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Operation That Turns Brown Eyes Blue (6th November, 2011)


 

The boss of an American medical company claims he has developed a technique to turn brown eyes blue. He says a special laser treatment can remove the brown pigment from brown eyes and that will leave a blue colour. Doctor Gregg Homer says this is possible because all brown-eyed people have the pigments to have blue eyes. “Anyone who has brown eyes has blue eyes underneath…. It’s covered by a thin layer of pigment. We’ve developed a laser that can be fired straight through the clear part of the eye, the cornea, and it disrupts the pigment…and it removes it from the eye.” The cost of this new cosmetic surgery will be around $5,000. The procedure is painless and takes just 20 seconds in the doctor’s chair and then two to four weeks for the colour change to take place.

Doctor Homer said demand for the treatment is already very high. He recently appeared on a Los Angeles TV show and got 3,000 requests. People will have to wait as the technique has to be approved by the U.S. medical authorities, although it could be available within 18 months in Europe. Homer said: “I think brown eyes are just as beautiful as blue eyes, but I started doing this because I thought it was a cool technology and I thought it would be nice for people to have a choice. I’m glad other people think it’s cool, too.” Homer does have his critics. One, Dr. Elmer Tu, spokesman for the American College of Ophthalmology, told America’s CBS News that the released brown pigment could potentially blind a person. He recommended blue contact lenses instead.


WARM-UPS

1. EYE COLOUR/COLOR: Walk around the class and talk to other students about eye colour/color. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

medical company / technique / pigment / blue eyes / laser / cosmetic surgery / treatment / authorities / cool technology / critics / ophthalmology / contact lenses

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. COSMETIC SURGERY: What are the pros and cons? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Pros

Cons

Eye colour/color

 

 

Nose job

 

 

Wrinkle reduction

 

 

Breast implants

 

 

Tummy tuck

 

 

Teeth whitening

 

 

4. BLUE EYES: Students A strongly believe changing from brown to blue eyes is totally ridiculous; Students B strongly believe it’s great.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
5. CHANGES: What would you like to change about yourself? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the biggest changes at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • eye colour/color
  • nose
  • I.Q.
  • muscles
  • hair
  • stomach size
  • ability to cope with stress
  • sense of humour/humor

6. COSMETIC SURGERY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the term ‘cosmetic surgery’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING


1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).


a.

A doctor says he can give people any eye colour they want.

T / F

b.

The technique removes brown eye pigment to reveal blue underneath.

T / F

c.

The doctor says all brown-eyed people also have blue eyes.

T / F

d.

The colour-changing operation takes just 20 seconds.

T / F

e.

The doctor already has over 30,000 orders for the treatment.

T / F

f.

The treatment will be available in the USA within 18 months.

T / F

g.

Another doctor warned about the dangers of going blind.

T / F

h.

The doctor said people should do nothing to change their eye colour.

T / F

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


1.

boss

a.

colouring

2.

technique

b.

happy

3.

pigment

c.

possibly

4.

layer

d.

requests

5.

fired

e.

level

6.

demand

f.

CEO

7.

approved

g.

detractors

8.

glad

h.

procedure

9.

critics

i.

permitted

10.

potentially

j.

shot

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)


1.

a technique to

a.

painless

2.

Anyone who has brown eyes has

b.

critics

3.

through the clear

c.

to take place

4.

The procedure is

d.

is already very high

5.

four weeks for the colour change

e.

cool technology

6.

demand for the treatment

f.

blue eyes underneath

7.

the technique has

g.

contact lenses instead

8.

I thought it was a

h.

turn brown eyes blue

9.

Homer does have his

i.

to be approved

10.

He recommended blue

j.

part of the eye



 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING


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


The boss of an American medical company (1) ____________ he has developed a technique to turn brown eyes blue. He says a special laser treatment can (2) ____________ the brown pigment from brown eyes, and that will leave a blue colour. Doctor Gregg Homer says this is (3) ____________ because all brown-eyed people have the pigments to have blue eyes. “Anyone who has brown eyes has blue eyes underneath…. It’s (4) ____________ by a thin layer of pigment. We’ve developed a laser that can be fired (5) ____________ through the clear part of the eye, the cornea, and it (6) ____________ the pigment…and it removes it from the eye.” The cost of this new cosmetic surgery will be around $5,000. The procedure is (7) ____________ and takes just 20 seconds in the doctor’s chair and then two to four weeks for the colour change to take (8) ____________.

 

 

painless
covered
remove
disrupts
claims
place
possible
straight

Doctor Homer said (9) ____________ for the treatment is already very high. He recently appeared on a Los Angeles TV show and got 3,000 (10) ____________. People will have to wait as the technique has to be approved by the U.S. medical                   (11) ____________, although it could be available within 18 months in Europe. Homer said: “I think brown eyes are just as beautiful as blue eyes, but I started doing this because I thought it was a (12) ____________ technology and I thought it would be nice for people to have a (13) ____________. I’m glad other people think it’s cool, too.” Homer does have his                     (14) ____________. One, Dr. Elmer Tu, spokesman for the American College of Ophthalmology, told America’s CBS News that the (15) ____________ brown pigment could potentially blind a person. He recommended blue contact lenses (16) ____________.

 

 

released
requests
choice
cool
demand
instead
critics
authorities

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps


The boss of an American medical company _______________________ a technique to turn brown eyes blue. He says a special laser treatment can _______________________ from brown eyes, and that will leave a blue colour. Doctor Gregg Homer says this is possible because all brown-eyed people have the pigments to have blue eyes. “Anyone who has brown eyes has _______________________ …. It’s covered by a thin layer of pigment. We’ve developed a laser that can be _______________________ the clear part of the eye, the cornea, and it disrupts the pigment…and it removes it from the eye.” The cost of _______________________ will be around $5,000. The _______________________ and takes just 20 seconds in the doctor’s chair and then two to four weeks for the colour change to take place.
Doctor Homer said demand for the _______________________ very high. He recently appeared on a Los Angeles TV show and got 3,000 requests. People will have to wait as the technique _______________________ by the U.S. medical authorities, although it could be available within 18 months in Europe. Homer said: “I think brown eyes _______________________ as blue eyes, but I started doing this because I thought it was a cool technology and I thought it would be nice for _______________________. I’m glad other people think it’s cool, too.” Homer does have his critics. One, Dr. Elmer Tu, spokesman for the American College of Ophthalmology, told America’s CBS News that the released brown pigment _______________________ a person. He recommended blue _______________________.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING


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


blue

eyes
 
 
 

  • 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:

  • claims
  • remove
  • possible
  • thin
  • cost
  • place
  • high
  • wait
  • 18
  • cool
  • critics
  • lenses

STUDENT EYE COLOUR/COLOR SURVEY


Write five GOOD questions about eye colour/color 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.


 
 

EYE COLOUR/COLOR 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 word ‘eyes’?

c)

Do you like your eyes? Why?

d)

What’s the best colour for eyes?

e)

Would you consider changing the colour of your eyes?

f)

What do you think of this new technique?

g)

Should people accept and be happy with what they were born with?

h)

Is changing your eye colour playing God?

i)

Is $5,000 a reasonable price for the colour-changing procedure?

j)

Would you consider having any form of cosmetic surgery?



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


a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think the technique will be popular?

c)

How beautiful are eyes?

d)

Does the colour of someone’s eyes matter in certain jobs?

e)

What do you think of the possibility of having purple, silver or orange eyes?

f)

Is this procedure another step forward in making us all look the same?

g)

Would it matter if the whole world had blue eyes?

h)

What would happen to the technique if a small percentage of people went blind?

i)

Should people simply stick with coloured contact lenses?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Dr Gregg Homer?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE


The boss of an American medical company (1) ____ he has developed a technique to turn brown eyes blue. He says a special laser treatment can remove the brown pigment from brown eyes, and that will (2) ____ a blue colour. Doctor Gregg Homer says this is possible because all brown-eyed people have the pigments to have blue eyes. “Anyone who has brown eyes has blue eyes underneath…. It’s covered by a thin (3) ____ of pigment. We’ve developed a laser that can be fired (4) ____ through the clear part of (5) ____ eye, the cornea, and it disrupts the pigment…and it removes it from the eye.” The cost of this new cosmetic surgery will be around $5,000. The procedure is (6) ____ and takes just 20 seconds in the doctor’s chair and then two to four weeks for the colour change to take place.
Doctor Homer said demand (7) ____ the treatment is already very high. He recently appeared (8) ____ a Los Angeles TV show and got 3,000 requests. People will have to wait as the technique has to be (9) ____ by the U.S. medical authorities, although it could be available within 18 months in Europe. Homer said: “I think brown eyes are just as beautiful as blue eyes, but I started doing this because I thought it was a (10) ____ technology and I thought it would be nice for people to have a choice. I’m glad other people think it’s cool, too.” Homer does have his (11) ____. One, Dr. Elmer Tu, spokesman for the American College of Ophthalmology, told America’s CBS News that the released brown pigment could potentially blind a person. He recommended blue contact lenses (12) ____.
Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.


1.

(a)

calms

(b)

claims

(c)

clams

(d)

clamps

2.

(a)

remain

(b)

stay

(c)

leave

(d)

let

3.

(a)

layer

(b)

laver

(c)

ladder

(d)

lager

4.

(a)

strut

(b)

start

(c)

line

(d)

straight

5.

(a)

an

(b)

a

(c)

the

(d)

all

6.

(a)

painless

(b)

pained

(c)

pains

(d)

painfully

7.

(a)

by

(b)

at

(c)

of

(d)

for

8.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

at

(d)

to

9.

(a)

approving

(b)

approves

(c)

approval

(d)

approved

10.

(a)

cold

(b)

freezing

(c)

cool

(d)

chilly

11.

(a)

critical

(b)

critics

(c)

criticize

(d)

criticism

12.

(a)

instead

(b)

place

(c)

nevertheless

(d)

prefer


 
 

WRITING


Write about eye colour/color 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 more about eye colour/color. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
3. EYE COLOUR/COLOR: Make a poster about eye colour/color. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
4. COSMETIC SURGERY: Write a magazine article about cosmetic surgery. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it.
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 to an ophthalmologist (eye specialist). Ask him/her three questions about changing one’s eye colour/color. Give her/him three of your opinions on it. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.


 


 
 

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:


a.

F

b.

T

c.

T

d.

T

e.

F

f.

F

g.

T

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:


1.

boss

a.

CEO

2.

technique

b.

procedure

3.

pigment

c.

colouring

4.

layer

d.

level

5.

fired

e.

shot

6.

demand

f.

requests

7.

approved

g.

permitted

8.

glad

h.

happy

9.

critics

i.

detractors

10.

potentially

j.

possibly

PHRASE MATCH:


1.

a technique to

a.

turn brown eyes blue

2.

Anyone who has brown eyes has

b.

blue eyes underneath

3.

through the clear

c.

part of the eye

4.

The procedure is

d.

painless

5.

four weeks for the colour change

e.

to take place

6.

demand for the treatment

f.

is already very high

7.

the technique has

g.

to be approved

8.

I thought it was a

h.

cool technology

9.

Homer does have his

i.

critics

10.

He recommended blue

j.

contact lenses instead

GAP FILL:

Operation that turns brown eyes blue

The boss of an American medical company (1) claims he has developed a technique to turn brown eyes blue. He says a special laser treatment can (2) remove the brown pigment from brown eyes, and that will leave a blue colour. Doctor Gregg Homer says this is (3) possible because all brown-eyed people have the pigments to have blue eyes. “Anyone who has brown eyes has blue eyes underneath…. It’s (4) covered by a thin layer of pigment. We’ve developed a laser that can be fired (5) straight through the clear part of the eye, the cornea, and it (6) disrupts the pigment…and it removes it from the eye.” The cost of this new cosmetic surgery will be around $5,000. The procedure is (7) painless and takes just 20 seconds in the doctor’s chair and then two to four weeks for the colour change to take (8) place.
Doctor Homer said (9) demand for the treatment is already very high. He recently appeared on a Los Angeles TV show and got 3,000 (10) requests. People will have to wait as the technique has to be approved by the U.S. medical (11) authorities, although it could be available within 18 months in Europe. Homer said: “I think brown eyes are just as beautiful as blue eyes, but I started doing this because I thought it was a (12) cool technology and I thought it would be nice for people to have a (13) choice. I’m glad other people think it’s cool, too.” Homer does have his (14) critics. One, Dr. Elmer Tu, spokesman for the American College of Ophthalmology, told America’s CBS News that the (15) released brown pigment could potentially blind a person. He recommended blue contact lenses (16) instead.
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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