unit 4 wealth, lesson 1, reloaded

Today we’ve started over again with Student’s Book Total English Unit 4 which is about Wealth. Actually, we started the unit 4 just before January mock exam (we did exercises 7-10, pp. 50)

In Contents section, the unit is made out of three lessons. The first lesson, pp. 47-51, has Question Tags (see BBC Learning English about the subject) as Grammar, Phrasal Verbs as Vocabulary and Make Small Talk at a Party (see How to Small Talk) as Can do. We’ve made in class exercises 1-5 pp. 48-49.

First thing, we read the short text: The true story of a real fake. The text is about the true story of Frank Abagnale, a real life faker. Steven Spielberg directed a film about his life titled Catch me if you can. Frank Abagnale Jr. before his 19th birthday, successfully conned millions of dollars worth of checks as a Pan Am pilot, doctor, and legal prosecutor with no formal training.

Then we did the exercises related with that text, 1, 2, 4 and 5.


2 comentarios en “unit 4 wealth, lesson 1, reloaded

  1. The true story of a real fake


    Frank Abagnale, a good-looking American boy with more dreams than money, pretended to be first a pilot, then a doctor and then a lawyer.

    For five years he travelled the world for free, stayed in expensive hotels and had relationships wth beatifuk women. By the age of twenty-one he had tricked and cheated his way to $2.5 million.


    In the golden age fo James Bond, Abagnale really was an international man of mystery. He was wanted by the FBI and Interpol (International Police) in twenty-six countries. His good looks and gerying hair helped him, but his charm was his most important tool. He dressed well and everybody believe the stories he made up. Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays Frank Abagnale in the film “Catch me if you can” said, ‘Frank Abignale is one of the greatest actors who has walked the earth.’


    Abagnale was a lonely child. When his mother, who was French, broke up with his father, a New York shopkeeper, Abagnale had to choose which parent to live with. Instead, age sixteen, he dropped out of school, ran away from home and began his life as an international trickster. He used magnetic ink to change bank code numbers illegally. He managed to steal $40,000 of other customers’ money before the banks worked out what his was doing. He also got a Pan Am pilot’s uniform by saying that his was lost at the dry cleaner’s and that he had an urgent fly. This allowed him to stay in any hotel he wanted; Pan Am always paid the bill. He even pretended to be a doctor and worked as a hospital administrator for a year. With no formal training, he picked up the skills by reading medical books and watching other doctors at work.


    Abagnale broke the law repeatedly. He ran out of look in France, where he spent time in prison, before the FBI finally caught up with him in the USA. Despite his crimes, Abagnale never had any enemies. Joseph Shea, the FBI man who arrested him and later became his friend, said, ‘I think Frank is close to genius. What he did as a teenager is incredible. His crimes weren’t physical. There were no guns, no knives, he just used his brain. He’s charming and I admire him. I think he’s a good man and a moral character, but like anybody he wants to better himself and in his country, money is the way to do it. He makes $3 million a year and that’s a lot more than I ever made.’


    These days Abagnale doesn’t need to trick anybody: he is a successful consultant. He advises companies on security, and he also lectures –for free– at the FBI Academy. It is ironic that he has ended up working for the people who were trying to catch him fos so long! He wrote his autobiography in the 1970s and sold the film rights for $250,000. Abagnale says, ‘When I was twenty-eight I thought it would be great to have a movie about my life, but when I was twenty-eight, like when I was sixteen, I was egotistical and self-centred. We all grow up.’ That’s true. But not many people grow up like Frank Abagnale.

  2. Reading and listening

    1-c Read the text. Match the headings to the correct paragraph.

    1. Childhood and tricks ……………………….. (c)
    2. Frank today …………………………………… (e)
    3. Wanted all over the world ………………… (b)
    4. The FBI’s opinion of Frank ………………… (d)
    5. Three top jobs and five happy years …… (a)

    2-a Answer the questions.

    1. How old was Frank when he left home?
    — He was 16 at the time.
    2. What did look like?
    — He was good-looking. He had greyed hair which made him look older. He also dressed well.
    3. How did he get his first $40,000?
    — He did that by changing illegally bank code numbers with magnetic ink. (see Magnetic ink character recognition)
    4. How did he get a pilot’s uniform?
    — He said that his supposed actual uniform had been lost at the dry cleaner’s and that had an urgent flight.
    5. Who was Joseph Shea? What type of person do you think he was?
    — He was the FBI agent who arrested Frank. I think Joseph was a determined man and a good professional. He also was a reasonable man.
    6. What does Frank do now?
    — He is a successful security consultant. He advises companies on security and lectures at the FBI Academy.
    7. How does Frank feel about his past?
    — He thinks he has been egotistical and self-centred but now all that has changed and has grown up.

    In 2-b we heared a recorded faulty summary of Frank’s story. We had to find out seven differences between the spoken story and the text. I’ve found out the tapescript of the recorded summary on page 170 of Student’s book. These were the faults we found:

    1. Frank Abagnale wasn’t English as the spokeperson said. He was American.
    2. Frank, by the age of twenty-one had tricked and cheated $2.5 million, not $250 million as the spokeperson said.
    3. The spokeperson said, ‘He was wanted … in twenty-six cities.’ They were not cities. They were countries.
    4. Frank’s mother was not German. She was French.
    5. The uniform Frank got by lying, wasn’t stolen.
    6. Frank did not pretend to be a footballer, but a doctor.
    7. He didn’t play in a professional football team for a year. He worked as a hospital administrator for a year.


    4 Underline phrasal verbs in the text and put them in the correct place in the diagrams.


    a. __pick up___, learn without formal study
    b. __make up__, invent (a story, a song, a joke)
    c. __end up___, be in a particular situation after a series of events
    d. __catch up__, reach someone after a period of following/chasing
    e. __break up__, stop being together as a cuople
    f. __grow up___, become an adult


    a. __work out__, calculate
    b. __run out___, have none left, (it’s finished)
    c. __drop out__, stop going to school without finishing your studies

    5 One of the sentence endings is not posible. Which one:

    Example: He dropped out of school of (a) his exams (b) school (c) university

    1. I broke up with (a) my girlfriend (b) my relationship (c) my husband
    2. They made up (a) stories (b) an excuse (c) acting
    3. We worked out (a) what the problem was (b) the answer (c) wrong
    4. She picked up (a) Spanish very quickly (b) some information (c) a new haircut
    5. We ran out of (a) enough milk (b) money (c) things to do
    6. I caught up with (a) my studies (b) myself (c) you easily
    7. She ended up (a) living with me (b) work as a doctor (c) in Warsaw

    We got for homework: 4.3 Spend more! (Lesson 3: Grammar First Conditional with if/when/unless/as soon as; Vocabulary: opposites; Can do: write a short classified advertisement) pp. 54-56 Student’s Book.


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