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My 1,000
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Date: Dec 14, 2005
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
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Audio: (1:39 - 194.8 KB - 16kbps)
 
1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

A hi-tech company in the U.K. has launched a text messaging service that automatically destroys e-mails 40 seconds after people open them. This should be popular with anyone who wants secrets to stay secret. Subscribers have to download an application called StealthText to their mobile phone to use the service. The software’s developer Staellium UK hopes its product will appeal to both business people who deal with sensitive information and love cheats. A representative said the company wants to give e-mail senders more control over the messages they send instead of trusting recipients to delete them.

The technology looks like something from a 007 movie. Staellium CEO Carole Barnum said the new service has “massive benefits for people from all walks of life”. She also said: “Ultimately, no one will have to worry about their messages or pictures ending up in the wrong hands ever again.” Staellium’s website suggests soccer superstar David Beckham might need SteathText. His friend Rebecca Loos suspiciously failed to delete his embarrassing mails last year. StealthText messages are not totally erased, but stay on a special computer. However, the recipient has no further access to them after 40 seconds.

WARM-UPS

1. ~EST MAILS: Ask your partner(s) about e-mail. Use superlatives in all of your questions. Remember the questions you asked and were asked and move on to different partners. After speaking to several people, sit down with new partners and tell them what you found out.

2. SECRETS: Are there lots of secrets in your e-mails? In pairs / groups, discuss the kinds of things or information you (or others) might want to self-destruct when writing to the following people:

  • Your partner
  • Your boss
  • A parent
  • Your best friend
  • A colleague
  • Someone in a chat room
  • Your bank manager
  • Other ____________ 

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

Hi-tech / text messages / secrets / mobile phones / Internet links / software information / business people / love cheats / 007 / David Beckham / 40 seconds

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

4. SECRET PEOPLE: Who would benefit most from self-destructing text messages? With your partners(s), talk about the kinds of secrets the following people might want to disappear forever:

  • George W. Bush
  • The leader of your country
  • Brad Pitt
  • The CEO of a global company
  • A 16-year-old
  • Britain’s Prince Charles
  • Osama bin Laden
  • You

5. E-MAIL OPINIONS: Discuss these opinions with your partner(s). Do you agree with them?

  1. E-mail is the best invention since sliced bread.
  2. There should be self-destruct buttons for spam – before it reaches my phone.
  3. I will definitely use the new StealthText service.
  4. What if the recipient saves the message? It doesn’t destruct then!
  5. People shouldn’t send messages they might regret later.
  6. The world is becoming too secretive. There is too much suspicion.
  7. I don’t care who knows my secrets. I have nothing to hide.
  8. What happens if it’s a really long message that takes 80 seconds to read?!!?

6. E-MAIL: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with e-mail. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

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 company has invented an e-mail that destroys mobile phones.

T / F

b.

New “secret mail” will disappear 40 seconds after being opened.

T / F

c.

People have to download an application to use the software.

T / F

d.

The developer wants people to have more control over their mails.

T / F

e.

The technology looks like something from a 007 movie.

T / F

f.

The company said the technology will help people from all runs of life.

T / F

g.

No one will have to worry about mails ending up in the wrong hands.

T / F

h.

The messages don’t completely disappear.

T / F

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

a.

launched

software

b.

destroys

receiver

c.

application

resembles

d.

appeal to

erase

e.

trusting

attract

f.

looks like

started

g.

massive

finishing

h.

ending up

relying on

i.

delete

trashes

j.

recipient

huge

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

a.

A hi-tech company in the U.K. has

e-mail senders more control

b.

popular with anyone who wants secrets

embarrassing mails last year

c.

Subscribers have to download

walks of life

d.

business people who deal

an application called StealthText

e.

the company wants to give

in the wrong hands

f.

The technology looks

with sensitive information

g.

people from all

launched a text messaging service

h.

messages or pictures ending up

totally erased

i.

failed to delete his

like something from a 007 movie

j.

StealthText messages are not

to stay secret

WHILE READING / LISTENING

WHOOPS: Delete the five incorrect words from the ten in bold in each paragraph. In pairs / groups, think of better words to replace them.

Self-destructing mobile phone messages

A hi-tech company in the U.K. has lunched a text messaging service that automatically destroys e-mails 40 seconds after people open them. This should be populated with anyone who wants secrets to stay secret. Subscribers have to download an application called StealthText to their mobile phone to use the service. The software’s developer Staellium UK hopes its product will appeal to both business people who heal with sensitive information and love chats. A representative said the company wants to give e-mail senders more control over the messages they send instead of trusting recipients to delay them.

The technology books like something from a 007 movie. Staellium CEO Carole Barnum said the new service has “massive benefits for people from all walks of lifetime”. She also said: “Ultimately, no one will have to sorry about their messages or pictures ending up in the wrong feet ever again.” Staellium’s website suggests soccer superstar David Beckham might need SteathText. His friend Rebecca Loos suspiciously failed to delete his embarrassing mails last year. StealthText messages are not totally erased, but say on a special computer. However, the recipient has no further access to them after 40 seconds.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Self-destructing mobile phone messages

A hi-tech company in the U.K. has _________ a text messaging service that automatically destroys e-mails 40 seconds after people open them. This should be popular with anyone who wants secrets to stay ________. Subscribers have to download an application called StealthText to their mobile phone to use the service. The software’s developer Staellium UK hopes its product will ________ to both business people who deal with ________ information and love ________. A representative said the company wants to give e-mail senders more control over the messages they send instead of ________ recipients to delete them.

The technology looks like something from a 007 movie. Staellium _____ Carole Barnum said the new service has “_________ benefits for people from all walks of life”. She also said: “Ultimately, no one will have to worry about their messages or pictures _________ up in the wrong hands ever again.” Staellium’s website suggests soccer superstar David Beckham might need SteathText. His friend Rebecca Loos suspiciously _________ to delete his embarrassing mails last year. StealthText messages are not totally _________, but stay on a special computer. However, the recipient has no further _________ to them after 40 seconds.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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. WHOOPS: 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. STUDENT “SECRETS” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about secrets and the things you write in mails.

  • 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:

  • launched
  • popular
  • application
  • sensitive
  • representative
  • trusting
  • 007
  • walks
  • hands
  • David Beckham
  • erased
  • access

STEALTH TEXT MAIL DISCUSSION

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

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. What do you think of the idea of “self-destructing” mail?
  3. Do you think you’ll be using the service?
  4. How often do you send mail that you would not want other people to read or that might end up in the wrong hands?
  5. Do you worry about privacy on the Internet?
  6. What do you think of the fact that the world’s intelligence services can read all of your mail?
  7. How valuable do you think StealthText might be?
  8. Would you get angry about mails you receive disappearing after 40 seconds?
  9. People can still copy and paste and then save messages. Do you think StealthText is totally safe?
  10. Do you have any mails in your inbox that are top secret?

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. Do you think all the technology we see in movies will become part of our everyday lives?
  4. What other useful functions would you like to see with e-mail software?
  5. Do you think David Beckham will subscribe to StealthText?
  6. Would you trust your partner if they started sending you StealthText messages?
  7. Who do you think will benefit most from StealthText?
  8. Do you think this technology could be used to stop spam mail?
  9. Do you ever write or receive embarrassing mails?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

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

  1. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  2. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  3. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  4. What did you like talking about?
  5. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

SECRET INFO: Talk to you partner(s) about the people you would and would not give information to and why?

INFO

PARENT

PARTNER

FRIEND

BOSS

COLLEAGUE
 

E-mail password

 

 

 

 

 

ATM PIN number

 

 

 

 

 

Biggest secret

 

 

 

 

 

Most shameful experience

 

 

 

 

 

Who you vote for in elections

 

 

 

 

 

Salary

 

 

 

 

 

Details of past romances

 

 

 

 

 

Other

_________
 

 

 

 

 

 

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 StealthText. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

3. PERFECT MAILER: Make a poster outlining the perfect e-mail system. Explain all of the useful functions. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all think of similar things? Do you all agree each other’s functions might be useful?

4. MY E-MAIL HISTORY: Write an essay about your history using e-mail. Explain your first experiences, the things you like and the things that annoy you. Show what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Do they have similar thoughts and experiences?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. T

d. T

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

launched

started

b.

destroys

trashes

c.

application

software

d.

appeal to

attract

e.

trusting

relying on

f.

looks like

resembles

g.

massive

huge

h.

ending up

finishing

i.

delete

erase

j.

recipient

receiver

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

A hi-tech company in the U.K. has

launched a text messaging service

b.

popular with anyone who wants secrets

to stay secret

c.

Subscribers have to download

an application called StealthText

d.

business people who deal

with sensitive information

e.

the company wants to give

e-mail senders more control

f.

The technology looks

like something from a 007 movie

g.

people from all

walks of life

h.

messages or pictures ending up

in the wrong hands

i.

failed to delete his

embarrassing mails last year

j.

StealthText messages are not

totally erased

WHOOPS:

Self-destructing mobile phone messages

A hi-tech company in the U.K. has launched a text messaging service that automatically destroys e-mails 40 seconds after people open them. This should be popular with anyone who wants secrets to stay secret. Subscribers have to download an application called StealthText to their mobile phone to use the service. The software’s developer Staellium UK hopes its product will appeal to both business people who deal with sensitive information and love cheats. A representative said the company wants to give e-mail senders more control over the messages they send instead of trusting recipients to delete them.

The technology looks like something from a 007 movie. Staellium CEO Carole Barnum said the new service has “massive benefits for people from all walks of life”. She also said: “Ultimately, no one will have to worry about their messages or pictures ending up in the wrong hands ever again.” Staellium’s website suggests soccer superstar David Beckham might need SteathText. His friend Rebecca Loos suspiciously failed to delete his embarrassing mails last year. StealthText messages are not totally erased, but stay on a special computer. However, the recipient has no further access to them after 40 seconds.

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