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My 1,000
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Date: Jun 2, 2005

Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (2:18 - 271.4 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

A British couple has broken the world record for having the longest marriage. Percy Arrowsmith, 105, and 100-year-old Florence celebrated their eightieth wedding anniversary on June 1. They got married on June 1, 1925, in Hereford, England. They also hold the world record for the oldest married couple’s combined age – 205 years.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth sent the world record-breaking pair a congratulatory card. She said their marriage was a “splendid achievement” and sent them “warm congratulations”. The record breakers celebrated their anniversary with a party in their home, surrounded by family and a few close friends.

The couple’s daughter, Jane Woolley, said both her parents were “as fit as fiddles”. She said they still have a very loving relationship. She also said they have “stuck together through thick and thin”. She described their relationship as being very close, just like “two peas in a pod”.

The couple gave their secret to a lasting marriage – always apologize after every argument and never go to sleep without apologizing. They also recommended kissing and holding hands before going to bed. Mrs. Arrowsmith told the BBC: “I think we’re very blessed. We still love one another, that’s the most important part.”

WARM-UPS

1. LONG MARRIAGE: Imagine you have been married for 80 years. Walk around the class talking to other students who have also been “married” a long, long, time. Ask questions about their married lives and explain the secrets to your long marriage.

Variation: Walk around the class with your “partner” and talk to other “partners”.

2. MARRIAGE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “marriage”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them.

3. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

Guinness Book of Records / married couples / very old people / Britain’s Queen Elizabeth / peas / apologizing / kissing / holding hands / love

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

4. 80 YEARS: Eighty years is a long time. In pairs / groups, talk about which of these things you would like to / hope to do for 80 years. Which is most / least desirable?

  • Live
  • Be married
  • Stay in the same job
  • Live in the same house
  • Be able to run a marathon
  • Other _________________________
  • Keep your own hair and teeth
  • Have the same mobile phone
  • Keep an active mind
  • Stay fit and healthy
  • Study English

5. PER CENT STATEMENTS: In pairs/ groups, give a percentage to each of these statements to show how much you agree with them. (E.g. I 80 per cent agree with the first one; I only 10 per cent agree with "h". etc.)

  1. I would totally, totally love to be married for 80 years.
  2. Eighty different partners in 80 years would be nice.
  3. I would get very tired of being with the same person for 80 years.
  4. Marriage is too much hard work. Staying free and single is best.
  5. I want a card from the British Queen on my wedding anniversary.
  6. After 80 years of marriage, there’s nothing new to discover – that’s boring.
  7. Staying married for 80 years means the couple was made for each other.
  8. Love is the most important thing in the world.

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

A couple has two world records for having a long marriage.

T / F

b.

The couple’s combined age is 180.

T / F

c.

Britain’s Queen sent the couple a congratulatory card.

T / F

d.

The couple celebrated their anniversary at a top London hotel.

T / F

e.

Each partner plays the fiddle and violin.

T / F

f.

The husband and wife love peas.

T / F

g.

They said the key to a long marriage is to never apologize.

T / F

h.

The wife said love plays only a small part in a successful marriage.

T / F

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

a.

couple

added

b.

got married

say sorry

c.

combined

good times and bad

d.

splendid

good

e.

close

tied the knot

f.

fit

lucky

g.

thick and thin

healthy

h.

lasting

pair

i.

apologize

long-term

j.

blessed

wonderful

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

a.

broken

and thin

b.

celebrated their

congratulations

c.

sent them warm

in a pod

d.

surrounded by

the world record

e.

as fit

a lasting marriage

f.

a very loving

together

g.

stuck

family and a few close friends

h.

through thick

eightieth wedding anniversary

i.

like two peas

relationship

j.

secret to

as fiddles

WHILE READING / LISTENING

WHICH WORD?: Circle the correct word from each pair in italics.

World record 80 years of marriage

A British couple has broken / break the world record for having the longest marriage / wedding. Percy Arrowsmith, 105, and 100-year-old Florence celebrated / celebration their eightieth wedding anniversary on June 1. They got married on June 1, 1925, in Hereford, England. They also grip / hold the world record for the oldest married couple’s combined / comb age – 205 years.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth sent / scent the world record-breaking pair / trio a congratulatory card. She said their marriage was a “splendid achievement” and sent them “hot / warm congratulations”. The record breakers celebrated their annual / anniversary with a party in their home, surrounded by family and a few close fiends / friends.

The couple’s daughter, Jane Woolley, said both her parents were “as fit as violins / fiddles”. She said they still have a very loving / loveless relationship. She also said they have “stuck / glued together through thick and sickness / thin”. She described their relationship as being very close, just like “two peas in a pod / pad”.

The couple gave their secret to a last / lasting marriage – always apologize after every arrangement / argument and never go to sleep without apologizing. They also recommended cussing / kissing and holding hands before going to bed. Mrs. Arrowsmith told the BBC: “I think we’re very blessing / blessed. We still love one another, that’s the most important part / portion.”


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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. WHICH WORD?: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about any relationships between the words in italics. Try to explain why the incorrect word is wrong.

4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

5. STUDENT “MARRIAGE” SURVEY: In pairs / groups write down questions about marriage.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make a mini-presentation to another group / the class on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • broken
  • eightieth
  • combined
  • Queen
  • splendid
  • surrounded
  • fiddles
  • stuck
  • peas
  • secret
  • hands
  • most important part

 DISCUSSION

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

  1. Did you like the headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  3. Do you think there should be more happy stories like this in the news or do you prefer to read about heavier, more serious topics?
  4. Would you like to be married for 80 years?
  5. What do you think 80 years of marriage would be like?
  6. Do you think their love grew stronger every year?
  7. What do you think they talk about over breakfast every morning?
  8. Do you think they still go on dates?
  9. Do you think they still have a lot to learn about each other?
  10. Would their life story together make a good movie?

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

  1. Did you like reading the article?
  2. How did this news make you feel?
  3. Do you think being married for 80 years is an “achievement”?
  4. Describe a couple you know, who has been married a long time.
  5. What wedding anniversary present would you buy a couple that has been together for 80 years?
  6. How would you celebrate your 80th wedding anniversary?
  7. What is the secret to a lasting marriage?
  8. What world record would you like to break?
  9. Have you ever stuck with anything / anyone through thick and thin?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

WEDDING WORDS: Match the wedding / marriage words on the left with their meanings on the right.

  1. (to) get down on one knee
  2. (to) tie the knot
  3. Mr. (Ms.) Right
  4. (to be) all roses and light
  5. A match made in heaven
  6. A shotgun wedding
  7. (to be) like two peas in a pod
  8. The happy day
  9. To pop the question
  10. “Until death do us part”
  1. A man and woman have to marry because the woman is pregnant with the man’s child.
  2. A promise made at the wedding ceremony to live together forever.
  3. Very comfortable and happy together.
  4. How someone physically proposes by half-kneeling.
  5. Everything is always perfect.
  6. The big day – the day of the wedding.
  7. The perfect person to marry.
  8. To ask someone to marry you.
  9. To get married.
  10. Two people are made for each other.
  1. Check your answers after you have finished.
  2. In pairs / groups, talk about each expression. Do you like them? Is there a similar expression in your own language?
  3. In pairs, write one question for each of the expressions. Change partners and ask each other your questions.
  4. Pool your questions and write down any unknown vocabulary. Talk about the questions you like.
  5. Try to tell a story to your partner using all of the expressions.
  6. Use each of the expressions to describe your own wedding (imagined or real).

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

World record 80 years of marriage

A British couple has broken the world record for having
___ ______ ______. Percy Arrowsmith, 105, and 100-year-old Florence ________ _____ ______ wedding anniversary on June 1. They got married on June 1, 1925, in Hereford, England. They also hold the world record for the oldest married couple’s _________ ____ – 205 years.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth sent the world ______ ________ ____ a congratulatory card. She said their marriage was a “splendid achievement” and sent them “warm congratulations”. The record breakers __________ _____ anniversary with a party in their home, surrounded by family and __ ____ ______ ________.

The couple’s daughter, Jane Woolley, said both her parents were
“__ ___ __ ______”. She said they still have a very loving relationship. She also said they have “_____ ________ through _____ ___ _____”. She described their relationship as being very close, just like “___ ____ __ __ ____”.

The couple gave their secret __ __ _______ ________ – always apologize after every argument and never go to sleep
_______ __________. They also recommended kissing and holding hands before going to bed. Mrs. Arrowsmith told the BBC: “I think we’re ____ _______. We still love one another, that’s the most important part.”

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 more information on centenarians. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. THE KEY TO A HAPPY MARRIAGE: Write your own “guide” on how to have a long-lasting marriage. Include the most important tips that will make the marriage successful. Show your guide to your classmates in your next lesson. Talk about your ideas.

4. LETTER TO PERCY & FLORENCE: Write a letter to the new record breakers telling them what you think of their achievement. Read your letters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did your classmates write similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. F

f. F

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

couple

pair

b.

got married

tied the knot

c.

combined

added

d.

splendid

wonderful

e.

close

good

f.

fit

healthy

g.

thick and thin

good times and bad

h.

lasting

long-term

i.

apologize

say sorry

j.

blessed

lucky

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

broken

the world record

b.

celebrated their

eightieth wedding anniversary

c.

sent them warm

congratulations

d.

surrounded by

family and a few close friends

e.

as fit

as fiddles

f.

a very loving

relationship

g.

stuck

together

h.

through thick

and thin

i.

like two peas

in a pod

j.

secret to

a lasting marriage

WHICH WORD?:

World record 80 years of marriage

A British couple has broken the world record for having the longest marriage. Percy Arrowsmith, 105, and 100-year-old Florence celebrated their eightieth wedding anniversary on June 1. They got married on June 1, 1925, in Hereford, England. They also hold the world record for the oldest married couple’s combined age – 205 years.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth sent the world record-breaking pair a congratulatory card. She said their marriage was a “splendid achievement” and sent them “warm congratulations”. The record breakers celebrated their anniversary with a party in their home, surrounded by family and a few close friends.

The couple’s daughter, Jane Woolley, said both her parents were “as fit as fiddles”. She said they still have a very loving relationship. She also said they have “stuck together through thick and thin”. She described their relationship as being very close, just like “two peas in a pod”.

The couple gave their secret to a lasting marriage – always apologize after every argument and never go to sleep without apologizing. They also recommended kissing and holding hands before going to bed. Mrs. Arrowsmith told the BBC: “I think we’re very blessed. We still love one another, that’s the most important part.”

SPEAKING:

1. d

2. i

3. g

4. e

5. j

6. a

7. c

8. f

9. h

10. b

 

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