The Reading / Listening - Age Differences - Level 6

A TV channel in the UK is under fire from members of the public for one of its programmes that follows the lives of couples with a big age difference. Viewers have accused the Channel 5 series Age Gap Love of "normalising grooming". The complaints came after a show that documented the relationship of a couple who got together when the man was 44 and his partner was 16. The man was originally a friend of the 16-year-old's mother. He became friendly with the daughter when she was a child and started dating her when she turned 16. After this episode was aired, the channel received a flood of complaints from viewers who slammed the show for "making this concept seem normal".



The couple in the show are married and have two children. He is now 47 and she is 19. The man said: "I was concerned what people would think. It's a big gap. It's a generation gap. So it's like, what are people going to think?" His wife also spoke about the relationship. She said: "The age doesn't really bother me. It never has done. I don't see him as an old man, or my dad, or anything like that. He's just sensitive - like a big teddy bear." She added: "I've always wanted to have a family, so I just thought he would be the perfect man." Life has not been easy for the couple. When they first started dating, they received a lot of abuse from neighbours and the local community and had to move to another city.

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Age Differences - Level 4  or  Age Differences - Level 5

Sources
  • https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/age-gap-love-accused-normalising-16213965
  • https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/9166705/viewers-blast-channel-5-normalising-grooming-age-gap-love/
  • https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/tv/viewers-criticise-channel-5s-age-16341922


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Warm-ups

1. AGE DIFFERENCES: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about age differences. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       TV channel / under fire / couples / complaint / relationship / dating / concept / normal
       married / generation gap / age / sensitive / teddy bear / family / perfect / neighbours
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. AGE LIMIT: Students A strongly believe there should be a limit on the maximum age difference between couples; Students B strongly believe otherwise.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. DIFFERENCES: Do differences in these things matter? What problems might they have? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

Do The Differences Matter?

What Problems Might They Have?

Age

 

 

Income

 

 

Religion

 

 

Nationality

 

 

Education

 

 

Race

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. COUPLE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "couple". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. RELATIONSHIP: Rank these with your partner. Put the most important things for a relationship at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • same dreams
  • similar personality
  • same religion
  • same nationality
  • similar age
  • same hobbies
  • same education
  • shared housework

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

  1. People in the UK are
  2. People said it normalises
  3. One show followed
  4. a friend of the 16-year-
  5. He became friendly
  6. when she
  7. got a lot of
  8. making this concept

 

  1. was a child
  2. old's mother
  3. seem normal
  4. the relationship
  5. complaints
  6. angry
  7. grooming
  8. with the daughter

 

    Paragraph 2

  1. married with
  2. what people thought of the age
  3. The age doesn't really
  4. like a big teddy
  5. he was
  6. When they first started
  7. they got a lot
  8. They had to

 

  1. "the perfect man"
  2. bear
  3. of abuse
  4. gap
  5. move
  6. two children
  7. bother me
  8. dating

 

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. There was a fire at a TV channel in the UK.     T / F
  2. A TV show followed the lives of a couple with a 44-year age difference.    T / F
  3. The man in the show was the friend of a girl's mother.     T / F
  4. The couple started dating when the girl turned 18.     T / F
  5. The couple are now married and have two children.     T / F
  6. The man said his wife loves teddy bears.     T / F
  7. The couple said life hasn't been easy for them.     T / F
  8. Neighbours of the couple were unhappy with their relationship.     T / F

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

  1. channel
  2. difference
  3. accused
  4. originally
  5. aired
  6. concerned
  7. bother
  8. sensitive
  9. perfect
  10. move
  1. trouble
  2. initially
  3. ideal
  4. worried
  5. gap
  6. thoughtful
  7. broadcast
  8. station
  9. relocate
  10. blamed

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

  1. A TV channel in the UK is under
  2. members of the
  3. a show that documented the
  4. After this episode was
  5. received a flood of complaints
  6. It's a generation
  7. The age doesn't
  8. He's just sensitive -
  9. just thought he would be
  10. they received a lot of abuse
  1. relationship of a couple
  2. from viewers
  3. like a big teddy bear
  4. public
  5. the perfect man
  6. fire
  7. from neighbours
  8. gap
  9. aired
  10. really bother me

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
relationship
couples
flood
originally
concept
fire
accused
turned

A TV channel in the UK is under (1) ____________ from members of the public for one of its programmes that follows the lives of (2) ____________ with a big age difference. Viewers have (3) ____________ the Channel 5 series Age Gap Love of "normalising grooming". The complaints came after a show that documented the (4) ____________ of a couple who got together when the man was 44 and his partner was 16. The man was (5) ____________ a friend of the 16-year-old's mother. He became friendly with the daughter when she was a child and started dating her when she (6) ____________ 16. After this episode was aired, the channel received a (7) ____________ of complaints from viewers who slammed the show for "making this (8) ____________ seem normal".

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
abuse
sensitive
concerned
dating
generation
couple
perfect
bother

The (9) ____________ in the show are married and have two children. He is now 47 and she is 19. The man said: "I was (10) ____________ what people would think. It's a big gap. It's a (11) ____________ gap. So it's like, what are people going to think?" His wife also spoke about the relationship. She said: "The age doesn't really (12) ____________ me. It never has done. I don't see him as an old man, or my dad, or anything like that. He's just (13) ____________ - like a big teddy bear." She added: "I've always wanted to have a family, so I just thought he would be the (14) ____________ man." Life has not been easy for the couple. When they first started (15) ____________, they received a lot of (16) ____________ from neighbours and the local community and had to move to another city.

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  A TV channel in the UK is under fire from members ______
     a.  of the publicity
     b.  of the publicly
     c.  of the public
     d.  of the publican
2)  accused the Channel 5 series Age Gap Love of ______
     a.  normalising groom in
     b.  normalising gloomy
     c.  normalising gloom in
     d.  normalising grooming
3) friendly with the daughter when she was a child and started dating her ______
     a.  when she turning 16
     b.  where she turned 16
     c.  when he turned 16
     d.  when she turned 16
4)  After this episode was aired, the channel received a ______
     a.  floods of complaints
     b.  flood of complaints
     c.  flooding of complaints
     d.  flooded of complaints
5)  viewers who slammed the show for making this ______
     a.  concept seem normal
     b.  concepts seem normal
     c.  concept seems normal
     d.  concept seem normality

6)  I was concerned what people would think. It's a big gap. It's ______
     a.  a generation grasp
     b.  a generation gap
     c.  a generation clap
     d.  a generation gape
7)  The age doesn't really bother me. It never has done. I don't see him ______
     a.  as an old man
     b.  was an old man
     c.  has an old man
     d.  is an old man
8)  as an old man, or my dad, or anything like that. He's just sensitive - like a ______
     a.  big teddy bear
     b.  big teddy bare
     c.  big teddy boar
     d.  big teddy beer
9)  I've always wanted to have a family, so I just thought he would be ______
     a.  the perfectly man
     b.  the perfective man
     c.  the perfect man
     d.  the perfective man
10)  abuse from neighbours and the local community and had to ______ city
     a.  moved to another
     b.  moving to another
     c.  mover to another
     d.  move to another

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A TV channel in the UK is (1) ___________________ members of the public for one of its programmes that follows the lives of couples with a big age difference. Viewers (2) ___________________ Channel 5 series Age Gap Love of "normalising grooming". The complaints came after a (3) ___________________ the relationship of a couple who got together when the man was 44 and his partner was 16. The man (4) ___________________ friend of the 16-year-old's mother. He became friendly with the daughter when she was a child and started dating her when she turned 16. After this (5) ___________________, the channel received a flood of complaints from viewers who slammed the show for "making this (6) ___________________".

The couple in the show are married and have two children. He is now 47 and she is 19. The man said: "I (7) ___________________ people would think. It's a big gap. It's (8) ___________________. So it's like, what are people going to think?" His wife also spoke about the relationship. She said: "The age doesn't (9) ___________________. It never has done. I don't see him as an old man, or my dad, or anything like that. (10) ___________________ - like a big teddy bear." She added: "I've always wanted to have a family, so I just thought he would be (11) ___________________." Life has not been easy for the couple. When they first started dating, they received a lot of abuse from neighbours and the (12) ___________________ had to move to another city.

Comprehension questions

  1. Who is a TV channel under fire from?
  2. What is the name of the TV programme?
  3. How old was the woman when she first started dating the man?
  4. Who was the man a friend of?
  5. What did the show receive a flood of?
  6. How many children do the couple have?
  7. What kind of gap did the man call the age difference?
  8. What did the woman liken her husband to?
  9. What did the woman think the man would be?
  10. What did the couple get a lot of from their neighbours?




Multiple choice quiz

1) Who is a TV channel under fire from?
a) regulators
b) fire fighters
c) members of the public
d) marriage guidance counsellors
2) What is the name of the TV programme?
a) Age Gap Love
b) What a Difference
c) A Huge Difference
d) Gap In Love
3) How old was the woman when she first started dating the man?
a) 16
b) 17
c) 18
d) 19
4) Who was the man a friend of?
a) the girl's best friend
b) the girl's mother
c) the girl's father
d) the girl's grandfather
5) What did the show receive a flood of?
a) e-mails
b) water
c) letters
d) complaints

6) How many children do the couple have?
a) 1
b) 2
c) 3
d) 4
7) What kind of gap did the man call the age difference?
a) a generation gap
b) a slight gap
c) an opinion gap
d) a huge gap
8) What did the woman liken her husband to?
a) a movie star
b) Rambo
c) a teddy bear
d) a best friend
9) What did the woman think the man would be?
a) full of aches and pains
b) old-fashioned
c) tired
d) the perfect man
10) What did the couple get a lot of from their neighbours?
a) abuse
b) good wishes
c) presents
d) hate mail

Role play

Role  A – Similar Age
You think being the same age is the most important thing for a successful relationship. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as important. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): same hobbies, same dreams or same religion.

Role  B – Same Hobbies
You think having the same hobbies is the most important thing for a successful relationship. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as important. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): same age, same dreams or same religion.

Role  C – Same Dreams
You think having the same dreams is the most important thing for a successful relationship. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as important. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): same hobbies, same age or same religion.

Role  D – Same Religion
You think having the same religion is the most important thing for a successful relationship. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them why their things aren't as important. Also, tell the others which is the least important of these (and why): same hobbies, same dreams or same age.

After reading / listening

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

'age'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'difference'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • 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:

    • two
    • concerned
    • generation
    • old
    • bear
    • city
    • public
    • big
    • documented
    • originally
    • turned
    • normal




    Student survey

    Write five GOOD questions about this topic 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.

    (Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

    Discussion - Anger at TV show with big age difference couples

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'age'?
    3. Is age just a number?
    4. What do you think of the 28-year age difference?
    5. What do you think of a 44-year-old man dating a 16-year-old?
    6. What do you think of a 44-year-old woman dating a 16-year-old?
    7. Would you ever complain to a TV show?
    8. What do you know about grooming?
    9. Do you think this show is 'normalising grooming'?
    10. What advice do you have for the couple?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'couple'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What would you say if you were the 16-year-old's parent?
    5. Do you prefer older or younger partners?
    6. What is the oldest person you would date?
    7. Is a 28-year age gap OK if the people are over 40?
    8. What famous people have much younger partners?
    9. Should there be a law on the maximum age difference in couples?
    10. What questions would you like to ask the couple?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    A TV channel in the UK is (1) ____ fire from members of the public for one of its programmes that follows the (2) ____ of couples with a big age difference. Viewers have accused the Channel 5 series Age Gap Love (3) ____ "normalising grooming". The complaints came after a show that (4) ____ the relationship of a couple who got together when the man was 44 and his partner was 16. The man was originally a friend of the 16-year-old's mother. He became friendly with the daughter when she was a child and started dating her when she (5) ____ 16. After this episode was aired, the channel received a flood of complaints from viewers who (6) ____ the show for "making this concept seem normal".

    The couple in the show are married and have two children. He is now 47 and she is 19. The man said: "I was (7) ____ what people would think. It's a big gap. It's a generation gap. So it's like, what are people going to think?" His wife also spoke about the relationship. She said: "The age doesn't really (8) ____ me. It never has done. I don't see him as an old man, or my dad, or anything like that. He's just sensitive - like a big (9) ____ bear." She added: "I've always wanted to have a family, so I just thought he would be the (10) ____ man." Life has not been easy for the couple. When they first started (11) ____, they received a lot of (12) ____ from neighbours and the local community and had to move to another city.

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     over     (b)     beneath     (c)     under     (d)     above    
    2. (a)     lives     (b)     lively     (c)     livelihood     (d)     lifers    
    3. (a)     of     (b)     to     (c)     at     (d)     on    
    4. (a)     documented     (b)     documentary     (c)     document     (d)     documents    
    5. (a)     revolved     (b)     twisted     (c)     span     (d)     turned    
    6. (a)     slimed     (b)     slimmed     (c)     slummed     (d)     slammed    
    7. (a)     concerned     (b)     cornered     (c)     conned     (d)     coerced    
    8. (a)     rather     (b)     mother     (c)     wither     (d)     bother    
    9. (a)     teddy     (b)     grin and     (c)     cannot     (d)     tiny    
    10. (a)     perfectly     (b)     perfect     (c)     perfected     (d)     perfective    
    11. (a)     doting     (b)     dating     (c)     dittoing     (d)     doubting    
    12. (a)     abuse     (b)     abusive     (c)     abused     (d)     abused

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. the lives of eloupcs
    2. normalising ioggomrn
    3. The tanmosiclp came after a show
    4. After this edospei was aired
    5. received a foodl
    6. making this pcctoen seem normal

    Paragraph 2

    1. doecnrcen what people would think
    2. It's a otneigrena gap
    3. spoke about the prhtnielsoia
    4. He's just itevenssi
    5. a lot of ubaes from neighbours
    6. the local unmctoimy

    Put the text back together

    (...)  of couples with a big age difference. Viewers have accused the Channel 5 series Age Gap Love of "normalising
    (...)  together when the man was 44 and his partner was 16. The man was originally a
    (...)  grooming". The complaints came after a show that documented the relationship of a couple who got
    (...)  man." Life has not been easy for the couple. When they first started dating, they received a lot of abuse
    (...)  to think?" His wife also spoke about the relationship. She said: "The age doesn't really bother me. It never has
    (...)  complaints from viewers who slammed the show for "making this concept seem normal".
    (...)  dating her when she turned 16. After this episode was aired, the channel received a flood of
    (...)  done. I don't see him as an old man, or my dad, or anything like that. He's just
    (...)  The couple in the show are married and have two children. He is now 47 and she is 19. The man said: "I was
    (...)  sensitive - like a big teddy bear." She added: "I've always wanted to have a family, so I just thought he would be the perfect
    (...)  friend of the 16-year-old's mother. He became friendly with the daughter when she was a child and started
    (...)  concerned what people would think. It's a big gap. It's a generation gap. So it's like, what are people going
    1  ) A TV channel in the UK is under fire from members of the public for one of its programmes that follows the lives
    (...)  from neighbours and the local community and had to move to another city.

    Put the words in the right order

    1. fire   .   A   TV   in   channel   England   under   is
    2. lives   of   The   with   big   age   differences   .   couples
    3. of   together   .   The   relationship   got   a   who   couple
    4. friend   the   mother   .   16-year-old's   of   a   Originally
    5. a   received   The   flood   complaints   .   of   channel
    6. what   I   concerned   think   .   people   would   was
    7. spoke   wife   about   His   also   relationship   .   the
    8. would   the   he   thought   man   .   perfect   be   I
    9. couple   .   been   not   has   the   easy   Life   for
    10. received   lot   abuse   of   They   from   neighbours   .   a

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    A TV channel in the UK is under firing / fire from members of the public for one of its programmes that follows the lives of couplets / couples with a big age difference. Viewers have accused the Channel 5 series / cereal Age Gap Love of "normalising grooming". The complaints came post / after a show that documented the relationship of a couple who / whose got together when the man was 44 and his partner was 16. The man was originally / original a friend of the 16-year-old's mother. He became friendliness / friendly with the daughter when she was a child and started dating her when she turns / turned 16. After this episode was aired / airy, the channel received a flood of complaints from viewers who slammed the show for "making this conceptual / concept seem normal".

    The couple in the showing / show are married and have two children. He is now 47 and she is 19. The man said: "I was concerned / cornered what people would think. It's a big gap. It's a generation / generator gap. So it's like, what are people going to think?" His wife also spoken / spoke about the relationship. She said: "The age doesn't really bother / bothering me. It never has done. I don't see him as an olden / old man, or my dad, or anything like that. He's just sensitive / sensitively - like a big teddy bear." She added: "I've always wanted to have a family, so I just thought he would be the perfection / perfect man." Life has not been easy for the couple. When they first started dating, they received a lot / lots of abuse from neighbours and the local community and had to move to other / another city.

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    A T V c h_n n_l _n t h_ U K _s _n d_r f_r_ f r_m m_m b_r s _f t h_ p_b l_c f_r _n_ _f _t s p r_g r_m m_s t h_t f_l l_w s t h_ l_v_s _f c__ p l_s w_t h _ b_g _g_ d_f f_r_n c_. V__ w_r s h_v_ _c c_s_d t h_ C h_n n_l 5 s_r__ s A g_ G_p L_v_ _f " n_r m_l_s_n g g r__ m_n g " . T h_ c_m p l__ n t s c_m_ _f t_r _ s h_w t h_t d_c_m_n t_d t h_ r_l_t__ n s h_p _f _ c__ p l_ w h_ g_t t_g_t h_r w h_n t h_ m_n w_s 4 4 _n d h_s p_r t n_r w_s 1 6 . T h_ m_n w_s _r_g_n_l l y _ f r__ n d l y _f t h_ 1 6 - y__ r -_l d ' s m_t h_r . H_ b_c_m_ f r__ n d l y w_t h t h_ d__ g h t_r w h_n s h_ w_s _ c h_l d _n d s t_r t_d d_t_n g h_r w h_n s h_ t_r n_d 1 6 . A f t_r t h_s _p_s_d_ w_s __ r_d , t h_ c h_n n_l r_c__ v_d _ f l__ d _f c_m p l__ n t s f r_m v__ w_r s w h_ s l_m m_d t h_ s h_w f_r " m_k_n g t h_s c_n c_p t s__ m n_r m_l " .

    T h_ c__ p l_ _n t h_ s h_w _r_ m_r r__ d _n d h_v_ t w_ c h_l d r_n . H_ _s n_w 4 7 _n d s h_ _s 1 9 . T h_ m_n s__ d : " I w_s c_n c_r n_d w h_t p__ p l_ w__ l d t h_n k _t ' s _ b_g g_p . I t ' s _ g_n_r_t__ n g_p . S_ _t ' s l_k_, w h_t _r_ p__ p l_ g__ n g t_ t h_n k ? " H_s w_f_ _l s_ s p_k_ _b__ t t h_ r_l_t__ n s h_p . S h_ s__ d : " T h_ _g_ d__ s n ' t r__ l l y b_t h_r m_. I t n_v_r h_s d_n_. I d_n ' t s__ h_m _s _n _l d m_n , _r m y d_d , _r _n y t h_n g l_k_ t h_t . H_' s j_s t s_n s_t_v_ - l_k_ _ b_g t_d d y b__ r . " S h_ _d d_d : " I ' v_ _l w_y s w_n t_d t_ h_v_ _ f_m_l y , s_ I j_s t t h__ g h t h_ w__ l d b_ t h_ p_r f_c t m_n . " L_f_ h_s n_t b__ n __ s y f_r t h_ c__ p l_. W h_n t h_y f_r s t s t_r t_d d_t_n g , t h_y r_c__ v_d _ l_t _f _b_s_ f r_m n__ g h b__ r s _n d t h_ l_c_l c_m m_n_t y _n d h_d t_ m_v_ t_ _n_t h_r c_t y .

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    a tv channel in the uk is under fire from members of the public for one of its programmes that follows the lives of couples with a big age difference viewers have accused the channel 5 series age gap love of normalising grooming the complaints came after a show that documented the relationship of a couple who got together when the man was 44 and his partner was 16 the man was originally a friend of the 16yearolds mother he became friendly with the daughter when she was a child and started dating her when she turned 16 after this episode was aired the channel received a flood of complaints from viewers who slammed the show for making this concept seem normal

    the couple in the show are married and have two children he is now 47 and she is 19 the man said i was concerned what people would think its a big gap its a generation gap so its like what are people going to think his wife also spoke about the relationship she said the age doesnt really bother me it never has done i dont see him as an old man or my dad or anything like that hes just sensitive like a big teddy bear she added ive always wanted to have a family so i just thought he would be the perfect man life has not been easy for the couple when they first started dating they received a lot of abuse from neighbours and the local community and had to move to another city.

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    ATVchannelintheUKisunderfirefrommembersofthepublicforoneofits
    programmesthatfollowsthelivesofcoupleswithabigagedifference.Vie
    wershaveaccusedtheChannel5seriesAgeGapLoveof"normalisinggro
    oming".Thecomplaintscameafterashowthatdocumentedtherelation
    shipofacouplewhogottogetherwhenthemanwas44andhispartnerwa
    s16.Themanwasoriginallyafriendofthe16-year-old'smother.Hebe
    camefriendlywiththedaughterwhenshewasachildandstarteddatingh
    erwhensheturned16.Afterthisepisodewasaired,thechannelreceived
    afloodofcomplaintsfromviewerswhoslammedtheshowfor"makingthi
    sconceptseemnormal".Thecoupleintheshowaremarriedandhavetwo
    children.Heisnow47andsheis19.Themansaid:"Iwasconcernedwhatp
    eoplewouldthink.It'sabiggap.It'sagenerationgap.Soit'slike,whatare
    peoplegoingtothink?"Hiswifealsospokeabouttherelationship.Shesai
    d:"Theagedoesn'treallybotherme.Itneverhasdone.Idon'tseehimasa
    noldman,ormydad,oranythinglikethat.He'sjustsensitive-likeabigt
    eddybear."Sheadded:"I'vealwayswantedtohaveafamily,soIjusttho
    ughthewouldbetheperfectman."Lifehasnotbeeneasyforthecouple.W
    hentheyfirststarteddating,theyreceivedalotofabusefromneighbours
    andthelocalcommunityandhadtomovetoanothercity.

    Free writing

    Write about age difference for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Age is just a number. Discuss.

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    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 this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. AGE DIFFERENCES: Make a poster about age differences. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. LEGAL DIFFERENCE: Write a magazine article about having a maximum legal age difference. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    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. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on age differences in relationships. Ask him/her three questions about this. Give him/her three of your opinions on age differences. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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