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Beat the Cheats Lesson plan to accompany the 16th December Teaching Tip

For a Word version of  both the plan & the texts

Credit card & machine

To see the materials used in the plan

Preliminary information

Time: 90 minutes??

Level: Upper Intermediate/Advanced

To give extensive & intensive reading
To give freer speaking practice
To expand vocabulary - 'crime & banking' vocab
See the text for any language area that would be worth picking up on.

That the subject of the text is topical & the stds will be interested in it.
That the language in the text will not be too difficult.

Anticipated Problems and Solutions:
Some of the vocabulary may be challenging >> pre-teach essential items when sinking them in during the first stage.
If you know that one of your students has had problems with fraud then it might be wise not to do this lesson.

'Beat the Cheats' article by Rupert Jones and Judith Larner, Guardian, Saturday November 23, 2002

Credit card & prison


Stage 1 - Intro/Sinking in to theme of shopping & fraud

10-15 mins tch<>stds, std<>std, tch<>stds

1. Begin a conversation with the whole class about shopping & Xmas - how much they have done, still have to do, what they have to by, where they go etc.
2. Lead on to problems with credit cards & fraud - elicit the following:

fraud, credit card, ATM withdrawls, cashpoint, crooks, thieves, victim, tricks......& any other vocab you think it would be useful for the group to look at before reading.

3. Elicit different 'scams' that they have heard about.

Stage 2 - Reading - the introduction to the article

5 mins tch<>stds

1. Handout the introduction & tell them to read it quickly - give one minute.
2. Elicit the main points.

Stage 3 - Reading - the matching: scams & descriptions

15 mins tch<>stds, std<>std, tch<>stds

1. Explain & show - the list of section & paragraph headings & the text - they need to match it all up. Again, as quickly as possible without worrying about any difficult vocabulary.
2. Activity - go round & monitor & helpp out when necessary, but not explaining vocabulary - help them to work out the connections.
3. Stds compare their answers in pairs.
4. Stds, in pairs decide on the top & bottom three most sophisticated scams. This gets them using the text information, also working as a check on comprehension.
4. Feedback - go through the answers.
5. Response - ask if they know anyone who has been ripped off in any of these ways.

Stage 4 - Vocabulary focus

?? mins tch<>stds, std<>std, tch<>stds

The text is mainly in the present simple & shouldn't pose much of a problem on a grammar-level so a vocab focus now would seem a good way to exploit the text. Some possiblities:

- stds choose five words they don't understand from the context & look them up in the dictionary.
- you set the five words they try to discover.
- stds build up a mind map of all the vocab they can find connected to 'crime'.

Stage 5 - Speaking - response to the text

15-20 mins tch<>stds, std<>std, tch<>stds

1. The situation: The stds have been contracted by a big department store in their country with the brief to design a list of warnings for shoppers. In small groups they get a list of advice together based on the list of different scams. To start them off, give an example.
2. Activity - go round & help. Possibly get one from each group to check out the other groups' lists & then report back to add new points to their own lists.
3. Pin up the lists on the walls & stds mingle, reading each others & maybe voting on the best list.
4. Handout the list from the bottom of the article & see if any of their points crop up.
5. Discuss the list as a whole class.

A couple of follow up possiblities:

- roleplay between friend who has been seriously ripped off & a friend who is sympathising & using past criticism - 'you shouldn't've....'
- letter to the bank trying to get money back that was ripped off in one of the scams - maybe after the bank had been informed money still left the account.

To the lesson material

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