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Date: Aug 28, 2005

Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (2:01 - 237.5 KB - 16kbps)
1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

THE ARTICLE

The British Broadcasting Corporation hopes to start a new service next year. It will put its TV programs and music online. Users will be able to download television and radio programs up to a week after they were originally broadcast. The new service will probably be called “MyBBCPlayer”. The plan is a central part of the BBC’s strategy to reach more people all over the world. It is still unclear whether users will have to pay a fee to download the programs.

The BBC is looking at new ways of using the Internet. A spokesperson said: “Every creative leader in the BBC is wrestling with the question of what the new technologies and audience behaviors mean for them and their service.” Other options the BBC is thinking about include putting its two most popular channels online. However, this will be for UK viewers only. Another possible new service and “a departure from past corporation policy” is being able to buy BBC music and programs.

WARM-UPS

1. TELEVISION: Talk about your history with television with your partner(s). Use these words to help your conversation:

First memories     Favorite kids’ programs     Black and white     TV maker     Importance
My daily viewing     Life without TV     Best programs      Couch potato      Internet TV

2. INTERNET: In pairs / groups, talk about what you use the Internet for. How often do you use the Internet for the following?

  • News and weather
  • Studying
  • Music
  • Games
  • Mail / Messenger
  • Travel information
  • Shopping
  • Other

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

BBC / television / TV programs / radio / downloading / download fees / wrestling / Internet TV / BBC shop / BBC radio / BBC English

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

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

5. BROADCASTERS: Talk with your partner(s) about television and broadcasting from other countries. How is the quality of programming in your country?

6. TWO-MINUTE DEBATES: Debate each of the fun arguments below with a partner for just two minutes, before moving on to the next one. Student A agrees with the first argument, Student B, the second.

  1. BBC news is best. vs. CNN news is best.
  2. Televisions will be with us forever. vs. Televisions will disappear.
  3. Internet television is a terrible idea. vs. Internet television is a great idea.
  4. The BBC must charge for downloading. vs. The BBC should never charge a downloading fee.
  5. MyBBCPlayer will change our lives. vs. MyBBCPlayer will have no effect on our lives.
  6. Internet TV will help world democracy. vs. Internet TV is just entertainment.
  7. MyBBCPlayer will make the world more British. vs. How ridiculous.
  8. It is crazy you cannot buy BBC programs today. vs. It is ridiculous you’d want to buy BBC programs.

 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

The BBC hopes to start a new service next year.

T / F

b.

All of the BBC’s TV programs will be available for download.

T / F

c.

The BBC will release a new piece of software called “MyBBCPlayer”.

T / F

d.

The BBC has plans to set a charge to download its products.

T / F

e.

Creative leaders in the BBC are wrestling with different questions.

T / F

f.

The BBC wants to make programs about audience behavior.

T / F

g.

The BBC’s main channels will also be available to the world.

T / F

h.

There may be an online BBC store.

T / F

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

a.

start

charge

b.

originally

purchase

c.

central

thinking about

d.

unclear

first

e.

fee

uncertain

f.

looking at

fighting

g.

wrestling

launch

h.

options

shift

i.

departure

alternatives

j.

buy

main

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

a.

hopes to start a new

past corporation policy

b.

It will put its TV programs

all over the world

c.

a central part of the

BBC’s strategy

d.

reach more people

with the question

e.

still unclear whether users

service next year

f.

The BBC is looking at

channels online

g.

the BBC is wrestling

will have to pay a fee

h.

Other options the BBC

and music online

i.

putting its two most popular

new ways of using the Internet

j.

a departure from

is thinking about

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the gaps in the text.

BBC to put programs online

The British Broadcasting Corporation _______ to start a new service next year. It will _______ its TV programs and music online. Users will be able to download television and radio programs up to a week after they were _______ broadcast. The new service will _______ be called “MyBBCPlayer”. The plan is a _______ part of the BBC’s strategy to _______ more people all over the world. It is still _______ whether users will have to pay a _______ to download the programs.

 

 

reach
originally
fee
hopes
central
unclear
put
probably

The BBC is _______ at new ways of using the Internet. A spokesperson said: “Every creative _______ in the BBC is wrestling with the _______ of what the new technologies and _______ behaviors mean for them and their service.” Other _______ the BBC is thinking about include putting its two most _______ channels online. However, this will be for UK _______ only. Another possible new service and “a departure from past corporation _______” is being able to buy BBC music and programs.

 

 

question
viewers
options
leader
policy
audience
looking
popular


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 gap 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 “BBC” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about the BBC and Internet television.

  • 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:

  • hopes
  • online
  • originally
  • central
  • reach
  • unclear
  • ways
  • wrestling
  • behaviors
  • options
  • viewers
  • policy

DISCUSSION

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

  1. What did you think when you first read this headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  3. What do you think of the BBC’s idea?
  4. Will you download BBC programs?
  5. Would you like your own national broadcaster to offer the same service?
  6. What do you think of the BBC?
  7. Would you pay for the kind of service the BBC wants to start?
  8. Do you think all TV programs will one day be searchable on Google?
  9. Are you surprised you cannot already download TV programs?

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. How important is TV in your life?
  4. Do you think downloading past TV programs means you’ll watch more television?
  5. What do you think of the idea of one day being able to watch more than 1,000 TV channels from all over the world?
  6. Do the television stations in your country have any programs the rest of the world would be interested in?
  7. Have you been wrestling with any questions recently?
  8. What is your favorite TV program?
  9. 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

EXPANDING INTERNET: Discuss with your partner(s) your thoughts on the following uses of the Internet. Talk about their pros and cons.

USES

PROS

CONS

Live broadcasts of high school classes

 

 

Live broadcasts of all university lectures

 

 

Accessing any TV program ever made

 

 

Live coverage of all sporting events

 

 

Live broadcasts of police prison cells and prisoner questioning

 

 

A 24-hour webcam in the Oval Office in the White House

 

 

Access to all of the world’s books

 

 

Access to all of the world’s music

 

 

Change partners and discuss what you heard from previous partners.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

BBC to put programs online

The British Broadcasting Corporation _____ __ _____ a new service next year. It will put its TV programs and music online. Users will be able to download television and radio programs ___ ___ __ _____ after they were originally broadcast. The new service will probably be called “MyBBCPlayer”. The plan is a _______ _____ ___ the BBC’s strategy to reach more people all over the world. It is still unclear whether users will have ___ ____ __ fee to download the programs.

The BBC is looking at ____ ______ ____ using the Internet. A spokesperson said: “Every creative leader in the BBC is wrestling with the question of what the new technologies and __________ behaviors mean for them and their service.” Other options the BBC is _________ ________ include putting its two most popular channels online. However, this will be for UK viewers only. Another possible new service and “__ __________ ______ past corporation policy” is being able to buy BBC music and programs.

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 the BBC. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of the BBC. Tell him what you think of his new idea to put programs online and to sell BBC products. Read your letters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

4. TELEVISION: Write an essay about how important TV is in your life. What would happen if you had no television? Tell your classmates the main points of your essay in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. T

f. F

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

start

launch

b.

originally

first

c.

central

main

d.

unclear

uncertain

e.

fee

charge

f.

looking at

thinking about

g.

wrestling

fighting

h.

options

alternatives

i.

departure shift

j.

buy purchase

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

hopes to start a new

service next year

b.

It will put its TV programs

and music online

c.

a central part of the

BBC’s strategy

d.

reach more people

all over the world

e.

still unclear whether users

will have to pay a fee

f.

The BBC is looking at

new ways of using the Internet

g.

the BBC is wrestling

with the question

h.

Other options the BBC

is thinking about

i.

putting its two most popular

channels online

j.

a departure from

past corporation policy

GAP FILL:

BBC to put programs online

The British Broadcasting Corporation hopes to start a new service next year. It will put its TV programs and music online. Users will be able to download television and radio programs up to a week after they were originally broadcast. The new service will probably be called “MyBBCPlayer”. The plan is a central part of the BBC’s strategy to reach more people all over the world. It is still unclear whether users will have to pay a fee to download the programs.

The BBC is looking at new ways of using the Internet. A spokesperson said: “Every creative leader in the BBC is wrestling with the question of what the new technologies and audience behaviors mean for them and their service.” Other options the BBC is thinking about include putting its two most popular channels online. However, this will be for UK viewers only. Another possible new service and “a departure from past corporation policy” is being able to buy BBC music and programs.

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