IELTS|Adults|Advanced|Unit 4|2. Fame and the media. Media bias

1. Look at the opinions and decide which ones you agree or disagree with.

  1. Reality TV shows are not very entertaining.
  2. Reality TV shows are as popular now as ten years ago.
  3. The main reason people take part in reality TV shows is because they want to be famous.
  4. Newspapers increase public enthusiasm for reality TV shows.
  5. Some reporters go too far when they pursue famous people.

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Vocabulary note

Infamous means famous for doing something bad, e.g. Ronnie Biggs, the infamous train robber, died in 2001.

Celebrity is used to refer to famous people: They invited a celebrity along to open the event.

The paparazzi are the photographers who follow celebrities around.

2. Now listen to a conversation between Paul and Vickie

pic2_IELTS|U4|L2

Vickie: Hi, Paul. How are you?

Paul: Hi, Vickie. I’m fine, just a bit tired. I stayed up late last night watching that new reality IV show. It’s a bit like Big Brother.

Vickie: Oh, you didn’t watch that rubbish, did you? It’s just a bunch of people, stuck in a house, doing nothing!

Paul: No, it isn’t I love it.

Vickie: I have to admit that I did use to like that kind of thing when it was new. It’s strange to think people are still watching the same shows a decade on.

Paul: Well, actually, it’s still pretty much a worldwide phenomenon.

Vickie: Well, I can t say it’s a phenomenon that I like very much. It seems to me that those shows just feed this insatiable appetite everyone seems to have for media attention.

Paul: You’re probably right there. I mean, you wouldn’t sign up for those shows if you didn’t want to be in the public eye.

Vickie: That’s right. Everyone seems to want to be a celebrity these days.

Paul: And the media encourage that, in a way, because once those shows start, the people in them are always in the headlines. Vickie: I know, and it just increases the hype around the show and turns these ordinary people into instant celebrities. They become famous overnight.But I suppose there’s a lot of demand for gossip about celebrities these days, especially in the tabloid press. I guess all the media is doing is supplying that demand.

Vickie: But some journalists go to ridiculous lengths to get their story.

Paul: I agree with you there, but I think you’re talking more about the paparazzi than serious journalists.

Vickie: Yeah, they can create really dangerous situations just trying to get a photograph of whoever’s making headlines at the moment.

Paul: I know, it’s all a bit silly when you realise they’re only doing it to fill the gossip columns.

Vickie: But I don’t want to read about these nobodies whose chief claim to fame is that they were on a reality TV show. I want to read about people with real talent who’ve actually earned their fame because they are different from the rest of us.

Paul: Hmm, that doesn’t bother me so much. Maybe we need to rethink what fame is!


And decide whether the opinions in 1 apply to …

  1. Reality TV shows are not very entertaining.
  2. Reality TV shows are as popular now as ten years ago.
  3. The main reason people take part in reality TV shows is because they want to be famous.
  4. Newspapers increase public enthusiasm for reality TV shows.
  5. Some reporters go too far when they pursue famous people.

A Paul

В Vickie

C both Paul and Vickie



3. Look at the words and phrases in the box associated with fame and use a dictionary to check the meaning of any you don’t know. Then listen again. Which ones do the speakers use?

shoot to fame worldwide phenomenon media attention in the public eye high-profile in the headlines instant celebrities world famous become famous overnight
tabloid press paparazzi prominent eminent making headlines gossip columns new found fame chief claim to fame earn fame

4. Which part of the media are the following words associated with? Put them into the correct column. Some words belong in both columns.

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article reporter broadcaster viewer reader series print publication listener tabloid gossip column
episode publisher screen the press headlines journalist online edition rolling news live stream programme

ERROR WARNING!

We use the preposition for with the word famous: New Orleans is famous for its music.

NOT famous with / famous on.

Famous describes something that is well known by many people: The Eiffel Tower is a famous building in Pans.

We use popular to refer to things that are liked or used by a lot of people: The train is the most popular form of transport in my home town.

NOT the most famous form of transport.



5. Which of the verbs in the box are used to say that something is not certain or in doubt, and which are used to say that something is true or a fact?

disagree question state debate cite contest challenge declare dispute

Choose the correct answers (you can click on several words).


6. Complete the following sentences with the words in the box.

pic3_IELTS|U4|L2


  • What is the media?
  • Do you think the media have too much power?
  • What are the good and bad things about the media in your country?
  • Do you always believe the media?
  • What countries do you think have very good media and which have not so good media?
  • Is it a good idea for a country’s media to be controlled by the government?

Social Issues

  • What are the biggest social issues affecting your country today?
  • Is your government good at dealing with and tackling social issues?
  • Which social issues affect the whole world?
  • Do social issues ever affect rich people, or are they simply poor people’s problems?
  • What social issues has the Internet created? How is your society dealing with these?
  • What new social issues do you think will arise in the future?

Choose the correct options to complete the dialogue.

1. Choose the answer that best fits each space.

Some people believe that children can be better educated by being taught at home rather than by attending lessons at school. To what extent do you agree with this idea?

Education is now generally regarded as a basic human . In most countries, children from 5-11 receive primary school education, and in others, they also receive secondary education during their . However, there are some children who are to go to school but whose parents prefer to homeschool them. In some countries this is a growing . In this essay I will explore the reasons for this and the advantages of both approaches. First of all, in education, pupils not only gain knowledge in a range of academic subjects, but they also learn valuable social such as cooperation and team work, which can be used in their adult life. Secondly, staff have acquired and team work, which can be used in their adult life. Secondly, staff have acquired which means they can use effective teaching . They can also set benchmarks; in other words, they know exactly what children at different ages should be able to . Home schooling, on the other hand, can allow a child to receive attention, develop at their own pace and also concentrate more as they will not have to deal with fellow students. Another point in favour of home schooling is that more lessons may involve e-learning and the use of media. Continuous innovation in education is providing students with many learning options. If an option helps students to be , it should not be ruled out.


 


2. Choose and write the answer that best fits each space.


3. Choose the two words in italics which are similar in meaning.

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4. Change the form of the words in bold to complete the sentences.

Improve your Vocabulary: Learn 16 new social, political, and internet words


Test your understanding of the English lesson by answering these questions.


IELTS Writing: The 3 Essay Types


Test your understanding of the English lesson by answering these questions.

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