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My 1,000
Ideas
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Date: Jun 16, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (2:19 - 271.9 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

Supersonic air travel is poised to make a comeback. Japanese and French aerospace industries have agreed on a research tie-up to develop the next-generation Concorde. The new airliner will be faster and more fuel efficient than its predecessor. Industry analysts say the melding together of French aviation expertise in the field of supersonic flight with Japanese technology and innovation will produce a commercially viable plane. Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said: “We would like the industries to realize supersonic transport by combining Japan’s manufacturing technology with France’s supersonic technology.” The deal was inked at the Paris Air Show on June 15.

The finished product could take to the skies within ten years. The R&D phase of the project will span three years. Specialist teams will work on new fuselage materials that can cope with the physical stresses of supersonic travel. This is critical as the Japanese side says it can construct an engine capable of topping Mach 5.5, or 5.5 times the speed of sound. The original Concorde, which stopped flying in 2003 over safety concerns, had a top speed of Mach 2, or 2,000 kph. It is believed the new high-altitude cruiser will carry 300 passengers and slash the flight time from New York to Tokyo to just six hours, down from the present 13 hours on normal airplanes. Ticket prices are likely to be sky high: a London-New York round trip Concorde ticket set you back as much as $20,000.

WARM-UPS

1. HALF THE TIME: Do you ever wish there were more hours in the day? Do you wish some things didn’t take up so much of your time? In pairs / groups, talk about the things in your everyday life that take too long. How could you reduce the amount of time you spend on these things by half? What would you do with the time you saved?

These things may help your conversations:

  • Cooking and eating
  • Studying
  • Commuting / traveling
  • Sleeping
  • Bathing / hair / cosmetics
  • Working
  • Housework
  • Other

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

Air travel / Concorde / supersonic airplanes / Japanese technology / Paris Air Show / Mach 5.5 (5,500 kph) / airline safety / New York / Tokyo / $20,000 plane tickets

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

3. FLYING: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with flying. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

4. SUPERSONIC LIFE: Talk with your partner(s) about whether or not you want / need these timesaving technologies of the future. Are they good or bad? Why?

  1. A supersonic airplane that flies from London to Sydney in 47 minutes.
  2. A microwave oven that can cook a whole chicken in 12.3 seconds.
  3. A subway train that can move between stations within 2 seconds.
  4. A go-faster pen / keyboard that enables you to write / type twice your normal speed.
  5. A power shower that showers, washes and blow dries your body in 5 seconds.
  6. Stores without checkouts – your credit card is debited as you leave the store.
  7. High speed movies – everybody talks and moves 30% faster than usual.
  8. Turbo-banks – all your banking needs are done inside one minute.

5. AIR TRAVEL: Which of these are most important when you fly?

  • Ticket price
  • Direct flight / flight time
  • Name of airline
  • Flight attendant uniforms
  • Availability of alcohol
  • Food
  • Air miles
  • Window or aisle seat
  • In-flight movies and entertainment
  • Legroom

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

Japan and France are to cooperate and build a supersonic airliner.

T / F

b.

The new airplane won’t be quite as fast as its predecessor.

T / F

c.

Analysts doubt the commercial viability of the new plane.

T / F

d.

The deal was inked at the Paris Air Show.

T / F

e.

The finished product could be in the skies next year.

T / F

f.

Japan can build an engine with a top speed of 5,500 kph.

T / F

g.

The capacity of the new airliner will be 75 passengers.

T / F

h.

A round-trip London-New York Concorde ticket cost up to $20,000.

T / F

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

a.

poised

feasible

b.

tie-up

exceeding

c.

melding

fly

d.

viable

cost

e.

inked

fusing

f.

take to the skies

exorbitant (USA) exhorbitant (UK)

g.

topping

set to

h.

slash

signed

i.

sky high

reduce

j.

set you back

collaboration

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

a.

poised to make

as much as $20,000

b.

develop the

together of

c.

the melding

expertise

d.

aviation

be sky high

e.

The deal

topping Mach 5.5

f.

take to

a comeback

g.

an engine capable of

the skies

h.

slash

was inked at the Paris Air Show

i.

prices are likely to

the flight time

j.

set you back

next-generation Concorde

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the correct spaces.

Japan, France to develop super-Concorde

Supersonic air travel is ______ to make a comeback. Japanese and French aerospace industries have agreed on a research ______ to develop the next-generation Concorde. The new airliner will be faster and more fuel efficient than its ______. Industry analysts say the ______ together of French aviation expertise in the field of supersonic flight with Japanese technology and ______ will produce a commercially ______ plane. Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said: “We would like the industries to ______ supersonic transport by combining Japan’s manufacturing technology with France’s supersonic technology.” The deal was ______ at the Paris Air Show on June 15.

 
 
predecessor
viable
tie-up
poised
realize
innovation
inked
melding

The finished product could take to the ______ within ten years. The R&D phase of the project will ______ three years. Specialist teams will work on new fuselage materials that can ______ with the physical stresses of supersonic travel. This is critical as the Japanese side says it can construct an engine capable of ______ Mach 5.5, or 5.5 times the speed of sound. The original Concorde, which stopped flying in 2003 over safety ______, had a top speed of Mach 2, or 2,000 kph. It is believed the new high-altitude cruiser will carry 300 passengers and ______ the flight time from New York to Tokyo to just six hours, down from the present 13 hours on normal airplanes. Ticket prices are likely to be ______ high: a London-New York round trip Concorde ticket ______ you back as much as $20,000.
 

 
concerns
set
cope
slash
span
sky
topping
skies

 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 gap fill. 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. STUDENT CONCORDE SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about Concorde and supersonic travel.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups 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:

  • poised
  • tie-up
  • melding
  • viable
  • realize
  • inked
  • skies
  • cope
  • topping
  • slash
  • sky high
  • back

 DISCUSSION

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

  1. What was your initial reaction to this headline?
  2. What do you think of this new aviation venture?
  3. Do you think there is the need for a supersonic airliner?
  4. Would you like to travel on the inaugural flight?
  5. Why do you think the French are so interested in supersonic flight?
  6. What do you think of the old Concorde? Is it beautiful?
  7. Would you like to travel at five times the speed of sound?
  8. Do you like flying?
  9. Do you think it’s all that important to slash flying time by half?
  10. Do you think this will accelerate the possibility of space flights?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. Are you looking forward to seeing the new plane take to the skies?
  3. Do you think it’ll be commercially viable?
  4. How much extra would you pay to fly on a supersonic plane?
  5. Do you think this new plane will be dangerous?
  6. What improvements would you like to see made to regular airplanes?
  7. Do you think current air ticket prices are sky high?
  8. What image do you have of air travel fifty years from now?
  9. People often say airplanes are the safest form of travel. Do you agree with this? Do you worry about airplane safety?
  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

FLYING: You have been asked by the airline industry to make recommendations on how to improve air travel. In pairs / groups, identify the major problem with each of the categories below and decide on three suggestions for their improvement. Agree on and circle the extent of the “present problem” (1 = very serious).

CATEGORY

PRESENT PROBLEM

  RECOMMENDATIONS

Food

 

 

 

1    2    3    4    5

  1.

  2.

  3.

In-flight entertainment

 

 

 

1    2    3    4    5

  1.

  2.

  3.

The seat

 

 

 

1    2    3    4    5

  1.

  2.

  3.

Baggage

 

 

 

1    2    3    4    5

  1.

  2.

  3.

Checking in

 

 

 

1    2    3    4    5

  1.

  2.

  3.

Other

 

 

 

1    2    3    4    5

  1.

  2.

  3.

Change partners and explain what you discussed with your previous partner(s). Give each other feedback on your ideas. Combine your ideas to make your recommendations even better (you have to agree on the three best recommendations).

Return to your original partners and discuss any revisions you made.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Japan, France to develop super-Concorde

Supersonic air travel is ______ __ ____ a comeback. Japanese and French aerospace industries have agreed on __ _______ ______ __ develop the next-generation Concorde. The new airliner will be faster and more fuel efficient ____ ___ ___________. Industry analysts say the _______ ________ __ French aviation expertise in the field of supersonic flight with Japanese technology and innovation will produce a ___________ ______ _____. Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said: “We would like the industries to realize supersonic transport by combining Japan’s manufacturing technology with France’s supersonic technology.” The ____ ____ _____ ___ the Paris Air Show on June 15.

The finished product could ____ __ ___ ____ within ten years. The R&D phase of the project will span three years. Specialist teams will work on ___ ________ ________ that can cope with the physical stresses of supersonic travel. This is critical as the Japanese side says it can construct an engine _______ __ ________ Mach 5.5, or 5.5 times the speed of sound. The original Concorde, which stopped flying in 2003 over safety concerns, had a top speed of Mach 2, or 2,000 kph. It is believed the new ___-________ _________ will carry 300 passengers and
_____ ___ ______ _____ from New York to Tokyo to just six hours, down from the present 13 hours on normal airplanes. Ticket prices are likely to be sky high: a London-New York round trip Concorde ticket
___ ___ ____ __ much as $20,000.

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 the new super-Concorde airplane. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. AIR TRAVEL: Write an essay on what you think the future will be like for air travel. Explain the main points of your essay to your classmates in your next lesson. Did everyone write about similar things?

4. A LETTER: Write a letter to the designers of the new supersonic airplane. Tell them the features you would like to see incorporated into the aircraft. Read your letter to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all request similar features?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. F

d. T

e. F

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

poised

set to

b.

tie-up

collaboration

c.

melding

fusing

d.

viable

feasible

e.

inked

signed

f.

take to the skies

fly

g.

topping

exceeding

h.

slash

reduce

i.

sky high

exorbitant (USA) exhorbitant (UK)

j.

set you back cost

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

poised to make

a comeback

b.

develop the

next-generation Concorde

c.

the melding

together of

d.

aviation

expertise

e.

The deal

was inked at the Paris Air Show

f.

take to

the skies

g.

an engine capable of

topping Mach 5.5

h.

slash

the flight time

i.

prices are likely to

be sky high

j.

set you back

as much as $20,000

GAP FILL:

Japan, France to develop super-Concorde

Supersonic air travel is poised to make a comeback. Japanese and French aerospace industries have agreed on a research tie-up to develop the next-generation Concorde. The new airliner will be faster and more fuel efficient than its predecessor. Industry analysts say the melding together of French aviation expertise in the field of supersonic flight with Japanese technology and innovation will produce a commercially viable plane. Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Shoichi Nakagawa said: “We would like the industries to realize supersonic transport by combining Japan’s manufacturing technology with France’s supersonic technology.” The deal was inked at the Paris Air Show on June 15.

The finished product could take to the skies within ten years. The R&D phase of the project will span three years. Specialist teams will work on new fuselage materials that can cope with the physical stresses of supersonic travel. This is critical as the Japanese side says it can construct an engine capable of topping Mach 5.5, or 5.5 times the speed of sound. The original Concorde, which stopped flying in 2003 over safety concerns, had a top speed of Mach 2, or 2,000 kph. It is believed the new high-altitude cruiser will carry 300 passengers and slash the flight time from New York to Tokyo to just six hours, down from the present 13 hours on normal airplanes. Ticket prices are likely to be sky high: a London-New York round trip Concorde ticket set you back as much as $20,000.

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