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Date: July 11, 2008
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Related materials from ESL Discussions.com on Iran.

THE ARTICLE

Iran test-fires more missiles

Iran test-fired more medium and long-range missiles on Thursday, a day after an initial test-launch of nine missiles. The newly-tested weapons can travel as far as 2,000 km and are thus capable of hitting Israel and American targets in the Gulf. President Ahmadinejad says the new tests are to ensure Iran is capable of defending itself from attack. He warned Washington that there would be serious consequences if US forces hit Iran’s nuclear facilities. He also assured the world that there would be no war and accused the West of stirring up fear of a conflict. Mohammad-Ali Jafari, a top Iranian military commander, said: "This military exercise brings power to the Islamic Republic of Iran and is a lesson for our enemies."


 
 

The tests have sparked major concern in Western governments, which fear Iran is preparing for an attack on Israel. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a stern warning to Teheran. "We will defend American interests and the interests of our allies. We take very strongly our obligation to defend our allies and we intend to do that," she told reporters. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak also warned Iran that his country has "proven in the past that it won't hesitate to act when its vital security interests are at stake". US Defence Secretary Robert Gates was more optimistic there would be no conflict: "The reality is… everybody recognizes what the consequences of any kind of a conflict would be," he said.


 
 

WARM-UPS

1. MISSILES: Walk around the class and talk to other students about missiles. 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.

 

tests / launches / targets / defending one’s country / serious consequences / war /  major concern / stern warnings / allies / obligations / hesitation / security interests

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

3. OPINIONS: With your partner(s), talk about these opinions. Change partners and share your ideas.

  1. There is no way Iran wants any kind of war.
  2. Iran has a right to test missiles just as any other country has.
  3. Western leaders do not really understand the Middle East.
  4. Iran’s missile testing is not linked to it’s nuclear plans.
  5. George W. Bush was right when he said Iran is a rogue state.
  6. The West would be making a huge mistake if it attacked Iran’s nuclear plant.
  7. An attack on Iran and another war is on the cards – it’s inevitable.
  8. Western governments should criticize Iran less and talk more.

4. ARTICLE WORDS: Look at these words from the article. Talk with your partner(s) about how they relate to your country.

  • missiles
  • the Gulf
  • nuclear facilities
  • military exercises
  • Israel
  • fear of Iran
  • defending allies
  • vital security interests

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

Iran test-fired missiles for the second day in a row.

T / F

b.

The missiles cannot quite travel as far as 2,000 km.

T / F

c.

Iran’s president said the missiles were part of Iran’s defences.

T / F

d.

Iran’s president said the West is frightening people by talking of war.

T / F

e.

America is worried that Iran is planning fire its missiles at Israel.

T / F

f.

Condoleezza Rice said America needs to defend its interest rates.

T / F

g.

Israel’s defence minister said he would not hesitate to talk to Iran.

T / F

h.

The US defence secretary had a negative outlook on the situation.

T / F

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

1.

ensure

a.

duty

2

is capable of

b.

results

3.

consequences

c.

hopeful

4.

stirring up

d.

triggered

5.

enemies

e.

make certain

6.

sparked

f.

essential

7.

obligation

g.

triggering

8.

hesitate

h.

foes

9.

vital

i.

wait

10.

optimistic

j.

has the ability to

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

1.

Iran test-fired more medium

a.

consequences

2

capable of

b.

warning to Teheran

3.

serious

c.

up fear

4.

accused the West of stirring

d.

major concern

5.

a lesson

e.

that it won't hesitate to act

6.

The tests have sparked

f.

and long-range missiles

7.

Condoleezza Rice issued a stern

g.

there would be no conflict

8.

our obligation

h.

for our enemies

9.

his country has proven in the past

i.

defending itself from attack

10.

Robert Gates was more optimistic

j.

to defend our allies

WHILE READING / LISTENING

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

Iran test-fired more medium and long-__________ missiles on Thursday, a day after an __________ test-launch of nine missiles. The newly-tested weapons can travel as far as 2,000 km and are __________ capable of hitting Israel and American targets in the Gulf. President Ahmadinejad says the new tests are to ensure Iran is capable of defending __________ from attack. He warned Washington that there would be serious consequences if US forces __________ Iran’s nuclear facilities. He also assured the world that there would be no war and __________ the West of stirring up __________ of a conflict. Mohammad-Ali Jafari, a top Iranian military commander, said: "This military __________ brings power to the Islamic Republic of Iran and is a lesson for our enemies."

 

hit
initial
itself
exercise
accused
range
fear
thus

The tests have sparked __________ concern in Western governments, which fear Iran is __________ for an attack on Israel. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a __________ warning to Teheran. "We will defend American interests and the interests of our allies. We take very strongly our obligation to __________ our allies and we intend to do that," she told reporters. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak also warned Iran that his country has "__________ in the past that it won't hesitate to act when its vital security interests are at __________ ". US Defence Secretary Robert Gates was more __________ there would be no conflict: "The __________ is… everybody recognizes what the consequences of any kind of a conflict would be," he said.

 

stake
 
defend
reality
major
optimistic
preparing
proven
stern

LISTENING:  Listen and fill in the spaces.

Iran test-fired more medium _______________ missiles on Thursday, a day after an initial test-launch of nine missiles. The newly-tested weapons can _______________ 2,000 km and are thus capable of hitting Israel and American targets in the Gulf. President Ahmadinejad says the new tests are to ensure Iran _______________ defending itself from attack. He warned Washington that there would be serious consequences if US forces hit Iran’s nuclear facilities. He _______________ world that there would be no war and accused the West _________________ of a conflict. Mohammad-Ali Jafari, a top Iranian military commander, said: "This military exercise brings power to the Islamic Republic of Iran _________________ our enemies."

The tests _________________ concern in Western governments, which fear Iran is preparing _______________ Israel. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a stern warning to Teheran. "We will defend American interests and the interests _______________. We take very strongly our obligation to defend our allies _______________ do that," she told reporters. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak also warned Iran that his country has "_________________ that it won't hesitate to act when its vital security interests _______________ ". US Defence Secretary Robert Gates was more optimistic there would be no conflict: "The reality is… everybody recognizes what the consequences ________________ conflict would be," he said.


 
 

AFTER READING / LISTENING

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

test

fire

 

 

 

  • 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:

  • initial
  • thus
  • defending
  • war
  • fear
  • lesson
  • major
  • preparing
  • stern
  • intend
  • past
  • optimistic

STUDENT IRAN MISSILES SURVEY

Write five GOOD questions about Iran’s test-missiles 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.

IRAN 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 ‘Iran’?

c)

What do you think of Iran’s missile testing?

d)

What’s the difference between Iran and other countries having long-range missiles?

e)

Do you think Iran would ever fire their missiles at another country?

f)

George W. Bush frequently talks about the right of a country to defend itself. Do you think he believes Iran doesn’t have this right?

g)

What are the “serious consequences” President Ahmadinejad talks of?

h)

Do you think the USA will launch a strike at Iran’s nuclear facility?

i)

Do you think the West is stirring up fear?

j)

Do you think the West should believe President Ahmadinejad when he says there’ll be no war?

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

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

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Do you think Western governments are to quick to distrust Iran?

c)

What do you think of Condoleezza Rice’s stern warning to Teheran?

d)

Does America really have an obligation or right to defend other countries? Is this fighting wars for other people?

e)

Should Iran stop playing games with the West?

f)

What would happen if Iran and Israel became involved in a conflict?

g)

Do you think more countries should hesitate before going to war?

h)

Do you think everyone will see sense and avoid any kind of conflict?

i)

What questions would you like to ask President Ahmadinejad?

j)

What questions would you like to ask Condoleezza Rice?

LANGUAGE

Iran test-fired more medium and long-range missiles on Thursday, a day after an (1) ____ test-launch of nine missiles. The newly-tested weapons can travel as far as 2,000 km and are (2) ____ capable of hitting Israel and American targets in the Gulf. President Ahmadinejad says the new tests are to (3) ____ Iran is capable of defending itself from attack. He warned Washington that there would be serious consequences if US (4) ____ hit Iran’s nuclear facilities. He also assured the world that there would be no war and accused the West of stirring (5) ____ fear of a conflict. Mohammad-Ali Jafari, a top Iranian military commander, said: "This military (6) ____ brings power to the Islamic Republic of Iran and is a lesson for our enemies."

The tests have (7) ____ major concern in Western governments, which (8) ____ Iran is preparing for an attack on Israel. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a stern warning to Teheran. "We will defend American interests and the interests of our allies. We (9) ____ very strongly our obligation to defend our allies and we intend to do that," she told reporters. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak also warned Iran that his country has "proven in the (10) ____ that it won't hesitate to act when its vital security interests are at (11) ____ ". US Defence Secretary Robert Gates was more optimistic there would be no conflict: "The (12) ____ is… everybody recognizes what the consequences of any kind of a conflict would be," he said.

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

1.

(a)

initially

(b)

initial

(c)

initials

(d)

initialled

2.

(a)

those

(b)

this

(c)

thus

(d)

these

3.

(a)

ensure

(b)

insure

(c)

unsure

(d)

censure

4.

(a)

force

(b)

forceful

(c)

forced

(d)

forces

5.

(a)

of

(b)

in

(c)

up

(d)

by

6.

(a)

exercise

(b)

workout

(c)

games

(d)

problem

7.

(a)

sparred

(b)

spanked

(c)

sparkled

(d)

sparked

8.

(a)

afraid

(b)

fear

(c)

frighten

(d)

fears

9.

(a)

taken

(b)

taking

(c)

took

(d)

take

10.

(a)

ago

(b)

before

(c)

past

(d)

last

11.

(a)

stack

(b)

stake

(c)

steak

(d)

stalk

12.

(a)

reality

(b)

real

(c)

realism

(d)

realistic

WRITING: 

Write about Iran 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 what’s happening with Iran’s missile tests. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. IRAN: Make a poster about the history of Iran’s relations with the USA. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?

4. MISSILES: Write a magazine article about the need for Iran’s missiles. Include imaginary interviews with an Iranian and an American citizen.

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 fly on the wall at a meeting between America’s top leaders. Write your thoughts on the private discussions you heard. Include your opinions on the leaders. Read your entry to your classmates in the next lesson.

6. LETTER: Write a letter to the head of Iran’s missile programme. Ask him/her three questions about the missiles. Give him/her three pieces of advice on what she/he should do to keep the world happy. 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. T

d. T

e. T

f. F

g. F

h. T

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

ensure

a.

make certain

2

is capable of

b.

has the ability to

3.

consequences

c.

results

4.

stirring up

d.

triggering

5.

enemies

e.

foes

6.

sparked

f.

triggered

7.

obligation

g.

duty

8.

hesitate

h.

wait

9.

vital

i.

essential

10.

optimistic

j.

hopeful

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

Iran test-fired more medium

a.

and long-range missiles

2

capable of

b.

defending itself from attack

3.

serious

c.

consequences

4.

accused the West of stirring

d.

up fear

5.

a lesson

e.

for our enemies

6.

The tests have sparked

f.

major concern

7.

Condoleezza Rice issued a stern

g.

warning to Teheran

8.

our obligation

h.

to defend our allies

9.

his country has proven in the past

i.

that it won't hesitate to act

10.

Robert Gates was more optimistic

j.

there would be no conflict

GAP FILL:

Iran test-fires more missiles

Iran test-fired more medium and long-range missiles on Thursday, a day after an initial test-launch of nine missiles. The newly-tested weapons can travel as far as 2,000 km and are thus capable of hitting Israel and American targets in the Gulf. President Ahmadinejad says the new tests are to ensure Iran is capable of defending itself from attack. He warned Washington that there would be serious consequences if US forces hit Iran’s nuclear facilities. He also assured the world that there would be no war and accused the West of stirring up fear of a conflict. Mohammad-Ali Jafari, a top Iranian military commander, said: "This military exercise brings power to the Islamic Republic of Iran and is a lesson for our enemies."

The tests have sparked major concern in Western governments, which fear Iran is preparing for an attack on Israel. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a stern warning to Teheran. "We will defend American interests and the interests of our allies. We take very strongly our obligation to defend our allies and we intend to do that," she told reporters. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak also warned Iran that his country has "proven in the past that it won't hesitate to act when its vital security interests are at stake". US Defence Secretary Robert Gates was more optimistic there would be no conflict: "The reality is… everybody recognizes what the consequences of any kind of a conflict would be," he said.

LANGUAGE WORK

1 - b

2 - c

3 - a

4 - d

5 - c

6 - a

7 - d

8 - b

9 - d

10 - c

11 - b

12 - a

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