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Date: Mar 31, 2008
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: 2:08 - 498.9KB - 32kbps
Online Test: Recreate the text in this online test.

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

THE ARTICLE

Beef cuts for world’s biggest beef eaters

Argentines, the world’s biggest beef eaters, are having to cut back on meat because of strikes by farmers. Argentina’s farmers are continuing their industrial action over a government increase in export taxes on soybeans and sunflower seeds. They are blocking roads and preventing trucks from entering ports and warehouses. They are head-to-head in a battle with the government. Neither the farmers nor President Cristina Kirchner seems willing to compromise. Five hours of recent talks between the two sides ended in failure. There are now nationwide food shortages and reports of clashes between farmers and truckers. President Kirchner has sent the police to some rural areas to keep the peace. Protests promised by farmers may be the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Argentina since the financial crisis in 2001.


 
 

Restaurants and supermarkets in the capital Buenos Aires have reported low supplies of beef and other meat. One steakhouse owner said: “We're out of our prime cuts and we don't know when we'll get more supplies.” Kirchner has publicly blamed the farmers’ greed for creating this situation. She called them "extortionists." She pointed out that record commodities prices on the world market and Argentina's devalued peso have made many farmers very wealthy. However, many farmers disagreed with her. They are complaining that government actions will push many of them out of business. A farming organization, the Argentine Rural Confederation, said the government needed to start negotiating in order to end the strike. Argentina is the biggest soybean exporter in the world. It provides China, Japan, India, southeast Asia and Europe with $13 billion worth of beans every year.

WARM-UPS

1. BEEF: Walk around the class and talk to other students about beef. Change partners often. After you finish, sit 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.

 

meat / industrial action / soybeans / sunflower seeds / compromise / crisis / supermarkets / public blame / greed / wealth / complaining / negotiating

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.

3. CUTTING BACK: Do you ever have to cut back on things? Talk about this with your partner(s). Give a score from 10 (this would be impossible for me) to 1 (I wouldn’t mind at all). Change partners and share your ideas.

Cutback

Score

Why this score?

beef

mobile phone use

shopping

speaking English

watching TV

cakes and chocolate

waking up late

using transport

4. GREEDY: Which of these people do you think are greedy? Why? Talk about this with your partner(s). Change partners and share your ideas.

  • farmers
  • English teachers
  • actors
  • landlords
  • sports stars
  • lawyers
  • company CEOs
  • doctors and dentists

5. STRIKE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘strike’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.

6. QUICK ROLE PLAY: Students A strongly believe that farmers should never go on strike; Students B strongly disagree - there are many reasons why farmers can strike. Change partners again and talk about your roles and conversations.


 
 

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 guards at the Tower of London must eat less beef.

T / F

b.

Argentina’s government wants to increase taxes on soybeans.

T / F

c.

Talks between Argentina’s president and farmers were a success.

T / F

d.

Argentina suffered large economic problems in 2001.

T / F

e.

A restaurant owner said he has no more top quality beef.

T / F

f.

Argentina’s president accused farmers of being too greedy.

T / F

g.

The value of Argentina’s peso has increased slightly recently.

T / F

h.

China is the world’s biggest producer and exporter of soybeans.

T / F

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

1.

cut back on

a.

talking

2

industrial action

b.

stopping

3.

preventing

c.

rich

4.

compromise

d.

annually

5.

rural

e.

top-quality

6.

prime

f.

blackmailers

7.

extortionists

g.

meet each other half way

8.

wealthy

h.

reduce

9.

negotiating

i.

countryside

10.

every year

j.

strikes

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

1.

having to cut back on

a.

entering ports

2

farmers are continuing their

b.

of them out of business

3.

preventing trucks from

c.

food shortages

4.

head-to-head in

d.

and other meat

5.

There are now nationwide

e.

on the world market

6.

low supplies of beef

f.

industrial action

7.

Kirchner has publicly

g.

meat

8.

record commodities prices

h.

blamed the farmers’ greed

9.

government actions will push many

i.

end the strike

10.

start negotiating in order to

j.

a battle with the government

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Argentines, the world’s biggest beef eaters, are __________ to cut back on meat because of __________ by farmers. Argentina’s farmers are continuing their industrial action over a government increase in export __________ on soybeans and sunflower seeds. They are blocking roads and preventing trucks from entering __________ and warehouses. They are head-to-head in a battle with the government. Neither the farmers nor President Cristina Kirchner seems __________ to compromise. Five hours of recent talks between the two sides ended in __________. There are now nationwide food shortages and reports of clashes between farmers and truckers. President Kirchner has sent the police to some rural areas to keep the __________. Protests promised by farmers may be the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Argentina since the __________ crisis in 2001.

 

failure
ports
strikes
willing
financial
having
peace
taxes

Restaurants and supermarkets in the capital Buenos Aires have __________ low supplies of beef and other meat. One steakhouse owner said: “We're out of our prime cuts and we don't know when we'll get more __________.” Kirchner has publicly blamed the farmers’ greed for __________ this situation. She called them "extortionists." She pointed out that record commodities prices on the world market and Argentina's __________ peso have made many farmers very __________. However, many farmers disagreed with her. They are complaining that government actions will __________ many of them out of business. A farming organization, the Argentine Rural Confederation, said the government needed to start negotiating in __________ to end the strike. Argentina is the biggest soybean exporter in the world. It provides China, Japan, India, southeast Asia and Europe with $13 billion __________ of beans every year.

 

push
 supplies

devalued
worth
creating
wealthy
reported
order

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Argentines, the world’s biggest beef eaters, ___________________ back on meat because of strikes by farmers. Argentina’s farmers are continuing their ___________________ government increase in export taxes on soybeans and sunflower seeds. They are blocking roads and preventing trucks ___________________ warehouses. They are head-to-head in a battle with the government. Neither the farmers nor President Cristina Kirchner seems ___________________. Five hours of recent talks between the two sides ended in failure. There are now nationwide ___________________ reports of clashes between farmers and truckers. President Kirchner has sent the police to some rural _____________________. Protests promised by farmers may be the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Argentina ___________________ in 2001.

Restaurants and supermarkets in the capital Buenos Aires have reported ___________________ other meat. One steakhouse owner said: “We're out of our prime cuts and we don't know ___________________ supplies.” Kirchner has publicly blamed the farmers’ greed ___________________. She called them "extortionists." She pointed out that record commodities prices on the world market and Argentina's devalued peso have made many ___________________. However, many farmers disagreed with her. They are complaining that government actions will ___________________ out of business. A farming organization, the Argentine Rural Confederation, said the government needed to start negotiating ___________________ strike. Argentina is the biggest soybean exporter in the world. It provides China, Japan, India, southeast Asia and Europe with ___________________ beans every year.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

cut

back

 

 

 

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

  • having
  • increase
  • battle
  • willing
  • nationwide
  • peace
  • low
  • publicly
  • greed
  • push
  • order
  • worth

STUDENT BEEF SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about beef in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

Q.2.

Q.3.

Q.4.

Q.5.

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

DISCUSSION

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

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word 'beef’?

c)

Have you heard anything about the crisis in Argentina?

d)

Do you like beef?

e)

Do you think the farmers are doing the right thing by taking industrial action?

f)

Who has had a head-to-head battle with your government recently?

g)

Have you ever had to cut back on anything?

h)

Do you always compromise in arguments?

i)

What do you think of people who go on strike?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Have their ever been food shortages in your country?

c)

Do you think the farmers are being greedy?

d)

Should farmers be banned from going on strike?

e)

Should the government do a U-turn if farmers start going out of business?

f)

Do you think it’s wrong of the government to accuse farmers of being wealthy?

g)

What would you do to end this crisis?

h)

What questions would you like to ask President Cristina Kirchner?

i)

Did you like this discussion?

LANGUAGE

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

Argentines, the world’s biggest beef eaters, are (1) ____ to cut back on meat because of strikes (2) ____ farmers. Argentina’s farmers are continuing their industrial action over a government increase in export taxes on soybeans and sunflower seeds. They are blocking roads and preventing trucks from entering (3) ____ and warehouses. They are head-to-(4) ____ in a battle with the government. Neither the farmers nor President Cristina Kirchner seems willing to compromise. Five hours of recent talks between the two sides ended (5) ____ failure. There are now nationwide food shortages and reports of clashes between farmers and truckers. President Kirchner has sent the police to some rural areas to keep the (6) ____. Protests promised by farmers may be the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Argentina since the financial crisis in 2001.

Restaurants and supermarkets in the capital Buenos Aires have reported low (7) ____ of beef and other meat. One steakhouse owner said: “We're out of our prime cuts and we don't know when we'll get more supplies.” Kirchner has publicly (8) ____ the farmers’ greed for creating this situation. She called them "extortionists." She pointed out that (9) ____ commodities prices on the world market and Argentina's devalued peso have made many farmers very wealthy. However, many farmers disagreed with her. They are complaining that government actions will push many of them (10) ____ of business. A farming organization, the Argentine Rural Confederation, said the government needed to start negotiating (11) ____ order to end the strike. Argentina is the biggest soybean exporter in the world. It provides China, Japan, India, southeast Asia and Europe with $13 billion (12) ____ of beans every year.

1.

(a)

has

(b)

have

(c)

had

(d)

having

2.

(a)

by

(b)

with

(c)

for

(d)

to

3.

(a)

sports

(b)

parts

(c)

ports

(d)

port

4.

(a)

back

(b)

head

(c)

leg

(d)

brain

5.

(a)

on

(b)

in

(c)

to

(d)

for

6.

(a)

peas

(b)

beans

(c)

peace

(d)

piece

7.

(a)

supplies

(b)

supply

(c)

supplier

(d)

suppliers

8.

(a)

banned

(b)

branded

(c)

braided

(d)

blamed

9.

(a)

DVD

(b)

cassette

(c)

tape

(d)

record

10.

(a)

against

(b)

out

(c)

with

(d)

all

11.

(a)

in

(b)

on

(c)

an

(d)

all

12.

(a)

waste

(b)

with

(c)

worth

(d)

world

WRITING: 

Write about beef for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________

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 out about the farmers’ protests in Argentina. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. BEANS: Make a poster about different beans. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar beans?

4. INDUSTRIAL ACTION: Write a magazine article about the farmers going on strike. Include imaginary interviews with a poor farmer and a restaurant customer wanting beef.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down new words and expressions.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to President Cristina Kirchner. Ask her three questions about the chaos in her country. Give her three pieces of advice on what she should do to bring beef back to supermarket shelves and restaurant tables. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: Imagine you have to cut back on three things you really don’t want to cut back on. Write your diary / journal entry for one week of cutting back. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. T

c. F

d. T

e. T

f. T

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

cut back on

a.

reduce

2

industrial action

b.

strikes

3.

preventing

c.

stopping

4.

compromise

d.

meet each other half way

5.

rural

e.

countryside

6.

prime

f.

top-quality

7.

extortionists

g.

blackmailers

8.

wealthy

h.

rich

9.

negotiating

i.

talking

10.

every year

j.

annually

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

having to cut back on

a.

meat

2

farmers are continuing their

b.

industrial action

3.

preventing trucks from

c.

entering ports

4.

head-to-head in

d.

a battle with the government

5.

There are now nationwide

e.

food shortages

6.

low supplies of beef

f.

and other meat

7.

Kirchner has publicly

g.

blamed the farmers’ greed

8.

record commodities prices

h.

on the world market

9.

government actions will push many

i.

of them out of business

10.

start negotiating in order to

j.

end the strike

GAP FILL:

Beef cuts for world’s biggest beef eaters

Argentines, the world’s biggest beef eaters, are having to cut back on meat because of strikes by farmers. Argentina’s farmers are continuing their industrial action over a government increase in export taxes on soybeans and sunflower seeds. They are blocking roads and preventing trucks from entering ports and warehouses. They are head-to-head in a battle with the government. Neither the farmers nor President Cristina Kirchner seems willing to compromise. Five hours of recent talks between the two sides ended in failure. There are now nationwide food shortages and reports of clashes between farmers and truckers. President Kirchner has sent the police to some rural areas to keep the peace. Protests promised by farmers may be the biggest anti-government demonstrations in Argentina since the financial crisis in 2001.

Restaurants and supermarkets in the capital Buenos Aires have reported low supplies of beef and other meat. One steakhouse owner said: “We're out of our prime cuts and we don't know when we'll get more supplies.” Kirchner has publicly blamed the farmers’ greed for creating this situation. She called them "extortionists." She pointed out that record commodities prices on the world market and Argentina's devalued peso have made many farmers very wealthy. However, many farmers disagreed with her. They are complaining that government actions will push many of them out of business. A farming organization, the Argentine Rural Confederation, said the government needed to start negotiating in order to end the strike. Argentina is the biggest soybean exporter in the world. It provides China, Japan, India, southeast Asia and Europe with $13 billion worth of beans every year.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - a

3 - c

4 - b

5 - b

6 - c

7 - a

8 - d

9 - d

10 - b

11 - a

12 - c

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