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Date: March 20, 2009
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THE ARTICLE

World’s first flying car makes its debut

The world’s first flying car took to the skies on March 18. Its name is the Transition, because it can switch between the road and the sky. The car that looks like a plane that looks like a car took off from a small airport in New York. The “roadable aircraft” is from a Boston based company called Terrafugia, which means “escape from land” in Latin. The designer and Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich has spent the past decade working on the project. In 2006 he won a $30,000 design award from the Massacheusettes Institute of Technology. He said his inspiration was to do something about America’s crowded highways and airports. Dietrich said: "This flight is a symbol of a new freedom in aviation. It's what enthusiasts have been striving for since 1918."


 
 

The two-seater Transition can take off and land at airports and drive on any road. The US government said it is officially a light sport aircraft and not a car. The flying car has wings that fold up for use on the road. It is around 5.8 metres long and 2 metres wide. Terrafugia hopes to start selling the Transition in 2011. The selling price will be between $150,000 and $200,000. There are already more than forty orders for it. Dietrich is excited about the Transition’s future. He told reporters: "This breakthrough changes the world of personal mobility. Travel now becomes a hassle-free integrated land-air experience.” It is not yet clear whether traffic police or air traffic control will handle the dozens, perhaps hundreds or thousands, of flying cars.


 


 

WARM-UPS

1. CARS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about cars. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your 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.

 

flying / skies / airports / land / escaping / the past decade / inspiration / aviation / taking off / wings / orders / breakthroughs / personal mobility / hassles / police

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

3. WORLD’S FIRSTS: Do you like seeing advances in technology? Complete the table. Talk about what you wrote with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you found out.

First

Advantages

Life-changing because…

Flying car

 

 

Time machine

 

 

Space resort

 

 

No sleep pill

 

 

English learner

 

 

Wrinkle-free cream

 

 

4. SKY ROADS: Students A strongly believe everyone flying cars would be dangerous and are a bad idea; Students B strongly believe flying cars would be great and save lots of time. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. FLYING CARS: What do you think are the advantages of a flying car? Rank the following in order. Change partners and talk about your ranking.

_____   reduce traffic jams on roads

_____   increase personal mobility

_____   reduce traveling time

_____   reduced need for airplanes

_____   fun

_____   good as ambulances

_____   good for those in rural areas

_____   help revive the car industry

6. AIRPLANE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘airplane’. 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.

The world’s first flying car will soon make its debut flight.

T / F

b.

The name of the company that made the car means “free in the sky”.

T / F

c.

The designer has spent 10 years developing the flying car.

T / F

d.

The designer wanted to ease congestion on roads and in airports.

T / F

e.

The flying car can accommodate two pilots and four passengers.

T / F

f.

America’s government classified the flying car as a small aircraft.

T / F

g.

There are 40,000 orders for the flying car.

T / F

h.

Air traffic controllers will be responsible for regulating the flying cars.

T / F

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

1.

transition

a.

motivation

2

looks like

b.

deal with

3.

inspiration

c.

problem

4.

enthusiasts

d.

legally

5.

striving

e.

collapse

6.

officially

f.

change

7.

fold up

g.

fans

8.

breakthrough

h.

resembles

9.

hassle

i.

discovery

10.

handle

j.

aiming

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

1.

The world’s first flying car took

a.

for since 1918

2

it can switch between the road

b.

of personal mobility

3.

Dietrich has spent the past decade

c.

crowded highways

4.

do something about America’s

d.

and not a car

5.

It's what enthusiasts have been striving

e.

and the sky

6.

The two-seater Transition can

f.

to the skies

7.

it is officially a light sport aircraft

g.

air experience

8.

There are already more than forty

h.

take off and land

9.

This breakthrough changes the world

i.

working on the project

10.

a hassle-free integrated land-

j.

orders for it

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

The world’s first flying car __________ to the skies on March 18. Its name is the Transition, because it can __________ between the road and the sky. The car that looks like a plane that looks like a car took off from a small airport in New York. The “roadable aircraft” is from a Boston __________ company called Terrafugia, which means “escape from land” in Latin. The designer and Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich has spent the past __________ working on the project. In 2006 he won a $30,000 design award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He said his __________ was to do something about America’s __________ highways and airports. Dietrich said: "This flight is a __________ of a new freedom in aviation. It's what enthusiasts have been __________ for since 1918."

 

 

 

crowded
based
striving
took
decade
symbol
switch
inspiration

The two-seater Transition can __________ off and land at airports and drive on any road. The US government said it is officially a light sport __________ and not a car. The flying car has __________ that fold up for use on the road. It is around 5.8 metres long and 2 metres wide. Terrafugia __________ to start selling the Transition in 2011. The selling price will be between $150,000 and $200,000. There are already more than forty __________ for it. Dietrich is excited about the Transition’s future. He told reporters: "This breakthrough changes the world of personal __________. Travel now becomes a __________ -free integrated land-air experience.” It is not yet clear whether traffic police or air traffic __________ will handle the dozens, perhaps hundreds or thousands, of flying cars.

 

 

wings
hassle
hopes
take
control
orders
aircraft
mobility

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

The world’s first flying car ____________________ March 18. Its name is the Transition, because it can switch between the road and the sky. The car that looks like a ____________________ car took off from a small airport in New York. The “roadable aircraft” is from a Boston based company called Terrafugia, which means “escape from land” in Latin. The designer and Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich ____________________ decade working on the project. In 2006 he won a $30,000 design award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He said his inspiration ____________________ about America’s crowded highways and airports. Dietrich said: "This flight ____________________  freedom in aviation. It's what enthusiasts have been striving for since 1918."

The two-seater Transition ____________________ airports and drive on any road. The US government said it is officially a light sport aircraft and not a car. The flying car has wings ____________________ on the road. It is around 5.8 metres long and 2 metres wide. Terrafugia hopes to start selling the Transition in 2011. The selling ____________________ $150,000 and $200,000. There are already more than forty orders for it. Dietrich is excited about the Transition’s future. He told reporters: "This breakthrough changes the ____________________. Travel now becomes a hassle-free integrated land-air experience.” It is not yet clear whether traffic police or air traffic control ____________________, perhaps hundreds or thousands, of flying cars.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

flying

car

 

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • skies
  • switch
  • based
  • decade
  • crowded
  • symbol
  • seater
  • fold
  • orders
  • personal
  • free
  • dozens

STUDENT FLYING CAR SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about flying cars 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.

FLYING CAR 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 ‘flying car’?

c)

What do you think of the idea of cars that can fly?

d)

Would you buy a flying car?

e)

What are the risks and benefits of flying cars?

f)

Do you think flying cars mean science fiction has come true?

g)

Do you think ‘Transition’ is a good name for the new flying car?

h)

Do you think the flying car will solve congestion on roads and at airports?

i)

What kind of driving / flying license or test would you need for the flying car?

j)

What are you striving for right now?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you like reading about new breakthroughs and inventions?

c)

How would a flying car change your lifestyle?

d)

Do you think people would still get angry with other drivers in the sky?

e)

What kind of traffic signals would they need in the sky?

f)

Do you think governments would have to rethink power lines?

g)

Would you worry about cars flying over your house?

h)

Who should regulate the flying cars, the police or air traffic controllers?

i)

What do you think of the expression “roadable aircraft”?

j)

What questions would you ask Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich?

LANGUAGE

The world’s first flying car (1) ____ to the skies on March 18. Its name is the Transition, because it can switch between the road and the sky. The car that looks like a plane that looks like a car took (2) ____ from a small airport in New York. The “roadable aircraft” is from a Boston based company called Terrafugia, which (3) ____ “escape from land” in Latin. The designer and Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich has spent the past decade working (4) ____ the project. In 2006 he won a $30,000 design award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He said his inspiration was to do something (5) ____ America’s crowded highways and airports. Dietrich said: "This flight is a symbol of a new freedom in aviation. It's what (6) ____ have been striving for since 1918."

The two-seater Transition can take off and land at airports and drive on any road. The US government said it is (7) ____ a light sport aircraft and not a car. The flying car has wings that fold (8) ____ for use on the road. It is around 5.8 metres long and 2 metres wide. Terrafugia hopes to start selling the Transition in 2011. The selling price will be between $150,000 and $200,000. There are already more than forty (9) ____ for it. Dietrich is excited about the Transition’s future. He told reporters: "This breakthrough changes the world of (10) ____ mobility. Travel now becomes a hassle-(11) ____ integrated land-air experience.” It is not yet clear whether traffic police or air traffic control will (12) ____ the dozens, perhaps hundreds or thousands, of flying cars.

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

1.

(a)

taken

(b)

taking

(c)

took

(d)

take

2.

(a)

on

(b)

off

(c)

up

(d)

away

3.

(a)

means

(b)

meaning

(c)

meant

(d)

meanie

4.

(a)

onto

(b)

into

(c)

to

(d)

on

5.

(a)

by

(b)

upon

(c)

about

(d)

over

6.

(a)

enthusiast

(b)

enthusiasm

(c)

enthusiasts

(d)

enthusiastic

7.

(a)

official

(b)

officially

(c)

officialdom

(d)

office

8.

(a)

up

(b)

on

(c)

at

(d)

by

9.

(a)

ordered

(b)

orders

(c)

ordering

(d)

order

10.

(a)

personal

(b)

personality

(c)

personalize

(d)

persons

11.

(a)

cost

(b)

payment

(c)

choice

(d)

free

12.

(a)

handler

(b)

handling

(c)

handles

(d)

handle

WRITING: 

Write about flying cars 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 the Transition flying car. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. BREAKTHROUGHS: Make a poster about different breakthroughs of the past two decades that changed your life. What would you do without these breakthroughs? Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. FLYING CAR: Write a magazine article about the Transition flying car. 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 Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich. Ask him three questions about his “roadable aircraft”. Give him three ideas on what he should invent next and why. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

F

b.

F

c.

T

d.

T

e.

F

f.

T

g.

F

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

transition

a.

change

2

looks like

b.

resembles

3.

inspiration

c.

motivation

4.

enthusiasts

d.

fans

5.

striving

e.

aiming

6.

officially

f.

legally

7.

fold up

g.

collapse

8.

breakthrough

h.

discovery

9.

hassle

i.

problem

10.

handle

j.

deal with

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

The world’s first flying car took

a.

to the skies

2

it can switch between the road

b.

and the sky

3.

Dietrich has spent the past decade

c.

working on the project

4.

do something about America’s

d.

crowded highways

5.

It's what enthusiasts have been striving

e.

for since 1918

6.

The two-seater Transition can

f.

take off and land

7.

it is officially a light sport aircraft

g.

and not a car

8.

There are already more than forty

h.

orders for it

9.

This breakthrough changes the world

i.

of personal mobility

10.

a hassle-free integrated land-

j.

air experience

GAP FILL:

World’s first flying car makes its debut

The world’s first flying car took to the skies on March 18. Its name is the Transition, because it can switch between the road and the sky. The car that looks like a plane that looks like a car took off from a small airport in New York. The “roadable aircraft” is from a Boston based company called Terrafugia, which means “escape from land” in Latin. The designer and Terrafugia CEO Carl Dietrich has spent the past decade working on the project. In 2006 he won a $30,000 design award from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He said his inspiration was to do something about America’s crowded highways and airports. Dietrich said: "This flight is a symbol of a new freedom in aviation. It's what enthusiasts have been striving for since 1918."

The two-seater Transition can take off and land at airports and drive on any road. The US government said it is officially a light sport aircraft and not a car. The flying car has wings that fold up for use on the road. It is around 5.8 metres long and 2 metres wide. Terrafugia hopes to start selling the Transition in 2011. The selling price will be between $150,000 and $200,000. There are already more than forty orders for it. Dietrich is excited about the Transition’s future. He told reporters: "This breakthrough changes the world of personal mobility. Travel now becomes a hassle-free integrated land-air experience.” It is not yet clear whether traffic police or air traffic control will handle the dozens, perhaps hundreds or thousands, of flying cars.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - c

2 - b

3 - a

4 - d

5 - c

6 - c

7 - b

8 - a

9 - b

10 - a

11 - d

12 - d

 

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