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ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on the World Bank

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Date: April 14, 2007
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THE ARTICLE

World Bank boss sorry for payout to girlfriend

World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz is still in deep trouble following his “mistake” in giving a huge pay rise to a close female friend. There are many calls for his resignation following allegations of favouritism and corruption. Although he has apologised for making the "mistake", his head may still roll. The former deputy US defence secretary refused to speculate on rumours that he might have to resign. The World Bank's board of governors met to discuss the scandal and Wolfowitz said he would accept “any remedies they propose”. The sorry issue arose after Britain’s Financial Times newspaper published a report stating Wolfowitz personally ordered promotions and hefty pay rises for his partner, Shaha Riza, who ended up with a $200,000 salary - more than Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state.

Ms Riza was on the World Bank’s payroll when Wolfowitz became head in 2005. In line with the bank’s regulations, she was transferred to the US State Department to avoid a conflict of interest for Wolfowitz. However, in the period before her transfer took effect, Wolfowitz ordered and rubber-stamped the documentation necessary to elevate his friend into a top World Bank earner. In his apology, he said: "I take full responsibility." He acknowledged that the situation surrounding Riza "had the potential to harm” the World Bank. He also stressed that he had initially wanted nothing to do with her employment terms. He said his romantic involvement with Ms Riza resulted in a "painful personal dilemma” when he was new to the job. Nevertheless, it seems somewhat ridiculous that such an experienced and intelligent man could make such a serious blunder.

WARM-UPS

1. MONEY: Do you like money? Why? Walk around the class and ask your classmates if and why they like (or don’t like) money. Change partners often. Sit down with your original partner(s) and share what you found out.

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

banks / being in trouble / mistakes / favoritism / rumours / scandals / pay rises / apologies / conflicts of interest / rubber stamps / responsibility / romance

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

3. MONEY: With your partner(s), talk about these money idioms. Are they true?

  • money is the root of all evil
  • time is money
  • money makes the world go round
  • if you look after the pennies, the pounds will look after themselves
  • money doesn’t grow on trees
  • some people have money to burn; they are rolling in money
  • everything costs an arm and a leg these days

4. PRESDIENTIAL BLUNDERS: With your partner(s), talk about these presidential blunders. Should the president of the World Bank do these? Rank them using this scale: 10 = the president’s head should roll for this; 1 = no problem.

  • giving his/her lover a huge pay rise
  • staying in the best hotels on business trips
  • travelling by helicopter
  • awarding himself / herself a huge bonus
  • putting false information on his / her resume / CV
  • working fewer hours than his contract requires
  • giving money to his / her favourite countries
  • never listening to the advice of President George W. Bush

5. QUICK DEBATE: Have this quick debate with your partner(s). Students A think banks are good and necessary; students B think banks are greedy and inefficient. Change partners and topics every two minutes.

6. BANK: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with banks. 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.

The president of the World Bank gave his girlfriend a huge pay rise.

T / F

b.

Despite his blunder, he is still safe in his position as president.

T / F

c.

The Wall Street Journal broke the news in a scoop story.

T / F

d.

The girlfriend’s new salary was higher than George W. Bush’s.

T / F

e.

The girlfriend was moved after her lover started at the World Bank.

T / F

f.

The president did not order or sign any papers for the pay rise.

T / F

g.

He said his romantic involvement made decisions difficult.

T / F

h.

It’s the kind of mistake any normal, intelligent man would make.

T / F

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

a.

allegations

guess

b.

speculate

large

c.

remedies

authorized

d.

sorry

accusations

e.

hefty

following

f.

in line with

tight spot

g.

rubber-stamped

regrettable

h.

acknowledged

mistake

i.

dilemma

solutions

j.

blunder

accepted

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

a.

Wolfowitz is still in deep

dilemma

b.

many calls

serious blunder

c.

his head

trouble following his “mistake”

d.

refused to speculate

of interest

e.

promotions and hefty

for his resignation

f.

In line

the documentation

g.

avoid a conflict

on rumours

h.

Wolfowitz ordered and rubber-stamped

pay rises

i.

resulted in a painful personal

may still roll

j.

make such a

with the bank’s regulations

WHILE READING / LISTENING

GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.

World Bank boss sorry for payout to girlfriend
 

World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz is still in ________ trouble following his “mistake” in giving a huge pay rise to a close female friend. There are many ________ for his resignation following allegations of favouritism and ________. Although he has apologised for making the "mistake", his head may still ________. The former deputy US defence secretary refused to speculate on rumours that he might have to resign. The World Bank's board of governors met to discuss the scandal and Wolfowitz said he would accept “any ________ they propose”. The ________ issue arose after Britain’s Financial Times newspaper published a report stating Wolfowitz personally ordered promotions and ________ pay rises for his partner, Shaha Riza, who ________ up with a $200,000 salary - more than Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state.

 

 

 

roll
hefty
deep
sorry
corruption
ended
calls
remedies

Ms Riza was on the World Bank’s ________ when Wolfowitz became head in 2005. In ________ with the bank’s regulations, she was transferred to the US State Department to avoid a conflict of ________ for Wolfowitz. However, in the period before her transfer took effect, Wolfowitz ordered and rubber-stamped the documentation necessary to ________ his friend into a top World Bank earner. In his apology, he said: "I take full responsibility." He acknowledged that the situation surrounding Riza "had the ________ to harm” the World Bank. He also stressed that he had initially wanted nothing to do with her employment terms. He said his ________ involvement with Ms Riza resulted in a "painful personal ________” when he was new to the job. Nevertheless, it seems somewhat ridiculous that such an experienced and intelligent man could make such a serious ________.

 

 

romantic
elevate
line
blunder
dilemma
payroll
interest
potential

LISTENING

Listen and fill in the spaces.

World Bank boss sorry for payout to girlfriend

World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz is ____________________ following his “mistake” in giving a huge pay rise to a close female friend. There ____________________ resignation following allegations of favouritism and corruption. Although he has apologised for making the "mistake", ____________________. The former deputy US defence secretary refused to speculate on rumours that he might have to resign. The World Bank's board of governors met to discuss the scandal and Wolfowitz said he would accept “____________________”. The sorry issue arose after Britain’s Financial Times newspaper published a report stating Wolfowitz personally ordered promotions ____________________ his partner, Shaha Riza, who ended up with a $200,000 salary - more than Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state.

Ms Riza was on the World Bank’s payroll when Wolfowitz became head in 2005. ____________________ regulations, she was transferred to the US State Department ____________________ interest for Wolfowitz. However, in the period before her transfer took effect, Wolfowitz ordered and rubber-stamped the documentation necessary ____________________ World Bank earner. In his apology, he said: "I take full responsibility." He acknowledged that the situation surrounding Riza "had the potential to harm” the World Bank. He also stressed that he ____________________ do with her employment terms. He said his romantic involvement with Ms Riza resulted in a "____________________” when he was new to the job. Nevertheless, it seems somewhat ridiculous that such an experienced and intelligent man could make such a serious blunder.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

  • 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 “BANK” SURVEY: In pairs / groups, write down questions about banks, bank CEOs and bank charges.

  • 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:

  • deep
  • favouritism
  • roll
  • remedies
  • sorry
  • hefty
  • 2005
  • conflict
  • elevate
  • potential
  • involvement
  • ridiculous

DISCUSSION

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

  1. What did you think when you read the headline?
  2. Which adjectives describe your feelings about this story?
  3. Do you think what Paul Wolfowitz was so bad?
  4. Do you think this happens a lot in lots of organizations?
  5. If you were boss of a corporation, would you take part in favouritism?
  6. Have you ever been on the receiving end of favouritism?
  7. Do you think Paul Wolfowitz’s head should roll?
  8. How would you feel if you were a worker at the World Bank and the boss’ girlfriend (or boyfriend) suddenly got a hefty pay rise?
  9. How do you think Condoleezza Rice feels about a World Bank worker earning more than she does?
  10. Do you think this is a case of “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”?

-------------------------------------------------------------------

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

  1. Did you like reading this article?
  2. What do you know about the function of the World Bank
  3. Would you like to work for the World Bank?
  4. Do you think Shaha Riza should also be punished?
  5. What do you think of bankers and CEOs earning millions of dollars in salaries while millions of people in the world starve?
  6. What harm might this scandal do to the World Bank?
  7. Do you sympathize with Wolfowitz about having a “painful personal dilemma” over his girlfriend’s hefty pay rise?
  8. Have you ever had a painful personal dilemma to deal with?
  9. Is it only men who make such ridiculous blunders as this?
  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

PERSONAL DILEMMA:

Imagine you are the president of the World Bank. One of your best friends is George W. Bush. You worked closely with Bush in helping him with his plans. You have other friends in important places.

You have to appoint one of these people to be your advisor – a very tough job. The salary is $200,000 a year. Rank the candidates from 1 to 4 and then share your answers with your classmates.

The candidates

Reasons they should / should not get the job

Your lover

15 years experience in the World Bank as a secretary.

If you do not give the position to your lover, (s)he will leave you.

 

Your nephew

Works as a diplomat for the UN.

If you do not give this position to your nephew, your family will disown you.

 

Your future rival

Works as advisor to a major bank. Is a banking genius.

If you do not give this position to your future rival, millions of poor people will starve.

 

Your best friend

Very intelligent. Has seven children and no job.

If you do not give this position to your best friend, his children will not be able to go to school and get an education.

 

After you finish, make your own dilemmas. In pairs, create four more candidates and give them to other students to rank. Vote on which pair / group of students came up with the most difficult dilemmas.

LANGUAGE

CORRECT WORD: Put the correct words from a–d below in the article.

World Bank boss sorry for payout to girlfriend

World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz is still (1) ____ deep trouble following his “mistake” in giving a huge pay rise to a close female friend. There are many (2) ____ for his resignation following allegations of favouritism and corruption. Although he has apologised for making the "mistake", his head may still (3) ____. The former deputy US defence secretary refused to speculate on rumours that he might have to resign. The World Bank's board of governors met to discuss the scandal and Wolfowitz said he would accept “any (4) ____ they propose”. The (5) ____ issue arose after Britain’s Financial Times newspaper published a report stating Wolfowitz personally ordered promotions and hefty pay rises for his partner, Shaha Riza, who
(6) ____ up with a $200,000 salary - more than Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state.

Ms Riza was on the World Bank’s payroll when Wolfowitz became head in 2005. In (7) ____ with the bank’s regulations, she was transferred to the US State Department to (8) ____ a conflict of interest for Wolfowitz. However, in the period before her transfer took effect, Wolfowitz ordered and rubber-stamped the documentation necessary to elevate his friend into a top World Bank (9) ____. In his apology, he said: "I take full responsibility." He acknowledged that the situation surrounding Riza "had the potential to harm” the World Bank. He also stressed that he had (10) ____ wanted nothing to do with her employment terms. He said his romantic involvement with Ms Riza resulted in a "painful personal (11) ____” when he was new to the job. Nevertheless, it seems (12) ____ ridiculous that such an experienced and intelligent man could make such a serious blunder.

1.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

an

(d)

with

2.

(a)

catcalls

(b)

calls

(c)

callings

(d)

callers

3.

(a)

roll

(b)

stroll

(c)

droll

(d)

poll

4.

(a)

remembers

(b)

remediate

(c)

remedies

(d)

remedial

5.

(a)

regret

(b)

sorry

(c)

apology

(d)

sorrow

6.

(a)

end result

(b)

end

(c)

ending

(d)

ended

7.

(a)

last

(b)

list

(c)

lane

(d)

line

8.

(a)

deflect

(b)

avoid

(c)

miss

(d)

deflect

9.

(a)

earner

(b)

payroll

(c)

earnings

(d)

payee

10.

(a)

initial

(b)

initials

(c)

initially

(d)

initialed

11.

(a)

diligent

(b)

dilemma

(c)

dilution

(d)

dilly-dally

12.

(a)

someplace

(b)

somersault

(c)

someone

(d)

somewhat

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 the World Bank and its functions. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. BANK POSTER: Make a poster about different types of banks. How are they different in what they do? Show your poster to your class in the next lesson. Vote on the best one(s).

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Paul Wolfowitz’s blunder. In particular, write about what kind of person should be doing this important job. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Which article was best and why?

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Paul Wolfowitz. Ask him/her three questions about why he thought he could get away with giving his girlfriend a hefty pay rise. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. F

c. F

d. F

e. T

f. T

g. T

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

a.

allegations

accusations

b.

speculate

guess

c.

remedies

solutions

d.

sorry

regrettable

e.

hefty

large

f.

in line with

following

g.

rubber-stamped

authorized

h.

acknowledged

accepted

i.

dilemma

tight spot

j.

blunder

mistake

PHRASE MATCH:

a.

Wolfowitz is still in deep

trouble following his “mistake”

b.

many calls

for his resignation

c.

his head

may still roll

d.

refused to speculate

on rumours

e.

promotions and hefty

pay rises

f.

In line

with the bank’s regulations

g.

avoid a conflict

of interest

h.

Wolfowitz ordered and rubber-stamped

the documentation

i.

resulted in a painful personal

dilemma

j.

make such a

serious blunder

GAP FILL:

World Bank boss sorry for payout to girlfriend

World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz is still in deep trouble following his “mistake” in giving a huge pay rise to a close female friend. There are many calls for his resignation following allegations of favouritism and corruption. Although he has apologised for making the "mistake", his head may still roll. The former deputy US defence secretary refused to speculate on rumours that he might have to resign. The World Bank's board of governors met to discuss the scandal and Wolfowitz said he would accept “any remedies they propose”. The sorry issue arose after Britain’s Financial Times newspaper published a report stating Wolfowitz personally ordered promotions and hefty pay rises for his partner, Shaha Riza, who ended up with a $200,000 salary - more than Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state.

Ms Riza was on the World Bank’s payroll when Wolfowitz became head in 2005. In line with the bank’s regulations, she was transferred to the US State Department to avoid a conflict of interest for Wolfowitz. However, in the period before her transfer took effect, Wolfowitz ordered and rubber-stamped the documentation necessary to elevate his friend into a top World Bank earner. In his apology, he said: "I take full responsibility." He acknowledged that the situation surrounding Riza "had the potential to harm” the World Bank. He also stressed that he had initially wanted nothing to do with her employment terms. He said his romantic involvement with Ms Riza resulted in a "painful personal dilemma” when he was new to the job. Nevertheless, it seems somewhat ridiculous that such an experienced and intelligent man could make such a serious blunder.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - a

2 - b

3 - a

4 -c

5 - c

6 -d

7 - d

8 -b

9 -a

10 - c

11 -b

12 - d

 

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