Warm Up

Helpful Words and Phrases

Listen and repeat.

  1. thanks to (something/someone)
    • ex. Thanks to help from my parents, we were able to buy our first house.
    • ex. The magician got in the box and then vanished!
    • ex. We’ve decided to have our wedding ceremony at a church and the reception at a local restaurant.
  2. pose as (something/someone)
    • ex. Wow, you can pay people to pose as your boyfriend or girlfriend at family events.
  3. sentence to (something)
    • ex. The man was sentenced to three months in jail for attacking his neighbor.


Read the article below and answer your tutor's questions.

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Thanks to help from their community, a British couple’s special day was saved. Jason and Nicky Asquith-Thorpe said that they had paid their wedding planner, Dana Twidale, almost £3,000 (about ¥450,000) for an event space, tables, chairs, and food for 100 guests. Two days before the wedding, though, they discovered that Twidale had canceled all their reservations and vanished with their money.

A friend of the couple called a local radio station to share their story. A local events planning company provided free decorations, and Nicky’s coworkers paid for a DJ. The local soccer club also offered its bar for the reception. Jason said they were very thankful for everyone’s help, and Nicky added that the experience was stressful but amazing.

Twidale stole more than £15,000 (about ¥2.3 million) from 24 couples by posing as a wedding planner. She used the money to gamble and take a one-month vacation to Spain. Twidale was arrested when she returned to the UK and sentenced to five years in jail. Another couple that she stole money from described her as “heartless.”


Choose a topic and discuss the questions with your tutor.


  • Twidale was sentenced to five years in jail. Do you think that's a fair punishment for her scam? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Some people feel that Twidale's "heartless" scam was worse than other scams because she ruined people's special days. Do you agree? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, why do some people scam others (ex. they really need money, they think that they can escape)? Discuss.


  • Imagine that your wedding planner canceled all your reservations and vanished with your money two days before the wedding. What will you do (ex. cancel the wedding, ask friends for help)? Why? Discuss.
  • In your opinion, who should pay for weddings (ex. the bride and groom, the guests)? Why? Discuss.
  • Which do you think are better, big weddings or small weddings? Why? Discuss.