which

(d)

whose

9.

(a)

bare

(b)

pare

(c)

rare

(d)

dare

10.

(a)

of

(b)

from

(c)

by

(d)

at

11.

(a)

farm

(b)

park

(c)

field

(d)

pasture

12.

(a)

except

(b)

exceptional

(c)

exceptions

(d)

expectation

WRITING

Write about twins 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 surgery to separate conjoined twins. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. TWINS: Make a poster about twins. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. SURGERY: Write a magazine article about Rital and Ritag’s operation. Include imaginary interviews with the surgeon and parents.

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 a surgeon. Ask him/her three questions about performing surgery. Give him/her three of your opinions on his/her job. 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.

F

d.

T

e.

T

f.

F

g.

T

h.

T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

separated

a.

unconnected

2

operations

b.

surgeries

3.

expected

c.

believed

4.

rare

d.

uncommon

5.

appear

e.

seem

6.

disfigured

f.

impaired

7.

incidences

g.

occurrences

8.

innumerable

h.

countless

9.

expert

i.

specialist

10.

exceptional

j.

extraordinary

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

successfully separated a pair

a.

of Sudanese twins

2

The rare condition that

b.

joined their heads

3.

the major flow of blood

c.

between the two brains

4.

significant neurological

d.

damage

5.

that does not appear

e.

to be the case

6.

disfigured

f.

children

7.

Within

g.

days

8.

extremely

h.

rare

9.

we were all very aware

i.

of our responsibility

10.

I think both kids will

j.

do quite well

GAP FILL:

Doctors separate twins joined at head

Doctors in the U.K. have (1) successfully separated a pair of Sudanese twins who were born with the tops of their heads joined together. The 11-month-old baby girls, Rital and Ritag Gaboura, had four different operations (2) over four months. They are now doing well in a London hospital and are (3) expected to make a full recovery. The rare (4) condition that joined their heads happens once in about 2.5 million births. Surgery to separate them can be (5) extremely dangerous as surgeons have to cut the brains and (6) deal with the major flow of blood between the two brains. Such operations can leave (7) significant neurological damage, although that does not (8) appear to be the case with Rital and Ritag.

The charity Facing the World, which helps (9) disfigured children, helped the twins (10) receive the operation they needed. The charity’s spokeswoman Sarah Driver-Jowitt (11) described just how successful the surgery was: “Within days the twins were back on the general ward (12) interacting and playing as before," she said. Lead surgeon Dr David Dunaway said: "Incidences of (13) surviving twins with this condition are extremely rare. The task presented innumerable (14) challenges and we were all very aware of our responsibility to the family and these two little girls." Another (15) expert surgeon in this field, Dr James Goodrich, said: "So far the (16) results have been exceptional. I think both kids will do quite well."

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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