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Date: Sep 14, 2005

Level: Harder (Try the easier lesson.)

Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening

Audio: (2:02 - 239.6 KB - 16kbps)
 
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THE ARTICLE

Britain’s finance minister Gordon Brown has called upon OPEC to increase the supply of oil and invest more in opening new refineries. In Britain, soaring oil prices are causing panic buying and motorists and trucking companies are planning demonstrations in protest over the price of fuel. There are also signs that record-level prices are starting to curb global economic growth. Mr. Brown stressed the need for the implementation of a number of urgent measures to deal with the cause of inflated oil prices and the fact that demand for oil was outstripping supply. He said: “The first action we must take is to tackle the cause of the problem, ensuring concerted global action is taken to bring down world oil prices and stabilize the market for the long term.”

Mr. Brown also stressed the need for alternative sources of energy “to ensure both the maintenance of economic growth and tackling climate change”. He added there was a need to prevent the world economy from being at the mercy of mercenary oil-producing countries and to reduce uncertainty. He warned: “Lack of transparency about the world’s reserves and plans for their development undermines stability and causes speculation. The world must call on OPEC to become more open and more transparent.” He went on: “There must be additional new investment in production and global investment in refining capacity.” He also implored the world not to leave developing countries defenseless against rampaging and crippling oil prices.

WARM-UPS

1. SEARCH FOR OIL: Speak to as many students as you can, collecting information about oil and OPEC. Join a partner / group and share your information. Make mini presentations to other groups. Vote on the best presentation

2. ENERGY: Talk with your partner / group about energy sources. How important is oil? What happens when the world’s oil runs out? What are the alternatives?

Talk about the pros and cons of these energy sources. Which do you think will be providing our energy needs 50 years from now?

  • Oil
  • Nuclear energy
  • Wind farms
  • Wave power
  • Oil from sugar cane or rape seed
  • Solar power
  • Hydrogen
  • Coal
  • Thermal energy
  • Something new

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

OPEC / oil / oil prices / oil refineries / panic buying / motorists / economic growth / urgent measures / global action / transparency / increasing supply

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

4. OIL PRICES: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with oil prices. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

5. OILY OPINIONS: In pairs / groups, decide which of these opinion you agree with. Discuss how much truth there is in each one.

  1. The price of oil is too high.
  2. There is no answer to world demand for oil outstripping supply.
  3. Not enough is being done to find alternative energy sources.
  4. There will be a huge global economic crisis soon because of soaring oil prices.
  5. Oil-producing countries have too much power.
  6. Oil is the most important of earth’s resources.
  7. Oil companies make too much money and try to squeeze more from consumers.
  8. Hurricane Katrina shows how fragile the oil industry is.

6. QUICK DEBATE: Students A think oil prices will come down and stabilize. Students B think oil prices will continue to rise and cause global economic chaos. 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.

Oil producing countries have been asked to increase their supply.

T / F

b.

Soaring oil prices have driven British car drivers into panic buying.

T / F

c.

Record-level oil prices have not affected global economic growth.

T / F

d.

A finance minister wants concerted action to bring down oil prices.

T / F

e.

The minister stressed the need for alternative sources of energy.

T / F

f.

The world economy is at the mercy of greedy oil-producing countries.

T / F

g.

The finance minister said there is over-investment in oil refineries.

T / F

h.

Developing countries are defenseless against crippling oil prices.

T / F

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

a.

soaring

openness

b.

curb

deal with

c.

implementation

restrict

d.

tackle

out-of-control

e.

concerted

greedy

f.

maintenance

coordinated

g.

mercenary

sky rocketing

h.

transparency

pleaded

i.

implored

carrying out

j.

rampaging

continuation

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

a.

soaring oil prices are causing

number of urgent measures

b.

record-level prices are starting to

sources of energy

c.

the implementation of a

rampaging and crippling oil prices

d.

demand for oil was

of transparency

e.

ensuring concerted

panic buying

f.

stressed the need for alternative

and causes speculation

g.

being at the mercy of mercenary

outstripping supply

h.

lack

global action is taken

i.

undermines stability

oil-producing countries

j.

countries defenseless against

curb global economic growth

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

OPEC urged to increase oil production

Britain’s finance minister Gordon Brown called OPEC to has upon increase the supply of oil and invest more in opening new refineries. In Britain, prices are soaring causing oil panic buying and motorists and trucking companies are planning demonstrations in protest over the price of fuel. There are also signs that record-level to curb prices are starting global economic growth. Mr. Brown stressed the need for the implementation of measures of urgent a number to deal with the cause of inflated oil prices and the fact that demand for oil was outstripping supply. He said: “The first action we must take is to tackle the cause of the problem, global concerted ensuring action is taken to bring down world oil prices and stabilize the market for the long term.”

Mr. Brown also stressed the need for alternative sources of energy “maintenance both of the ensure to economic growth and tackling climate change”. He added there was a need to prevent the world economy from the mercenary being of mercy at oil-producing countries and to reduce uncertainty. He warned: “Lack of transparency about the world’s reserves and plans for their development speculation and stability undermines causes. The world must call on OPEC transparent open to more and more become.” He went on: “There must be additional new investment in production and global investment in refining capacity.” He implored to leave the world not also developing countries defenseless against rampaging and crippling oil prices.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 “OPEC” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about OPEC, oil prices, and supply and demand.

  • 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:

  • called upon
  • soaring
  • curb
  • outstripping
  • tackle
  • long term
  • maintenance
  • mercenary
  • transparency
  • undermines
  • capacity
  • rampaging

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 know about OPEC?
  4. Have rising oil prices affected you?
  5. What do you think of the fact that oil prices have more than doubled in a year?
  6. Where does your country get its energy resources?
  7. Do you think oil companies are too greedy?
  8. What would happen to the world if oil supplies suddenly dried up?
  9. What urgent measures should be taken to tackle rising oil prices?
  10. How high will prices rise if demand continues to outstrip supply?

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 the world will find sufficient alternative sources of energy?
  4. Do you think global economic growth and tackling climate change can be achieved together?
  5. Do you think the world is at the mercy of mercenary oil-producing countries?
  6. Do you think OPEC is too closed and secretive?
  7. Do you think there is enough oil to meet increased demand from China, India and other emerging economic giants?
  8. What do you think of oil companies?
  9. Will rising oil prices further impoverish developing countries?
  10. 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

OIL ROLE PLAY: The world must decide on just one resource for the future. There are four choices for the resource. A $10 billion contract goes to the winner of this role play.
Team up with classmates who have been assigned the same role to develop your roles and discuss ideas and “strategies” before the role play begins. Introduce yourself to the other role players before the role play begins.

Role A – OIL

You believe oil will never, ever, ever run out. There are many more oil reserves to find. New technology will make oil last longer. It will be too expensive for the world to switch to other energy sources.
You believe solar, wave and nuclear power are not viable sources of energy.

THINK OF MORE REASONS WHY OIL IS THE WAY FORWARD.
 

Role B – SOLAR ENERGY

The sun will never disappear. Technology can tap the Sun’s tremendous energy and convert it into clean, environmentally friendly and cheap power. Isolated communities can use it. It is the obvious energy of the future.
You believe oil, and wave and nuclear power are not viable sources of energy.

THINK OF REASONS WHY SOLAR ENERGY IS THE WAY FORWARD.
 

Role C – WAVE POWER

The oceans’ waves are an endless source of energy. Wave power can be channeled 24 hours a day. There is no damage to the environment. Most of the world’s countries can become self-sufficient using wave power.
You believe oil, and solar and nuclear power are not viable sources of energy.

THINK OF REASONS WHY WAVE POWER IS THE WAY FORWARD.
 

Role D – NUCLEAR POWER

Your technology is the most cost-efficient of all sources of energy. It is safer than ever. It produces amazing amounts of energy. It causes little environmental damage. It is very cheap.
You believe oil, and solar and wave power are not viable sources of energy.

THINK OF REASONS WHY NUCLEAR POWER IS THE WAY FORWARD.
 

Change roles and repeat the role play. Comment in groups about the differences between the two role plays. Discuss which of the energy sources you believe is the most viable for the future. Decide which team wins the $10 billion.

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

OPEC urged to increase oil production

Britain’s finance minister Gordon Brown has ______ _____ OPEC to increase the supply of oil and invest more in opening new refineries. In Britain, _________ oil prices are causing panic buying and motorists and trucking companies are planning demonstrations ___ ________ _____ the price of fuel. There are also signs that record-level prices are starting to _____ global economic growth. Mr. Brown stressed the need for the implementation of a number of urgent measures ___ _____ _____ the cause of inflated oil prices and the fact that demand for oil was outstripping supply. He said: “The first action we must take is to _______ the cause of the problem, ensuring concerted global action is taken to bring down world oil prices and _______ the market for the long term.”

Mr. Brown also stressed the need for alternative _______ of energy “to ensure both the maintenance of economic growth and _______ climate change”. He added there was a need to prevent the world economy from being at the _______ of mercenary oil-producing countries and to reduce uncertainty. He warned: “Lack of transparency about the world’s _______ and plans for their development undermines stability and _______ speculation. The world must call on OPEC to become more open and more transparent.” He went on: “There must be additional new investment in production and global investment in refining _______.” He also implored the world not to leave developing countries defenseless against ___________ and crippling oil prices.

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 OPEC. Share your findings with your class in the next lesson.

3. OIL PRICES: Make a poster showing how oil prices have risen over the past year. Highlight the different factors that have contributed to this rise. Show your posters to your classmates in your next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. ENERGY NEEDS RECORD: Keep a record of what kinds of energy you use in one day. Write down ways in which you can reduce your energy consumption and whether you are prepared to do so. Show your findings to your classmates in your next lesson. Who needs to cut down most on energy use?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. T

c. F

d. T

e. T

f. T

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

soaring

sky rocketing

b.

curb

restrict

c.

implementation

carrying out

d.

tackle

deal with

e.

concerted

coordinated

f.

maintenance

continuation

g.

mercenary

greedy

h.

transparency

openness

i.

implored

pleaded

j.

rampaging

out-of-control

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

soaring oil prices are causing

panic buying

b.

record-level prices are starting to

curb global economic growth

c.

the implementation of a

number of urgent measures

d.

demand for oil was

outstripping supply

e.

ensuring concerted

global action is taken

f.

stressed the need for alternative

sources of energy

g.

being at the mercy of mercenary

oil-producing countries

h.

lack

of transparency

i.

undermines stability

and causes speculation

j.

countries defenseless against

rampaging and crippling oil prices

WORD ORDER:

OPEC urged to increase oil production

Britain’s finance minister Gordon Brown has called upon OPEC to increase the supply of oil and invest more in opening new refineries. In Britain, soaring oil prices are causing panic buying and motorists and trucking companies are planning demonstrations in protest over the price of fuel. There are also signs that record-level prices are starting to curb global economic growth. Mr. Brown stressed the need for the implementation of a number of urgent measures to deal with the cause of inflated oil prices and the fact that demand for oil was outstripping supply. He said: “The first action we must take is to tackle the cause of the problem, ensuring concerted global action is taken to bring down world oil prices and stabilize the market for the long term.”

Mr. Brown also stressed the need for alternative sources of energy “to ensure both the maintenance of economic growth and tackling climate change”. He added there was a need to prevent the world economy from being at the mercy of mercenary oil-producing countries and to reduce uncertainty. He warned: “Lack of transparency about the world’s reserves and plans for their development undermines stability and causes speculation. The world must call on OPEC to become more open and more transparent.” He went on: “There must be additional new investment in production and global investment in refining capacity.” He also implored the world not to leave developing countries defenseless against rampaging and crippling oil prices.

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