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Sleeping Next To Pets Can Make You Sick (25th January, 2011)


 

New research suggests that sleeping next to your pet increases your risk of getting sick. Researchers from the University of California-Davis believe pet owners have a greater chance of catching diseases as serious as the bubonic plague, an infection that killed 75 million people across Europe in the fourteenth century. Professor Bruno Chamel did, however, say that although this is extremely rare, it does happen. He said people are safer if they keep Kitty and Fido next to their bed, not on it. He wrote in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases: "There are private places in the household, and I think our pets should not go beyond next to the bed....Having a stuffed animal in your bed is fine, not a real one."

This research will upset many people who love cuddling up to their pet or getting their face licked by them. Professor Chamel reckons that because people are having fewer children, pets have become replacements. More than 60 per cent of American households have a pet and up to 62 per cent of pet owners let their animals sleep with them, according to Chamel’s research. Chamel has already received many e-mails strongly disagreeing with his research. They say they have slept with their pets throughout their lives and are as healthy as anyone else. Larry Kornegay, president of the American Veterinary Association, agreed, saying: “The benefits of having a pet, whether or not you sleep with it, far outweigh the negatives.”


WARM-UPS

1. PETS: Walk around the class and talk to other students about pets. 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.

 

research / getting sick / infection / extremely rare / private places / stuffed animals / upset people / cuddling / fewer children / households / pet owners / negatives

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

3. GOOD PETS: What are the pros and cons of these? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

 

Pros

Cons

Dog

 

 

Cat

 

 

Snake

 

 

Rabbit

 

 

Parrot

 

 

Goldfish

 

 

4. PETS ON BED: Students A strongly believe sleeping with pets is not healthy; Students B strongly believe the opposite.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.

5. PET USES: Why are pets useful? Rank these and share your rankings with your partner. Put the most useful at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • Companionship
  • They teach kids responsibility
  • They guard the house
  • They’re cute
  • They’re fun
  • They’re good to show friends
  • They can keep you warm at night
  • They teach us to love animals

6. SICK: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘sick’. 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 new study says you could catch bubonic plague sleeping next to pets.

T / F

b.

The bubonic plague killed 7.5 million Europeans 700 years ago.

T / F

c.

A researcher said it’s OK to keep a pet near your bed.

T / F

d.

The researcher said sleeping with a stuffed animal is OK.

T / F

e.

The article says pet owners got upset when pets licked their face.

T / F

f.

The article says people nowadays are having pets instead of children.

T / F

g.

People told the professor that sleeping with their pet prolongs their life.

T / F

h.

A top vet said the negatives of pet ownership outweighed the positives.

T / F

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

1.

increases

a.

occur

2

getting

b.

homes

3.

chance

c.

snuggling

4.

happen

d.

risk

5.

beyond

e.

passionately

6.

cuddling

f.

raises

7.

replacements

g.

positives

8.

households

h.

substitutes

9.

strongly

i.

becoming

10.

benefits

j.

farther than

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

1.

increases your risk

a.

catching diseases

2

have a greater chance of

b.

else

3.

an infection that killed

c.

up to their pet

4.

this is extremely

d.

to Chamel’s research

5.

a stuffed

e.

replacements

6.

people who love cuddling

f.

of getting sick

7.

pets have become

g.

negatives

8.

according

h.

75 million people

9.

as healthy as anyone

i.

animal

10.

far outweigh the

j.

rare

 


 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

New research (1) ____________ that sleeping next to your pet increases your risk of getting sick. Researchers from the University of California-Davis believe pet owners have a (2) ____________ chance of catching diseases as (3) ____________ as the bubonic plague, an infection that killed 75 million people across Europe in the fourteenth century. Professor Bruno Chamel did, (4) ____________, say that although this is (5) ____________ rare, it does happen. He said people are safer if they keep Kitty and Fido next to their bed, not on it. He wrote in the (6) ____________ Emerging Infectious Diseases: "There are private places in the household, and I think our pets should not go (7) ____________ next to the bed....Having a (8) ____________ animal in your bed is fine, not a real one."

 

 

 

journal
however
beyond
greater
stuffed
suggests
extremely
serious

This research will (9) ____________ many people who love cuddling up to their pet or getting their face (10) ____________ by them. Professor Chamel reckons that because people are having (11) ____________ children, pets have become replacements. More than 60 per cent of American households have a pet and up to 62 per cent of pet owners let their animals sleep with them, (12) ____________ to Chamel’s research. Chamel has already received many e-mails (13) ____________ disagreeing with his research. They say they have slept with their pets throughout their lives and are as healthy as (14) ____________ else. Larry Kornegay, president of the American Veterinary Association, agreed, saying: “The (15) ____________ of having a pet, whether or not you sleep with it, far (16) ____________ the negatives.”

 

 

benefits
according
licked
anyone
outweigh
upset
strongly
fewer

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps

New research suggests that sleeping next to your pet __________________ getting sick. Researchers from the University of California-Davis believe pet owners _____________________ catching diseases as serious as the bubonic plague, _____________________ 75 million people across Europe in the fourteenth century. Professor Bruno Chamel did, however, say that although _____________________, it does happen. He said people are safer if they keep Kitty and Fido next to their bed, not on it. He wrote in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases: "There are private places in the household, and I think our pets should _____________________ to the bed.... _____________________ in your bed is fine, not a real one."

This research will upset many people who love _____________________ pet or getting _____________________ them. Professor Chamel reckons that because people are _____________________, pets have become replacements. More than 60 per cent of American households have a pet and up to 62 per cent of pet owners let their animals sleep with them, according to Chamel’s research. Chamel has already received many e-mails _____________________ his research. They say they have slept with their pets throughout their lives and are as _____________________. Larry Kornegay, president of the American Veterinary Association, agreed, saying: “The benefits of having a pet, whether or not you sleep with it, ________________________.”

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

pet

owner

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • suggests
  • greater
  • killed
  • extremely
  • safer
  • stuffed
  • cuddling
  • fewer
  • 62
  • strongly
  • throughout
  • far

STUDENT PETS SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about pets 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.

PETS 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 ‘pet’?

c)

What do you think of pets?

d)

Do you think it’s OK to sleep with animals?

e)

What do you think of Bruno Chamel’s research?

f)

Why do people have pets?

g)

What animals make the best pets?

h)

Is it better to sleep with a stuffed animal (cuddly toy) than a real animal?

i)

Is it OK for pets to sleep with children?

j)

Have you heard of a pet making its owner sick?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you like animals licking your face?

c)

What do you think of people replacing having children with getting pets?

d)

Are you surprised that 60% of American homes have pets?

e)

Should health authorities tell people not to sleep with pets?

f)

Is there a difference between pet owners and people who don’t want a pet?

g)

Is having a pet cruel to animals?

h)

What are the advantages of having a pet?

i)

What are the downsides of having a pet?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Professor Bruno Chamel?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE

New research suggests that sleeping next to your pet increases your risk (1) ____ getting sick. Researchers from the University of California-Davis believe pet owners have a greater chance (2) ____ catching diseases as serious as the bubonic plague, an infection that (3) ____ 75 million people across Europe in the fourteenth century. Professor Bruno Chamel did, however, say that although this is (4) ____ rare, it does happen. He said people are safer if they keep Kitty and Fido next to their bed, not on it. He wrote in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases: "There are private places in the household, and I think our pets should not go (5) ____ next to the bed....Having a (6) ____ animal in your bed is fine, not a real one."

This research will upset many people who love cuddling (7) ____ to their pet or getting their face licked by (8) ____. Professor Chamel reckons that because people are having fewer children, pets (9) ____ become replacements. More than 60 per cent of American households have a pet and up to 62 per cent of pet owners let their animals sleep with them, (10) ____ to Chamel’s research. Chamel has already received many e-mails strongly disagreeing with his research. They say they have slept with their pets throughout their lives and are as healthy as anyone (11) ____. Larry Kornegay, president of the American Veterinary Association, agreed, saying: “The benefits of having a pet, whether or not you sleep with it, (12) ____ outweigh the negatives.”

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

1.

(a)

of

(b)

by

(c)

to

(d)

at

2.

(a)

by

(b)

of

(c)

in

(d)

so

3.

(a)

kills

(b)

killing

(c)

killed

(d)

killer

4.

(a)

extreme

(b)

extremity

(c)

extremes

(d)

extremely

5.

(a)

behind

(b)

beneath

(c)

beside

(d)

beyond

6.

(a)

stuffing

(b)

stuffs

(c)

stuffed

(d)

stuff

7.

(a)

up

(b)

down

(c)

in

(d)

out

8.

(a)

these

(b)

them

(c)

they

(d)

those

9.

(a)

are

(b)

do

(c)

have

(d)

be

10.

(a)

according

(b)

accord

(c)

accordingly

(d)

accordion

11.

(a)

more

(b)

person

(c)

healthily

(d)

else

12.

(a)

for

(b)

far

(c)

fir

(d)

fur

WRITING

Write about pets 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 sleeping with pets. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. PETS: Make a poster about pets. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. RESEARCH: Write a magazine article about this research. Include imaginary interviews with a pet owner and his/her pet.

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 animal expert. Ask him/her three questions about sleeping with pets. Give him/her three of your opinions. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

F

c.

T

d.

T

e.

F

f.

T

g.

F

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

increases

a.

raises

2

getting

b.

becoming

3.

chance

c.

risk

4.

happen

d.

occur

5.

beyond

e.

farther than

6.

cuddling

f.

snuggling

7.

replacements

g.

substitutes

8.

households

h.

homes

9.

strongly

i.

passionately

10.

benefits

j.

positives

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

increases your risk

a.

of getting sick

2

have a greater chance of

b.

catching diseases

3.

an infection that killed

c.

75 million people

4.

this is extremely

d.

rare

5.

a stuffed

e.

animal

6.

people who love cuddling

f.

up to their pet

7.

pets have become

g.

replacements

8.

according

h.

to Chamel’s research

9.

as healthy as anyone

i.

else

10.

far outweigh the

j.

negatives

GAP FILL:

Sleeping next to pets can make you sick

New research (1) suggests that sleeping next to your pet increases your risk of getting sick. Researchers from the University of California-Davis believe pet owners have a (2) greater chance of catching diseases as (3) serious as the bubonic plague, an infection that killed 75 million people across Europe in the fourteenth century. Professor Bruno Chamel did, (4) however, say that although this is (5) extremely rare, it does happen. He said people are safer if they keep Kitty and Fido next to their bed, not on it. He wrote in the (6) journal Emerging Infectious Diseases: "There are private places in the household, and I think our pets should not go (7) beyond next to the bed....Having a (8) stuffed animal in your bed is fine, not a real one."

This research will (9) upset many people who love cuddling up to their pet or getting their face (10) licked by them. Professor Chamel reckons that because people are having (11) fewer children, pets have become replacements. More than 60 per cent of American households have a pet and up to 62 per cent of pet owners let their animals sleep with them, (12) according to Chamel’s research. Chamel has already received many e-mails (13) strongly disagreeing with his research. They say they have slept with their pets throughout their lives and are as healthy as (14) anyone else. Larry Kornegay, president of the American Veterinary Association, agreed, saying: “The (15) benefits of having a pet, whether or not you sleep with it, far (16) outweigh the negatives.”

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - b

3 - c

4 - d

5 - d

6 - c

7 - a

8 - b

9 - c

10 - a

11 - d

12 - b

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