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Loneliness Leads to High Blood Pressure (19th March, 2010)

New research shows that lonely people are more likely to have high blood pressure. Researchers from the USA found that people who feel lonely and do not connect with others may suffer from higher levels of blood pressure. They say this is especially true for people in their 50s or older. Researcher Louise Hawkley of the University of Chicago said, “loneliness behaved as though it is a unique health-risk factor”. Hawkley said even people with many friends can still feel lonely if they aren’t so happy with their relationships.

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This research is a little sad. Why do people feel so lonely today? Maybe loneliness is a modern thing. A hundred years ago, everyone lived with their family. Everyone had someone to talk to. Today, things are different. Many older people now live alone. Some old people rarely see their family. It seems everyone is too busy today to think about those who live alone. Even in countries like Japan, extended families are breaking up and older people have to live on their own. Perhaps things like Facebook can help them.

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PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article.

Paragraph 1

1.

lonely people are more likely to

a.

lonely

2

people who feel

b.

can still feel lonely

3.

higher levels

c.

factor

4.

people in

d.

have high blood pressure

5.

health-risk

e.

their 50s

6.

people with many friends

f.

of blood pressure

 

Paragraph 2

1.

Why do people feel

a.

breaking up

2

loneliness is a modern

b.

to talk to

3.

Everyone had someone

c.

on their own

4.

Some old people rarely

d.

so lonely today?

5.

extended families are

e.

see their family

6.

older people have to live

f.

thing


LISTENING GAP FILL

New research shows that lonely people _________________ have high blood pressure. Researchers from the USA found that people who feel lonely and _________________ others may suffer from higher levels of blood pressure. They say this is especially true for people _________________ older. Researcher Louise Hawkley of the University of Chicago said, “loneliness behaved as _________________ health-risk factor”. Hawkley said even people with many friends can still feel lonely if they _________________ their relationships.

This research is a little sad. Why do people _________________ today? Maybe loneliness is a modern thing. A hundred years ago, everyone _________________ family. Everyone had someone to talk to. Today, things are different. Many _________________ alone. Some old people rarely see their family. It seems everyone is _________________ think about those who live alone. Even in countries like Japan, extended families _________________ and older people _________________ their own. Perhaps things like Facebook can help them.


MULTIPLE CHOICE

New research shows that (1) ____ people are more likely to have high blood pressure. Researchers from the USA found that people who feel lonely and do not (2) ____ with others may suffer from higher levels of blood pressure. They say this is especially true (3) ____ people in their 50s or older. Researcher Louise Hawkley of the University of Chicago said, “loneliness behaved as (4) ____ it is a unique health-risk factor”. Hawkley said (5) ____ people with many friends can still feel lonely if they aren’t so happy with their relationships.

This research is a little sad. Why do people feel so lonely (6) ____? Maybe loneliness is a modern (7) ____. A hundred years ago, everyone lived with their family. Everyone had someone to talk to. Today, things are different. Many older people now live (8) ____. Some old people rarely see their family. It seems everyone is too busy today to think about those who live alone. Even in countries like Japan, (9) ____ families are breaking up and older people have to live on their own. Perhaps things (10) ____ Facebook can help them.

Put the correct words from this table into the article.

1.

(a)

alone

(b)

lonely

(c)

loneliness

2.

(a)

connect

(b)

connects

(c)

connection

3.

(a)

as

(b)

so

(c)

for

4.

(a)

through

(b)

though

(c)

thought

5.

(a)

evens

(b)

ever

(c)

even

6.

(a)

today

(b)

yesterday

(c)

tomorrow

7.

(a)

thing

(b)

kind

(c)

point

8.

(a)

lonely

(b)

loneliness

(c)

alone

9.

(a)

extension

(b)

extended

(c)

extends

10.

(a)

as

(b)

so

(c)

like


SPELLING

Spell the jumbled words (from the text) correctly.

Paragraph 1

1.

New ehrcraes

2.

do not ccennto with others

3.

this is lepecsialy true

4.

a quunie health-risk factor

5.

people with many fdresin

6.

aren’t so ppahy

 

Paragraph 2

7.

a eordmn thing

8.

A rdeudnh years ago

9.

Everyone had oeesomn

10.

things are fnfetedir

11.

everyone is too ubys

12.

families are inargkeb up


PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

of the University of Chicago said, “loneliness behaved as though it is a unique health-risk factor”. Hawkley

1  )

New research shows that lonely people are more likely to have high blood pressure. Researchers from the

(    )

of blood pressure. They say this is especially true for people in their 50s or older. Researcher Louise Hawkley

(    )

thing. A hundred years ago, everyone lived with their family. Everyone had someone to talk to. Today, things

(    )

said even people with many friends can still feel lonely if they aren’t so happy with their relationships.

(    )

are different. Many older people now live alone. Some old people rarely see their family. It seems everyone

(    )

are breaking up and older people have to live on their own. Perhaps things like Facebook can help them.

(    )

USA found that people who feel lonely and do not connect with others may suffer from higher levels

(    )

This research is a little sad. Why do people feel so lonely today? Maybe loneliness is a modern

(    )

is too busy today to think about those who live alone. Even in countries like Japan, extended families


THE READING / TAPESCRIPT

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

1.

have     blood     More     to     high     pressure     likely.

2.

from     pressure     of     higher     Suffer     blood     levels.    

3.

Especially     50s     their     in     people     for     true.    

4.

with     feel     many     lonely     friends     can     People     still.    

5.

their     with     happy     so     aren’t     They     relationships.    

6.

Why     today     lonely     so     feel     people     do?    

7.

thing     Maybe     is     modern     loneliness     a.    

8.

had     to     to     Everyone     someone     talk.    

9.

their     see     rarely     people     old     Some     family.    

10.

have     their     people     on     Older     live     to     own.    


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

3. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about loneliness. Include imaginary interviews with two people who are lonely. 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 an expert on loneliness. Ask him/her three questions about loneliness. Give him/her three of your opinions on loneliness. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Your partner will answer the questions you asked.

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