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Date: July 5, 2008
Downloads: Word Doc | PDF Doc | Listening
Audio: 1:55 - 901KB - 64kbps
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Related materials from ESL Discussions.com on Ingrid Betancourt.

THE ARTICLE

Ingrid Betancourt back in France

Ingrid Betancourt, the French-Colombian politician rescued on Thursday after being held by FARC rebels for six years, is back on French soil. The 46-year-old was greeted at a Paris air base by French President Nikolas Sarkozy. She was then whisked off to the Elysees Palace, where she received a hero’s welcome, for a party with her supporters. Ms Betancourt said she had dreamed of the day she could once again breathe French air. She told reporters of her love for France, saying: "I owe my life to France. If France hadn't fought for me, I wouldn't be here making this extraordinary journey." With tears in her eyes, she said: "I have cried a great deal during this time from pain….Today I am crying because of joy." President Sarkozy said her release had given the world "a message of hope".


 
 

Ingrid Betancourt and fifteen other hostages were rescued in a daring and dramatic operation deep in the Colombian jungle. She described the rescue as “immaculate”. Her freedom is a devastating blow for the FARC, who have lost their biggest bargaining chip in their war against the Colombian government. Ms Betancourt expressed her joy at being reunited with her children after six years. "Paradise, nirvana, must be something very close to what I am feeling in this moment. These children are my light, my moon, my stars. It was the desire to see them again that drove me to get out of the jungle." She confessed that thoughts of suicide were constant throughout her period of captivity, but said she could not face "what her children would think" if she ended her life.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. JUNGLES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about jungles. 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.

 

politicians / rebels / hero’s welcome / supporters / journeys / tears / message of hope / hostages / rescue / freedom /  joy / paradise / confessions / suicide / captivity

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

3. HELD HOSTAGE: What would you do if you were held hostage in the jungle for six years? Complete the table below. Talk with your partner about what you wrote. Change partners and share your ideas.

My idea

Why?

Is it possible?

Exercise

Diary

Health

Escape plans

Language of captors

Prayer

4. NIRVANA: What is nirvana for you? Who is your light? Talk about the words below. Who, where or what are these to you?

  • nirvana
  • your light
  • your stars
  • your reason for living
  • your energy
  • your dream
  • your joy
  • perfection

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. PARADISE: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘paradise’. 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.

Freed hostage Ingrid Betancourt has arrived back in France.

T / F

b.

The French president met her as she got off the plane.

T / F

c.

Ms Betancourt was taken to a rural hotel to relax in peace and quiet.

T / F

d.

Ms Betancourt said she cried a lot in Colombia and had no tears left.

T / F

e.

Ms Betancourt said her rescue from the jungle was immaculate.

T / F

f.

Ms Betancourt was the most important hostage the FARC had.

T / F

g.

She said thoughts of becoming Colombian president kept her going.

T / F

h.

She never once thought about taking her own life while in captivity.

T / F

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

1.

held

a.

(be) in debt to

2

soil

b.

setback

3.

whisked off

c.

always there

4.

owe

d.

hurried

5.

a great deal

e.

brave

6.

daring

f.

wish

7.

blow

g.

detained

8.

immaculate

h.

perfect

9.

desire

i.

lots

10.

constant

j.

land

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

1.

being held by

a.

welcome

2

She was then whisked

b.

throughout her period of captivity

3.

she received a hero’s

c.

"a message of hope"

4.

I have cried a great

d.

chip

5.

her release had given the world

e.

off to the Elysees Palace

6.

rescued in a daring and

f.

blow for the FARC

7.

Her freedom is a devastating

g.

deal during this time

8.

lost their biggest bargaining

h.

with her children after six years

9.

being reunited

i.

FARC rebels for six years

10.

thoughts of suicide were constant

j.

dramatic operation

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Ingrid Betancourt, the French-Colombian politician __________ on Thursday after being held by FARC rebels for six years, is back on French __________. The 46-year-old was greeted at a Paris air base by French President Nikolas Sarkozy. She was then whisked off to the Elysees Palace, where she received a hero’s __________, for a party with her supporters. Ms Betancourt said she had __________ of the day she could once again breathe French air. She told reporters of her love for France, saying: "I __________ my life to France. If France hadn't __________ for me, I wouldn't be here making this extraordinary journey." With tears in her eyes, she said: "I have cried a great __________ during this time from pain….Today I am crying because of joy." President Sarkozy said her release had given the world "a message of __________ ".

 

welcome
fought
rescued
hope
owe
deal
soil
dreamed

Ingrid Betancourt and fifteen other __________ were rescued in a daring and dramatic operation __________ in the Colombian jungle. She described the rescue as “immaculate”. Her freedom is a devastating __________ for the FARC, who have lost their biggest bargaining __________ in their war against the Colombian government. Ms Betancourt expressed her joy at being reunited with her children after six years. "Paradise, nirvana, must be something very __________ to what I am feeling in this moment. These children are my light, my moon, my stars. It was the desire to see them again that __________ me to get out of the jungle." She confessed that thoughts of suicide were __________ throughout her period of captivity, but said she could not __________ "what her children would think" if she ended her life.

 

drove
 
chip
deep
constant
close
hostages
face
blow

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Ingrid Betancourt, the French-Colombian politician rescued on Thursday _____________ by FARC rebels for six years, is back on French soil. The 46-year-old _____________ a Paris air base by French President Nikolas Sarkozy. She was then _____________ the Elysees Palace, where she received a _____________, for a party with her supporters. Ms Betancourt said she had dreamed of the day she _____________ breathe French air. She told reporters of her love for France, saying: "I _____________ France. If France hadn't fought for me, I wouldn't be here making this extraordinary journey." With tears in her eyes, she said: "I have cried _____________ during this time from pain….Today I am crying because of joy." President Sarkozy said _____________ given the world "a message of hope".

Ingrid Betancourt and fifteen other hostages were rescued _____________ dramatic operation deep in the Colombian jungle. She described the rescue _____________. Her freedom is a devastating _____________ FARC, who have lost their biggest bargaining _____________ against the Colombian government. Ms Betancourt expressed ________________ reunited with her children after six years. "Paradise, nirvana, must be something _____________ what I am feeling in this moment. These children are my light, my moon, my stars. It was _____________ see them again that drove me to get out of the jungle." She confessed that thoughts of suicide were constant throughout her period of captivity, but said she _____________ "what her children would think" if she ended her life.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

hero

welcome

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • Thursday
  • base
  • welcome
  • air
  • eyes
  • message
  • deep
  • blow
  • chip
  • nirvana
  • drove
  • face

STUDENT HOSTAGE SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about hostages 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.

INGRID BETANCOURT 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 ‘hostage’?

c)

How do you think you would cope with being a hostage?

d)

What would you do for six years as a hostage?

e)

Would you like to receive e hero’s welcome for something?

f)

What do you dream of doing one day?

g)

Have you ever cried tears of joy?

h)

Do you agree with President Sarkozy that Ingrid Betancourt’s release has given the world a message of hope?

i)

What do you know about Ms Betancourt’s story over the past six years?

j)

How did you feel when you found out she had been rescued?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

What do you think of the rescue operation that fooled the FARC rebels?

c)

What do you know about the FARC and its aims?

d)

Do you think Ms Betancourt’s story would be a good movie?

e)

Now the FARC has lost its biggest bargaining chip, do you think they will try and get another high profile hostage?

f)

Have you ever experienced anything close to paradise or nirvana?

g)

What in your life drives you to do things?

h)

Do you think Ingrid Betancourt should run to be Colombia’s next president?

i)

What questions would you like to ask Ingrid Betancourt?

j)

What do you think her answers would be?

LANGUAGE

Ingrid Betancourt, the French-Colombian politician rescued on Thursday after (1) ____ held by FARC rebels for six years, is back on French (2) ____. The 46-year-old was greeted (3) ____ a Paris air base by French President Nikolas Sarkozy. She was then whisked off to the Elysees Palace, where she received a hero’s welcome, (4) ____ a party with her supporters. Ms Betancourt said she had dreamed of the day she could once again breathe French air. She told reporters of her love for France, saying: "I owe my life to France. If France hadn't (5) ____ for me, I wouldn't be here making this extraordinary journey." With tears in her eyes, she said: "I have cried a great (6) ____ during this time from pain….Today I am crying because of joy." President Sarkozy said her release had given the world "a message of hope".

Ingrid Betancourt and fifteen other hostages were rescued in a (7) ____ and dramatic operation deep in the Colombian jungle. She described the rescue (8) ____ “immaculate”. Her freedom is a devastating blow for the FARC, who have lost their biggest bargaining chip in their war (9) ____ the Colombian government. Ms Betancourt expressed her joy (10) ____ being reunited with her children after six years. "Paradise, nirvana, must be something very close to what I am feeling in this moment. These children are my light, my moon, my stars. It was the desire to see them again (11) ____ drove me to get out of the jungle." She confessed that thoughts of suicide were constant throughout her period of captivity, but said she could not (12) ____ "what her children would think" if she ended her life.

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

1.

(a)

was

(b)

been

(c)

be

(d)

being

2.

(a)

mud

(b)

soil

(c)

dirt

(d)

clay

3.

(a)

at

(b)

onto

(c)

of

(d)

to

4.

(a)

so

(b)

by

(c)

for

(d)

with

5.

(a)

fighting

(b)

fight

(c)

fought

(d)

fights

6.

(a)

deals

(b)

deal

(c)

lot

(d)

lots

7.

(a)

daring

(b)

dare

(c)

dare to

(d)

dares

8.

(a)

did

(b)

had

(c)

was

(d)

as

9.

(a)

for

(b)

against

(c)

to

(d)

of

10.

(a)

so

(b)

to

(c)

by

(d)

at

11.

(a)

where

(b)

who

(c)

that

(d)

whose

12.

(a)

face

(b)

head

(c)

back

(d)

mouth

WRITING: 

Write about being a hostage 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 Ingrid Betancourt; her captivity and what she is doing now. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. HOSTAGES: Make a poster about hostage stories that have taken place over the past few years. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. INGRID BETANCOURT: Write a magazine article about Ingrid Betancourt. Include imaginary interviews with her and one of her captors.

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. DIARY / JOURNAL: You are a hostage in the jungle. Write your thoughts on your daily life. Include your opinions on your captors. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

6. LETTER: Write a letter to Ingrid Betancourt. Ask her three questions about her life in the jungle. Give her three pieces of advice on what she should do with her life from now. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a. T

b. T

c. F

d. F

e. T

f. T

g. F

h. F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

held

a.

detained

2

soil

b.

land

3.

whisked off

c.

hurried

4.

owe

d.

(be) in debt to

5.

a great deal

e.

lots

6.

daring

f.

brave

7.

blow

g.

setback

8.

immaculate

h.

perfect

9.

desire

i.

wish

10.

constant

j.

always there

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

being held by

a.

FARC rebels for six years

2

She was then whisked

b.

off to the Elysees Palace

3.

she received a hero’s

c.

welcome

4.

I have cried a great

d.

deal during this time

5.

her release had given the world

e.

"a message of hope"

6.

rescued in a daring and

f.

dramatic operation

7.

Her freedom is a devastating

g.

blow for the FARC

8.

lost their biggest bargaining

h.

chip

9.

being reunited

i.

with her children after six years

10.

thoughts of suicide were constant

j.

throughout her period of captivity

GAP FILL:

Ingrid Betancourt back in France

Ingrid Betancourt, the French-Colombian politician rescued on Thursday after being held by FARC rebels for six years, is back on French soil. The 46-year-old was greeted at a Paris air base by French President Nikolas Sarkozy. She was then whisked off to the Elysees Palace, where she received a hero’s welcome, for a party with her supporters. Ms Betancourt said she had dreamed of the day she could once again breathe French air. She told reporters of her love for France, saying: "I owe my life to France. If France hadn't fought for me, I wouldn't be here making this extraordinary journey." With tears in her eyes, she said: "I have cried a great deal during this time from pain….Today I am crying because of joy." President Sarkozy said her release had given the world "a message of hope".

Ingrid Betancourt and fifteen other hostages were rescued in a daring and dramatic operation deep in the Colombian jungle. She described the rescue as “immaculate”. Her freedom is a devastating blow for the FARC, who have lost their biggest bargaining chip in their war against the Colombian government. Ms Betancourt expressed her joy at being reunited with her children after six years. "Paradise, nirvana, must be something very close to what I am feeling in this moment. These children are my light, my moon, my stars. It was the desire to see them again that drove me to get out of the jungle." She confessed that thoughts of suicide were constant throughout her period of captivity, but said she could not face "what her children would think" if she ended her life.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - d

2 - b

3 - a

4 - c

5 - c

6 - b

7 - a

8 - d

9 - b

10 - d

11 - c

12 - a

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