Thursday, 11 February 2010
Reading/ Writing/ Speaking - In Fashion
I found this article on the Guardian website and it works perfectly for a fun lesson. It's a fashion article about Topshop but written in the style of a break-up letter.
So you can take it in two ways. You can use the vocabulary from the 'letter' and get your students to write break-up letters. Keep it light-hearted - we don't want the class in floods of tears.
Or you can concentrate more on fashion. Below you'll find some key fashion voacb, some discussion questions and an idiom quiz based on phrases we use with items of clothing.
Sorry Topshop, there's someone else.
I don't know how to say this. I can't believe I'm writing this letter. But, um, we need to talk. This is going to come as a bit of a shock – after all, we've been in love for five years, and since fashion years are like dog years – that means we were getting on for our golden wedding anniversary. But although I still love you, it feels like the spark has gone.
Also, please don't be upset, but there's someone else. Actually, it's a bit more complicated than that. For a long time, me and you – well, we've had something special. There were other labels on the high street I went to for other reasons – I could never resist Whistles and Reiss for sophisticated treats, or Cos and Gap for trousers and swish T-shirts – but when it came to the real pump-up-your-heartrate kind of shopping, the have-to-have-it-now fashion treasures that lift your mood faster than a tequila shot, I never had eyes for anyone else.
Then one day, I found myself in River Island. And then it was Asos.com, when no one was looking. And then New Look. And now Oasis.
I can't live a lie any more.
Looking back, I think perhaps the passion went out of our relationship when everyone found out about us. I remember when shopping at Topshop was a guilty pleasure, a secret that most people wouldn't understand. But all that changed when Kate Moss came on the scene. These days everyone knows, and all that excitement seems like another lifetime. I'm not blaming Kate, but if it hadn't been for her, who knows how differently things would have turned out?
Also, a girl needs to feel special, and it's hard to keep up a meaningful relationship when every shopping date is shared with approximately half of all the female tourists under 40 in the city at that time.
This doesn't have to be for ever. We could be like Liz Taylor and Richard Burton, and fall in love again. (Actually, reconciliations are going to be very 2010 – look at Jude and Sienna.)
I'm going to go now. I can feel I'm welling up, and I don't want to get tearstains on my new Oasis top.
What reasons does the writer give for falling out of love with Topshop?
What style is this letter written in? Consider the following phrases. When would you use them?
- I don't know how to say this.
- We need to talk
- It feels like the spark has gone
- There's someone else
- I never had eyes for anyone else
- The passion went out of our relationship
- I can't live a lie anymore
- A girl needs to feel special
Imagine you need to write a letter to your boyfriend/ girlfriend, explaining why you want to break up with them. Try and use some of the phrases from the text and consider some of the following points:
- Why are you breaking up with this person?
- Have they done something wrong?
- Have you done something wrong?
- Do they have any annoying habits?
- Is there someone else?
- Do you still want to be friends?
- Are there things you will miss about them?
Fashion/ Clothes Discussion
- Do you like shopping? If so, why? If no, why not?
- Who do you usually like to go shopping with? Why do you like to go shopping with him/her/them?
- How do you decide what clothes to buy?
- Have you ever bought something because it was fashionable? If so, what?
- What clothes are in fashion at the moment in your country?
- What do you wear for special occasions?
- Why are most of the models on the catwalks very skinny? Do you think fashion designers should use more 'natural looking models?
- Which countries have the best and worst fashions in clothes?
- Cutting edge design
- This season's look
- Up to date
- In fashion
- Out of fashion
- Fashion conscious
- Fashion victim
- Tight fitting
- Figure hugging
- Designer fashion
- High street fashion
- Haute couture
- Cut a dash
- Look the part
- Dressed to the nines/ to kill
- Mutton dressed as lamb
- Cat walk
English Idioms Quiz - Clothing
Choose one phrase from group A and one from Group B to make a common English idiom. Then choose the correct meaning from Group C.
The first is done for you. To have ants in your pants is to be nervous or restless.
to have ants
to do something at
to hit below
to be dressed
to fit like
to say or do something
to pull something
in your pants
out of a hat
the drop of a hat
off the cuff
like a glove
be nervous or resltless
lose all or most of your money
get something as if by magic or without any effort
insult someone in an unfair way
say or do something without preparation or impulsively
wear your best, most fashionable clothes
do something without waiting, immediately
live on less money, try to live spending less money
clothing that fits perfectly
give complete attention to doing something
to have ants in your pants
- be nervous or resltless
to do something at the drop of a hat
- do something without waiting, immediately
to hit below the belt
- insult someone in an unfair way
to buckle down
- give complete attention to doing something
to be dressed to kill
- wear your best, most fashionable clothes
to fit like a glove
- clothing that fits perfectly
to lose your shirt
- lose all or most of your money
to say or do something off the cuff
- say or do something without preparation or impulsively
to pull something out of a hat
- get something as if by magic or without any effort
to tighten your belt
- live on less money, try to live spending less money