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Chatting Doesn’t Make You Happy (7th March, 2010)

Having a serious conversation with a friend can make you happier, but gossiping and general chat can make you less happy. This is what researchers found in a recent study. They investigated the types of conversations happy and unhappy people had. The research team, from the University of Arizona, reported that unhappier people talked about unimportant things and small talk. The happiest people in the tests had twice as many deep and meaningful conversations. They had a third fewer conversations about non-serious topics.

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This is an interesting study, but I’m not sure if it will change our behaviour. Everyone loves to chat – it’s one of the best things in life. If this is true, maybe people will think more about their topics of conversation. But would it be fun? Chatting about nothing is great fun. Most people also like gossip. I think if everyone started having deep conversations life would be too serious. Would it be OK to have a meaningful conversation about football? I’m very happy when I talk about sport – that makes me really happy.

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

Having a

a.

in a recent study

2

what researchers found

b.

topics

3.

small

c.

fewer conversations

4.

twice

d.

talk

5.

a third

e.

serious conversation

6.

non-serious

f.

as many

 

Paragraph 2

1.

This is an

a.

be too serious

2

change

b.

things in life

3.

one of the best

c.

about nothing

4.

Chatting

d.

interesting study

5.

life would

e.

really happy

6.

that makes me

f.

our behaviour


LISTENING GAP FILL

Having a serious conversation ___________________ make you happier, but  gossiping ___________________ make you less happy. This is what researchers ___________________ study. They investigated the types of conversations happy and unhappy people had. The research team, from the University of Arizona, ___________________ people talked about unimportant things and small talk. The happiest people in the ___________________ many deep and meaningful conversations. They ___________________ conversations about non-serious topics.

This is an interesting study, but I’m not sure ___________________ behaviour. Everyone loves to chat – it’s ___________________ things in life. If this is true, maybe people will think more about their topics of conversation. But would it be fun? Chatting about ___________________. Most people also like gossip. I think if everyone ___________________ conversations, life would be too serious. Would ___________________ a meaningful conversation about football? I’m very happy when I talk about sport ___________________ happy.


MULTIPLE CHOICE

Having a (1) ____ conversation with a friend can make you happier, but  gossiping and general chat can make you less happy. This is what researchers found in a recent (2) ____. They investigated the types of conversations happy and unhappy people had. The research team, from the University of Arizona, reported that unhappier people talked about unimportant things and (3) ____ talk. The happiest people in the tests had (4) ____ as many deep and meaningful conversations. They had a third (5) ____ conversations about non-serious topics.

This is an interesting study, but I’m not (6) ____ if it will change our behaviour. Everyone loves to chat – it’s one of the best things in life. If this is (7) ____, maybe people will think more about their topics of conversation. But would it be fun? Chatting about nothing is great (8) ____. Most people also like gossip. I think if everyone started having deep conversations, life would be (9) ____ serious. Would it be OK to have a meaningful conversation about football? I’m very happy when I talk about sport – that (10) ____ me really happy.

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

seriously

(b)

series

(c)

serious

2.

(a)

study

(b)

research

(c)

exams

3.

(a)

tiny

(b)

small

(c)

little

4.

(a)

twice

(b)

two

(c)

double

5.

(a)

less

(b)

little

(c)

fewer

6.

(a)

surely

(b)

sure

(c)

surest

7.

(a)

true

(b)

truth

(c)

truly

8.

(a)

funny

(b)

fun

(c)

funniest

9.

(a)

to

(b)

so

(c)

too

10.

(a)

takes

(b)

does

(c)

makes


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

a iseusro conversation

2.

agerlen chat

3.

This is what rrehsreesca found

4.

unimportant nihtgs

5.

etiwc as many

6.

a rthid fewer conversations

 

Paragraph 2

7.

an interesting tyusd

8.

Everyone veols to chat

9.

oscipt of conversation

10.

people also like goipss

11.

talk about osprt

12.

yarell happy


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

as many deep and meaningful conversations. They had a third fewer conversations about non-serious topics.

(    )

This is an interesting study, but I’m not sure if it will change our behaviour. Everyone loves to chat – it’s one

(    )

and unhappy people had. The research team, from the University of Arizona, reported that unhappier

(    )

deep conversations, life would be too serious. Would it be OK to have a meaningful conversation

(    )

about football? I’m very happy when I talk about sport – that makes me really happy.

(    )

you less happy. This is what researchers found in a recent study. They investigated the types of conversations happy

(    )

it be fun? Chatting about nothing is great fun. Most people also like gossip. I think if everyone started having

1  )

Having a serious conversation with a friend can make you happier, but  gossiping and general chat can make

(    )

of the best things in life. If this is true, maybe people will think more about their topics of conversation. But would

(    )

people talked about unimportant things and small talk. The happiest people in the tests had twice


THE READING / TAPESCRIPT

With a partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

friend     a     with     conversation     serious     a     Having.    

2.

a     in     found     researchers     What     study     recent.    

3.

had     Conversations     and     people     happy     unhappy.    

4.

conversations     meaningful     and     deep     many     as     Twice.    

5.

if     change     sure     will     behaviour     not     it     our     I’m.    

6.

I’m     if     change     sure     will     behaviour     not     it     our.    

7.

in     of     life     the     best     It’s     things     one.    

8.

more     Think     conversation     of     topics     their     about.    

9.

about     is     fun     Chatting     nothing     great.    

10.

talk     very     about     happy     sport     when     I     I’m.    


DISCUSSION (Write your own questions)

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________

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

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

1.

________________________________________________________

2.

________________________________________________________

3.

________________________________________________________

4.

________________________________________________________

5.

________________________________________________________

6.

________________________________________________________


WRITING

Write about chatting for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________


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. CHATTING: Search the Internet and find more information about chatting. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about chatting. Include imaginary interviews with one person who hates chatting and another who loves it. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

4. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to a gossip. Ask him/her three questions about gossiping. Give him/her three of your opinions on gossip. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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