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My 1,000
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Date: Jul 28, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

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THE ARTICLE

The world’s most profitable car manufacturer, Porsche, has announced in a press release* it will build a four-door car, to hit the roads in 2009. The luxury carmaker will invest $1.2 billion on the new vehicle. Porsche expects the new car, to be called the “Panamera”, to sell somewhere in the region of 20,000 models a year, which would make it the company’s best selling vehicle. The Stuttgart based factory is famed for the other three models that make up the Porsche line-up – the Boxster, the 911 sports car and the Cayenne SUV. Porsche’s announcement confirms rumors that have been rife on the Internet that “some delectable new creation” would be emerging from the company.

The car is to be built solely by Porsche in Stuttgart and bear the “Made in Germany” hallmark of quality. Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, the President and CEO of Porsche, said: “The Panamera is the right car …as it has all the typical DNA characteristics of a genuine sports car. In terms of performance, design, and driving dynamics it meets Porsche’s high standards in every respect.… we are making our customers an attractive offer in the top performance segment.” The car will compete against other luxury family oriented models from Mercedes, Maserati, Aston Martin and Bentley. Porsche looks set to continue its uncanny knack of producing top quality automobiles for top profits.

WARM-UPS

1. CAR OWNERS: You are the owner of a luxury car. It cost nearly $500,000. Talk to the other “luxury car owners” in the class about your cars. Why did you buy that model? How often do you use it? How does driving it make you feel?

2. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think European cars are the best in the world. Students B think Japanese cars are the best in the world. Students C think American cars are the best in the world. Change partners often.

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

Carmakers / Porsche / roads / luxury cars / rumors / things made in Germany / DNA / driving / Mercedes / the knack of doing things

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

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

5. MY CAR HISTORY: In pairs / groups, talk about your history with the car. Can you remember the family car when you were a child? How important is the car to you now? What happy or unhappy memories do you have in cars? Do you like watching car programmes on TV?

6. CAR OPINIONS: How far do you agree with the following opinions on cars?

  1. There are too many cars in the world.
  2. Carmakers shouldn’t make cars that can greatly exceed the speed limits.
  3. Spending $200,000 on a car when African children are starving is immoral.
  4. I would absolutely love to have a Porsche one day.
  5. A quality car is the world’s greatest status symbol.
  6. Cars are killers and should be banned.
  7. The world is car crazy.
  8. The car someone drives is an extension of his or her own personality.
  9. Men are better drivers than women.
  10. My opinion on cars ___________________________________________.

Change partners and compare what you talked about.


 
 

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 new Porsche sports car went on sale yesterday.

T / F

b.

The new car is expected to become Porsche’s top seller.

T / F

c.

Porsche manufactures twelve different models of sports car.

T / F

d.

The new car was kept a complete secret until yesterday’s unveiling.

T / F

e.

Porsche’s new vehicle is to be made in China and Korea.

T / F

f.

The company’s CEO said the car has DNA characteristics.

T / F

g.

The main competition will be from Ford, Toyota and Hyundai.

T / F

h.

Porsche has an uncanny knack of making lots of profit.

T / F

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

a.

hit the roads

rampant

b.

somewhere in the region of

facet

c.

famed

carry

d.

rife

about

e.

delectable

sector

f.

bear

remarkable

g.

segment

go on sale

h.

respect

appetizing

i.

uncanny

expertise

j.

knack

renowned

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

a.

hit the

characteristics

b.

sell somewhere

rife on the Internet

c.

the other three models that

in every respect

d.

confirms rumors that have been

roads in 2009

e.

delectable

knack

f.

bear the

make up the Porsche line-up

g.

typical DNA

oriented models

h.

it meets Porsche’s high standards

new creation

i.

other luxury family

in the region of 20,000 models

j.

uncanny

“Made in Germany” hallmark

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Porsche unveils 4-door sports car

The world’s most _______ car manufacturer, Porsche, has announced in a press release it will build a four-door car, to _______ the roads in 2009. The luxury carmaker will invest $1.2 billion on the new vehicle. Porsche _______ the new car, to be called the “Panamera”, to sell somewhere in the _______ of 20,000 models a year, which would make it the company’s best selling vehicle. The Stuttgart based factory is _______ for the other three models that make up the Porsche _______  the Boxster, the 911 sports car and the Cayenne SUV. Porsche’s announcement confirms rumors that have been _______ on the Internet that “some _______ new creation” would be emerging from the company.

 

 

hit
famed
delectable
profitable
region
rife
expects
line-up

The car is to be built _______ by Porsche in Stuttgart and bear the “Made in Germany” _______ of quality. Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, the President and CEO of Porsche, said: “The Panamera is the right car …as it has all the _______ DNA characteristics of a genuine sports car. In terms of performance, design, and driving _______ it meets Porsche’s high standards in every _______.… we are making our customers an _______ offer in the top performance segment.” The car will _______ against other luxury family oriented models from Mercedes, Maserati, Aston Martin and Bentley. Porsche looks set to continue its uncanny _______ of producing top quality automobiles for top profits.

 

 

respect
hallmark
compete
dynamics
solely
knack
typical
attractive


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 “CARS” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about cars and Porsche.

  • 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:

  • profitable
  • hit
  • region
  • famed
  • rumors
  • delectable
  • solely
  • typical
  • respect
  • segment
  • oriented
  • knack

DISCUSSION

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

  1. What were your initial thoughts on this headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  3. Do you often read motoring news?
  4. Are you interested in cars?
  5. Would you like a Porsche?
  6. Do you have any particular image of Porsche drivers?
  7. What car would you really love to have or drive?
  8. Do you get excited the announcement of a new car being launched?
  9. Which is better, a two- or four-door car?
  10. Which would you rather have, a sports car or SUV?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What did you think about what you read?
  3. What do you think about luxury cars?
  4. What points do / would you look at when buying a car?
  5. Does your country make cars? Are they good?
  6. What do you think of German / Italian / French / Japanese / American / Korean cars?
  7. Do you think cars will always be a part of our lives?
  8. What do you think are the “typical DNA characteristics of a genuine sports car”?
  9. Do you have a knack for anything?
  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

DRIVING: You have been asked by the automobile industry to make recommendations on how to improve cars. In pairs / groups, identify the major problems with cars in the categories below. Decide on three suggestions for their improvement. Agree on and circle the extent of the “present problem” (1 = very serious, 5 = no problem).

CATEGORY

PRESENT PROBLEM

RECOMMENDATIONS
 

Fuel efficiency

 

 

 

1    2    3    4    5

1.

2.

3.

Safety

 

 

 

1    2    3    4    5

1.

2.

3.

The interior (seats, dashboard, luggage space, etc.)

 

 

 

1    2    3    4    5

1.

2.

3.

Handling

 

 

 

1    2    3    4    5

1.

2.

3.

After sales service

 

 

 

1    2    3    4    5

1.

2.

3.

Looks

 

 

 

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.

Porsche unveils 4-door sports car

The world’s most _________ car manufacturer, Porsche, has announced in a press release it will build a four-door car, to ____ the roads in 2009. The luxury carmaker will invest $1.2 billion on the new vehicle. Porsche _______ the new car, to be called the “Panamera”, to sell somewhere __ ___ ______ __ 20,000 models a year, which would make it the company’s best selling vehicle. The Stuttgart based factory is famed for the other three models that make up the Porsche _____-___ – the Boxster, the 911 sports car and the Cayenne SUV. Porsche’s announcement confirms rumors that have ____ ____ ___ the Internet that “some delectable new creation” would be emerging from the company.

The car is to be built _______ by Porsche in Stuttgart and bear the “Made in Germany” _______ of quality. Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, the President and CEO of Porsche, said: “The Panamera is the right car …as it has all the _______ DNA characteristics of a genuine sports car. In terms of performance, design, and driving _______ it meets Porsche’s high standards in every _______.… we are making our customers an attractive offer in the top performance _______.” The car will compete against other luxury family _______ models from Mercedes, Maserati, Aston Martin and Bentley. Porsche looks set to continue its uncanny _______ of producing top quality automobiles for top profits.

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 Porsche. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. THE FUTURE: Make a poster outlining how you envisage cars of the future will look, function and perform. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all describe similar features?

4. DIARY / JOURNAL: Imagine you are a car. Write a journal / diary entry about a day in your life. How do the humans treat you? What do you think of other cars? What annoys you most? What do you do in your free time? Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. F

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

hit the roads

go on sale

b.

somewhere in the region of

about

c.

famed

renowned

d.

rife

rampant

e.

delectable

appetizing

f.

bear

carry

g.

segment

sector

h.

respect

facet

i.

uncanny

remarkable

j.

knack expertise

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

hit the

roads in 2009

b.

sell somewhere

in the region of 20,000 models

c.

the other three models that

make up the Porsche line-up

d.

confirms rumors that have been

rife on the Internet

e.

delectable

new creation

f.

bear the

“Made in Germany” hallmark

g.

typical DNA

characteristics

h.

it meets Porsche’s high standards

in every respect

i.

other luxury family

oriented models

j.

uncanny

knack

GAP FILL:

Porsche unveils 4-door sports car

The world’s most profitable car manufacturer, Porsche, has announced in a press release it will build a four-door car, to hit the roads in 2009. The luxury carmaker will invest $1.2 billion on the new vehicle. Porsche expects the new car, to be called the “Panamera”, to sell somewhere in the region of 20,000 models a year, which would make it the company’s best selling vehicle. The Stuttgart based factory is famed for the other three models that make up the Porsche line-up – the Boxster, the 911 sports car and the Cayenne SUV. Porsche’s announcement confirms rumors that have been rife on the Internet that “some delectable new creation” would be emerging from the company.

The car is to be built solely by Porsche in Stuttgart and bear the “Made in Germany” hallmark of quality. Dr. Wendelin Wiedeking, the President and CEO of Porsche, said: “The Panamera is the right car …as it has all the typical DNA characteristics of a genuine sports car. In terms of performance, design, and driving dynamics it meets Porsche’s high standards in every respect.… we are making our customers an attractive offer in the top performance segment.” The car will compete against other luxury family oriented models from Mercedes, Maserati, Aston Martin and Bentley. Porsche looks set to continue its uncanny knack of producing top quality automobiles for top profits.

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