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My 1,000
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Date: Aug 15, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (2:09 - 252.4 KB - 16kbps)

1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

Japan’s world champion speed-eater has won his second contest in two days at a gluttony-fest in Hong Kong. Takeru Kobayashi, 27, destroyed his rivals by wolfing down an incredible 83 steamed dumplings in eight minutes on Saturday in a dumpling-eating competition. The runner-up, Johnny Wu, only managed to devour 47 of the steamy snacks. Kobayashi showed his munching prowess again a day later by downing 100 roasted pork buns in 12 minutes. He said he has a special technique that allows him to guzzle so much, so quickly. He compresses the food as tightly as he can in his mouth and “chews like crazy”. He also sips lots of water to aid mastication.

Kobayashi holds several world eating records and is quite a celebrity on the global food-scoffing circuit. He is the current world record holder and reigning champion for eating hot dogs - 53-and-a-half in 12 minutes. He has also displayed a similar knack for disposing of hamburgers by setting the record in 2004 - 69 burgers in eight minutes. Mr. Kobayashi’s physique belies his adroitness in consuming serious quantities of food. He is a svelte and slim 65kg. He attributes his talent to the fact that his stomach has more elasticity than others. He hopes to make a career out of competing in eating contests and even plans to take on apprentices.

WARM-UPS

1. SPEED-EATING: In pairs / groups, talk about which of the following foods you could eat a lot of or could eat very quickly:

  • Rice
  • Chocolate
  • French fries
  • Hamburgers
  • Cakes
  • Pizza slices
  • Ice cream
  • Other

2. DOING THINGS QUICKLY: Which of these things can you or would you like to do quickly (and why)? How quickly would you like to do these things?

  • Eating
  • Writing
  • Typing
  • Walking
  • Speaking
  • Homework
  • Housework
  • Reading

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

World champions / Hong Kong / dumplings / being runner-up / eating a lot / chewing / world records / hamburgers / physiques / being slim / careers

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

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

5. EATING OPINIONS: In pairs / groups, talk about how far you agree with these opinions on eating competitions:

  1. I think speed-eating competitions are a total waste of time.
  2. Speed-eating should become a recognized sport. It requires a lot of talent.
  3. Watching speed-eating is much more exciting than watching golf.
  4. With people starving all around the world, I think these contests are a disgrace.
  5. Speed-eating encourages people to eat too much, and that’s bad.
  6. These kinds of competitions are good fun.
  7. I would like to enter a speed-eating contest.
  8. Paying big prize money for people to over-eat shows how unfair the world is.

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think speed-eating should become an Olympic sport. Students B think speed-eating is not any kind of sport. Change partners often.


 
 

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 Japanese runner won two marathons while eating hamburgers.

T / F

b.

The man wolfed down a lot of steamed dumplings in eight minutes.

T / F

c.

The man said he had no special guzzling technique.

T / F

d.

He sips lots of salad oil to aid mastication.

T / F

e.

The man is well known for his food-scoffing abilities.

T / F

f.

The man has a physique that indicates he is adroit at eating lots.

T / F

g.

He says his stomach has more elasticity than others.

T / F

h.

The man hopes to train new speed-eaters in the future.

T / F

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

a.

gluttony

expertise

b.

destroyed

shown

c.

prowess

tour

d.

compresses

knack

e.

mastication

blew away

f.

circuit

devouring

g.

displayed

squashes

h.

disposing of

over-eating

i.

adroitness

rookies

j.

apprentices

chewing

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

a.

destroyed his

a celebrity

b.

wolfing down an incredible

prowess again a day later

c.

showed his munching

consuming serious quantities of food

d.

chews

on apprentices

e.

lots of water to aid

for disposing of hamburgers

f.

quite

rivals

g.

reigning

like crazy

h.

displayed a similar knack

champion for eating hot dogs

i.

belies his adroitness in

mastication

j.

plans to take

83 steamed dumplings

WHILE READING / LISTENING

SYNONYM FILL: Place the number of the synonym group in the correct gap (It is not important to guess a correct word - any of the synonyms from each group could be put into the relevant gap).

Japan speed-eater triumphs again

Japan’s world champion speed-eater has won his second ___ in two days at a gluttony-fest in Hong Kong. Takeru Kobayashi, 27, destroyed his rivals by ___ an incredible 83 steamed dumplings in eight minutes on Saturday in a dumpling-eating competition. The runner-up, Johnny Wu, only managed to devour 47 of the steamy snacks. Kobayashi showed his munching prowess again a day later by downing 100 roasted pork buns in 12 minutes. He said he has a special technique that allows him to ___ so much, so quickly. He compresses the food as tightly as he can in his mouth and “chews like crazy”. He also sips lots of water to aid ___.

Kobayashi holds several world eating records and is quite a ___ on the global food-scoffing circuit. He is the current world record holder and reigning champion for eating hot dogs - 53-and-a-half in 12 minutes. He has also displayed a similar ___ for disposing of hamburgers by setting the record in 2004 - 69 burgers in eight minutes. Mr. Kobayashi’s physique belies his adroitness in consuming serious quantities of food. He is a ___ and slim 65kg. He attributes his talent to the fact that his stomach has more elasticity than others. He hopes to make a career out of competing in eating contests and even plans to take on ___.

1
apprentices
rookies
trainees
novices

2
guzzle
gobble
gorge
devour

3
contest
competition
tournament
challenge

 

4
knack
adroitness
forte
aptitude

 

5
mastication
chewing
chomping
munching

6
svelte
lithe
sylphlike
lean

7
wolfing down
packing away
ingurgitating
gulping down

8
celebrity
big cheese
heavyweight
somebody

 


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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. SYNONYM FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the synonym 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 “EATING” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about food, eating and over-eating.

  • 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:

  • fest
  • runner-up
  • prowess
  • technique
  • compresses
  • mastication
  • circuit
  • reigning
  • disposing
  • adroitness
  • svelte
  • elasticity

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. What are your thoughts on speed-eating?
  4. Do you think it could one day become a sport?
  5. Have you ever taken part in an eating or drinking contest?
  6. Do you think that when there are millions of starving people in the world, speed-eating contests are shameful?
  7. What would you think of the prospect of eating 69 hamburgers?
  8. Is there any kind of food you can eat a lot of?
  9. How would you describe your eating technique?
  10. Would you like to watch a speed-eating contest?

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What do you think about what you read?
  3. Are you a fast or slow eater?
  4. What do you think eating so much in a short space of time does to your body?
  5. What do you think of the fact that people can make a living from eating contests?
  6. How do you think Mr. Kobayashi can eat so much and stay so thin? Are you jealous?
  7. Is there anything you are particularly fast at doing?
  8. What question would you like to ask Mr. Kobayashi?
  9. Do you have a knack for doing something?
  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

SPEED-EATER INTERVIEW: You want to be a speed-eater. Look at these interview questions and think about your answers. Take turns in role playing the interviewer (head of a speed-eating team) and interviewee. Interview two or more people.

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

  1. Why do you want to become a speed-eater?
  2. What qualities do you possess that would make you a good speed-eater?
  3. What will you do to promote speed-eating as a recognized sport?
  4. What kind of training will you do to become a speed-eater?
  5. Tell me about a time when you ate a lot.
  6. Do you think you have a knack for speed-eating any particular type of food?
  7. Tell me why you think you can handle the pressure of international competition.
  8. What do you think are the hardships of life as a speed-eater?
  9. What do you think are the dangers of being a speed-eater?
  10. What would you say to someone who says speed-eating is immoral when people in Africa are starving?
  11. What questions would you like to ask me?
  12. Other ____________________________________________________

Return to the partners you interviewed and tell them whether or not they got accepted onto the team and why (not).

Find a new partner and talk about who you interviewed and the quality of their answers.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Japan speed-eater triumphs again

Japan’s world champion speed-eater has won his second contest in two days at a _________-fest in Hong Kong. Takeru Kobayashi, 27, destroyed his rivals by _________ down an incredible 83 steamed dumplings in eight minutes on Saturday in a dumpling-eating competition. The runner-up, Johnny Wu, only managed to _________ 47 of the steamy snacks. Kobayashi showed his munching _________ again a day later by downing 100 roasted pork buns in 12 minutes. He said he has a special technique that allows him to _________ so much, so quickly. He compresses the food as tightly as he can in his mouth and “chews like crazy”. He also sips lots of water to aid ___________.

Kobayashi holds several world eating records and is quite a celebrity on the global food-__________ circuit. He is the current world record holder an __________ champion for eating hot dogs - 53-and-a-half in 12 minutes. He has also displayed a similar __________ for disposing of hamburgers by setting the record in 2004 - 69 burgers in eight minutes. Mr. Kobayashi’s physique belies his __________ in consuming serious quantities of food. He is a _______ and slim 65kg. He attributes his talent to the fact that his stomach has more _________ than others. He hopes to make a career out of competing in eating contests and even plans to take on __________.

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 speed-eating and Takeru Kobayashi. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. LETTER: Write a letter to Takeru Kobayashi. Tell him / her what you think of speed-eating competitions. Read your letters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all have similar thoughts?

4. DIARY / JOURNAL: Imagine you are a speed-eater. Write your diary / journal entry about a speed-eating competition you took part in. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

gluttony

over-eating

b.

destroyed

blew away

c.

prowess

expertise

d.

compresses

squashes

e.

mastication

chewing

f.

circuit

tour

g.

displayed

shown

h.

disposing of

devouring

i.

adroitness

knack

j.

apprentices rookies

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

destroyed his

rivals

b.

wolfing down an incredible

83 steamed dumplings

c.

showed his munching

prowess again a day later

d.

chews

like crazy

e.

lots of water to aid

mastication

f.

quite

a celebrity

g.

reigning

champion for eating hot dogs

h.

displayed a similar knack

for disposing of hamburgers

i.

belies his adroitness in

consuming serious quantities of food

j.

plans to take

on apprentices

SYNONYM FILL:

Japan speed-eater triumphs again

BNE: Japan’s world champion speed-eater has won his second ---3--- in two days at a gluttony-fest in Hong Kong. Takeru Kobayashi, 27, destroyed his rivals by ---7--- an incredible 83 steamed dumplings in eight minutes on Saturday in a dumpling-eating competition. The runner-up, Johnny Wu, only managed to devour 47 of the steamy snacks. Kobayashi showed his munching prowess again a day later by downing 100 roasted pork buns in 12 minutes. He said he has a special technique that allows him to ---2--- so much, so quickly. He compresses the food as tightly as he can in his mouth and “chews like crazy”. He also sips lots of water to aid ---5---.

Kobayashi holds several world eating records and is quite a ---8--- on the global food-scoffing circuit. He is the current world record holder and reigning champion for eating hot dogs - 53-and-a-half in 12 minutes. He has also displayed a similar ---4--- for disposing of hamburgers by setting the record in 2004 - 69 burgers in eight minutes. Mr. Kobayashi’s physique belies his adroitness in consuming serious quantities of food. He is a ---6--- and slim 65kg. He attributes his talent to the fact that his stomach has more elasticity than others. He hopes to make a career out of competing in eating contests and even plans to take on ---1---.

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