www.Breaking News English.com
ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on Dubai Ports

Home | About | Privacy Policy | Copyright | Links | Podcast | Donate

Dubai ruler promises to sell U.S. ports


 
   

Date: Mar 16, 2006
Level: Easier (Try the harder lesson.)
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: (1:35 - 187.7 KB - 16kbps)

 
1,000 IDEAS FOR ESL CLASSES: Breaking News English.com's e-Book

 

THE ARTICLE

The U.A.E. company that recently bought the shipping company that controlled 22 American ports has changed its mind. The Dubai-based DP World offered to sell its $6.8bn share in P&O, which had controlled the ports, as a goodwill gesture towards the U.S. DP World is the world’s third largest ports company. It wanted to increase its power in international shipping but American politicians were furious that a foreign company would control U.S. ports. Many Senators said the situation was a major security threat. Few Senators openly admitted fears of an Arab group controlling U.S. docks.

The White House said it was very happy that Dubai's ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, promised to sell the ports. A political storm had broken out in America. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted 377-38 against DP World running port terminals in America. Sheik Mohammed’s action immediately ended American fears. Michael Seymour, head of DP World's U.S. group, said there was “already significant interest…from American buyers”. He added any buyer must be “a wholly owned American organization”. He stated a sale would take place within the next four to six months.

WARM-UPS

1. TAKEOVERS: How do you feel when companies from other countries take over companies from your nation? What examples can you think of? What do you think when companies from your country buy companies from other countries?

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

The U.A.E. / shipping companies / ports / Dubai / goodwill / foreign companies / security threats / promised / fears / American organizations / sales

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

3. FOREIGN INTEREST: With your partner(s), talk about your thoughts on companies from the countries on the left taking over industries (on the right) from your country.

  • USA
  • China
  • Russia
  • Pakistan
  • France
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Venezuela
  • Ports
  • Electricity
  • Car making
  • Garbage collection
  • Airports
  • Television stations
  • Bakeries

4. HEADLINE PREDICTION: With your partner(s), use all of the words in the “Chat” activity above to predict what the news article will be about. Once you have your story, change partners and compare your different versions. Who was closest to the real story?

5. BUSINESS OPINIONS: Do you agree with the following opinions about international business? Talk about them with your partner(s).

  1. International business is destroying the earth.
  2. Businesses should not be sold to other countries.
  3. There should be a maximum of 49% foreign ownership in any business.
  4. Multinational companies must find local partners.
  5. It’s dangerous to sell ports and other infrastructure to foreign companies.
  6. Politicians should never get in the way of international business.
  7. International business rules are set by America and rich countries.
  8. International business takes the wealth and resources of poor countries.

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


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING

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

a.

A UAE company is going to sell 22 American ports.

T / F

b.

The UAE company bought the ports for $6.8bn in the 1970s.

T / F

c.

The UAE company aims to be the world’s third largest ports company.

T / F

d.

Many US Senators openly expressed fears of US ports being Arab run.

T / F

e.

The ruler of Dubai promised to sell the ports.

T / F

f.

A political storm erupted among US lawmakers over the UAE control.

T / F

g.

Any future buyer must be a wholly owned American organization.

T / F

h.

The sale should take place in the next four to six weeks.

T / F

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

a.

bought

stake

b.

based

100 percent

c.

share

angry

d.

furious

operating

e.

openly

inside

f.

very happy

purchased

g.

running

delighted

h.

significant

honestly

i.

wholly

located

j.

within

major

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

a.

changed

against DP World running port terminals

b.

a goodwill

the next four to six months

c.

It wanted to increase its power

owned American organization

d.

the situation was a major

in international shipping

e.

openly admitted fears of an Arab

broken out

f.

A political storm had

security threat

g.

voted 377-38

…from American buyers

h.

already significant interest

gesture towards the U.S.

i.

added any buyer must be a wholly

group controlling U.S. docks

j.

a sale would take place within

its mind

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words in the column on the right into the gaps in the text.

Dubai ruler promises to sell U.S. ports

The U.A.E. company that _________ bought the shipping company that controlled 22 American ports has changed its _________. The Dubai-based DP World offered to sell its $6.8bn share in P&O, which had controlled the ports, as a _________ gesture towards the U.S. DP World is the world’s third _________ ports company. It wanted to increase its _________ in international shipping but American politicians were _________ that a foreign company would control U.S. ports. Many Senators said the situation was a _________ security threat. _________ Senators openly admitted fears of an Arab group controlling U.S. docks.

 

 

power
mind
major
recently
largest
few
goodwill
furious

The White House said it was very happy that Dubai's _________, Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, _________ to sell the ports. A political _________ had broken out in America. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives _________ 377-38 against DP World running port terminals in America. Sheik Mohammed’s action immediately _________ American fears. Michael Seymour, head of DP World's U.S. group, said there was “already _________ interest…from American buyers”. He added any _________ must be “a wholly owned American organization”. He stated a sale would take place _________ the next four to six months.

 

voted
within
promised
buyer
ended
ruler
significant
storm

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

Dubai ruler promises to sell U.S. ports

The U.A.E. company that _________ bought the shipping company that controlled 22 American ports has changed its mind. The Dubai-based DP World _________ to sell its $6.8bn share in P&O, which had controlled the ports, as a goodwill _________ towards the U.S. DP World is the world’s third largest ports company. It wanted to increase its power in international shipping but American politicians were _________ that a foreign company would control U.S. ports. Many Senators said the situation was a major _________ threat. Few Senators openly _________ fears of an Arab group controlling U.S. docks.

The White House said it was very happy that Dubai's _________, Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, promised to sell the ports. A _________ storm had broken out in America. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted 377-38 against DP World running _________ terminals in America. Sheik Mohammed’s action immediately ended American _________. Michael Seymour, head of DP World's U.S. group, said there was “already _________ interest…from American buyers”. He added any buyer must be “a wholly owned American organization”. He stated a sale would take place _________ the next four to six months.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

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

5. STUDENT “INTERNATIONAL TAKEOVERS” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about international takeovers and security concerns.

  • 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:

  • recently
  • based
  • third
  • furious
  • security
  • openly
  • happy
  • storm
  • ended
  • group
  • wholly
  • place

DISCUSSION

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

  1. Did the headline make you want to read the article?
  2. Have you been following news of this story?
  3. What do you think of U.S. politicians voting over whether they wanted a UAE company to own US ports?
  4. What do you think of Sheikh Mohammed’s goodwill gesture?
  5. Do you think American companies would have listened to the lawmakers of another country?
  6. Do you think American lawmakers would have voted if the buyers were not from an Arab country?
  7. Do you think the concerns expressed by the US about security are real?
  8. Do you think there should now be rules about the purchase of industries by companies from other countries?
  9. What do you think are the opinions of UAE nationals towards the actions of the US lawmakers and the Dubai ruler?
  10. Do you think American companies buy ports in other countries?

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. Would you have voted for or against the purchase of the ports by the UAE company?
  4. What is your image of the UAE?
  5. What does this incident suggest about America and free trade?
  6. Would you disagree to the countries neighboring yours buying parts of key industries in your country?
  7. Which countries would you object to buying parts of key industries in your country?
  8. What industries in your country do you think should always be kept in 100 percent national control?
  9. What question would you like to ask Sheikh Mohammed about this issue?
  10. Did you like this discussion?

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

  1. What was the most interesting thing you heard?
  2. Was there a question you didn’t like?
  3. Was there something you totally disagreed with?
  4. What did you like talking about?
  5. Which was the most difficult question?

SPEAKING

FOREIGN TAKEOVER: In pairs / groups, talk about the plus points and minus points of the following takeovers of industries in your country:

Takeover

Plus points

Minus points

1.    Your ports by an(other) Arab country

 

 

2.    Your TV stations by an American (or Chinese) company

 

 

3.    Your airports by a Russian (or Kenyan) company

 

 

4.     Your soccer teams by an Australian (or Canadian) company

 

 

5.    Your hotels by a Japanese (or Thai) company

 

 

6.    Other
______________
______________

 

 

Change partners and talk about what you wrote with your previous partner(s).

Discuss which of the takeovers would be most / least preferable. Give a presentation explaining your thoughts to the class.

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 about this story. Talk about this with your partner(s).

3. FOREIGN OWNERSHIP: Make a poster showing the rules that all countries should follow to protect a county’s strategic assets from foreign takeovers. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Which one(s) did you like most and why?

4. LETTER: Write a letter to Dubai’s ruler explaining what you thought of his goodwill gesture. Write another letter to the politicians who were furious at the sale of U.S. ports to the UAE. In the next class, compare your letters. Who had the most interesting ones?

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. F

d. F

e. T

f. T

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

bought

purchased

b.

based

located

c.

share

stake

d.

furious

angry

e.

openly

honestly

f.

very happy

delighted

g.

running

operating

h.

significant

major

i.

wholly

100 percent

j.

within

inside

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

changed

its mind

b.

a goodwill

gesture towards the U.S.

c.

It wanted to increase its power

in international shipping

d.

the situation was a major

security threat

e.

openly admitted fears of an Arab

group controlling U.S. docks

f.

A political storm had

broken out

g.

voted 377-38

against DP World running port terminals

h.

already significant interest

…from American buyers

i.

added any buyer must be a wholly

owned American organization

j.

a sale would take place within

the next four to six months

GAP FILL:

Dubai ruler promises to sell U.S. ports

The U.A.E. company that recently bought the shipping company that controlled 22 American ports has changed its mind. The Dubai-based DP World offered to sell its $6.8bn share in P&O, which had controlled the ports, as a goodwill gesture towards the U.S. DP World is the world’s third largest ports company. It wanted to increase its power in international shipping but American politicians were furious that a foreign company would control U.S. ports. Many Senators said the situation was a major security threat. Few Senators openly admitted fears of an Arab group controlling U.S. docks.

The White House said it was very happy that Dubai's ruler, Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, promised to sell the ports. A political storm had broken out in America. Lawmakers in the House of Representatives voted 377-38 against DP World running port terminals in America. Sheik Mohammed’s action immediately ended American fears. Michael Seymour, head of DP World's U.S. group, said there was “already significant interest…from American buyers”. He added any buyer must be “a wholly owned American organization”. He stated a sale would take place within the next four to six months.

TOP


 
 

Copyright © 2006 by Sean Banville