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Date: Aug 26, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (2:10 - 255.1 KB - 16kbps)
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THE ARTICLE

Clothes mountains are growing higher in Europe as the textile impasse between China and the European Union shows few signs of being resolved. Talks between the two sides on garment quotas are now entering their second day. The problem is that China has already exceeded the volume of clothes it can export to the EU, under an agreement reached in June. Then, revised quotas were set on ten different categories of textile products. These quotas were quickly met as retailers ordered increasingly larger quantities of clothes. Millions of items of clothing are now stockpiled at EU ports, while frustrated store owners are worrying about Christmas supplies and empty shelves.

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson acknowledged that there was a “serious glitch” in the trade agreement’s implementation. The billion dollars of clothes stranded in limbo at European ports has angered Chinese exporters. They fear the uncertainty surrounding the standoff could have a negative impact on future trade relations between China and the EU. Fashion importers and European retailers too are exerting strong pressure on EU negotiators to review the quotas to ease the import restrictions, which are currently crippling their supplies. Conversely, EU manufacturers are worried about being overwhelmed by low-cost Chinese imports. The Chinese side is complaining about EU protectionism.

WARM-UPS

1. MADE IN CHINA: In pairs / groups, talk about your feelings towards goods that are made in China. Do you choose to buy Chinese-made goods? Do you prefer Chinese-made goods?

2. CHINESE GOODS: In pairs / groups, talk about which of the following Chinese products you would or would not buy. Would you prefer to buy similar goods from another country?

  • Clothes
  • A computer
  • Chicken
  • Beer or wine
  • A car
  • Medicine
  • Tea
  • Chocolate

3. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words are most interesting and which are most boring.

Clothes / mountains / China / quotas / clothes stores / Christmas shopping / glitches / Chinese exporters / being in limbo / fashion / low-cost Chinese imports

Have a chat about the topics you liked. For more conversation, change topics and partners frequently.

4. IMPORT: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word “import”. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

5. OPINIONS: How far do you agree with the following opinions on textile quotas and Chinese textiles?

  1. All trade quotas around the world should be abolished.
  2. Free trade is free trade. There should be no limits.
  3. Europe has a duty to protect its own textiles industry.
  4. The EU side should think about consumers, who want lower prices.
  5. Quotas seem out of synch with globalization.
  6. Europe has to accept that China is more competitive than European companies.
  7. China will get its way.
  8. European industries must change quickly and become more efficient.

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think the EU should abandon clothing quotas on Chinese textiles. Students B think the EU should keep the quotas the same. Change partners often.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

1. TRUE / FALSE: Look at the article’s headline and guess whether these sentences are true (T) or false (F):

a.

China and the EU are to produce high-tech mountain climbing gear.

T / F

b.

Talks on garment quotas are entering their second week.

T / F

c.

European retailers have already met import quotes agreed in June.

T / F

d.

European store owners are frustrated at having no clothes shelves.

T / F

e.

The EU Trade Commissioner acknowledged there was a serious glitch.

T / F

f.

There is a billion dollars of limbo dancing clothes stranded at ports.

T / F

g.

EU manufacturers fear losing out to low-cost Chinese imports.

T / F

h.

The Chinese side is complaining about EU protectionism.

T / F

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

a.

impasse

no-man’s-land

b.

resolved

discontented

c.

garment

stalemate

d.

revised

obstacle

e.

frustrated

apparel

f.

glitch

submerged

g.

limbo

impasse

h.

standoff

injuring

i.

crippling

adjusted

j.

overwhelmed

ironed out

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

a.

shows few signs

and empty shelves

b.

China has already exceeded

glitch

c.

revised quotas were

limbo at European ports

d.

Millions of items of clothing are now

set on ten different categories

e.

worrying about Christmas supplies

the volume of clothes it can export

f.

a serious

to review the quotas

g.

stranded in

of being resolved

h.

uncertainty surrounding

by low-cost Chinese imports

i.

strong pressure on EU negotiators

stockpiled at EU ports

j.

worried about being overwhelmed

the standoff

WHILE READING / LISTENING

WORD ORDER: Put the underlined words back into the correct order.

China-EU textile talks continue

Clothes mountains are growing higher in Europe as the textile impasse between China and the European Union signs being few of shows resolved. Talks between the two sides on garment quotas are now entering their second day. The problem is that China has clothes exceeded of volume already the it can export to the EU, under an agreement reached in June. Then, set on quotas were revised ten different categories of textile products. These quotas were quickly met as retailers ordered increasingly larger quantities of clothes. Millions of items of clothing are now stockpiled at EU ports, while frustrated store owners are worrying about supplies shelves and empty Christmas.

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson acknowledged that there was a “serious glitch” in implementation the agreement’s trade. The billion dollars of clothes limbo at stranded in European ports has angered Chinese exporters. They fear the uncertainty surrounding the standoff could have a negative impact on future trade relations between China and the EU. Fashion importers and European retailers too strong are pressure on exerting EU negotiators to review the quotas to ease the import restrictions, which are currently crippling their supplies. Conversely, EU manufacturers are worried about being Chinese by low-cost imports overwhelmed. The Chinese side is complaining about EU protectionism.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING


1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionaries / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘stock’ and ‘pile’.

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. WORD ORDER: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers.

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

5. STUDENT “CHINA EXPORTS” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about China and the goods it exports.

  • Ask other classmates your questions and note down their answers.
  • Go back to your original partner / group and compare your findings.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

6. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall exactly how these were used in the text:

  • mountains
  • second
  • exceeded
  • June
  • increasingly
  • shelves
  • glitch
  • limbo
  • standoff
  • exerting
  • crippling
  • complaining

DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

  1. What were your initial thoughts on this headline?
  2. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  3. What do you think of the impasse on textile quotas?
  4. What do you think of quotas?
  5. Do you think China should be allowed to export as much as it wants to Europe?
  6. What do you think of Chinese made goods?
  7. Do you think China will flood Europe with its goods?
  8. Should Europe try to protect its manufacturing industry in an age of free trade?
  9. Are you worried about empty shelves in stores at Christmas?

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What do you think about what you read?
  3. Do you think Chinese exporters have the right to be angry?
  4. Do you think this standoff will have a negative impact on EU-China trade relations?
  5. Do you think EU negotiators should think more about European retailers?
  6. Do you think China is right to complain about protectionism?
  7. What do you think will happen to the clothes mountains?
  8. Have you ever experienced a serious glitch in something you’ve done?
  9. Did you like this discussion?

AFTER DISCUSSION: Join another partner / group and tell them what you talked about.

  1. What question would you like to ask about this topic?
  2. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  3. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  4. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  5. What did you like talking about?
  6. Do you want to know how anyone else answered the questions?
  7. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

ROLE PLAY: This role play is to discuss whether or not the European Union should accept more Chinese imports. Team up with classmates who have been assigned the same role as you. Develop your roles and discuss ideas and “strategies” before the role play begins.

Introduce yourself to the other role players.

Role A – Chinese side

You think the European Union should have no quotas on textiles. Today’s world is all about free trade. European retailers have ordered Chinese goods. EU officials should not prevent them from reaching the consumer.

THINK OF MORE REASONS WHY THERE SHOULD BE NO QUOTAS.

Role B – European side

You must protect European manufacturers from cheap Chinese products. You think European made goods are better quality. Quotas are within international trading laws.

THINK OF MORE REASONS WHY QUOTAS ARE NECESSARY.

Role C – European retailer

You don’t understand the European negotiators. They are badly hurting your operations and your profits. The busy Christmas period is coming soon and you desperately need the clothes that are stockpiled in ports.

THINK OF MORE REASONS WHY QUOTAS ARE BAD.

Role D – European clothing manufacturer

You don’t care about free trade. You think the EU has a duty to protect European manufacturers. Millions of jobs could be lost if the cheap Chinese products are allowed into Europe.

THINK OF MORE REASONS WHY QUOTAS ARE NECESSARY.

Change roles and repeat the role play. Comment in groups about the differences between the two role plays.

In pairs / groups, discuss whether you really believe in what you said while you were in your roles.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

China-EU textile talks continue

Clothes mountains are growing higher in Europe as the textile ________ between China and the European Union shows few signs of being ________. Talks between the two sides on garment quotas are now entering their second day. The problem is that China has already ________ the volume of clothes it can export to the EU, under an agreement reached in June. Then, ________ quotas were set on ten different categories of textile products. These quotas were ________ ____ as retailers ordered increasingly larger quantities of clothes. Millions of items of clothing are now ___________ at EU ports, while frustrated store owners are worrying about Christmas supplies and empty shelves.

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson ______________ that there was a “serious _______” in the trade agreement’s implementation. The billion dollars of clothes stranded in _______ at European ports has angered Chinese exporters. They fear the uncertainty surrounding the _______ could have a negative impact on future trade relations between China and the EU. Fashion importers and European retailers too are _______ strong pressure on EU negotiators to review the quotas to _______ the import restrictions, which are currently _______ their supplies. Conversely, EU manufacturers are worried about being overwhelmed by low-cost Chinese imports. The Chinese side is complaining about EU ______________.

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 more information on the standoff between the EU and China. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. LETTER: Write a letter to the EU Trade Commissioner. Tell him what you think of his reluctance to increase textile quotas and allow more Chinese imports into Europe. Read your letters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all write about similar things?

4. FREE TRADE: Write a short essay on free trade. Do you think there should be quota systems between different countries or for certain products? Tell your classmates the main points of your essay in your next lesson. Did you all have similar views?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. T

f. F

g. T

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

impasse

stalemate

b.

resolved

ironed out

c.

garment

apparel

d.

revised

adjusted

e.

frustrated

discontented

f.

glitch

obstacle

g.

limbo

no-man’s-land

h.

standoff

impasse

i.

crippling

injuring

j.

overwhelmed

submerged

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

shows few signs

of being resolved

b.

China has already exceeded

the volume of clothes it can export

c.

revised quotas were

set on ten different categories

d.

Millions of items of clothing are now

stockpiled at EU ports

e.

worrying about Christmas supplies

and empty shelves

f.

a serious

glitch

g.

stranded in

limbo at European ports

h.

uncertainty surrounding

the standoff

i.

strong pressure on EU negotiators

to review the quotas

j.

worried about being overwhelmed

by low-cost Chinese imports

WORD ORDER:

China-EU textile talks continue

Clothes mountains are growing higher in Europe as the textile impasse between China and the European Union shows few signs of being resolved. Talks between the two sides on garment quotas are now entering their second day. The problem is that China has already exceeded the volume of clothes it can export to the EU, under an agreement reached in June. Then, revised quotas were set on ten different categories of textile products. These quotas were quickly met as retailers ordered increasingly larger quantities of clothes. Millions of items of clothing are now stockpiled at EU ports, while frustrated store owners are worrying about Christmas supplies and empty shelves.

EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson acknowledged that there was a “serious glitch” in the trade agreement’s implementation. The billion dollars of clothes stranded in limbo at European ports has angered Chinese exporters. They fear the uncertainty surrounding the standoff could have a negative impact on future trade relations between China and the EU. Fashion importers and European retailers too are exerting strong pressure on EU negotiators to review the quotas to ease the import restrictions, which are currently crippling their supplies. Conversely, EU manufacturers are worried about being overwhelmed by low-cost Chinese imports. The Chinese side is complaining about EU protectionism.

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