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TM

Innovation in Learning

GENERAL ENGLISH

Pet benefits
Lesson code: MRGQ-4PKB-8CE7-H

INTERMEDIATE +

1 Warm-up
Do you own a pet? Why/why not?

2 Key words
Complete the definitions with the words below:
confide
recover

immune system
self-esteem

1. A

isolation
stroke

playmate
well-being

is a friend who a child often plays with.

2. If you

a dog, you move your hand over its head.

3. If you have a feeling of

, you feel lonely.


, you have confidence in yourself and believe in your qualities and

4. If you have high


abilities.
5. If you
sadness.

, you become healthy or happy again after an illness, injury, or period of

6. If you
else.

in somebody, you tell them a secret and you trust that they won't tell anyone

7. If you have a strong

, your body is able to fight against diseases.

8. If something is good for your

, it makes you happy, healthy and comfortable.

3 Reading
Read the article about the benefits of having a pet and find answers to the questions below.
1. How does stroking a pet relieve stress?
2. What evidence mentioned in the article suggests that pets can help people recover from serious
illnesses?
3. Which group of people benefits the most from pets?
4. How do pets benefit children with emotional problems?
5. How can pets educate children?
6. How do pets prevent children from developing medical problems?

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7. How can animals be dangerous to our health?

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Pet benefits
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Innovation in Learning

GENERAL ENGLISH

The health benefits of having a pet


All age groups can benefit physically and psychologically, but children could have
the greatest advantages. For many kids, the pet represents a source of security,
as well as a playmate.
1 Scientific research on human-animal relationships supports the belief that animals offer us many
benefits, including a wide range of physical and psychological health benefits. For example, the action
of stroking a pet or watching fish swimming in an aquarium can relieve stress by temporarily lowering
heart-rate and blood pressure.
2 Different studies have shown that pet owners are healthier than non-owners. In general, they make
fewer trips to the doctors every year, and, when they become ill, they suffer from fewer serious
illnesses. Owning a pet, especially a dog, can also increase our chances of recovering from serious
health problems. Indeed, one American study found that dog owners were 8.6 times more likely to still
be alive one year after a heart attack than people who didn't own a dog!
3 Psychologically, pets can reduce our feelings of isolation and depression, and increase feelings of
self-esteem.
4 While all age-groups can benefit from owing a pet, children could have the greatest advantages. For
many kids, a pet is a source of security and a channel for discussing their fears and worries. This may
be helpful to children who are suffering emotionally because of family problems.
5 One recent study from Cambridge has found that these children actually confide more in their pets than
their siblings and suggests that the relationship between young people and their pets may be more
complex than we think.
6 Pets can also educate children, helping them learn about life and death and teaching them the important
life skills of taking responsibility, time management and sharing. In addition, pet ownership may also
play a role in character development. Some studies, for instance, have reported that children who
grow up with pets are more caring as adults.
7 According to some medical studies, children who live with pets have a smaller chance of developing
medical problems like asthma, ear infections and allergies. This is possibly a result of changes to the
child's immune system.
8 However, it must be remembered that animals can be dangerous to human health. They spread
disease, give people allergies, bite and can cause psychological trauma. Pets should certainly not be
regarded as a perfect pill for treating health problems. But if they are used in the correct way and
with the right people, animals can improve our well-being and quality of lives, particularly the lives of
children.

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Adapted from The Independent, 13 May 2015, by Deborah Wells

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lingua house

Pet benefits

Innovation in Learning

TM

GENERAL ENGLISH

4 Find the words


Find a word or phrase in the text which means...
1. for a short, limited period of time (adverb, P1)
2. brothers or sisters (plural noun, P5)
3. showing kindness and concern for other people (adjective, P6)
4. become an adult (phrasal verb, P6)
5. an illness that makes it difficult to breathe (noun, P7)

5 Health collocations
Complete the questions with the verbs below:
improve

make

recover

1. What activities can help to

spread

stress?
more trips to the doctor than other people?

2. Why do some people


3. What can help people to
4. What can

relieve

from an illness such as the flu?


people's well-being?

5. What situations can

disease?

In pairs, ask and answer the questions.

6 Talking point
Discuss any of the questions below.
1. Do you agree with the article?
2. Is it popular to have a pet in your country?
3. Do you think it's ethical to have pets?

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4. What kind of animals should not be kept as pets?

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lingua house

Pet benefits

Innovation in Learning

TM

GENERAL ENGLISH

7 Developing an argument
The following underlined expressions from the text are used to develop an argument. Put them into
the appropriate categories below the box.

In general, they make fewer trips to the doctors every year ...
In addition, pet ownership may also play a role in character development.
For example, the action of stroking a pet or watching fish swimming in an aquarium can ...
Some studies, for instance, have reported that children who grow up with pets are more caring as
adults.
Owning a pet, especially a dog, can also increase our chances of recovering from serious health
problems. Indeed, one American study found that ...
However, it must be remembered that animals can be dangerous to human health.
But if they are used in the correct way and with the right people, animals can ...

Talking in general:
Giving an example:
Making a contrast:
Giving or adding another point:
Giving a supporting point:

Indeed

Add the following expressions to the categories above:


On the whole,

Furthermore, (FORMAL)

On top of that, (INFORMAL)

On the other hand,

8 Discussion
Discuss any of the topics below. You have one minute to make notes and 1-2 minutes to talk. Discuss
the benefits and drawbacks of ...
1. using social media websites
2. mobile phones/cellphones
3. drinking coffee
4. living in a large city
5. living in the countryside
6. using public transport

4/4

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Review your flashcards at least 3-5 times a week for 20 minutes to keep the material fresh in your memory.

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Try to develop your arguments and connect your ideas.

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lingua house

Pet benefits - Key


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Innovation in Learning

GENERAL ENGLISH

2- Key words

1. playmate
5. recover

2. stroke
6. confide

3. isolation
7. immune system

4. self-esteem
8. well-being

3- Reading
Go through the questions and check understanding of the vocabulary.

1. It lowers heart-rate and blood pressure.


2. A survey showed that dog owners were 8.6 times more likely to still be alive one year after a heart
attack than people who didn't own a dog
3. children
4. Children can confide in their pets.
5. They learn about life and death, taking responsibility, time management and sharing.
6. Their immune system is changed.
7. They spread disease, give people allergies, bite and can cause psychological trauma.
4- Find the words

1. temporarily 2. siblings

3. caring

4. grow up

5. asthma

5- Health collocations

1. relieve

2. make

3. recover

4. improve

5. spread

6- Talking point
Encourage a discussion on pets. Feel free to invent your own questions.
7- Developing an argument
This exercise will prepare students to discuss any topic at length. Give further examples of the connectors and
how they are used to develop an argument.

Talking in general: In general; On the whole


Giving an example: for example; for instance
Making a contrast: however; but; on the other hand;
Giving or adding another point: in addition; furthermore; on top of that

8- Discussion

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Review your flashcards at least 3-5 times a week for 20 minutes to keep the material fresh in your memory.

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You can review this worksheet online at www.linguahouse.com/ex

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Students take turns to discuss each topic. They have one minute to take notes but they should avoid writing full
sentences. Encourage them to develop their arguments using expressions from this lesson and any other useful
connecting words and phrases. Their partners can listen and ask further questions at the end. Alternatively you can
set this exercise as a written activity for homework.

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