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Date: April 26, 2005
Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)
Downloads: This Lesson (Word Doc) | Class Handout (Word Doc) | Class Handout (PDF)

Listening (1:31 - 178.2 KB - 16kbps)

THE ARTICLE

Japan’s Emperor Akihito has attempted to clarify his feelings regarding his citizens’ allegiance to their national anthem and flag. Journalists have constantly, but carefully, tried to extract the Emperor’s opinions on this issue that has stirred a lot of emotion of late. Japan’s national symbols have been the centre of a patriotic controversy this past year, with many schools forcing students and teachers to face the “Hinomaru” flag and sing the “Kimigayo” anthem. Almost 300 teachers have been punished in the past twelve months for refusing to stand and sing the anthem in their schools.

The Emperor had previously asserted that students and teachers should not be forced to face the flag and sing. He relayed his latest thoughts on the issue yesterday: “All nations of the world have national flags and anthems and I believe that it is important for schools to teach students to respect them”. He intimated that any acts of loyalty to flag and anthem should be voluntary, as in an Olympic Games competitor singing their anthem or holding their flag: “Regarding the national anthem and national flag, it is best if individual citizens think about the matter themselves.”

WARM UPS

1. CHAT: Talk in pairs or groups about: Emperor Akihito / national anthem / flags / national symbols / Olympic Games… For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

2. NATIONAL ANTHEM: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with national anthems. Share your words with your partner / group and talk about them.

3. FLAG QUIZ: Match the (nick)names of these flags to their countries:

The Cedar Tree
Five Stars Red Flag
Tricolore
Hinomaru
Union Jack
Maple Leaf
Stars and Stripes
The Hammer and Sickle
The Southern Cross
Star of David

Ex-Soviet Union
Australia / New Zealand
United Kingdom
China
France
United States of America
Israel
Lebanon
Japan
Canada

How does each of these flags make you feel?

How does your own flag make you feel?

4. NATIONAL ANTHEM QUIZ: Match these national anthems (some translated into English) to their countries:

La Marseillaise
The Star-Spangled Banner
My Golden Bengal
Land of Mountains, Land on the River
Kimigayo
The Hope
The Thunder Dragon Kingdom
God Save the Queen
Ode "to Joy"
God Bless the Sultan
Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People

Europe
UK and the Commonwealth
Bhutan
Israel
France
Austria
Japan
India
Brunei
Bangladesh
USA

Can you sing or hum any of these anthems? How do they, or other national anthems, make you feel?

How does your own national anthem make you feel?


 
 

PRE-READING IDEAS

1. WORD SEARCH: Use your dictionary / computer to find word partners (collocates), other meanings, synonyms or more information on the words ‘national’ and ‘anthem’.

2. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true or false:

  1. Japan’s Emperor refuses to comment on his national flag or anthem.  T / F
  2. Journalists have carefully tried to get the Emperor’s opinions on this issue.  T / F
  3. Schools in Japan do not sing the national anthem.  T / F
  4. Hundreds of teachers were punished for not singing the anthem.  T / F
  5. The Emperor has said students and teachers should face the flag and sing.  T / F
  6. He said acts of loyalty to flag and anthem should be voluntary.  T / F
  7. He said the duty of Olympics Games competitors is to hold their flag.  T / F
  8. His conclusion was that allegiance to flag and anthem is a personal affair.  T / F

3. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article:

a.

clarify

whipped up

b.

allegiance

free-willed

c.

extract

aired

d.

stirred

pry out

e.

patriotic

spell out

f.

intimated

shows

g.

relayed

contemplate

h.

acts

jingoistic

i.

voluntary

suggested

j.

think about

obedience

4. PHRASE MATCH: Match the following phrases from the article (sometimes more than one combination is possible):

a.

attempted to

symbols

b.

citizens’ allegiance

the flag and sing

c.

extract the

twelve months

d.

national

Emperor’s opinions

e.

in the past twelve

clarify

f.

had previously

citizens

g.

face

his latest thoughts

h.

He relayed

intimated

i.

acts

to their national anthem and flag

j.

individual

of loyalty

 

WHILE READING ACTIVITIES

1. GAP-FILL: Put the words on the right into the correct gaps.

Japanese Emperor and anthem

Japan’s Emperor Akihito has __________ to clarify his feelings regarding his citizens’ __________ to their national anthem and flag. Journalists have constantly, but carefully, tried to __________ the Emperor’s opinions on this issue that has stirred a lot of emotion of late. Japan’s national symbols have been the centre of a patriotic controversy this past year, with many schools __________ students and teachers to face the “Hinomaru” flag and sing the “Kimigayo” anthem. Almost 300 teachers have been __________ in the past twelve months for __________ to stand and sing the anthem in their schools.

 

 

forcing
refusing
allegiance
punished
attempted
extract

The Emperor had __________ intimated that students and teachers should not be forced to face the flag and sing. He __________ his latest thoughts on the issue yesterday: “All nations of the world have national flags and anthems and I believe that it is important for schools to teach students to __________ them”. He said that any acts of __________ to flag and anthem should be __________, as in an Olympic Games competitor singing their anthem or holding their flag: “Regarding the national anthem and national flag, it is best if __________ citizens think about the matter themselves.”

 

relayed
loyalty
individual
voluntary
previously
respect

 

2. TRUE/FALSE: Check your answers to the T/F exercise.

3. SYNONYM MATCH: Check your answers to this exercise.

4. PHRASE MATCH: Check your answers to this exercise.

5. QUESTIONS: Make notes for questions you would like to ask the class about the article.

6. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.


 
 

POST READING IDEAS

1. GAP FILL: Check your answers to this exercise.

2. QUESTIONS: Ask the discussion questions you thought of above to your partner / group / class. Pool the questions for everyone to share.

3. VOCABULARY: As a class, go over the vocabulary students circled above.

4. STUDENT ANTHEM SURVEY: In pairs/groups write down questions about national anthems, or on the article. Ask other classmates your questions and report back to your original partner/ group to compare your findings.

5. ‘NATIONAL’ / ‘ANTHEM’: Make questions based on your findings from pre-reading activity #1. Ask your partner / group your questions.

6. DISCUSSION:

  1. What did you think of this article?
  2. Do you agree with what the Japanese Emperor said?
  3. Should the national anthem be sung in schools?
  4. Should the national anthem be sung in other public places, like cinemas?
  5. Is having a national anthem important?
  6. Do you know the words or meaning to your national anthem?
  7. Do you feel patriotic when you hear your national anthem?
  8. Are there other national anthems you like or hate?
  9. How do you feel when you hear your national anthem at the Olympics?
  10. What do you think of your national flag?
  11. Do you know the history of your flag and the reasons behind its design?
  12. Are you proud of your flag?
  13. Do you have your flag on any of your possessions?
  14. How would you feel if you saw foreigners burning your flag?
  15. Are there other national flags you like or hate?
  16. Are national anthems and flags dangerous?
  17. Did you like this discussion?
  18. Teacher / Student additional questions.

7. NATIONAL STUFF: Complete the following table for your country and talk about what you wrote with your partner. Are the things you wrote positive or accurate representations of your country?

NATIONAL…

Thing or comment

anthem

 

flag

 

flower

 

dish / food

 

dress

 

hero

 

gallery

 

university

 

health system

 

security

 

8. WORLD FLAG COMMITTEE: Pairs / Groups – You are responsible for designing the new flag for the world, just in case we are visited by aliens. Decide together on the shape, colours, symbols etc. Present your flags to the rest of the class explaining the different choices behind the design. Vote on the best flag.

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find information on your national anthem. Share your findings with your class next lesson.

3. WORLD ANTHEM: Write the words to a world anthem (just in case aliens come to visit). Show your world anthem to your classmates in your next lesson.

4. MY FLAG: Write a story about a time you felt particularly proud of your flag. Read your story to your classmates in your next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

  1. Japan’s Emperor refuses to comment on his national flag or anthem.  F
  2. Journalists have carefully tried to get the Emperor’s opinions on this issue.  T
  3. Schools in Japan do not sing the national anthem.  F
  4. Hundreds of teachers were punished for not singing the anthem.  F
  5. The Emperor has said students and teachers should face the flag and sing.  F
  6. He said acts of loyalty to flag and anthem should be voluntary.  T
  7. He said the duty of Olympics Games competitors is to hold their flag.  F
  8. His conclusion was that allegiance to flag and anthem is a personal affair.  T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

clarify

spell out

b.

allegiance

obedience

c.

extract

pry out

d.

stirred

whipped up

e.

patriotic

jingoistic

f.

intimated

suggested

g.

relayed

aired

h.

acts

shows

i.

voluntary

free-willed

j.

think about

contemplate

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

attempted to

clarify

b.

citizens’ allegiance

to their national anthem and flag

c.

extract the

Emperor’s opinions

d.

national

symbols

e.

in the past

twelve months

f.

had previously

intimated

g.

face

the flag and sing

h.

He relayed

his latest thoughts

i.

acts

of loyalty

j.

individual

citizens

 

FLAG QUIZ:

The Cedar Tree

Five Stars Red Flag

Tricolore

Hinomaru

Union Jack

Maple Leaf

Stars and Stripes

The Hammer and Sickle

The Southern Cross

Star of David

Lebanon

China

France

Japan

United Kingdom

Canada

United States of America

Ex-Soviet Union

Australia / New Zealand

Israel

NATIONAL ANTHEM QUIZ:

La Marseillaise

The Star-Spangled Banner

My Golden Bengal

Land of Mountains, Land on the River

Kimigayo

The Hope

The Thunder Dragon Kingdom

God Save the Queen

Ode "to Joy"

God Bless the Sultan

Thou Art the Ruler of the Minds of All People

France

USA

Bangladesh

Austria

Japan

Israel

Bhutan

UK and the Commonwealth

Europe

Brunei

India

 

GAP FILL:

Japanese Emperor and anthem

Japan’s Emperor Akihito has attempted to clarify his feelings regarding his citizens’ allegiance to their national anthem and flag. Journalists have constantly, but carefully, tried to extract the Emperor’s opinions on this issue that has stirred a lot of emotion of late. Japan’s national symbols have been the centre of a patriotic controversy this past year, with many schools forcing students and teachers to face the “Hinomaru” flag and sing the “Kimigayo” anthem. Almost 300 teachers have been punished in the past twelve months for refusing to stand and sing the anthem in their schools.

The Emperor had previously intimated that students and teachers should not be forced to face the flag and sing. He relayed his latest thoughts on the issue yesterday: “All nations of the world have national flags and anthems and I believe that it is important for schools to teach students to respect them”. He said that any acts of loyalty to flag and anthem should be voluntary, as in an Olympic Games competitor singing their anthem or holding their flag: “Regarding the national anthem and national flag, it is best if individual citizens think about the matter themselves.”



 
 


 
 

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