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Date: June 29, 2008
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Related materials from ESL Discussions.com on Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe election.

THE ARTICLE

Mugabe claims victory in one-man election

Robert Mugabe has won the sham election held across Zimbabwe on June 27. Virtually every country in the region and the world has condemned the election as a fake. Ever since the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out last week, it has been a one-horse race. Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in free and fair elections held last March. Mugabe refused to accept he could lose power and has terrorized his nation into returning him as president. He said he would do anything to stay in power and that only God could remove him. Hundreds of innocent citizens have died at the hands of his ruthless supporters and thousands are homeless. The result is the opposition leader pulling out of the race to prevent more killing, thus handing Mugabe victory.


 
 

The situation in Zimbabwe is now totally unacceptable to the international community. The UN Security Council tried to issue a statement to say the election was illegitimate, but South Africa opposed this effort. The UN then made a watered-down statement, saying it regretted the election was not postponed because of the violence. The UN is also pushing for economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and a travel ban on government officials. Nelson Mandela spoke up against Robert Mugabe, saying there was a “tragic failure of leadership in Zimbabwe”. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that Zimbabwe had reached a new low point: “We will work with international partners to find a way to close this sickening chapter that has cost so many lives,” he said.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. ZIMBABWE: Walk around the class and talk to other students about Zimbabwe. Change partners often. After you finish, sit with your partner(s) and share your findings.

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

 

elections / regions / fake / opposition leader / one-horse race / lose power / homeless / unacceptable / illegitimate / violence / economic sanctions / travel ban / low point

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

3. LOW POINT: What are the low and high points in your country’s recent history? Write them in the table. Change partners and share your ideas. Discuss as a class.

Low points

High points

Elections

Sport

Business

Foreign relations

War

Culture

4. WORD ASSOCIATION: Look at the words below (taken from the article). Talk about how they relate to Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe and Morgan Tsvangirai.

  • sham election
  • international condemnation
  • one-horse race
  • free and fair elections
  • God
  • killing
  • innocent citizens
  • South Africa
  • economic sanctions
  • violence
  • Nelson Mandela
  • failure of leadership

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

6. ELECTION: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘election’. 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.

Every country in the world said the Zimbabwe election was a fake.

T / F

b.

Robert Mugabe got only a few more votes than his rival.

T / F

c.

Morgan Tsvangirai got more votes than Mugabe in an earlier election.

T / F

d.

Tsvangirai pulled out of the election because he feared for his life.

T / F

e.

The international community cannot accept the election and its result.

T / F

f.

South Africa continues to support Zimbabwe, despite the violence.

T / F

g.

Nelson Mandela said he has confidence in Robert Mugabe’s leadership.

T / F

h.

Gordon Brown is writing a chapter about Zimbabwe for a new book.

T / F

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

1.

sham

a.

disastrous

2

virtually

b.

criticized

3.

condemned

c.

penalties

4.

ruthless

d.

delayed

5.

handing

e.

fake

6.

illegitimate

f.

disgusting

7.

postponed

g.

brutal

8.

sanctions

h.

illegal

9.

tragic

i.

nearly

10.

sickening

j.

giving

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

1.

the sham election

a.

his ruthless supporters

2

Virtually every

b.

watered-down statement

3.

Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in free and

c.

race to prevent more killing

4.

died at the hands of

d.

a new low point

5.

the opposition leader pulling out of the

e.

country in the region

6.

The UN then made a

f.

of leadership in Zimbabwe

7.

The UN is also pushing

g.

this sickening chapter

8.

there was a tragic failure

h.

held across Zimbabwe

9.

Zimbabwe had reached

i.

fair elections held last March

10.

find a way to close

j.

for economic sanctions

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Robert Mugabe has won the sham election __________ across Zimbabwe on June 27. Virtually every country in the __________ and the world has condemned the election as a fake. Ever __________ the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out last week, it has been a one-horse __________. Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in free and fair elections held last March. Mugabe refused to accept he could lose __________ and has terrorized his nation into returning him as president. He said he would do anything to stay in power and that only God could __________ him. Hundreds of innocent citizens have died at the __________ of his ruthless supporters and thousands are homeless. The result is the opposition leader pulling out of the race to prevent more killing, thus __________ Mugabe victory.

 

remove
region
handing
race
held
hands
since
power

The situation in Zimbabwe is now __________ unacceptable to the international community. The UN Security Council tried to __________ a statement to say the election was illegitimate, but South Africa opposed this effort. The UN then made a watered-__________ statement, saying it regretted the election was not postponed because of the violence. The UN is also __________ for economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and a travel __________ on government officials. Nelson Mandela spoke up against Robert Mugabe, saying there was a “tragic __________ of leadership in Zimbabwe”. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that Zimbabwe had reached a new __________ point: “We will work with international partners to find a way to close this sickening chapter that has __________ so many lives,” he said.

 

failure
 
pushing
issue
cost
totally
low
ban
down

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Robert Mugabe has _____________ election held across Zimbabwe on June 27. Virtually every country _____________ and the world has condemned the election as a fake. Ever since the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai _____________ week, it has been a one-horse race. Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in free and fair elections held last March. Mugabe refused to accept _____________ power and has terrorized his nation into returning him as president. He said he would do anything _____________ power and that only God could remove him. Hundreds of innocent citizens have died at the _____________ ruthless supporters and thousands are homeless. The result is the opposition leader pulling out of the race to prevent more killing, _____________ Mugabe victory.

The situation in Zimbabwe _____________ unacceptable to the international community. The UN Security Council _____________ a statement to say the election was illegitimate, but South Africa _______________. The UN then made a watered-down statement, saying it regretted _____________ not postponed because of the violence. The UN is also pushing for economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and a _____________ government officials. Nelson Mandela spoke up against Robert Mugabe, saying there was a “_____________ of leadership in Zimbabwe”. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that Zimbabwe _____________ new low point: “We will work with international partners to find a way to close this sickening chapter that _____________ many lives,” he said.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

free

fair

 

 

 

  • 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 how they were used in the text:

  • held
  • region
  • horse
  • free
  • God
  • handing
  • totally
  • effort
  • pushing
  • tragic
  • point
  • cost

STUDENT ZIMBABWE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about Zimbabwe 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.

ZIMBABWE 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 ‘Zimbabwe’?

c)

Do you agree that the election was a sham?

d)

What kind of election is it if there’s only one person to vote for?

e)

What do you think of Robert Mugabe?

f)

Have you been following events in Zimbabwe? What do you think about what has been going on there?

g)

Why did Morgan Tsvangirai pull out of the election?

h)

Do you think Morgan Tsvangirai made the right decision to pull out of the election?

i)

Do you worry when a world leader says only God can remove him from power?

j)

Are elections in your country always free and fair?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Why does the international community think the situation in Zimbabwe is totally unacceptable?

c)

Why do you think South Africa still supports Robert Mugabe?

d)

Do you think economic sanctions and travel bans will work?

e)

What do you think of Nelson Mandela speaking out against Mugabe?

f)

Do you think there is anything the UN can do to help Zimbabwe’s people?

g)

What do you think will happen in Zimbabwe from now?

h)

How long do you think Robert Mugabe will stay in power?

i)

What questions would you like to ask Morgan Tsvangirai?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Robert Mugabe?

LANGUAGE

Robert Mugabe has won the sham election (1) ____ across Zimbabwe on June 27. Virtually every country in the region and the world has condemned the election as a (2) ____. Ever since the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out last week, it has been a one-horse race. Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in (3) ____ and fair elections held last March. Mugabe refused to accept he could lose power and has terrorized his nation (4) ____ returning him as president. He said he would do anything to stay in power and that only God could remove him. Hundreds of innocent citizens have died at the (5) ____ of his ruthless supporters and thousands are homeless. The result is the opposition leader pulling out of the race to prevent more killing, (6) ____ handing Mugabe victory.

The situation in Zimbabwe is now (7) ____ unacceptable to the international community. The UN Security Council tried to issue a statement to say the election was illegitimate, but South Africa opposed this (8) ____. The UN then made a watered-(9) ____ statement, saying it regretted the election was not postponed because of the violence. The UN is also pushing (10) ____ economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and a travel ban (11) ____ government officials. Nelson Mandela spoke up against Robert Mugabe, saying there was a “tragic failure of leadership in Zimbabwe”. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that Zimbabwe had reached a new low point: “We will work with international partners to find a way to close this sickening chapter that has (12) ____ so many lives,” he said.

Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

holds

(b)

holder

(c)

holding

(d)

held

2.

(a)

make

(b)

bake

(c)

fake

(d)

take

3.

(a)

freely

(b)

free

(c)

freedom

(d)

frees

4.

(a)

into

(b)

onto

(c)

to

(d)

on to

5.

(a)

knuckles

(b)

palms

(c)

hands

(d)

thumbs

6.

(a)

these

(b)

that

(c)

this

(d)

thus

7.

(a)

total

(b)

totally

(c)

totalled

(d)

totals

8.

(a)

effort

(b)

efforts

(c)

effortless

(d)

effortful

9.

(a)

around

(b)

down

(c)

up

(d)

in

10.

(a)

from

(b)

fro

(c)

for

(d)

fore

11.

(a)

on

(b)

into

(c)

in

(d)

an

12.

(a)

costed

(b)

costs

(c)

costly

(d)

cost

WRITING: 

Write about Zimbabwe 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 more about the Zimbabwe election. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. ELECTION: Make a poster about the history of elections in your country. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. WHAT NOW?: Write a magazine article about what will happen in Zimbabwe from now. Include imaginary interviews with Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Robert Mugabe. Ask him three questions about his country. Give him three pieces of advice on what he should do to stop his people suffering. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

6. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are a Zimbabwean and were too afraid to vote in the presidential election. Write your thoughts on your future in your country. Include your feelings on the election. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. F

b. F

c. T

d. F

e. T

f. T

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

sham

a.

fake

2

virtually

b.

nearly

3.

condemned

c.

criticized

4.

ruthless

d.

brutal

5.

handing

e.

giving

6.

illegitimate

f.

illegal

7.

postponed

g.

delayed

8.

sanctions

h.

penalties

9.

tragic

i.

disastrous

10.

sickening

j.

disgusting

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

the sham election

a.

held across Zimbabwe

2

Virtually every

b.

country in the region

3.

Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in free and

c.

fair elections held last March

4.

died at the hands of

d.

his ruthless supporters

5.

the opposition leader pulling out of the

e.

race to prevent more killing

6.

The UN then made a

f.

watered-down statement

7.

The UN is also pushing

g.

for economic sanctions

8.

there was a tragic failure

h.

of leadership in Zimbabwe

9.

Zimbabwe had reached

i.

a new low point

10.

find a way to close

j.

this sickening chapter

GAP FILL:

Mugabe claims victory in one-man election

Robert Mugabe has won the sham election held across Zimbabwe on June 27. Virtually every country in the region and the world has condemned the election as a fake. Ever since the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out last week, it has been a one-horse race. Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in free and fair elections held last March. Mugabe refused to accept he could lose power and has terrorized his nation into returning him as president. He said he would do anything to stay in power and that only God could remove him. Hundreds of innocent citizens have died at the hands of his ruthless supporters and thousands are homeless. The result is the opposition leader pulling out of the race to prevent more killing, thus handing Mugabe victory.

The situation in Zimbabwe is now totally unacceptable to the international community. The UN Security Council tried to issue a statement to say the election was illegitimate, but South Africa opposed this effort. The UN then made a watered-down statement, saying it regretted the election was not postponed because of the violence. The UN is also pushing for economic sanctions against Zimbabwe and a travel ban on government officials. Nelson Mandela spoke up against Robert Mugabe, saying there was a “tragic failure of leadership in Zimbabwe”. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said that Zimbabwe had reached a new low point: “We will work with international partners to find a way to close this sickening chapter that has cost so many lives,” he said.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - c

3 - b

4 - a

5 - c

6 - d

7 - b

8 - a

9 - b

10 - c

11 - a

12 - d

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