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  • Wanted: Wedding Guests! Upper-Intermediate - Listening

    Heads Up English - 1

    www.headsupenglish.com

    the ARTICLE (for teachers)

    Wanted: Wedding Guests!

    In a sharing economy, people rent out goods, services, and expertise, and the trend has grown in recent years.

    Many of the successful companies begin in the US, but soon expand around the world. After all, there are

    resources everywhere, and everyone wants to earn more cash if they can fulfill a need.

    Airbnb is one recognizable example. People rent out their homes or spare rooms to vacationers on a nightly,

    weekly, or even monthly basis. Uber, which is an Internet taxi service, is also very popular, and anyone with a

    car, accident insurance, and a driver's license can become a taxi driver or chauffeur. There's Elance too, where

    professionals can freelance their skills as a writer, web designer, translator, accountant, and so on. However,

    perhaps one of the more unique examples of the sharing economy comes from South Korea, where weddings

    hire fake friends to attend the ceremony.

    It might seem that hiring fake friends on such an important occasion is inconceivable. Weddings are a big deal

    in South Korea, though. There is a lot of pomp in the ceremony, such as musical numbers, skits, and several

    hundred guests in attendance. According to Korean tradition, the immediate family, extended family, and family

    friends must all be invited. As such, it can be a problem if, for example, the groom has two hundred guests and

    the bride has only fifty guests. In order to save face, the solution is to hire actors.

    Fake guests get reimbursed roughly $20 per ceremony, and the actors might attend several weddings in one

    day during the busy season. The service that offers wedding guests contains a database of 20,000 actors, and

    these people can also be hired as fake bosses, office employees, family members, spouses, and even

    mistresses.

    Teacher's Notes:

    * Underlined words in red typeface are the answers.

  • Wanted: Wedding Guests! Upper-Intermediate - Listening

    Heads Up English - 2

    www.headsupenglish.com

    the Article (for students)

    Listen and fill in the missing sentences. Compare your answers with a partner, and

    then listen once more.

    Wanted: Wedding Guests!

    a) _______________________________________________________, and the trend has grown in recent

    years. Many of the successful companies begin in the US, but soon expand around the world. After all, there

    are resources everywhere, and everyone wants to earn more cash if they can fulfill a need.

    Airbnb is one recognizable example. People rent out their homes or spare rooms to vacationers on a nightly,

    weekly, or even monthly basis. Uber, which is an Internet taxi service, is also very popular, and anyone with a

    car, accident insurance, and a driver's license can become a taxi driver or chauffeur. There's Elance too, where

    professionals can freelance their skills as a writer, web designer, translator, accountant, and so on. However,

    b) _______________________________________________________, where weddings hire fake friends to

    attend the ceremony.

    c) _______________________________________________________. Weddings are a big deal in South

    Korea, though. There is a lot of pomp in the ceremony, such as musical numbers, skits, and several hundred

    guests in attendance. According to Korean tradition, the immediate family, extended family, and family friends

    must all be invited. As such, it can be a problem if, for example, the groom has two hundred guests and the

    bride has only fifty guests. d) _______________________________________________________, the solution

    is to hire actors.

    Fake guests get reimbursed roughly $20 per ceremony, e) _________________________________________

    ______________. The service that offers wedding guests contains a database of 20,000 actors, and these

    people can also be hired as fake bosses, office employees, family members, spouses, and even mistresses.

    Notes:

  • Wanted: Wedding Guests! Upper-Intermediate - Listening

    Heads Up English - 3

    www.headsupenglish.com

    STEP ONE

    Discuss: Do you agree or disagree? Why?

    a. Honesty is very important.

    b. People should be honest no matter the consequences.

    c. I might lie to avoid being embarrassed.

    d. A wedding is the most important day in anyone's life.

    e. I might go to a wedding, even if I weren't invited.

    STEP TWO

    Questions: Read as much of the article as you can in two minutes. Guess the answers to the questions below,

    then listen to your teacher read the article. Try to confirm your answers.

    a. What is a sharing economy?

    b. What are some examples of the sharing economy?

    c. What is the unusual example of the sharing economy given about South Korea in this article?

    d. According to the article, what is a wedding like in South Korea?

    e. Why would a wedding ceremony need fake guests?

    STEP THREE

    Fill in the Blanks: Listen to your teacher read the article again. Fill in the blanks with the missing words.

    STEP FOUR

    Summarize: Work with a partner to summarize the article in your own words.

    STEP FIVE

    Discuss: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

    a. What was your general impression after reading this article?

    b. How would you feel about hiring fake guests to attend a wedding or another important event?

    c. How would you feel about working as a fake guest to attend a wedding or another important event?

    d. What do you know about the sharing economy and companies like Airbnb and Uber? Please explain.

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