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Date: Apr 21, 2008
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1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

New body scanners see through clothes

Travellers at two US airports will soon be searched by new high-tech scanners. International airports in Los Angeles and New York have installed digital body scanners that can ‘see through’ clothing. The new machines will mainly search for weapons and explosives. They use the very latest technology, called millimeter wave imaging. Radio waves create a 3-D image of someone’s body to see if they are concealing anything dangerous. Government officials say the new equipment will make air travel safer. A spokesperson said: “Imaging devices are not a brand new security tool, but they are a brand new security tool for airports.” There are plans to install the devices in another 30 airports across the country. An official promised that passengers will prefer the scanner to a security guard patting their body.


 
 

The new technology has raised questions by privacy groups, who believe the scanning process is too detailed. They say the device can see too much of the naked body. A civil liberties spokesman said it was the same as a virtual strip search. He warned: “We need to make sure there are good safeguards. The temptation is great not to follow procedures when a celebrity or someone well-known is involved.” One female passenger at LA airport suggested that only female operators should be allowed to scan female passengers. She said she was highly embarrassed to see a male official looking at the digital image of her body. She was also worried the scanned images could end up on the Internet. It seems it’s only a matter of time, however, before the machines replace metal detectors.

WARM-UPS

1. AIRPORTS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about airports. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

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

 

travellers / high tech / scanners / weapons / 3-D images / air travel / security / privacy / civil liberties / strip searches / being embarrassed / metal detectors

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. AIRPORT SECURITY: Which of the security checks below would you like to see introduced at airports? Talk about this with your partner(s). Rate each item from 10 (This is essential) to 1 (How ridiculous). Change partners and share your ideas.

_____  metal detectors

_____  3-D body scanners

_____  sniffer dogs

_____  strip searches

_____  questioning by officials

_____  contents search of baggage

_____  video interviews

_____  body patting searches

4. HEADLINE PREDICTION: With your partner(s), use the words in the “Chat” activity above to predict what the news article will be about. Once you have your story, change partners and share them. Who was closest to the real story?

5. 3-D: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘3-D’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A strongly support airports using body scanners that can see through clothes to beef up security; Students B are strongly against this. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

All international airports will soon have high-tech body scanners.

T / F

b.

The main purpose of the scanners is to prevent terrorist attacks.

T / F

c.

The scanners are a brand new tool for the global security industry.

T / F

d.

An official said people will prefer metal detectors to the body scanner.

T / F

e.

Civil liberties groups are concerned about people’s privacy.

T / F

f.

A civil libertarian said a full strip search was preferable to the scanner.

T / F

g.

The civil libertarian was worried about celebrities and famous people.

T / F

h.

A passenger wondered whether body images would be posted online.

T / F

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

1.

searched

a.

hiding

2

mainly

b.

reach

3.

concealing

c.

touching

4.

devices

d.

created

5.

patting

e.

freedoms

6.

raised

f.

frisked

7.

liberties

g.

machines

8.

safeguards

h.

appeal

9.

temptation

i.

precautions

10.

end up on

j.

largely

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

1.

searched by new

a.

questions

2

mainly search for weapons and

b.

embarrassed

3.

Radio waves create a 3-D image

c.

tool for airports

4.

they are a brand new security

d.

high-tech scanners

5.

a security guard patting

e.

much of the naked body

6.

The new technology has raised

f.

their body

7.

They say the device can see too

g.

are good safeguards

8.

We need to make sure there

h.

of time

9.

She said she was highly

i.

of someone’s body

10.

It seems it’s only a matter

j.

explosives

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

Travellers at two US airports will soon be __________ by new high-tech scanners. International airports in Los Angeles and New York have __________ digital body scanners that can ‘see through’ clothing. The new machines will mainly search for __________ and explosives. They use the very latest technology, called millimeter wave imaging. Radio waves create a 3-D __________ of someone’s body to see if they are concealing anything dangerous. Government officials say the new equipment will make air travel __________. A spokesperson said: “Imaging devices are not a brand new security tool, but they are a brand new security tool for __________.” There are plans to install the __________ in another 30 airports across the country. An official __________ that passengers will prefer the scanner to a security guard patting their body.

 

weapons
devices
searched
safer
promised
installed
image
airports

The new technology has __________ questions by privacy groups, who believe the scanning process is too __________. They say the device can see too much of the naked body. A civil liberties spokesman said it was the same as a __________ strip search. He warned: “We need to make sure there are good safeguards. The temptation is great not to __________ procedures when a celebrity or someone well-known is involved.” One female passenger at LA airport __________ that only female operators should be allowed to scan female passengers. She said she was __________ embarrassed to see a male official looking at the digital image of her body. She was also worried the scanned images could __________ up on the Internet. It seems it’s only a matter of time, however, before the machines __________ metal detectors.

 

follow
 replace

detailed
suggested
virtual
highly
raised
end

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Travellers at two US airports ________________________ new high-tech scanners. International airports in Los Angeles and New York ________________________ scanners that can ‘see through’ clothing. The new machines will mainly search ________________________. They use the very latest technology, called millimeter wave imaging. Radio waves create a 3-D image of someone’s body to see if they ________________________ dangerous. Government officials say the new equipment will make air travel safer. A spokesperson said: “Imaging devices ________________________ security tool, but they are a brand new security tool for airports.” There are plans to install the devices in another 30 airports across the country. An official promised that passengers will prefer the scanner ________________________ their body.

The new technology ________________________ privacy groups, who believe the scanning process is too detailed. They say the device can see too much of the naked body. A civil liberties spokesman said ________________________ virtual strip search. He warned: “We need to make sure there are good safeguards. The temptation ________________________ procedures when a celebrity or someone well-known is involved.” One female passenger at LA airport suggested that only female operators ________________________ female passengers. She said she was highly embarrassed to see a male official looking at the digital image of her body. She was also worried the scanned images __________________ Internet. It seems it’s ________________________, however, before the machines replace metal detectors.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

matter

time

 

 

 

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

  • soon
  • mainly
  • 3-D
  • safer
  • brand
  • prefer
  • raised
  • see
  • same
  • make sure
  • highly
  • matter

STUDENT AIRPORT SECURITY SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about airport security in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

Q.2.

Q.3.

Q.4.

Q.5.

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

AIRPORT SECURITY DISCUSSION

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

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the words ‘airport security’?

c)

What do you think of the new high tech body scanners?

d)

How would you feel to be scanned by something that can see through your clothes?

e)

What other uses can you think of for the body scanner?

f)

Do you think air travel will ever be totally free from terrorist attack?

g)

What do you think of the current security procedure of metal detectors and being frisked by security officials?

h)

Do you worry about security when you travel?

i)

What other kinds of security would you like to see at airports?

j)

Do you like hearing about new high-tech devices?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you understand why privacy groups are worried?

c)

Do you share the civil liberties group’s concerns that the scanner is the same as a virtual strip search?

d)

Do you think airport staff would use the scanner for the wrong purposes?

e)

Do famous people need extra attention when passing through the body scanner?

f)

Would you be highly embarrassed at images taken by the scanner?

g)

Do you think the 3-D images could end up on the Internet?

h)

Do you like airports?

i)

What questions would you like to ask the civil libertarians?

j)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

Travellers at two US airports will soon be (1) ____ by new high-tech scanners. International airports in Los Angeles and New York have (2) ____ digital body scanners that can ‘see through’ clothing. The new machines will (3) ____ search for weapons and explosives. They use the (4) ____ latest technology, called millimeter wave imaging. Radio waves create a 3-D image of someone’s body to see if they are concealing anything dangerous. Government officials say the new equipment will make air travel safer. A spokesperson said: “Imaging devices are not a brand new security tool, but they are a brand new security tool (5) ____ airports.” There are plans to install the devices in another 30 airports across the country. An official promised that passengers will prefer the scanner (6) ____ a security guard patting their body.

The new technology has (7) ____ questions by privacy groups, who believe the scanning process is too detailed. They say the device can see too much of the naked (8) ____. A civil liberties spokesman said it was the same as a virtual strip search. He warned: “We need to make sure there are good safeguards. The temptation is (9) ____ not to follow procedures when a celebrity or someone well-known is (10) ____.” One female passenger at LA airport suggested that only female operators should be allowed to scan female passengers. She said she was (11) ____ embarrassed to see a male official looking at the digital image of her body. She was also worried the scanned images could end up on the Internet. It seems it’s only a matter of time, however, (12) ____ the machines replace metal detectors.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

searchable

(b)

searched

(c)

searching

(d)

search

2.

(a)

installation

(b)

installing

(c)

installed

(d)

install

3.

(a)

mainly

(b)

manly

(c)

meanly

(d)

manfully

4.

(a)

hugely

(b)

highly

(c)

most

(d)

very

5.

(a)

to

(b)

in

(c)

for

(d)

by

6.

(a)

to

(b)

on

(c)

for

(d)

by

7.

(a)

sky rocketed

(b)

elevated

(c)

lifted

(d)

raised

8.

(a)

bodies

(b)

body

(c)

bodice

(d)

bodily

9.

(a)

grateful

(b)

grate

(c)

greet

(d)

great

10.

(a)

solved

(b)

revolved

(c)

involved

(d)

evolved

11.

(a)

tall

(b)

highly

(c)

up

(d)

top-level

12.

(a)

before

(b)

since

(c)

during

(d)

after

WRITING: 

Write about airports for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________________

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 out about airport security and body scanners. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. HIGH-TECH: Make a poster about the latest high-tech gadgets and devices. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. SCANNED: Write a magazine article about the dangers of 3-D body scanners at airports. Include imaginary interviews with an airport security chief and a passenger whose body image ended up on the Internet.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter an airport security chief about the body scanner. Give him/her three pieces of advice on what (s)he should do to ensure passengers’ privacy is respected. Ask him/her three questions about the new scanner. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are an operator of the new airport security body scanner. Write your diary entry for one day in your job. Include what passengers tell you about the scanner. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

searched

a.

frisked

2

mainly

b.

largely

3.

concealing

c.

hiding

4.

devices

d.

machines

5.

patting

e.

touching

6.

raised

f.

created

7.

liberties

g.

freedoms

8.

safeguards

h.

precautions

9.

temptation

i.

appeal

10.

end up on

j.

reach

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

searched by new

a.

high-tech scanners

2

mainly search for weapons and

b.

explosives

3.

Radio waves create a 3-D image

c.

of someone’s body

4.

they are a brand new security

d.

tool for airports

5.

a security guard patting

e.

their body

6.

The new technology has raised

f.

questions

7.

They say the device can see too

g.

much of the naked body

8.

We need to make sure there

h.

are good safeguards

9.

She said she was highly

i.

embarrassed

10.

It seems it’s only a matter

j.

of time

GAP FILL:

New body scanners see through clothes

Travellers at two US airports will soon be searched by new high-tech scanners. International airports in Los Angeles and New York have installed digital body scanners that can ‘see through’ clothing. The new machines will mainly search for weapons and explosives. They use the very latest technology, called millimeter wave imaging. Radio waves create a 3-D image of someone’s body to see if they are concealing anything dangerous. Government officials say the new equipment will make air travel safer. A spokesperson said: “Imaging devices are not a brand new security tool, but they are a brand new security tool for airports.” There are plans to install the devices in another 30 airports across the country. An official promised that passengers will prefer the scanner to a security guard patting their body.

The new technology has raised questions by privacy groups, who believe the scanning process is too detailed. They say the device can see too much of the naked body. A civil liberties spokesman said it was the same as a virtual strip search. He warned: “We need to make sure there are good safeguards. The temptation is great not to follow procedures when a celebrity or someone well-known is involved.” One female passenger at LA airport suggested that only female operators should be allowed to scan female passengers. She said she was highly embarrassed to see a male official looking at the digital image of her body. She was also worried the scanned images could end up on the Internet. It seems it’s only a matter of time, however, before the machines replace metal detectors.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - b

2 - c

3 - a

4 - d

5 - c

6 - a

7 - d

8 - b

9 - d

10 - c

11 - b

12 - a

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